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Are hotels making the most out of the technology they have? This is becoming a crucial question for leaders to ask as technology takes on a greater share of daily operations. Hotel property-management systems provide a vast array of capabilities, but it’s up to the technology provider to keep operators informed of what those capabilities are. Otherwise, operators could spend unnecessary time and money moving from one perfectly capable system to an unfamiliar and less effective one, costing them valuable time, capital, and resources for implementation and training, only to find they are no better off and in fact, regret making a change at all.

There is no room for things that don’t work, and hoteliers are right to seek alternatives when the services or technologies they invest in fall short of their needs and expectations. Before hotels decide to part ways with their tech partners, however, they should take stock of what they already have, develop their needs list, and ask the incumbent vendor the big questions.

A Critical Eye

First, it is worth the time investment for hoteliers to do a full internal assessment of their hotel’s procedures, needs, and any frustrations they may have with their available technology. If a hotel’s operations or revenue management team are consistently encountering challenges or limitations with the technology they are working with, it’s important to first identify where these pain points can be sourced.

Which integrations does your hotel require that are not yet in place? What is getting in the way of introducing new technology or services to your property and who will spearhead the change process? When do you plan to implement new technology? And, what is your hotel’s technology aspiration over the next five years? By asking these questions, hoteliers can identify issues to raise with the PMS partner and work towards developing a workable plan to address all the above.

Assessments are also useful for identifying potential shortcomings across your hotel’s tech stack. The hotel PMS serves as a gateway to nearly all areas of a hotel’s digital operations. Sometimes glitches deep within your hotel tech stack manifest themselves through the PMS, and occasionally these issues may even provide clues as to where a hotel’s tech strategy needs improvement.

When hoteliers bring concrete, actionable questions to their PMS vendor’s attention, it often presents an opportunity for both parties to better understand each other’s needs and work cooperatively to pave a path towards success. Sometimes hoteliers can be made alerted to existing or new capabilities within their PMS which they were not otherwise aware of, and when identified, often provide a solution to their concerns.

Money Well Spent

Hospitality is a fast-paced industry and hotel professionals don’t always have the time to stay on top of every new development that comes to the technology they use. Many hotels have struggled to operate recently under the strain of a prolonged labor shortage, leading to a slower adoption of some aspects of new technology. This, paired with staff turnovers and gaps in communication, can lead to poor usage and a lack of understanding as to what their existing tools are even capable of or have available, often with no cost software updates.

It’s also not uncommon that issues resulting from the complexities of a hotels tech stack, for example their booking engine or digital guest engagement tech, are throwing a wrench in their operational success. Hoteliers may run into trouble diagnosing these types of issues on their own, and these concerns are often best addressed by a hotel’s technology consultants. Your PMS vendor should also be able and willing to be transparently confronted on technology concerns in a way that provides clarity and an opportunity to work together to address those concerns.

Real Support

It’s up to tech providers to provide the necessary information, education and follow up to ensure their hotel partners know exactly what they have access to and what is available in their current solutions, but it’s also hoteliers’ responsibility to educate themselves and speak up when they have an issue. If hotel leaders have concerns about technology and feel their concerns are not being addressed, they should let their technology partners know, giving them the opportunity to address their concerns as part of their aftercare service. On many occasions what is a headache for hoteliers may be deemed a simple fix or upgrade to a newer version without the need to go to market for a new technology solution. Tech vendors are competing over the value their tools provide to business owners and having a frank discussion regarding your hotel’s needs and goals goes a long way toward finding where operational bottlenecks or disconnects are taking place on property.

While most technology vendors offer e-learning tools and email blasts with pertinent information on new technology and its capabilities, it’s easy for this all to get lost in the deluge of electronic communications hotels are fielding each day. These are critical systems that need consistent attention to maximize their usefulness, and hotels would be well served to identify someone on property who can take the lead when handling communications with technology partners and champion the systems’ performance and strategy.

Revenue managers, IT managers, or whoever else takes on this responsibility can learn a great deal about the way their tech capabilities have evolved with annual or bi-annual strategy calls with vendors. Additionally, technology support personnel tend to be some of the most knowledgeable sources when learning about a service’s new capabilities. If your property is looking for new solutions to old problems, support staff may have an answer or even advice about how to use features. Listen to your team members, promote and educate new champions to replace champions that have moved on, collect information from your current technology providers, and you just may find that what you were looking for was there all along.

The operational byproduct of enhanced automation, digital interactions, and predictive data analysis has made the business of running hotels more complicated. However, hotels do not have to manage all these moving parts alone. By making use of their partnerships and fully leveraging their existing tools, operators have the potential to tap into capabilities they may not even know they have, until they ask.

 
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Vancouver, BC (November 25, 2021): The BC Hotel Association is pleased to see Bill C-2, An Act to provide further support in response to COVID-19 introduced in the House of Commons, that will be a lifeline to tourism and hospitality operators across British Columbia and Canada. This is the first Bill introduced to support the new Liberal Government’s commitments to save businesses and jobs that are critical to Canada’s economy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant devastation to the entire tourism and hospitality sector, resulting in catastrophic losses due to restrictions such as border closures, travel bans, heightened health protocols, and the temporary erasure of the events and international tourism markets.

“These past 20 months have been incredibly taxing on our provincial accommodation community and we have heard from business owners time and again that Federal support programs have been the single greatest resource to keep doors open and workers employed,” said Ingrid Jarrett, President and CEO of the BC Hotel Association. "Without this legislation, businesses would close, our economy would take a tremendous hit, and we would see a devastating impact on each and every community in our province. We are so grateful that this Bill recognizes our industry, our employees, and that our voice has been heard.”

This legislation was made possible because of the incredible efforts of the Hardest Hit Coalition along with the engagement of the federal Cabinet and the broad-base support among all Members of Parliament in the House of Commons.

“While we celebrate this recognition, there is still considerable work to be done as our industry's immediate focus is getting the legislation passed before the holiday season,” said Jarrett. “We are working hard to engage with MPs, urging them to pass this Bill as quickly as possible, with the aim of ensuring continued support to the tourism network in Canada.”

 
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Vancouver, BC (November 25, 2021): The British Columbia Hotel Association(BCHA) is pleased to introduce its new board of directors, following the organization’s virtual AGM on November 17. The 2021 BCHA Board of Directors will provide strategic leadership, vision, and commitment to the sector, working towards industry resilience and recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, workforce shortages, and wildfire and flooding crises.

The 2021 BCHA board welcomes three new Board Directors and is comprised by a team of industry leaders from diverse regions across the province. They are:

  • Bryan Pilbeam – Delta by Marriott Hotels, Kamloops
  • Brian Rohl – Coast Hotels Limited, Vancouver
  • Chris Watson – Best Western Plus Carlton Plaza, Victoria
  • David MacKenzie – Pemberton Valley Lodge, Pemberton
  • David McQuinn – Coast Bastion Hotel, Nanaimo
  • Doug Andrews – The Listel Hotel, Whistler
  • Eleanor Ryan – Pomeroy Inn & Suites and Stonebridge Hotel Fort St. John, Fort St.John
  • Jessica Dolan – Ramada Penticton, Penticton (new Board Director)
  • John Kearns – Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, Surrey
  • Jonas Melin – Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfrontv, Vancouver
  • Leo Saad – Best Western Plus Chateau, Fort St. John (new Board Director)
  • Ravinder Dhaliwal – Mundi Hotel Enterprises Inc., Kamloops
  • Scott Johnson – Holiday Inn Express Metrotown, Burnaby
  • Stephen Roughley – Marriott Victoria Inner Harbour, Victoria
  • Stewart Instance – Best Western Tin Wis Resort, Tofino
  • Tanya Stroinig – Prestige Hotels & Resorts, Kelowna (new Board Director)
  • Vivek Sharma – Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Fairmont Hot Springs
  • The BCHA Board of Directors is pleased to also announce the appointments of its officers including David McQuinn, General Manager of Coast Bastion Hotel, who will serve as Vice Chair; Ravinder Dhaliwal, Chief Financial Officer at Mundi Hotel Enterprises Inc., who will serve as Treasurer; along with David MacKenzie, Owner and General Manager of Pemberton Valley Lodge; Vivek Sharma, CEO of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort; and Stephen Roughley, General Manager at Atlific Hotels & Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour, who will each serve as Executive Directors. John Kearns, General Manager of Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, will remain as Past Chair and Governance Chair.

    “I am honoured to be working closely with this exceptional group of new and returning board members as we recover from the multiple crises that have impacted our province these past 20 months” said Bryan Pilbeam, BCHA Chair. “Each board member has demonstrated tremendous drive, leadership, and a sincere commitment to achieve significant successes for our sector in 2022. This recent chapter in our province’s history has been exceptionally challenging for all British Columbians and our industry at large. Supported by the strength and tenacity of our board, along with our President and CEO, Ingrid Jarrett, we look forward to growing our vibrant sector and offering residents and visitors from across the globe a safe space to rest as they rediscover all that makes British Columbia a world-class destination.”

    Over the course of the pandemic, and throughout recent natural disasters, the BCHA has worked alongside Emergency Management BC (EMBC) to connect displaced citizens and evacuees with safe accommodation in nearby communities.

    “We have all held the communities of Abbotsford, Merritt, and other regions impacted by recent extreme weather conditions closely in our hearts and are proud to assist the province in providing safe shelter for those who have been forced to evacuate” said Pilbeam. “We applaud the volunteers and rescue workers for their extreme level of dedication and tireless efforts to support our communities and keep British Columbians safe.”

    The BCHA Board of Directors recently completed SuperHost® Service for All, an equity, diversity, and inclusion training course offered through go2HR. With a sincere commitment to adopt practices that will accelerate equity and create opportunity for future generations, the BCHA has also committed to The 50-30 Challenge, with the intention of meeting diversity objectives by 2024.
 
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At a time when 2 of every 3 accommodation businesses see labour issues as a significant business impediment, one hotelier is proving the competitive advantage of a positive corporate culture when it comes to growth and retention.

Today, Accent Inns Inc. was named one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures in 2021 by Waterstone Human Capital, a rare recognition for a first-time applicant. A 35-year-old, B.C.-based, family-run business, Accent Inns Inc. operates eight hotels across the province, including the recently opened Hotel Zed in Tofino, B.C. This summer also marked Accent Inns Inc.’s first foray into the restaurant business with the opening of Roar, a 165- seat restaurant and bar located in Hotel Zed Tofino.

According to Waterstone Human Capital, the Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures award for Accent Inns Inc. exemplifies why culture is so important for sustaining businesses.

“My first priority has always been to create a workplace where the most important metric is the happiness of my staff,” said CEO Mandy Farmer, who was also the recipient of the 2020 Excellence Award under the category of the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. “Having an amazing culture that puts staff first is not just a competitive advantage, it’s critical for business.”

“My philosophy is to lead with love and over the past two years especially, this philosophy has been essential for staff retention, community engagement and overall business,” said Farmer. Leading with love includes reducing and eliminating daily stressors for all staff, providing family scholarships and creating her own “Got Your Back Fund” designed to help employees going through hard times, including covering unexpected childcare costs or reuniting overseas families.

Farmer also has her own happiness index which she surveys regularly. In the summer of 2020 amidst the pandemic, the survey showed over 97 per cent of Accent Inns employees reporting that they were happy. Excluding Hotel Zed Tofino which opened in 2020, 83 per cent of staff have been with the company for over five years.

Despite occupancies originally grinding down during the onset of COVID-19, the hotel industry has proven to be extremely resilient and crucially important to local communities as proven by the need during recent natural disasters, leading to a growing demand for labour. According to Tourism HR’s Employment Tracker, B.C.’s current tourism and hospitality employs around 300,000 workers, a number that is about the same as the employment number in 2020 when travel was discouraged by provincial authorities. In contrast, 2019 saw 350,000 people employed by the sector.

“Our industry takes great pride in witnessing the countless ways that Mandy and the entire Accent Inns team have raised the bar for our global accommodation sector” said Ingrid Jarrett, President and CEO of the British Columbia Hotel Association. “A genuine commitment to hospitality begins with kindness and care towards those we employ, and Mandy’s people-first philosophy illustrates the remarkable impact that investing in the happiness of employees can have.”

Farmer and her team are celebrating their Most Admired Corporate Culture win by celebrating with their hardworking teams across the province.

 
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TORONTONov. 23, 2021 /CNW/ - Today, Toronto-based K2 Group announces the acquisition of Travelodge by Wyndham Niagara Falls Lundy's Lane. The hotel, a short jaunt from the Canada One Factory Outlets, is nestled among a host of vibrant and value-packed shopping, entertainment, and dining experiences. The Travelodge Lundy's Lane is ideal for business and leisure travelers alike, allowing for productivity on the road without overcomplicating the guest experience.

The hotel boasts many amenities and services that give it a strong competitive edge over other hotels on Lundy's Lane. The property will be fully-renovated with enhancements to the indoor and outdoor pools, restaurant, fitness center, meeting spaces, banquet halls and 118 guest rooms. A Starbucks Express is also slated to open on-site by the end of the year, and negotiations for a new franchise food and beverage offering are already underway to occupy the existing restaurant and will be announced soon.

"We are happy to welcome K2 Group as the newest owners of a Travelodge by Wyndham property within Canada," says Trevor Hagel, Executive Vice President of Operations, Travelodge Canada. "As the current ownership and operating group of the nearby Ramada Fallsview, one of the only hotels in the region to have remained open throughout the pandemic, they will certainly provide strong leadership and leading-edge improvements to the property."

"Through recent and pending transactional activity, we are refining, enhancing, and growing our existing hotel portfolio while increasing our exposure to a market with already strong growth trajectories," says Kailash Kasal, President of K2 Group. "Niagara Falls is one of Canada's most visited tourist destinations, and we look forward to working with Superior Lodging and Wyndham to enhance the already exceptional Travelodge experience and offer our guests the highest standard of hospitality."

"We are excited to see K2 Group continue to invest in Niagara Falls," says Mayor Jim DiodatiCity of Niagara Falls. "We look forward to working closely with the K2 team as they continue their work in up-levelling and developing more properties in our community."

 

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