CHICAGO (August 25, 2008) – Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG)
today announced the program for its first Asia-Pacific Members’ Meeting
and Conference, to be held on September 22 and 23, 2008, at the Venetian
“Asia is the biggest growth market for hospitality today, and we have
many active members from the region,” said Douglas C. Rice, Executive Vice
President and Chief Executive Officer of HTNG. “At the same time,
technology in Asia poses major challenges for global and regional hotel
companies trying to meet the rapidly changing technology needs of Asian
hotel guests. Additionally, many technology providers struggle to
adapt their products and services to the nuances of Asian markets, making
it more difficult for hotels to acquire what they need. Our first
Asia-Pacific conference will introduce the Asian hospitality market to
the processes and tools HTNG has used to address many of these problems.”
Active HTNG members from the Asian hotel technology community will lead
many of the sessions. “HTNG has had enjoyed great leadership from
Asia-based hotel companies on its board of directors, so we are able to
put together a program that is largely by and for Asia-based hotel technologists
and their vendors, and that integrates the relevant work that HTNG has
accomplished in North America and Europe,” said Rice.
Some of the sessions being planned, and featured speakers, include:
Matthew Muta, formerly Industry Director for Hospitality at Microsoft
Corporation, and now Director of Technical Strategy for the company’s Envisioning
Team, will discuss the social and economic shifts that will help drive
emerging technologies mainstream in the next five to ten years.
Australian consultant Ted Horner will moderate a session on the
Guestroom of the Future, focusing on how tomorrow’s guest rooms will differ
from today’s and how hotels can future-proof their investments. Panelists
will include Fraser Hickox, recently retired as General Manager of Research
& Technology for The Peninsula Group; Geoff McClelland, Vice President
of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group; and Tony Yeoh, Vice President of Information
Technology for InterContinental Hotels Group.
Alan Lubitz, Chief Technology Officer of Planet Payment, will lead
a session on credit card processing in Asia. The expanding use of
online credit card processing in Asia is being challenged by data security
standards from the credit card industry. These requirements, just
now coming to the forefront in Asia, have already been deployed in North
America and Europe, at great expense to hotels. What can Asian hoteliers
learn from the American and European experiences to minimize the impact
of these changes?
Hong Kong based consultant Terence Ronson of Pertlink, Ltd. will
moderate a session on the migration of hotel technologies from the mechanical
engineering world into the realm – and responsibility - of the Information
Technology department. Environmental controls, televisions, telephones,
door locks, and other systems that were previously stand-alone and mechanical-
or analog-based, are increasingly becoming digital devices that are integrated
into a common network infrastructure. What are the implications of
this for design, construction, and operation of hotels?
Dr. Ruxiang Jin, international telecommunications expert and former
professor of Zhejiang University, will present a session on the benefits
of deploying converged networks, and the practical steps hotels can take
to deploy them. Several companies are also working together to provide
a live demonstration of a converged network “in action.”
Nick Price, CIO/CTO of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, will lead
a participative session designed to launch a new, ongoing effort to provide
a stronger Asian voice in the design and deployment of hospitality software
by vendors based in North America and Europe. These vendors often
struggle to understand the nuances of the different Asian countries, and
this effort will organize information that will help them design products
that better meet Asian needs.
Several leading Asian hotel IT executives will join together for an IT
Leadership Forum, discussing the critical issues of the times and their
own companies’ approaches to addressing them. Moderated by Shane
Izaks, General Manager-Information Systems for The Peninsula Group,
the panel will feature Andre Baljeu, Director of Field Technology
for Marriott International; Tom Dillon, Vice President of IT for
Asia for the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, operator of The Venetian hotels;
Dimacali, CIO of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts; and Nick Price,
CIO/CTO of Mandarin Oriental.
There will also be briefings on HTNG’s active working groups, describing
the tools and standards that they have built – and are building – to help
hotels build and deploy better technology.
HTNG’s conference is open to members and invited guests. Registration
is just US$250. HTNG is also making a special offer to Asian hotel
executives who have not yet joined HTNG, enabling them to obtain a one-year
membership and attend the conference for just US$100 more than the cost
of the conference alone.
Las Vegas Sands Corporation, operator of the host hotel, will provide back-of-house
IT tours of the hotel, which is reported to be the world’s third-largest
About Hotel Technology Next Generation
The premier technology solutions association in the hospitality industry,
HTNG is a self-funded, non-profit organization with members from hotel
and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, and other
industry members including consultants, media, and academic experts. HTNG’s
members participate in focused workgroups to bring to market open solution
sets addressing specific business problems. HTNG fosters the
selection and adoption of existing open standards. Where necessary,
it also develops new open standards to meet the needs of the global hospitality
Membership in HTNG is open to hotel and hospitality companies, technology
vendors to hospitality, consultants, academics, press and others.
Currently more than 400 corporate and individual members from across this
spectrum, including most of the world’s leading hotel companies and technology
vendors, are active HTNG participants. Workgroup proceedings, drafts,
and specifications are published for all HTNG members as soon as they are
created, encouraging rapid and broad adoption. Specifications are
released to the public domain as they are ratified by the workgroup.
For more information, visit www.htng.org.