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2020 – What A Year!

Like so many, we started the year full of ambition, promise and expectation.

In January our calendars were full as Team Duetto represented at FITUR, ROC, Opportunity 2020, the ALIS Conference, Oracle’s Global Hospitality Days, and many more.

Our Chief Revenue Officer, David Woolenberg, was named CEO – and we celebrated our new leadership. We knew Duetto was in good hands and we trusted him to steer us on a good course. Little did we know just how stormy the waters would become.

In February, we came together and celebrated as a company at our annual Duetto Jubilee in San Francisco. Enjoying our team spirit and the views of the Bay Area at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins.

But already things were changing. Some of our international team members got caught in airport delays entering the US and we found ourselves on alert for what this new coronavirus meant for the world.

Yet we continued to plan ahead. We looked forward to another strong Duetto outing at ITB Berlin and when the world’s largest travel trade event got cancelled last minute we pivoted and celebrated our own mini ITB with clients and tech partners at Katzenjammers bierkeller in London.

The cancellation of ITB was a definite line in the sand for the travel industry. COVID-19 was here to stay – for the time being – and it meant serious disruption to the industry we serve and love – hospitality.

We talked to clients, listened to their concerns and thought of ways to help them navigate the uncertainty ahead.

In March we launched a dedicated COVID-19 content section to our website, providing insights and guidance, and a finger on the pulse of what was happening to the hospitality industry worldwide.

We highlighted the hotels providing rooms and support to healthcare workers and those in need. And today we still marvel at how the industry adapted to provide hospitality and refuge to so many.

That same month we celebrated our talented female team members throughout Women’s History Month and welcomed Cheryl Chavez as our Chief Product Officer.

April saw us launch the Pulse Report, providing market demand signals to hotels globally through dedicated reports on performance in North America, Latin America, EMEA and APAC. Our revenue experts in those markets author the report and provide in-market insight and analysis - our aim was to provide valuable insights to hoteliers around the world to help them navigate the recovery.

Through our many content channels we provided advice on new and creative ways for hotels to unlock new revenue streams.

We talked to clients and our product continued to evolve as we worked to find ways to meet their challenges with new solutions tailored to the current situation.

We launched Enterprise Rate Guidelines to help hotels set scalable strategies in minutes. As hotel teams struggled to do more with less we provided Controlled Automation – helping teams regain control.

We focused our product development and customer support on Revenue Survival. Our aim being to help hoteliers remain smart, agile and efficient in these difficult times.

We also focused on our integrations and tech partnerships, working closely with our friends at Oracle, Protel, Mews, StayNTouch and many more.

And we actually saw an increase in new clients wanting to speed up their onboarding with Duetto as they took advantage of rolling out new tech while being closed or operating at low occupancy.

In the summer, Team Duetto won the Women Hack The Crisis virtual hackathon with their Hotel Haven project, aimed at helping hotels provide refuge for women in need.

We introduced Ask Duetto – a revenue insights service powered by our team of revenue experts and open to all hoteliers, whether their property ran on Duetto or not.

We launched our One World, One Industry, One Conversation webinar series, bringing together revenue leaders from around the world to discuss the challenges they were facing and the solutions they were finding, providing an open platform for idea sharing.

We launched Pulse Live – streaming regular broadcasts via our social channels delivering the latest data and insights with input from our global team of Pulse Report authors.

The value of the Pulse Report was being noticed and soon Skift reached out to us to start working with their team providing data for the Skift Recovery Index.

And as hotels in Europe took tentative steps to reopen for the summer season we helped them optimize on pent-up domestic demand.

We talked to clients and heard some fabulous stories of small successes. Some actually had record summer seasons as they adapted their revenue strategy to the new normal.

We hosted and attended virtual conferences and events including the No Vacancy Podcast, Hospitality Marketplace and the SMS HUG user group.

We kept our team spirit alive with virtual coffee mornings, virtual workouts, virtual cooking classes and a virtual book club. We did virtually everything we could to be a team!

And as the year rounded out we started to look ahead to 2021 as we launched our Resorts Revenue Tactics eBook packed full of great advice from revenue leaders and industry consultants.

And our fantastic Customer Support Team, who have been there for our clients 24/7, were awarded by Hotel Tech Report with its Level III Global Support Certification.

As we come to the end of the year we find further ways to celebrate. Our CEO David Woolenberg has promised to entertain us with an end-of-year bass guitar solo – we are all looking forward to that!

As we look back – what can we say? Other than, 2020 – what a year!

From all of us at Team Duetto, we thank you for being on this journey with us. Together we have made the best of a tumultuous year.

As we look ahead to 2021, we look forward to sharing it with you, and to be strong together.

Wishing you all a great festive season and year end.

Thank you!

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Sarah McCay Tams, Director of Marketing Communications

Sarah joined Duetto in 2015 as a contributing editor covering Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA). In 2017, she was promoted to Director of Content, EMEA, and in 2022 promoted to Director of Marketing Communications. An experienced B2B travel industry journalist, Sarah spent 14 years working in the Middle East, most notably as senior editor – hospitality for ITP Publishing Group in Dubai, where she headed up the editorial teams on Hotelier Middle East, Caterer Middle East and Arabian Travel News. Sarah is now based back in the UK.

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