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ITB Berlin News 2018 - Review Edition

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16 NEWS IDeaS Revenue

16 NEWS IDeaS Revenue Solutions Debuts Hospitality’s First Voice- Driven Revenue Management Platform at ITB Berlin IDeaS Revenue Solutions has unveiled the first voice-based interface designed for a revenue management platform as the company’s G3 Revenue Management System (IDeaS G3 RMS) is now compatible with devices like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home, in multiple languages. IDeaS G3 RMS voice-interaction technology will, says IDeaS, allow all business stakeholders to access real-time data and performance metrics through smart speaker devices. The interface will be accessible anywhere a user has the appropriate technology and internet access, whether at the office, from home or even while travelling. “Our goal is simple: to continually push the innovation boundaries to enable hotels’ success, whether it be deep machine learning, artificial intelligence or voice-enabled interaction. Hotels rely on us to provide the most accurate and insightful data to drive optimal revenue strategy,” said IDeaS’ founder and chief scientist, Dr Ravi Mehrotra. The prominent service robot Pepper and Head of ITB Berlin David Ruetz welcomed all guests of the eTravel World at this year’s show to discuss the future of travel technology. Pepper is, according to its makers, the first social humanoid robot capable of understanding and reacting to main human emotions. Humanoid robots are increasingly being used in the tourism industry. Promising results have been reported in regards to these robots providing services to international tourists in various destinations. At ITB Berlin 2018, visitors were able to meet Pepper and learn what allows him to drive traffic, efficiently greet customers, recommend products and services and even do realtime data analysis ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 21 st March 2018 Voice interaction will give hoteliers, at all levels, instant access to a myriad of performance data such as occupancy, room rates, competitor rates, forecasts, revenue details and more. Revenue management solutions are a critical intersection point, often storing data from a multitude of disparate systems. IDeaS claim that voice technology now makes accessing all that data even simpler, driving more efficiencies and productivity within an organisation Official Opening of the eTravel World: Humanoid Pepper Interviews Head of ITB Berlin, David Ruetz BLOCKCHAIN IN TRAVEL – PHOCUSWRIGHT VIEWPOINT Blockchain, the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, has moved from an abstract concept to concrete initiatives by both startups and established companies across all industries. The platform is now being promoted as a solution for identity, security and fraud prevention, with some predicting blockchain will be the foundation for the next generation of the Internet. In boardrooms across the country, C level executives are evaluating their blockchain strategies. According to Phocuswright’s Norm Rose, Blockchain Value Propositions for the Travel Industry include identification, fraud prevention and “smart contracts”. IDENTIFICATION: a shift from multiple identities, histories and loyalties across suppliers and intermediaries into a single identity that can deliver value across supplier categories. Conceptually, the traveller may retain his or her single identity and use it for security, transactions, payments and loyalty redemption across suppliers. Though this lofty goal is likely many years away, blockchain will likely have impact in each of these areas within the next few years. FRAUD: a major problem for all sectors of the travel industry. Blockchain ledgers are immutable and are distributed among multiple computers. With each computer in the network constantly checking other nodes for validity, blockchains are extremely hard to hack and thus significantly reduce fraud. SMART CONTRACTS: For the travel industry, programmatic smart contracts that execute based on a pre prescribed parameter could improve the efficiency of transactions. The most attractive aspect of smart contracts is that they can be done directly between the buyer and seller, eliminating the middleman. EXAMPLES OF BLOCKCHAIN INITIATIVES IN THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY Airbnb is exploring the use of blockchain in a number of ways. Meanwhile, Webjet has built a blockchain proof of concept with Microsoft, and is testing it with a number of hotels. Winding Tree is a new Silicon Valley based start-up that is building an open source decentralised distribution platform for travel

NEWS 17 RADISSON HOTEL GROUP LAUNCHED ON EVE OF ITB BERLIN Saurabh Chawla Vice President Development, Louvre Hotels Group Making Digital Customer-Centric Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group arrived at ITB Berlin after rebranding to Radisson Hotel Group. The new identity leverages the powerful, international brand equity of the Radisson name to drive awareness in the marketplace, increase marketing efficiency across the global portfolio and offer exceptional experiences to “make Every Moment Matter” for guests, owners and talent. Every Moment Matters will be the new signature service philosophy of the company and all its hotel brands. The new go-to-market name, Radisson Hotel Group, capitalises on a strong partnership between Radisson Hospitality, Inc. (formerly Carlson Hotels, Inc.) and Rezidor Hotel Group AB (publicly listed on Nasdaq Stockholm, Sweden and headquartered in Brussels, Belgium) who has master franchise agreements to develop and operate several brands across Europe, the Middle East and Africa Saurabh Chawla, Vice President Development at the Louvre Hotels Group is revolutionising its digital strategy - and learning things from China along the way. He spoke to ITB Berlin News about the inspiration behind the hotel group’s bold new digital strategy. Our digital strategy started by redefining the needs of our customers and the customer journey, both online and offline, to design the best experiences. Digital technology should remove all the pain-points of the journey and enhance the customer experience. Every technology implemented is tested with the end-user in mind. In terms of digital technology, we launched the mobile key in 2017 and are about to launch our new web and mobile platforms with the latest technology. By the end of the year, we should also launch our new app. We are currently analysing the best way to use new technology such as Chatbot and AI to further enhance the customer experience. What can Europe learn from China, and vice-versa? China can teach us how to harness the power of social media into commercial delivery. The Whatsapp/facebook equivalent in China is Wechat, and it’s used not only to sell hotels but also to pay for rooms. Its CRS, Wehotel, is integrated with Wechat and is able to produce three bookings every second. What China can learn from Europe is destination marketing: how Europe is able to induce international demand to smaller destinations by way of destination marketing is something the Chinese could learn and implement. The country size is huge and each area has a significant potential to open up to more international tourism What’s changing in the way you work with OTAs? They are not our enemies. So we try to find synergies to work the best as possible with them and satisfy our clients. We have been established long term relationships with the OTAs and are also increasing the number of partners to reach new markets such as China and India, and thus bring new businesses to our hotels. What is the overall strategy of Jing Jiang in Europe in terms of growth / evolution? The overall strategy is rather simple, and that is to be one of the largest hotel groups in the world. Europe is also seen as the most strategic for JJ, specially France, Germany, the UK and Eastern Europe (Poland, Czech Republic). This is where our focus has been since last year. Growth in Europe is expected not only through organic growth by way of leasing, management agreements and franchising, but also through acquisition of large regional platforms H10 HOTELS PRESENTS ITS NOVELTIES FOR 2018 @ ITB BERLIN H10 Hotels plans to strengthen its hotel facility with four new establishments this year: In February, the H10 Madison opened its doors, a four-star superior in Barcelona, a few metres from the Cathedral. In the autumn, the company will present The One Palácio da Anunciada, a five-star hotel with which the expansion of its luxury brand in Lisbon continues. In turn, H10 Hotels works on two other projects that will be released towards the end of the year: the H10 Palazzo Canova, on the banks of the Grand Canal of Venice, and Ocean El Faro, a five-star resort located in Uvero Alto that will become its second location in the Punta Cana area ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 21 st March 2018

ITB Berlin News