2018 insights logo                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

The Lion’s Den

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 In partnership with Phocuswright, ARDA presents:   

The Lion’s Den   

An Interactive ‘Digital Meets Travel’ Pitch Competition   

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 from 10-11:30 am
Celestin Ballroom, The Hyatt Regency
Open to all ARDA World attendees. 


This year, ARDA World will be bringing back one of its most popular events from last year, The Lion’s Den, sponsored by Vacatia. Modeled after Shark Tank, you'll watch as a select group of six bold start-ups present their digital innovations and business plans to our panel of judges—the Lions of the timeshare industry—including three high profile CEOs and executives of Disney, Welk Resorts and Vacatia.

Our contestants include: 

  • Dayuse.com – Dayuse.com strives to make daytime hotel bookings available to more people by giving its customers the opportunity to enjoy a hotel room, as well as other services traditionally available to overnight guests only, in the daytime.
  • Hello Scout – A chat-based travel assistant that allows guests at boutique and lifestyle hotels to message on-demand with local assistants.  Even when they aren’t in the hotel, guests can message with their team of trained locals who respond instantly to help with anything from dinner reservations to tour bookings.
  • Suiteness – Their goal is to let anyone book exclusive luxury hotel suites they never knew existed, online. Suiteness has access to the most luxurious suites in the world, allowing you to experience amenities like private entrances, personal butlers, and even private pools. Never before have these suites been available for booking online, but with their help customers are able to get easy access to the perfect luxury suite tailored specifically to their every desire.
  • Transparent Intelligence - A data intelligence company that builds and maintains data analytics products for companies seeking a better understanding of the short term rental industry. Their technology is able to crunch huge amounts of data into information for many different uses and users in the hospitality industry.
  • Travelsify - Travelsify created the world’s first Hotel DNA content platform that characterizes every hotel by a unique weighted sequence of experience-defining metadata. By analyzing more than 100 million traveler and expert reviews, Travelsify has extracted 30 key Hotel DNA attributes that matter to travelers when booking hotels so that travelers can now reliably search and compare hotels worldwide to find the experience they want.
  • WayBlazer - The world’s first cognitive recommendation engine focused on delivering artificial intelligence to the travel industry. Bringing together IBM Watson and proprietary cognitive computing technology, WayBlazer’s AI analyzes cues and triggers from the traveler’s search to yield personalized hotel recommendations.

Our judges will evaluate the companies and, following a live audience vote, a winner will be announced! They'll gain massive exposure to members of the timeshare industry, feedback on their innovations, and it's all happening live at ARDA World 2017! 

Join us and cast your vote live alongside the judges! 


New Orleans: “What Awaits” with New Orleans CVB

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New Orleans: “What Awaits” with New Orleans CVB 

 By Kathryn Mullan  

I was fortunate enough to sit-down with Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOCVB), to discuss what the attendees of ARDA World 2017 can expect from the great city of New Orleans, as well as what the city has to offer to the timeshare industry.

 Here’s part of our interview:

Is there anything special you’d like to say to the attendees at ARDA World 2017? 

Stephen Perry: Whether this is your first time to New Orleans or you’re a regular visitor, be sure to bring your sense of adventure and get ready to explore our historic, culturally rich and truly authentic city.

And while there are endless things to do in ourrenowned French Quarter, I encourage you to exploreour other unique neighborhoods—from the Bywaterto the Garden District, the Warehouse District toUptown, every neighborhood has a story to tell. TheCrescent City is not only the birthplace of jazz, it’s a one-of-a-kind destination, with award-winning cuisine in our 1,400+ restaurants, a rich history seen in our architecture, world-class museums, neighborhood tours, steamboat rides, and other memorable attractions and experiences.

What role does timeshare play in the New Orleans hospitality industry? 

SP: Every visitor has a valued impact on our economyand helps support the nearly 80,000 New Orleanians directly employed by the hospitality industry. The options presented through vacation rentals, timeshares and other diverse accommodations make New Orleans even more appealing for families, groups and extended stay visitors. A timeshare is a great way to get to know the city and experience it like a local. As New Orleans continues to attract more visitors each year, alternative accommodations have become an increasing segment of the hospitality industry.

 What, if anything, does New Orleans do to work with and support new timeshare projects? 

SP: The NOCVB works closely with hotel and vacation properties to continue developing the best accommodations and offerings for our visitors.As visitation continues to grow—particularlyfrom international markets—we will continue to support new projects that expand our inventory of available accommodations.

There has never been a better time than now to visit and discover the sights, sounds and flavors that make New Orleans so unique!  

 You can read the full interview in the recent February Developments Magazine – see it here.