06 Dec EnsembleIQ’s Hospitality Technology Announces 2022 Hotel Visionary Award Winners
Hilton, Hyatt, Life House Honored for Outstanding Leadership, Vision and Technology Innovation
Chicago, December 6, 2022 — EnsembleIQ’s Hospitality Technology, the only business intelligence provider of technology solution insights and actionable connections to hotel and restaurant operators, is proud to announce today the winners of its 2022 Hotel Visionary Awards.
Every year, this program honors a select group of lodging companies for outstanding leadership, vision and technical innovation in two distinct categories: Enterprise Innovation, and Customer-Facing Innovation. This year’s 17th annual awards were presented during HT-NEXT, an event hosted by Hospitality Technology with Hospitality Technology Next Generation at the Fontainebleau Miami. Winners also will participate in a Dec. 8 panel discussion of their winning initiatives and consumer tech trends.
“This year’s Hotel Visionary Award winners demonstrate how integral technology has become to the lodging industry—creating the frictionless experiences guests demand while providing critical operational support to the workforce,” said Robert Firpo-Cappiello, editor-in-chief, Hospitality Technology. “We look forward to welcoming these hotel IT leaders to the stage at HT-NEXT to share their transformative tech solutions, and deliver inspiration and key takeaways to our attendees.”
2022 Customer-Facing Innovation Winner: Hyatt
Historically, digital keys haven’t always been simpler or easier to use than a plastic key. It can take up to 30 seconds for a guest to unlock their phone, find the hotel’s app, navigate to the digital key, and hold it to the door. Hyatt was not satisfied with the common Bluetooth, in-app digital key experience, and so it teamed up with Apple, Assa Abloy, and HAPI to create a completely new digital key experience. Room Key in Apple Wallet allows guests to use their digital key in two seconds or less, can be accessed for up to six hours after a phone’s battery is depleted, and is proactively updated with room changes. In hotels where Room Key in Apple Wallet has been rolled out, Hyatt has witnessed a 4x improvement in digital key engagement. Guest net promoter scores for those who use the technology are measurably higher than those staying at the hotel who didn’t use it.
“Everything we do at Hyatt starts with listening to our guests and members,” said Benjamin Weiss, vice president, digital product management, Hyatt. “We heard there was an opportunity to enhance the experience we offered for digital keys and that became our vision. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, and it would require not only state-of-the-art hardware and software, but also strategic collaborations to achieve. By working with Apple, Assa Abloy, and HAPI, we built a digital key that requires nothing more than raising an iPhone or Apple Watch to the door lock to access the room, the elevator, the garage, and shared spaces in the hotel.”
2022 Enterprise Innovation Winner: Life House
Revenue management is a complicated process that when done correctly offers dynamic pricing, distribution and digital marketing (especially in PPC channels). It often requires highly skilled data scientists, marketers and sophisticated software to be done well. Additionally, many of the revenue management systems currently available act more as pricing systems, meaning that hoteliers miss out on important revenue opportunities. To solve this problem, Life House built a revenue management and marketing system. The software comprehensively manages all revenue for a hotel, automatically leveraging AI-based pricing algorithms, automated metasearch marketing, and distribution. In particular, it uses metadata to direct online searchers away from OTAs and back to the hotel’s website featuring lower prices. This results in maximized revenues for hoteliers. For example, Life House manages an ultra luxury hotel in a market with very low demand. However, it was able to drive 75 percent of revenue from direct bookings, with eight times the web traffic versus the prior website. This helped increase room profit 58 percent and gross operating profit 678 percent to turn around the historically unprofitable hotel. This type of success has been replicated across the brand at both properties it owns and at properties it manages.
“We are honored to be recognized among so many luminaries for the work that we’re doing to drive positive change for hotel owners and guests. As a disruptor, this accolade makes us feel quite optimistic about the future of the hotel industry and its receptivity to modern software and change. We’re excited and privileged to be helping pave the way,” said Rami Zeidan, CEO and founder of Life House.
2022 Enterprise Innovation Winner: Hilton
Hilton recently found itself in need of a new central reservation system. The one it had in place was more than 30 years old and had begun to severely limit the brand’s ability to meet the demand for inventory distribution as shopping traffic grew exponentially. It also consumed support resources and required a prodigious budget to maintain. So, the brand developed a new CRS in-house. The project took two years to complete, but at the end of it, Hilton became one of the first hotel companies to run its entire reservation system in the cloud. The modernized CRS system not only enabled Hilton to maintain ownership but also to continuously deliver new solutions. This platform has enabled innovations including Confirmed Connecting Room, property-controlled bookable add-ons, near real-time revenue management and the rollout of a cloud-based PMS to almost 10 percent of the estate. And the new CRS has delivered some amazing operational savings including a 95 percent reduction in the scheduled maintenance downtime.
“As a leader in hospitality technology, Hilton is always looking for opportunities to enhance the guest experience through continued technological innovation,” said Lee Graham, vice president of platform architecture, Hilton. “Our new CRS system exemplifies that commitment, and we are honored to be recognized by Hospitality Technology as we seek original and creative solutions to address industry friction points.”
About The Event
Hospitality Technology and Hospitality Technology Next Generation are collaborating for the sixth year in a row to host HT-NEXT, a unique conference for the hospitality technology industry. HT-NEXT, at the Fontainebleau Miami, is bringing together hotel technology solution providers with leaders and influencers from leading hotel companies spanning IT, finance, marketing, distribution and operations. The event typically attracts nearly 400 hospitality professionals. After the event, 87% of attendees report they have met a valuable new contact at the show, and 97% of attendees have said they brought back a specific idea to implement at their organization. HT-NEXT features emerging trends and the ability to dig in to work together to solve current industry problems. The program features thought-provoking keynotes, diverse educational sessions, HTNG workgroups, and an exhibit hall showcasing cutting-edge solutions.
For Hospitality Technology partnership opportunities contact Abby Lorden, [email protected].
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Brand Marketing Manager
Hospitality Technology[email protected]