INTERNATIONAL REPORT—Whether it’s celebrating an anniversary, receiving an award, earning a certification, debuting a new product or expanding the business, hotel companies and vendors achieve new milestones on a daily basis. Here’s a look at recent accomplishments:
Amadeus Taps Schutte to Lead Online Travel in the Americas
The online travel market is evolving rapidly with digital transformation at the forefront to help improve the traveler experience. Around the globe, Amadeus offers expertise and solutions to help startups to mega online travel retailers evolve and expand their businesses, and explore the possibilities of the future. To lead this mission in the Americas, Eduardo Schutte, SVP, online travel, Americas, is the newest member of the Amadeus Travel Channels leadership team, reporting to Mieke De Schepper, EVP, online travel.
Schutte succeeds Stephane Durand who became SVP, business travel, in Western Europe, Middle East and Africa (WEMEA) late last year.
Schutte has nearly 30 years of experience in the travel and hospitality industries. He previously worked at Hilton, where he first served as SVP, global sales services and distribution group, overseeing the company’s global third-party distribution channels and partnerships, as well as a sales shared services organization. Subsequently, he was SVP of business development and innovation for Hilton Grand Vacations, where he led the spin-off of the company from Hilton, oversaw its new market-entry strategies, assessed new business opportunities, and developed innovative go-to-market approaches and operating models.
He also has held senior executive roles at other travel companies including LXR Luxury Resorts and Hotels, TravelClick and Grupo Posadas.
Former Starwood CEO to join Sonder as Board Member
Frits van Paasschen, a former CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, will join Sonder, a technology-driven hospitality company valued over $1 billion, as the newest member of its board of directors.
With more than a decade of experience as a Fortune 500 CEO, first at The Coors Brewing Company and then at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Frits is able to offer a unique perspective on the hospitality industry, as well as broader trends reshaping the global economy, both of which will help impact Sonder’s strategic growth in 2020 and beyond, according to the company.
Aimbridge, Global Hotel Alliance Make Deal
Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), an alliance of independent hotel brands and operator of the multi-brand loyalty program—Discovery, has revealed that Aimbridge Hospitality, a third-party hotel management company, will become a strategic partner through their independent, lifestyle division, Evolution Hospitality. Aimbridge is the only third-party management company to have access to Discovery, according to the company.
Independent and lifestyle hotels under Aimbridge’s management will now have access to the Discovery loyalty platform. Through Aimbridge, hotel owners will be able to offer their guests a loyalty solution while exposing their properties to Discovery’s 16 million global loyalty members under an owner-friendly fee model normally reserved for independent brands.
Aimbridge is working with current and new independent owners to realize the opportunity of the partnership and is expected to launch during Q2.
M3 Reaches 6,000th Hotel Milestone
Cloud-based financial and data management platform M3 has welcomed its 6,000th hotel property to its customer base, underlining its fast-paced growth and increasing market share. Currently, more than half of the country’s top hotel management companies rely on M3’s services to manage vital day-to-day property operations, according to the company.
The company’s 6,000th property is owned and managed by Vision Hospitality Group, a premium-select and full-service hotel management company based in Chattanooga, TN. It is just one of the Vision hotels benefitting from M3’s solutions.
Hotel Internet Services Becomes Choice Hotels Qualified Vendor
Hotel Internet Services (HIS), a full-service provider of internet services and solutions for the hospitality industry, is now a qualified vendor for Choice Hotels International Inc. HIS will provide Choice properties with the latest guestroom entertainment and technology, including its industry-leading BeyondTV and BeyondTV GuestCast platforms.
Serving as a comprehensive in-room entertainment and guest service platform, BeyondTV offers guests staying at a Choice property the ability to access an array of entertainment options such as free-to-guest services and the ability to instantly cast personalized content from their own devices. Further helping to maximize in-room satisfaction is the ability for guests to use BeyondTV to effortlessly locate hotel information or make amenity requests via TV screens. When integrated with Amazon’s Alexa, guests can also interact by using simple voice commands, which can seamlessly control in-room amenities like TVs, thermostats and lighting.
In addition to BeyondTV, Choice properties will have the option of implementing BeyondTV GuestCast, an affordable and advanced standalone casting platform that fully caters to today’s guest preferences for personalized streaming content. Compatible with more than 1,000 mobile-based apps, the solution is designed to provide hoteliers with a seamless implementation and management process, while ensuring ease-of-use for guests and providing complete protection over their privacy and personal data. With BeyondTV GuestCast, hotel guests are able to instantly cast their own content hassle-free from personal computers, iOS or Android-based devices.