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Vaccine passports in the hospitality

The vaccine passport concept has gained popularity in the new normal, and become essential for any traveler in order to enter a foreign country without following through with the mandatory quarantine procedure. Ever since its first introduction, the vaccine passport has brought new light and hope to tourism and hospitality in particular, and the economics worldwide in general. In Vietnam, we have implemented the vaccine passport very early on, as the government’s efforts in reopening the border, retrieving the economy post-pandemic.

What is a vaccine passport?

A vaccine passport is a vaccination certification also known as an immunity passport for those who have had at least 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccines (according to the International health regulation on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases). It is a special pass that determines a healthy individual who does not contain any contagious disease and owns a privilege to obtain a travel visa entrance to a foreign country.

    Vaccine passports can be issued in paper form, card, or digitally through an app. In order to get a vaccine passport, a resident has to comply with the followings:

  • Fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines
  • Negative with SARS-CoV-2 virus certified by an authorized health organization with a laboratory test of RT-PCR/RT-LAMP within 72 hrs before or a COVID-19 antigen rapid test 24 hrs prior to the departure time.
Vaccine passport under the paper form, card, or digital through an app

Vaccine passports have been introduced in recent times and receive major concern regarding whether or not it’s the ideal solution.

The benefits of vaccine passports

As stated by the ICAO’s report, the number of international passengers has decreased by 60% in 2020 compared to 2019. Many air flights have suffered through this sudden drop.

According to the UNWTO Travel restrictions report, 46 destinations (accountable for over 21% of destinations worldwide) had to close their borders and stop welcoming passengers. Which, 26 destinations have not reopened their border yet ever since the end of April 2020. 55 destinations (approximately 25% of the total destinations worldwide) have been extremely selective in opening the border up for tourism. 112 destinations (accountable for 52% of the world’s destinations) request PCR testing and COVID-19 antigen rapid test results upon entrance.

    In order to recover the domestic and international economy, apart from being in control of the current epidemic situation, applying vaccine passport brings the great benefits:

  • Accelerate the downturn of the economical industries post-pandemic. Establishing the travel and economic business exchange activities in the new normal.
  • Relaxing strict social distancing policies, resuming public services, manufacturing, and businesses.
  • Achieving herd immunity allows nations to lift all public restrictions on public gatherings, and activities.
  • Saving time, crazy expenses, and labor in mandatory quarantine procedures upon immigration entrance.
Vaccine passport speeds up the immigration process and cut down the financial burden on the nation.

Vaccine passport speeds up the immigration process and cut down the financial burden on the nation.

The disadvantages of vaccine passports

COVID-19 vaccines have been speedily administered to billions of people worldwide, the government has carefully considered acknowledging immunization certification as the key to opening their borders and resuming economic activities, relaxing the strict social curbs. The argument for implementing such has raised massive attention due to the following concerns:

Personal privacy is the trade-off?

Vaccine passports sparked the debates on being immunization proof for international travel. While digital health certificates safeguard the reopening and fast-track economic growth, valid concerns on protecting the privacy of personal health from private institutes and organizations who have been trying to process and collect these data for their own misused purposes. Upon the possible security breaches, the implementation of vaccine passports should ensure a protection measure has been kept in place.

Balancing the economic growth and COVID-19 control

Governments worldwide are in a dire dilemma of consciously protecting their citizens’ health status while struggling to salvage their economy. After countless social distancing and hard lockdown strategies, to pick up the downslope economy, the COVID-19 vaccines campaign seems to be the only way out to many countries. Nonetheless, this does not guarantee COVID-19 is controlled. The recent wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in China is putting a number of their cities completely shut down, closing all borders trying to contain and wrap up this crisis. The negative impacts of this COVID-19 wave on the China economy resulted in great disruption.

The modern form of discriminatory

Socially speaking, the vaccination certification helps to accelerate the economical aspects such as retail, hotels, tourism, manufacturing, etc. However, it somewhat unintentionally creates a two-tier society based on individual health choices. A vaccine passport is subject to indirect discrimination, granting the liberty of travel and public availability to the one who is certified. Governments in developing countries have been racing against vaccine coverages, trying to minimize this invisible discrimination. Meanwhile, in underdeveloped countries where the vaccines supply is moderate, this unspoken discrimination might last for some time.

The current COVID-19 vaccines supply has been a burden, resulting in the uneven distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world. High GDP countries are having the “priority” to get vaccinated compared to others, granting their citizens the freedom of travel and access to public facilities promptly, making the discrimination prominently clear. Although it’s a temporary matter, this issue has become a political issue in the US, receiving backlash from the medically vulnerable group of people.
Vaccination Passport Expiration Date barriers

Apart from being discriminating, the expiration date of vaccination certification has been announced while the world is still deep in the argument about the 3rd booster dose. It created an invisible barrier for not only the international travelers but also imports & exports, airplanes, shipping, etc. industry as well.

Tourists have to pay expensive fees to complete laboratory lab test if the regulation on 270 days ‘till expiration of the vaccine certificate is passed despite which type of vaccines they took.

Indirect discrimination is triggered upon vaccine passport implementation.

Tourists have to pay expensive fees to complete laboratory lab tests if the regulation on 270 days till the expiration of the vaccine certificate is passed despite which type of vaccines they took.

Tourists have to pay upfront multiple laboratory lab test fees to get their vaccine passport renewal once the regulation on 270 days expiration of vaccine passports is passed despite whichever vaccines you took. After the 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 Recovery certificate, tourists are allowed to enter those countries’ accepted vaccine passports program with a negative result of COVID-19 testing, 72hrs before entry for PCR testing, and 48hrs prior to with COVID-19 antigen rapid test.

Ms. Jenny Southan – the Founder and CEO of Globetrender – a forecasting travel trends company said: “Vaccination expiration date has negatively affected the tourists’ mental state. While the economy is experiencing a downturn, this definitely is not a smart move”. She strongly stated the more tricky and complicated traveling documents get, the slower the tourism and hospitality recovery in the year 2022.

Vaccine passports in Vietnam

In Vietnam, a vaccine passport is only accepted for those who are vaccinated with approved doses by WHO (World Health Organization), the FDA ( the United States Food and Drug Administration), the EMA (European Medicines Agency), and the Vietnam Minister of Health emergency approval guidance – said Ms. Le Thi Thu Hang – the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press conference on October 10th, 2021.

Ms. Hang believed vaccine passports are a feasible strategy to actively restart the national economy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had collaborated with the Ministry of Health to publish temporary guidelines and instructions to approve vaccination certification and COVID-19 recovery certification for foreigners, and announce these approval forms to 44 nations and territories.

Starting out with piloting vaccine passports for international tourists to green-zone tourism destinations.

Vietnam vaccine passport is accepted in 19 countries around the globe.

The Ministry of Health had issued an official form and procedure for issuing the vaccine passport, effective on December 20th, 2021. Vaccine passport certification shall be encoded into QRcode, which will expire within 12 months after the initially created day. The government had approved piloting international tourists using a vaccine passport to enter Phu Quoc and Kien Giang Province at the very beginning of this program, then expanded to the rest of the nation later on. Vietnam’s vaccine passport has been approved in 19 countries across the globe including Australia, Belarus, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Japan, Maldives, New Zealand, Palestine, the Philippines, Saint Lucia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Turkey, the United Kingdom., USA, Iran, and Malaysia. Vietnam also loosened their entrance COVID-19 testing requirement by accepting vaccine passports with a PCR negative 72hrs before the departure time or a 24hrs negative result of COVID-19 antigen rapid test.

Travel post-pandemic comes with both opportunities and challenges for all businesses. In the competition for a market share of international tourism during the “living safely with COVID-19”, you’ll miss your chance of being one step behind the others. The vaccine coverage has rapidly escalated over the last quarter, Vietnam has officially opened its international tourism as of March 15th, just in time for the neighboring countries to reopen their tourism again. The opportunity cost of hesitating at this phase is way above our head, narrowing the economic growth in the long run.

The acceptance of vaccine passports globally has opened up a new era post-pandemic. This encourages travelers to favor the contactless trend, Staycation trend, wellness travel trends to the nature-oriented areas/countries, etc. Hoteliers have to continuously keep up to date to stay afloat, ready to transform and adapt to the new normal. CiHMS – the ultimate hospitality management solution for your hotel will help you “stay in the game” – ready to rock the upcoming travel season.

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[Feature Update] Direct connection with

After months of preparation with back and forth negotiation during the ups and downs of the pandemic, we are proud to announce that our CiHMS Distribution Channel Manager is now connected directly with the travel giant and is the first connectivity partner of in Vietnam. Just in time to boost your year-end sales for the most special season of the year.

CiHMS Distribution Channel Manager now is connected directly with

CiHMS Distribution Channel Manager now is connected directly with

CiHMS clients now earn direct connections with, adding the extra onto the OTA distribution channels list we had announced at the Direct OTA channels connected with CiHMS Distribution Channel Manager” blog post. While might be just another OTA channel for some, it has managed to gain market share exponentially with almost no resistance, despite the economic crisis due to the pandemic. has always sided with customers and they do amazing customer orientation. Apart from that, offers additional valuable services such as complimentary transportations, drinks, and even room upgrades by converting loyalty points. That is why they continuously win their customers’ loyalty and support. It also means their customer base is huge and diversified, a big plus for any hotel’s brand visibility coverage.

Getting connected directly to was not entirely smooth sailing. It had a long list of requirements to fulfill. Their partners have to have strict standards on security systems with PCI DSS certified, PII compliances in place; whether or not their partners’ development team masters the latest technologies and are up to their game. The active room keys on the systems, hotel coverage, and the current OTA partners’ list are also concerns. Without a doubt, is the toughest OTA channel we have cracked so far.

CiHMS Distribution Channel Manager can easily integrate with hotel management software, especially our powerful cloud-computing hotel management system – CiHMS. Interested in our CiHMS solution and looking for a demo? Contact our team today.

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The reality of API Hospitality Applications

If we have talked about what an API is and why the hospitality industry needs it, in today’s blog we would like to offer you a ride on the real-life APIs’ hospitality application tour. Let’s buckle up and dive in!

Open API is undeniably a necessity for all hospitality management software out there to retain their product life cycle

Have you ever wondered how many hospitality software do you have with a built-in Open API?

The major four departments in operating a hotel generally are the Front Office, Housekeeping, Food and Beverage, and the Kitchen Production Department, but not limited to. Apart from the operational departments, hotels also have their functional departments, such as Marketing, HR, Accounting & Finance, and Purchase Department. The bigger the hotel gets, the more defined roles of departments are going to be. Each needs different data input to operate efficiently. Start off the early start of the customer journey: the booking process.

Distribution Manager and Central Reservation System API in Hospitality

Nowadays, customers typically complete their hotel reservations either through the OTA websites indirectly, on the destination hotel websites directly, or straight off from the Google Booking Link (if you haven’t heard about this feature yet, get the update here).

Not all hoteliers are up with the current technology, resulting in consistently reluctant to try out new hospitality software, until receiving customers’ complaints of being outdated. Thanks to the API technology, hotels with a channel manager installed in place can skip out all the dull data entry tasks entirely. From room price, descriptions, hotel features, packages, to promotions automatically sync in just one single click. As its name implies, the Distribution Manager enables hotels to be in total control, comfortably manage hundreds of OTAs domestically and internationally.

Manage hundreds of OTAs easily with the help of CiHMS Distribution Channel Manager, thanks to API, everything can be observed right in your CiHMS's PMS dashboard

Thanks to API, hoteliers can easily manage all their distribution channels through CiHMS’s DCM module

A centralized system for reservation – CRS helps to connect all your hotel bookings across all distribution channels: direct bookings from your website or through distribution manager, offline via phone calls, or through a booking engine of sorts spontaneously. Once a booking is completed, API shall transmit the data onto your hotel system in real-time, also allowing the customers to proceed with secured payments seamlessly through payment gateway integrations. CiHMS’s CRS would accomplish all of the above plus more. CiHMS Central Reservation System is certified by PCI DSS level 3 and follows the HTNG standards. Quick setup, tailored to your hotel’s needs, and profound convenience.

The Food and Beverage System API in Hospitality

Do you have a restaurant running within the hotel’s property? How do you manage your restaurant operations? What is the procedure once your guest orders in-room dining? In the past, a single phone call would do. The order status remains a mystery unless a call is made. During peak season, it is irrational to operate this way.

If you have the FnB system running, the API helps to connect your restaurant and the front desk, concierge, and any department you would like it to be connected with. Not only the in-room food orders’ status but also the table status can be checked instantly. Accessible to restaurant current menu, food and beverage prices, available set meals, or promotions. Needless to say, the front desk or concierge can help to take orders, process, cancel or even refund orders upon requests. Cut down the manual work, excessive phone calls obviously while maintaining the precise order detail, fast-pace services to your customers. In love with the FnB system? Check out CiHMS POS – Food and Beverage system for greater detail.

Instead of doing it the traditional way, Open API enables front-desk departments to housekeeping get up-to-date with the order status in real time right in CiHMS POS FnB software interface

The hassles of communication back and forth via phone call now cut shorts with CiHMS’s POS – FNB system

The mighty core system – Hospitality Property Management System

Being the backbone of any hotel operations – a robust cloud-based Hospitality Property Management System with flexibility and the capability to integrate numerous hospitality software via Open API is the ultimate PMS of the future. A full stack of software collects unlimited data daily generated from different departments through the API. Sending all the information to the PMS to synthesize, analyze and establish reports accordingly. Developing valuable insights to boost up the decision-making process and further perfect your hotel’s strategic plans.

The CiHMS Property Management System is more than just that. Everything you need can be found right at the PMS dashboard: user-friendly, clean design yet powerful. Highly accessible from any mobile device, synchronizing simultaneously and immediately. Plus, it is built-in with the latest technology in the market such as facial recognition, OCR, contactless payment, etc. Everything you ever need in an all-in-one PMS at CiHMS.

The future PMS can be found in CiHMS Property Mangement Software. Based on cloud computing technology, together with Open API, CiHMS guarantees conveniences to any hoteliers in need for a superior hotel PMS with a reasonable expense

CiHMS Property Management Software is the missing piece to harmonize the rest of your hospitality software. It is a cloud-based PMS with Open API, easy to install, grow as you expand, and does not require heavy investment up-front

The above 3 mentioned hospitality software are merely a few examples of how API connects the dots and conveys data within them. They are not by any means representative of all the hospitality software out there, however, their Open API-wise functionality is pretty much similar.

All strive to assist hoteliers in fine-tuning and optimizing their daily operations in order to achieve profits maximization. With that being said, the responsibility is right back at the hoteliers: to deeply and thoroughly acknowledge their hotel models, customers’ audiences, brand value, and business culture in order to discover the matching piece to your hospitality software stacks. Open API is only the reliable “transportation” for software data to communicate with each other. It does not determine whether or not the hospitality software is best. Simply an indicator to set similar hospitality software apart from the other.

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The 101 Guide to API for Hoteliers

API stands for Application Program Interface. Unless you’re developing an app, website or working in a tech-related profession, API probably remains as another acronym to you. The truth is you might have been using API on a regular basis without recognizing it: using voice recognition to convert text to speech on your messenger, trying to get price comparison for your next flight, or getting located on your food delivery app.

The amazing world of technology that API brings to the hospitality industry is out of line. Without API, monitoring numerous hospitality softwares would be threadful

It may be boggle to a few hoteliers once API pops up, due to the technical side of it. It’s surprising to know how often one uses API on a daily basis

In our previous blog on “The Future of Hospitality Management System is here yet”, we have briefly mentioned Open API as a vital element to transform your regular cloud-based PMS into the ultimate future-proof hospitality PMS. Understanding what is API, the dynamic fundamental principle of how it works and the challenges that lies within to empower hoteliers to utilize the benefits of API at most.

What is an API?

The Application Program Interface is a set of defined rules and protocols, written in programming code that allows communication and data transmission between application software/computer software. API enables software companies to open up their products to their internal development teams, external 3rd party developers, and business partners to further functionality deployment and diversify its features.

API is short for Application Program Interface. The power of API in the hospitality industry is understated

API basically is a middle man helps to convey data transfer for one software/apps/system to another

In the past, it was extremely difficult for systems to speak to others, as they were server-based. Pretty much like having a computer without the Internet, an isolated island per se. Thanks to the exponential growth of the Internet, the software community has leaned toward favoring the hyper-connected platform ecosystem model instead. API comes in as a glue to connect within the applications or systems to exchange data freely. Neither it is an application nor a web server, but rather sits between the two. Acting as an intermediate layer, API plays the role of a middle man to facilitate the data transferring securely without intervening in the core system.

How does it work?

  1. First, initiating API calls: made by the software application or computer system needs to retrieve certain information from others.
  2. Upon receiving a valid request: then the API makes a call to the external software or systems.
  3. External software or system sends a response: to the API for the corresponding information.
  4. API accomplished the requests: by transmitting the required information back to the initiated software or system.
Surprisingly to know how simple API works without having any technical knowledge. In just four easy steps, API can help to connect software and exchanging data

How API works can be described in just four steps. Understanding how API works would help you – hoteliers to appreciate it more

How many types of APIs are out there?

There are 3 types of APIs:

  1. Private APIs: is developed for internal uses only, within in-house development teams to integrate new applications or systems to its existing products.
  2. Partner APIs: stays accessible to the business partners to use with credential logins.
  3. Public APIs or also known as open APIs: has defined APIs endpoints, requests and response format. Available for 3rd parties to access via HTTP protocol.

APIs vs Hospitality

Now we understand what an API is, what does API have anything to do with hotels?

API makes all hospitality industry softwares can be able to integrate with each other, minimize cost while maximize its effectiveness

Is API necessary in the hospitality industry?

In the hospitality industry, hoteliers do not rely on a single software but rather a handful of them. According to HotelTechReport, an average number of software applications that hotels typically use is around 20. In order for those software to provide real-time updates, statistics or valuable insights, connectivity can be carried out via APIs. Or else you would presumably be contacting each software provider personally seeking their support in order to integrate them altogether! Trust me, you don’t want to walk this dreadful and expensive path.

Developers have been using 61.1% more APIs in the year 2020 compared to 2019. 71.1% of developers were also expecting this number to continue to rise in this year, 2021 (reported by RapidAPI survey). It proves the adoption of API is accelerating globally.

The challenges

The conveniences of APIs are viable for future technology product development. Especially for cloud computing software such as cloud-native hospitality management solutions, it’s crucial to have the API development in place and upfront to feasibly integrate with the existing 3rd parties components. This brings an unexpected financial burden to the software development budget.

As mentioned above, there are 3 types of API protocols and it isn’t required for hospitality software APIs to follow a certain standard. Not all APIs are made the same. In short, it’s hard to be compatible with all the 3rd party components. On the other hand, hospitality software vendors are not always willing to “open” APIs at no charge.

The bottom line is achieving a powerful API integration, connectivity for your software allows you to exploit its full capabilities and capacities. It makes the world of full innovations closer to the hospitality industry. There are plenty of methodologies on the appliance of API in hospitality software, solutions, and apps. We would like to save this for a later post as our blog is getting long. If you haven’t looked into this matter, leverage your technology provider or your team, start igniting and exploring the API’s world to maximize the potential value to your business. It’s time to hop on board.

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Tourism in the post Covid world: challenges & opportunities

The pandemic has been an unfortunate turn of events for the past two consecutive years, leaving the tourism and hospitality industries suffering its impact the hardest.

After two years since the pandemic hit, tourism and hospitality industries are taking baby steps toward the recovery road

The recovery of tourism and hospitality post COVID-19 is happening now

However, we are truly excited and curious awaiting to see how both industries resume their glory. If we were passively trying to cope with the coronavirus outbreak in the year 2020, and almost two-thirds of the year 2021, the government has been actively taking progressive actions, steadily picking up where we left and finally moving forward.

The global tourism landscape

According to a report, the tourism expenditure had dropped sharply to at least 35 to 48 percent globally, especially the international tourism sector that accounted for approximately USD 1.3 trillion in export revenue. That was more than 11 times the loss of the 2009 economic crisis, crazy yet? Unintentionally, putting over 120 million tourism jobs at stake, as well as small and medium-sized tourism enterprises have been forced to close down.

Travelers’ habitual shift – the challenges deriving from your customers

Ticking off their bucket list

The travel demands have surged significantly in 2021, confirmed by 75% of travelers who took the research by Expedia Group. People have already envisioned their next vacation as soon as the restriction is lifted, creating their bucket-list destinations which they have never considered to do pre-pandemic, all due to year-long lockdowns.

Many have planned and made their all time favorite destinations list and can't wait for their next trip

Spending long term lockdown consecutively for the last 2 years has affected us all in travel behavior and habits

Take drivable leisure trips

Travelers are eager to be up on their feet again, has been noticed a drastic change in habits and behaviors. They prefer to travel within drivable locations, either by private or rental cars, which provides them a sense of safety. That is the result of sudden authorized restrictions applied whenever a new wave of outbreaks creeps in. It reassures that they can manage to get back home just in time before the lockdown takes place.

Prefer longer stay

The hybrid work has been adopted widely. This trend does not seem to settle down anytime soon and shall continue paving its path in the future. People take advantage of this flexible working to have longer stays holiday with their beloved ones to make up for the lost time.

Thorough research beforehand

If before, travelers searched for attractive landmarks, activities around town, nowadays their search priority shifted. A deeper search on the property, the facilities, the nearby neighborhoods, the amenities, and any related photos they can get their hands on is mandatory. Cancellations and cleanliness policies are also on top of the list. All to make sure they are in control and be ready for all the possibilities when things go sideways unnoticed.

Deep dive into property's information across the internet to make sure they find what they are looking for before complete their booking itinerary

No longer an impulsive holiday trip, guests are doing their background research before booking their travels

The open opportunities for hoteliers

Digitize your property

In other words, make your hotel known and reachable on the web. Promote your property across all available social media platforms and OTA channels. Focus on your targeting audiences. If you haven’t known who they are, it’s time to sit down and determine your potential customers.

Showcase your property profile with clear, accurate, and attractive photographs, which play a crucial role in the decision-making. The most concerning aspect any guest would always look for is room photos. This includes but is not limited to photo of the bed, bathroom, lobby & other facilities like swimming pools, conference rooms, fitness rooms, spas, shops, etc. They want to know what they will get, and they will expect no more no less.

Offer flexibility

The cancellations policy has become one of the concerns throughout the booking process. It is less likely for travelers to book non-refundable trips compared to pre-pandemic. Just risky in general. Giving guests a flexible cancellation policy would reinforce their purchase commitment. A case study of Eric Brown – an owner of a vacation home in Texas, USA on changing his strict 60 days cancellations to two weeks one had helped him to score 30+ bookings in a week.

Try adjust your hotel cancellations policy to be more on the flexible side. While assuring your guests best interest first, it also guarantee delivering a higher conversion rate

Customers treasure the flexibilities while travelling, whenever the uncertainty is involved, especially post COVID-19

Active in communication

Tech-savvy guests are keen on exchanging information with the property before their arrival. Be available to assist your guests as needed to eliminate their undesired features that your property might be able to remove in advance. You perhaps sneak in a few incentives such as discounted meals, upgraded room, free parking, or spa vouchers and will be amazed at their voluntary spending on other expensive amenities and services during their stays in return.

Provide customer-oriented technologies

Everyone stays connected online whether they are on vacation or not. Get your hotels equipped with the latest technology software to stay relevant in this modern day. Start with hospitality management solutions or what others would call a hotel PMS. It is the central system of your hotel operations. Trust us, a PMS helps everything work seamlessly, efficiently and costs much less. If you haven’t had one in mind yet, check out our cloud-based hospitality management solution CiHMS and choose the best fit package for your hotel.

Introducing our CiHMS - hotel management software which helps automate all your hotel operations seamlessly, effortlessly at a reasonable budget

CiHMS is a cloud-based hospitality management solution that you would ever need: powerful yet flexible at your fingertip

Other technologies to look into are touchless experiences from check-in/check-out to the keyless entry of room cards and public areas, robotic technology for room delivery, laundry services pick-up/ drop-off, voice and facial recognition, etc. There are numerous technologies out there on the market, and these can be quite an investment. Again, understand your customers, know your priorities and select the best match for your property while exceeding your customer expectations.

What about Vietnamese tourism?

Although the international tourism sector in Vietnam took only 17% of the market share, its spending expenditure captured more than half of the whole tourism spending itself. Up to 80% foreign travellers to Vietnam are from Asian countries like China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Many are looking forward to visiting Vietnam on their next vacation, whenever we are ready to open for international travels again. According to Vnexpress, 63.4% of Japanese are eyeing for Vietnam travel tours.

With such demands, the acknowledged challenge for Vietnam is to control the Covid infection cases. Then gradually lost its travel restrictions and eventually opened the borders by starting the vaccine passport program. To achieve such a scenario, the Vietnam government has been aggressively pushing the vaccine campaign at full speed.

The national vaccine campaign is now in full swing. We slowly welcome vaccine passport flights over the last couple weeks, marking the start of tourism recovery in Vietnam

The vaccine passport program has been widely applied in other countries across the globe. Vietnam is taking its first step toward this right direction, remarks the its first efforts in tourism recovery strategy

Many hotels are firm to evoke upcoming promotional travel tour packages as their marketing move. It can be tempting at first, but not sustainable in the long term and might come back to hurt you financially. International tourism might take time to resume its normal stage pre-pandemic. It is best to focus on the domestic tourism sector for now, which seems to shift toward high-end travel experiences after going through the long-term lockdown and not until they complete both vaccine doses.

The world post-COVID-19 fills with challenges and opportunities for the tourism and hospitality industries. There isn’t any clear sign of when the next outbreak will occur, and whether or not we will be able to control it. It is best to take small steps with caution, don’t you think?

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The Future of Hospitality Management System is here yet

PMS (Property Management System) has been around for more than four decades and is known for its capabilities in managing hotel operations seamlessly. Some may call it the center nervous system of hotel operations, indeed it certainly is. It has continually evolved to accommodate hoteliers’ constantly growing demands over time. If on-premises were the only way out for hotel PMS in the past, cloud-based hospitality management software has recently taken over the number one spot. This leaves all the hospitality geeks wondering, what is next from here.

The possibilities of change in your hospitality management system are numerous. As the technology constantly develops, our system has left no choice but to adapt and evolve surrounding the technology evolution

We have watched the hospitality management system mature over time. Cloud-computing technology has taken the PMS over by a storm, and welcome the hospitality industry to enter its new era.

The current Hospitality Property Management System situation

Peeking behind the hotel IT system, no hoteliers relies on only one single software provider, but rather a few depending on the complexity of their hotel operations procedure. Out of the technology products stack, you can easily get Property Management Software (PMS), a Central Reservation System (CRS), Revenue Management System (RMS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), F&B, POS, and the list goes on. Imagine having all of those installed and getting each integrated. Sounds effortless, until you’re on it. Each software provider might need to implement a few custom modifications to successful integration, a bit tweak here and there to fit the hotel’s unique business model. Obviously, it is not done on a free term and clearly would cost you a heap of money in the process.

Over time, each of the software in the stack gradually gets heavier, more complex, and cumbersome to update, troublesome to further customize its features. At a certain point, the software providers would intentionally stop supporting your requests, and neglect your concerns as the fix would not apply to the majority in the industry. This scenario has happened across the hospitality industry. Many have thought an “all-in-one” system would resolve this issue, however, not all are. The system structure is limited or reluctant to remove restrictions when it comes to 3rd parties software integration capabilities other than theirs.

The future of Hospitality Property Management System

It leads the hospitality industry toward the concept of a cloud-based open platform PMS, where its lean core remains the backbone of the system. Other software/systems can seek integration via two-way open API connections (Application Programming Interface), which allows them to communicate with minimal efforts at greater stability. At this stage, your PMS acts as a hub, other hotel applications would just simply plug in and play accordingly.

The future of all hotel property management system seems far-fetch but is already here within our reach without we acknowledge it

A cloud-based open platform PMS with built-in Open API is the foundation for 3rd parties hospitality software to simply connected to, ready to work without the need of any professional help

Why has such a great PMS model not been done yet?

The future of PMS is already here, in the form of a cloud-based system with open API. Many PMS software providers’ mindsets have shifted monumentally. The adoption of cloud computing technology across the hospitality industry is impressive. However, it still remains a small portion of the market. How come? The building process is outrageously complicated, exhausted, and pricey. In order to walk this path, the PMS provider has to “plan” every single step ahead of time with a clearly defined vision, detailed roadmap, and practical product life cycle strategy.

While open API encourages outside developers other than your own to innovatively develop valuable applications for your core software, it can be a burden when it comes to standardizing open API. This leads to much broader issues and concerns that we might not be able to cover all in this blog. If you’re interested in such matters, leave us a comment down below, we shall get back to it in future blogs.

We have been there, done that! The CiHMS team has strived relentlessly to become who we are today. Building a cloud-based open platform hospitality management solution has always been the fundamental foundation of CiHMS original product’s vision. The snippet of our journey was shared in CiHMS previous blog at: Build or Buy your own PMS.

Not all hotels are the same. The modern PMS will allow hotels to select the appropriate features that suit them the best in order to create their unique version of the guest journey. We believe cloud-based PMS shall remain the heart of your hotel operations. Open API facilitates connectivities to endless 3rd party applications, solutions out there in the marketplace, which is established by the PMS providers. The world is opting to be very different 5 years down the road. If you are still on an on-premises PMS system, it is time to consider the switch. Read our blog post here for in-depth insights on the pros and cons of on-premises versus cloud-based hospitality management systems.

The journey in finding a perfect hospitality management system is a tough one. We - hoteliers have to walk this path. If you fail, just pick yourself up and start over

Transitioning into a new hospitality system is a hardship, especially if you are not tech-savvy. Eventually, things come around, so be wise and act fast or else you’ll stay behind the revolution

Hospitality is a customer-centric industry. As technology evolves, our guests’ expectations continue to change. Decision on whether or not to transition into the new platform, adopt the latest trend seems rather daunting and obscure. Focus on your hotel’s underlying principles, be flexible, stay relevant, and ultimately hoteliers will pursue the innovative software that represents your business value, image, and worth.

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Revenue management strategy for hospitality post COVID-19

Instead of anticipating when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides or waiting for the hospitality and travel industry to resume, business leaders have already been working on their post COVID-19 recovery plan through the revenue management approach, to ensure the cash-flow “in”. Putting themselves in an active position, together with the national vaccination campaign for the last few months to accelerate the domestic economic recovery.

On the road of recovery for the hospitality industry, revenue management is vital for hoteliers post COVID-19

Revenue management strategy in the hospitality industry have always been under estimated its effectiveness. However, to a smooth sailing for hospitality recovery post COVID-19, having a strong revenue management strategy is imperative

Many often disregard the importance of revenue management in hospitality without the acknowledgement of its core value and financial benefits. It has always been the least understood part of the industry, and not always is appreciated by the management team nor the hotel owners. Having a proper revenue management strategy helps hotels to issue the best selling room rate, attract their ideal guests, allocate their manpower in high season, and over-crowded staff in low season. There are far more advantages that revenue management brings along and mentioning them all here might drag the blog too far from today’s blog. We would save it to a later blog, drop a comment down below to let us know if you are looking forward to it.

Speaking of revenue management, people would generally navigate toward demands and supply concepts. Through the unstable travel pattern of 2020 and 2021 pandemic, it has become extremely irrelevant to determine pricing strategy through historical events. If in the past, hotels were depending on system and software tools to generate an optimal room rate, this no longer works. Alternatively, let’s take in consideration the last few years as the new foundation paces to alter and examine as the pandemic implications go on. The goal of revenue management is selling the right product with the right price to the right customer at the right time. It comes down to: What is your optimal rate, Who is your customer and When.

Determine the Optimal Rate

COVID-19 has swept all the travel and hospitality industries off its feet by surprise. Many hoteliers found themselves lost as the pandemic progressed aggressively. The coronavirus outbreak disturbed the traditional algorithm to determine the best possible optimal rate, at which would maximize profit for the business. In lieu of such, putting the 2020 customer purchasing behavior into perspective would result in negative output down the line.

Determine your hotel optimal rate post COVID-19 is never an easy job. Review rate from your competitors, adjust them as you go

Each hotel has its own pricing strategy, but which rate is the best rate?

The one thing hoteliers had to learn throughout this global crisis was to be flexible at all cost. Stop counting on automating tools and systems, start doing your own critical analysis on the short-term demand obtained through recent market research reports, review and compare with your competitors’ room rates. Manually adjust your pricing strategy along the way, while submitting the learning process to your automation tool, which helps the system to update the current trend and generate a more accurate rate later on.

The right customers

Hoteliers frequently pay attention to attracting as many customers there are on the market as possible, making sure to obtain maximum room occupancy. Not all business is good business. Focusing on nurturing your existing customers, as it costs a lot more to acquire new ones than retaining them. Back to square one, identify who your customers are. Build your campaign, bundles and promotions targeting them specifically. Keep your message consistent on all channels, throughout all your customer purchasing journey, track their behaviors and conversion ratio associated with or without promotions. Hotels unintentionally established a correlated database for themselves that had eventually evolved from the traditional demographic segmentation to behavioral segmentation.

When to offer discount

Perhaps, it might get tricky when it comes to discounts. How do you know how much discount is enough? Leveraging the psychology of discounts to make more money, as it makes your customers feel a sense of urgency, stops them from shopping around. In the meantime, recurring discounts might backfire and become expected from your brand. We suggest looking at A/B testing on different types of promotions for the same customer segmentation. This helps to better analyze your product’s features, which in hospitality terminology can be equivalent to length of stays, advanced booking period, complimentary meals, etc.

An awfully practice in all industries is giving out discounts. When to discount, with whom is the core issue

Discounts can trigger customer happiness while backflash and hurt your business. People start expecting promotion from your brand

Also take advantage of pre-arrival email to up-sell, offer either free or discount rate of complimentary upgrade package to your existing customers. The incentive only available after the initial purchase goes through, allows customers a time to reconsider whereas pricing has become less sensitive compared to during the time of booking. Discounts are arguably the essential component on the road of recovery. However, exercise this wisely and precisely and avoid undisciplined discounting if you must. Remember a full hotel does not guarantee profitable business.

Desperation is not a strategy. Neither is hope! In a nutshell, there is definitely no snap-back to the normal stage prior COVID-19. The post COVID-19 scenario is still ambiguous, unknown and uncertain. Stop panicking and overreact during a crisis; be flexible, be spontaneous, and make unemotional decisions instead. Have an agile revenue management strategy in place and get ready to rock it out when this turbulence of coronavirus is at halt. Reminding yourself to always measure, analyze,monitor and keep track of your strategy to adjust and modify accordingly. It is the only way to secure a successful recovery.

We also have an upcoming webinar Hospitality Revenue Management coming up shortly this month. Register to join us now. There is a limited offer for this webinar. More information can be found @Live webinar: Hospitality Revenue Management – Recovery Strategy post Covid-19. We see you then!

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Smart Hotel Technology trends

In our previous blog, we have walked through the concept of a Smart Hotel model, in today’s one, we will continue to talk about the technologies behind it. Many hotels seek shortcuts and easy ways out by arguing every guests’ request can be solved just with a single phone call. Ideally, that would be right, however, with hundreds of requests per hour, prioritizing and assigning these manually seems like a nightmare to any front desk.

The smart hotel technology has been the controversial topic not just within the hospitality industry in self, but has attracted endless arguments regarding the topic

Hotels are trying to catch up with the new technology by transforming their ordinary hotel into smart hotels during the pandemic

Before COVID-19, hotels focused on building brand loyalty, customer satisfaction through different branding and marketing strategies. Things change, hotels need to adjust their strategy and operations to survive and move forward. Sanitary standards, contactless, and definitely health-related elements are concerned. That is when the Internet of things (IoT) technology actually comes into play. Here are the few things hotels can start putting into consideration to transform your ordinary hotel into a smart one.

The cloud technology

You might have heard of it, not once, but multiple times, technically everywhere on the net. It’s beneficial not for the hospitality industry alone but applied for all sectors. Cloud computing allows customers and hotels to simultaneously connect and communicate through applications conveniently on mobile devices. It also reduces costs overall for hotels by relieving them from heavy IT investment on server infrastructure, database storage, and full-time IT staff to maintain, monitor and update. The advantages of cloud computing can go on, it’s why we have chosen to build our CiHMS Hospitality Management Solution on it, details on all the reasons, can be found in our previous blog post.

A robust hospitality management solution

A hotel management software serves as the heart and soul of a hotel, just as our human brain transmits orders for our body to act upon. It keeps the hotels’ operations running seamlessly and efficiently. Hotel management software helps to automate the manual work from the front desk to housekeeping, saves manpower, and offers scalability as your hotel grows. The system enables hotels to record guests’ profiles, centralizes room reservations management, executes hotel daily tasks effectively, and many more. There is various hotel management software out there for hotels to choose from, however, looking for an ultimate software is not an easy quest.

Hotel management software is a heart of your hotel. CiHMS is a robust hospitality management solution that fits all type of hotel models, and grows as your hotel expands

CiHMS is a powerful yet flexible hospitality management solution that aims to helps all hotel models successfully manage their daily operations seamlessly

We, CiHMS are also a proud developer of an All-in-one solution cloud-computing hospitality management solution. Our CiHMS software offers hotels jump-start their own digital transformation journey to evolve as the technology is constantly revolutionizing. To discover the CiHMS journey, read them here.

Overall contactless experience

Automatic check-in / check-out with QR code

Guests post COVID-19 would likely expect a contactless experience as soon as they arrive. Self-service kiosks are questionable for sanitary standards. Check-in and check-out via their own mobile devices seem to be the way of doing it. Most hotels allow guests to automatically check in themselves by scanning a QR code, available at the reception counter. The guests would have to fill out the necessary information, take proper required personal identification photos to submit, and receive their electronic key rooms right on their phone.

Convenience yet? This mobile key grants access to hotel elevators, their hotel rooms, banquet, and other facilities included in their room package. Hotels can be able to monitor and know exactly where their guests are, what they are doing, and the activities they enjoy the most in real-time, again thanks to your cloud-based hotel management system. When your guests are ready for check-out, they can proceed with the similar procedure they went through while check-in, by scanning a specific QR code provided at the check-out counter. Cashless payments proceed on guests’ mobile phones for maximum security purposes, no physical contact is involved during the process.

Facial recognition technology

If your hotel wants to step up a bit further, facial recognition technology is another option to look at. The technology had been developed and used daily, especially for smartphone users. Undeniably, it is extremely convenient for guests, giving them extraordinary hotel experience throughout. Vinpearl has applied this technology to allow check-in/ check-out, entry to amusement parks, safari, and all of their restaurant facilities just with facial recognition devices.

Apart from cashless payment technology, facial recognition is a spectacular perk, allows guests to enter in different hotel facilities with just their face identity

Facial recognition technology might be familiar with Vinpearl visitors. It allows guests to quickly enter hotel facilities just with a facial recognition device

Human-less concierge counter

The availability of human-less concierge to assist your guests 24/7 on just about everything they need the answers to. Powered by AI, installed voice recognition software, together with an extensive database constructed by past questions from guests, a robot can serve your customers just as your ordinary concierge counter: from book taxi, switch room, reserve room, make a restaurant reservation, request in-room services, and so on.


Apart from the concierge, robotics can be used for front-desk activities: greet, meet, check-in, and check-out guests accordingly. They can also help with luggage delivery to guest rooms, operate the elevators, and take guests on hotel tours easily. For hotel restaurants, robots often are in charge of serving customers to their tables, chopping and dicing stations behind the kitchen, bartenders serving at hotel bars, and delivering foods & drinks to guests’ rooms upon requests.

Many hotels have taken advantage of robots to tasks that are routines and tedious. Making sure their human resources working at full capacities in which their expertise is at

Robots have been used in many hotel procedures that do not need the human touch. It eliminates routine tasks, allocates human resources effectively, and enables guest privacy as requests

In housekeeping, robots would do all the vacuuming in lobbies areas, lounges, and other public common areas. Transporting laundry items to or from guests’ rooms, deliver amenities such as towels, sanitary equipment for guests without having any unnecessary human interaction. Guests can enjoy maximum personal privacies and feel absolutely comfortable at the same time.

Smart rooms

With IoT technology, all room’s facilities, such as lighting, AC and heat, curtains, TV, can be controlled through your smartphone or via an AI built-in device similar to Alexa for hospitality. It lets the guests freely discover tourist information, getting to know the hotels within their personal space. During your guest’s stay, their preferred temperature for AC/heat, lighting levels, curtains habit, TV channels will be recorded on their profile to use for future visits. For all the perks the voice recognition technology has to offer, hotels are embracing it truly.

mart room enables guests to touch on the technological products while enjoying their stay with conveniences and all the

Not just ordinary hotel rooms, hotel owners take them up a scale. Integrated with voice recognition devices and AI technology, guests can order, adjust lighting, AC, TV, and more

Big data

Hotels welcome thousands of guests per month. The database regarding their stays is huge and considered as big data, which hotel owners can base upon to make decisions on their marketings or hotel strategic plan. These data can also be used for revenue management, giving our personalized offers to targeted groups, and to have an impact on guest experiences. Data means nothing unless they are analyzed and interpreted.

The possibilities of technologies are endless and not limited to the ones mentioned above. Guests are no longer coming to hotels just for sleep. They pursue comfort, foster personalized experience, adore the technology to satisfy their curiosity, or merely just to savor memories. The smart hotels model provides all the solutions to enhance your guest experience, making sure to meet your guest expectations, while being sustainable in the long run. Not all of these features mentioned in this blog are feasible or practical to your hotels at the moment, but rather depending on the current hotels’ infrastructure as well as its financial status.

Hoteliers who are capable of acting promptly in time to minimize their operational costs and rationalize the business processes efficiently are the ones who focus on building their scalable technology infrastructures and integrated with an open API earlier on. These all aim to achieve the best connectivity throughout the hotel property, ensure all high-tech applications and components are working properly, transmitting real-time data and performance. This depicts the future of the hospitality industry and how hotel owners should adapt gradually to staying relevant. If there is a quote that represents the smart hotels model, in short, we thought we should share, Shep Hyken’s quote is pretty close to it:

Whenever you see the opportunity to create a WOW! moment,

act on it.

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The future of the hospitality industry: Smart Hotels

Hospitality is a customer-centric industry. Focusing on the guest experience has always been the top priority for hoteliers. The happier your customers are, the more they are willing to spend, and most likely return to come back. Innovation and the current emerging technologies offer hotels to seize the opportunity to leverage their existing strength and weakness to adapt and enhance their service delivery. Recently, a hotel model concept that has been actively discussed at hospitality networking events and seminars is Smart Hotel.

Hospitality industry is getting interested in the smart hotel model as the technology continuously evolves

Smart hotel model has been mentioned in hospitality seminars, events and panel discussions recently

Not many hotels find themselves willing to transition into one, simply due to the budget and time-consuming. The acceptance phase can also be tricky, resulting from the major shift in culture change and employee etiquette. In return, smart hotel technology guarantees customers satisfaction, guest experience, setting your hotel value apart from the competitors and ultimately increasing profitability. Although the term “smart hotel” familiarizes itself with the hospitality industry, only the minority understand it inside and out. Are smart hotels really the future of hotels? How is the progress of transforming into a smart hotel model? Would the benefits be worth thinking about?

What is a Smart Hotel?

A hotel that utilizes technology into their organization operation, enables it to transform the customer journey from pre-stay to arrival, in-hotel, departure to their post-stay, then repeat. Collecting the customer data throughout the journey to analyze, improve, develop and perfect each journey segment mentioned above. There are hotels already successfully transitioned into smart hotels, making revolutions in their daily hotel operations, and still yearning for more. What is exactly the smart hotel experience in each segment?

Smart Hotel Experience

A normal customer journey generally would be divided into 4 basic the following segments: Pre-stay, Hotel stay, Departure, and Post-stay.


The Search

First off, customers would start out the Search phase. They are looking for accommodation for their planned destination based on various factors including but not limited to location, pricing, referrals, and their past experiences. Smart Hotels advertising or posts would have appeared once customers start their search for the hotel destination inspiration. There would be promotion packages and deals personalized to the customers’ criteria, assure to capture the lead once you detect it.

Detecting your customers' criteria as soon as the beginning of the search phase would resulting in a faster booking for your hotels

Corresponding hotel ads with customers’ destination search offering guests’ criteria on stays, locations, and hotel facilities would close the deal right away

Customers can contact your hotel through the chatbot available on your website, get instant assistance on questions and queries related to bookings or accommodation features. Any unanswered questions can be followed up through emails or direct phone calls, making sure customers do not need to go through multiple sites to get the answers they are looking for. In addition, your customers intentionally ask for your hotel room’s photos and details on the room’s layout. Nothing would explain better than a VR experience of the hotel tour from room to the common area, restaurant to fitness facilities, swimming pool to the spa and lounge. This would prompt your customers to quickly decide and close off on the best-suggested deal from your hotel offers.

The Purchase and before the arrival

Once the guests are ready to make their bookings/reservations, hotels can offer guests to choose the room’s attributes such as views, bed and pillow type, corner or connecting room, non-smoking/smoking room, etc. Guests can choose to log in by using their social accounts, which allows the system to load all their information and auto-fill as required without entering these fields by themselves. The smart hotel experience would enable guests to take their picture at the moment of booking and store this identification photo to use for check-in later on. Payment by cards is easily done by taking a snapshot of the credit/debit cards. The purchase stage is closed by your booking system automatically sending out a verification email once the payment is completed.

Before your guest arrives, a reminder email about the trip should be sent out a few days before the events. With the help of social media, hotels can customize personalized accommodation to fit guests’ stay and upsell packages as needed.

Hotel Stay

Smart Hotels enables customers to check-in via the mobile app. All the customers’ private information is processed on their mobile devices and highly secured. Guests can check in at the self-service kiosk station available at the hotel property. By scanning guests’ identification such as passport / national ID/driver licenses. Thanks to the OCR technology, the system will automatically check in the guests, and take their pictures at the kiosk station. Depending on the hotel’s, the physical room key card or the electronic key card would be sent to guests’ mobiles. Yes, contactless check-in is possible! Your hotels might not need a physical front desk.

As you apply the smart hotel model, physical front desk might not be necessary for your hotel. Facial recognition technology would let guests to check-in as soon as they approach the hotel lobby

Check-in counter might not be matter once rolling out smart hotel model project. Self-service give guests the freedom to check-in at their own pace

Some hotels have upgraded their game by letting the guests check-in using facial recognition via their hotel camera. Once the guests walk in, facial recognition features are built-in with hotel camera matches with the guests’ identification picture given during their booking process, check-in the guests immediately, and send the check-in completion confirmation to their email. The elevator would give direct access to guests’ designated floor and let them into their room with facial recognition devices or programmed e-cards. All room features such as curtains, lighting, TV, phone, AC temperature can be adjusted via mobile/tablet app or the voiced demand.

Hotels are trying to make their guests feel comfortable and truly relaxing like they are entering their own space. Access to hotel apps to request room services, laundry, and housekeeping, everything is within their fingertips. Robots are in use delivering/collecting foods and collecting/returning to the guests’ room. All appointments regarding restaurants (including buffet status, restaurant busy status), fitness center (full or empty), and spa would be available on the hotel apps at the guest’s convenience. Hotels’ partners such as tour companies, nearby attractions suggest guests with promotional packages through the hotel apps. Everything is taken care of for your guests to enjoy their stays even if it’s in-hotel or outside-of-the-hotel.


It’s finally time for your guests to leave. Queuing in line to check-out is no longer a thing. Everything is done through the hotel apps. Even minibar assumptions can be billed with IoT technology enabling electronic bills sending to guests once they pick up items from the bar. All other services would be billed and added to the check-out invoice. Cashless payment, which we mentioned in our previous blog, can be processed with guests’ mobile devices. The guests walk out with their luggage and the check-out is completed.


Upon their departure, emails should already be sent to customers’ inboxes to share their feedback regarding the stays and ask for their review on our hotel website in return for rewarding points for them to save up in exchange for added value services or room features upgrade for their next stage. Following up emails in a few months offer promotional and value packages for their upcoming stays.

Your guests should be received on-time following-up emails to share their feedback and review on appropriate platform, giving hoteliers the chance to improve their hospitality services

The conveniences of technology would impress your guests making their stay extraordinary. Quick follow-up upon their check-out to collect positive reviews and feedback should also be on hotels’ to-do-list

The above are merely the smart hotel experiences following along the customers’ journey. There are many other revolving smart hotels if we follow the hotel operation path: Front office, F&B, Housekeeping, Sales & Marketing, etc. To dive deep into these areas, it would take us another blog dedicated to these only. If you are interested, drop us a comment down below, we shall get that coming. The smart hotels model has been applied worldwide; surprisingly, it is quickly adopted in mainland China and attracts the young generations who come to visit on their weekend break pretty often.

What to start with transitioning into a Smart Hotel?

The most important factor for hotels in considering transitioning into smart hotel models is to find their ideal hotel management system which helps them to achieve their goal as they grow. We would not boast about our PMS if it is not what we believe is your first kick-start in this journey. Our hospitality management solution does not aim to be the ordinary PMS, we strive for digital transformation in everything we do.

Is it worth it?

Customers are your indicator. It’s the future we get you ready for, not just catching the current trend but also setting the industry. Transition into a smart hotel model is only worth it if you can follow through, and not doing it halfway. Otherwise, it only costs you more than the benefits it brings.

Looking for a private consultation on our PMS and discover what your hotel can become? Please do not hesitate to contact our support team! Or you can read all the details on our PMS at the blog section and our Facebook page for the latest news and events.

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Cashless payments in the hotel sector: trends & challenges

Customer acceptance of cashless payment has outrageously increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Although there is little medical study and evidence to support the transfer of virus via cash transaction, the fear is there and encourages customers to go cashless. Getting out of the house cashless is no longer unrealistic in this current timeline.

Not only the hospitality industry experience the cashless payment trend, it happened everywhere else

Cashless payment is not new but slowly adopted by merchants due to customer slow adaptation. COVID-19 hit the world by surprise and now, everyone is riding this cashless payment trend

Many would prefer to look for the “Card accepted here” sign before walking in the restaurants, supermarkets, or pharmacies. It brings the absolute convenience of quicker transactions, unnecessary human errors, irresistible discounts, and unexpecting loyalty points earned in exchange for mileage or gift cards. This payment trend has sneaked its way into the hospitality sector. Travelers, especially popular among international guests, are often keen on paying for their accommodations and dining through cards, e-wallet, or mobile apps. What does this mean to the hospitality industry? Any challenges and what will the upcoming payment trend be?

What cashless payment really is?

Cashless simply means no cash involved. Payment is cashless if it is made by cards or electronic methods instead of cash, and known as digital payments. This payment methodology has been widely used in amusement parks, festivals, concerts, fairs, during flights, etc. According to the Vietnam Insider, Vietnam market transaction value had soared 177% in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. There are many different ways of cashless payment, these include:
1. Bank cards: Credit cards and debit cards are the most used payment forms globally.
2. Mobile wallet applications: There are numerous mobile wallet apps on the market for customers to choose from. This method of payment is quick and functional. Users can send, receive, and store money as they wish. MoMo, Viettel pay, Moca, Airpay, VNPT pay are the few e-wallet apps that have gained popularity in the Vietnam market. The government also has encouraged citizens to pay their utility bills, such as water, electricity, internet, and television cable bills through e-wallet apps.
3. QR code: it stands for Quick Response code, which is a pattern black square grid and can be read by smart devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and computers. After scanning the QR code into the devices would redirect customers to proceed with the payment on a certain payment gateway.

One of the popular cashless payment method is QR code. People can quickly proceed their payment by scanning the QR code using their tablets or mobile phone

QR code is also a cashless payment method. It allows customers to proceed with the payment on their phone simply by scanning the QR code

4. NFC technology: is short for Near Field Communication. The technology enables users to pay by tapping a chip card onto a POS/ reader device. It can be credit, debit, wrist band or simply a smart card with a built-in chip using NFC technology. There are phones with NFC-enabled technology which can be linked to your e-wallet or bank cards.
5. Gift cards & vouchers: physical gift cards and vouchers or non-physical gift cards and vouchers (also known as e-gift cards, e-vouchers) are used for customer rewards and birthday presents.

Hospitality industry with cashless payment trend

Transaction speed

Undeniably fast transaction in all cashless payment transactions. Hotels now allow customers to deposit money into their keycard. Incorporating the NFC technology, customers can enjoy their stay without the need to carry their wallets around the property. It results in less waiting time for customers and avoids over-waiting queues.

Transaction can be done in a few second using the NFC technology integrating in smart watches, bands and cards

NFC technology integrated into smartwatches, smart bands, smart cards allow customers to quickly pay for their transaction without entering their card pin or sign their payment slip


Reducing the fraud of counterfeit money, human errors, robbery of cash internally and externally. It’s also easy to manage and control by the accounting system.

Brand image

Going cashless let hoteliers track customers’ behavior during their stays. Understand their favorite location within the hotel property, their most spending item, which dining restaurant they would prefer, and much more. From this information, hoteliers can easily record and serve their guests better, achieving customer satisfaction is no longer an “impossible mission”. Keeping up with technology would position your hotel brand above others in the industry. It builds customers’ trust and loyalty, keeps them coming back for their next trip.

Maximize sales and revenue

Due to the ease of payment, customers tend to enjoy and would be willing to spend more than they plan to on added-value products and services such as spas, private tours, brunch package, etc. To promote customers, a few hotels would offer generous discounts if their guest’s accumulated spending exceeds a certain amount at the time of checking out. It can later be exchanged for money and deducted right from their stay expenses, or later used for the next stay.

The challenges for the hotel industry

With endless advantages the cashless payment trend has brought into the hotel industry, the challenges are also there. Below are a few worth mentioned:


While it is secured to go cashless for guests, it is challenging for the hoteliers to make sure their connection is not in breach and stable. Digital translation relies heavily on the Internet connection. To ensure your network is safe and always up and running means strict monitoring policy and IT staff to standby 24/7.

No security breach connection to avoid the risk while implement digital transactions. 24/7 monitoring and an IT staff stand-by is a must

Digital transaction means a 24/7 stable internet connection. Otherwise, transaction failure can occur

Higher cost with credit/debit charging fees

Depending on the card authorizer, the processing fee might be different. If you own a hotel chain or multinational hotel corporation, you would be treated with special low processing fees, somewhere between 0% – 1%. Otherwise, the normal rate would apply to your guests’ transactions.

Digital transaction knowledge update

At the current rate of technology development, digital transactions are constantly getting created and updated. Be in sync with the new releases and the latest tech to avoid any risk and fraud regarding digital transactions for guests as well as your hotel.

Customer denial to go cashless

The fear of overspending if you do not “see” and feel the money going out of your pocket is stopping customers from moving forward with the cashless payment trend.

The cashless payment trend has been more accepted by customers in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People are willing to change without hesitation and their adaptation rate is surprisingly high. If it would take an average of 10 years for the old generations to get used to digital transactions, COVID-19 has cut the time by 5th. In 2 years, cashless payment has been casually used on a daily basis. Not only the hospitality industry experienced it, but it is applied in all industries worldwide.

Customers are now expecting us to move on and practice the new contactless experience trend. Front-desk staff can be replaced with self-check-in and check-out via phone or tablets, housekeeping request and room-services getting requests through hotel apps, self-service restaurant receiving orders through tablets integrated into guests table. This is not a fictional movie, it is the reality now. The time is here, and if you are not riding this cashless payment wave, you are missing out. Are you aware of this cashless payment trend? If yes, have you applied it to your hotel practices? How about a contactless experience? Any plan on it yet? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

We also have an upcoming regarding the Cashless payment trend coming up shortly this week. Register to join us now. There is a limited offer for this webinar. More information can be found @Live webinar: Payments trends in the hotel sector. We see you then!

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