Industry take: a look ahead for property managers with Millenium’s Maurice Arbelaez

In May, we’re headed to the 2019 OPMA Executive Summit, our third since becoming members earlier a couple of years back.

And there’s good reason. We have the chance to reconnect with our travel industry friends, while also looking at the leading edge of an industry.

To this end, we caught up with Maurice Arbelaez, Corporate Director of Sales & Marketing for Millenium Management, for his take on what’s in store for property managers nationwide.


Last year, you told us that you felt OPMA was “a key organization in helping the property management industry maintain high standards of service, guest experience and infrastructure.”

The OPMA Executive Summit seems to be a great outlet for doing just that. Going into the summit, what are some of the things you feel the industry will gain? What “big solves” do you feel lodging providers are looking at heading into OPMA?

As a maturing industry, we’re at a tipping point where the need to establish industry standards that ensure the highest level of service is no longer a want, it’s a must. Maintaining this quality helps exceed the expectations of all travelers, ultimately helping condo resorts and property managers compete as a whole with hotels and beyond.

To do so collaboration at all levels is crucial, and that’s exactly where the OPMA organization and this summit come in. Its members bring education and best practices to the forefront in every core part of the business, from marketing to operations, stemming from one big goal: bettering our industry together.

More than ever, it feels like keeping a pulse on the direction of property management and marketing is a must. What are the expectations you see for property managers in 2019?

Building relationships with our travelers is at the core of what we’re all about as hospitality providers. Personal service and attention to detail is how we handle this on property.

For us, the same must be true in our marketing efforts and communication. We’re seeking to have better, more personal conversations with travelers, with the same personal touches they receive when they arrive.

We’re prioritizing marketing partnerships in these key areas to introduce our condo resorts to new audiences, and then keep in touch with them in more authentic ways.

In fact, word of mouth, reviews and social have been the most effective channels to create new business and loyal visitors. These audiences embrace authenticity, and have raised their expectations for us in travel—which is only set to continue in 2019.

As the industry grows and more big players get involved, how should property managers be thinking about their approach?

I see two key opportunities for property managers to take part in driving the industry.

First, define and uphold our standards, commanding recognition of condo resorts as a top player in the market. This will only be achieved by working together to ensure we’re positioned as a relevant player in the marketplace. (Which leads to the second point.)

Establish and develop collaborative partnerships with key players: thought-leaders in the industry, and those who aren’t afraid to challenge today’s standards and ideas to make them better. The OPMA organization and its members seek to do just this.

A common effort to better market our product; to maintain and grow stronger relationships with travelers; and to discuss and share synergies, challenge ideas and encourage growth, will solidify our position and relevance in the wider travel industry.


A heavy weight in the industry, Maurice has years of hospitality experience in everything from operations to marketing. For more thoughts from Maurice and Millenium Management, give him a follow here.

Plus, we’re always looking to spark ideas and conversations in travel. How do you feel about the trajectory of property management? What strategies and tactics will you be employing? Join in and don’t be afraid to let us know here.

Introducing: Influencer Labs

At Flip.to, we’re big believers in taking hospitality marketing to a new frontier. We share in celebrating experiences from travelers around the world, and work with folks truly passionate about providing top notch service at incredible destinations.

Somewhere, travel marketing got away from all of that, at the expense of hotels and travelers alike. So we set out to make things right.

Polished product aside, we knew this wouldn’t be a project we’d undertake alone. Nope. This would be an all-hands call with the goal of threading together perspectives from the best in the hospitality industry (and beyond) into a new fabric that defines great marketing.

That’s a pretty lofty task. So where did we start? Naturally, we called a few friends.

INFLUENCER LABS WERE BORN

Orlando Influencer Lab agenda

The idea for the labs was pretty simple. Invite some of the brightest minds in the local community to share their thoughts, spark the conversation, and then let it meander wherever our thought-leaders take it.

Ultimately we landed on very small, by-invitation events held with industry insiders on how to move travel forward—the type of honest conversation that can only happen in an intimate group of smart folks.

From broad topics in marketing, to a “mission to Mars” Elon Musk-style discussion, the groundwork was laid.

THE PILOTS: WHERE CONVERSATION TO MOVE TRAVEL FORWARD ALL BEGAN

Next up was to get the labs off the ground. To do so, we narrowed down three cities from coast-to-coast to be our experiments. And to fuel great conversation, we hosted dinner & compelling dialog with top minds in travel.

Influencer Lab: Orlando

The Alfond Inn

The good company:

  • Maurice Arbelaez, Corporate Director of Sales & Marketing, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium
  • Susan Keaveney, Marketing Director, The Shores Resort & Spa
  • Tony Aslanian, Director of Sales & Marketing, BENCHMARK, A Global Hospitality Company
  • Kit McClelland, Director of Sales and Marketing, Caribe Royale All Suite Hotel and Convention Center
  • Jessica Purslow, Area Director of Sales, TravelClick

Hosted by:

  • Richard Dunbar, Director of Partnerships, Flip.to
  • Diane Van Leunen, Director of Marketing, Flip.to

The biggest takeaways:

  • An all-Central-Florida cast and crew, this inaugural lab is where it all started. (In our hometown, no less.) Our influencers honed in on what matters most—beyond technology, marketing, and everything else—hospitality.
  • Hoteliers consistently go above and beyond when a guest is on property to exceed expectations. Now it’s time to take that same passion everywhere else: like your marketing, digital experiences, communication before and after the stay, and more.
  • Why? Sparking conversations and building relationships is at its heart what this industry is all about. So make sure that no matter how you’re interacting with your guest, that’s the intent that shows through.

Influencer Lab: Myrtle Beach

Travinia Italian Kitchen

The good company:

  • Alex Husner, CMO, Condo-World
  • Pete DiMaio, Director of Client Success, Fuel Travel
  • Matt Klugman, DOSM, Vacation Myrtle Beach Resorts
  • Patrick Norton, VP of Sales & Marketing, Brittain Resorts & Hotels
  • Josh Williams, Digital Marketing Director, Visibility and Conversions
  • Jacob Smith, Marketing Manager, Sandy Beach Resort
  • Jay McLaurin, Market Manager, Expedia

Hosted by:

  • Richard Dunbar, Director of Partnerships, Flip.to
  • Stuart Butler, COO, Fuel Travel

The biggest takeaways:

  • In Myrtle Beach, the market knows that to win travelers, you must first win them for the destination. After all, if you’re bidding for someone that wants to head to say, New York, and you’re in Myrtle Beach, they’re not likely booking your property anytime soon.
  • Taking this to heart, Myrtle Beach has become the example of “a rising tide lifts all boats,” working collaboratively from the ground up. And it’s been a win-win-win: for the destination, for their properties, and for the travelers.
  • The takeaway? Working together matters—and even promotes healthy competition—thanks to a healthy market.

Influencer Lab: Seattle

Edgewater Hotel

The good company:

  • Andrew Assante, Vice President Business Development, VR Cinematic​
  • Meredith Mara, Vice President, Sales, Coastal Hotel Group
  • Lindley Ferris, Vice President Marketing and Account Services, GCommerce
  • Frances Somers, Senior Marketing Manager, Content & Voice, Amazon Restaurants
  • Brent Lindberg, Principal and Founder, Fuseneo
  • Jenny Bullock, Senior Marketing Manager, Strategic Partnerships, Expedia, Inc.

Hosted by:

  • Diane Van Leunen, Director of Marketing, Flip.to
  • Raul Vega, Senior Director of Sales, Flip.to

The biggest takeaways:

  • Looking beyond our industry is a must. As shown by the diverse set of backgrounds who joined us at this lab, our industry should constantly be looking outward for ideas on better serving travelers.
  • So, where do you start? Consider that no matter the path-to-purchase, in every industry it’s all about anticipating the needs of people, and better serving the personal needs of those people at every step along the way. And at the end of the day, people want to be inspired, not sold to.
Influencer Lab: Seattle, hosted at the famed Edgewater Hotel
Influencer Lab: Seattle, hosted at the famed Edgewater Hotel

2019: TAKING INFLUENCER LABS WORLDWIDE

It was obvious from the pilot labs that something was sticking. And we knew that it was time to take this type of conversation to a larger scale.

So, back to boldly taking hospitality to a brand new frontier… 2019 has a ton in store, with labs lined up across the country and around the globe. In fact, the first few are already taking shape:

  • Influencer Lab: Montego Bay
  • Influencer Lab: Denver
  • Influencer Lab: Maho Beach

Be on the lookout for more to come from each of these regions, with lots of opportunity to join the conversation. Collaboration and bringing new ideas to light are musts in order to set a new course and move travel forward, together.

Shaping an industry: four travel-pro-approved takes on VR for 2019

A few weeks ago we hit the VRMA circuit at the 2018 International Conference in ‘Viva Las Vegas.’ Not only was it a great time to catch up with old friends (and make new ones) it was also an insightful few days of meaningful conversation that got us thinking about where the VR industry has been, and where it’s going—from marketing to tech and beyond.

As we pondered these questions, we weren’t alone. In fact, we tapped a few of those folks we call friends on just what takeaways came out of the conference, but at an even higher level, how vacation rentals and property managers should be thinking about growth into 2019.

Here’s what they had to say:


VRMA International is a great space for vendors & property managers to exchange ideas. Going into this conference, what were you hoping to gain from these conversations? Any fun learnings that you were surprised by?

Alex Husner, CMO at Condo-World Resort Properties

This year’s VRMA International had the largest quantity of attendees in the organization’s history, as well as the widest variety of vendors and speakers.

Many of the panel discussions spoke to the complex nature of vacation rental connectivity. I found the most interesting conversations revolved around this issue, both at a global level for the future of the industry as well as for our own pursuits at Condo-World.

Despite unprecedented attention and investment funding being directed at vacation rentals, I’m concerned that there still seems to be a large disparity between the understanding of how our product differs from hotels, as well as how much our product differs from market to market.

Commoditization is clearly a priority of the major OTAs, which may be attainable…but if it comes at the expense of changing the core value proposition of a vacation rental to make it more like a hotel so it’s easier to sell, we need to be worried about the long term effects this will have on our industry.

One of the speakers used the phrase “constructively unhappy” in their presentation. Better, more flexible solutions can be developed as long as they’re growing alongside the needs of those who will use it. The more open communication that can be had between vendors and property managers at events like VRMA International are certainly a step in the right direction.

We’re big on seeing where the trajectory of travel is headed. At a high level, what are the needs and expectations you see for vacation rental marketing in 2019? What are the small changes that marketers need to be making today to adjust?

Paul Hanak, Director of Digital Marketing at ICND

Getting website traffic has dramatically changed over the last year. Not only are individual companies having to battle with the likes of HomeAway and Vacasa for search rankings, but they’re also having to fork out cash to invest more into Pay Per Click as well.

For the past couple years, Google has really focused on User Experience and actually made User Experience a ranking factor. Think about this:

  • Making your site secure with HTTPS… ranking factor.
  • Making your site mobile friendly… ranking factor.
  • Page load speed… ranking factor.

Even the RankBrain algorithm that tracks if a user visits your site and bounces to find another is a key component. All of these metrics directly and indirectly affect how the user acts on your website. Google’s ultimate goal, and always has been, is to serve the user with the “best possible user experience” on the websites it serves to users.

The new trend, however, has switched to the E-A-T principle: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust.

A recent algorithm update demoted websites that didn’t seem trustworthy, despite the fact they had loads of information and content on their respective topics. While Google hasn’t come out and specifically said that E-A-T is a ranking factor, they are putting more stock into how trustworthy a website is based on the authors behind a website.

Takeaways?

  • Have a good reputation on the internet with good reviews from various sources.
  • Use trust signals on your website, ESPECIALLY your “About Us” page. (Team photos, smiling faces, guest reviews, community involvement, etc etc. are all great examples to instill trust into a user.)

Amy Hinote put out her recap of VRMA last month. One comment she made: “The accelerating pace of change in the vacation rental industry was apparent to all.” And she also notes something else that stood out to her: “the addition of representation from venture capital groups, private equity firms, global travel industry consultants, OTAs, urban short-term rental providers, and even Google.”

That’s a lot of new big players getting involved. For property managers, what does this mean and how should they be thinking about their approach? For travel tech?

Adam Norko, Director Short Term Rentals (STR) Sales at PointCentral

The short term rental space is growing and maturing at a rapid pace. As VRM Intel points out, this was very evident at the VRMA International trade show with the presence of large household names and deep investment pockets.

This is great news for the entire industry. As the saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

However, change does bring challenges and difficult decisions. Property (perhaps we should start saying “Asset” instead) Managers need to be willing to embrace change and be very selective with their time and resources.

The focus needs to be on streamlining processes and improving the guest experience.

From a technology perspective, this means a focus on tech that reduces friction points in operations and guest experience.

This rapid growth also brings increased scrutiny. As we continue to compete with hotels, we need to be prepared to meet the same hotel standards. Regulations, guests, and homeowners are all demanding improved standards.

As an industry we need to improve our standards proactively rather than waiting to react to negative market forces.

The quickest improvement is the need to embrace safety standards, starting with controlling who has access to the homes through enterprise smart home control.

This small step improves safety, streamlines operations, and provides a great guest experience. At this point in the industry growth, it’s hard to find more “bang for your buck.”

What did you feel were the big solves lodging providers were looking for at VRMA? Do these point to bigger shifts in how vacation rentals are thinking about marketing?

Colin Morrison, System Consultant at NAVIS

More and more VRMs are looking for ways to decrease their dependency on more expensive channels so that they can reduce their cost of sale. While there is no “one perfect solution,” there was a strong contingency of experienced vendors at the recent VRMA conference who provide cohesive tools and strategies for growing the direct booking channel.

Hotels determined in August 2011 that the most profitable distribution channel is the direct channel and savvy hotels are starting to use metrics like “net RevPAR” as a way to analyze their business. The vacation rental equivalent of this is net RevPAU which translates to “Net Revenue per Available Unit.” This is calculated by dividing the sum of all gross rental revenue less the acquisition costs by the number of homes or units in a rental program. This could also be analyzed post owner split as a net-net RevPAU.

When the cost of sale by booking channel is analyzed at as part of an evaluation of a company’s effectiveness to drive revenue to the bottom line, even with the strategy whereby VRMs are passing OTA fees onto guests or shared with homeowners, the direct channel is still the most profitable channel in the Vacation Rental industry. The reason for this is the customized and relevant experience that the VRM can deliver to a direct guest as part of the guest journey from looking to booking and beyond.

Conversion is also the highest for this channel and there is a high likelihood that over 50% of guests who book directly on your site have reached out to your reservations team directly as well. Furthermore, direct channel guests have a high likelihood at becoming guests for life and the acquisition cost for repeat guests is far lower than new guests, so guest experience is paramount for a successful VRM.


The scope of these insights are reflective of just how diverse this conference was—there was something valuable for everyone to take away, from listening into the panels, down to personal conversations to be had.

What are your thoughts on the trajectory of travel marketing? Join the conversation by saying hello or shooting me a note here.

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Hotel Tybee strikes Gold at 2017 Adrian Awards with Flip.to

Customer success: we can’t stop talking about it. That’s because the results earned by travel brands on our platform are the biggest measure of our success.

So, when other people start talking about it too? Well—we can’t help but celebrate.

That’s what we’re doing today with Hotel Tybee, who we’re proud to be recognized alongside for taking home a 2017 HSMAI Gold Adrian Award in Digital Marketing! Hotel Tybee’s success on the platform stood out among a crowded field of more than 1,100 entries.

So what’s advocacy at work look like with Hotel Tybee? When you see the numbers, it’s clear why the judges took note. Take a peek below:


In 7 months and 898 advocates, the property earned:

Hotel Tybee Success

Hotel Tybee’s advocates drive incredibly warm traffic and high conversion for pennies on the dollar.


Brett L. Loehr, CHA and General Manager to Hotel Tybee had this to say about the platform:

“Today’s reality is that it’s more expensive and competitive to earn guests. Add to that other investments we’ve made in our hotel following three hurricanes just this year, and the importance of growing profits without sacrificing hospitality for our guests comes even more into focus.

We’ve got a strong marketing team who together with Flip.to have done both. For one thing, we’re getting in front of interested travelers in the best way—our existing guests—and the numbers tell the story for what follows.”

Advocacy is a potent marketing channel that properties like Hotel Tybee have unlocked. With trust built in, quality of the audience is a natural lead into great performance.

Stacia Miele, Online Marketing Director echoed Brett’s sentiment.

“Hotel digital marketing isn’t a matter of doing one thing really well—it’s doing a lot of things really well that come together into a strategy that works for your property. Flip.to has been a great add to our stack, with the value of this new marketing channel going beyond lower cost-of-acquisition.”

“All in all—we’ve been huge fans since the beginning,” Brett went on to add.

For a peek at just a handful of what Hotel Tybee’s storyteller’s are sharing, tune in below:

 

If you’re ready to switch on advocacy, let’s chat. We’ll share how advocacy is changing the game for the hospitality and tourism industries worldwide.

Academy: the scoop on advocates and warm leads

At Flip.to, we help turn travelers into advocates—a powerful marketing force who introduce people around the globe to destinations and hotels. There’s really no better way to get introduced to the folks you’re already trying to reach.

Every so often, we get the question, “So, who are my advocates, and what will they do for me?” (And we’re still trying to settle that tricky advocates vs. avocado dilemma…)

Well, rather than spell it out here, we figured why not tell you ourselves! Tune in below—I’ll let our Director of Partnerships, Ricky take it from here.

A team of advocates:

 

From warm lead to future traveler:

 

In short—your advocates are powerful. When trust becomes your new currency, you can bank on big impact. The best thing? We track the impact every step of the way, from warm leads all the way down to booked room nights.

Are you a destination or hotel looking to level up? Get in touch here. We’ll share how advocacy is changing the game for the hospitality and tourism industries worldwide.

Just launched: Caribbean resorts shine on the advocacy platform

We ❤️ our customers, and we celebrate every new hotel kicking off with advocacy. Last month was especially fun as we’re turning a corner into summer thanks to a ton of new launches from our neighbors to the south—the Caribbean!

We’re taking a moment to share the love for these incredible properties. Feel free to put your sunglasses on as you browse through just a few highlights of these pristine resorts who’ve just tapped into advocacy. 😎 🌴


Jamaica Inn

Ochos Rios, Jamaica

Jamaica Inn in Ochos Rios is an intimate property where their guests can relax and unwind.

Going live just a month ago, they’re building a team of storytellers who are sharing their resort worldwide. One in particular stood out—Chris, who shared the dream-worthy moment below—not once but 5 times. His friends & family shared, too (to the tune 4 more times) reaching over 5,000 people so far.

There’s really no better way for Jamaica Inn to get introduced to a new audience of future travelers perfect for their timeless resort.

jamaicainn-advocacy

Bolongo Bay Beach Resort

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Bolongo Bay Beach Resort is an all-inclusive resort surrounded by the tastes, sights, and sounds of St Thomas. Since switching on, guests are reliving the favorite moments from their stay, and Bolongo Bay is becoming part of these rich, potent stories being shared—a win-win.

What’s more impressive? The incredible impact since launch! Collectively, travelers to Bolongo Bay have introduced the resort to over 127K folks around the world in less than one month.

Of this captive new audience, over 13,500 unique visitors came back to their site through a quality introduction, and more than 1,500 converted into warm leads to nurture into future guests.

bolongobay-advocacy

Somerset on Grace Bay

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands

Somerset on Grace Bay of Turks and Caicos is the picture of the Caribbean. It’s been named a top area resort by both Travel + Leisure and Forbes.

But that’s not the only reason they’re going global. With their “Tote Your Treasured Times” campaign, they’re growing a team of advocates who are sharing Somerset on Grace Bay at every corner of the world!

Their travelers are helping tell the story of Somerset in the most authentic way, combining advocacy with an incredibly fun campaign for the hotel and guests alike.

somerset-advocacy


One of the best part of our jobs is seeing the incredible memories our hotels, resorts & destinations create every day for their travelers. Add to that the impact starting day 1 thanks to these travel stories being shared, and we can hardly contain our excitement for these new launches kicking-off with Flip.to.

Want to see what your destination or hotel could do with advocacy in the next 30 days? We’re happy to share—find out by getting in touch here.

Favorites from the Flip.to blog: Our top picks from 2016

2016 was an exciting twelve months here at Flip.to. We jumped headfirst into video and launched some amazing product. Here on the blog, we shared some interesting musings, too. As this year comes to a close, take a look back at a selection of just some of our favorites.

Stories that inspire: Our favorite guest moments, a favorite Flip.to story from 2016

Stories that inspire: Our favorite guest moments

This monthly series featuring guest stories from hotels worldwide has become a regular favorite for our readers. We’ve fallen in love with these stories (and it seems you have, too)! We could pick any of a number of posts, but we’ll go back to August featuring the sights of summer.

See August’s Top Picks

Flip.to on the road: CHIEF Conference, a favorite Flip.to story from 2016

Flip.to on the road: CHIEF Conference

The CHIEF Conference set on the pristine sands of the Caribbean was one of the highlight-worthy moments of 2016. It was a mix of great insights and great people. Read on as Ed shares his “Flip.to superlatives” after meeting some incredible industry leaders.

Meet the industry’s best

Introducing: Photo Explorer, a favorite Flip.to story from 2016

Introducing: Photo Explorer (our first video!)

It’s been a big year for us in video. We’ve covered it a few times on our blog, but there’s something special about the first.

Look back at Photo Explorer

The hotelier’s essentials for big name competition, a favorite Flip.to story from 2016

The hotelier’s essentials for big name competition

We ❤ our friends. So when they have a chance to sit in on our blog, it’s something special. Jason Winberg joined to share a bit of his knowledge on finding the right tools to let hoteliers compete.

Open up the tool box

The election, the social media echo chamber, a favorite Flip.to story from 2016

The election, the social media echo chamber and what it means for hotels

Authenticity matters, as does relevancy and truth in advertising. When this was made relevant in the going-ons outside of the hospitality industry, the President weighed in.

Cast your opinion

Canning spam, a favorite Flip.to story from 2016

Canning spam: Relevancy, graymail, and the path to better communication for hotels

Unwanted email is something everyone can relate to. That’s why Richard Dunbar took this deep dive into defining spam, and helping hotels unearth better communication with their guests.

Learn how to can spam

Winning at experiential travel, a favorite Flip.to story from 2016

Winning at experiential travel: combining data and storytelling to compel your guests

This piece was originally featured on the blog of our friends at NAVIS. We’re both passionate about data, stories and how they come together to make a big impact for hotels.

Read on

Spark worldwide conversations with the excitement of travel, a favorite Flip.to story from 2016

Watch now: Spark worldwide conversations with the excitement of travel

When you strike up compelling conversations with your guests across their entire guest journey, it means a richer experience for your guests, and a growing team of advocates for your hotel. Watch more in another video favorite from 2016.

Play now

Flat Ricky’s HITEC debut, a favorite Flip.to story from 2016

Flip.to on the road: Flat Ricky’s HITEC debut

One Ricky just wasn’t enough, so Flat Ricky made his first appearance at HITEC 2016. We soon found out that he had a taste for the bayou nightlife, and the case of #MissingFlatRicky was born…

Meet Flat Ricky


What were your favorite stories from 2016? Drop us a note to let us know. In the meantime, enjoy the final hours as this year comes to a close. We look forward to kicking off 2017 in full force!

Join us: Unlocking the traveler journey—a digital marketing summit for hoteliers

Join thousands of hospitality marketers around the world as we dissect the fast-paced and ever-changing travel shopping journey. Flip.to will be joining six of the hospitality industry’s leading technology companies on how to navigate each phase of the travel shopping journey and shift the balance of OTA bookings in your favor.

The Evolving Travel Shopping Journey and Its Impact on Direct Bookings THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27 • 11 AM EST

Get registered free now

Each session features top players in the industry and you’ll be able to apply these lessons to your to hotel marketing in no time.

  • The role of each phase of the travel shopping journey, from the consumer’s perspective
  • How each phase impacts your opportunity for a direct booking
  • Digital marketing strategies to shift OTA bookings to your direct channels
  • Live Q&A with our industry experts

Plus, our own President, Ed St. Onge, will be speaking on today’s hospitality landscape, the evolving travel journey, and its impact on direct bookings.

A World of Pure Imagination: Reaching & Inspiring Travel Shoppers 11:15 AM–11:45 AM (ET)

When it comes to travel, people are inspired by friends & family. Learn how to put your hotel in the center of conversation sparked in every corner of the globe.

Let Me Take a Selfie: Traveling & Sharing the Experience 1:05 PM–1:3 5PM (ET)

Your guests provide the most candid insights into your property. Find out how to capture these memorable moments to let your guests introduce your hotel worldwide.

Save my seat


At Flip.to, the traveler journey is something we’re passionate about. Striking up compelling conversations with your guests across their entire guest journey means a richer experience for your guests, and a growing team of advocates for your hotel. Want to learn more? Let’s chat.

Flip.to unveils Vision AI, breaking new ground for hotels reaching travelers worldwide through advocacy

Advocacy platform leads travel tech with innovative application of artificial intelligence


 

Flip.to has unveiled Vision AI, the newest layer of their advocacy platform that helps hotels reach a global audience of travelers perfect for their brand.

This powerful new feature uses machine-based insights to let hotels better understand and effortlessly curate their vast, ever-growing library of guest-created content. This innovative use of artificial intelligence is the first of its kind in hotel tech. With Flip.to, hotels may now amplify their brand by delivering incredibly authentic, personal content to different segments of travelers and better convert them into future guests.

Vision AI

“Amazing tech lets us gather real insight on the guest stories we capture. What’s different is that for the first time, hotels can apply these insights to deliver content in a way that truly resonates with their future guests,” said Brian Kent, CEO & Co-founder at Flip.to. “Vision AI is the start of some pretty exciting new opportunities of real personalization at scale.”

Vision AI taps into machine-based learning using Microsoft® Cognitive Services. By processing visual data, Vision AI extracts rich information to return insights on content, image attributes, colors and more. Guest stories are automatically fitted with descriptions and tagged during the curation process, saving hotel marketers time and eliminating the inefficiencies of manual organization. Instead, hotels can easily search the authentic content their guests provide in seconds.

Flipto_VisionAI2

Faces AI, a component of the artificial intelligence by Flip.to, detects human faces and can identify attributes like age and gender in a guest story.

Vision AI and Faces AI make the impact of the advocacy platform for hotels even more potent. By thoughtfully applying artificial intelligence, Flip.to gives heightened context to the content and interactions of advocacy for hotel marketers worldwide.

“Flip.to is designed to capture warm leads with rich touch points across the entire guest journey. Vision AI takes that even further.” said Edward St. Onge, President at Flip.to. “It makes everything hotels are doing on our platform, as well as their others forms of marketing, even smarter and more compelling. The possibilities are limitless.”

Hoteliers worldwide use Flip.to to wield the power of a story well told and capture new guests. To begin reaching, inspiring and converting an entirely new global audience every day, take a tour or say hello.

We’re #HITECnola bound

It’s here! One of the biggest conferences of the year. We’re headed to New Orleans for the 2016 edition of HITEC. The days are full of innovation, insights, and a bit of fun. Here’s a cheat sheet of just a few of the places we’ll be. Say hello, or reach out and let’s get together.

Monday, June 20


Entrepreneur 20x

Morial Convention Center—Rivergate Room, 1–4 PM

Join our own president, Ed St.Onge, as he sits on the judges panel for the second year in a row at Entrepreneur 20x. You’ll hear pitches from innovative start-ups in hotel tech at this competition. Ed’s joining a host of hospitality veterans on the judges panel, from CIO’s and angel investors, to serial entrepreneurs and industry insiders.

Join in


HITEC Opening Reception — “A Night in ‘Nola”
Generations Hall – A Night in Nola , 6:30–9 PM

New Orleans Jazz, and classic Nola food and drinks? Say no more—we’ll be stopping by.

Say hi

Tuesday, June 21

HITEC Exhibits, Booth #1615
Tuesday, 10 AM–4 PM / Wednesday, 10 AM–3 PM / Thursday, 10 AM–2 PM

 

The booth! We’ve got a ton of amazing things to share this year for Flip.to. To start, we’re unveiling our newest product update—Vision AI.

This powerful new feature uses machine-based insights to let hotels better understand and effortlessly curate their ever-growing library of guest-created content. This innovative use of artificial intelligence is the first of its kind in hotel tech. With Vision AI, hotels can now amplify their brand by delivering incredibly authentic, personal content to different segments of travelers and better convert them into future guests.

Stop by Booth #1615 to see this and other product updates, check out our brand new tour, and take a photo or two with the team. Just be sure to say hello! (We’ve even brought back the comfy couch.)

Schedule timeorTake a tour


Tech Talks: Engagement Vs. Communications: What Are the Best Solutions?
Morial Convention Center, 11–11:15 AM

Industry veteran, friend-of-Flip.to, and all-around hotel tech expert Alan Young of Puzzle Partner will be sharing a bit of his knowledge in his tech talk on better hotel & guest engagement. Short but sweet, this is one you don’t want to miss.

Say hi to Alan


Travel Trends that Matter with Google, GCommerce, & Flip.to
La Louisiane, 725 Iberville Street, 4–6 PM

If you registered early, you’re one of the lucky attendees! This sought-after event features insightful discussion on hospitality and travel marketing trends as told by Google, GCommerce and Flip.to. It’s not too late to join the waitlist! We’ll keep in touch if any spots open up.

Join the waitlist


Break the Ice with Flip.to, Lanyon, NAVIS and Social Tables
Bourbon Vieux, 503 Bourbon Street, 8–11 PM

Break the ice and snap a photo with a new friend while you mix & mingle with the industry’s best. Be ready to take part in our photo contest after the event—you could end with some sweet prizes. This event is by invitation—get in touch to request yours!

Get on the list

Wednesday, June 22

HSMAI’s ROC Conference

Morial Convention Center—Great Hall, 7 AM–6:30 PM

Our very own Ed St. Onge and Danielle Fierman will be onsite for the 2016 Revenue Optimization Conference. Be sure to stop by our sponsor in the Great Hall. Drop us line if you’d like to set up time to chat, or even just have coffee.

Schedule time

Thursday, June 23

Super Session: M&A in the Hospitality Tech Sector: Who is Next? What Does it Mean?
Morial Convention Center, 9–10:30 AM

Our own Ed St.Onge takes the stage once again as part of Thursday’s Super Session: M&A in the Hospitality Tech Sector: Who is Next? What Does it Mean? Sit in as the industry’s best explore the world of Mergers & Acquisitions in hotel tech.

Ed joins a pane of other well-known names in hospitality: Larry Hall, managing director with Trillium Services Group, Alex Alt, president of Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Chris Hemmeter, managing director with Thayer Ventures, and Bob Post, CEO and president with thing5.

Stop in