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  • Meet Minneapolis: Travel to the Twin Cities this Summer for HITEC 2019

    We all know that travel can be a real hassle. So, what about a trip makes it worth packing up your suitcase, saying goodbye to your family for the next few days, fighting the airport and staying in a.

  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • A Series of Must-Read Articles on Cybersecurity Produced by the HFTP Research Centers

    Data security remains a pressing concern and top priority for the hospitality industry. The HFTP Research Centers are dedicated to producing findings that can significantly aid hospitality businesses in their efforts to protect their guests’ privacy and personal information against potential cyber threats and attacks.

  • HITEC Special: Does EU GDPR Affect U.S. Hospitality Companies?

    By Alvaro Hidalgo. The EU General Data Protection Regulation has set a path towards protecting personal data which many other countries will follow. In a global industry such as hospitality, it should be a primary objective to take the steps towards compliance.

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Duetto Reaches 150,000 Rooms Milestone in Europe

Duetto · 4 March 2019
Duetto, hospitality's only Revenue Strategy Platform, continues to grow its presence in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), welcoming 10 new hotel companies in 2018.The San Francisco based hospitality tech firm now services more than 50 hotel companies across EMEA, representing more than 870 properties and nearly 150,000 hotel rooms.In 2018, Duetto welcomed some of Europe's leading hotel brands to the family, including the eponymous Sacher Hotels in Austria.Founded in 1876, Hotel Sacher Wien is Vienna's only family-run luxury hotel with 150 rooms and suites. The 110-room Hotel Sacher Salzburg is the city's only purpose-built luxury grand hotel. It is located on the shore of the Salzach River with beautiful views to Salzburg's old town. Both five-star hotels welcome their guests to a unique blend of charming tradition, excellent service and highest comfort."Since 1832 the name Sacher has combined exclusivity, outstanding quality and Austrian charm. Today, innovation is at the heart of everything we do. Through our new partnership with Duetto we will be able to better maximise on opportunities and progress our strategy," said Matthias Winkler, CEO.The H-Hotels Group added its portfolio of about 60 properties in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) to Duetto in mid 2018, with plans to add further properties as it expands into other European destinations.Family-owned H-Hotels Group operates over 10,000 rooms across its own brands: Hyperion, H4 Hotels, H2 Hotels, H+ Hotels, H.omes and H.ostels, making it one of the largest hotel operators in the region.In November, Duetto announced its partnership with luxury hotel group Firmdale Hotels. Firmdale Hotels is privately owned by husband and wife Tim and Kit Kemp and comprises eight award-winning luxury properties in central London and two in New York, including Ham Yard Hotel in London and The Whitby Hotel in New York."Our partnership with Duetto will help us future proof our business with scalable multi-tenant cloud technology and speed up innovation. Using the GameChanger and ScoreBoard applications we will gain visibility into all transactional data in order to identify and maximise on revenue opportunities," said Phil Ford, Group Revenue Manager, Firmdale Hotels. Other brands to join the Duetto family in 2018 include Dedica Anthology, The Flag, Inntel, CityMax, English Lakes, Hotel Des Indes, and Mytha Hotels. These hotel companies join a long line-up of European brands now using Duetto's Revenue Strategy solutions, including NH Hotel Group, Melia Hotels International, Palladium Hotel Group, easyHotel, citizenM and more.Globally, Duetto now helps more than 2,500 hotel and casino properties in more than 60 counties optimise their rooms, groups and casino revenue.

Why 2019 is the Year to Make More Money

Duetto Research Blog·28 February 2019
The hotel industry continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. The latest figures from the UNWTO show international arrivals growing 6% in 2018 to total 1.4 billion. More people want to travel. And more investors and owners are entering the mix, hoping to turn a profit through hotel ownership and operation.

Putting The Customer At The Centre

Duetto ·18 February 2019
This week's Opportunity 2019 conference provided plenty of food for thought for the UK's revenue management community, as industry professionals, hoteliers, students and solutions providers came together to discuss 'Revenue Management and the Connected Customer.'Nancy Rademaker, partner at Nexxworks, kicked off proceedings with an inspiring keynote that had many audience members nodding in agreement as she talked about the clash of the 'old normal' and the 'new normal'.In her presentation, Rademaker talked about digital becoming the new norm, and how all businesses - not just hospitality - need to put extreme customer centricity at the top of their agenda."Will you be selling the same product on the same channels in 2030?" she asked the audience, answering "No way!"."It's not a digital strategy that's needed, but a strategy for the new world. You can't just digitise your processes. That is not a new strategy. You must unlearn a lot of what you have learned," she added.Talking about the customer experience, Rademaker pointed out that the customer journey is not a line. "It does not go from A to B," she said. "You must create as many touch points as you can. Reverse the pyramid. Start from the desired customer experience and work back to solutions and concepts."In a panel discussion on whether the rise of the open hotel tech platform is key to the delivery of a connected customer experience, tech firms came together to discuss their role in delivering that customer-centric strategy.Richard Valtr, founder at Mews Systems, in possibly the most memorable moment of the conference, explained how PMS systems need to be API-centric: "It's not about putting lipstick on a pig, it's about genetically modifying the pig so that it has luscious lips"."We're looking at our industry as just one thing... we must be brave and look at how our technology can enable a huge amount of guest experiences outside of the hotel, outside of simply check in," he added.Closing the event, Patrick Bosworth, co-founder and CEO of Duetto, took the conversation of delivering guest value to the next level. Loyalty had been a hot topic of the day, and Bosworth was concise in his opinion: "If you have a loyalty programme that doesn't reward the majority of your guests, it's broken."Patrick closed the event with some top tips on boosting profitability and insight on the topic of personalised pricing.

Putting The Customer At The Centre

Duetto Research Blog·14 February 2019
This week’s Opportunity 2019 conference provided plenty of food for thought for the UK’s revenue management community, as industry professionals, hoteliers, students and solutions providers came together to discuss ‘Revenue Management and the Connected Customer.’

Revenue Management and the Millennial

Duetto Research Blog· 5 February 2019
Once again the UK’s revenue management community will come together for a day of great debate and industry learning, as Revenue By Design prepares to host its Opportunity 2019 event at the Hilton Bankside, London, on 12 February 2019.
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Las Vegas's Downtown Grand Casino Chooses Duetto to Drive Revenue

Duetto · 5 February 2019
Las Vegas -- The Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino has implemented two of Duetto's cloud-based applications - GameChanger for pricing and ScoreBoard for reporting - and partnered with Duetto for Strategic Consulting services to drive more profitable revenue at the iconic property.With GameChanger, Duetto's flagship revenue management application, The Downtown Grand has better visibility into total customer value and the ability to shape reinvestment and marketing decisions to attract the most profitable guests. With ScoreBoard, the revenue team has the ability to create intelligent reports and deliver actionable insights to key stakeholders in real time.Partnering with Duetto for Strategic Consulting affords the casino access to decades of casino revenue management experience for hands-on rate management.Ben Chan, Director of Revenue at The Downtown Grand, says his team was shopping for a revenue system that would help them make more strategic marketing decisions and optimize revenue for each booking."As much as we want improved financial performance through more dynamic revenue management practices, we were also looking for a strategic growth partner," Chan said. "Having recently commenced construction on an additional 495-room hotel tower, The Downtown Grand is focused on ensuring we remain the centerpiece of a revitalized downtown Las Vegas district."Patrick Bosworth, CEO and co-founder at Duetto, added: "The Downtown Grand is one of downtown Las Vegas' most iconic properties, and we're proud to modernize the team's revenue management technology and strategies. We're looking forward to quickly implementing the product into their daily practices and integrating player worth data so that we can help get the right players in the door and make more profitable pricing decisions."The Downtown Grand is a boutique hotel and casino with 629 newly remodeled hotel rooms and 9 bars and restaurants. In January, owners began construction on an additional 495-room hotel tower.About Downtown Grand Hotel & CasinoDowntown Grand Hotel & Casino is a unique hospitality and entertainment destination right in the heart of revitalized downtown Las Vegas. Located on 3rd Street between Ogden and Stewart, Downtown Grand encompasses an entire urban block of hotel, casino and dining amenities. The property currently features two 18-story and 25-story towers totaling 629 guestrooms and suites, and a third tower is under construction. Downtown Grand's casino offerings include 25,000 square feet of gaming space with nearly 500 of the hottest slot machines, table games and a fully featured sports book powered by William Hill. Restaurants, bars and entertainment options include Freedom Beat, Furnace Bar, Art Bar, Sidebar and the award-winning Las Vegas steakhouse Triple George Grill. Partnering venues include the famous Hogs & Heifers saloon and Pizza Rock, renowned as one of the best pizza restaurants in the city. Downtown Grand features Citrus Grand Pool Deck, a rooftop pool experience with more than 35,000 square feet of entertainment and special event space, an infinity pool, restaurant and bar, semi-private cabanas, a fire pit and a grass seating area.

2019: The Year Hotels Get a Grip on Acquisition Costs

Duetto · 1 February 2019
Examining the challenges and opportunities facing hoteliers in 2019, it might be easy to say, "New year, same old story." In attempts to drive revenue and increase profitability, hoteliers--like they have for seemingly the past decade--continue to focus on less costly ways to acquire guests.On one hand, OTAs continue to grow share, release new features to better connect with your guest and, in general, innovate faster than the large hotel brands. This is a problem because part of the allure of a hotel brand is the giant distribution system that comes with it, supposedly bringing guests at a much lower cost. Therefore, upcoming negotiations between Marriott and Expedia are expected to be tense and the results could have a wide-ranging impact on industrywide commissions.On the other hand, most independent hotels today better understand the relationship and the value that third-party distribution channels bring and are finding ways to only use them in need periods and to target specific markets. "Optimizing one's distribution mix is probably a lot more productive than fighting OTAs," says hospitality marketing consultant Martin Soler.When it's all said and done, we expect hoteliers in 2019 to have better insights into the cost of each of their distribution channels and the relevant information to make educated decisions on how to acquire guests.OTAs Facing New CompetitionThe days of fearing that Expedia and Booking.com will dominate distribution and bankrupt your business are over. After gobbling up most of the other third-party distribution sites and building what appeared to be a duopoly, Expedia and Booking suddenly find themselves facing new competition in Google, Airbnb and eventually Amazon. For hoteliers, this new competition is good and drives down costs.For example, according to a Skift report, in 2008 Expedia and Booking Holdings were capturing $19 of travel sales for every $1 they spent in marketing. Today, each dollar spent on marketing earns them closer to $16 in bookings, a 15% decline in efficiency.While Expedia enters 2019 calling itself, "The World's Travel Platform," Skift is quick to point out that in 2018 Expedia had only 12% of overall travel market share in the U.S. and Canada, its biggest market. Don't forget about global sites like Booking.com, Ctrip, TripAdvisor, and--perhaps most importantly--Google.Book Direct Campaigns WorkingEarlier this year, Soler opined that the "Direct vs OTA" debate had lost a lot of steam. Hotels weren't ignoring their efforts to drive business direct, he said, but better understood the complexity of competing with OTAs.Then out came a report by Kalibri Labs saying "Book Direct" campaigns launched by many of the big brands last year have in fact been successful in "either stabilizing or strengthening the growth rate of bookings via proprietary hotel company websites."Kalibri has been examining hotels' efforts to drive direct business through their loyalty programs, which often offer a 10% discount or similar to entice travelers to join their loyalty programs and book directly with the brand or the hotel. "Bookings growth for online travel agencies during this period either held steady or decelerated, signaling a shift for the hotel industry," Kalibri said.Undoubtedly the results of this report, coupled with the internal findings from brands who initiated Book Direct campaigns, will provide a momentum boost to hotels looking to take back share through personalization and loyalty membership bookings.'Book on Google' Could be a Game ChangerIn 2018, Google made significant strides toward improving its hotel booking offerings. Not only is Google's hotel search and map functionality better, but a Book on Google feature was introduced allowing travelers to reserve a room without leaving the search engine. Allowing guests to book hotels in Google's environment helps hoteliers reach guests on the channels they prefer.Along with many independents, Choice Hotels was one of the early Book on Google adopters, and leadership recently told Hotels Magazine that early results are extremely positive."It's still early given how (Google) rolled it out and in how consumers are adopting it, but we continue to be very pleased in terms of the revenue, the percentage of our clicks coming through as well as the higher-than-average conversion rate we're seeing through the channel," said Choice Hotels' Chief Commercial Officer Robert McDowell.Resolving Rate Parity IssuesOne growing point of contention between hotels and OTAs is rate parity, or the idea that publicly available room rates should be the same across all channels. Many consumers have become aware of rate parity and understand that they're not going to find a substantial deal by searching dozens of different websites. This hurts OTAs because if deals are less likely to be found, travelers may as well book direct and reap the benefits that come with doing so.However, one OTA in particular has resorted to a new tactic of scouring the Internet and listing any lower rates that can be found, even if the inventory was not sold directly to them. Booking.Basic, a feature of Booking.com currently in operation in Asia and Europe, is often undercutting hotel rates by finding inventory that has been sold to wholesalers at a rate that is not meant for public consumption. The rates it offers are nonrefundable and made via a third party that is only revealed to guests after they have paid to book a room, according to Phocuswire.Out of parity rates hurt hoteliers in that they drive business away from the hotel, and as Triptease notes in this report, non-parity rates also have a domino effect in that they increase costs spent with meta channels like Google and Kayak.In the end, we think all the fighting hoteliers and hotel brands have done to remain relevant in the new world of online booking is paying off. Hoteliers continue to learn more and more about their guests and how to connect with them directly. Hotel demand and occupancy are both strong, meaning hoteliers have to rely less on filling their hotels through the costliest channels.Hoteliers in 2019 should continue to shift their concentration away from battling the OTAs to instead using the troves of data they have about their guests to make more profitable pricing and distribution decisions.
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Firmdale Hotels Partner With Duetto For Revenue Strategy

Duetto · 4 December 2018
San Francisco -- Boutique hotel group Firmdale Hotels has partnered with Duetto, hospitality's only Revenue Strategy Platform, to drive revenue and growth across its exclusive Kit Kemp-designed portfolio of 10 properties in London and New York, including the Ham Yard Hotel in London and The Whitby Hotel in New York.Firmdale is employing Duetto's Open Pricing application, GameChanger, and its solution for intelligent reporting, ScoreBoard, across all Firmdale Hotels, totalling 666 rooms.Duetto's Revenue Strategy Platform brings together core technologies and data to make them accessible through multi-tenant cloud architecture. The platform powers a suite of applications and serves as a foundation for hotel companies to execute the holistic Revenue Strategy championed by Duetto since its launch more than six years ago. By unifying teams around a common source of dynamic data and a company-wide mission focused on profitability, an organization can become more efficient, drive more direct engagement with customers and capture more revenue.Using the GameChanger Open Pricing application, the luxury hotel group aims to bring more flexibility to its pricing structure, enabling it to yield room categories independently by property and stay date, room type, booking channel and customer segment.Using the ScoreBoard reporting application, Firmdale Hotels will be able to streamline operations by eliminating the time-consuming process of data consolidation while achieving greater visibility into future demand and price elasticity."Our partnership with Duetto will help us future proof our business with scalable multi-tenant cloud technology and speed up innovation. Using the GameChanger and ScoreBoard applications we will gain visibility into all transactional data in order to identify and maximise on revenue opportunities," said Phil Ford, Group Revenue Manager, Firmdale Hotels."Firmdale Hotels is a unique collection of iconic properties in two highly-competitive markets: London and New York. We look forward to working closely with them to help them achieve continued revenue growth in markets where supply is expanding at a rapid pace," said Marco Benvenuti, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Duetto.Delivering live, transaction data and visibility into demand signals and price elasticity, Duetto's applications will help the team at Firmdale Hotels improve efficiency and revenue, while also engendering greater collaboration between teams as all departments work from the same data.ABOUT FIRMDALE HOTELSFirmdale Hotels is privately owned by husband and wife Tim and Kit Kemp and comprises eight award winning luxury properties in central London and two in New York. They include Ham Yard Hotel, The Soho Hotel, Covent Garden Hotel, Charlotte Street Hotel and Haymarket Hotel in London's West End, Dorset Square Hotel in Marylebone, Knightsbridge Hotel near Harrods, Number Sixteen in South Kensington, Crosby Street Hotel in New York's SoHo and the latest New York property The Whitby Hotel in midtown. Renowned for their interiors, the hotels are beautifully designed by Kit Kemp, in her award-winning luxurious, modern British style for which her innovative, exciting mix of colour, pattern, texture and art is world renowned.For more information, visit: https://www.firmdalehotels.com/ABOUT DUETTODuetto is hospitality's only Revenue Strategy Platform. A powerful suite of cloud applications addresses the industry's complexity in distribution and technology, providing solutions that increase organizational efficiency, revenue and profitability.The unique combination of hospitality experience and technology leadership drives Duetto to look for new and innovative solutions to the industry's greatest challenges. Duetto delivers software-as-a-service to hotels and casinos that leverage dynamic data sources and actionable insights into pricing and demand across the enterprise, enabling a holistic and more profitable Revenue Strategy.Duetto's fully deployed hotel clients using GameChanger have recorded an average RevPAR Index lift of 6.5%. More than 2,500 hotel and casino properties in more than 60 countries have partnered to use Duetto's applications, which include GameChanger for Open Pricing, ScoreBoardfor intelligent reporting, PlayMaker for personalization, and BlockBuster for contracted-business optimization.For more information, visit http://duettocloud.com.

Creating and Stimulating Demand In Europe

Duetto Research Blog· 3 December 2018
H-Hotels group is a family-owned hotel chain with around 60 hotels across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The hotel group is poised to enter new markets in Europe, with plans to expand in Spain, Italy and Hungary. Its first property in Budapest is currently under construction.

Cross-Department Collaboration is Key to Optimizing Group Business

Duetto ·30 November 2018
Getting the right group business in your hotel at the right time for the right rate requires a holistic approach from your entire hotel operations team. In the current environment, inefficiencies in formulating group rates and quoting them to potential guests has hotels leaving a lot of money on the table.A 2018 report from Kalibri Labs put numbers to the group business opportunity for hotels in the United States. Of the estimated $300 billion consumers spent on groups and meetings last year, $140 billion of that revenue went to hotels. More than one-fifth of that total, or $30 billion, came from rooms revenue, with spending on food and beverage, transportation, and audio-visual making up the balance.Customer acquisition costs for groups and meetings business are on the rise, the Kalibri report found. Costs across many different intermediaries rose to $4 billion in 2017, Kalibri reported, and that total is projected to rise to between $8 billion and $10 billion by 2022.Standing in the way of these opportunities for hotels are vexing challenges, particularly a fundamental misalignment between a typical propertys different teams. Revenue managers are in charge of maximizing profitability for the property, driving ADR while still converting bookings. However, the sales managers who are in charge of securing group and negotiated business often are paid to maximize the number of contracts they can close and the room nights booked under group rates.Even though hotels like to think that each department is really working toward the same goal of making the hotel the most money, there are often different incentives.The following departments should be aligned on your group strategy:Sales: Accept groups at the right rates.Operations: Schedule labor and staff according to demand and committed bookings.Marketing: Drive demand in need periods when group business would help profitability.Revenue: Empower the sales team with data-driven forecasts and real-time group quotations.Another challenge to optimizing group business is that hotel departments often are relying on reports from a combination of different data sources. One team may be pulling numbers from the property management system, analyzing the data in a spreadsheet, then sending it over to a different team. The second team likely has been working with different numbers from the RMS or some other system. By the time people are actually looking at the same information to make a decision, the data is outdated.Modern Group Optimization StrategiesIn many cases, hotels will begin looking at their group business in November for the following year. Contracted business or groups on the books will be noted, and the hotels forecast, often prepared by the revenue manager, will be layered on top.From here, sales and marketing should work closely with the revenue manager to identify prospects. Look at group booking pace over the past three to five years and try to recognize trends as well as where there are gaps. Perhaps your strategy needs to evolve to remain competitive or gain back share. This is where marketing has the opportunity to contribute their plans to make up that business.Best practices to drive group business:The revenue team and director of sales should work together to form an action plan to determine optimal group mix of business.Update on a bi-weekly basis need periods with the sales team.Attend business review meetings with sales to guide them in pricing.Keep the group pricing relevant so that the sales team can convert business.Instead of waiting until November each year, the revenue manager should be creating a forecast at the end of every month, looking ahead to the next month and the next year.When RFPs come through the sales office generated by a meeting planner, a housing bureau, a wedding, etc. theyre typically loaded into some sort of sales software. Next, that piece of business would be brought up for a group business review. These meetings happen on a daily basis, at least, wherein sales, marketing and revenue teams analyze group leads to ensure theyre the right fit for the property.Today, hotel sales and revenue teams are using modern tools to turn those discussions into a live group quotation. Software analyzes demand patterns, takes into account current transient rates and other data, and recommends a rate at which each group makes sense.With new tools, hotels are able to focus more on response time, and operators understand that at the end of the day they must empower their sales and revenue folks with the right recommendations. Instead of just saying yes or no, hotel sales people today are more able to negotiate group business on the go.

Meet Chinese Tourist 2.0

Duetto Research Blog·27 November 2018
While Chinese travellers have not given up their travel wanderlust and are in fact still growing in numbers, they have evolved in the way they travel. According to co-founder of China Luxury Advisor, Renee Hartmann, who was speaking at the Cross-Border Retail Growth Forum at Asia Society in New York City, among other changing trends, Chinese tourists are also spending less than before.

Cross-Department Collaboration is Key to Optimizing Group Business

Duetto Research Blog·26 November 2018
Getting the right group business in your hotel at the right time for the right rate requires a holistic approach from your entire hotel operations team. In the current environment, inefficiencies in formulating group rates and quoting them to potential guests has hotels leaving a lot of money on the table.

Hotels vs. OTAs: No Need to Go to the Mattresses

Duetto Research Blog·21 November 2018
It is not uncommon that I speak to a fellow industry colleague on the hotel operations front that - sooner or later - we come across the topic of OTAs and distribution of flat, albeit seasonal contract rates. "Genius Program", "wholesalers" and "amoma.com" are just some of the names that are dropped, usually in tandem with "we must fight them" or "it is a battle".

Is Online Gaming Undermining Casinos?

Duetto Research Blog·20 November 2018
As online gaming continues its upward trajectory, generating millions of dollars in revenue, experts are again questioning whether the convenience and accessibility has helped or hurt Atlantic City casinos.

Why Would a Casino Need a Revenue Management System?

Duetto Research Blog·19 November 2018
A year after Lebron James departed Cleveland for the bright lights of Los Angeles, some thought his former team, the Cavaliers, still had the pieces to make a run at the playoffs.

Best Quotes from Center Stage at Phocuswright

Duetto ·16 November 2018
Of all the travel industry conferences, no one could argue that Phocuswright is among the best at getting today's brightest and most influential leaders on stage. The conference kicked off this week in Los Angeles, and if you're not there you can stream most of the sessions on the conference website. We're paying closest attention to what the hoteliers and hotel intermediaries have to say, of course. Here's a rundown of yesterday's highlights from the stage.Maud Bailly, Chief Digital Officer, AccorBailly is in the midst of leading Accor's digital transformation, focusing on streamlining and personalizing the entire guest experience, from booking through on-property and post-stay. She's got big ambitions and she's not afraid to move quickly, testing constantly and scrapping ideas quickly that aren't improving the guest experience. Her challenges are making everything simpler yet at the same time creating experiences that speak to travelers across the globe, when sometimes Western travelers prefer a different experience than Eastern travelers, for instance.Richard Holden, VP of product management, GoogleRichard Holden, VP of product management at Google, discussed the search giant's continued and strengthened mission of providing users with the knowledge and answers that will best help them make decisions. Pressed on whether those answers should come from Google, which has inserted many of its own products at the top of search results, Holden said the company is confident they are striking the right balance between providing organic information and results that deliver traffic to the company's biggest advertising partners. Holden discussed the evolution of Book on Google, a product that allows travelers to reserve airfare and hotel rooms without leaving Google's site, admitting the product name could be misleading and hinting its name may soon change.Jeff Ma, who joined Duetto in October, is best known for his role on the MIT blackjack team, where he and his colleagues used data-driven decisions to play blackjack more effectively and often beat the casinos at their own game. He talked about how data-driven decision are the best decisions, and that there are analytics out there can help entire industries be more successful. Hotels, he said, are just on the cusp of taking all the available data they have - which is now stored in the cloud and easily accessible - and analyzing it to make the most profitable pricing decisions.Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO of Oyo RoomsEverything about Oyo is unique, particularly the facts that their founder and CEO is 24 years old and that their business model has evolved from an asset-light marketing and distribution company to a business that is providing capital and tools to renovate poor-performing assets. Agarwal described that evolution by saying his company went out offering distribution strategies to many struggling economy hotel owners, but when they saw the opportunity to help those owners improve their businesses (while generating some returns in the process), it became a no-brainer.Steve Hafner, CEO, KayakHafner is never one to beat around the bush or mince words, so his appearance on stage is always a crowd-pleaser. He tells it how it is, even if that means throwing his own company under the bus by pointing out their challenges and failures. Regarding Kayak, it's clear that Hafner is bullish on the metasearch space, suggesting there's no real advantage for a traveler to bypass metasearch sites and go directly to on OTA. That said, he also readily admitted that Google has the largest advantage in the meta space and could spell trouble for everyone else.RELATED HOTEL REVENUE STRATEGY ARTICLESPredictive Analytics Ace Jeff Ma Joins Duetto6 Things You Might Not Know About Google TravelThe Blueprint for Taking Business Back from OTAs

Europe's Hotels Report Solid September

Duetto Research Blog·13 November 2018
Key performance indicators for hotels in Europe showed continued gains year on year in September, with a 3.7% increase in gross operating profit per available room to €96.80, second only to the peak recorded at hotels across the region in June at €105.07.
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Predictive Analytics Ace Jeff Ma Joins Duetto

Duetto ·12 November 2018
San Francisco, November 12, 2018 -- With the increasing importance of analytics to hoteliers today, Duetto has doubled down on its commitment to innovation by hiring Jeff Ma as Senior Vice President of Product and Analytics.Ma joins Duetto, hospitality's only Revenue Strategy Platform, after serving as Vice President of Data Science and Analytics at Twitter, where he led the central data science, machine learning and analytics teams. Prior, Ma gained notoriety as the leader of the MIT blackjack team and was the inspiration for the best-selling book "Bringing Down the House" and hit film "21."Ma served for two years as ESPN's first Predictive Analytics Expert and has founded several successful technology companies, including a sports media and analytics startup Citizen Sports, acquired by Yahoo, and a human capital analytics company called tenXer, which was acquired by Twitter in 2015."For my next chapter, I was looking for a business where analytics were at the foundation of the company's value proposition, and I couldn't have found a better fit with Duetto," Ma said. "The opportunity to apply the 'Moneyball' playbook to the hospitality vertical unlocks huge potential for hotels to excel in areas where they have previously struggled. By leveraging data and analytics, Duetto will revolutionize how hotels achieve greater profitability and personalization and market directly to consumers."Duetto's Revenue Strategy Platform brings together core technologies and data to make them accessible through multi-tenant cloud architecture. With integrations to more than 50 technology partners, the platform serves as a foundation for hotel companies to execute the holistic Revenue Strategy championed by Duetto since its launch more than six years ago. By unifying teams around a common source of dynamic data and a company-wide mission focused on profitability, an organization can become more efficient, drive more direct engagement with customers and capture more revenue."Jeff will bring our product team to the next level by matching the best in Silicon Valley with the best vision in hospitality," said Marco Benvenuti, Duetto Co-founder and Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer. "As the pace of change has accelerated and the threats of digital disruption have grown, so have our efforts to help this industry we're so passionate about. Analytics are at the core of what we do, and I'm excited to see Jeff build out a world-class team of data scientists and help shape the industry's only Revenue Strategy Platform."In February of this year, Duetto announced an $80 million Series D financing round led by Warburg Pincus, a leading global private-equity firm focused on growth investing. The company's flagship software-as-a-service (SaaS) application, GameChanger, brought machine learning, new consumer-centric data and the breakthrough innovation of Open Pricing to the industry, enabling hotel companies to independently price all distribution channels, customer segments, room types and stay dates in real time.

Michael Levie and Making Your Competition Irrelevant

Duetto · 9 November 2018
If you have ever considered what differentiates your hotel from the competition and all you can find is that your turndown chocolate comes in a logo-embossed wrapper, then you need to change to a Blue Ocean strategy.Michael Levie, chief operations officer at citizenM, gave hoteliers plenty of food for thought with his opening keynote presentation at this year's Revenue Strategy Forum London, held Monday at the Amba Hotel Charing Cross.During his presentation on "Making your competition irrelevant," Levie called on the industry to take a different look at its business model."We think we are incredibly talented with innovation but end up producing roughly the same thing," Levie said as he presented a slide of hotel bedroom photos and asked the 120-strong audience to find the differentiator.In his presentation on Blue Ocean strategy, Levie explained how many businesses swim in a red ocean, competing against each other, while those in a blue ocean set themselves free from competition by doing something ground breaking. By being different there is no competition.Changing PerspectiveLevie explained how the hotel industry can use context to change the similar way of thinking."We are very good at creating content and processes, but context makes it easier for people to grasp what we are doing," he said, going on to explain the thinking behind the citizenM brand and how its hotels aim to sit between the luxury and mid-market segments."We decided to take a look at those people who travel frequently. They are habitual in what they do and are strong minded in what is important to them. For example, having WiFi in their room is as important as having streaming water."We decided to do things differently and create something relevant to them. We call it affordable luxury."Built from a pre-fabricated modular design, each citizenM room is just 14 square meters with a focus on high-tech, a great bed and good shower."We learnt to say 'No'. We are not the answer in many cases," Levie admitted, pointing out that the modular rooms are possibly not conducive to family stays. "We have created just one room, with a focus to bring the cost down and making it efficient. It's a different way of thinking," he said, citing Stephen Herfst's quote: "By being everything to everyone you're nothing to anyone".The modular nature of the properties means than new hotels can be built in a matter of months.While the rooms may be small, the communal space at citizenM is built to create a living room environment where travellers can work, socialise or relax."We offer a co-working, co-living lifestyle; for frequent travellers this is what they need," he said. "We wanted to shift context away from 'we're only a hotel'. We are a hotel, office, home, network," he added.Levie closed his keynote by encouraging the audience to look at things differently, find new processes, and change their mindset on when to say 'Yes' and when to say 'No.'

6 Things You Might Not Know About Google Travel

Duetto Research Blog· 8 November 2018
Google is simply everywhere these days. Its search engine is the de facto choice for finding just about anything online. And if you use the company's email service, Gmail, there's a good chance that you've been roped into using other Google services, too. Perhaps you keep your calendar there. You might even get your driving directions from Google Maps. And if you own a smartphone, you might even be using the company's mobile operating system, Android.

Will Google Perfect Personalization Before You?

Duetto Research Blog· 5 November 2018
In the world of travel, two superpowers currently prevail above all: personalization and intuition. The better a hotel, app, or travel company can respond to users’ needs and desires — and ideally, predict them before they bubble up to the surface — the more likely they are to gain a loyal following, according to this Jakarta Post report.

Blockchain: The Possibilities For Innovation Are Endless

Duetto Research Blog· 1 November 2018
Khalid Ladha, strategic alliances director at BlockX Labs, a Toronto-based product-development lab, takes us through the blockchain basics. He explains what this technology actually is as well as looking at opportunities for the hotel industry, in terms of distribution, reporting and transactions.
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HQ plus, Duetto Announce Technology Partnership

Duetto · 1 November 2018
San Francisco, 1 November, 2018 -- Duetto, the hospitality industry's only Revenue Strategy Platform, has today announced its latest technology integration - with HQ plus.The new interface between Duetto's GameChanger and HQ plus enables joint customers to see the current room rate for a list of chosen competitors, as well as showing competitor averages. The interface pulls rates from a wide range of online distribution channels, including online travel agencies, as well as Brand.com sites from competitor hotels.The integration enables hoteliers using Duetto and the HQ revenue hotel market intelligence software to compare competitor rates to their own, up to 365 days in the future. This will assist hotel revenue managers on both short-term yielding and longer-term Revenue Strategy. The ability to accurately benchmark will enable hoteliers to adapt to market changes in real time."We are very proud of our collaboration with Duetto: Now our mutual customers are able to see in Duetto the rates of their comp set, taken directly from our system. It's a very important first step as we work towards offering our customers even more relevant market data to help them boost their Revenue Strategy," said Roland Hehn, CEO at HQ plus."Through this integration, Duetto customers can leverage channel-specific competitive pricing data from HQ plus direct through our Open Pricing solution, GameChanger. This enables hoteliers to optimise revenue at a marketplace level with greater emphasis on channel contribution and lead time," explained Marco Benvenuti, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer for Duetto.While finalising their technology partnership, Duetto and HQ plus trialled their new integration with Ruby Hotels."We are happy about the integration of two very strong tools we use in our revenue management. The integration of both systems will help us to gain even deeper market insights," said Tobias Koehler, Group Director Marketing & Commerce at Ruby Hotels.ABOUT HQ PLUS HQ plus is the pioneer of Europe's hotel market intelligence revolution. Since its foundation in 2012, the company has successfully brought forward cutting-edge revenue management technologies. It is now Europe's market leader, serving about 2,000 customers with its innovative software, HQ revenue, and is enjoying a steady growth in foreign markets too.HQ revenue is a leading-edge platform in the revenue management technology landscape that provides accurate real-time data to hoteliers and revenue managers. The product is an effective decision-aiding tool and empowers hoteliers with a complete overview of the most important distribution channels. This allows for quick and efficient analyses and timely reactions to shifts in demand and occupancy, putting HQ revenue customers ahead of their game.Visit https://www.hqrevenue.com for more information.
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Revinate Announces Partnership with Duetto

Duetto ·30 October 2018
San Francisco, Oct. 30, 2018 -- Revinate, the software as a service (SaaS) company that helps hotels transform guest data into revenue, today announced a partnership with Duetto, hospitality's only Revenue Strategy Platform, to enhance the power of its guest marketing solution. Now, joint customers will be able to use Duetto's platform and its Open Pricing application GameChanger to dynamically price upsells and upgrades driven through Revinate Marketing. The real-time pricing solution will enable personalized offers to maximize conversion and revenue."Duetto shares our core belief that data can be used to optimize guest lifetime value, driving maximum profit for the hotel, all while delighting the guest," said Dan Hang, Revinate's Chief Product Officer. "Having Duetto's platform work with Revinate Marketing means that our customers will drive more revenue with real-time data and personalized offers.""We believe by partnering with other leading technology companies and keeping our platform open and agnostic we can drive more meaningful results for our customers and hotel companies around the world," said Marco Benvenuti, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer of San Francisco-based Duetto. "This is a great example of that and the partnership with Revinate brings brand new functionality and real personalization to an industry starved for it."Hotel Spero in San Francisco is one of the first hotels to use the joint solution in its pre-stay communications with guests. Tomo Kakegawa, Corporate Director of Revenue Management and Digital Marketing, says, "We can already see the difference that dynamic pricing and personalized communications can have on upgrade revenue. We're thrilled that these two software companies have come together to innovate and push the limits of technology to help the industry drive more revenue through data."About RevinateRevinate enables hoteliers to transform their guest data into revenue. With Revinate Marketing and Revinate Guest Feedback, hoteliers are empowered to make smarter decisions, resulting in increased direct revenue and guest engagement. The company is backed by leading Silicon Valley investors, including Benchmark Capital, Tenaya Capital, and Sozo Ventures. Headquartered in San Francisco with regional offices in Amsterdam and Singapore, Revinate counts tens of thousands of the world's leading hotels as customers.To learn more, please visit www.revinate.com.

Revenue Management Speed Check: Let's Accelerate

Duetto Research Blog·25 October 2018
Earlier this year I was invited – along with other RMS vendors and senior hotel executives – to speak at a roundtable hosted by none other than RM-veteran Sherri Kimes. As was to be expected, the conversation was robust and engaging, with viewpoints shared from a variety of perspectives for a holistic view. The audience consisted primarily of students in their final year at the prestigious NUS Business School in Singapore, who were interested not only in the status quo, but also the direction in which the revenue management discipline was headed.
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Ctrip Enters Hotel Management Space

Duetto ·24 October 2018
1. Ctrip enters hotel management spaceCtrip has now a hotel management brand - Rezen Hotels Group - that aims to bring together top-rated hotels in China's first- and second-tier cities and help them improve performance and services with big data analysis backed by Ctrip.In the next three years, they will launch over 30 co-branded hotels, providing more than 6,000 rooms. The launch of Rezen Hotels, Ctrip's first high-end hotel brand, marks the group's strategy to branch out to the high star-rating hotel sector.Full story at Tnooz.2. Shiji continues blazing acquisition trail with Concept purchaseShiji has recently acquired Concept Software Systems, a provider of golf, spa and activities management systems for luxury hotels which is uniquely integrated with hotel property management systems.Concept Software Systems will integrate with the Shiji Group as a fully owned subsidiary and as a Shiji Group company.Full story at Shiji.3. Accor strengthens in Asia, hits 1,000With the recent opening of Pullman Tokyo Tamachi, AccorHotels has past the 1,000 hotels and 200,000 rooms milestone in Asia Pacific, underscoring the group's belief in the growth potential of the region.Asia Pacific now makes up more than 30% of the entire AccorHotels global network and more than half of the total room and hotel pipeline. In the past three years, AccorHotels' Asia Pacific network has doubled in size through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions of brands including Raffles, Orient Express, Fairmont, Banyan Tree, Delano, Mondrian, SLS, Swissotel and Movenpick.Full story at Hotel Management4. Affluent travellers from China taking to mobile for travel bookingsThe growing affluent traveling community from China are taking to the mobile platform for travel bookings. This means more domestic travel apps like Zanadu and SparkleTour will be focusing on the mobile platform to meet their customers where they are. More than half of travellers booked trips online in 2017, according toa September reportfrom China-based research agency Yaok Institute.Other popular travel apps in China include HHtravel, 8 Continents Travel, and Beshan.Full story at Jing Daily5. Next Story Group makes its move into Sri LankaNext Story Group has entered Sri Lanka with two of its brands - Next Hotel Colombo and Kafnu Colombo, both slated for third quarter 2019 openings. Next Hotel Colombo is located in the Colombo City Centre, a premier lifestyle destination in Sri Lanka. Jointly owned and developed by Next Story Group and the Abans Group, Colombo City Centre is a mixed-use development which consists of a Next Hotel, luxury apartments and the first international shopping mall in the country.Full story at Travel Daily News.6. Oyo's $5 billion valuation overrated?Oyo, an Indian-based budget chain hotel, is hardly budget when it comes to its fundraising. It recently raised $800 million, with its investors pledging a further $200 million. This latest round of fundraising has placed an approximately $5 billion valuation on the company, said some reports.Other investors are now weighing in on this latest news, at least one saying it is "overvalued" for a company with "no real underlying assets". What's for certain is this has caused hotel chains to look carefully at their strategic plans for the new world's giants namely India and Chian.Full story at Skift.7. South-east Asia is boomtown with travel business worth US$50 billionWith a compound annual growth of 27% year-on-year, South-east Asia boasts a US$50 billion travel business and four key industries that are driving the growth are online travel, e-commerce, online media, transport and food, according to Google's head of travel Asia Pacific Hermione Joye who spoke at the recently concluded WiT Singapore 2018.The online travel sector is now at US$27 billion business but growing fast at 18%. With only 35% of bookings now done online, the opportunity is vast. And Google says what its customers there want is speed, engagement and personalisation.Full story at WebinTravel.comStay up on hotel Revenue Strategy news and discuss industry tech trends in the Hotel Revenue Strategy Leaders Group on LinkedIn.

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