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Highlights of HITEC < back

Written by Jane Pendlebury

We are running a HITEC Update meeting on the evening of Thursday 12th September in conjunction with Keystep in London, so Andrew and I will give you a more detailed report then. One of the most fascinating sessions was one on the next big industry threat, which (no, not Brexit) apparently revolves around the tech giants that are Google, Amazon et al, and - on a lesser scale - the currently popular OTAs. I can also update you with the global opinions on the chances of Chatbots taking over hotels and let you know what seems to be stealing the show on new product innovation. From the keynote speech, I will alert you to what we really need to worry about in the future and ask if you are working for a banana plantation or a rain forest? That might sound slightly off topic here, but, really, it will make sense! It was a week of sunshine in Minneapolis, until the day HITEC closed and the heavens opened. So, I came home to sunny England…for the weekend at least!

Somewhere where the sun always shines though is Edinburgh. Well, that’s what the locals said, anyway. Helen Marshall and I travelled to Edinburgh on the train at the end of June for a members’ meeting with our sponsors and friends at Criton. We took the east coast route and we were both amazed at the scenery. I think the amazing June sun certainly helped, but even so the views were spectacular, so I’d certainly recommend taking the train to Edinburgh if you find yourself contemplating modes of transport when heading north of the border.

We held the meeting at the new Kimpton property in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh - which lived up to its reputation as a fine hotel with a genuine Scottish welcome. Our partnership with Criton ensured a great turnout from local hoteliers and hospitality businesses. Sarah Duignan from STR delivered a comprehensive overview of the local market both historically and looking forward - which was well received by a thoroughly engaged audience.

We then went on to discuss “Why Revenue Management is the New Black!” With the overview being:

“With a backdrop of falling ADRs and the likelihood of them continuing to fall given the current economic and political uncertainty, hotels must look for other ways to drive profit. How hotels increase total income is clearly dependent on location and strategy, our panel will update on current trends and take a look at what is happening in the world of holistic revenue management.”

The panellists were happy to share their experiences and advice for maximising revenues. I was lucky enough to have Julie Grieve from Criton, Sarah from STR and Lesley Reid from IHG answering my questions, so a more diverse and informed panel would have been hard to find. We could have gone on for hours, but the Prosecco and networking was calling! The debate and conversations though did go on for hours - and I am sure a good time was had by all. A big thank you to Criton for supporting this event and to all who helped put the evening together.

We can now celebrate that school’s out, summer has arrived and HOSPACE is just around the corner! We have reduced the exhibition area at HOSPACE this year to ensure we maintain our integrity as a conference rather than a trade show. Both have their place of course, but sharing HOSPA’s wealth of industry knowledge is our primary objective and I know you will not be disappointed with the line-up of speakers this year. Just in case you don’t have it in your diary, please pop it in now: 28th November at The Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.


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