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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.

The Importance of Using LinkedIn Pulse to Build Trust, Awareness and Influence

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·13 March 2019
Regardless of the industry, content marketing has long since been touted as one of the key differentiators to a company's long-term success. After all, it's one thing to have a great product or offering, but it's another to have a great product or offering that is effectively packaged to the masses from a trusted company that seems to have everyone's attention. But when it comes to establishing credibility, generating positive hype and growing your brand and business, what is the name of the game? We place so much emphasis on content marketing -- and rightfully so -- but what style of content and what method of delivery will play the most integral role in getting a company from point A to point B? What will move the needle the most, and most effectively translate the value proposition of a company (and those who run it) to current and prospective customers? We also must consider the current economic climate, where consumer trust is notoriously hard to earn -- and far too easy to lose. Media has become the least-trusted institution. But if content represents the conduit to which brands can connect with their audience, how can companies shift past media distrust to establish their brand or offering as a trusted source? It's within this discussion that we realize the importance of thought leadership. What exactly is a thought leader?Thought leaders are the recognized, trusted, go-to people in their field of expertise. They frequently produce insightful, engaging and innovative ideas, which they share with their target audience. From a public relations standpoint, company clout can largely be derived from the way in which an audience feels (and speaks) about a brand. This means that company founders and executives have a unique opportunity to leverage themselves as spokespersons of their brand, effectively cutting through the noise with insightful, big picture, educational and value-driven content. In fact, thought leadership -- when done well and distributed strategically across the right platforms -- is arguably the best method to build awareness by sparking meaningful conversations. According to recent studies, consumers say authenticity is one of the top qualities that would attract them to a brand. Not only that, but there is a direct correlation between a company's authenticity and the likelihood that customers become advocates for that brand, whilst attracting more high-value customers. Statistics such as these reinforce the understanding that trust (and a company's on-going investment in establishing consumer trust) represents a tangible asset to any company, especially in the eyes of modern consumers. Not only does thought leadership represent an integral B2C strategy, but it plays an incredibly important role in B2B relationships as well. In fact, the 2019 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study revealed that 55% of decision makers use thought leadership as an important way to vet organizations, and 81% increased their trust in a vendor organization as a result of that content. Further, 61% of those same decision makers are more willing to pay a premium to work with an organization that has articulated a clear vision versus one that does not publish thought leadership. However, in that same breath it's also important to realize that thought leadership can have a resounding negative effect on a company's reputation, if not done correctly. According to the survey, the majority of leaders said they are disappointed by the lack of high-quality thought leadership. This presents an opportunity -- emerging thought leaders, now is your time. Start writing, start sharing and engage your audience (the right way) before someone else does. Now that we've established the importance of thought leadership, we arrive at the next consideration. Which platform(s) do we utilize to deliver this style of content? Aside from paid media, how can we infiltrate those most active, relevant channels to create waves for our brand? While there are no shortage of useful platforms and paid publications to include in your content strategy, there is one platform which every executive should be utilizing, without exception -- LinkedIn. Feeling skeptical? Consider the following:94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as a content distribution channel, compared to Twitter at 89%, Facebook and YouTube at 77%, and Google+ at 61%91% of marketing executives list LinkedIn as the top place to find quality contentLinkedIn has been named one of the top 10 websites with the most user traffic on the internetEvery single week, content in the LinkedIn feed is seen 9 billion times. That's about 36 billion impressions per month and 468 billion per year Even more impressive, is the realization that of the 500 million total LinkedIn users, only 3 million share content on a weekly basis. Let me translate that for you -- 3 million users are getting 9 billion impressions each week. I don't know about you, but within a social economy rife with changing algorithms and pay to play infrastructures, I like those odds. The LinkedIn Pulse feature, specifically, allows emerging and established thought leaders to self-publish content to their feed amongst other news stories, blog posts and insights on the platform. Identifying somewhere between a blog and a social network for professionals, company executives can customize their LinkedIn experience to ensure it is entirely aligned with their business objectives while enhancing their connection to the (sometimes elusive) consumer ecosystem. To ensure users can curate a feed of relevant and valuable content, LinkedIn Pulse can be tailored to each individual and offers a search function in which users can search by category, popularity, and influencers. Ultimately, sharing content on LinkedIn helps you stay top of mind with your core network, while also ensuring your content is ranks higher on Google to expand your reach to a broader audition. Providing consumers and vendors with -- what feels like -- direct access to the ideas and opinions of CEOs and brand executives is undeniably valuable, and helps to position the leaders of your company as integral industry influencers.

Hotel Owners Have All the Juice

Puzzle Partner Ltd. · 5 March 2019
As any good salesperson knows, selling a product (or service) is as much about describing the features and benefits of product itself, as it is being able to effectively sell to the potential buyer. It's a dance, one in which an in-depth understanding of the buyer's unique expectations and values will (more often than not) be the key to making that sale. And of course, the key to appealing to buyers directly begins with understanding who holds the buying power.When it comes to the hospitality industry and the purchase of hotel technology, most B2B tech vendors believe that the hotel brands themselves are the focal point for the purchase decision making process. After all, big brands represent huge potential business, and with the hotel landscape being multi-layered (owners, management companies, advisors etc.) shouldn't the sales focus appeal to the brand's top-line? In fact, this can often be a flawed approach to selling B2B hospitality technology. But if that's the case, who really has all the juice when it comes to either persuading the brands about what technology purchases make sense, or making the buying decision themselves? To better understand a more effective approach, we need to take a closer look at the infrastructure which supports hotel properties, and those coinciding authorities. Larger hotel brands with properties across the globe can dictate certain aspects of the hospitality experience within each property agreement. After all, if a prospective hotel owner is buying into an established hotel brand and all of the associated marketing and sales benefits, it becomes imperative that certain segments of that 'brand' are consistent across all properties. This includes things such as the CRS, mattresses, labour standards, etc.; however - and perhaps surprisingly - hotel brands often have difficulties dictating the purchase of specific hotel technologies. Ultimately, it is often the hotel owners who carry the most power when it comes to technology purchase decisions and initiatives. Traditionally, hotel brand giants (such as Marriott or Hilton etc.) have been popularly viewed by technology vendors as the 'Golden Goose' or, in other words, the gateway to success. Why? Because a large brand with countless properties and owners represents an exciting (and extensive) business opportunity, right? While this is true in a sense, it is extremely unlikely that the brand itself will mandate some tech solutions down to franchisees or owners that is outside of the reservations control environment.Let's put this theory to work by considering the following scenario: Independent hotel A would like to become part of a larger, flagged hotel company. When the transition occurs, Hotel A may already have a PMS, POS, Sales and Catering solution, etc. in place. The likelihood of the owner of Hotel A swapping out all (or some) of these systems in order to comply with the brand standard is somewhat unlikely. If their PMS can connect with the brand's CRS and some other reporting standard solutions, the other systems could remain in place for quite some time. As such, ancillary technologies such as text messaging solutions, mobile check-in and out platforms and many other will be decided by ownership, not the brand.With this in mind, knocking on the door of the brand itself should never be the first step. In fact, gaining the approval of the brand in most cases essentially just grants a green light to then approach individual owners, leaving technology vendors no closer to the desired finish line of making any actual sales. You've been granted access to the building, sure, but you've yet to infiltrate any of the offices, so to speak. Rather than approaching the brand, technology vendors should seek out opportunities to connect with small or medium size ownership companies. These companies will often have multiple flags and, once a sale has been made, word of that technology upgrade or new solution can percolate upstream with much more ease than if it were a mandate trickling downstream. In that same breath, the more hotels an ownership group has, the higher the likelihood they have to make (positive) noise and garner attention from the brand itself, in which case the brand will often do whatever the owner considers to be the best decision for the property. Not only that, but it's the hotel owners who will have a more intimate grasp on the demands directly associated with their specific property, and will therefore have a stronger opinion regarding appropriate tech solutions. The business focal points, concerns and long-term goals may be different depending on who you ask (brands vs. owners) and, thus, it's important for technology vendors to go right to the source and deliver their proposal head-on. Hotel brands and hotel owners have a symbolic and co-dependent relationship, but it's not without its unique dynamic. It's important to recognize the increased autonomy which owners have when it comes to tech-related decisions for the long-term success of their property. While the larger hotel brand has a pre-established image that current and prospective travelers are likely familiar with, it's ultimately up to the hotel owners to identify the tools and resources their property needs to succeed and remain competitive. Ultimately, when it comes to moving the dial for their flag, hotel owners occupy the power position.
Article by Alan Young

Going Beyond Transactions: 'Conversational Commerce' and its Impact on the Travel and Hospitality Industry

Puzzle Partner Ltd. · 6 February 2019
It's 2019, and I would argue that there have never been more marketing-related "buzzwords" battling it out for conversational real-estate across thought leadership articles, webinars, white papers and more. Whether it's agile marketing, catering to the 'age of the consumer,' hyper-personalization, or the mobile age -- there are plenty of commerce-related silos to get lost in as industry leaders seek out the trends and methods which can best benefit their respective brand and industry. This brings us to one of the latest terms, which was coined by Uber's Chris Messina in 2015 -- conversational commerce. In layman's terms, conversational commerce is represented by consumers interacting with businesses through popular messaging and chat apps, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, or even through voice-activated assistants such as Alexa or Google Echo. As we've watched the rapid growth of the mobile journey over the last few years, this market shift comes as no surprise. Modern consumers, while still expecting access to high-touch service models, have an evident penchant for digital communications and self-service. Simply put, mobile devices have become the predominant device of choice across generations, and represent an opportunity for instant, convenience-driven interactions with brands. The gradual evolution to text-based commerce seems like a natural step for hotels and travel brands, with modern consumers effectively leading the charge. If you're already feeling apprehensive of this digital-centric approach to modern commerce -- consider the following:78% of your customers would rather communicate with your business via text over any other methodText messages have a 98% open rateThe average college student spends about 94 minutes per day texting, and the average adult spends 23 hours a week texting32% of recipients respond to SMS offers, with texted coupons redeemed ten times more often than traditional coupons29% of people who receive SMS marketing click on links in messages they receive and 47% of those go on to make a purchase (that's almost a 14% conversion rate)66% of all consumers surveyed rank messaging overall as their preferred channel for contacting a company71% of consumers say that text messaging is very or extremely effective for engaging with a brandEssentially, conversational commerce acts as an extension of the existing customer service model. For example, if your hotel or travel brand has only has one method of customer service and communication (i.e., via phone), you're likely less equipped to respond (adequately) to an influx of customer queries, complaints/concerns, orders, etc. With the new inclusion of apps and chatbots, brands are broadening their net to 'catch' those interactions -- prospective and current customers can engage via phone, email, website form, message app/text or, in some cases, in-person. Ultimately, their 'path to engagement' is up to them, giving customers increased autonomy over their experience. Considering 82% of consumers say that a poor customer service experience would significantly impact their future decision to continue to do business with a company, the ability to meet consumers where they are and exercise a hyper-responsive customer service approach becomes paramount. Conversational commerce gives consumers a choice. Choice is precisely what today's consumers are looking for. Not only regarding communications, but how, where and what they purchase. There is now a need to chat with staff, ask questions, get personalized recommendations and even click to purchase all within an app or mobile platform. On the business side of things, the messenger-based chat can be spearheaded by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and supported by Machine Learning (ML) for automated messages, or by a company representative -- or in some cases, a seamless mix of both. By this, I mean a thoughtful hybrid of 'bots' and human agents to deliver a compelling, conversational e-commerce experience. Companies can now cater to the entire path to purchase without ever leaving the messaging app -- from initial queries, customer service issues and personalized recommendations, to order confirmations, payment details, shopping notifications and more. This allows for a more seamless and, more importantly, convenient consumer interaction. Further, we must remember that the less 'perceived barriers' to purchase, the more likely a consumer is to make that purchase.In short, the easier a company makes it for a consumer to buy their product, the better. By conceptualizing the entire consumer conversation/relationship within one platform (in this case, a messaging solution) and not complicating that process with additional platforms, windows or touch-points, the more frictionless the purchase process becomes. Rather than 'toggling' back and forth between a message window, broken links, endless click-throughs and web pages, consumers can benefit from the level of instantaneous, attentive service that they would receive in person, from a dedicated sales associate. In this way, conversational commerce allows for brands to expand their online relationship with consumers beyond the transaction itself, to embody something more holistic, responsive and personalized. Not only that - but through the ongoing implementation of a more digital-focused commerce experience, companies are helping to reduce their operational/administrative load on staff. Rather than being burdened with an influx of consumer inquiries across various platforms and touch-points, the process is simplified and further streamlined by AI technology. Like the benefit of a hotel property replacing its legacy PMS with a modern platform, innovative technology helps to reduce traditional customer service grievances and free up staff to create a more relevant, personalized experience. In fact, by 2020 at least 60% of organizations are predicted to use artificial intelligence to support digital commerce. Further, 30% of digital commerce revenue growth will be attributable to artificial intelligence technologies, such as those that power conversational commerce. Statistics like this help to make a rather compelling case for digital-centric conversational commerce in the hospitality and travel space, don't you think?

Puzzle Partner's Newest Client, Plum, Develops Innovative New Product That Brings Wine by the Glass Directly to Your Hotel Room

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·31 January 2019
Puzzle Partner, the most trusted B2B travel and hospitality technology marketing agency, announced today that they have signed Plum, the first automatic appliance that perfectly preserves, chills, and serves wine so that it can be enjoyed one glass at a time in the privacy of a guest's hotel room. Puzzle Partner will become Plum's source for strategic and tactical marketing initiatives including content development, branding, public relations and persuasive messaging. With a roster of clients throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia, Puzzle Partner has delivered a refreshing twist on traditional marketing services and is honored to join forces with Plum.In recent months, several new brands have signed on to capitalize on the benefits offered by Puzzle Partner's expertise and impressive track record. "It's about the creation of visibility, and a company's ability to demonstrate the strengths that differentiate them in the market," said co-founder of Puzzle Partner, Alan Young. "It's been a record-breaking year of growth for Plum, and we're excited to be a part of their next chapter."David Koretz, the Founder, and CEO of Plum said, "We're proud to be working with a team that has such a strong foundation in the industry. We look forward to utilizing Puzzle Partner's passion and experience to continue to lay the foundation for our current momentum. We're anticipating the relationship will play a key role in helping us transform the hospitality experience as we know it - one guest and one glass at a time."Hotel room wine experiences have changed very little over the last 50 years, yet guest preferences for luxury amenities have increased. Today, guests want services tailored to their specific tastes. Plum never disappoints, delighting guests with convenience, control, and personalization. Hotels rely on Plum's cloud-based platform to track usage, send an alert when bottles need to be replaced and directly bills guests. In addition, Plum enables hoteliers to reward guest loyalty and celebrate an event, which ties together to instantly improve guest engagement and profits, while reducing demand on staff. Puzzle Partner's goal is to elevate this next-generation on-demand wine technology by driving exposure and awareness for the brand.With Puzzle Partner and Plum closely working together, this unique hospitality technology is sure to revolutionize in-room experiences featured across hotel partners like Four Seasons, St. Regis, Waldorf Astoria, Auberge and Rosewood flags.For more information visit Puzzle PartnerPuzzle Partner Ltd. is a boutique marketing agency focused exclusively on complex B2B initiatives for the travel and hospitality technology industry. We are experts at combining strategy and tactical execution in a way that doesn't just maximize a company's potential; it redefines it. By delivering persuasive marketing content, services and public relations - rooted in the skills of our team and tested through real-world experience - we help our clients gain visibility, raise their profile and ultimately increase their sales revenues. To learn more visit .About PlumPlum reimagines every aspect of the wine by the glass experience. The world's first appliance that can serve a glass of wine just as the winemaker intended, Plum allows hoteliers to satisfy the moments that inspire guests to enjoy a glass of wine in the hotel's room product. Plum delivers an unforgettable experience - and profits - in extraordinary style, one glass at a time. To learn more visit

TripAdvisor Reviews: Good, Bad and Ugly

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·21 January 2019
TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site, has long since become a trusted online hub for online feedback around the globe. In fact, amidst the rising popularity of social networks and, by virtue, the influx of social feedback from consumers, TripAdvisor has accrued over 702 million reviews delving into the service/experiences offered at the world's leading hotels and travel listings. That's right... 702 million. This includes 136,000 destinations, 1.2 million hotels, and 975 attractions. Talk about a comprehensive glance at the travel and hospitality realm, with valuable guest-centric insights conveniently showcased while prospective travelers begin their trip planning process.With this information at their disposal, travelers all over the world can effectively vet hotels, airlines, restaurants and local experiences/offerings, to find the best fit to their unique set of expectations. What does this mean for hoteliers? Well, online reputation is more important than ever before. Exceptional guest service doesn't go unnoticed but, then again, a bad guest experience is always noticed and, in most cases, written about online. Consider this: In a 2017 survey, 97% of consumers said they looked at online sites for information on local businesses, and 85% said they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Another survey then found that 22% of respondents would not spend money on a business after reading a single negative review. And after three bad reviews? That number jumped to 59%. I don't know about you, but if I were a hotel owner, I wouldn't care to mess with odds like that. It doesn't end there, though. Studies also show that hotel shoppers spend, on average, 29.8 minutes digging deep into a hotel's website before making their reservation and within a recent "Path to Purchase" study it was found that TripAdvisor reaches 60% of all travelers. That same study also determined that across the globe, TripAdvisor is the number one most-visited site and app by consumers before booking in the top travel markets. With so much influence, TripAdvisor is -- undoubtedly -- full of reviews ranging from exceptional to good, mediocre and downright awful. So, of course, we've compiled a collection of some of our favorite good, bad and ugly reviews currently on TripAdvisor.The GoodEach of the hotels mentioned below has been voted as one of the 2018 Top 25 Hotels in the World by Trip Advisor users, with a myriad of glowing reviews. Here is a sampling of some of the praises from recent guests that clearly enjoyed their experience.Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa (Vietnam) - "We were totally impressed with the service, the room, and the food. We would give it ten stars if TripAdvisor had that many."Gili Lankanfushi (Maldives) - "Absolute paradise, with ultimate comfort and privacy. The villa attendant is like a ninja. Comes in and out without being seen yet keeps everything in order."Shinto Manu Shack (Cambodia) - "Beauty and serenity. The staff is, to a person, happy, willing to help in any way, and creative about how they help."The Leela Palaca Udaipur (India) - "From the boat ride to the rose petal shower on arrival to the perfect service and kindness of all staff, it was magical."Belmond Palacio Nazarenes (Peru) - "Absolutely the best. The rooms are well appointed, with gracious and thoughtful extras such as fresh organic soaps cut in your bathroom by a butler."The Bad and The UglyWe decided we didn't want to name names of hotels that received the worst reviews, but we found details of some pretty scary guest experiences on TripAdvisor. Would you book at these properties after reading reviews like these?City Hotel (London, UK) - This hotel has earned 1.5 stars on TripAdvisor, and 117 people out of 269 have rated it as 'terrible.' "As soon as you walk in you're hit by a smell that smells like a mixture between guinea pig faeces and fish."Historic Inn (Stroudsburg, US) - "I'm not going to get into details, but the only reason you should stay here is if there are absolutely no options left."Upscale Hotel (Dorset, UK) - "We arrived at ***** Hotel yesterday, hotel is the wrong word more like ***** Nursing home. The rooms were very dated, and you could not open the ensuite door without hitting the TV on the wall. Breakfast was an experience, sausages/orange juice were very cheap and not nice, I have never seen fried bread orange before little worrying!! I would not recommend anyone to stay at this hotel unless they're over 80!!"City Hotel (Brussels, Germany) - "The staff were rude, and one even swore at me in French but didn't realise that I actually understood her." Another said: "The location leaves a lot to be desired, unless you happen to be a freelance exotic dancer. Nestled in a district of sex shops and strip clubs, the area attracts the sort of people that you would cross the street to avoid. Next, you enter the lift - I have seen suicide attempts that adhere to more health and safety measures. Seriously - take the stairs... The 'continental' breakfast was cheap packaged bread, cheap salami, and plastic - wrapped cheese. I didn't try it - I value my life. I can only imagine how it tasted...Yes - it is near to the centre of Brussels; but so are so many other reasonable hotels - they can't all be this bad. Seriously, do not do it; there are prisons that are luxurious by Hotel Manhattan's standards. And before you ask yourself, can it really be that bad? Trust me, yes it can."Luxury Resort (Manchester, UK) - "I actually went to bed with my clothes on and didn't dare to venture to the toilet." Another said: "Dirty is an understatement, the bins outside the hotel looked more inviting."In ConclusionLet this serve as a gentle reminder that when it comes to hospitality -- nothing goes unnoticed. From the location to the staff, thoughtful extras or even the cleanliness and presentation of the room, every touchpoint matters to guests. And if TripAdvisor has taught us anything, it's that in the hotel industry, your online reputation can make or break you.

Paid, Owned and Earned Media: What Matters Most for B2B Travel and Hotel Tech Brands in 2019?

Puzzle Partner Ltd. · 8 January 2019
In a marketing landscape where content is king, you might think it's just a matter of creating and distributing great content. After all, if great content is what every consumer craves from the brands they favor, delivering it should be the easy part -- right? But in fact, that's not the case at all. While content is undeniably an integral piece of any modern marketing strategy, business leaders are quick to realize that the curation of valuable and timely content is only half the battle. Back in the day, big brands had to buy an ad or film a TV commercial to get their product in front of their target market. In today's market, advertising has evolved beyond print ads and commercials to include social media, influencer marketing, articles and thought leadership, integrated marketing activations and so much more. Although this means that brands don't necessarily have to pay for ad space or TV commercial spots as they did in the past, much of the other media formats are still, in fact, paid. Existing within what we call a "pay to play" marketing landscape, brands today are primarily working with social media platforms that have set algorithms for content prioritization, and large media brands and publications that have a robust readership. In other words, free exposure is hard to come by, especially when working within platforms or publications that can leverage the value associated with their (substantial) exposure. This is where paid, earned and owned media comes into play. Let's break it down:Paid Media: Includes pay per click, display ads, retargeting, paid influencers, paid content promotion via publications (whitepapers, press releases, articles), social media ads and moreEarned Media: Includes shares, mentions, reposts, unpaid coverage or social media posts and reviewsOwned Media: Includes website properties, LinkedIn, Pulse, blog, apps, stores, and social media platformsOne major change on the radar is a blurring of the lines between earned and paid media which some call native advertising or sponsored content, and many readers can't easily tell the difference between the two. In fact, it may be difficult to find staff-written pieces, because much content has become paid, challenging the traditional idea of paid versus earned media, and raising the question, "Has public relations turned into glorified advertising?" Not if you align your content placement with your goals. So, what does this look like within the B2B hospitality and travel industry specifically, you might wonder? First, it's important to realize that paid, earned and owned media all occupy a relevant position in your big-picture marketing scheme. In other words, they are all a necessary piece of the puzzle to creating a cohesive content strategy that effectively tells your brand story. Second, we must remind ourselves that in a niche industry, such as hotel and travel, maximizing exposure with the help of paid media is undeniably essential. Lastly, it's crucial to identify the varying control your brand will have over each tier of content distribution. In the case of paid and owned media, you are in the driver's seat and have complete autonomy over the way in which your brand is represented. Earned media, on the other hand, often exists outside a brand's realm of control and while unpaid, this can present its own challenges. Essentially, owned media acts as a true extension of your brand and an on-going opportunity for prospective guests to interact with you. It's ever-important to ensure your website content is updated regularly with press releases and blogs, and that your brand is continuously active on social media platforms. With the use of platforms such as LinkedIn (which recently changed its algorithm to indulge up-and-coming brands), marketers can establish themselves as engaged thought leaders while engaging directly with prospects and partners. Earned media, on the other hand, represents a digital form of word-of-mouth, driving positive engagement and/or excitement around your brand. This consists of pitching to journalists something that is timely, newsworthy or disruptive. Big names, acquisitions, funding rounds, innovations and sexy startups usually get the most attention and coverage, so don't expect every press release you do to get pickup, but with consistent effort, your brand will likely get worthy mentions and coverage over time. Lastly, we arrive at paid media. When it comes to maintaining a consistent content cadence that increases your brand awareness, it becomes essential to budget for the inclusion of paid media. Why? Because not only is earned media (at times) hard to come by, but it also doesn't adhere to any specific schedule or brand control. This means that to maximize your content strategy, increase visibility, and ensure your audience remains engaged, brands should establish paid partnerships with the most reputable media outlets. For some, paid media might be a prospects first exposure to your brand. That content placement, even if paid for, will garner clicks and attention that may convert to followers and leads, helping to nudge your products and solutions in the same trajectory as larger, big budget competitors. Not only that, but popular media sites are already set -- meaning that they've conquered the social algorithms and SEO rankings to ensure they are a top search result. While that would be a decidedly tricky task to accomplish for each piece of content on your own, putting that content in the hands of established players ensures there are no roadblocks in the way of its distribution. Established industry trade publications have already cemented a relationship with their readership -- by this, we mean they have earned the trust of their audience. By including mention of your brand, they are lending that credibility and authority to your brand using association. This is especially important for emerging brands looking to carve out space for their brand within a competitive industry while keeping up with ever-evolving technology ecosystem. Further, the results of paid content are, by nature, much easier to track than organic content. Again, this comes back to the control associated with paid media -- through those partnerships; brands can expect to receive valuable feedback re viewership, engagement, and response to their content.At the end of the day, creating great content is an integral first step -- getting it in front of the right audience plays a pivotal role in ensuring your content strategy effectively promotes your brand as an industry leader. While each element of media has its specific role and relevance, using all three together will ensure your brand story continuously translates to the right audience, at the right time. Need help with yourB2B content marketing strategy? Let us know.

Top Luxury Eco-Friendly Sustainable Hotels and Why Travelers Love Them

Puzzle Partner Ltd. · 5 November 2018
Industries across the globe are witnessing the consumer transition into what we like to call the experience economy. Perhaps influenced by the impressive buying power and sheer numbers of the millennial generation, modern consumers are showing a definitive preference for experiential purchasing over material goods. As the Harvard Business Review describes it "within an experience economy, a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event." This puts the travel and hospitality industry, specifically, in an exciting position to maximize influence and guest connections. It's not necessarily about B2B or B2C anymore, or even the best 'deal' on paper -- it's about the creation of value, and a company's ability to demonstrate that they share values and beliefs with their target consumer. This becomes especially evident as we embrace the consumer-generated push for sustainable commerce and, even more-so, sustainable travel and eco-friendly hospitality. This past year, it found that 84% of Canadian travelers have a desire to go green on future vacations and then two-thirds (64%) said they intend to stay in an eco-accommodation in 2018, which is an increase from both 2017 and 2016. Even further, 58% of Canadians said they would pay at least five per cent more on their travel to ensure it had a lighter environmental footprint. This allows them to feel good about the accommodation they've selected, while also engaging in locally relevant experiences. Millennials are also noted as being twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues and expect brands to not only manage their impact but communicate it. Still not convinced? Studies show that 43 million U.S. travelers are "ecologically concerned" and 70% of travelers prefer hotels with sustainability credentials With this in mind, popular destinations around the globe are looking for ways to limit the environmental footprint/impact that tourists may have on the surrounding environment, heritage sites and local populations. Further, hotel properties within those destinations are striving to reach a new standard of sustainability across each touchpoint of the guest experience. We've rounded up some of our favorites: 1. QO AmsterdamQO is a one-of-a-kind, living hotel property positioned alongside the Amstel River in Amsterdam. QO believes that travel should be a pleasure, but one which is still committed to the world around us. With this core value intact, QO has found a way to weave luxury with sustainability throughout their lifestyle destination seamlessly. Each aspect of the QO has been designed to significantly reduce environmental impact, including intelligent windows, a rooftop greenhouse and so much more. From an aesthetic perspective, every element of the property has been deliberately chosen to celebrate and respect the planet's resources and every space has been designed to bring the outside in. 2. 1 Hotels 1 Hotels has been making a name for itself as a sustainable luxury hotel destination. 1 Hotels aims to create a one-of-a-kind experience, naturally, every stay. Each hotel property (located in NYC, Brooklyn, and Miami) is thoughtfully designed with reclaimed wood, natural light, hemp mattresses and live green moments. They believe that the future of the world and the future of hospitality are one in the same and can be a catalyst for change. With this in mind, 1 Hotels aspires to be a platform to spark conversations, between innovators and guests, that transform the industry and our lives. 3. Proximity Hotel Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina takes sustainability seriously, with more than 70 sustainable practices in place throughout its 146-room property. Their LEED platinum-rated location has 100 solar panels on the roof, an elevator that re-generates power and geothermal energy for the refrigerators -- just to name a few eco-friendly features. Rooms and suites are described as loft-style with floor-to-ceiling windows, soaking tubs, in-room dining, filtered air systems and artwork from a local artist. They even include free bike rentals to inspire eco-friendly transport during guests' stay. 4. ARIA Resort and Casino Las Vegas might not be the first destination to come to mind when considering sustainable hospitality, but ARIA Resort and Casino has deemed it possible to maintain the Las Vegas experience in a more eco-friendly manner. The 4,004-room Aria Resort and Casino is the largest building in the world to have a LEED gold status, while also offering the first fleet of natural-gas-powered stretch limos. 5. Accor Hotel The Accor Hotel family recently launched its Accor's Planet 21 program, which demonstrates the group's ambitious goals for 2020, based around four strategic priorities: work with its employees, involve its customers, innovate with its partners and work with local communities. Each Accor property prides itself in the implementation of eco-certified products and design, sustainably sourced food and programs in place to combat food waste. In the past, it was assumed that if it's sustainable, it can't be luxurious -- but these noteworthy, eco-savvy hotels (to name a few) are turning that misconception on its head by marrying eco-friendly sustainability practices with modern luxury. So what do you say, are you ready to join the luxury sustainability trend?

The Innovative Hotels That Are Making Travel Better in 2019

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·18 October 2018
Witnessing the gradual advancement and disruption of technology and services is an exciting, and sometimes industry-altering concept, as our world continues to evolve at a seemingly rapid pace to meet modern demands. Generations today know (and love) the likes of Netflix and Crave TV, for example, but many of us also remember the popularity of Blockbuster video -- a formerly successful business model which now, doesn't even exist. And those of us who used to cling enthusiastically to our flip phones whilst playing 'Brick Breaker', likely upgraded to iPhones with their robust connectivity capabilities and exciting, modern updates. What about MSN or AOL messenger? Kodak photography? Dial-up internet, and wall-mounted landline phones? Our world is ever-changing, and while the needs of consumers are, ultimately, the drivers of that change -- sometimes it feels like we are wide-eyed spectators along for the ride. The hospitality industry is no exception, as we look back to a (relatively recent) time when the concept of entering a hotel room without a key card seemed entirely futuristic and out of reach. The hospitality experience was largely impersonal and, more often than not, in need of a drastic update. But as of 2018, things are different. Hoteliers have their ears to the ground as they work to understand and anticipate modern guest expectations, continuously offering more creative and personalized travel experiences. Amenities are robust, hyper-personalization is the norm, upgrades boast a discernible wow-factor, the mobile experience is prioritized and, for perhaps the first time ever, hotels are actively getting ahead of technological trends. With this in mind, we've taken a look at those hotels which are positioned to offer the most innovative and ambitious experiences to their guests in 2019 (and beyond). Embracing the Lobby Evolution with Vibrant Design: The Hotel Silken Puerta Am erica Modern travels have demonstrated an obvious penchant for unique, Instagram-worthy aesthetics within the hotels they frequent. In the case of Hotel Silken, nineteen of the world's best architects came together to create unique rooms on every floor. Think white caves, sharp lines, red lacquered walls and a focus on business and b-leisure travel with 1000-person capacity meeting and event rooms. For the Tech-Savvy Traveler: Yotel Yotel prides itself on offering everything the modern guest needs, and nothing they don't. Each room is a small, but perfectly-formed cabin to ensure guests can enjoy their stay without exhausting their budget for leisure while visiting major, tourist cities. Yotel appeals specifically to the tech-savvy traveler craving efficiency, with electronic check-in terminals, a robot named Yobot to take care of your luggage, space-saving motorized beds, motion-activated air conditioning, super-fast Wi-Fi and innovative design. The Budget Traveler's Shangria-La: Citizen M Citizen M has created a reputation for itself as a leader in the modern hospitality space by adopting to a low-cost, high-end design property model. Rather than investing in reception, concierge or room service, Citizen M offers a self-service model with self-check in and living room-inspired lobbies. Check-in and check-out take one minute, with your invoice automatically mailed to you. Each room is notoriously stylish and decked out with high-tech upgrades, king size beds, free on-demand movies, unlimited Wi-Fi and more. The hotel also employs ambassadors rather than front desk staff, which are there to help you find whatever you need (but otherwise, they leave you alone). Embracing the Mobile Revolution: Hilton Hotels The mobile experience is one which simply can't be ignored within the hospitality realm -- a movement which becomes ever-apparent when looking at Hilton's efforts to ramp up their mobile guest journey. With technological innovation in mind, Hilton guests can now unlock their rooms using their smartphone, whilst Honors members can also select exact rooms they want, order room service, chat with hotel representatives and more through their phone. Marrying the Past with the Future: Effleston Square Pimlico Effleston Square Pimlico appeals to our desire for cutting-edge technology, while staying true to historical, British flair. The exterior of the property mimics that of a striking 19th Century Grade II listed historical facade, while the interior offers keypads to control music and lighting, user-controlled frosted shower walls and flat-screen TVs embedded in bathroom mirrors. Even better, each guest is provided with an iPad that connects them with a concierge service, all from the comfort of their room.A Sustainable Future: 1 Hotels Modern travelers, millennials especially, admit that much of their consumer loyalty is derived from the idea of shared values with those brands they frequent. With this in mind, establishing an eco-friendly approach to the future of hospitality is ever-important. 1 Hotels is a leader in this space, offering a modern take on sustainability within their hotels by utilizing recycled and repurposed natural materials throughout communal spaces and rooms. They even have Teslas available to hotel guests and are knowing for collaborating with artists to raise awareness for Earth-friendly causes. Their Haitang Bay hotel, which is currently in development, will even feature an on-site farm with fresh, organic fruits, and veggies to supply the its restaurants.

Acquisitions and Investments - The Travel & Hospitality Industry is on Fire

Puzzle Partner Ltd. · 2 October 2018
In the past, the travel and hospitality industry has been notorious for its resistance to incorporating new and innovative technology into the mix. There have been some early adopters but where other industries were quick to embrace technological change and practices, we were seemingly always one (or more) steps behind. And yet, this year our industry has -- perhaps more than any year previous -- welcomed disruption from technology solutions and movements positioned to transform every phase of the guest experience. This marks an exciting era for hospitality and becomes even more apparent as we look to the frenetic landscape of travel technology acquisitions and investments. In 2017 alone, over 65 acquisition deals worth 17 billion USD were made in travel technology. This number has increased drastically from 18 deals in 2013, as emerging tech solutions continuously attract new investments and acquisitions. Deloitte has even stated that technology acquisition is now the number one driver for M&A activity in its M&A Trends Report for the year. Why now? As the travel and hospitality sector shifts towards decentralization and becomes more competitive, companies are eager to stay ahead of the curve with the help of strategic acquisitions and the delivery of innovative solutions. After all, once a company has matured, the best way for them to continue on a path to substantial growth is to increase market share from a competitor through the acquisition process. To call attention to this industry-wide momentum, we've rounded up some of the most exciting travel and hospitality mergers and acquisitions that have recently made headlines. StayNTouch purchased by ShijiShiji Group, the leading manufacturer of hotel information systems responsible for 60% to 70% of the market share in the high-end sector of hotel and retail industries, recently acquired StayNTouch. StayNTouch is a cloud-based suite of hotel management solutions powering 75,000 hotel rooms around the world. In February 2016, Shiji Group was a part of a $9.5 million Series A funding round for the seamless, intuitive PMS experience offered by StayNTouch. With access to Shijii Group's existing network of sales and support teams, StayNTouch will have an opportunity to grow worldwide and develop exciting new product features. "Our incredible growth has been exciting but joining a larger group with local sales and support network globally means we can bring our technology to many more hotels while still remaining close to our clients. It's a unique opportunity for any tech company like ours." Says StayNTouch CEO, Jos Schaap.Umapped purchased by Flight CentreUmapped, the leading collaborative itinerary and experience platform within the travel industry, was recently purchased by one of the world's largest travel companies -- Flight Centre Travel Group. Providing travel agencies and hospitality brands the power, flexibility and speed to collaborate on proposals and itineraries with customers at every stage of travel, Unmapped has been hailed as revolutionizing the traditional travel itinerary. Flight Centre's infrastructure, industry influence and partnerships will provide Unmapped with an exciting opportunity to accelerate the adoption of its technology on a global scale, while expanding product offerings. "Both Flight Centre Travel Group and Umapped are pioneers in the travel industry, said Unmapped CEO, Lisa Israelovitch. "Both companies share similar values and a deep commitment to empower travel advisors and suppliers with technology that adds significant value throughout the customer journey. We are very excited to work alongside the talented FLT team to develop new product offerings with a continued commitment to customer service."OYO secures $1B InvestmentOYO, India's largest hospitality company consisting mainly of budget hotels, has pulled in $1 billion in new funding to grow its business in China and expand into other international markets. This investment round can be attributed to the likes of SoftBank Group Corp.'s Vision Fund, Sequioa Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners OYO is known for aggregating budget hotels and hostels in India, ensuring that they meet minimum standards such as clean sheets, hot showers and free WiFi. With over 10,000 franchised or leased hotels within its network, OYO now spans 350 cities across five countries and, following this deal, is valued at $5 billion. "By 2023, we will be the world's largest hotel chain. We want to convert broken, unbranded assets around the globe into better-quality living spaces." says founder, Ritesh Agarwal. With the hospitality ecosystem -- especially that of hospitality technology -- changing at a newly rapid pace, the mergers and acquisitions momentum taking our industry by storm is sure to remain throughout 2019 and beyond. With so many complementary technology solutions positioned to fill the gaps within larger firms, the travel and hospitality industry is sure to see substantial investment dollars flowing in from emerging markets and standard VC's.

Puzzle Partner Enters 5th Year Supporting Innovative Travel & Hospitality Companies

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·11 September 2018
Puzzle Partner, the most trusted travel and hospitality technology marketing agency, is celebrating a significant milestone this year. The company, founded in 2013 by industry veterans, is now entering it's fifth year of helping their clients engage with their target audiences to raise awareness, drive new business opportunities and build market share.The company's vision to empower brands through educational and entertaining content is a refreshing twist on just offering traditional PR services. As a proponent of thought leadership and inbound marketing, Puzzle Partner has delivered results for clients throughout the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia. Alan Young, the company's CEO and co-founder is proud of their accomplishments, "Our agency has grown in an era marked by rapid and profound shifts in technology, communications and buyer expectations. I think our key principles, influential relationships, and deep industry knowledge are why clients have chosen to partner with us. We are work tirelessly to get their products and messages seen and heard by the right people at the right time. As an organization, we've accomplished so much to date, but at the same time, we're just getting started."By communicating consistent content that speaks to the heart of buyer motivations, you become part of the conversation early in the buying journey. According to a study from The Economist Group, around eighty percent of executives said superior thought leadership influences both their purchasing decisions and choice of business partner. Ninety percent of C-Suite executives say that their respect and admiration for an organization increased after engaging with strong thought leadership. And more than 80% said that thought leadership has increased their trust in a vendor organization. In other words, for companies that get thought leadership right, the payoff can be significant."I've worked with a lot of agencies and Puzzle Partner is definitely the best in its class," said Jos Schaap, CEO of the award-winning mobile hotel technology innovator, StayNTouch. "Their expertise and insight of the industry has enabled us to sign many new clients and further our understanding of where to focus our sales and marketing efforts to grow our business."For more information about Puzzle Partner, visit

Loyalty Begins With a Smile

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·22 August 2018
The hotel industry faces this challenge daily. While reading an article on Skift titled, "Google Finds Customer Service Beats Loyalty Programs," I saw this as such a basic point. Of course, great service will trump a loyalty program every time. In fact, Think from Google, the marketing data and research arm of Google, has revealed that the top three considerations when booking travel. The results showed that 60 percent of respondents cited customer service is the most critical factor. The problem is that finding great customer service has become increasingly harder as we, as a culture, are shying away from direct human communication.Of course, loyalty programs have their place as an incentive for people to stay with a single brand, rent a car from one agency or fly on one airline. But do we have to sacrifice genuine human interaction, that includes a smile, for the sake of a loyalty program? In a perfect world, we should have both.The entire bedrock of the hospitality industry is based on personal service. Though there are different levels of service, including self-service, invariably there is always a hotel employee sitting at the front desk that greets guests upon arrival. This person is the frontline ambassador of the hotel, brand and ultimately of our industry. If this person welcomes a guest with a frown or is looking down at a computer screen or ream of paper, the initial instinct of any guest is to feel unappreciated. It's just human nature. On the other hand, when a guest is greeted with a smile and a sincere hello, there is a true sense of happiness. On a biochemical level, smiling releases endorphins, and serotonin. Endorphins are natural painkillers. The more endorphins your brain releases, the more your body can fight off symptoms of illness or depression. Similarly, serotonin is a brain chemical that acts as a natural anti-depressant. The power of a smile is quite incredible when you think about it. Smiling can even decrease one's blood pressure.Having just returned from a family vacation in Europe, it became evident to me the impact a smile can have. We spent ten days on a massive road trip traveling from Germany, thru Austria and then to Hungary. The experiences we had in each country and at each hotel were very different. Driving can be exhausting, (especially when your focusing on not getting the family killed while on the Autobahn). When we pulled up to our hotel, the first thing we all really wanted was to feel at home. On this trip, I must say that the most welcoming country that we visited was Hungary. Yes, Hungary. We were in Budapest to attend the annual Formula 1 race held at the Hungaroring motorsport race track just outside the city. The Budapest hotel we stayed went above and beyond for us. Their staff members, from front desk to restaurant, always had friendly smiles on their faces. It was such pleasurable experience. This hotel has won our loyalty. We will never stay anywhere else while in Budapest, and we are planning to return next year.I guess what I would like to emphasize is that our industry needs to get back to the basics. Training our employees to fully understand that without guests, we do not have hotels, and without hotels, they do not have jobs. And with that, the most simple, yet essential element of great guest service is the smile. Used as a relationship driver, a smile can do amazing things.It's time that we focus on driving true guest loyalty the old-fashioned way. Today's pressures, technology, and distractions can make us all grumpy from time to time, but when a smile is given, a smile is most likely returned, and loyalty will follow.

Heading to Nashville For Hotel Data Conference? Don't Miss These 5 Sessions

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·14 August 2018
Nashville is known for many things; live music, nightlife, food, and from August 15th until 17th that list expands to include the Hotel Data Conference (HDC) hosted by STR. A yearly, sold-out event staple in the hospitality industry, the conference covers over 20 exciting, insightful presentations, industry outlooks, tips, trends, and so much more. Taking place at the Omni Nashville Hotel, attendees can expect to join in on conversations with industry leaders and panelists and leave with data-backed insights to enhance their hospitality offering in 2018 and beyond. After all, with the trend of hyper-guest personalization continually gaining traction across our industry, the intelligent utilization of data is quickly becoming the key to a hotel's success and longevity.With hoteliers from across the globe getting ready to board their flight to Nashville as we speak, we've compiled a list of 5 can't-miss sessions to check out while attending HDC this year. Life stage, not age: Demystifying guest psychographicsWhen: August 16th 10:45 - 11:45 AM What: Millennials. That seems to be the latest industry buzz-word on everyone's lips as hoteliers race to get ahead of emerging trends relating to guest expectations. While the millennial generation has no shortage of buying power and, without a doubt, represents a major travel segment -- guest behavior and expectations have much more to do with life stage than age. It's not a matter of lumping guests into presumed behavioral brackets based on their age; but rather, indicators are shown by their life stage and those subsequent experiential expectations. Why You Should Attend: This panel will share best practices on how to identify your guests by their life stage and what that means for service, marketing, technology, amenities and more. Panelists: Dave Rubin, Greystone HotelsJeff Senior, KSL ResortsKathleen Hodge, Hilton WorldwideRobert Arnold, Vizergy Fee for all: How hotels are maximizing ancillary chargesWhen: August 16th 10:45 - 11:45 AM What: Leave no revenue opportunity under-maximized. As we speak to revenue drivers for hotels, ancillary charges such as cancellation and resort fees are becoming a focal point of the conversation. Why You Should Attend: Panelists will discuss the risk/reward of instilling ancillary fees within your property, the best way to structure those policies and communicate them to guests, and how ancillary revenue can affect your revenue management strategy and guest satisfaction. Panelists:JB Cooke, AshfordLinda Gulrajani, Marcus Hotels & ResortsPaul Mengacci, Prism Hotels & Resorts Increase revenues with review dataWhen: August 17th 10:50 - 11:15 AM What: We have long-since entered the age of social sharing and feedback. With so many open networks, reviews can become the defining factor in the success of a business. With this in mind, it's no surprise that 96% of guests have left a review for a hotel, and 95% of travelers read reviews before booking accommodations. Why You Should Attend: This session will provide an overview of the top review sources by channel over the past five years, helping hoteliers to understand better operational improvements inspired by trending categories of positive and negative reviews. With this information, hotel properties can better adhere to guest expectations and increase revenue. Presenter: Valerie Castillo, Vice President of Marketing, TrustYou Non-traditional revenue managementWhen: August 17th 12:00 - 12:25 PM What: The question on every hotelier's mind: How can we continuously increase revenue? Are we truly maximizing the revenue opportunity of every hotel room and service? Or are we leaving untapped potential from ancillary revenue streams? Why You Should Attend: This session will explore the topic of "non-traditional" revenue management, focusing on a Las Vegas Strip Resort case study to exemplify how even some straightforward strategic and operational changes can drive strong results. Presenter: Dan Skodol, Vice President, Revenue Analytics, RainmakerIndependents: No flag, no problemWhen: August 17th 10:15 - 11:15 AM What: As guests continuously express a desire for hyper-personalized, unique experiences within the hotel's they frequent, independent hotels have the opportunity to capitalize on their boutique model. With independent hotels representing nearly 30% of the U.S. hotel room inventory, this segment has no shortage of unique challenges and opportunities. Why You Should Attend: This panel will discuss the modern hospitality landscape and the opportunities it presents for unaffiliated hotels, making note of independent key performance indicators, measurements of profitability, distribution options and competing in a highly competitive industry. Panelists: John Davis, Woodbine Development CorporationRaj Contractor, Host Hotels & ResortsStacie Bushaw, NAVISTim Franzen, AJ Capital PartnersThis is my first time attending this event, and I am genuinely looking forward to learning new things, meeting new people and seeing old friends. Our industry is at an exciting time related to technological adoption, and data will be the foundation of every hotelier's decision-making process.It's not the data that matters; it's how we use it. See you in Nashville.

How Everything We Learned in Kindergarten Can Impact the Hotel Technology Industry

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·17 July 2018
There is a great deal to be said about attending Kindergarten. It is the beginning of one's educational journey that will hopefully have a lasting impact on his or her life. If the career journey you have chosen is within the hotel technology industry, then the impact of Kindergarten will likely be even more significant. I am not suggesting that at the tender age of 4 or 5 you will start to code the next great guest engagement platform. Nor will you be given the educational value that will ensure you fully understand API's or XML Schema. However, at the core of what we learn in Kindergarten are some guiding principles that will always impact the hotel tech industry. First, let's take a look at the basic curriculum framework for Kindergarten which focuses on some very basic elements of communication, the understanding of community, and continuous learning. Below are the main components of today's Kindergarten classes:Aesthetic ExpressionCitizenshipCommunicationPersonal DevelopmentProblem-SolvingTechnological CompetenceSpiritual and Moral DevelopmentI would like to concentrate on three key sections to delve a little deeper into their impact on the hotel technology landscape.CommunicationCommunication is at the core of hospitality industry, whether it occurs during the booking process, on-property or any point during a trip. It is the bedrock on which the hotel industry stands. If we don't communicate effectively with our guests and exceed their needs, then we will likely lose their trust and business. Communication at the technological level is also paramount to the industry's overall success or failure. We have embedded a myriad of systems into the hotel operations world, and if these systems do not communicate with each other, there can be catastrophic outcomes that detrimentally affect the hotel's operations, profits, and relationship with their guest.Problem-SolvingProblem-solving may seem basic, however, in our industry, it can be quite challenging. The demands of our guests tend to drive the development of solutions and platforms that will address their needs. Today's guests are much more difficult to read and often quite fickle. Mobile has entered the fray and is now the primary tool for guest engagement on a daily basis. The industry has jumped at the challenge to address this mobile-centric environment by developing a plethora of guest engagement applications, guest communications platforms and almost everything else under the sun. Have we solved a problem or developed one? The core of problem-solving is understanding the issues that are affecting the guest or the industry at large. Sometimes we do this in a bubble and develop what we think the guest will need - without ever asking their opinion. I sincerely wish that more technology providers invested time interviewing guests and asking them questions that are genuinely relevant to the application or solution development. Grassroots problems-solving through the use of real-world market intelligence is key to the success.Technological Competence Having technological competence included in as part of the Kindergarten curriculum is quite an eye-opener. In our advanced, connected world, children are much more in tune with technology. Such immersion will bring an amazing amount of knowledge and insight into our industry in the near future. Whenever I am traveling, I see children everywhere glued to their smartphones and tablets where they are continually learning unless of course, they are watching movies, but I guess it depends on the movie. In our unique industry, we must always be learning to innovate. We need to learn from our guests, from our peers, and from our mistakes, but most importantly, learning is a constant. We, as an industry, need to cultivate young minds and support them so we can create the most relevant and useful technology to our guests.I personally don't remember very much from my earlier years, but I do understand that those years had an enormous impact on my life and career today. The people around me, the teachers, the mentors, my parents and siblings, all influenced who I am today. Each and every day I am learning from people within our industry, and I thank them for publishing provocative articles, developing great software and for being innovative. It all started with Kindergarten.

Alexa for Hotels - The Good, The Bad and The Creepy

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·28 June 2018
This past week marked another successful HITEC, the culmination of which left hospitality experts with a lot to think about as it relates to industry-wide innovations positioned to make major waves in 2018. One of the more notable discussion points is the mainstream integration of voice-powered assistants (AI technology) into hotels. In fact, Inc recently announced that it has partnered with Marriott International Inc to help increase guest access to amenities with Alexa, through its voice-controlled device Echo, in an attempt to expand its presence in the hospitality industry. This is an exciting prospect for hotels, as implementing Alexa in a hospitality setting could assist in a personalizing room settings, ordering room service, housekeeping, calling the concierge and so much more. Of course, in the same excited breath that we speak to the potential conveniences which Alexa (and other voice-activated tech) can provide, we have to consider the on-going concern of data security. Especially with the recent implementation of GDPR, the protection of guest data and the proper attainment of documented consent for all data collection should be paramount. However, voice-activated devices are admittedly trudging into uncharted waters, as their ability to gain uninhibited access into user's conversations and preferences comes into question.With this in mind, we've delved into the good, the bad (and even the creepy) that is in store for hoteliers eager to branch into the world of Alexa for hotels. The Good Alexa for hotels offers a wide range of exciting possibilities, including room temperature regulation, turning on lights, sending emails, ordering room service or housekeeping, asking for local recommendations and so much more. Alexa will offer 24-7, efficient and hands-free customer service for every guest, tapping into the desire for increased personalization without over-extending hotel staff. Ideally, Alexa should help hoteliers provide a seamless guest experience as part of the myriad of programs and devices in place to improve hotel operations, and better connect with and serve guests. According to Marriott International, consumer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive thus far. And as far as guests readily engaging with the device? That's been promising as well. According to Volara, for every 1,000 occupied room nights, it is automating an average of 240 item/service requests and 700 guest questions about the hotel and surrounding area. Throughout these pilot programs with Alexa, guests requesting for the device to be removed from their rooms has also been very low. Volara CEO David Berger assures, "We are not capturing transcripts or recordings, and we don't know guests' identity. Just their room number. Meanwhile, Amazon, which does capture recordings once a person says "Alexa," to improve the devices' natural language processing capabilities, does not have access to the guest's identity or room number, ensuring that the information is always anonymous.The Bad Speech-recognition software is by no means new, with the likes of Siri often being used as our iPhone-enabled personal assistant while on the go. However, as the capabilities of speech-recognition and AI evolve within technology such as Alexa, Google Home, smart refrigerators and hotel rooms, the technology continuously becomes smarter. Using real-time experiences (machine learning) to identify and respond to user needs more accurately, these devices are continually collecting and analyzing data. Essentially, in order to serve us, these devices must learn about us -- a concept which may leave some users feeling unsettled or subject to invasive data collection.The concern here is that it's not always clear when Alexa is listening, although it's noted that"Amazon and Google insist their smart speakers do not record voices until someone directly addresses the device with a 'wake word' such as 'Alexa' or 'okay, Google. However, It is possible to accidentally 'wake' such devices, which means it is not always clear when they are listening."Further to suspicions of idle data collection, it's also unclear who should have access to what data, since multiple individuals will typically use the device at different times, which makes for complex privacy boundaries. We also have to consider the fact that the evolving capabilities of voice-powered assistants on such a public scale leaves room for error -- there are bound to be some initial learning curves that leave users feeling vulnerable. An example of such a privacy mishap recently unfolded in Portland, Oregon, when a local woman had private conversations secretly recorded by the voice-controlled Amazon virtual devices in her home. Those conversations were then sent to a random contact in Seattle. While cases like these are a rarity, the user-friendly simplicity of the device which makes it so popular to the general public, also means the security protocol may mirror that simplicity when it should be more complicated. As we'll delve into more later in this article, Alexa is triggered into action by a 'wake word', an exchange which could easily be misinterpreted and mis-triggered. For those of us particularly concerned about Alexa accidentally "listening in," an easy fix is to unplug or mute the device in moments you know you won't need its service. So the question becomes, can we trust Alexa?As the technology continues to improve, we can only hope that these virtual assistants become better equipped to identify different types of information with varying layers of security to prevent private information from being mistakenly shared. As mentioned above, user concerns regarding the misuse of their private information should (mostly) be put to rest, as any information collected is anonymous aside from room number.The CreepyAs Alexa's popularity has picked up momentum, so have the odd-ball stories circulating the web claiming witness to strange or otherwise unexplainable reactions from the device. These include, but aren't limited to, sudden laughter, unsolicited and seemingly random replies, or Alexa speaking without being woken up by a wake word.On one forum, a married couple described the time in which Alexa interjected into their dispute."My wife and I were arguing about something. No clue what it was, but it was getting a little heated. I don't know what Alexa thought she heard, but she suddenly interjected with, "Why don't we change the subject?" It was just unexpected and relevant enough to be creepy. We both heard it, and we both still talk about it years later. There was nothing in the app logs." Another woman detailed that her Mother's Alexa suddenly turned on one day (started glowing) and her Mom asked, "Alexa, what are you doing?" to which Alexa replied, "I'm trying to learn new things." Her Mom replied, "No one told you to do that" and Alexa replied "okay" before turning back off. Of course, while we may love to assume Alexa has an ulterior motive aligned with some sort of Sci-Fi horror movie, there is a reasonable explanation for these occurrences. ZDNetnotes that the most likely cause of an Alexa spontaneous reaction is a misinterpretation of sound. Given how sensitive Alexa has to be to process wake words, sometimes Alexa will react to a sound (even one we might not hear or notice) and interpret that as a wake word or command of some sort. After all, Alexa's sound processing system has to be able to take the sound waves and do its best to interpret what the humans speaking are asking for.AI technology and voice-powered assistants are undeniably one of the hottest topics following the close of HITEC 2018, and there's no doubt they will continue to be a prominent focal point moving forward. Love it or hate it, Alexa is likely coming to a hotel room near you -- and I don't know about you, but I'm interested to see the way in which this technology evolves within our industry.
Article by Alan E. Young

Can I Book My Next Trip on Amazon? An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos

Puzzle Partner Ltd. · 6 June 2018
Dear Mr. Bezos,Amazon has long-since established itself as the fabric that holds together a world of consumers looking for an easy, effective and value-oriented environment to purchase almost anything - except for travel. As a veteran of the hospitality and travel technology industry, I believe Amazon should extend its footprint and offer travel and hotel products to deepen its relationship with customers and position itself as the ultimate end-to-end travel ecosystem. Though Amazon has offered flash deals and travel-related services in the past and Amazon Destinations tested the waters briefly, you have never really taken a true leap of faith. Admittedly, the evolution of travel purchasing (from planning to fruition) has been a bit of a roller coaster. What began with travel agents has grown to include OTA's, metasearch providers, direct booking tools, and now the explosion of mobile complicating the market even further. With many travelers expressing an on-going propensity for the inclusion of activities, local experiences, and tours in their trip planning process - stitching a trip together can prove to be challenging. Further to that, the uncontested dominance of large players such as Expedia, Priceline, TripAdvisor, and Airbnb can create a great deal of angst for any prospective traveler trying to decide how to book a trip or even a single hotel room. These tools and industry giants are meant to make the travel process more accessible, but in reality, that process is still rife with compromise, overwhelming choice, competing channels, and the pressure to make timely decisions and reservations.We have been told for years that a time when this will all become effortless, is just around the corner. Not just for the consumer, but for the travel provider as well, with the creation of a truly open marketplace where all elements can combine to ensure that everyone with a stake in the game gets exactly what they want. But, unfortunately, we still seem to be a long way away from this desired outcome.In a recent Skift article, Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb stated that they are ready to develop Airbnb into a true "ecosystem" or "one-stop shop for travel." This one-stop shop would include experiences, activities, tours, community, and more. In fact, he believes that there will be a massive economy based on experiences - and I agree with him entirely.However, this only takes the travel booking evolution so far.Amazon represents a pillar of frictionless e-commerce and convenience. Shoppers from all demographics find themselves looking to Amazon for daily necessities, specialized items, brand favorites that are no longer available at their local stores, gifts, equipment, competitive pricing -- you name it. With next-day or two-day shipping, ensuring a sought-after item is at your doorstep within 48 hours can be as easy as asking Alexa to place that purchase. Now, imagine if the entire travel process, from start to finish, were also that easy? How can Amazon apply its model of immediate efficiency and ease to the demands of the modern-day traveler? What can Amazon achieve that Airbnb can't? Aside from securing travel specific reservations (flights, hotel rooms and more), imagine the convenience of pre-ordering any travel necessities for your trip, all through one channel? For example, if a young couple is planning for an upcoming vacation to Belize and wants to purchase some new swimsuits, sunscreen, and beach towels, Amazon could represent a one-stop shop for reservations and travel supplies. Even further, travelers could ship those items directly to their destination (timed according to their trip) rather than packing them in their luggage. Perhaps that same couple wants to purchase a book about Belize to commemorate their trip but doesn't have room in their bags -- they could buy it directly from Amazon on their phone and ship it to their home. The travel planning process could shift from one which demands weeks of effort across various channels and contacts to one which can be completed from start to finish in one, trusted online space. And this isn't just an appealing offer for the modern consumer and traveler, but a potentially lucrative shift for Amazon as well. Morgan Stanley notes that his firm's rough ad efficiency analysis (ad spend/transaction) speaks to Amazon's ability to drive repeat/direct traffic, as its estimated $0.75 ad spend/transaction is a fraction of what Booking/Expedia spend. He goes on to predict that Amazon could make $600 million of profits a year if it builds an online hotel business roughly half of Expedia's size.We also have to consider the widespread embrace of voice-powered AI technology. With the continued rise in popularity of Amazon Alexa (and more), consumers all over the planet are demonstrating a desire for complete convenience through means of voice-powered assistants. While AI chatbots and voice-powered search technology is in development within the hospitality realm, it has yet to come to seamless, consumer-approved fruition the way in which Alexa has. An Amazon travel experience could capitalize on this momentum, by including the capability for consumers to book every aspect of travel using a handheld device or via Alexa. Much like having a travel agent at your disposal, 24/7, in the comfort of your home and ready to address questions and requests. I like the sounds of that, and I have a feeling other travelers would too.Let's not forget about Amazon's powerful recommendation engine - the one that lets me know what I may like or need, even before I do! Claiming conversion rates of about 60%, up to 35% of what consumers purchase on Amazon come from product suggestions based on such algorithms. Of course, we're still missing one critical element of the trip planning process -- the vetting of destinations, hotels, activities and more. How do most of us start on our process of elimination leading to purchase? Online reviews. And what online platform has the most in-depth reviews of almost every product available to the average consumer? Amazon. Word of mouth feedback from trusted consumers is one of the most valuable pieces of information to a traveler, especially those looking to achieve a unique travel experience. Evolving the engaged community of Amazon users into a travel ecosystem would help to ensure every user feels entirely confident and informed about each decision they make as it relates to their upcoming trip. Without even setting its sights on the travel sector (yet), Amazon already has a potential lead on this movement towards the creation of a true travel and hospitality ecosystem. Tapping into the established success and underpinnings of the Amazon experience to include travel would enable the Amazon Purchase Ecosystem to deliver on what travelers want, from start to finish.So Mr. Bezos - what do you think? Can I book my next trip on Amazon?

Hotel Tech Sales Has Changed: Decisions Are Made Before Buyers Even Call

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·30 May 2018
According to a recent survey by Forbes, B2B customers progress more than 70% of the way through the decision-making process before engaging a sales representative. This stands as an alarming realization for some companies, as they may find themselves resorting to aggressive last-minute sales tactics and discounts in an attempt to seal the deal within that final 30%. And, yet -- for those who truly understand the value that content brings (holistic, value-focused and cadence-savvy content, specifically) brings, these findings come as no surprise. Further to that, they are seen in a favorable light, because that 70% represents an exciting opportunity to connect with each consumer in a more engaged manner.Without a doubt, the most successful businesses are those which understand (and cater to) their prospective customer's journey, using the provision of high-quality content to lead them smoothly through the path to purchase.Think about it: If you hit a prospective customer with a hard sales tactic at the outset, why should they feel inspired to invest in your product or service offering? Using that approach, you've done nothing to get to know your customer or provide them value. You're basically embodying a first date gone wrong, barking demands at a relationship that has yet to be established as soon as you've taken a seat at the table. Moreover, if you're a marketer or a business who feels threatened by that 70% / 30% statistic, you're essentially coasting through the first two-thirds of that date, and panicking come the last half hour while you wait for the bill and hope to determine where you stand. Don't be that company. Rather, use content as a critical tool to cultivate a gradual nurtured B2B sales process that is relationship-centric. Take it slow, get to know your potential customer(s), and give them a reason to trust your brand and remain engaged. That's where you will find the coveted sweet spot of content marketing, and that's where you'll see the influx of opportunity within that initial 70% of the decision-making process. Using this model, the first 20% of your engagement with a prospective customer should be entirely focused on addressing the needs of their research with the delivery of high-value, engaging material. Your aim should be to answer the questions your target audience may have or solve a problem while positioning your brand or business as a trusted industry resource and leader. You should use this opportunity to gain insight into your customer demographic, making a note of the way in which they engage with your content -- what they like, what they don't like, what keeps them on the path to purchase and what (where applicable) seemingly pushes them off that path. Combining content that is relevant, timely and personalized with technology that can trigger next-step communications will help to solidify and automate the buyer's journey on their terms, with the purchase goal intact as the destination. This becomes especially helpful in the case of renewal opportunities, or times at which customers seemingly second guess continuing their engagement with your offering. Not only that, but this takes pressure off the marketer, as intuitive technology enables your staff to focus more on quality of engagement rather than timing estimations and tactical guesswork.Product or services aside, the content you create on behalf of your brand should be viewed as an essential part of your core offering. Why? Because, without this precedent of customer-centric content investment, B2B marketers are (metaphorically) pouring water into a leaky bucket. Sure, you can funnel your marketing budget into ad efforts and SEO all you want to increase traffic, but your conversion rates won't reap any rewards if your content doesn't resonate with that traffic. This content includes your landing page, forms, blog, social media presence, email marketing, etc., as these are often the content-rich pillars of your brand's first impression. Don't keep pouring into a leaky bucket -- invest in a new one, and then crank that faucet on at full force to fill it up. Utilizing that initial 70% of the buyer's decision-making process, your brand has ample opportunity to make a lasting impression on each prospective customer. So much so, that by the time that final 30% of the process comes around, that customer doesn't require any drastic sales tactics to be closed. Rather, they're ready to invest in your offering, just as you've invested in them and the natural cultivation of their trust in your brand.To learn more about becoming a thought leader to grow your brand and sales, click here to download our free e-book, "Thought Leader, Market Leader" of visit

What Hotels of Tomorrow Can Learn from the Airbnb's of Today

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·24 April 2018
This competitive landscape stretches between hotels brands as well as between hotels and non-traditional accommodation models, such as Airbnb. With both service models existing within the same industry and catering to similar guest demographics, there is a wealth of experiential knowledge to be shared/gained as they strive to evolve and improve their respective offering(s). Our industry first welcomed the inclusion of Airbnb in San Francisco, California in August of 2008. The online marketplace and hospitality service for people to lease or rent short-term lodging including holiday cottages, apartments, homestays, hostel beds (and more) has surged in popularity over the last few years. Capitalizing on the modern travelers' desire for a more unique experience, affordability and sense of adventure, Airbnb soon grew into a $30 billion business. As of this year, the company has recorded 300 million check-ins by guests across 4.5 million rental listings. By comparison, the world's biggest hotel company, Marriott International, has 1.15 million rooms.We also must pay tribute to the growing appreciation for start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures, a dynamic which is supported by the open market in which Airbnb thrives. This style of marketplace allows for lower accommodation prices (as compared to some local rates at hotels) which are generally dictated by the natural ebb and flow of supply vs. demand. Since Airbnb is not directly responsible for any physical real estate, this is entirely possible and gives the hosts' complete control of their offering price and guests a plethora of choice. There's also something to be said about the unique ecosystem that Airbnb provides, as guests experience direct communication with the homeowner before, during and after their stay. This relationship allows for a more personalized experience -- within a metropolitan city it might give the guest a sense of home, and in a more exotic location, it might give the guest a taste of local culture. These factors all play a role in capturing the interest of a wide range of travelers, from millennials to families, bleisure guests and more -- a realization that may have acted as a rude awakening for some hotels. After all, it would be difficult for most hotel chains to rival the affordability, unique style and personalized ecosystem offered by Airbnb accommodations. And yet, as the company celebrates a decade of operation, we're realizing that they likely have just as much to learn from the hospitality industry, as we have to learn from them.While a primary argument for the widespread popularity of Airbnb is likely, it's unique accommodation experience, this element of the business model can prove to be a detriment as well. Where guests are seeking a more boutique, relationship-based and adventurous experience, they still crave a predictable service offering. In other words, they want to know exactly what they're getting when they book their stay. While the company screens their host applicants and offers user-generated reviews, guests might find themselves wary of newer properties that may not have adequate pictures or reviews for the vetting process. Where hotels deliver a standardized service structure applied to every room/location, Airbnb accommodation quality relies entirely on the host. Within this (more unregulated) model, some hosts may go above and beyond, while some might cut corners while using the platform as supplemental income. Guest complaints could include host to guest communication breakdowns, non-adjustable thermostats, undesirable bathroom amenities, location-related safety concerns and more. There is also the issue of hosts with higher cancellation trends, or who discriminate against specific guests (for seemingly unjust reasons).This is where the trouble lies, leaving Airbnb to take notes from the hospitality industry as they roll out a new program, Airbnb Plus. The new program entices hosts to apply for better promotion and higher rates but also demands they meet a 100-point checklist of hospitality quality (as verified with an in-person inspection by an Airbnb contractor). Airbnb Plus launched with 2,000 listings in 13 cities (Toronto included) but aims to hit 75,000 listings by year's end.After all, there's something to be said about knowing exactly what to expect when it comes to your travel accommodations. Hotels have traditionally excelled in this regard, but are striving to catch up in the realm of guest personalization and property differentiation. Expanding the traditional hotel framework to include different lodging formats (including communal spaces for the more seasoned, authentic traveler), unique amenities, more genuine hotel to guest communication, self-service technology, and mobile optimization will prove to be imperative in the success of the modern hotel.As we work to envision what the hotels of the future will look like, we would be daft not to learn from the Airbnb model. By understanding the ways in which Airbnb excels (and suffers), hoteliers can better conceptualize the ideal balance between the boutique travel experience, and one which is still entirely controlled and guaranteed.

The CEO's Role as Thought Leader in the New Era of Engagement

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·17 April 2018
Gone are the days in which CEO's can expect to remain a faceless, behind-the-scenes force of the company. Think Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos - and the growing list of rock star C-level execs. Within a dynamic industry landscape, CEO's across all verticals are stepping up to become the driving market force behind their brand, openly advocating for their company's values, culture, and intellectual capital. A company's brand is often an extension of their chief executive's reputation. Many CEO's have nurtured the organization's products and services from initial conceptualization, to the (sometimes uncertain) beginnings and through to those first indicators of success and consumer-driven momentum. As a CEO, you're committed to the long-game. Positioning yourself as an industry thought leader will give your company a sought-after voice, create a competitive edge, build customer loyalty and ultimately boost revenue. Effective thought leadership establishes a company as both customer-focused and innovative while demonstrating a clear sense of direction and industry expertise. An active thought leadership strategy can even act as the catalyst that helps CEO's to test new ideas. We're entering a new era of consumer and industry engagement that focuses on company leadership. Thought leadership is the driving force of this new era. Not sure where to begin? We can help.Thought Leadership is About Expertise, Not SalesThe first step to effective content marketing lies in the understanding that brands need to give, before they expect to receive. The problem with most content marketing strategies today, is that they clearly demonstrate a one-dimensional intention: to sell. Sales pitch after sales pitch, blogs become a long-form, copy-rich version of unimaginative banner advertisements. Essentially, you're not providing them any value, before asking them to give you something (their business). You're expecting them to invest in you, without investing in them, first. Unfortunately, this mentality fails to understand the dynamics of successful consumer courtship in 2018. Consumers today are experts at sifting through content across various platforms and, as a result, their engagement is entirely selective and often dismissive to this transparent, sales-driven approach.When it comes to most products and services, customers remain loyal to companies they trust. You want your company to be seen as having mastered your industry and offering, continuously bringing new and relevant expertise to the table. Delivering innovation is also key to ensuring that the viewership understands that you have a full grasp on the future.CEO's should jump at the opportunity to address their customers and industry colleagues directly, not just with lead-generation content, but with their own expertise. Being a thought leader does not happen overnight simply because you declare yourself one; it happens when you establish a trustworthy voice for your brand and execute a consistent content cadence. Think about some of your favorite brands and products - how cool would it be to have one-on-one time with those CEO's to pick their brain? That is, at its core, the value of thought leadership. Establish Your Content CadenceIf you aren't committing regular time and content space to thought leadership, you aren't doing it correctly. CEO thought leadership is much more effective -- or should I say, only effective -- when it's consistent. Because when it comes to establishing and maintaining consumer interest, content cadence is everything. With this in mind, carve out weekly space within your monthly content strategy calendar that is directly allocated to thought leadership. As aforementioned, these articles shouldn't be created with the intention to sell or specifically promote your product; instead, they are meant to connect with your audience and cement you as a leading expert and a trustworthy face of your company. Find the topics that are most important to your target audience and use these articles to tackle those industry questions, news, latest breakthroughs, foresight and more. There's Value in VisibilityWhen it comes to content marketing these days, we are all operating within a heavily weighted pay-to-play landscape. Quite simply, visibility can come at a price. However, with a firm grasp of thought leadership and industry-relevant content, the trajectory of visibility drastically increases. Companies are no longer merely paying to occupy a spot on a web page; rather, their CEO's have established a reputation of newsworthy, insightful content and industry commentary. These are the articles which boast higher engagement, earn that 'featured' spot and are more likely to be picked up and shared across partner publications and LinkedIn channels. While traditional PR remains important to a brand's success, it's the inclusion of this kind of genuine content momentum that will help make a household name for your brand. Further, don't be afraid to engage with content after it's shared. Thought leadership content should not be confined to a 'publish it and forget it' mentality. Those leaders who remain part of the conversation on their channels, use panels to start relevant discussions and engage their audience are those which establish the most trust and an authentic brand voice. Keep Your Expertise SpecificContent creation doesn't come naturally to all of us and being a thought leader doesn't mean you need to spend hours slaving over an empty document, at a loss for the words to articulate your expertise. While the ideas, voice, and direction need to be the product of the CEO, there are plenty of opportunities to subtly outsource to industry experts to bring your ideas to eloquent fruition. However, with this in mind, steer clear of outsourcing to generalized marketing or content writers. Thought leadership isn't meant to be general or cookie-cutter in nature. You're not putting out content just for the sake of putting out content -- you're looking to make waves and say something of substance. In order to remain faithful to this purpose, ensure you work with industry experts who are aligned and well versed in your ideas, specific subject matter and industry.

HEDNA Releases Two Highly Anticipated New White Papers for Hoteliers

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·10 April 2018
HEDNA, the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association, is pleased to announce the launch of two new white papers developed to help hotels leverage the plethora of content, diverse platforms, distribution channels and data to gain critical insights, optimize their distribution performance and operations. The insightful reports are a prelude to some of the topics that will be explored at the upcoming HEDNA Global Distribution Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.Hotel Descriptive Content White PaperPresented by the HEDNA Content Working Group, the white paper titled, "Hotel Descriptive Content: Considerations for Sourcing and Exchanging Content," describes the current state of content today, including the various content API standards available. The report identifies different content usage scenarios, the key attributes typically applicable to each, and examples of companies that have implemented those scenarios. It also explores the critical questions to ask when evaluating your content needs and the solutions that are available - with a listing of content providers who are offering access to an extensive collection of chains and properties.Highlights from the white paper:Addressing the "content conundrum"Available interface standardsDelivery methods - push and pullExample usage scenariosAddressing the challengesSelecting a content solutionContent providers matrixTo download a complimentary copy of the Content Working Group white paper, visit Distribution, Data Management, and Analysis White PaperThe HEDNA Hotel Analytics Working Group analyzed the results of one of the most abundant survey samples collected and published the outcomes in the white paper titled, "Hotel Distribution, Data Management and: A 2018 assessment on global and regional practices." The 20-part survey was released in October 2017 and over an 8-week period, generated 1,053 global responses, representing over 40,000 hotels and Management Companies. The Survey responders come from all major continents and represent hotels, management companies, and independents. The survey set out to quantify current practice in data collection, storage, and usages, as well as test respondents' overall data satisfaction. Next steps are for the Analytics Working Group to share best practice recommendations for the hotel industry.Highlights from the white paper:Objectives and methodologyA detailed breakdown of survey responsesMain takeaways from each specific segment (Chain, Independent, Management Company)Addressing the challenges in data quality, timeliness, collection, and storageDeveloping formal industry data management best practicesState of the industry and next stepsTo download a complimentary copy of the Hotel Analytics Working Group white paper, visit"With the significant amounts of hotel data and content generated every day, it is more important than ever for organizations to acquire the tools and technologies necessary to gain business advantage and shape the standards for our industry," said Sarah Fults, President of HEDNA. "Associations like HEDNA, offer the ideal forum and opportunity to facilitate active dialogue and collaboration between the suppliers and users of hotel technology. The goal of our working groups and these white papers is to set the stage for future discussions leading up to, and including, the upcoming Lisbon conference in June."Registration is open for the HEDNA Global Distribution Conference in Lisbon, Portugal from June 4 to 6, 2018The theme of the Lisbon event, 'A Conversation with Tomorrow's Guest,' encapsulates the engaging content that will be featured during the three-day conference which takes place at the Sheraton Lisboa Hotel. Hospitality professionals should participate in if they want to stay informed, understand and compete in the dynamic hospitality landscape. To learn more visit About Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from the most influential companies in the hospitality industry. Founded in 1991, HEDNA's mission is to be the leading global forum for advancing hospitality distribution through collaboration and knowledge sharing. Its vision calls for HEDNA to be known for creating an environment that fosters strategic collaboration toward business development in the global hospitality industry. For more, visit CONTACT:Ann CramptonHEDNA Associate Director529 14th Street, NW, Suite 750Washington, DC 20045T +1 202 204

Paving the Way to the Future

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·21 March 2018
Today's world is constantly changing, and the travel and hotel industry is facing many technological challenges and intense competition. When competition is at such a fever pace, innovation is everything. Across various platforms and specialties, we are seeing the enthusiastic embrace of ambitious thought leaders, entrepreneurs and start-ups who are fearlessly carving out their vision of the future. In the past, there were yearly events that enabled travel and hotel technology providers to showcase their current solutions to prospective buyers. Now, due to the rapid change of technology and its impact on the industry, annual conferences and events have included innovation award segments within their regular program that are dedicated to the change-makers that are transforming the technology used by hoteliers. Within these competitions and events, industry professionals are granted the opportunity to display their latest innovations to panels of experts, earning exposure and praise across the hospitality landscape. This past year has been an eventful one for our industry, with no shortage of educational events, thought leadership panels and conferences to showcase the technology which will enhance hoteliers' internal processes and deliver a better guest experience. We've rounded up some of the highlights to give you an idea of what is to come and which travel and hotel start-ups to keep an eye on. Phocuswright 2017 InnovatorsFor nearly 25 years, the Phocuswright Conference has invited qualified attendees to 3 different competition stages (Launch, Summit and Battleground) to showcase some of the most exciting new technology our industry has to offer. The winner of the Travel Innovation - Startup Category takes home a check for $100,000 USD.conichiAward: Runner-Up for Travel Innovation - Startup CategoryWebsite: digitalizing tedious hotel procedures like check-in/check-out, digital door opening and invoicing, conichi is taking an impersonal standard, utilizing it in a smart way to create a new standard in hospitality. Travelers can use an express check-in and can check out via mobile without queueing at departure. Payments are safely made through the app to ultimately save the hotelier and guest valuable time.HITEC TorontoHITEC is the world's largest hospitality technology show, bringing the brightest minds and new tech to one place. During the 2017 show in Toronto, 13 pitchers were chosen depending on the field of applicants. From this selected group, one person from each startup pitched for four minutes to a packed session room and a panel of judges.Each startup competed for the grand prize, or E20X Judge's Award winner, which took home $5,000 USD and guaranteed spots on HITEC show floors for the following 12 months.Stay WanderfulAward: E20X Judge's AwardWebsite: Wanderful brings you instant rewards you actually want. No more waiting to accumulate points - just book on one of their hotel partner's websites and get real rewards you can use right away such as: exclusive retail discounts, free flight credits, free dining credits and free transportation credits. ArrivedoAward: People's Start-Up AwardWebsite: offers hotels globally an online platform to organize their knowledge via Neighborhood Guides. A Neighborhood Guide is a group of articles consisting of recommendations, maps, routes, essential tips and more relevant information that hosts can share with travelers. Each Neighborhood Guide created online is in collaboration with one of their certified Arrivedo travel writers. This content helps guests to learn about local activities and what to do in the neighborhood around the hotel during the booking process.HEDNA Innov8HEDNA's Innov8 session focuses on eight new products, services and businesses in the marketplace that are positively shaping the hospitality industry and the way we conduct business. This is an interactive forum, created to share the innovations made by leading professionals in eight minute, engaging presentations. At this year's HEDNA Austin Distribution Conference, Hopper took home the top Innov8 prize.HopperAward: Innov8 WinnerWebsite: Hopper app for Android and iOS provides insightful, data-driven research to help travelers make better decisions about where to go and when to fly and buy. The app has now expanded its price prediction service to hotels, saving users $34 to $90 per night, on average, when booking a hotel room through its service.HT-NEXT AwardsHT-NEXT has quickly become the must-attend educational and networking experience for hospitality technology professionals and solution providers. The program combines two leading industry events each year -- Hospitality Technology's Hotel Technology Forum and HTNG's North American Conference.BeekeeperAward: The 2018 TechOvation Award presented by HTNG (Hospitality Technology Next Generation)Website: has created a workplace app that digitizes hospitality workers who don't sit behind a traditional desk and don't have access to work email. By connecting operational systems and communication channels within one secure, intuitive platform, Beekeeper is helping hoteliers exchange information, share property updates, and communicate best practices within or across departments in 30 languages.With so many impressive contributions competing for these coveted awards, there is no doubt that the hospitality industry has some incredible, innovative technology in-store for 2018 and beyond. Don't forget to keep an eye on all off the innovators that pitch during these amazing events as one never knows where the next great idea will be born.

How Amazon Go No Checkout Stores Will Influence the Future of the Hospitality & Travel Industry

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·13 February 2018
Our world is endlessly transformative, with a wealth of technological innovations and advances coming to life and capturing large-scale societal attention on what feels like a weekly basis. Self-driving cars, cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence -- the future seems to be arriving faster than some of us have a chance to take a breath. At the heart of most revolutionary technology exists the progressive desire for increased convenience and efficiency as it applies to our day-to-day lives, businesses and more. Staying true to this trend, Amazon Go recently opened a grocery store like we've never experienced (but probably always dreamed of) in Seattle. No carts, no lines, no cash and no waiting -- a completely cashless grocery experience in which shoppers enter through turnstile gates, grab the items they need and exit the way they came, just like that. While shopping, the store takes inventory of what you pick from the shelves and automatically charges your Amazon account. Could this be the future of shopping? It sure seems like it. According to most experts, there is little doubt that many, if not all of the concepts from the Amazon Go store will be adopted by A-level customer-centric industries over the next five years." If we think about it, the pursuit of automation and mobile optimization has long since begun its takeover. Self-checkout, server-less restaurants, Apple Easy Pay, Uber, mobile orders at places like Starbucks, mobile keys for your hotel room and the rise of voice-powered personal assistants, the need for technology-driven efficiency is paramount. So, the question becomes, how will a revolutionary (and potentially disruptive) advancements like the Amazon Go no checkout store, influence the future of other industries? Specifically, how will the hospitality and travel industry be affected or better yet -- how can it keep up? An Emphasis on Frictionless Experience Sometimes, cutting-edge tech solutions are rejected by consumers, and this occurs when the technology places increased cognitive stress on the consumer based on a complicated user interface. Increased efficiency can't be achieved without simplicity -- if the technology in question doesn't readily make the user's life easier, it simply can't be viewed as efficient. The key to wide-spread adoption lies in frictionless user simplicity and in the case of the hospitality industry, this requires solutions that are easy for both guests and staff to interact with and master.Using the Amazon Go store as an example, we can call attention to the simplistic nature of the "just walk out" process. There is no complicated user responsibility involved in the model; it presents a clear process that can easily be understood and adopted by the general public. For hoteliers, this emphasis on the frictionless experience will be expected at every touch-point, for every guest. No front desk lines, mobile keys, mobile payments for ordering items and special requests and immediate response to service requests. This type of interactions will quickly become the expected standard for hotels embracing the future of hospitality and advanced customer-driven solutions and sales. The Era of Self-Service Has Arrived The future is mobile. Hoteliers are feeling pressure, now more than ever before, to embrace their guest's desire for mobile optimization and self-service functionality. This applies to mobile booking, room keys, check-in, concierge, stores, notifications, payments and more. Guests want to hold all the power, right in the palm of their hand. We should also consider the consumer psychology at work within uninterrupted self-service and how it can empower individuals to spend more. Traditionally, the further we are removed from the "pain of paying" that's often associated with cash transactions, the less we understand how much we're really spending. Additionally, if stuck in a line at check-out, consumers are granted the opportunity to mull over their more impulsive purchase items and potentially change their mind. When you remove these two psychological processes with the help of automated payments and self-service technology, you are tapping into increased revenue potential. This same logic applies to the hospitality industry, as hoteliers can use the frictionless, self-service model to empower their guests to spend more while on property and, most importantly, continue re-booking. Automation Should Enhance Guest Service, Not Replace ItDespite the increased demand for efficiency and self-service, many guests still seek a high-touch, hands-on and personalized approach throughout their hotel stay. The increase in automation within a hotel's core processes should create a subsequent shift in staff roles, allowing them to focus more on helping and guest engagement, rather than transactions. The carefully curated provision of exceptional (and personalized) face-to-face guest service will, without a doubt, become a key competitive advantage and differentiator for hotels. As a hotelier, ask yourself, how can increased automation revolutionize the way your staff engages with your guest?

New Guide Outlines Strategies for Building Thought Leadership, Influence and Market Leadership

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·25 January 2018
We have entered an age where leadership matters more than ever -- thought leadership, to be exact. Building trust, credibility, awareness, and influence to increase profits is more than just a goal of most CEOs and executives. It's also the topic of a new guide from the leading travel and hospitality technology marketing agency, Puzzle Partner. The firm recently published "Thought Leader - Market Leader" developed to help brands become a sought-after source for information that leads to new business opportunities, stronger relationships, sales enablement and more.By communicating thought leadership, you become part of the conversation, early in the buying journey. According to a study from The Economist Group, around 80% of executives said superior thought leadership influences both their purchasing decisions and choice of business partner. Over 90% of C-Suite executives surveyed agreed that their respect and admiration for an organization increased after engaging with strong thought leadership. And more than 80% said that thought leadership has increased their trust in a vendor organization. In other words, for companies that get thought leadership right, the payoff can be significant."The best time to start content marketing was five years ago, the second-best time is now," explains Alan Young, President of Puzzle Partner. "Thought leadership content should be a natural extension of your current marketing efforts, and every CEO and CMO should make sure that their team has a committed plan, with a steady cadence to maximize results and stay top of mind. This guide is designed to help brands of all sizes do just that. That said, some companies may find that outsourcing to a specialized agency makes more financial sense because it does require significant resources, talent, expertise and distribution capabilities."Available for download through the company's website, the guide details some simple steps companies of all sizes can take to improve their brand recognition, boost search engine visibility, expand their network, build authority, and earn the respect of their industry to grow their business. CLICK HERE to get your free copy today at more information about Puzzle Partner, visit

HEDNA Tackles Costly Payment Challenges at January 2018 Global Distribution Conference in Austin

Puzzle Partner Ltd. · 8 January 2018
The upcoming HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) Global Distribution Conference has become the go-to place for hotel industry payment insights, education and best practices. The nearly sold-out event will deliver the most comprehensive information, resources, and dialogue to help hoteliers gain control of the complexities associated with regulations, virtual payments, data security, GDPR and guest demands when it comes to payment strategies.The conference, which has attracted top delegates from hotel chains, multi-properties, independents, management companies, technology suppliers, payment companies and many others, takes place from January 29th - 31st, 2018 at the Sheraton Austin. This year, the payment tracks take center stage to address important topics including how to implement a 'guest centric' payment strategy, how to right size a hotel's third-party costs from a payment perspective, virtual payment trends, compliance, B2B payments, as well as solutions for upcoming issues such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The elite group of speakers and presenters is comprised of payment experts and influencers from Braintree - A PayPal Company, Ingenico, Edgar, Dunn & Company, Worldpay, Elavon, Hilton, JP Morgan, WEX, Onyx CenterSource, and Voxel Group. For a full list of topics and presenters, visit Hotel Analytics Working Group will also share the wealth of data received from the 1,000+ HEDNA members and non-member participants in a recent survey. The analysis and White Paper provide recommendations and guidelines to educate hotels globally on how best to use their data to optimize both profit potential and long-term asset value.Other highlights of the event include the highly anticipated Innov8 session and a "Hackathon" produced in partnership with TNOOZ focusing on artificial intelligence and emerging technologies in hospitality.For more information and to register or sponsor, please visit Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA)HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from the most influential companies in the hospitality industry. Founded in 1991, HEDNA's mission is to be the leading global forum for advancing hospitality distribution through collaboration and knowledge sharing. Its vision calls for HEDNA to be known for creating an environment that fosters strategic collaboration toward business development in the global hospitality industry. For more, visit

2018 HEDNA Conference in Austin Attracts Global Industry Leaders and Attendees

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·19 December 2017
HEDNA (the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) is gearing up to host the Global Distribution Conference from January 29 through the 31, 2018. Leaders and experts from across the globe will meet in Austin, Texas for three days of technology and industry-focused keynotes, networking, breakout sessions and discussions.Innovation in Technology is the theme of this year's conference and the action packaged agenda is set to deliver the most comprehensive information, insights, and dialogue on emerging trends that impact the hotel industry. Across the educational tracks at the event, each session will present a snapshot of the most transformative ideas shaping the future of hotel distribution from tech industry leaders, hoteliers, entrepreneurs, executives, influencers and more. HEDNA, in cooperation with Tnooz, is also organizing and producing a "Hackathon" focusing on AI and emerging technologies in Hospitality.On its way to selling out, the conference has attracted top delegates from hotel chains, multi-properties, independents, management companies, technology innovators and many others. Attendees and sponsors include:HiltonWyndham HotelsHomeAwayExpediaInterContinental Hotel GroupDisneyMGMDuettoWorldPayOnyx CenterSourceMarriottCitizenM HotelsOmni HotelsSnapShotIDeaSTriometricsDHISCOPegasus SolutionsDataArt TravelhospitalityPulseCloudbedsDerbySoftKognitivSabre Hospitality SolutionsWEXLeonardoReviewPro"This is an incredibly dynamic time in our industry," said Sarah Fults, president of HEDNA. "It's vital that we engage in meaningful discussions and collaboration. This conference provides an amazing opportunity to do that. We are so proud to be attracting such great hotel and technology companies who are all focused on advancing the hotel distribution landscape."Another highlight of the event is the Innov8 session. During this interactive forum, eight leading professionals from our industry will share their innovations in eight-minute engaging presentations. Best of all, this year an award will be presented on the last evening of the conference to the best Innov8or.For more information and to register or sponsor, please visit Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA)HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) is a not-for-profit trade association whoseworldwide membership includes executives and managers from the most influential companies in thehospitality industry. Founded in 1991, HEDNA's mission is to be the leading global forum for advancinghospitality distribution through collaboration and knowledge sharing. Its vision calls for HEDNA to beknown for creating an environment that fosters strategic collaboration toward business development inthe global hospitality industry. For more, visit CONTACT:Ann CramptonHEDNA Associate Director529 14th Street, NW, Suite 750Washington, DC 20045T +1 202 204

HEDNA Data Analytics Survey Generates Significant Industry Response, Results to be Presented at Austin Conference in January

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·30 November 2017
After launching its Hotel Analytics Working Group Survey only six weeks ago, HEDNA (the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) today announced a record-breaking first completion rate of over 1100 participants, who represent 45,000 hotels based on the submissions from international chains, hotel groups and independent hotels. The results of the comprehensive study will be presented at HEDNA's upcoming conference with plans to keep the survey open until Summer 2018.For more information and to register for HEDNA's Global Distribution Conference taking place January 29-31st in Austin, Texas, please visit's Hotel Analytics Working Group, co-chaired by David Turnbull (Co-Founder, SnapShot) and Matthew Goulden (CEO, Triometric) designed the survey to host a broad range of questions related to how hotels manage their data, including critical topics like the impact of integrations, cost of distribution and data reliability. The impressive sample size will enable solid analysis of identified trends, positive factors as well as efficiency shortfalls and opportunities to optimize channel mix and other operational areas. The success of the quality and quantity of respondents to the survey further underpins HEDNA's leadership position, at a time when data across all industries is increasingly vital to competitive survival.Sarah Fults, president of HEDNA, commented "With global coverage across many different categories, this survey represents one of the largest respondent samples in the industry. With the support of our members and Allied members, we were able to reach and gain valuable insights from hotels chains, multi-properties, independents, management companies and many others. We are keeping this survey open to gather as much input from hoteliers as we possibly can. Our goal is to bring together hoteliers and trusted partners to identify the facts that define the distribution landscape today and HEDNA is proud to be focusing one of our working groups on this important effort."HEDNA's leadership will leverage the insights to develop unique global and regional perspectives on how data is collected, stored and used from a distribution perspective. The first wave of these results is now being converted into actionable best practice guidelines to educate hotels globally on how best to use their data to optimize both the hotel's profit potential and long-term asset value."It is now more imperative than ever to fully embrace the data that impacts the hotel industry on a daily basis," stated Rajesh Vohra, Managing Director of Sarova Hotels. "The challenges that hoteliers face in managing not only their distribution strategy but fully understanding the costs associated with distribution and 3rd party interactions needs to be met head-on. Having an association like HEDNA targeting this challenge and helping the industry implement best practices is welcomed."Anyone wishing to participate in the survey should visit via To learn more about the HEDNA Analytics Working Group, visit Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA)HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) is a not-for-profit trade association whoseworldwide membership includes executives and managers from the most influential companies in thehospitality industry. Founded in 1991, HEDNA's mission is to be the leading global forum for advancinghospitality distribution through collaboration and knowledge sharing. Its vision calls for HEDNA to beknown for creating an environment that fosters strategic collaboration toward business development inthe global hospitality industry. For more, visit CONTACT:Ann CramptonHEDNA Associate Director529 14th Street, NW, Suite 750Washington, DC 20045T +1 202 204

Puzzle Partner and HEDNA Join Forces to Deliver Quality Content for the Hotel Industry

Puzzle Partner Ltd. · 9 November 2017
Leading travel and hospitality technology marketing agency Puzzle Partner, today announced their latest alliance with HEDNA, a global forum dedicated to the advancement of hospitality distribution anchored by a fundamental belief in strategic collaboration and knowledge sharing. HEDNA is making bold moves to lead the category and is looking to Puzzle Partner to support their initiatives and help take the association's industry impact to the next level.Puzzle Partner will be distilling and condensing working group content to ensure that HEDNA members are receiving valuable updates tailored to their needs and business, which will, in turn, also assist in driving membership for the association on a larger scale. The agency will utilize their team of writers, each with significant proficiency and insights relating to the hotel industry, to support the content and delivery of HEDNA specific publications. With the onset of this new engagement, Puzzle Partner continues to expand its reputation as the preferred marketing agency and content provider for the travel, tourism and hotel industry."The HEDNA community creates critical, relevant content that benefits everyone in hospitality and Puzzle Partner is the right choice for us as we broaden our scope," said Sarah Fults, President of HEDNA. "It is now even more imperative that hoteliers worldwide be fully aware and educated on the dynamics of hotel distribution so that they can make the best strategic decisions regarding where and how they sell their rooms inventory."HEDNA encourages an open exchange of information, continued professional development amongst members and the global conferences focused on the latest trends and dialogue in hotel distribution. This variety of expertise lends itself to the continuous advancement of member education, a core concept which HEDNA is focused on. The non-profit organization will be hosting its next Global Distribution Conference in Austin, Texas from January 29th-31st. The event is a renowned international networking opportunity dedicated to sharing the latest information, insights, and dialogue on emerging trends that impact the hotel industry. Sessions run during the conference will provide participants with the very best in transformative ideas and information as they relate to hotel distribution, shared by industry leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, influencers and more.Alan Young, president of Puzzle Partner, adds, "The delivery of top-tier content to specific hotel-centric outlets and social networks will deliver greater brand and working group visibility, an on-going benefit to both the association and its members. We are honored to be working with the talented team at HEDNA to inspire hoteliers and very much looking forward to a very successful long-term relationship."For more information about Puzzle Partner, visit Puzzle PartnerPuzzle Partner Ltd. is a boutique marketing agency focused exclusively on complex B2B initiatives for the travel and hospitality technology industry. We are experts at combining strategy and tactical execution in a way that doesn't just maximize a company's potential; it redefines it. By delivering influential content, marketing services, and public relations rooted in the skills of our team and tested through real-world experience, we help our clients gain visibility, raise their profile and ultimately increase their sales revenues. To learn more visit HEDNAHEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from the most influential companies in the hospitality industry. Founded in 1991, HEDNA's mission is to be the leading global forum for advancing hospitality distribution through collaboration and knowledge sharing. Its vision calls for HEDNA to be known for creating an environment that fosters strategic collaboration toward business development in the global hospitality industry. For more, visit


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