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How will Google's latest innovations impact hotel distribution? Find out at HEDNA's New Orleans Conference | 8-11 December 2008

HEDNA ·19 November 2008
You'll also have the opportunity to speak directly with GDS and online agencies at the Working Group forums. On Wednesday, 10 December, GDS and key online agencies will lead their individual Working Group sessions. This is an unparalled opportunity to speak directly with these channels and openly discuss strategies, process improvements or challenges in a closed-door forum. These forums are guaranteed to bring a significant return to the time spent at the HEDNA conference. The extensive agenda for HEDNA's New Orleans meeting also features keynotes by Henry Harteveldt of Forrester Research and Dale Irvin, aka The Professional Summarizer. Giving back to the New Orleans Community HEDNA is pleased to be sponsoring a Humanitarian Day on 11 December. HEDNA is volunteering to work with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans as a way of giving back to communities in need. Won't you join your fellow HEDNA members in volunteering your time on this important day?Ready to register? Please click here!Early Bird Registration has been extended until 21 November.Lock in your savings by capturing this discounted rate!

HEDNA's ASPAC Meeting To Address Key Hotel Electronic Distribution Challenges In The Rapidly Growing Asia Pacific Region

HEDNA ·16 June 2008
Hong Kong | HEDNA's ASPAC Meeting, to be held Wednesday, 9 July 2008 at the InterContinental Hotel in Hong Kong, will assess the rapid growth of the Asia Pacific hotel electronic distribution industry and its future. The Asia Pacific region has seen unprecedented growth in electronic booking volume and that growth is expected to continue. HEDNA's ASPAC meeting will address the key challenges and issues facing this vigorous market.Key speakers and panels include:Tiffany Topcik, HEDNA President - Ms. Topcik will speak about HEDNA's recent initiatives by the Associationa's Committees and HEDNA's role in the vibrant Asia Pacific region.Henry Harteveldt, Vice President & Principal Analyst, Forrester Research. Industry expert Harteveldt will share his thoughts on the state of the industry and insights into the dynamics shaping the Asia Pacific industry.The Emerging Issues Panel will investigate the key challenges and issues affecting electronic distribution in the Asia Pacific region in the next decade. The panels will provide a better understanding of these trends and how the trends can be utilized by companies for their benefit.The GDS Futureview Panel will assess how research and development investments by GDSs are helping the hotel industry adapt to new ways of selling and managing their operations. The panel will also review trends in the new travel hotspots and how hotels can tap into this potential to grow their bookings.The Education and Training Panel will address "Key Challenges In A Growing Electronic Economy." Establishing professional development in the hospitality industry remains a challenge for professionals, organizations and individuals. The panel will look at the need for e-distribution education and training as well as revieiwng the industry's best practices.To register for HEDNA's ASPAC Meeting, please visit and click on the ASPAC meeting link. Registration fee for the meeting is USD 180.00, which includes lunch and a networking reception. About HEDNAThe Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 202-204-8400 or by visiting .

Technology, Customer Expectations, Environmental Issues Will Drive Near-term Decision Making For Electronic Distribution

HEDNA · 1 May 2008
The next 18 months will be some of the most challenging for the hotel business since 2001 due predominantly to economic concerns and the rapidity of technological evolution, said Dr. Lalia Rach, renowned dean of New York University's Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. The hotel business and the environment in which it functions is changing so fast that now, more than ever, there's a real need for true globality, conductivity and continuity in our industry.Global tourism is the most positive industry in most countries, Rach said. And increasingly travelers are not only interested in visiting countries such as India, China and the United Arab Emirates, but citizens from what economists now refer to as the 'BRIC bloc' (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are traveling and will travel in incredible numbers. China has in a brief period improved their infrastructure to handle increased tourism and the projected upswing in tourism post-Olympics was the motivation. The next decades will see travelers who are seeking to follow the Silk Road, an ancient trade route, with travel from and to Europe, North America and the Caribbean taking a back seat.Rach also drove home the point that today's travelers aged 35 and under are not only the next customer base for the hotel industry, but that hoteliers need to understand their motivators and demands. "They view travel as a right, not a treat and often are unable to recall their first airplane flight," she said. In fact, Rach said they have participated in the purchase and decision since their earliest days. They demand your company's loyalty, before they'll return their loyalty to you. They are seeking new travel experiences. They are also extremely focused on sustainability issues and will demand to know what hotel companies are doing to really reduce their carbon footprint. They know when they are being lied to. The 35 and under group is so technologically oriented that they are in part the reason semantic technology innovation is emerging in the very near future.While there are many bright spots in the hotel industry, there are also a number of serious and dramatic challenges. People will still travel, but will value their vacations more, Rach said. This means the distribution industry must understand how to reach customers. Rach advised hotels to deliver on what you've promised to deliver, don't expect the customer to know the minutiae of the travel business, and be consistent and helpful.The increasing emphasis on hotels to have customer service as their core value will be the defining factor in who survives she warned. "Saying it is easy, doing it is more difficult," she said. This savvy next generation of hotel guests has amazing radar to spot a phony marketing story. Finally, your team needs to be prepared to market, sell and serve the customer in an increasingly tight economic situation. She challenged the audience to ensure their staff knows how to deal with sales in a tighter market. "When 'c'mon baby let the good times roll!' stops playing are they ready to keep that person's business?" asked Rach.Introducing the Hotel Carbon IndexDr. Lalia Rach and Michael Ball, CEO of WORLDHOTELS, both highlighted to the hundreds of HEDNA conference attendees the importance of true and quantifiable environmental sustainability for travelers of all ages and nationalities. It needs to be "a top concern of the hotel industry" emphasized Peter Ducker, CEO of UK-based CarePar. "Business is awake to the issues" around sustainability and cannot underestimate the huge opportunity this provides. He quoted Lee Scott, CEO of Wal-Mart, who said, "sustainability is the single biggest business opportunity of the 21st Century. It will be the next source of competitive advantage." According to Ducker, there are a number of steps businesses can take to become more sustainable beyond whether a guest washes their towels or sheets. These steps include implementing energy reduction programs, recycling waste, buying and using only recycled products and measuring your sustainability achievements. Telling your customers how you are contributing to the planet's sustainability in a quantifiable manner will become standard. CarePar, a term cleverly coined in the family of RevPar, has recently developed the "Hotel Carbon Index." The index is a number that measures a hotel or venue's actual carbon emissions per available room per day, per function room per half day or per restaurant per meal, Ducker said. The Hotel Carbon Index is an actual measurement that can be used to certify and verify carbon values. CarePar can help the hotel make this vital data available to a wide range of interested parties who increasingly ask in RFP's for the hotelier's social responsibility policies. In addition, it will assist hotels in identifying areas where costs can be reduced through sustainable practices and can help marketing and distribution channels meet the demand for standards as greening plays an increasingly vital role in operations. GDS perspectives exploredThe GDS partners panel looked at how technology actually impacts future distribution performance. Panelists promised more fixed and structured fields for content being implemented as well as the ability for systems to handle multiple currencies, languages and characters. GDS' continue to "move to enable XML protocols and accept XML content from hotels" who have pushed this technological advancement agenda to the forefront. According to Tony Kubis, director of hotel relations at Sabre, technological advances "create the paradigm for the right content to appear to the right people at the right time." Efficient exploitation of technology and understanding trends has allowed Sabre to launch an application which will help customers solve travel problems as well as facilitate connections between travelers, proving social connectivity penetrates all layers of the distribution channel.Increasingly, it is clear that utilization of mobile technology is the platform that will drive innovation for the hotel industry. Whether it is using mobile phones to check in en route from the airport or simply ordering room-service as they step off the plane, mobile technology will enter the realm of the ordinary with extraordinary speed.What's on the horizon for the GDS? Besides enabling mobile technology, panelists emphasized seamless integration and the incorporation of open technologies drive their strategic vision. Sidebars during breaks showed the constant commitment of HEDNA to work on new solutions."Push versus pull" contentThe "Direct Connect: Push versus Pull" panel didn't resolve the debate but it did elicit lively discussion among the panelists and resulted in an extensive Q&A audience session.At issue is whether hotels control content and require vendors to pull data and rates from the hotel's environment or whether the hotel pushes the very same data out to vendors/distributors. Panelists such as Expedia and DerbySoft Co. clearly favor the push strategy while hotels believe pull is the best choice for them.Pull enables hotels to manage the demand on their size - whether small or large; their reach - regional or global; and their appeal to travelers with specific needs, such as business travelers. They also feel that pull gives them the ability to control content, keep the content up to date and manage brand presentation by giving a consistent look and feel. It also is a strategy that passes technology and implementation expenses back to the seller of the product. Vendors such as Expedia counter that push is the strategy to use; the OTA's boast their robust technology backbone that enables huge volumes of content to be translated into multiple languages and billions of shopping requests to process within 24 hours, ensuring their customers are able to query the systems of the hotel without taking down the hoteliers' IT infrastructure. The push approach also enables customers to make very complex searches because companies like Expedia have the financial capacity to develop the in-depth tables and database query architecture required as guest searches become more and more specific.Lively debates and innovative approaches were key to the presentations and discussions on the final day of HEDNA's Lisbon Conference. "HEDNA certainly has put its footprint on the new frontiers of electronic distribution," notes Tiffany Topcik, HEDNA president and senior vice president of Lanyon. Attendees returned home with a new toolkit of ideas and solutions to current and near-term challenges for the hotel e-business industry and a realistic perspective that increasingly, the inter-relatedness of global economics, various social factors, demographics and burning environmental issues can and will quickly impact existing and future hotel e-distribution strategies.About HEDNAThe Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 202-204-8400 or by visiting .

Attendees at HEDNA's Lisbon Conference Learn Where the Opportunities Are in Today's Hotel e-Business Market

HEDNA ·30 April 2008
LISBON, PORTUGAL, | Opportunities exist for those in the hotel e-business, even during these tough economic times. Attendees at HEDNA's Lisbon Conference learned about the future trends for hotel e-business, how to profit from those trends and how HEDNA members can make a difference as the industry evolves.Uncertain times call for different strategies. One of the top strategies for hotel e-business is evolving from selling to engaging the customer, points out Henry Harteveldt, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. Hoteliers need to think more like retailers. "To succeed, hoteliers need to fulfill the experience expected by customers, not just think of them as heads in a bed," says Harteveldt. Another strategy is engaging the customer through social computing, which Harteveldt calls the fifth generation of electronic distribution. "Travel plays a big role in social computing, making social computing a blend of marketing and distribution," he says. He points out that in Europe, online travelers are "more likely to consume than create social computing content." The sixth generation for electronic distribution is mobile technology. Mobile phones are becoming ubiquitous in many countries. "Travelers are an ideal group for mobile-based services and activities," says Harteveldt. Frequent travelers are the ones who find the most utility from using mobile services. How can those in hotel e-business succeed? Harteveldt says success is through evolution. "To truly engage digital travelers, hotel e-business must evolve from channel to gateway, from single purpose to all encompassing, and from functional to fulfilling," he says.Getting ready for tomorrowThe hotel electronic distribution industry, or hotel e-business, is "an exciting industry with lots of positive opportunities ahead," Michael Ball, CEO of WORLDHOTELS, told attendees. "We're at a pivotal time. Tomorrow will look very different from today," Ball says.The "pillars of business and commerce are out of alignment today," observes Ball. From the credit crunch to high energy prices to food prices, changes are happening at a faster pace. The GDPs of India, China and other Asian countries are growing fast while the US and Europe are dropping. Social factors, such as the environment and population, must be part of the travel industry's considerations as it moves forward. Yet despite all of these changes, there are opportunities. Some of the opportunities center around the five important trends affecting hotel e-business. According to Ball, these trends are: more demanding consumers; more complex distribution channels; changing business models where companies must give more but expect less in return; an emphasis on technology and richer content; and a change in the structure of hotel e-business.Other opportunities are contained in Ball's "five points to ponder." First, don't let opportunities for the hotel e-business get hijacked again. The industry must do a better job at managing downturns, says Ball. The other points are: strive to simplify; put distribution at the heart of your planning process; recognize the need for capital expenditures on new technology; and add the social agenda to your agenda, before the environmentalists and regulators do it for you. Ball sees HEDNA members making a difference in several areas including technology, richer content and collective ownership of data. "Collaboration is important in times of an economic downturn," Ball says.Globalization versus localization Are globalization and localization competing strategies? No, says Mike Nelson, COO of Orbitz Worldwide. "Any business needs to think about both," he told attendees.Globalization is here to stay as evidenced by changes in demographics and affluence. For instance, Russia is becoming the biggest European market while India, China and other Asian countries are emerging as important markets, too. In all of these regions, there's a huge rise in an affluent middle class who will be interested in travel. A globalization strategy needs careful planning, cautions Nelson. "You can't rush into it. You need to give it some thought," he says, noting several examples of faux pas made by major corporations. Don't forget about the local aspects of your strategy. You need to incorporate local and global to be successful, Nelson says. Changing factors in decision makingShaping customers expectations is becoming crucial as customers look for an 'experience' rather than just a room. The more compelling the experience for the customer, the more satisfied the customer will be. "Content will replace price as a deciding factor for customers," forecasts Heiko Siebert, vice president distribution at Movenpick Hotels and Resorts, who participated on the Online Distribution panel. But who then owns that content and the customers that are attracted by it? Is it the hotel or is it the online service? Siebert strongly believes that his hotel has ownership of its content and customers. But online services feel otherwise. Since this is an area of debate, the panel believes this is an area where HEDNA can make a substantial impact in the industry by developing a solution.The traveler's experience was very much the focus of the Web 2.0 panel. Consumer generated content, which is more and more in demand, is all about a traveler's experience, explains Marc Charron, managing director Europe for Trip Advisor. This is a great way to match content with traveler's age group and interests. It's also a way to bolster the customer's expectation about what that experience at the hotel will be like. Charron points out that there's an incredible reluctance by hotels to post consumer generated content, fearing that it will be negative. However, most people that take the time to write have positive comments about their travel experience.As the day grew to a close the hundreds of delegates from the international community attending the Lisbon Conference seemed to share the perspective that as HEDNA stays on top of major trends and technologies, their membership and collaboration will assist the industry to navigate the seas of change. About HEDNA | The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 202-204-8400 or by visiting .

HEDNA and PhoCusWright Publish Small Meetings White Paper

HEDNA ·29 April 2008
a similar situation faced when hotel guest room booking moved online."HEDNA is pleased to lead the way with more groundbreaking insight into this huge opportunity for our members and for the travel industry in general," said Tiffany Topcik, Senior Vice President of Lanyon, who serves as HEDNA President.Bruce Rosard, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, PhoCusWright, added "This report presents practical information and research findings in a way that can be easily used by hoteliers, corporate meeting planners and technology providers to understand how to participate in this marketplace."About HEDNA | The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not- for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 202-204-8400 or by visiting .About PhocusWright | PhoCusWright is the travel industry research authority on the evolving dynamics that influence how travellers, suppliers and intermediaries connect. Independent, rigorous and unbiased, PhoCusWright enables companies to make smart, profitable decisions. PhoCusWright provides global marketplace intelligence, offering an array of qualitative and quantitative research through subscription services, individual reports and sponsored assignments. Areas of emphasis include consumer travel planning behavior as well as industry segmentation, sizing, forecasting, trends and analysis. Clients represent all facets of the industry value chain from around the world. The company is headquartered in Connecticut, USA, with offices in New York, Duesseldorf and Mumbai.

Top Trends For 2008 To Be Revealed At HEDNA's Conference In Lisbon, Portugal, 28-30 April

HEDNA ·24 March 2008
LISBON, Portugal | HEDNA's 2008 Conference, to be held in Lisbon, Portugal on 28-30 April, will look at the most important trends affecting the travel industry in 2008, including the changing economy, the shift in consumer confidence, globalization versus localization, and pulls versus pull marketing. The top travel gurus will be sharing their insights about the outlook for business this year. Speakers include Henry Harteveldt, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research; Dr. Lalia Rach of New York University's Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management; Mike Nelson, COO of Orbitz Worldwide; and Michael Ball, CEO of WORLDHOTELS.In addition, expert panels will delve into social networking, GDS and marketing topics, giving attendees valuable knowledge on these subjects. The Lisbon meeting will also feature the popular Tech Showcase where attendees can learn about the newest products and services for the hotel distribution community. HEDNA's Lisbon meeting will be held at the five-star Corinthia Lisboa Hotel, which is located near the city center.The Lisbon conference is proudly sponsored by Orbitz Worldwide, TIG Global and VRX Studios. For more information on the meeting and to register for the Lisbon conference, visit About HEDNAThe Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 202-204-8400 or by visiting .

Hedna's Committees Take The Lead In Providing Solutions To Challenges Facing Hotel Distribution

HEDNA ·21 January 2008
like content, financial items, sell/stay -- the industry could seamlessly follow a transaction throughout its life cycle. Such a system would obviously speed the business processes between all organizations associated with selling hotel rooms. The Emerging Issues Committee serves as a forum to address concerns and exchange ideas on best practices as well as to solve industry challenges within a defined timeline. One recent achievement of the committee is the revamping of the GDS chain code matrix. The committee is currently working on a number of issues such as reserving chain codes, ADS switch guidelines and transitional requests, according to Co-Chair Alison Velez of Wyndham Worldwide. With the introduction of automation of traditional group marketing and buying processes, HEDNA's Group Committee finds that online booking of meeting facilities and group room nights is rapidly rising. Since this sector holds new opportunities for those in the hospitality industry, the Group Committee will be publishing a tool kit called "Enabling the Online Marketplace for Groups and Meetings" in April 2008. This guide will help hospitality companies understand the technology and the expectation of end users as well as the technical, operational and other policy condensations inherent in moving to online marketing for groups and meetings, says Co-Chair John Arenas of Worktopia.The Tour Committee recently conducted a survey to provide insight into the distribution business strategies of tour operators. The survey focused on how tour operators anticipate doing business in the future with hotel chains. The committee continues to work on connectivity solutions for tour operators, wholesalers and hotel companies, notes Co-Chair Nancy Little of InterContinental Hotels Group.Questions about alternative payment options prompted HEDNA's Credit Card Verification and Validation Committee to research and present information on these payment options to HEDNA members, reports Co-Chair Stephen Fitzgerald of Sabre Travel Network. The committee also guided European members through the new chip and pin process in the UK.As these committees demonstrate, HEDNA is responsive to the needs of the hotel distribution industry, providing guidance and knowledge about current and future issues facing the industry. About HEDNAThe Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 202-204-8400 or by visiting .

Top Trends Impacting the Travel Industry Revealed at HEDNA's December Conference

HEDNA · 6 December 2007
who's guest is this? Is it the OTA's or is it the hotel's? Interestingly, the answer is the OTA. Despite all the online offerings, travelers are using more voice bookings. In fact, voice bookings are on the rise, says Kistner. Perhaps it's due to a more personalized feeling that the traveler gets when booking over the phone.Personalization is key and may lead to the next disruptive change in the market. Kistner predicts that the personalization people receive from social networks will change the customers' expectations of the travel market and how it caters to them. Does Brand.com rule?The success of individual or hotel group Websites has led to the idea that 'Brand.com" Websites will replace everything - voice, GDS, OTAs. But will it? John Burns, CHA owner of Hospitality Technology Consulting, sees all the channels are being important. Yes, consumers are comfortable shopping online. Yet, Burns sees voice as a growing and preferred booking channel, especially in the next decade. From the hotelier's viewpoint, voice has its advantages, since it's an excellent opportunity to up-sell products and services to the customer. The issue of paymentOnce you have the customer's interest and commitment, how will the customer pay for the services? If you think it will be only via credit card, please think again. Mike Carlo, business development manager for Global Collect , says that up to 56 per cent of online shoppers don't have a credit card. In addition, payment habits differ depending on the culture - Europeans use a different mix of payments than those in Asia. Carlo says that the more methods a hotel accepts, the better the sales conversion rate. For instance, if a hotel accepts only one method of payment, the conversion rate is just 60 per cent. But that conversion rate rises to 82 per cent if the hotel uses four or more payment methods. Those methods can be regional credit cards, bank transfer, direct debit, E-wallets, cash and checks. Commissions remain a thorny issueAnother type of payment that needs to be addressed is travel agency commissions. According to Cynthia Castillo, head of hospitability distribution projects at Amadeus IT Group, the number one travel agency obstacle is commission recovery. To help overcome this problem, Amadeus introduced its Worldwide Commission Manager this year. The Manager is a platform that agencies can use to track and manage commission payments. To date, nearly 50 hotel chains have signed up to use the product. Speedy payment does have its advantages. "When commissions are paid promptly, more hotel bookings will be done by travel agents," Castillo says. Processing payments efficiently is key, says Angela Ybarra, commercial vice president for Worldwide Payment Systems. Suppliers face challenges in processing commissions including small payment amounts, high banking costs and payment reconciliation. Using services to help process commissions can surmount these challenges and improve business relationships.Looking at trendsWhat can the travel industry learn from the real estate industry about online sales and presence? Quite a lot, according to Spencer Rascoff, chief financial officer of Zillow.com. Zillow.com has listings of almost every property that exists in the US, allowing customers to view properties and make comparisons easily. Zillow.com is akin to Trip Advisor in that the Website doesn't perform any transactions. Its revenue comes from advertising.Would this work for hotels? Rascoff thinks that hotels should be looking at putting advertising on their Websites, which could generation additional revenue for the hotels.Rascoff also believes in leveraging the power of the Internet but courting real estate bloggers. When Zillow.com began, it made a point of contacting the top 10-20 influential bloggers in real estate. He sees bloggers having potentially huge impact in the travel business.Moving the travel industry forward is a trend that influences the work of the three main travel associations. Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), Open Travel Alliance and HEDNA. The association panel - Douglas Rice, executive vice president and CEO of HTNG; Valyn Perini, executive director of Open Travel Alliance; and Edward Perry, secretary of HEDNA - discussed how the three associations can work together to assist members in utilizing distribution technology.Social trends that affect distribution are increasingly important to the success of the travel business, says Daniel Levine, founder of Avant-Guide. Once you've identified that there is a trend, it means the demand already exists. All you need to do is discover how to tap into the market. Levine sees five key trends - personalization, targeted segmentation, mobile lifestyles, lifestyle visibility and life-easers. All these trends speak to addressing the needs of the customer and making life easier. Whether it be personalized digital versions of ads, better communication via PDAs or appealing to individual lifestyles, these trends will be impacting the travel industry and how it chooses to interact with its customers. About HEDNAThe Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 202-204-8400 or by visiting .

HEDNA Welcomes Three New Board Members for 2008

HEDNA · 5 December 2007
PHOENIX, ARIZONA | HEDNA, the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association, is announcing three newly elected members to the Association's Board of Directors. The new Board Members were welcomed at HEDNA's December Conference in Phoenix. The new Board Members are Marion Hughes, vice president, interactive services, Open Hospitality; Nancy Little, manager, GDS and third party distribution product management, InterContinental Hotels Group; and Duane Overgaard, principal account director, hotel distribution and services, Sabre Travel Network.Hughes is a seasoned professional in hospitality and travel marketing with more than 20 years in the business. She is a frequent speaker at travel industry events and has attended almost every HEDNA conference since 1998. Her position at Open Hospitality has given her a solid understanding of e-distribution. Little has extensive experience in the travel industry. Known for her acumen with technical systems,at Inter-Continental Hotels Group, she is considered a subject matter expert on all aspects of GDS. Little is currently co-chair of HEDNA's Tour Working Group. Overgaard is a 15 year veteran of the hospitality industry. His current position at Sabre Travel Network gives him the ability to manage and assist hotel suppliers as well as be involved with GDS enhancements and other implementations that affect electronic distribution. These new Board members will serve alongside Olivier Dombey, formerly of Utell Hotels & Resorts; Brian Hill, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts; Pam Streeter, Interstate Hotels & Resorts; Alison Velez, Wyndham Hotel Group; Sarah Fowler, Pegasus Solutions; and Melanie Ryan, Orbitz.HEDNA's Board Officers for 2008 are: President | Tiffany Topcik, LanyonVice President | Linda Kent, Starwood Hotels & ResortsSecretary | Edward Perry, WORLDHOTELSTreasurer | Keith Harrison, Galileo InternationalAbout HEDNAThe Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 202-204-8400 or by visiting .

Get Ready for the Hotel Distribution Trends of 2008! | Attend HEDNA's Conference on Dec. 3-5, 2007 in Phoenix

HEDNA ·20 November 2007
Mike Kistner, Pegasus | Mike Kistner, COO and Executive Vice President of Pegasus Solutions, will share his views on the changing distribution environment and where electronic distribution will be in three years. Kistner will also share his insight regarding consolidation in the marketplace and how it is affecting the industry.Featured Presentation -- Spencer Rascoff, Zillow.com | Spencer Rascoff, Chief Financial Officer of Zillow.com, will share similarities in distribution and e-commerce between the hospitality and the real estate market. This insightful session will illustrate that no matter what industry, all businesses are seeking and implementing new approaches to distribute their product and reach a targeted and expanded customer base.Onward and Upward: Utilizing Technology to Advance Our Industry | This panel will highlight the roles of the major industry associations in the hotel marketing, sales, and distribution environment. Led by senior officers of HEDNA, Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), and OpenTravel Alliance (OTA), this panel will help attendees to understand the structure, objectives, and role of each organization and, equally important, how they work together to deliver value to the industry. The session will be broken into three parts - each part will include short presentations by each of the organizations, and a panel discussion with lots of opportunity for audience participation.Panelists: Douglas Rice, Executive VP & CEO - HTNG | Valyn Perini, Executive Director - OpenTravel Alliance | Edward Perry, Director of E-Commerce WORLDHOTELSNeed More Information? Contact Us! If you need more information about the conference, or if you are a member of the press who would like to cover the conference, please contact Hope Mathis at HEDNA Headquarters at hmathis@kellencompany.com or phone: +1 202-205-8400. Tiffany Topcik, President, HEDNA at tiffany.topcik@lanyon.com or phone: +1 847-224-0153.

HEDNA Meeting To Focus On Benefits Of Electronic Distribution In The Asia-pacific Travel Market

HEDNA ·26 September 2007
It is no secret that online booking engines are giving tradition travel agency models a run for their money. Trends indicate that adoption in online booking engines directly affect a travel manager's bottom line while offering a broader array of options to the traveling executive. What impact do these booking engines have on the travel industry and what do we need to do now in terms of content to most effectively sell under this adapted booking model?Global Distribution System (GDS) - GDSs are flourishing as a viable part of the travel industry. What do we need to do as travel industry partners to embrace opportunities that the GDSs have to offer? What is the best means to collaborate towards common goals and objectives? What forums are available to work towards a better tomorrow for both parties?Online Travel Agencies (OTA) -- With growth in travel industry brand-dot-com websites, what role do OTAs really play in our business today and going forward? This panel will address the role of OTAs in today's changing online business environment and how we as travel industry partners can collaborate in a mutually profitable environment.Besides this wealth of information from the top experts in the field, you'll have ample opportunity to network with the speakers and your colleagues. This is an event you won't want to miss!Cost of the conference is $150 USD. (Press complimentary) To register for the meeting and the hotel, please go the website . About HEDNAThe Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 202-204-8400 or by visiting .

HEDNA's December Conference Looks At Shaping The Future Of Digital Travel

HEDNA ·12 September 2007
Washington, DC | How can the travel industry build on its know-how and create a digital travel experience that gets raves from customers? Find out by attending HEDNA's conference, "Shaping the Future: Turning History into Success," to be held December 3-5, 2007 at the Pointe South Mountain Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. This thought-provoking conference features a certain-to-be-notable opening keynote speech by Henry H. Harteveldt, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. Harteveldt will draw on his latest research on how the digital travel experience disappoints travelers, and what travel companies must do to deliver meaningful and humanized experiences for the traveler. This year's closing keynote speaker will be Daniel Levine, executive director of Avant-Guide Institute. Known as the ultimate insider, Levine will look at current trends and how the industry can benefit from them.Attendees will also learn about global distribution issues, best practices in the industry and the latest in e-commission solutions. Networking opportunities are plentiful including several receptions and the technology showcase. Don't miss this opportunity to meet your peers and to benefit from the advice and tips you'll only get through HEDNA. To view the conference agenda, visit Mark your calendars for 2008Don't forget to put these important 2008 HEDNA conference dates on your calendar!HEDNA's "Distribution Footprints in New Frontiers" ConferenceApril 28-30, 2008Corinthia Hotel LisboaLisbon, PortugalHEDNA's "Jazzing Up Your Distribution Strategy" ConferenceDecember 8-10, 2008Royal Sonesta HotelNew Orleans, Louisiana About HEDNAThe Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. .

Reaching And Attracting The New 21st Century Traveler

HEDNA ·23 May 2007
consumers expect to be catered to for their hospitality needs.Upscale design -- Design no longer is viewed as a luxury, but a trend to be honored.Control and consumer transparency consumers want to feel they are in control of their hospitality experience, whether it be using price comparison sites, placing live phone pictures online for others to see at websites like ComVu.com, or posting reviews of services on a website like Consumerist.com.Empathy and social networking 2.5 This is the intersection between real and virtual worlds. Various companies are offering networking opportunities from choosing your cab-sharing partner to IM-ing another passenger on the same plane to invitation-only 'meet spaces' designed to bring like-minded travelers together. Hotels, particularly, "are a natural and organic place for social networking."Abundance The wealth of opportunities to service micro niches whether it be the Millennials or over 50s -- allows personalization of services and offerings.Finally, Levine points out that hotels need to be seen as being dedicated to green initiatives in order to appeal to travelers. About HEDNAThe Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 202-204-8400 or by visiting .

Hotel Electronic Distribution Industry Forecasts Technology Trends

HEDNA ·21 May 2007
Dr. Mark Warner, director of graduate programs at New York University, detailed the history of the Hotel Distribution Industry from its start when most marketing was done through travel agents and toll-free phone numbers. With the advent of the Internet and better computing systems, the industry experienced a developmental stage that ran from 1991 (the year HEDNA was founded) and lasting until 2001. Over the last six years, the industry has seen volumes rising as customers became more sophisticated about using technology tools, according to Warner. What's ahead? Warner says the industry is changing so quickly and dynamically, that it's only possible to look ahead over the next three years. He forecasts that the Hotel Distribution Industry will be embracing a number of technologies such as mobile distribution, the convergence of iPods, phones and PDAs, and WiMAX. Reaching out to customers by using blogs and Web content that's multi-lingual will enable the industry to reach a wider audience. Further, security advances will help customers feel safe in providing personal and transactional data. Hotel distribution marketing in the digital age rises to the challengeWith customers suffering from advertising overload syndrome and customer trust at an all-time low, the Hotel Distribution Industry must strive to connect with its customers with offerings that are specific to their needs and tastes, notes Geoff Ramsey, co-founder and CEO of eMarketer. More than one-half of all global marketing will be driven by brand marketing, says Ramsey, with video ads becoming a major new medium. Word-of-mouth, or viral marketing, will continue to be an important marketing tool. To keep word-of-mouth recommendations positive, the industry must strive to provide a superior product.The important communication tool, the telephone is transforming into a digital medium as well with mobile phones capable of offering enhanced marketing opportunities, says Gerald Samuels, founder and executive director of Mobile Travel Technologies Ltd. Geared to the corporate traveler, promotions on mobile phones and PDAs will spur new ways to reach these customers. "Mobile is all about seek and book" rather than browsing for deals, says Samuels. A corporate traveler who's just had a late night plane flight canceled will be looking to find an available hotel room and booking it on the mobile phone or PDA. This kind of scenario will need targeted search engine optimization for mobile band, fast searches. What does this mean for the existing Global Distribution System (GDS), composed of Sabre Travel Network, Galileo International, AMADEUS Global Travel Distribution S.A. and WorldSpan. A panel representing those companies found that GDS must reinvent itself to serve the changing marketplace including new booking tools, reaching customers via mobile devices, OTA XML-compliant software and updated functionality.The 2007 HEDNA Conference concludes on 22 May 2007 with a number of presentations including an analysis of the impact of the Millennial Generation on the Hospitality Industry given by Dr. Lalia Rach, associate dean of the New York University's Tisch Center. About HEDNA | The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 202-204-8400 or by visiting .

HEDNA Driving Change in the Hotel Industry | 2007 Conference to Explore the Distribution And Technological Trends

HEDNA ·22 April 2007
The Conference includes these highlights:Opening keynote speech by Geoff Ramsey, co-founder and CEO of eMarketer, who looks at today's rapidly evolving global e-business landscape and its impact on global distribution in the Hotel Industry.Closing keynote speech by Daniel Levine, founder, Avant-Guide, on the five cultural trends that will be propelling hotel electronic distribution over the next decade.An analysis on how the Millennial generation will affect the Hotel Industry by Dr. Lalia Rach, associate dean of the New York University (NYU) Tisch Center and HVS International Chair.The results of a study on the history of electronic distribution trends by Dr. Rach and Dr. Mark Warner, director of Graduate Programs at NYU.In addition, attendees will gain valuable tips on:Using mobile handsets as a sales distribution channelsReinventing your global distribution system to successfully reach corporate buyersMaximizing your exposure on search enginesProcessing credit cards smoothly and securely using chips and pin, and CVV.Attendance at the HEDNA Conference will give you the tools for success in this rapidly evolving market.Members of the media receive a complimentary registration to attend the Conference. To register, contact Hope Mathis at +1 202 207-1125 or hmathis@kellencompany.comAbout HEDNA | The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by visiting .

HEDNA Driving Change in the Hotel Industry 2007 Conference to Explore the Distribution And Technological Trends

HEDNA ·22 April 2007
The Conference includes these highlights:Opening keynote speech by Geoff Ramsey, co-founder and CEO of eMarketer, who looks at today's rapidly evolving global e-business landscape and its impact on global distribution in the Hotel Industry.Closing keynote speech by Daniel Levine, founder, Avant-Guide, on the five cultural trends that will be propelling hotel electronic distribution over the next decade.An analysis on how the Millennial generation will affect the Hotel Industry by Dr. Lalia Rach, associate dean of the New York University (NYU) Tisch Center and HVS International Chair.The results of a study on the history of electronic distribution trends by Dr. Rach and Dr. Mark Warner, director of Graduate Programs at NYU.In addition, attendees will gain valuable tips on:Using mobile handsets as a sales distribution channelsReinventing your global distribution system to successfully reach corporate buyersMaximizing your exposure on search enginesProcessing credit cards smoothly and securely using chips and pin, and CVV. Attendance at the HEDNA Conference will give you the tools for success in this rapidly evolving market.Members of the media receive a complimentary registration to attend the Conference. To register, contact Hope Mathis at +1 202 207-1125 or hmathis@kellencompany.comAbout HEDNAThe Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by visiting .

HEDNA to Sponsor Panel at TravelCom/Res-Expo in Las Vegas, April 4-6, 2007

HEDNA ·28 March 2007
The panel, entitled, "Groups: The Next 'Big Thing' Online" will feature moderator: Edward Perry, Director, E-Commerce, WORLDHOTELS and panelists: Paul Bahnick, Vice President - IT, Travel Impressions; Diane Bozicevich, Vice President Operations, Omega World Travel & Omega Meetings & Incentives; Scott Harness, CEO, GroupTravelPlanet; and Duncan Kennedy, Director, Starwood HotelsThe panel will discuss how the complexity of booking groups and meetings that have kept this segment of the industry off-line for the most part and how that is about to change. Several new market entrants and technology developments have jumpstarted online group bookings. Group reservations have been costly to process for hotels and airlines because of the inherent changes in group bookings, RFPs and call backs, unique billing requirements, adding and deleting rooms. Hoteliers are now seeing the benefits of allowing access to their group inventory for smaller groups and meetings to free up their sales staff and focus on the large event business.For more information or to register for this conference go to. About HEDNA | The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 703 970 2052 or by visiting www.hedna.org.About TravelCom Res-Expo | Every year TravelCom Res-Expo brings together over 1,000 of the travel industry's leaders, achievers, influencers and buyers for the premier conference on travel technology and distribution, strategy and marketing, e-commerce and innovation. More than 30 of the travel industry's leading providers of technology and online services exhibit in the TravelCom Res-Expo Technology Pavilion. TravelCom Res-Expo will be held April 4-6, 2007, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Visit for more information.

HEDNA Membership Elects New Board Members for 2007

HEDNA ·21 December 2006
Individuals joining the Board are:Alison Aker-Valez, Sr. Manager, Distribution Partnerships Wyndham Hotel Group; Brian Hill, Manager of Electronic Distribution, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts; Melanie Ryan, Director, Strategic Accounts and Chain Strategy, Obitz; and, Oliver Dombey, Vice President, Sales and Account Management, Asia Pacific, Utell, Ltd. Mr. Dombey was elected to an appointed seat representing the ASPAC Region members. These new Board members will now serve alongside Andrew Assante, Vice President, National Accounts, Expedia/Hotels.com; Stephen Fitzgerald, Vice President, Hotel and Car Distribution Sabre Travel Network; Keith Harrison, Director, Hotel Supply Operations, Galileo International; Anwen Parry, Director, Distribution and E-Commerce, Rocco Forte Hotels; and, Pam Streeter, Vice President, Electronic Distribution/Marketing, Interstate Hotels & Resorts. Ms. Parry was re-elected to an appointed seat representing the EMEA Region members.The Acting Executive Director and Ex-Officio Board Member is Cathi Eifert of the Data Interchange Standards Association (DISA). The 2007 HEDNA Board Officers are:President: Tiffany Topcik, Vice President - Hotel and Supplier Relations, ABC Corporate ServicesVice President: Noreen Henry, Vice President, Hotels & Packaging, TravelocitySecretary: Kristie Willmott Goshow, Group Director, E-business and Customer Development, JumeirahTreasurer: Linda Kent, Vice President, Electronic Distribution, Starwood Hotels & ResortsHEDNA President Tiffany Topcik remarked, "HEDNA is fortunate to have strong Board representation from all over the world, which will increase our global focus and enable us to address issues important to our international group of members. Furthermore, our Board members represent a wide range of companies suppliers, the GDS, online agencies, and traditional travel agencies." About HEDNAThe Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 703 970-2052 or by visiting .

Hotel Distribution Leaders Come Together for HEDNA Asia Pacific Forum in Hong Kong

HEDNA ·28 September 2006
"The marketplace in Asia-Pacific is unique and carries its own set of challenges; for example, adoption of electronic payment systems for hotel bookings and understanding the various barriers to using credit cards in many Asian countries," said Tiffany Topcik, HEDNA President and Forum Facilitator. "HEDNA continues to educate the industry about these most pressing concerns and provides solutions through established committees and working groups. We are committed to growing and promoting the use of efficient technologies in the Asia Pacific region for years to come." Forum participants were also encouraged to support the adoption and growth of the GDS and to cooperate with them to provide training to the travel agency community. HEDNA will hold future meetings in Asia Pacific in order to fulfill the needs of the distribution community in the region.HEDNA's next meeting will be the HEDNA Conference, 3 - 5 December 2006, where the association will be celebrating its 15th Anniversary! The three-day conference will be held at the Trump International Sonesta Beach Resort in Sunny Isles, Florida and will feature presentations, panels, and sessions on the current and future state of the distribution industry. More information about the Conference is online at: . About HEDNAThe Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 (703) 970-2052 or by visiting .

HEDNA Explains How to Navigate the Evolving Booking Environment in Online Group and Meeting Planning White Paper

HEDNA ·13 June 2006
HEDNA President Tiffany Topcik commented, "For many years, the business segment of group and meeting planning has not kept pace with the remarkable strides that we've made in the field of hotel electronic distribution. I am pleased that HEDNA has tackled this issue and can now educate the industry on the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead; this is a tremendous step toward full automation for this valuable sector." As with other White Paper topics, Online Group and Meeting Planning was selected in response to the association's 2005 Membership Survey. HEDNA members prioritized critical industry issues and the Board of Directors swiftly responded with quality research to explain important aspects of each subject. Other White Papers that are also available include: Hotel Distribution Nirvana - Multi-Channel ApproachSuccessful Content Management for HotelsTravel Search Engines Redefine DistributionDynamic PackagingThe HEDNA Distribution Management Group Committee was closely involved in each phase of the creation of Online Group and Meeting Planning. Chairman Ed Perry, director of ecommerce, WORLDHOTELS, said "Today, the group booking process is significantly manual. Thus there are immediate opportunities to optimize the online group booking process. Our subcommittee's objective is to integrate existing and future booking technologies to create an online group booking community. We will work with traditional and non-traditional distribution partners, including third-party online booking engines. We envision a community that has integrated inventory and instant availability access from the supplier to allow end-consumer, travel agents and meeting planners to shop their properties on a 24/7 basis."Online Group and Meeting Planning is now for sale at the HEDNA online bookstore for 75 USD for HEDNA members and 100 USD for non-members. An Executive Summary of the publication is available for download at: . Members of the travel press and media can obtain a complimentary copy of the White Paper by contacting Catherine McDonald at + 1 703-970-2064 or . About HEDNA | The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 703 970-2070 or by visiting .

"Social Computing" and Enhanced Rich Content to Shape Future of Hotel Electronic Distribution

HEDNA ·30 May 2006
All panelists in the "Transformation of Distribution and the Customer Experience" session agreed that richer content must be presented to consumers at the time of research and product purchase. Visuals such as virtual tours and photographs are more important to shoppers than brand, star rating, or even customer reviews. Hotels were challenged to enhance and expand the content they provide about their products and services, thus affecting the way hotel properties are presented and distributed to customers.Closing Keynote Speakers Bill Walshe, Chief Marketing Officer, Jumeirah tied together many of the points shared in the earlier sessions, and then discussed the very deliberate expansion strategy of his own company from a regional hotelier to a well-branded worldwide company. He underscored the importance of establishing a meaningful corporate purpose and then dedicating all resources toward accomplishing those goals. Jumeirah has launched very unique and impressive marketing campaigns; Walshe warned that each company must be ready to handle and capitalize on the success that it seeks.Esteban Walther, Head of Travel for Google Europe, told HEDNA that the highest online growth rates are in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions. Hoteliers should enhance the distribution and marketing of their product through attention to search engine visibility, video, mapping services, and attractive "landing pages" to greet shoppers when they find your company page. Among the Internet's hottest phenomena, mapping technology Web sites ("mash ups") combine ingredients from different online sources to create intriguing hybrids. Before customers check into a hotel, research can be done ahead of time by clicking on a clever map on the hotel website highlighting nearby attractions such as restaurants and museums.Other Conference sessions discussed:The need for Internet Distribution Systems (IDS) to face their own growth challenges as the globalize their distribution and reinvent themselves;GDS, the grand dame of distribution, facing new competition in the marketplace that has forced innovation in the traditional systems with enhanced technology and new hotel marketing programs;The impact of GDS deregulation in the EMEA region and the various potential impact on hotel distribution;Compelling insights into credit card and electronic payment initiatives. The industry must come together to deflect fraud and protect its revenues;The improvements to online group and meeting planning such as integrating existing and future booking technologies to create an online group booking community; This community has integrated inventory and instant availability access from the supplier to allow end-consumer, travel agents and meeting planners to shop their properties on a 24/7 basis; HEDNA's newest white paper entitled Online Group and Meeting Planning addresses the key drivers and challenges in moving the group and meeting process to the online world as well as the key success factors and many of the key players in this space.In addition to the educational program, HEDNA Conference attendees enjoyed time to meet and network with their distribution colleagues. Conference sponsors contributed to these opportunities through their generous support: Cendant Travel Distribution Services, Opodo, AltiusPAR, Hotelzon, Hotel Concepts, Open World, Pegasus Solutions, Sabre Travel Network, VFM Interactive, Lanyon, Leonardo, SynXis, and WORLDHOTELS.HEDNA President Tiffany Topcik remarked, "By every measure the large number of Conference attendees, the quality of program content, the quality of relevant and dynamic speakers, engaged audience participation, or plentiful networking opportunities this was the most successful HEDNA Conference in our history. Everyone expanded their 'distribution toolbox' and gained new ideas and applications to more effectively and profitably distribute hotel product."The next HEDNA Conference will be 3 5 December 2006 in Sunny Isles (Ft. Lauderdale), Florida. To receive a complimentary press invitation, please contact Catherine McDonald at cmcdonald@disa.org or phone +1 703 970-2064.About HEDNA | The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 703 970-2052 or by visiting .

Preview HEDNA Europe Conference | Interview With Noreen Henry, Travelocity

HEDNA · 9 May 2006
Distinguished as the authoritative voice on electronic distribution for the hotel industry, HEDNA will bring together a worldwide audience to explore today's most compelling distribution issues at the 2006 HEDNA Conference in Frankfurt, Germany. Click play-button for an interview with HEDNA's VP Noreen Henry ...A good time to catch Noreen Henry is on one of her early morning runs around Lake Grapevine in suburban Dallas / Forth Worth that is when she's not busy running Travelocity's hotel business. As vice president of hotels, Noreen oversees Travelocity's hotel strategy, product direction, merchandising and revenue management and works closely with Travelocity's partner marketing alliances team on supplier strategy. A 15-year veteran of the travel industry, Noreen has spent most of her career with Travelocity's parent company Sabre Holdings, joining Travelocity in 2001. Noreen played an integral role in the launch of Travelocity's industry leading net rate hotel program in October 2002, and prior to her most recent promotion led the management of Travelocity's key hotel global accounts and operations team. Noreen currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association and is an officer, serving as the organization's vice president.Shaping the agenda, are a number of significant topics that challenge the industry: Working Through the Challenges of Global Electronic PaymentsKeeping Up with GDS' and the GDS AlternativesGlobal IDS EvolutionTransformation of Distribution and the Customer ExperienceAutomation Progress with Group TravelGetting Online with Tour OperatorsRSS - What's the Buzz?"The hotel distribution business is changing rapidly with the evolution of new technologies, business models and marketing approaches to reach a growing global consumer," said HEDNA President Tiffany Topcik. "Interactive panels, case studies and presentations will allow attendees to take away ideas and strategies to ensure their companies thrive in this highly competitive marketplace. The HEDNA Conference uniquely focuses on audience participation, which energizes the program and reinforces the value of attendance at HEDNA Conferences."Henry Harteveldt, Vice President, Forrester Research, leads an all-star speaking roster of more than thirty top executives from hotels, tour operator companies, online travel distribution companies, technology companies, research firms and consultants, industry associations and more. Dr. Lalia Rach, Director of the Tisch Center for Hospitality at New York University, will moderate the popular IDS and GDS panels. Her reputation for asking direct and tough questions will ensure candid and revealing panel discussions, as well as stimulating debates that will continue long after the HEDNA Conference.HEDNA is also pleased to introduce Lunchtime Learning sessions during the mid-day luncheons. Attendees will discuss with their tablemates some of the most exciting advances in marketing and distribution and their impact on the distribution community. These include: The Impact of New Technologies Like RSS and BlogsYahoo Trademark Restrictions For AdvertisersImpact Of AOL Charging For Email DeliveryFacing The Challenge Of Multi-Lingual Content Attendance at the HEDNA Conference will again offer unparalleled networking opportunities, including an off-site reception at beautiful historic Union Halle, sponsored by Cendant Travel Distribution Services. Other Conference sponsors include: Opodo, Leonardo, AltiusPAR, Open World, Sabre Travel Network and VFM Interactive.Members of the media receive a complimentary registration to attend the Conference. To register, contact Catherine McDonald at +1 703 970-2064 or cmcdonald@disa.org.The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient.

2006 HEDNA Conference: 21 - 23 May 2006 - Frankfurt, Germany

HEDNA ·27 March 2006
Working Through the Challenges of Global Electronic PaymentsKeeping Up with GDS' and the GDS AlternativesGlobal IDS EvolutionTransformation of Distribution and the Customer ExperienceAutomation Progress with Group TravelGetting Online with Tour OperatorsRSS What's the Buzz?"The hotel distribution business is changing rapidly with the evolution of new technologies, business models and marketing approaches to reach a growing global consumer," said HEDNA President Tiffany Topcik. "Interactive panels, case studies and presentations will allow attendees to take away ideas and strategies to ensure their companies thrive in this highly competitive marketplace. The HEDNA Conference uniquely focuses on audience participation, which energizes the program and reinforces the value of attendance at HEDNA Conferences."Henry Harteveldt, Vice President, Forrester Research, leads an all-star speaking roster of more than thirty top executives from hotels, tour operator companies, online travel distribution companies, technology companies, research firms and consultants, industry associations and more. Dr. Lalia Rach, Director of the Tisch Center for Hospitality at New York University, will moderate the popular IDS and GDS panels. Her reputation for asking direct and tough questions will ensure candid and revealing panel discussions, as well as stimulating debates that will continue long after the HEDNA Conference.HEDNA is also pleased to introduce Lunchtime Learning sessions during the mid-day luncheons. Attendees will discuss with their tablemates some of the most exciting advances in marketing and distribution and their impact on the distribution community. These include: The Impact of New Technologies Like RSS and BlogsYahoo Trademark Restrictions For AdvertisersImpact Of AOL Charging For Email DeliveryFacing The Challenge Of Multi-Lingual ContentAttendance at the HEDNA Conference will again offer unparalleled networking opportunities, including an off-site reception at beautiful historic Union Halle, sponsored by Cendant Travel Distribution Services. Other Conference sponsors include: Opodo, Leonardo, AltiusPAR, Open World, Sabre Travel Network and VFM Interactive. Members of the media receive a complimentary registration to attend the Conference. To register, contact Catherine McDonald at +1 703 970-2064 or cmcdonald@disa.org. About HEDNA | The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 (703) 970-2052 or by visiting .

HEDNA Advances Electronic Distribution Industry with Launch its New Website

HEDNA · 6 March 2006
Falls Church, Va. | The hotel electronic distribution community gained a valuable new resource today, as the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) debuted its smartly redesigned website: . Open World, an award-winning e-commerce solutions company, was selected to create the new site to serve as the premier source of information for distribution professionals in the lodging industry."The Board of Directors is confident that the new website will enhance the knowledge of each person in our industry, and especially for our HEDNA membership," remarked HEDNA President Tiffany Topcik. "We have enriched the content available to users and organized the information in an easy-to-navigate fashion; the new HEDNA.org will definitely be a tool that industry professionals will be using on a daily basis"Highlights of the new website include: The latest hotel distribution news from HsyndicateJob bank that displays information from qualified job candidates and available industry positionsCalendar of HEDNA and other hospitality conferencesLinks to organizations which maintain industry statisticsPast Conference and Learning Session presentationsCommittee resources that are available to HEDNA membersCatalog of available White Papers and other HEDNA publicationsValuable benefits available to HEDNA members attending industry events and more.Click here to visit the new hedna.org!Mark Wong, Executive Vice President of Open World is equally as thrilled with the results of the project. "We are delighted with the transformation that we've been able to create for HEDNA. Our client base is hospitality organizations, so we were able to apply our depth of experience in this niche field toward a website that is visually stylish, functional and truly relevant to the everyday needs of distribution professionals." Under the oversight of Marion Hughes, Director of Business Development, Open World collaborated closely with the HEDNA Board of Directors to build the site that would be the "one-stop-shop" for hotel electronic distribution information.About HEDNA | The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 (703) 970-2052 or by visiting . About Open World | Open World provides effective e-commerce solutions for the global travel and hospitality industry. Established in 1995 and now with 11 global offices in Asia, Europe and The Americas, it has a proven track record and market in excess of 2,000 hotel web sites for more than 60 brands in over 10 languages. With its winning combination of Professional Services and Travel Agency teams, it integrates intuitive design and creative ingenuity with search marketing science, advanced web engineering and revenue-generating opportunities, all designed to increase direct online business and return on investment. For more information, please visit . Not able to view the new HEDNA.org website? Begin by hitting "refresh" in your browser. If that does not display the new website, your computer is probably trying to pull up a cache version of the HEDNA.org site. To clear your cache, follow these easy steps: 1) Go to "Tools" on your Internet browser menu, 2) Select "Internet Options", 3) Under the "General" tab and "Temporary Internet Files" section, select "Delete Files", 4) Check the box that reads "Delete all offline content", and hit "OK". Close out of your Internet session and then open a new browser window. Your computer should now be ready to view the new website: !

HEDNA Conference Confirms Highly-Rated Speakers Representing Top Companies in Travel Industry

HEDNA ·30 November 2005
HEDNA has identified key experts from around the world to speak to the group and to engage them in stimulating presentations. The Conference will be opened by Henry H. Harteveldt, Vice President, Forrester Research. Mr. Harteveldt will provide analysis and insight into how consumer and business adoption of new technologies will affect the sale and purchase of travel services. Lalia Rach, Ed.D., a nationally recognized tourism educator and internationally recognized speaker from New York University will the Conference Moderator on Monday. Marty Pfinsgraff, COO, iJet will close the Conference by outlining the key components to an effective risk management program. Other distinguished speakers represent Expedia/Hotels.com; Cendant Travel Distribution Services; Travelocity; Opodo; Amadeus; Priceline.com; Galileo International;; Boeing Travel Management Company; IAC Corporation; Deloitte; SynXis; Starwood Hotels and Resorts; Marriott International; TravelCLICK; Hospitality Technology Consulting; Sabre Travel Network; Solutionz Group Intl.; Hotel Information Systems; Pegasus Solutions, Inc.; OnVantage; Groople; WORLDHOTELS; Worldspan and, StarCite.Session topics will address the evolution of online agencies, HEDNA Committees, maximizing corporate bookings through electronic channels, dynamic packaging, , channel measurement for the international distribution marketplace, reinventing the GDS and their role in distribution, CRS/Distribution solutions, and how group and meetings are reaching new plateaus in electronic distribution.In addition to the diverse network of HEDNA Conference participants and speakers, event sponsors and exhibitors include some of the industry's leading travel providers. They include: Hyatt Hotels Corp; Opodo; Leonardo; Hotwire; Synxis; Open World; AltiusPAR; Hotel Booking Solutions; WorldAccess/Access America; Smart Destinations; TravelCLICK; Sabre Travel Network; Multimap.com; Electrobug; and, International Air Transport Association (IATA).For more information on HEDNA's December 2005 Conference, visit or email hgallacher@hedna.org or call +1 703-970-2052. About HEDNA | The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 703 970-2070 or by visiting .

HEDNA Confirms Keynote Speakers for 2005 Conference in San Francisco, CA: Forrester Analyst Henry Harteveldt and Marty Pfinsgraff, COO, iJet

HEDNA ·24 October 2005
The upcoming Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) 2005 winter Conference, taking place 4-6 December at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco in San Francisco highlights respected keynote speakers, channel measurement, global travel industry trends and statistics, and timely, interactive sessions surrounding Global Distribution Systems (GDS), Internet Distribution Systems (IDS) and the HEDNA endorsement of the recent NBTA white paper pertaining to corporate rate loading.As the only travel conference created exclusively for the electronic distribution industry, by industry executives, HEDNA stands out as the most comprehensive source of information and upcoming trends that affect this arena and influence the electronic distribution world.Leading the Worldwide Travel Industry practice at Forrester Research, HEDNA's opening keynote presenter is Henry H. Harteveldt, Vice President, Forrester Research. Mr. Harteveldt advises Forrester clients on both industry and consumer trends that raise challenges or present opportunities to the travel industry, so they can stay ahead of rapidly evolving needs and preferences. Mr. Harteveldt has been a keynote speaker at past HEDNA Conferences and received high accolades from attendees.As Closing Keynote speaker, HEDNA attendees will hear Marty Pfinsgraff, Chief Operating Officer, iJet address risk assessment in an online world. Mr. Pfinsgraff served as President of Capital Markets at Prudential Securities as a member of the firm's Board of Directors. He brings over 20 years experience in international finance, investments, and capital markets to iJET. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. iJET is a leader in enterprise risk management technology and integrated crisis response services, with diverse and experienced intelligence analysts who work around the clock to monitor changing conditions worldwide and deliver timely, actionable intelligence and risk assessments to clients. 'As HEDNA continues to keep its members current on how technology is transforming the way the hotel industry does business, we are very excited to have both of these industry visionaries address our Conference attendees. Both Mr. Harteveldt and Mr. Pfinsgraff share a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion for today and tomorrow's travel industry', says HEDNA President Jimmy Suh. Dr. Lalia Rach, Associate Dean and Director, Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management, New York University, will serve as Conference Moderator for Monday's panel discussions and will lead discussions on the future of the online agencies, dynamic packaging and developments in the corporate rate-loading arena. Dr. Rach is a nationally recognized tourism educator and internationally recognized speaker. She is Director of one of the world's most distinguished hospitality programs and is a frequent contributor to travel industry activities. Other highlights at the Conference are panel discussions that allow panelists and the audience to tackle the industry's hottest issues: The Evolution of the Online AgenciesGDS Presentations - Reinventing the GDS and Their Role in DistributionMaximizing Corporate Bookings Through Electronic Channels with emphasis on the HEDNA endorsement of the recent NBTA white paper on corporate rate loading.Dynamic Packaging - Packaging Your Product to Maximize DistributionDistribution in a Shrinking Global Environment Channel Measurement for the International Distribution Marketplace Group and meeting online booking technologiesHEDNA Vice President Tiffany Topcik remarked, 'The Conference will discuss substantial trends that affect everyone in the hotel electronic distribution industry. The topics will compliment the 2005 Series of White Papers that HEDNA has published on managing distribution over multiple channels, content management, dynamic packaging, and travelsearch. About HEDNA | The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 703 970-2052 or by visiting .

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