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    LG Electronics, the leading provider of in-room hotel TVs, is introducing the world’s first commercial television sets to feature Apple AirPlay technology support for hotels, offering guests a seamless and secure way to share content from their iPhone or iPad to their guest room TV.
    Speaking in advance of next week’s HITEC hospitality technology trade show, Michael Kosla, hospitality vice president at LG Business Solutions USA, said AirPlay will be available to guests on LG Pro:Centric® Smart Hotel TVs starting later this year at select properties.
    “This is a major advancement for in-room entertainment in the travel and hospitality industry, and underscores how closely we are listening to the needs of consumers who increasingly demand simple access to their personal media options on the biggest screen, wherever they are,” Kosla said. “Hotels that offer this feature will have an immediate leg up with travelers who use Apple devices, boosting guest satisfaction while providing real differentiation from local competition.”
    LG Electronics and Apple worked together to ensure that AirPlay will be as easy to use as when at home. Guests will connect their iPhone or iPad securely to the LG smart hotel TV by simply scanning a unique QR code. With no logins or passwords to remember and no separate app to download, this will be the simplest way for a hotel to enable guests to access their personal entertainment apps and accounts on the big screen in their room.
    Built on a foundation of privacy and security, AirPlay allows guests to stream, control and share videos, photos, music and more from their iPhone or iPad to the smart, in-room LG TV so they can watch popular streaming services* such as Apple TV+, rehearse presentations, enjoy vacation photos, and more, in the comfort of their hotel room.ADVERTISEMENTLG is the first display manufacturer to confirm AirPlay integration following Apple’s announcement at the company’s WWDC23 event earlier this month revealing that AirPlay will be available in hotels. The collaboration demonstrates LG’s dedication to innovations that empower hotels to enhance guest satisfaction.
    Hotel operators will be able to start offering AirPlay capability on LG smart hotel TVs later this year. AirPlay capability will be available on 2023 LG smart hotel TVs and on recent year’s models.
    For more information about LG’s hospitality-focused products shown at HITEC 2023, click here.

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    Sherry Marek and Mark Heymann; Honored at HITEC Toronto Next Month

    Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) is pleased to announce two champions of hospitality technology, Sherry Marek and Mark Heymann as the 2023 HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame inductees, both recognized for innovating a pioneering technology solution specific to hospitality.Marek is co-founder of Datavision Technologies, retired and continues to share her experience as owner of Aiken Street Consulting and a mentor for women in the technology profession. Mark Heymann is founder of Unifocus and currently the managing director at Mark Heymann & Associates. The 2023 inductees will be honored at the upcoming Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®) in Toronto on June 26, 2023.
    The International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame is HFTP’s highest level of recognition in the area of technology. Since 1989, 53 individuals have received this award as a reflection of their contributions to the hospitality industry.
    “This recognition is a true career honor, especially because it is the outcome of a professional endeavor I have a real passion for, which is a privilege itself,” said Marek. “I am pleased to be alongside a group of outstanding professionals, each with their own specialties all culminating in the excellence and progress of the hospitality technology industry. As I look forward, I am excited to be able to share my decades of expertise as a mentor to other women coming up in the field.”
    Marek started her career in the mid-’80s at Hilton International and InterContinental Hotels, focusing primarily on front of house systems where she worked extensively with system users and vendors at properties across the globe. This experience led her to recognize a struggle with reporting – whether it was tapping into the data inside a single system or consolidating data across systems.
    This insight led her to co-found Datavision Technologies and create the first true business intelligence (BI) system for hospitality. Even though the system was Initially designed to create automated daily flash reports for general managers and controllers, Marek soon realized that it would be more effective if the information was put in the hands of all users, not just management. Today, Datavision ingests detailed data from a variety of on-premise and cloud data sources (PMS, POS, Back Office, Comp Set, Labor, Guest Survey, Google Analytics, etc.) and is used across the enterprise to solve different business needs.ADVERTISEMENTOver the last decade, Marek has been focused on promoting women in STEM fields as well as within the hospitality industry. She is working with the Business Analytics department at the University of Iowa, planning and speaking at the Women in Analytics and Leadership conference. For the past few years, she has been a contributor to Hospitality Upgrade’s “MentorSeries” — articles focused on hearing from women at different ages and at different stages of their career. Marek is also a member of various industry councils, including the HITEC Educational Advisory Council.
    “I am truly honored by this recognition from HFTP,” said Heymann. “Since the start of the PC age, myself and other individuals that I’ve worked with have striven to present to the industry advanced decision-making tools that help managers and staff improve their overall work-life balance. While at the same time helping the industry progress to meet the challenges of yesterday’s and today’s diverse workforce. I would be remiss in not pointing out that I share this honor with all the individuals that contributed over the years to the advancements of this type of technology and specifically to my career. I look forward to sharing this knowledge in the future with the industry as it continues to address the new labor demands that it is facing.”
    Since the 1970s, Mark Heymann has served as the pioneering face of labor management technology innovation for hospitality-based organizations. A graduate of both Brown University and Columbia University, Heymann was the first to relate service quality levels to a business’s ability to effectively manage their labor resources.
    Leveraging his years of experience in serving as an industry consultant as well as his expertise in software and asset management, Heymann as founder and president of Heymann Group, Inc. spearheaded the development of modern labor management system technology. Initially introduced in the early-’80s, it wasn’t until around 1991 under the name Watson R.M™, Heymann’s resource and labor management solution served as a catalyst for providing hotels and restaurants with data-driven insight into how they could staff according to fluctuations in service demand.
    Following his successes, Heymann went on to found Unifocus following a merger between Heymann Group, Inc. and Strategic Quantitative Solutions in 1998. As founder and CEO of Unifocus, Heymann helmed the first company to ever focus its efforts on developing the full array of labor and performance management systems specifically intended for the needs of the hospitality industry.
    Under the Unifocus brand, industry firsts achieved by Heymann include automated scheduling technology equipped with intelligent algorithms that eliminate guesswork in the creating of optimized schedules. Other advancements credited to Heymann include the development of one of the industry’s first touch-screen time clocks and task-based labor platforms for meetings and conventions.
    HITEC North America will take place on June 26–29 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ont. Canada. Produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals, HITEC is the world’s largest and longest-running hospitality technology exposition and conference. It offers a unique combination of top-notch hospitality technology education, led by industry peers and experts, and an unparalleled trade show showcasing the latest hospitality technology products and services. The 2023 event is expecting 6,000+ attendees and 320+ exhibiting companies. Registration for HITEC Toronto is open.

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    IDS Next Enter Collaboration with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

    IDS Next, a leading hotel software providing smart solutions to hospitality businesses in Southeast Asia, has entered a collaboration with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts to provide a new loyalty enrolment interface to its branded hotels in the Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa & South East Asia and Pacific regions. Powered by IDS Next’s certified cloud solutions, the new technology will help hotels to improve the enrolment of new members into its loyalty programme Wyndham Rewards, either post-reservation or during their stay in a more convenient, flexible and efficient way. IDS Next will also offer cloud, mobile, and on-premises enterprise hotel full-stack solutions. “This is a significant milestone for both parties, and we are proud to be the first property management solution provider to implement the loyalty enrolment-certified interface across all Wyndham Hotels & Resorts properties in this region,” says Binu Mathews, the CEO of IDS Next.  Nikhil Sharma, Market Managing Director Eurasia of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts adds, “IDS Next is one of most recognised software solutions providers in Asia and adding its advanced interface to our suite of property management tools is testament to our commitment to bring the most innovative technology to our hotels and ultimately providing guests with the best possible experience.”“IDS next is a holistic ERP solution both on premise and cloud that has full two-way integration into Wyndham Central Reservations Systems and Wyndham Rewards. Their impeccable support has been a key driver of our future IT roadmap,” adds Atul Gupta, Sr. Director Hotel Technology Strategy & Services, Global Hotel Systems Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. IDS NEXT also has certified interfaces for TWI (Travel Web Integrator), EDW (Enterprise Data Warehouse), STR (Smith Travel Research) and OTA (Online Travel Agency) insights. This certified and integrated solution will empower Wyndham Hotels & Resorts to efficiently manage its operations in India, satisfy the demands of the contemporary hospitality industry and provide guests with a seamless journey during every interaction. 

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    RCD Hotels Partners with Hudini for Digital Transformation

    RCD Hotels, a leading hotel company with luxury properties in different tourist destinations, with a multi-brand portfolio that includes all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels, Unico 20º87º Hotel Riviera Maya and other luxury brands in Mexico, the Caribbean and the United States, has selected smart hospitality solutions provider, Hudini, to provide its guests with a multi-channel, contactless guest engagement experience across their hotels, resorts, and casinos.
    In selecting Hudini, RCD Hotels will be able to provide its guests with a connected guest journey from pre-arrival to post departure and allow for faster, seamless, contactless and hyper personalized service delivery. Hudini, thanks to its powerful middleware and data management layer, comes preconfigured with a wide selection of APIs that seamlessly connect to over one hundred different hospitality systems. This seamless integration enables each property, and its guests, to manage every step of their journey from online booking and mobile check-in and digital room keys to in-room services, communication, check-out and payments, using a wide range of personal, wearable, and mobile devices. Guests will be able to digitally interact with the hotel from the comfort and security of their personal devices. In addition, guests can access their rooms with a mobile digital key and book, reserve and pay for spa treatments, personal training and F&B with the mobile app.“Our platform is ideally suited for organizations like RCD Hotels, that value the power of digitization.  Through our proprietary middleware we integrate with 100+ best-in-breed technology solutions, and seamlessly connect with hotels’ existing tech stacks. We are honored to have been chosen by RCD Hotels and to support the team on their digital transformation journey,” said Prince Thampi, CEO and founder of Hudini. “Once deployed, hotels can analyze and predict their guests’ needs to deliver a hyper-personalized experience, influence purchasing behavior to generate more revenue, and save valuable time by making services more seamless.”“RCD Hotels has always prided itself in giving its guests an unforgettable experience. The shift to digital services is in keeping with our goal of being a guest-centric brand. Knowing our guests better will only help us serve them better. We have many loyal guests and the digital engagement platform we are building will go a long way to making our loyal guests more satisfied with our products and services.”, said Jose Orlando Cruz of RCD Hotels.Witnessing an unprecedented demand from the hospitality industry, Hudini has doubled its growth in the past 12 months. The global pandemic has not just accelerated the demand for contactless technology to provide a safe and seamless guest experience, but more importantly, has caused a significant shift in mindset when it comes to digital transformation in hospitality.As a brand, RCD Hotels has been a pioneer in the industry since its inception. The company introduced the all-inclusive concept to Mexico nearly three decades ago and has since kept its position as an industry trailblazer with strong traditional roots. RCD Hotels’ previously established success in the luxury market has left a standard of excellence that will become even stronger with this digital transformation.


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    Fairmont Bab Al Bahr announces water-from-air bottling plant

    As 2023 marks the year of sustainability, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr will complete its commitment to replace or remove all plastic items, from toiletries to water bottles. The hotel’s water-from-air bottling plant will be operational by March 2023, allowing for the substitution of the last item on the list, plastic water bottles.A first of its kind in the United Arab Emirates, The Fairmont Bab Al Bahr’s water bottling plant will use advanced technology to produce water from air. This air-to-water process utilises Atmospheric Water Generator, an innovative solution developed by Eshara Water.
    Once produced, the water will be filtered and mineralized, and then filled into reusable, encapsulated glass bottles. Serving a total of 367 luxurious rooms, suites, and villas, as well as all restaurants across the hotel, the plant will produce a total of 4,000 liters of water per day.

    ‌Pushing forward in line with the meaningful innovation, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr aims to continue to moving towards a better, greener and more sustainable environment for the hotel industry.

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    Jumeirah Group Pioneers Industry-First Mobile Check-In Solution in the UAE

    Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hospitality company and member of Dubai Holding, in partnership with Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), introduces Jumeirah Mobile Check-In, an industry-first biometric and digital technology solution.The avantgarde solution empowers guests to complete all check-in formalities prior to arrival through their mobile phone, delivering a seamless arrival experience and reducing the check-in process by up to 10 minutes.
    Showcased during GITEX 2022, the technology allows Jumeirah guests, who booked directly on or its mobile application, to upload all essential identification documentation within 48 hours pre-stay. The process includes an industry-first verification step, where guests take a selfie from their mobile phone and upload this image to complete the check-in process. A digital or physical key, subject to guest preference, is then received upon arrival. In accordance with best practices to ensure privacy and security, and subject to guest approval, the service further uses guest identity to customise and create truly personalised experiences both on and off property.
    Thomas B. Meier, Chief Operating Officer of Jumeirah Group said: “Placing the guest at the heart of all we do is a top priority for Jumeirah Group, and we are always looking at new and innovative solutions to further enhance and personalise our hospitality experience. Jumeirah Mobile Check-In delivers on our promise of Stay Different, providing our guests with a secure, quick and easy check-in process, in addition to simplifying future reservations and facilitating payment processes.”
    The innovative and user-friendly contactless check-in solution integrates Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts’ ecosystem with the UAE Government-approved check-in protocols and security features, providing guests a safe and secure check-in.
    Shaikha Ebrahim AlMutawa, Director – Hospitality Affairs Department, Business and Registration Licensing Sector, Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism said: “We are committed to creating unique value and providing the best guest experience, as we continue to work with our stakeholders and partners to further enhance the overall hospitality offering. We understand that time is precious for our visitors and are constantly exploring ways to make their travel experience in Dubai as seamless as possible by pushing the boundaries of innovation. This novel mobile check-in facility launched by Jumeirah Group promises an unrivalled experience for global travellers, further highlighting Dubai’s position as a must-visit destination.”ADVERTISEMENTCurrently available at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Jumeirah Mobile Check-In will be rolled-out across several of the group’s 13 hotels and resorts in the United Arab Emirates this year.
    For more information, please visit


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    Marriott International Announces Instant Booking Solution for Meetings and Events

    Marriott International and Groups360 today announced the launch of Instant Booking for Marriott’s portfolio of hotels in the United States and Canada. Marriott International is the first brand to have a direct integration with Groups360 to offer the “Instant Book” functionality for both guest rooms and meeting space at scale on GroupSync Marketplace, providing planners with a streamlined booking process at the click of a button.
    As the meetings and events landscape becomes more dynamic, many planners are currently challenged by the lengthy sourcing and contracting process, especially for smaller events. The need to book meeting space separately from guest rooms only adds complexity. GroupSync’s direct integration with Marriott now offers planners access to real-time best available group rates and inventory at over 1,500 Marriott properties across the United States and Canada, with additional growth expected throughout 2023. Once the instant booking is completed on GroupSync, hotels receive instant notification for faster handling and execution of small meetings.* This new capability significantly reduces planning time and directly addresses the needs of Marriott’s group customers.
    In addition, planners now have the benefit of viewing inventory availability before submitting an RFP for more complex events at all Marriott hotels globally. The combination of these new capabilities turns the “sourcing” process into the “shopping” or “buying” process, simplifying the way planners book meetings.

    “Through our collaboration with Groups360, we can now deliver real-time instant booking through GroupSync Marketplace at hotels in the U.S. and Canada,” said Drew Pinto, Global Officer, Global Sales, Distribution and Revenue Management, Marriott International. “This offers our group customers what they have told us they are looking for, which is a much more seamless and efficient booking experience. Our industry-leading integration with Groups360 will also allow all Marriott hotels globally to receive and respond to RFPs quickly and efficiently through a two-way response process. This will be a win-win for both planners and hotels.”ADVERTISEMENT“We are thrilled to have Marriott International join GroupSync Marketplace. Event organizers benefit not only from instant booking for rooms and space but from à la carte catering and equipment ordering, too,” said Kemp Gallineau, CEO, Groups360. “Their involvement is a testament to the commitment to reduce friction in group travel planning and help hoteliers, like Marriott, enhance their customer relationships. With the addition of Marriott International, we anticipate that over 20,000 leading hotel properties will be equipped to offer online group booking in the months ahead.”
    Marriott is celebrating the GroupSync Marketplace launch by giving away 1 million Marriott Bonvoy® points with the Plan to Win Giveaway. To enter the giveaway, instantly book your small event for the chance to win 30,000 points, or book a larger event using GroupSync’s streamlined RFP process at one of Marriott’s extraordinary hotel brands for a chance to win 20,000 points. Visit Marriott-GroupSync Giveaway for complete details and rules.
    *A small meeting is defined as 10-25 guest rooms on peak and/or events for up to 50 attendees, starting 4 days out and up to 1 year out with a maximum length of stay of 7 days.

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