The Google team hosted it’s first ever “Think Travel” event here in the Middle East today at the Lebanon Island (World Islands) in Dubai. A well-chosen, buzz-worthy venue, no doubt…most attendees were equally keen about the event as they were to see the state of the (much touted) World Islands. All in all an eventful day with a great mix of insights and industry discussions, garnished liberally with rhetoric.
Kudos to IMI for continuing to innovate and push the boundaries. A great story shared by dear friend and fellow tech enthusiast, Lukas Ritzel.
For the past few months some 80 international students of more than 20 different nationalities who currently study at IMI University Centre in Luzern, Switzerland have collected data to create the the world’s first crowd-sourced student guide. The iPhone App is a collaboration with Luzern Tourism which also has its own tourism city guide and covers much more than just the best places to have your pizza or beer. It’s about Swiss culture, stories about Heidi and even answers questions like: “Do Swiss people really eat most chocolate of all nationalities?”. The Student iPhone App also collects many of those insider tips which only international students currently living in Switzerland can know about, having lived abroad for such a long time.
The app is now a free download on the Apple App store from:
(Direct Link). Alternatively search for “Luzern” and you will easily find the IMI University Centre iStudent Luzern app on the Apple iPhone Store.
The hospitality industry shares many of the same data security vulnerabilities as the retail industry — accepting and storing cardholder information and personal information collected through participation in loyalty and rewards programs — yet lags in the adoption of data security practices, which makes it an attractive target for cybercriminals. We talk to Gary Palgon to understand the basics surrounding the key data security issues and what hotels can do to secure valuable information. Though many of these issues fall in the realm of IT, knowing the basics are a must for all digital hotel marketing professionals too.
[Hotelemarketer.com] What are the most common problems associated with data security and how do payment cards feature here?
[Gary] The most common problem is that data is not secure; rather, it generally resides in applications and databases as unsecured, clear-text data in most cases … whether it’s payment card information or other sensitive consumer or employee information.
[Hotelemarketer.com] Your recent press release stated that 38% of all data security attacks were against hotels and resorts last year, making the hospitality industry the #1 target for breaches – what is the source of this information and how is this usually evaluated? (Global vs US-centric, methodology?)
[Gary] Trustwave’s Global Security Report 2010: Based on data collected by Trustwave’s SpiderLabs, this report includes analyses of investigations of data compromised in 2009, detailed technical information on top vulnerabilities, and an actionable global remediation plan.
Here’s a great presentation by a good friend (and extraordinary hotel educator), Lukas Ritzel. Lukas presented on the topic of the sensory web (Web 3.0) at the second ever TEDx event in Switzerland (Zug – May 27, 2010).
Explore Lukas’ presentation below using Prezi, a superb presentation tool:
Here’s a video of the presentation:
Just finished attending and speaking at the Revenue Management and Pricing Middle East Conference, which was held at the Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi and organized by Eyefortravel. The turn out was decent…about 50–60 professionals from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, mostly Revenue Managers and some Sales & Marketing managers, General Managers and Owners. The crunch seems to have had its effect elsewhere though – a source from Europe claimed that a similar event there had a dismal turnout, as hoteliers scurry to cut costs.
Some good presentations, especially a couple that touched on the big picture, trends and also challenged participants to prep for the future. Total Revenue Management emerges as a clear winner in terms of what hotels SHOULD be doing to prepare and fully yield their products. Technology challenges still remain the biggest hurdle to successful revenue management, CRM and distribution. I enjoyed Sarah Allen’s presentation on Generation Y – particularly some of the changes that are happening which are impacting our human capital strategies, and how, as an industry, we need to shift our mindsets into a new way of doing business to keep ahead of the competition. Another good trend overview was provided by Margaret Bowler from HRG (Grabbing a hold of the corporate segment opportunity).