Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together – Vincent Van Gogh

Come December and every industry eagerly awaits predicted trends for the coming year;

The hospitality industry is no different and has its own set of trends, those that will significantly influence the industry in the year to come, and those that hoteliers need to watch out for.

Top Tech Predictions to Influence Hospitality in 2015As a hospitality technology company, at IDS Next, we conferred with our business heads in Africa, Middle East, Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia, tapped into their exposure and observations and so, here we are, with our very own set of top trends for the hospitality industry in 2015!

As hoteliers, you may have heard of some of these before, but now, they are well underway to being fast flowing, furious trends that are shaping the hospitality industry and your hotel should promptly adopt these technological changes or may run into the risk being left behind.

But before we head to the top technology trends, let’s dwell on the guest segment that is gaining prominence.  In 2015, watch out for the Millennials and the Baby Boomers. The Millennials range from those born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s. They could be in their late teens or married with kids. Millennials are wired for technology and love to travel. So here we come hotelier, gadgets and all.

Read more>>

Let the Party Begin!

Everybody wants the best for their child, and if it’s a birthday party you are organizing it has to be awesome. But once the excitement settles down and you actually get down to the task of planning. You will be surprised to note how organizing a simple child’s birthday party can actually be a daunting task. Locating venues and comparing a few, picking the menu, choosing a party theme, ensuring your menu is in line with the theme, booking the cake, sending out the invites, shopping for stuff like party hats and return gifts, planning the game, and the list goes on….. Don’t forget, this is a team effort. Your child, husband and in-laws will give you some fantastic ideas… but you have to do all the running around and implementation. Makes you want to pull your hair out, right?

Birthday planning made easy

But wait, organizing a child’s birthday party does not have to be this stressful. You can actually do some, if not most, of the things online. Oh yes, thanks to the internet and all those intelligent businessmen who envisaged the hardships a mother could face when organizing her child’s birthday bash. They actually put together a cool portal that could help you plan!

Venue Plan is one of these. It is an interactive real-time directory on event venues and birthdays. The site currently has information on Bangalore, but they are growing rapidly into other cities.

Venue Plan lets you locate hotels in your vicinity and in keeping with your budget. It helps connect moms planning their child’s birthday with hotels, check out the facilities being offered, pick the food, plan the theme, locate magicians, tattoo artists, photographers, handcrafted return gift providers, folks who can bake personalized cakes and more…. All over the phone! Yes, hard to believe, but true.

Now, let all the fantastic ideas from your child, husband and in-laws flow in, does anyone need to know you have a fairy godmother in Venue Plan:)

Should you desire to contact Venue Plan

Website: http://birthday.venueplan.com/

Phone: (91) 9886022277

Email: plan@venuesavvy.com

Goa is one of the smallest states in India, and little more than a dot on the country’s map. Yet did you know the coastal state played host to over three million visitors last year? The internationally renowned holiday hotspot attracts guests both from abroad and the expanding Indian middle-class, and the 101 kilometers of Goa’s coast has an impressive density of 3000 hotels!

ImageWith guests flooding in, the state has all types of hotels – from luxury to lodges. The high frequency of visitors and high occupancy rates means few hospitality properties can manage without software. Yes, behind your wonderful hotel stay, there is software and technology that notes your bill at the bar, food ordered up to your room, services availed of at the spa, and clothes you sent for laundering.

When your stay at the hotel ends, the software will send out a ‘Thank you’ SMS. The hotel will continue to stay in touch with you and wish you on your birthday and other special occasions. Expect to receive emails or SMS’s on special offers and discounts at the hotel, and when you come back next year with your wife or friends, the hotel staff will greet you by name.

Thanks to the hotels guest history feature. Hotel staff will already know the newspaper you like to read, the type of pillow you requested during your last visit, and even the drinks and food you enjoyed at their restaurant. At last, you are not just another revenue figure; you have found a little comfort zone away from home.

Hotel staff come and go, shifts change, but your favourite hotel knows your needs.

All this is made possible by a large hotel property management system that works ceaselessly – day and night. Did you know, a hotel property management system can be fairly complex, and includes software modules like Front Office Management which you can encounter at the lobby, Point of Sale in the restaurant, Accounts Receivables to manage payments, Finance Management, Housekeeping, Inventory Management, Telephone Management, HR and Payroll, Food and Beverage Costing, Quality Management, Banquets and Conferences, Sales and Marketing and more.

Yes, almost every department of your hotel is managed by its comprehensive property management system. This may seems strange, for all you see are smiling hotel staff at your beck and call. But it is precisely this software, which manages the large number of hotel operations and enables its staff to serve you well.

Added to this massive software that runs the hotel almost seamlessly, are a host of other applications too. From key cards, to fancy tablet based e-menu applications to wow you with sumptuous foods, mobile check-in so you walk straight to your room, to customized in-room entertainment. The list can go on.

The Indian Middle Class is traveling

As the Indian middle class expands, it is expected to exceed 600 million in India. This is a spurring growth in the travel and hospitality industry. The recent economic downturn may have curbed the construction of five-star hotels, but the mid-market segment of four and three star hotels is booming. Research[1] shows the millennials – those born between 1980 -2000 are expected to be avid travelers, love urban locales, travel in organized groups and use mobile phones and social media to post travel reviews.

You may expect to see more technology making its way rapidly into hotels with wi-fi and mobility apps. From the hoteliers perspective software as a service (SaaS) is the next big thing.

How safe are the details you give your hotel?

However, everything is not hunky dory with the hospitality industry. More recently, hotel software has come under the scanner for being vulnerable to hacking. Yes you read right. Hotels see hundreds of guests each year. Larger the hotel, bigger the size of their database. Cards – debit and credit- are the easiest and arguably the safest mode of payment, yet it is exactly this information that attracts hackers. Trolling the web for systems they can break into, and data they can easily steal and sell, hackers find hospitality property management systems easy to breach.

1Doug Meal, partner at Ropes & Gray, says “data breaches at hospitality-related businesses account for as much as 40% of all data security breaches.”  Thankfully there is a way around it. Some countries require hotel software to be PCI DSS compliant. This means payment card details are stored in an encrypted format and are thus hacker proof. India has not enacted this legislation which requires hotel software to be PCI or PA DSS compliant. However IDS NEXT, a hotel software provider with over 26 years of experience providing hospitality technology that has a large presence in the Goa hospitality industry is PA DSS compliant. This obviously is not only a huge benefit for the hotel industry, but for guests visiting these hotels too.

In This Together

I was looking forward to feeding the city pigeons with you.

 

To sitting in the park opposite our home,

gossiping about our days of yore.

 

To attend weddings, and stand like cloth dolls

While the bride and groom bent at our feet.

 

I planned to take in our days at leisure,

Frying eggs, toasting bread and cooking your favourite curry.

 

I wanted to help you find your glasses,

Hand you your towel at the bathroom.

 

We so hoped we could go sightseeing,

And watch the whales in Africa.

 

I looked forward to admonishing our grandchildren,

While you pampered them with your love.

 

I wanted to snuggle against you

When it got cold and the socks did not help.

 

So why did you suddenly take a decision one day

to just lay down and die?

Something In Her

There was something in her, and it sometimes kicked.
It made her tummy rounder and bigger.
The doctor said she was too small to bear this something,
but her mother in a drunken stupor could not care less.

 

She yearned for love in the signs that she made,
in the words that could not escape her mouth.
But the man who threw her on the floor,
overpowered her, left her bleeding
went beyond what she could put sound to.

 

So she hid her shame till she could no more.
And when the something inside her grew too large,
it kicked at her tender, innocent heart.

 

The words again fled her mind as she lay writhing on the floor.
Oh what pain she bore.

 

(This is a poem to someone I knew. She died a few months back in premature child birth)

The child in Her

She lay curled on her bed,

Wrapped in her teddy bear blanket, now threadbare.

Tears streaming down her cheeks, choking.

Her fist a ball in her mouth.

 

Tormented by the prospects of her future.

She did not want to marry a doctor,

She wanted to study, to be a fighter pilot,

To fly the sky in search of her soul.

 

She did not want the burden of docility,

The demur demeanor were her loathing,

The nosepin, red dot, thick kajal around her eyes,

She did not want to be her mother.

 

She dreamed of a wearing a pant, with its perfectly ironed crease,

A shirt tight against her breast,

Stripes on her shoulders,

She was meant to ravage the man’s world.

This statement was released by the Aam Aadmi Party Goa <aapgoa@gmail.com> just prior to Sunday’s BJP meeting. addressed by its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, in Goa:

Press Release
Margao Goa

In view of the upcoming “Vijay Sankalp” rally to be held in Goa by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Shri Narendra-ji Modi, the Aam Aadmi Party would like to pose the following questions for the BJP and its Government in Goa.

1) Why has the BJP Govt. delayed in finalizing the Regional Plan for Goa?

2) When the Goa Govt proposes to prohibit entry for Goans into casinos on the grounds that gambling is a vice, is it not anti-national for the BJP to encourage the rest of Indians to be addicted to casinos? The BJP should clarify whether they consider casinos to be “bharatiya sanskriti” or drop the word “bharatiya” from its name.

3) Why does the BJP as a political party oppose the CIC order to bring it under the purview of RTI? What does it have to hide?

4) Why was not a single case filed with the Lokayukta against illegal miners identified in the Shah Commission Report and the PAC report?

5) Why haven’t any proceedings been started to recover the Rs. 35,000 crores looted from Goa as per the Shah Commission Report?

6) Why did the Goa Govt betray the BJP’s written promise to amend the Goa Lokayukta Act on the lines of the Uttarakhand Act, even after an AAP delegation handed over a ready draft of the amendments to the Hon. Chief Minister as requested by him. Are the promises of the BJP not even worth the paper they are printed on? (see attachment)

7) Why has the implementation of the Right to Services Act been postponed numerous times?

8) Despite expensive foreign “study tours” and numerous assurances on the issue, why does piled up garbage continue to be the biggest tourist attraction of Goa?

9) Why has the written promise by the BJP to strengthen the Gram Sabhas and enact appropriate amendments in tune with the 73rd amendment not even taken up by the Goa Govt so far? (see attachment)

10) Why is the Goa Govt still dilly-dallying on settling the Mayem Evacuee Property issue?

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