In 1952, some of the reasons our association organized was to make the hospitality profession a better place to work, add value to our profession, and to exchange information so we could do our jobs better and faster. Fast forward to March 2015 to the HFTP Leadership Strategy Summit, a strategic think tank where more than 75 top industry leaders met to discuss future HFTP strategic initiatives that were relevant to the industry. After 63 years, hospitality leaders still want the hospitality profession to be a better place to work, add value to our profession and be able to exchange information so our jobs can be done better and faster.
Over the two days of the summit, there were some very good initiatives brought up as potential ways to serve the industry. One of them mentioned by Lyle Worthington, CHTP, was that HFTP should create a search engine specifically for hospitality. The conversation moved on, but the idea had made it into my notes and as the day ended, one of HFTP’s partners, Hsyndicate CEO Henri Roelings and I discussed the possibilities.
A few weeks later, after putting together a plan, completing some due diligence and more deliberations, President Daniel Conti, CHAE, CAM, called a special meeting of the officers and they ultimately voted for HFTP to move forward with a hospitality industry-specific search engine: PineappleSearch — the first of its kind.
Our primary reason for wanting to embark on this project is similar to the reason HFTP produces HITEC. While “for profit” organizations take a buffet approach, trying to offer all things to all stakeholders, as a nonprofit organization for the hospitality industry, our goal is to take an individual dish approach and only serve stakeholders interested in hospitality. Searchers won’t have to wade through hundreds of results on unrelated topics to find information they are looking for or ads for hair growth products. Only hospitality results will be displayed.
Another advantage of PineappleSearch is that since it is for the hospitality industry, it will be designed by the hospitality industry. Although the engine is powered by Hsyndicate, HFTP is seeking out volunteers who would like to see our working prototype and participate in focus groups that are being conducted at HITEC 2015 in Austin.
So far, the hospitality industry executives who have previewed it have been complimentary. But, before we open it up to the entire industry, we have lots of questions that we would like to have answered. So, if you would like to apply to participate in a historical project, are going to be in Austin on June 17 or 18 and are willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement if selected, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, June 2. I look forward to debuting this historical project to the industry at large.
Frank Wolfe, CAE, is the CEO of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and an inductee into the International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame and a Paragon Award winner. He often speaks on hospitality and travel related issues. He is an author, speaker and advocate of careers in hospitality technology or finance. E-mail: email@example.com Twitter @frankwolfe or Facebook: Frank I. Wolfe