Siegel Sez
July 30, 2021

This has been one of my favorite weeks. Yes, we all must deal with COVID-19 updates, which seem to be all over the place and has people wondering about the impact on travel. However, perseverance seems to be driving the belief that the recovery will continue on a positive path.

This is the week we have received many registrations for our 19th CIO Summit, which will be held in Atlanta. The registrations have led to conversations with the industry technology leaders, and that part, I just love. Everyone has a story to share, and I keep thinking how they will be shared over the course of our event September 8-10. We have been making final adjustments to this year’s CIO Summit program and the conversations around the agenda are simply phenomenal.

We have a speaker who lives near Mount Rushmore. I was jealous when I heard her story about how she ended up in a city of 300 people just three miles from Mount Rushmore. At one time, she worked for Starwood in the technology space. After more than 20 years in technology, she took night classes to become a lawyer. A lawyer, ex-hotel technology leader and will be speaking at the CIO Summit about cybersecurity among other things — this is someone whom everyone will appreciate and learn from. Because we are in Atlanta, I couldn’t resist ending our summit with a visit to Delta Airlines’ world headquarters where we will get a tour that is sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Like so many, I have been inside of planes, but I have never been under one. I find it absolutely fascinating how the airlines are using technology today and how that will impact the hotel industry. If you have any questions regarding our CIO Summit, please email to [email protected].

Talking about technology impacting the hotel industry, in the column below Doug Rice does an amazing job explaining where we are with Self Sovereign Identity commonly referred to as SSI. Europe seems to be ahead of the game creating this as the norm, but Doug shares that it will be impacting travelers in a positive way soon. It is a long read but even if you are not a tech person you should read through his column. After all, we all travel and deal with the travel industry. How SSI is progressing is truly amazing. Thank you, Doug, for sharing this update. There will be a session on SSI at HITEC in Dallas. We hope to see you there.

Here now is the real reason we are here, the latest happenings in the world of technology along with Definitely Doug. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you know what.

[email protected]

Definitely Doug

Get On Your Surfboard, The Next Wave is Here!

I first wrote about Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) in this blog late last winter. I rarely revisit a topic in less than a year, but the SSI space is evolving so much more quickly than I expected that it is already time for a big update.

As a refresher, Self-Sovereign Identity is a concept, delivered in part by decentralized technologies, that is mostly defined by community standards. The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), Hyperledger Indy, Sovrin, and other organizations and efforts have developed open-source standards that support SSI. Following the models used to create now-universal standards like TCP/IP and HTTP, SSI standards are emerging, where and as needed, from pilot projects and products being developed by participating organizations to meet their own diverse business needs.

SSI puts you, as a person (or organization or thing) in full control of your own digital identity. You decide what to share with whom, when, and under what conditions.

You obtain a Decentralized Digital Identifier (DDID), which is issued and controlled not by a government or third party but by an entry on a public blockchain for which only you have the cryptographic keys. Your DDID looks and acts much like a worldwide web URL.

Your DDID allows you to define endpoint services, such as a personal data store hosted by a cloud provider or even on a mobile device. This works much like the way Internet Domain Name Records define endpoint services for a domain’s website or mail server.

With a DDID and personal data store, you can start collecting digital credentials that attest to facts about you, certified by trusted third parties: that you have a driver’s license or passport, that you are employed by a particular company, that you hold a specific club membership, that you have a travel reservation, or that you have a credit card account.

Your encrypted personal data store sits securely on a cloud service or private server of your choice. You can add any relevant information you might want to share with others, such as information you might put on a hotel loyalty profile.

You can share information from your personal data store with others as needed. The sharing can be initiated by an app, by a website, by scanning a QR code, or by tapping your phone on an NFC tag; the action opens an app or web page indicating what information is being requested for the transaction. You can then approve sharing all or some of the requested information with the party that requested it. With this permission, until and unless you revoke it, the requestor can retrieve it from your personal data store, automatically getting any updates you make.

You can limit information sharing to the minimum required for a particular transaction. Your driver’s license or passport, for example, can prove you are old enough to get a drink at a bar, but also contain lots of unrelated information. SSI enables you to claim “I am old enough” without having to share even your actual birth date or age, much less other personal information that you might prefer to keep private, such as your phone number or your weight (this is known as a Zero-Knowledge Proof). The bartender can easily verify that you have a legitimate identity document issued by someone they trust (such as a driver’s license bureau) proving you are old enough, without having to contact the issuer. If needed, she can even retain proof of having checked.

Recent Developments: SSI Is Here Today

Since I wrote that first article, the European Commission has launched a digital identity program that will become available to every European Union citizen (already or soon in some countries, a bit later in others). It will be usable to prove your age, to request public services, to open a bank account, to file tax returns, to apply to a university, to access a prescription for medication from anywhere, to rent a car, or to check into a hotel. The program design follows the core guidelines of SSI and DDIDs: the individual, not the government or any third party, controls the information about their identity. The role of governments and other third parties is limited to issuing cryptographically verifiable claims about the identity holder, such as the validity of a digital ID that a government issues to them.

The same design principles are being used for the EU Digital COVID Certificate, which is or will be usable anywhere in the EU that proof of COVID vaccination, recovery, or negative test result is required. In addition to the EU, similar efforts are in place in Israel, Singapore, Iceland, and Estonia. Many other countries have introduced vaccine passports as well or are evaluating doing so; however, not all of them are based on SSI technology and decentralized identity principles.

SSI technology is no longer something that is around the corner for hospitality (as I suggested back in March); it is here today – although to be sure, still in its earliest days. Its effect will, I believe, be a generational change as significant as those brought about by TCP/IP in the 1970s, by the worldwide web in the 1990s, and by GSM and smartphones in the early 2000s. I expect we will see SSI technologies become commonplace in our daily lives over the coming years, with major applications in banking, healthcare, travel, and elsewhere. By 2035, SSI as a technology will be about the same age as smartphones are today, and by then or even sooner, as commonplace.

SSI and Disintermediation

In coming years, SSI will facilitate peer-to-peer communication between travelers and travel providers, which has the potential to reduce the market power of distribution intermediaries. Intermediaries may still play a role, but it may be a quite different one. Like anyone else, they can participate as a peer in direct communications with travelers and travel providers. But because travelers and providers will be able to easily bypass them with direct peer-to-peer conversations, there will be greater transparency of the value they add vs. the fees they assess to providers and to travelers. An intermediary that assesses a fee or commission that is too large in relation to the value they add, will find itself getting bypassed as travelers and providers can easily discover lower-cost options.

Today, intermediaries are necessary for a traveler who wants to conduct a broad search across multiple brands and independent hotels. In an SSI future, they will no longer be required. This does not mean they will disappear; intermediaries will undoubtedly still offer travelers other good reasons to use them, but the playing field vs. direct distribution could become significantly more level than currently.

Intermediaries may initially resist SSI technologies, because they have a greater stake in the current distribution model than do travel providers. If they do resist SSI while hotels embrace it, hotels may be able to claw back some of the distribution margins and customer relationships that they have previously ceded to intermediaries. But if hotels and other travel providers wait for intermediaries to take the lead, the deeper pockets of the intermediaries may ultimately make them the SSI winners.

SSI in Hospitality and Travel Today

SSI is no longer something that is coming, it is here today in hospitality. The German federal government earlier this year, with the support and personal participation of Chancellor Angela Merkel, launched pilot programs using SSI technologies for seven use cases, including opening bank accounts, e-commerce logins, and access control management. The very first use case to go into pilot, on May 18, 2021, was hotel check-in, which is currently in testing by 120 participating hotels from three hotel groups and 200,000+ employees of four German corporations.

To be sure, check-in is just one application of SSI in hospitality, but it is an important one. By scanning a QR code at reception, a traveler can securely transmit registration data, including national identity and verified company information, to the hotel. The press release (read the original in German or let Google translate it) quotes the Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor and Federal Commissioner for Digitization, who was the first customer to use the process, as saying “Put an end to the mess of paper. The lack of digital evidence is one of the most pressing barriers to digitization of our time. I am therefore delighted that we can start the first application of our new ecosystem of digital identities with the hotel pilots.” The program required changes in two German laws, one permitting identification by fully digital means, and the other waiving the requirement for physical signature capture by hotels.

Other use cases, envisioned but not yet supported in the pilot, would allow mobile check-in (including proof of identity) or tapping an NFC-capable phone in the hotel lobby to initiate check-in and to obtain a mobile key. Importantly, the process can encourage any guest to share whatever information about themselves they think is relevant to a hotel, using data they have already set up in their personal data store and avoiding the need to retype each field into the hotel’s form. Set up properly, I would expect that hotels will be able to effortlessly and with no staff resources collect the address, email, and mobile phone number from most guests at check-in, simply by asking and letting the guest respond yes or no. And of course, many customers may be willing to share much richer data if they think it may be used to improve their hotel experience.

Aside from the German pilot program, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is now testing an SSI solution called One ID with many airlines. Originally conceived to facilitate a frictionless airport experience (check-in, security, immigration control, lounge, duty-free, and boarding) and still planned to meet that need, IATA shifted priorities during COVID to fast-track SSI-based health credentials. This will enable airlines and immigration authorities to easily verify that travelers meet the arrival requirements of various countries for proof of COVID vaccination, recovery from COVID, or negative test results. The program will allow the traveler to present the necessary proof wherever it is required in the process, without exposing unnecessary health details; it also eliminates the most common sources of fraud. The underlying technology is the same; it enables verification of a person’s identity and supports claims from trusted third parties about that person.

If you have not yet looked at the potential power of SSI, it is not too late, but it is time to do so now. The rest of this article will outline some ways you can familiarize yourself with SSI for hospitality.

Getting Up to Speed on SSI

A group of about 25 technology leaders, many from hospitality but also from other parts of the travel industry, have been meeting several times each week since shortly before my earlier article, operating as the Hospitality and Travel Special Interest Group (H&T SIG) of the Decentralized Identity Forum (DIF). DIF is a nonprofit, open-source organization focused on the development of robust design standards for Self-Sovereign Identity. It operates under the direction of the Linux Foundation and in close coordination with the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C).

Leading the informal and all-volunteer H&T SIG efforts are notable hospitality and travel technology leaders who will be familiar to many readers: Nick Price, Mark Haley, Mark Fancourt, Norm Rose, Gene Quinn, Brian Lewis, Robert Cole, Bill Carroll, and yours truly. Membership in the SIG is open and free, and the webconference meetings are, with few exceptions, recorded and available to all. Just follow the instructions on this page if you are interested.

This core group, along with many other industry participants, have developed the first two next-generation use cases that illustrate the power of SSI; a third may be released by the time you read this. The plain-language descriptions of these use cases are well worth a few minutes of your time to read. To be sure, they are aspirational, describing a future state of technology that will not be achieved overnight, but that can nevertheless help enlighten the art of the possible. These use cases are being shared with the DIF standards-writing working groups to ensure that the hospitality and travel industries’ needs are fully represented in the evolving standards. Additional use cases are under development.

The Discount Entitlement use case describes a traveler who has multiple memberships, affiliations, and attributes that may yield special rates at different hotels (such as AAA, AARP, senior citizen, or corporate). He performs a brand-agnostic search within an area to see which hotel(s) have the best to offer in terms of location, rate, and packaging, based on preferences he has specified. This search can be performed peer-to-peer, with no intermediary, with any hotel that is prepared to respond. Hotels can, of course, still use a service bureau or intermediary if they wish, and I expect many initially will. Online travel agencies and other intermediaries can also respond based on inventory and rates they have to sell. Rate quotes can be made as they are today, based on a schedule of public and qualified rates, or individualized responses can be created for specific shopping requests where warranted.

The Share Profile Elements use case envisions a traveler who maintains a single profile, from which he can share elements with travel providers and other businesses as needed. If his requirements change, a single tap on a mobile app can refresh the information with every provider who has a copy or needs it. A consumer who changes his email address or phone number, for example, can push the update to every provider with which he previously shared his old one, simply by typing it once and pushing a button on a mobile app. Aside from being an obvious time-saver for a consumer who may be registered on dozens or hundreds of websites and apps, this makes it much more likely that each business will get every update. Stale email addresses, phone numbers and preferences are much less likely to remain in their customer databases.

Both of these use cases reduce the need for a hotel to store personally identifiable information, while giving them real-time, permissioned access to accurate, current, and digitally verifiable customer information. Security and risk management departments will benefit from reduced risk of data breaches, while marketers will have better data, especially for customers booking through intermediaries. SSI aligns extremely well with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), since the customer controls their data, provides it only on a permissioned basis, and can revoke the permission at any time. A digital credential certifying that you have a credit or debit card account could easily substitute for the actual credit card number, potentially eliminating risk associated with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS).

A third use case currently being finalized surrounds travel change and disruption. This addresses the needs of a traveler whose trip is interrupted (such as by a flight delay), necessitating multiple downstream changes to other travel components that are today left largely to the traveler to address individually. SSI can enable the traveler to automatically share information about the changes and ensuing consequences with downstream travel providers, but only if and when something happens that creates the need. The airline can know exactly where to deliver misdirected luggage, a dinner reservation can be automatically canceled if a plane will arrive too late, or a hotel can be notified if a disruption will push a 9pm arrival to 5am the next morning. Once published, this third use case (and all other current and future ones) will be posted here.

To be sure, many of the standards required for certain use cases are still on the drawing board or in development, but others have been ratified by the W3C or DIF, and numerous technology companies large and small are now actively developing products to support them.

What The Industry Can Do Now

The first commercial products supporting SSI are under active development or pilot by various technology companies and will likely become available, at least for beta test, later this year. For the moment, the best course of action for hotel IT leaders and technology providers to the industry is to familiarize key people in their organizations with the technology, to learn about some of the efforts to implement SSI, to establish a network of contacts in the SSI space to keep abreast of developments, and to position your company to move quickly as relevant products start to come to market. Some technology providers may well want to be leaders in the effort and start developing their own SSI-based products; others, as well as hotels, may be better positioned to be close followers.

In either case, it is important to understand that this change is not a “lift and shift;” it does not require replacing major systems. Rather, SSI will operate in parallel with traditional technologies for many years (just as call centers continued after the introduction of online bookings). Hotels and their technology providers can, for example, build a second pathway for retrieving customer data needed to support a transaction, requesting and receiving permissioned data for reservations that are made using platforms that support SSI, while continuing to use the current, database-centric approach for other reservations. This can be accomplished by replacing code that retrieves customer data from a CRM or loyalty database, with code that “forks” to the SSI model only where it is available. Over time, the design of core hospitality technology products such as reservation systems and property management systems will likely evolve to incorporate SSI natively.

Hotels can still store copies of as much data as they need in their transactional systems, and indeed some (mostly older) transactional systems that were not designed to isolate customer data may only run with fully populated internal customer databases. With permissioned access to current customer data “on demand,” however, the need to keep detailed information on customers will become much less over time, and the option to reduce compliance risk can likely lead to a much leaner operational customer data model.

As SSI products start to become available and sufficiently mature to be publicized, I will periodically return to this topic in future columns to highlight some of them.

Upcoming Webinars & Conferences

The H&T SIG team plans to offer two webinars in coming weeks for all interested individuals. Both will be recorded and available after the fact.

The first one, on Wednesday, August 11 at 11:00 am EDT, will feature Nick Price and a presentation to introduce the topic of SSI in hospitality. It will be similar to one he made earlier this month to about 40 members of the AHLA/HTNG Executive Leadership Group (ELG), which generated very good feedback from a mostly C-level audience. If you are interested, add it to your calendar and check the H&T site closer in for the Zoom link, or send me an email to request a calendar invitation. Recordings will be linked on the H&T SIG site, once available. For those who attended the ELG session, this is an opportunity to make the material available to others within your company.

The second one, on Wednesday, September 1 at 11:00 am EDT, will cover one or more of the use cases in greater detail (if we cannot cover all of them that week, we will schedule additional sessions). These will be led by the team leads who spearheaded them: Mark Haley, Mark Fancourt, and me.

Both sessions will be recorded, and links published on the H&T SIG site after the fact.

SIG members will also be presenting updated material at HITEC 2021 in Dallas, in a supersession on Monday, September 27 from 10:45 am to noon. The full set of presenters will be finalized closer in, as international travel restrictions become clearer. Check the HITEC agenda for updates to the time and final presenter roster.

The Call to Action

Industry and technology experts from hundreds of leading companies, who have spent time to understand SSI, are convinced that it will fundamentally change the way customers and merchants interact, in hospitality and travel as well as virtually every other sector of the economy. You have the choice to hope that the experts are all wrong, to plan for the change and use it to build competitive advantage, or to let others build it first and have it done unto you. Which will it be?

Douglas Rice
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @dougrice

Recent Technology News, from Hospitality Upgrade and Hotel Online

Corporate News

– Agilysys Reports Fiscal 2022 First Quarter Revenue of $38.7M
Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS), a leading global provider of next-generation cloud-native SaaS and on-premise hospitality software solutions and services, today reported operating results for its fiscal 2022 first quarter ended June 30, 2021.

– Hotel Effectiveness Dominates ALIS Tech Challenge Winning the Hottest Technology Award for Second Consecutive Year
Hotel Effectiveness, an industry leader for hotel labor optimization, earned its second “Hottest Technology” title during the 20th anniversary of the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), the world’s largest hotel investment conference.

People on The Move

– PROVision Partners Welcomes Trevor Warner as Senior Advisor
PROVision Partners, a leading global strategic growth, marketing, technology and commercial services advisory firm to the travel and hospitality industry, announces the appointment of Trevor Warner as a senior advisor.

– StayNTouch Names Reid Webster as VP of Strategic Growth to Expand and Strengthen Partner Network
StayNTouch, a leader in guest-centric and mobile property management software (PMS), is proud to welcome Reid Webster as vice president of strategic growth.

– Volara Accelerates Expansion Into Europe With Key Hire
In response to increased interest in its voice-based engagement solutions from hoteliers across Europe, Volara is expanding its team. James Fothergill joins the enterprise grade voice assistant solutions provider as Vice President of Sales with a strategic focus on expansion of Volara’s portfolio of clients in key European Markets.

– Agilysys Names 25-Year Technology Veteran to Lead Business Expansion in Australia and New Zealand
Agilysys, a leading global provider of next-generation cloud-native SaaS & on-premise hospitality software solutions and services, announced the appointment of Justin Reynolds as senior director of sales for Australia, New Zealand.

– Meyer Jabara Hotels Augments Its Cultivated Management Team With New Executive Hires
Jabara is pleased to announce two new hires to its well-nurtured management team. Mark Kronick joins MJH as Chief Financial Officer and Daniela Burga joins as Senior VP of Human Resources.

Guest Management Systems

– Maestro PMS Shares the Top 5 Benefits of Remote Training in Today’s New Normal
Hospitality will always be defined by the interactions between frontline associates and hotel guests, which is why face-to-face training and onboarding has always been favored by the industry.

– Visual Matrix Partners With FLEXIPASS to Implement Digital Mobile Key Features in PMS Solutions
Visual Matrix, an industry-leading hotel property management software providing an all-in-one PMS, today announces the integration of Mobile Key functionalities into its PMS platform through FLEXIPASS, the Preferred Mobile Key solution for hospitality providers.

– Rebel Hospitality Chooses Infor Hospitality to Deliver Great Guest Experiences
Infor, an industry cloud company, announced that Rebel Hospitality, a rapidly-growing hospitality management company that specializes in independent and lifestyle hotel properties, has selected Infor Hospitality to provide hospitality management solutions for its growing property base.

Reservations & Distribution

– SHR Expands Google Connectivity to Drive Direct Traffic Through Free Booking Links
SHR, Sceptre Hospitality Resources, a leading provider of technology that helps hotels execute their best revenue generation strategies, has teamed up with Google to provide its clients with the search giant’s newest product, Free Booking Links.

– Shiji Group Releases Updated Hospitality Distribution Technology Chart: 2021
Shiji Distribution Solutions has released its latest version of its Hospitality Technology Distribution Chart: 2021 to help visualize the current hotel and hospitality technology landscape, how the various providers fit in, and their relationships with the hotel, the guest, and each other.

Revenue Management & Analytics

– Four Popular Amsterdam Hotels Choose IDeaS for Automated Revenue Optimization
IDeaS, a SAS company, a leading provider of hotel revenue management software and services, announced that four Alex Chang-owned tourist hotels in Amsterdam will implement IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (RMS).

Guest Facing Technology

– Creating the Better Hotel Guest Experience Without Breaking the Budget
CCSI has partnered with TigerTMS to provide a cost effective and easy to use Suite of Hospitality Applications and Technology to assist hotels with their specific goals and requirements in this and other technology areas.

– INTELITY and Volara to Bring Powerful Voice Command to In-Room Guest Engagement
INTELITY®, the developer of hospitality’s broadest guest experience platform, announced today a new partnership with Volara, the leading provider of custom voice-based hospitality solutions. Together, INTELITY and Volara will combine their technology to uplevel guest engagement with contactless voice commands that enable instant, convenient access to services and amenities.

– Aiden by Best Western Scottsdale North Adopts BeyondTV GuestCast to Cater to the Latest Trends in Guestroom Entertainment
Hotel Internet Services (HIS), a full-service provider of internet services and solutions, has announced the successful implementation of its BeyondTV GuestCast in-room entertainment solution at Aiden by Best Western Scottsdale North.

– Plug-n-Play IoT and Mobile Technology to Enhance the Guest Experience and Drive Efficiency
A modular solution that can be easily deployed to control the unlocking of room/elevator doors, lighting, temperature, TV, and curtains. All of the control is done without ever having to touch anything other than the mobile phone.

– An Old Soul With a Fresh Twist, Crystalbrook Kingsley Embraces Technology and Sustainability With Solutions From McLaren Technologies
A commitment to responsible luxury by Newcastle’s first five-star hotel, Crystalbrook Kingsley, has prompted a partnership with Asia Pacific’s leading hospitality solution specialist, McLaren Technologies. The new hotel was keen to embrace mobile-first guest experience technology and environmental change to enhance, not compromise, the quality of its guest experience.

– Golf Destination Streamsong Resort Elevates the Guest Experience With SONIFI Technology
Streamsong Resort in Florida has partnered with global technology partner SONIFI Solutions to enhance guest experiences at their unrivaled golfing destination.


– Revinate and NAVIS Join Forces, Creating a Market Leader in the Hospitality Industry
Revinate, a leader in hospitality guest platform software, announced today it will join forces with NAVIS, a leading direct booking platform for the hospitality industry. Together, the companies will form one of the largest and most innovative providers of direct revenue-generating solutions in the industry. The combined company will be called Revinate.

– Coco Collection Selects Cendyn to Power Their CRM and Loyalty Programs
Using eInsight CRM, Coco Collection will have access to the industry’s most robust CRM solution, allowing them to learn more about the unique preferences of each guest and deliver unforgettable experiences throughout the guest journey.

– Your Hotel Has No Vacancy, What Is the Best Digital Marketing Strategy?
GCommerce shares how your hotel can best position itself for short-term as well as long-term direct booking strategies with historical marketing performance data.

Sales & Catering, Groups & Meetings

– Knowland Executives Return to the Road, Facilitating Industry Discussions at Key Events
Knowland, the world’s leading provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality, announced today its participation in several key conferences and events as the industry returns to in-person meetings in the fall season.

– Uniguest and Ungerboeck Integration Activates Simplified Event Management in JANUS CMS
Uniguest has partnered with Ungerboeck to provide event professionals in more than 50 countries with intuitive beginning to end CRM, space booking, event planning and communications, order management, exhibition management, catering, registration, a/v arrangements, full financials and more.

Back Office

– Autohost Launches Authority Reporting Feature to Help Hospitality Operators Manage Increased Regulations
To ease pressure on property managers, Autohost has automated the authority reporting process through enhanced data collection, introducing a simple process for all guests to provide detailed and required information during the check-in process.

Human Resources

– UniFocus Upgrades Employee Engagement Surveys to Deliver Instant and Frequent Insights Into Hotel Performance
UniFocus, the leading provider of workforce management systems, has launched upgrades to employee pulse survey capabilities, providing hoteliers with an invaluable opportunity to connect to and interpret employee engagement.

– TraknProtect Completes OnWatch™ Advocate Program
TraknProtect is now a certified OnWatch™ Advocate after training 100% of its company employees on how to recognize and report sex trafficking through the survivor-led and informed OnWatch™ education platform.


– Arena Del Mar Hotel Selects ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions and Zaplox for Digital Key Compatibility With Cloud-Based Access Management
ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions as a leading provider of advanced security technology for the hospitality industry and together with Certified Partner, ZaploxAB, a leading innovator of contactless mobile guest journey solutions and mobile key services, have announced the integration of digital key functionality with the Vostio Access Management solution at Arena Del Mar Hotel.

Hospitality Events and Association News

– Visual Matrix Celebrates Hospitality Comeback at AAHOACON21 Convention
Visual Matrix, an industry-leading hotel property management software providing an all-in-one PMS, today announces its official participation at AAHOACON21, an annual trade show hosted by the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.

– HITEC Ready to Welcome the Hospitality Technology Industry to Dallas in September, Event Given the Okay to Proceed at 100 Percent Capacity
As the 2021 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®) nears, the event is ramping up its program and getting ready to welcome back the industry after a year off from taking place in-person. Now producers Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) is planning for increased capacity as it was just given word from the convention center that there will be no attendance limitations.

– Hotel Internet Services Showcases Latest in Guest Connectivity, Experience Personalization and Contactless Service at AAHOACON 2021
HIS, a full-service provider of internet services and solutions for the hospitality industry, is proud to announce its participation as an official exhibitor for the upcoming AAHOA 2021 Conference, taking place August 3-6 in Dallas, Texas.

– New Date Announced for PSHRS Hospitality Executive of the Year Honoring Hilton President and CEO
Penn State School of Hospitality Management in the College of Health and Human Development and the Penn State Hotel & Restaurant Society (PSHRS) have announced a new date to honor Christopher J. Nassetta as the 2021 Hospitality Executive of the Year.

Piqued Our Interest

The Billion User Table

France Passes Law That Makes a Coronavirus Health Pass Required for Dining and Travel

Amadeus Integrates IBM’s COVID-19 Digital Health Pass Into Verification Technology

The Travel Industry Is a Total Mess, But Everyone Is Traveling Anyway

And now for you-know-what.…

A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to helping the other monks in copying the old laws of the church by hand. He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript. So, the new monk goes to the head monk to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up! In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.

The head monk, says, “You make a good point, my son.”

He goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscripts are held in a locked vault. Hours go by and nobody sees the head monk. The young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing.

“OH..NO NO NO!!  We missed the R! We missed the R! We missed the R!”

“Father!” cries the young monk. “What’s wrong?”

The head monk with tears in his eyes replies, “The original word is CELEBRATE!!  …CELEBRATE!!!”