More than one hundred hotel executives came together recently at the inaugural Hotel Technology Forum (HTF) to discuss and debate systems integration, guest-room amenities and guest-recognition technologies among a host of other topics. Held at the Bellagio Hotel casino in Las Vegas, HTF took place in conjunction with Hotel Technology Next Generation's (HTNG) first annual conference.
Nick Price, chief technology officer at Mandarin-Oriental Hotel Group kicked off the Forum with his strategic vision. In the address, Price revealed Mandarin-Oriental is developing IP-based televisions for guest rooms and is focusing on providing unique and valuable content geared towards Mandarin-Oriental guest. Barry Shuler, senior vice president information technology Strategy and chief technology officer at Marriott, delivered the second-day keynote focusing on Marriott's efforts to become a truly intelligent enterprise.
"The ideas and the anticipation of change within our industry that were shared at this event were infectious," comments Luke Mellors of the Dorchester Hotel, who was recently named to the board of HTNG. "It almost seems inevitable that the coming of age of technology for our industry has now finally arrived."
At the Lodging Leadership dinner held during HTF, Nick Price and Mark Hedley of Wyndham each won awards for focusing on guest-service initiatives. Honored for leadership in Business Intelligence were Shuler and Sea Island Company's Todd Wood. Gebhard Rainer of Hyatt was honored for "general excellence" for his role driving HTNG.