Hotel Technology Summit opens with reaffirming commitment to next-gen travellers experience
Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 17 novembre 2016
At a time when many hospitality brands in the Middle East are dealing with economic uncertainty, it is vital to turn to innovation and technology adoption in order to maintain healthy profit margins and even continue to stimulate growth.Today, hospitality leaders from the Middle East gathered at the Park Hyatt in Dubai for the 20th edition of Hotel Technology Summit, organised by business facilitation company Naseba, in partnership with Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals (HFTP) – the leading global hospitality association and organisers of HITEC, the world’s largest hospitality technology show.
Nancy Wolff, Vice President – Hotel Systems at Jumeirah Group, opened the tech talk discussing the latest technology trends and the need for hoteliers to carefully evaluate upcoming technical opportunities and choose only those that will guarantee an increase in market share and guest experience.As the summit was chaired by Lyle Worthington, CHTP, Global President at Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), he also moderated a panel discussion on “Smart hospitality solutions to increase profitability in turbulent times”, and noted that as occupancy rates are decreasing, hoteliers are on the lookout for the most effective tools to increase market share, cut costs and acquire and retain guests.After a strong panel discussion, a talk show highlighted the latest technologies to wow guests, improve customer experience and reduce costs while increasing efficiency with the help of Prashant Dutta, Vice President of Information Technology at Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts, and John Rees, Senior Director of Operations MENA at Marriott International. Questions were fired back and forth between the audience and speakers as the attendees tried to understand some of the major trends that are having a large impact on the hospitality industry in the Middle East by making technology infrastructure more flexible and improving overall guest experience.The second panel discussed the most effective practices to secure hotels from cyber threats, featuring contributions from Jeroen Wisse, IT Director Middle East at Accor Hotels Middle East; Nigel Hattersley, Regional Director of IT at Starwood Hotels & Resorts; Roy Verrips, Area Director of Information Systems at Hyatt Hotels; and Mahmoud Kamal, Chief Information Officer at Al Habtoor Hotels.Wisse noted “As in any sector, cyber security within hotels and hospitality businesses is no longer the sole responsibility of IT departments. Cyber security awareness and the mitigation of cyber threats is now, at least in part, the responsibility of every department, and of each individual who handles data as part of their duties. Guests trust us with their private information, and the protection of that information is vitally important in order to maintain that trust.” The interactive panel discussion was followed by a networking business lunch and open business meetings which incorporated live product demonstrations by leading technology solution providers. Attendees concluded the day with a series of interactive round tables and departed with a real sense of progress. They delved into key topics for today’s hoteliers, including hotel asset and inventory management using RFID; innovations in data storage and processing to boost revenue; mobility and cloud computing; and how smart networks can streamline hospitality supply chains. The roundtables benefited from the input of seasoned hospitality leaders like Dimitris Petinos, VP Marketing and International Sales at MCOM Media Communications, Ismail AlKamal, Chief Executive Officer of Nawatt, Emmanuel Clavé, VP GCC & India, Product Director Mobile App / EPOS at Xn protel Systems, Mohammed Ayaz, Division Manager ELV Systems at Ateco.The 20th Hotel Technology Summit was supported by leading sponsors including Ateco, Nawatt, Xn protel Systems, Akamai Technologies, Idiso, Al Maria, MCOM Media Communications, Network International, Pagero and Infor. (photo: naseba)