Industry Update
Opinion Article11 December 2020

Moving Forward From 2020

By David Woolenberg, Chief Executive Officer at Duetto

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While 2020 has proved a challenging year, we have learned a lot, and there are glimmers of hope as we move into 2021. The pandemic has promoted massive technological innovation and has led to many of us changing our habits, shifting our priorities, and looking forward in a new way.

If we look back to the start of the decade, we should feel inspired for the future.

Duetto was born out of the last global economic crisis. Hitting on the back of a particularly profitable time for hoteliers, the crash of 2008 cut our industry deep. Our founders saw the need for hoteliers to have access to real-time data and analytics to help them price competitively based on demand and not just offer discounts in lockstep with BAR. It gave early adopters an edge against the competition - and today, our customers consistently outcompete their markets.

And it's not just recent times that have seen technological innovation surge in the face of adversity. In fact, the adage, 'necessity is the mother of invention' rings true time and time again.' Patrick Collison, the CEO of @Stripe, captured a number of great examples of people and companies working together to accomplish ambitious projects in this post.

Hewlett Packard launched at the tail end of the Great Depression, while tech giant Microsoft was founded during the oil crisis of 1973-1975. And the marketing platform Mailchimp formed during the dot-com recession in 2001.

And while hospitality may feel challenging right now, remember that Hyatt opened its first hotel during the 1957 recession. Today, Hyatt has nearly 1,000 properties in operation. More recently, citizenM opened its doors in 2008 during the banking crisis and was closely followed by Virgin Hotels (2010) and Generator (2011). I'm proud to say that all three of these innovative hospitality brands run on Duetto.

Disruption can be a force for good. It makes us see things in a different way. It challenges us, and from these challenges, new solutions are formed.

We're already seeing the hospitality industry embrace touchless technologies to provide a more 'hands-off ' experience for guests.

At Duetto, we are looking at the current challenges the industry is facing to find new and innovative ways to help our customers succeed. With the advent of new business models and new guest behaviors, the hospitality industry will evolve and create new opportunities for guest engagement. Digital transformation and the ability to quickly adjust is the new world we live in.

One thing I know for sure is that the hospitality industry will continue to evolve. We will find new strengths and new opportunities in the months ahead. Our Pulse Report data tells us that interest in travel and intent to travel remains very strong. Our industry is incredibly resilient, creative, and I believe strongly that it will adapt as we work our way through Covid.

David Woolenberg

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    Duetto delivers a suite of cloud applications to simplify hospitality revenue decisions and allow hoteliers to work smarter, increasing organizational efficiency, revenue, and profitability. The unique combination of hospitality experience and technology leadership drives Duetto to look for innovative solutions to industry challenges. The software as a service platform allows hotels and casino resorts to leverage real-time dynamic data sources and actionable insights into pricing and demand across the enterprise. More than 4,000 hotel and casino resort properties in more than 60 countries have partnered to use Duetto's applications, which include GameChanger for pricing, ScoreBoard for intelligent reporting, and BlockBuster for contracted-business optimization. Duetto is backed by investors Warburg Pincus, Icon Ventures, Accel Partners, Battery Ventures, and Spectrum 28. For more information, please visit

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