TESTBED’s Top Reading – March 2019

Author: Mark Fancourt

Another busy month flies by at Testbed.Vegas. Plenty going on in Travel & Hospitality this month with Senate hearings on the Marriott data breach and problems with Boeing’s new 737 Max aircraft with countries around the world grounding fleets. We enjoyed exploring the world of Virtual Reality at this months event and we also contributed to industry discussion.

Here’s some of the topics that caught our eye in the month of March.

The Travel battle ground is heating up as Google takes further steps toward the booking process

techtalk.travel cover image of Mark Fancourt's article on Google in travel

Earlier this month we were pleased to be able to contribute to Andre Baljeu’s techtalk.travel editorial set on Google and their influence in travel. The third party distribution battle is heating up with Google releasing this month a revised travel platform to market and Booking and Expedia both taking steps to try to take greater customer ownership. The complete set is well worth the read and the view.

In the meantime Expedia and Booking Holdings found themselves needing to make changes following directives from the UK’s Competition watchdog.

Being a good hotelier

Neon Blue Hotel sign
Focus on Hospitality

It’s one of my favorite statements about the business of hospitality. In today’s market it’s more important that ever to focus on being a great hotelier. Being a host, providing a quality product and backing it up with genuine engaged service. This is the recipe of a successful hotel operation and also ultimately shines through to the guest.

Chris Nasetta, CEO of Hilton discusses his views on the important facets of hospitality in an interview at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit.

Gone Robot?

FlyZoo Hotel Room

Next month at Testbed.Vegas we are visiting the topic of Robots in Travel. It’s the in (pardon the pun) thing at the moment and there are opportunities and challenges in all aspects of the industry as it relates to hospitality itself, guest experience, staff experience and future job roles and technology investments across the board.

As a teaser on the topic Alibaba recently launched their largely robot delivered hotel product in China. This will whet the whistle for what will be a very interesting discussion.

Minding other peoples business…or data

Image of lock with symbols of data or information
Data Privacy – it’s coming!

On the back of what is considered to be one of the largest data theft events ever, Marriott has found themselves in front of a US government inquiry as to the events and background of how the event took place. Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott made an apology when fronting the commission. However, in the quarterly earnings call indicated that despite the loss of hundreds of millions of guests personally identifiable data there has been no commercial impact on Marriott’s business.

It’s for these reasons that organisations must be held accountable for the damage done to others when mishandling personal information. Data Privacy regulations will be coming to America.

5th Generation – what does it mean?

5g infographic with icons of all of the data services that will be effected

In February at the Testbed.Vegas event we discussed the current trends and opportunities in smart building and building tech as it applies to hospitality. There was so much to fit in to that discussion with Jeff, Tedd and Michael that we didn’t quite reach one of the next major infrastructure changes.

You’ve heard the term 5G and you know you want it, but perhaps you don’t know why you want it. The New York Times published an article on all you need to know about 5G. One thing is for certain. It will change the way hotels are built and the way technology is deployed.

People trying to make a major difference

Orbital Systems recycling water - 90 percent water savings, 80 percent energy savings, cleaner water and higher comfort
The water efficient shower experience

A year or so ago Cheyne and I came across a company by the name of Orbital Systems. Orbital Systems product is a shower that is designed to drastically reduce the consumption of water while improving the overall quality of the shower experience.

In this article Thrive Global spends some time with Orbital Systems founder Mehrdad Mahdjoubi discussing his motivations. It’s a desert out there and this tech will one day be a standard. You heard about it here first.

The fascinating business of building the internet

Data cable workers lying on a massive coil of data cabling for the in the hull of an undersea cable laying ship.
Read the article to understand what’s happening in the picture – fascinating!

We’re all so busy consuming the internet today that it is easy to take for granted the constant and ongoing effort that takes place in the oceans of the world to provide this revolutionary platform to the globe.

This is a wonderful story about the worlds data network today, aka ‘The Internet’ and how it is being built.