DESTINATION AND TOURISM
INNISFREE HOTELS | December 29, 2021
Gulf Coast hotel operator and management company Innisfree Hotels is proud to announce that all four of their Pensacola Beach properties have been recognized by the Green Key Global Eco-Rating Program for their ongoing commitment to improving their environmental and fiscal performance.
The Green Key Global Eco-Rating Program is a first-of-its-kind “eco-audit” that awards hospitality and tourism enterprises up to 5 Green Keys based on their sustainability practices and diligence when it comes to eco-friendly operations. The Green Key Program is recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), an international accreditation body that manages sustainability standards in travel and tourism.
Of the four Pensacola properties, Hilton, Hampton, and Holiday Inn Resort have each received a rating of 4 Green Keys, while the Surf and Sand was awarded 3 Green Keys. These initial keys demonstrate the hotel operator’s commitment and responsibility to sustainability and community engagement.
“As we step away from one of the most challenging years in hospitality, we’re humbled that guests have chosen to return to the Gulf Coast, and excited to introduce to them a better, greener Innisfree,We hope to set a new standard for sustainable travel and tourism, and these newly awarded Keys represent only the beginning of Innisfree’s commitment to environmental responsibility.”
-the company’s CEO, Ted Ent.
This recognition comes after the recent appointment of Brittney Barnett as Innisfree’s new Director of Sustainability. With over seven years of experience in community development and sustainability program implementation, Barnett joined Innisfree in October 2021 to pilot a new program focusing on climate action, resource preservation, ecological balance, and health and wellbeing.
Under Barnett’s leadership, Innisfree will continue to pursue the highest standard of sustainable operations.
It's inspiring to see our Pensacola Beach hotel teams prioritizing sustainability efforts despite the immense challenges the past few years have posed to their operations,” commented Barnett. “Looking ahead to 2022, we have many more exciting initiatives to roll out as we onboard more hotels into our sustainability program that focuses on ensuring regenerative business operations and thriving host communities.
Although each hotel has unique achievements, Innisfree’s Sustainability efforts include LED lighting upgrades throughout the hotel, boiler upgrades, installing an energy management system, procuring Energy Star certified appliances, low-flow showerheads, water saving aerator faucets in each guest room, and EV charging stations. Additionally, the hotel operator established new employee engagement practices that include developing sustainability action plans for each property, conducting sustainability trainings for staff, and establishing a platform for employees to share sustainability ideas. Bonus points were awarded for Innisfree's strong community involvement by leading social initiatives such as their “From the Ground Up” community garden, participating in “The Bail Project,” and “Parent University.”
And at the corporate level, Innisfree Hotels formally adopted a company-wide sustainability policy, established a strategic action plan, and formed a corporate green committee to lead their properties.
ABOUT INNISFREE HOTELS
For more than three decades, Innisfree Hotels has expertly developed and managed dozens of hotels in partnership with many of the world's most-recognized hotel brands. Today, the Gulf Coast-based company owns or manages 3,286 rooms and employs approximately 2,000 people. Innisfree is the largest beachfront hotel owner/operator in the Southeastern United States, boasting 14 beachfront properties along the Emerald Coast. Stretching its expansive portfolio to the Atlantic Ocean, Innisfree also operates seven beachfront/beach view hotels in many premier destinations, such as Amelia Island, Cocoa Beach, Hutchinson Island and Myrtle Beach. Innisfree has also expanded inland, adding key urban hotels in New Orleans, Sarasota, and Downtown Pensacola.
Innisfree is a triple bottom line company, measuring success not only in profits but also through its impact on people and on the planet. To these ends, Innisfree strives to promote a culture of responsibility and service to humanity. A value-driven corporate culture enables the company to have a deeper understanding of the needs of its guests, partners and clients, resulting in service that ensures fun and memorable experiences.
In 2019, Innisfree was ranked as one of the nation’s top Management Companies and top Owners & Developers by Hotel Business, the no. 1 hotel industry information source according to Harvey Research.
WCI Technologies, Lumen Tehcnologies | September 13, 2021
WCI Technologies, a World Cinema enterprise offering, in collaboration with Lumen Technologies, is delivering a range of network and IT services to the travel and hospitality industry. Most recently, these services helped enable hotel management company Remington Hotels to deliver a better guest experience with increased connectivity for guests who opt to use digital amenities, like mobile entry and virtual check-in and check-out. Working with WCI Technologies, a Lumen Channel Partner Program member, Texas-based Remington Hotels updated their wireless connectivity services at properties across the nation to provide enhanced performance, reliability and security.
“Technology plays a role in every aspect of the travel industry and is only becoming more vital. We’re very excited to add value to our customers through a secure foundation of connectivity services,” said Robert Grosz, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, WCI. “WCI Technologies, in collaboration with Lumen, is expanding our advanced services portfolio and transforming our great legacy brand into a global technology leader in the industry.”
As a Lumen Channel Partnership Program member, WCI Technologies can utilize the flexible, fully integrated portfolio of network and IT services provided by Lumen that spans infrastructure, applications, services and geographies to enable greater adaptability for customers. Offerings include a range of managed network and IT services designed for easy installation, maintenance, monitoring and management, thus simplifying the path to deployment and use.
“As businesses are using tech to fuel change and supercharge the customer experience, our Partners can leverage our solutions and expertise to help accelerate growth, increase efficiencies and exceed customer expectations,” said David Young, senior vice president, strategic sales for Lumen. “Our Channel Partner program is about making connections – not just to our global network and technology solutions, but also to a network of support, resources and training that can help companies deliver new opportunities and experiences.”
"Our partnership with WCI Technologies and Lumen has allowed us to deploy secure connectivity throughout our portfolio, catered to our modern-day traveler. Having partners that are committed to the success of the hotel industry despite the challenges of the pandemic is key. Their innovative technology paired with their top-of-the-line customer support has been a game-changer,” Said Stan Kennedy, Chief Operating Officer, Remington Hotels.
Companies are moving towards hybrid cloud environments to leverage the hyper-scalable user experience of the cloud. Digital transformation is underway and when connecting to cloud service providers, flexible bandwidth capabilities and low latency are the top features required. WCI will focus on bringing solutions that address these business needs to its existing portfolio customers.
Headquartered in Houston, WCI is a market leader innovating and delivering technology and services to guest-centric properties. The company was the first technology service provider to hotels nationwide, beginning in 1974. Today, WCI is building on that legacy as a stable and trusted provider of video, data and connectivity services to some of the largest owners and managers of hotel and multifamily brands in the world.
Corporate Traveler | September 22, 2021
Ahead of the predicted boost in business travel demand, Corporate Traveler, the only global TMC catering exclusively for start-ups to mid-market businesses, has unveiled Melon – its new proprietary travel management platform. Launching in the US and Canada , Melon's intuitive design and simple navigation belies a host of innovative features developed in response to the evolving expectations of an increasingly travel hungry, tech-savvy and budget conscious workforce.
Commenting on the motivation for the development of Melon, Chris Lynes, Senior Vice President for Corporate Traveler said: "During this period of pause, we listened to our customers and adapted our offerings, investing in a next generation digital experience that combines rich content supported by our trademark dedicated and personalized service. Simple to use and tailored to meet the exacting needs of our customers, Melon is a different type of travel platform one that goes the extra mile just like our people.
"Our clients tell us that travel is crucial to their success, and in the US, we are already seeing encouraging signs of recovery with 35% uplift on bookings made in August alone. This indicates strong desire to return to in-person meetings in the months ahead," added Lynes.
Seamless online experience, tailored to individual needs
As a business travel expert, Corporate Traveler understands that an accessible, on-the-go travel management solution is business critical to its customers; therefore, the new omni-channel platform has been designed to switch between mobile and desktop without losing functionality.
With Melon, admins are also able to control travel options, by setting personalized algorithms and even individual spend levels. Armed with this information, the platform's AI technology does the legwork and removes the frustration typically associated when searching via multiple sites, serving up a variety of choices based on learned behaviors to align with company travel policies and program goals, while taking traveler preferences and loyalty affiliations into consideration. A breakdown of spend, alongside dashboard analysis of important KPI metrics in real-time, also helps customers extract key data needed to inform decision making and accurately manage finances.
Combining technology and personal service to support customers 24/7
Unsurprisingly, as barriers to international movement lift and companies resume travel programs, duty of care has been identified as a priority. Corporate Traveler addresses this in multiple ways with Melon: from displaying the latest guidance before booking to proactively sharing live updates. Program admins can also track employees' whereabouts in real-time, while Melon's robust health and safety capabilities provides prompt alerts on risk-related events impacting travel such as country entry requirements, latest government and supplier COVID restrictions, adverse weather, crime and more. These features are underpinned by access to dedicated travel consultants 24/7, 365 days a year.
Lynes added: "In this ever-evolving travel environment, it is difficult to keep track of the latest developments across the world. Melon ensures our customers are informed and aware at every step of their booking journey. And while on the go, help is always an instant away whether via Melon's AI mobile chat function or the expert assistance of our agent support team. At Corporate Traveler, every customer is considered a VIP, so we pride ourselves in always extending the highest level of service to all travelers at all times – with no exceptions."
Access to a competitively priced, truly global inventory
Corporate Traveler customers also enjoy an expansive choice of travel content and options sourced from the widest range of travel suppliers. And being part of industry powerhouse the Flight Centre Travel Group, this means the best market wide rates, unique added-value benefits, and exclusive deals too.
In the US, Corporate Traveler provides expert travel management services to over 6,000 businesses across the country, where its teams in more than 20 US cities are dedicated to making corporate travel simpler, faster, and easier for customers.
About Corporate Traveler
Corporate Traveler is the only global TMC catering exclusively to start-ups and mid-market businesses. Established in 1993, the company is present in seven countries where it provides expert tailored advice, dedicated travel managers, and innovative, advanced booking technology to more than 14,000 customers worldwide in a typical year. Being part of industry powerhouse the Flight Centre Travel Group, access to a competitively priced, truly global inventory alongside added-value benefits and exclusive deals comes as standard. Corporate Traveler recently unveiled Melon – its new proprietary, on-the-go travel management platform featuring intuitive navigation and a seamless end-to-end online experience to help customers easily book, manage, and measure the performance of their business travel programs.