Chicago — January 26, 2021 — Today hotels with in-room voice assistants powered by Volara can enable their guests to leave a gratuity for hotel staff by simply scanning a QR code on Google’s Hotel Solution or uttering a voice command to Amazon’s Alexa. Through a new integration partnership between Volara, the voice hub for hotels, and youtip, a contactless, cashless and “appless” gratuity system for frontline hotel workers, guests now have a contactless way to reward good service without leaving cash or having to download an app. Not only does this solution enable operators to add more money to their employees’ paychecks, but it enhances the hotel’s contactless safety initiative.

“When I read about youtip launching a digital tipping solution, I saw an immediate advantage to featuring their QR code for digital tipping on our contactless guest engagement and touchless room controls solutions,” said Volara CEO Dave Berger. “We firmly believe that today’s frontline hotel workers — who are putting themselves at risk every day during this pandemic — should have every opportunity to safely receive a gratuity. With fewer people carrying cash, and even less service workers feeling comfortable receiving it, leveraging the in-room voice assistant to leave a tip is a no brainer.

“I have had the pleasure to work with youtip Co-founder and CEO Sarah Taveprungsenukul on other integrations in the past and knew that we could quickly bring this joint technology to market,” Berger said. “We believe this collaboration will make adding voice assistants to guestrooms even more valuable to operators, staff, and guests, as voice command is truly the safest way to communicate today.”

Volara provides platform agnostic voice-based conversation management software and a secure integrations hub that voice-enables existing hotel technologies. Its software turns the major natural language processing platforms into a business tool that drives more efficient customer service. In addition to facilitating digital tipping via the Google Hotel Solution, Volara is also enabling guests to ask the popular voice assistant to make calls, play music, watch shows, bring them toiletries, book services, turn on/off TVs, set alarms and more without ever lifting a finger. Guests also are accessing a range of entertainment, information, recommendations, and services just by speaking in their rooms.

Volara can also voice enable digital tipping via youtip on Amazon Alexa devices. Guests simply say things like: “Alexa, leave a tip for the housekeeper.” In addition to leaving a tip, guests will have the opportunity to quickly rate service and leave feedback for the hotel staff.

“We are thrilled that Volara stepped up to be the first integration partner for youtip,” Taveprungsenukul said. “The sky is the limit to youtip’s integration potential. By placing a QR code for digital tipping on Google Nest Hubs or enabling Amazon Alexa devices to initiate the tipping process on voice command, we are enabling operators to put more money in employees’ paychecks, and they can simultaneously benefit from our full transactional reporting and rating and review feature. It’s a win for everyone involved.”

youtip can integrate with other critical business solutions, such as the property-management systems, point-of-sale systems, accounting/payroll solutions, service optimization systems, and voice/text technologies for hotels. Technology companies in the hospitality space who feel their solution, when tied to youtip, will further help hoteliers to recognize and reward today’s unsung heroes are encouraged to contact youtip at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

youtip is PCI compliant and utilizes the built-in security of Apple’s Apple Pay and Google’s G Pay. The company charges a convenience fee on every transaction to the person leaving the tip. QR codes can be leveraged to process both pooled and individual gratuities.

“We are waiving system subscription fees through the end of 2021 to help the hospitality industry recover as quickly as possible,” Taveprungsenukul said, noting that charges may apply for design customizations and third-party integrations, such as PMS, payroll systems and branded mobile applications. “What we are most excited about through this technology launch is that youtip solves two key problems for the service industry: 1) Fewer people are carrying cash, and 2) increased demand for contactless services.”

For more information on youtip, visit For questions about business customization, integration, or enterprise deployment, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Kelowna, BC (January 25, 2021): A couple who took advantage of Hotel Zed’s viral “Nooner Babymaker” package have given birth to a beautiful baby girl, inspiring the campaign’s triumphant return on February 14, 2021.

The bold hotel brand became a media sensation last Valentine’s Day after introducing a playful campaign encouraging lovebirds to indulge in a midday romp (see the coverage in CNN Travel and Travel + Leisure, for starters). As a frisky bonus, the package offered a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years to any guests who birthed a child nine months after check-in. In December, Nicole and Alex – the couple who became pregnant thanks to Hotel Zed’s feisty offering – welcomed a new baby girl into the world, adding to their family of three. 

This year, with safety protocols firmly in place, Hotel Zed is once again encouraging local lovebirds to treat themselves to a saucy, four-hour Valentine’s Day escape. The promotion is open to families of all kinds...however you welcome the baby, whether that be through IVF, surrogacy or adoption is fine by us! As long as the baby arrives within nine months of check-in, the lucky parents will receive a complimentary annual stay for 18 years.

“The Nooner campaign was meant to restore excitement around Valentine’s Day, but we never expected it would create such joy. We were so excited to meet this beautiful baby girl, after nine months of waiting almost as eagerly as her parents!” said Mandy Farmer, president and CEO of Hotel Zed. “We’re looking forward to re-introducing the Nooner this Valentine’s Day, and continuing to spread the love – and meeting Hotel Zed’s love children – for many years to come.” 

Hotel Zed’s Nooner package starts at $49 for four hours; to extend the romance, splurge on an overnight stay for $79 in Kelowna, $99 in Victoria and $169 in Tofino. While the campaign is targeted to locals, the Hotel Zed team looks forward to welcoming out-of-town travellers when it’s safe to do so. For more information, or to book,


The completely touchless all-in-one Next Generation WashBar® by Bradley Corp., innovator of touch-free handwashing products for 100 years, has received the prominent 2020 GOOD DESIGN® Award. The internationally recognized award is presented by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design in cooperation with the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Next Generation WashBar earned a winning designation in GOOD DESIGN’s Bath/Accessories category.

Next Generation WashBar is the newest model of Bradley’s innovative touch-free WashBar® series. The latest design delivers advanced touchless clean+rinse+dry technology along with an ultra-modern, edgier profile that improves hygiene and elevates the look of today’s commercial washrooms.

The Next Generation model features a thin, L-shaped design that gives the feel the all-in-one fixture is floating above the sink. With only one connection point to the sink, the unique design provides more open space for easier cleaning while providing a striking design element.

GOOD DESIGN is renowned as the world's most prestigious and oldest product design award program. Founded in 1950 by architects Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, and Edgar Kaufmann Jr., GOOD DESIGN recognizes outstanding product design, innovation and sustainability among new consumer products designed and manufactured in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America.

“Bradley is honored to have won the prestigious 2021 GOOD DESIGN Award for Next Generation WashBar,” said Jon Dommisse, director of global strategy and corporate development, Bradley Corp. “The WashBar series has been a gamechanger for our customers in terms of its touch-free functionality, cleanliness and maintenance. We designed the Next Generation WashBar to build on those benefits with a streamlined aesthetic that makes a statement in restrooms. Its superslim angular shape – complemented by its flat top surface – reflects modern architecture and interior design.

New iconic profile delivers high-tech hand hygiene

Designed to enhance all the fundamentals of handwashing, the Next Generation WashBar combines touch-free soap, water and dryer. The durable chrome-plated cast alloy fixture features LED lighting to visually orient the user through the handwashing process with easy-to-identify icons on top of the bar. Using a bowl designed to work with the fixture keeps water in the bowl to avoid splashing outside the basin onto the floor, walls or user, improving washroom cleanliness and safety. Its integration of soap, water and dryer into one sleek fixture eliminates deck and washroom clutter.

In 2021, Bradley adds five new beautiful finishes to its entire WashBar series to complement every designer’s vision for washroom design.

In addition to GOOD DESIGN, Next Generation WashBar has been recognized with seven other product design awards in 2020.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021, Bradley has created the most advanced, coordinated commercial washrooms and comprehensive emergency safety solutions that make public environments hygienic and safe. Dedicated to innovating healthy handwashing technologies, Bradley is the industry's leading source for the most sanitary multi-function touchless handwashing and drying fixtures. Washroom accessories, partitions, solid plastic lockers, as well as emergency safety fixtures and electric tankless heaters for industrial applications round out its product offerings. Headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wis., USA, Bradley serves commercial, institutional and industrial building markets worldwide.


More than half (53%) of Americans say the level of cleanliness in a hotel they visit would impact their intent to book a future stay at the property, according to a new survey. Conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Whittaker, the leader in low-moisture carpet care, fromOctober 29 - November 2, 2020 among 2,047 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, the survey also revealed that the level of cleanliness in a hotel would impact the perception of the hotel for 49% of Americans.

“Most hotels can’t afford to send half of their guests packing if the level of cleanliness is not up to their expectations,” said Joe Bshero, Director of Technical Services at Whittaker. “Maintaining clean rooms, lobbies, dining areas and fitness centers is key, especially given new concerns about cleanliness amid the pandemic.”

The survey also found that the level of cleanliness in a hotel would influence:

  • More than two in five Americans’ (44%) desire to recommend the hotel to friends, family or colleagues
  • How much time 39% of Americans spend in the hotel
  • How much money nearly one third (32%) of Americans spend in the hotel
  • 28% of Americans’ intent to book a future event at the hotel

“Proper carpet care is an important maintenance process, as many guests notice flooring upon entry into a hotel,” added Bshero. “Shoes and luggage can track in soils that dirty carpet, but regular vacuuming and cleaning can remove contaminants to make carpet look new again.”

Whittaker’s line of Smart Care® low-moisture carpet care machines and CRYSTAL® Chemistry give facility managers and housekeeping teams a quick and easy way to lift soils from carpet fibers and address new and set-in stains. Learn more at


International tourism numbers could drop by 58% to 78% in 2020. According to the research data analyzed and gathered by, it would lead to a loss of $910 billion to $1.2 trillion in tourism exports which amounted to $1.5 trillion in 2019.

Based on a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report, the tourism industry’s woes will cause a loss of 1.5% to 2.8% on global GDP. It would translate to a $1.17 trillion to $2.22 trillion loss for the global economy.

$730 Billion Lost in Tourism Exports from January to August 2020

Tourism is ranked as the third largest export sector in the global economy. It accounts for over 30% of exports for many of the small island developing states (SIDS).

For some islands like St. Lucia, the figure is actually 90%. In 2019, tourism accounted for 10% of all exports in Africa. Worldwide, it generated 7% of all trade and employed 1 in 10 people. Moreover, there were 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals and 8.8 billion domestic arrivals in 2019.

On the other hand, between January and August 2020, the number of international tourist arrivals dropped by 70% according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). It resulted in a $730 billion loss for tourism exports. This was eight times the losses experienced throughout the 2009 global financial crisis. APAC led the way with a 79% drop while Africa and EMEA shed 69% each.

During the first four months of 2020, the US saw the highest loss in tourism revenue, losing $30.71 billion. Countries in Europe accounted for 50% of the top 10 regions that suffered the highest revenue losses. Meanwhile, the Caribbean made up 50% of the top 10 countries that had the highest GDP losses during the period.

China’s domestic tourism sector is projected to suffer a 52% decline in 2020 based on a study by the China Tourism Academy. A report from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) stated that Italy could lose up to €36.7 billion from travel and tourism in 2020.

The full story, statistics and information can be found here:



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