Tourism Business; HSMAI Executive THINK Sees
Technology Helping to Spur Travel
with little toys and get some ideas of what we might do”
– R. Stanley Williams.
MCLEAN, VA (Dec. 3, 2003) – When the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) held its second Executive THINK at MIT in Boston, top executives got an inside look at emerging technologies that will redefine life, the way we do business, and what it means for hospitality and tourism, resulting in the expectation that technology will help spur more travel by making it easier and more fun to experience.
From voice recognition and global positioning to wearable computers, the HSMAI Executive THINK: “Test Drive the Future: Technologies That Are Changing Our World” provided a rare opportunity for participants to hear from some of the industry’s most forward-thinking experts and visionaries from MIT, IBM, Segway and ScanSoft.
“It was an exciting, information-packed day of learning about new technology trends, analyzing applications, considering its implications, and really exploring how technology can excite your mind,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI.
Moderated by Dr. Lalia Rach, associate dean and director, New York University Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management, the strategy session included a keynote address and three Technology Showcases.
Participants were asked to keep an open mind, wildly imagining the possibilities and consider the applications and importance of new technologies.
In “A View of the Future,” Dr. Sandy Pentland, director, Human Design Group, MIT Media Lab, whose work encompasses wearable computing, communications technology for developing countries, human-machine interfaces, artificial intelligence and machine perception, talked about human design and building computation around human networks.
“A house is a computer and so are you,” states Pentland. He notes: “A generator in the shoe transmits power to memory chips in shirts, someone’s image is stored in your body computer. From fingerprint to face recognition technology, it’s a world where the exchange of information occurs by the shake of a hand.”
Pentland says: “Technology is leaking all over the world, driven by the developed world for the developing world.” He suggests it will make people experience more and travel to new places as communications devices break down barriers and allow movement beyond walls.
In the interest of using technology “to get things into people’s brains”:
Snowden noted that with modular systems on the move, the size of a web server is decreasing – once the size of a match box, then a match head, it’s now just the size of a speck of dust. “It’s about connecting anything to anything to anything without being noticed,” she says.
Snowden addressed the emergence of embedded systems, which “will be pervasive, and by 2010 will be three embeddable programmable devices per person worldwide – for home, car and office.”
Other observations from Snowden: Customers will demand data retrieval that behaves like a “searchable web,” and that “vulnerabilities overwhelm us, with nearly half of the 5,000 security vulnerabilities reported since 1995 came in 2001 and the trend continues.”
IBM’s Veins states that within hospitality, an on demand, component-based architecture utilizes a single image of inventory, guest data and content, and provides access to services wherever they are located. She says we will have migrated to an on demand environment in hospitality when:
Also presented by IBM:
Since its inception a year ago, Segway has influenced travel, from operational practicality to enhancing the guest experience.
At Disneyland and Disney World, it reiterates Disney’s futuristic positioning and is primarily used for executive navigation, security and as a response vehicle. On the other side of the equation, Segways are integrated into the travel experience as Sea Dream Yachts offer their luxury travelers rides in exotic destinations, as do guests staying at Ko Olina Resort in Hawaii and sightseers on city tours in Paris.
Summarizing other new technologies, Dr. Rach noted:
Partners in the HSMAI Executive THINK on Technology were American Express and ISM, Boston, MA, a leading marketing, advertising and consultant firm specializing in the travel industry.
HSMAI Executive THINK (Travel & Hospitality Innovation, Network, Knowledge) sessions are held as one-day senior-level executive forums that discuss and debate the most interesting and impactful issues facing the hospitality, travel and tourism industry.
HSMAI is an organization of sales and marketing professionals representing all segments of the hospitality and travel industry. With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry, while operating as a leading voice for both hospitality and sales and marketing management disciplines. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprised of nearly 7,000 members from 35 countries and 60 chapters worldwide.
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|Also See:||Discounting, Declining RevPAR at Center of Issue Discussed by Hospitality Executives at HSMAI Executive THINK / Oct 2002|
|Details of the HSMAI / NYU Strategy Session in New York; Solutions to Move the Industry Forward Include Back to Fundamentals, Value-added Promotions, Unified Voice to Combat Downturn in Travel / October 2001|