POINT-of-sale systems and electronic locking for hotels were two dominant themes of the Technology Centre.
What was surprising was the absence of all but three of the British suppliers of hotel property management systems (PMS).
One of the three was the Alcatel/Counterpoint group, which was promoting its recently formed applications division for the hospitality sector.
Alcatel, a telephone systems company, has diversified with the acquisition of Counterpoint EPoS systems and Guestflex PMS.
Applications division manager Geoffrey Briggs said Alcatel was now able to offer one-stop solutions for the industry.
A feature of Guestflex seen at the show is the way it optimises room bookings to avoid fragmentation. It is programed to offer rooms with the lowest numbers first - this has the effect of avoiding one-night gaps in the room allocations.
Staff can override the default room allocation, but the hotel can also run an optimisation program to reorganise bookings according to the management's parameters.
Guestflex is used by a number of college halls of residence, and Alcatel has written a special sub-program for them, to check groups in or out en bloc. This enhancement will be incorporated in updates of Guestflex.
The other PMS vendors in the Technology Centre were XI-Data, with its XI-Tel system, and Global Hospitality, which has recently added another PMS offering to its portfolio.
Performance Technologies, which launched the Guest Master hotel management system at the HOTECH '93 exhibition in November, has appointed Global Hospitality as exclusive distributor for the system.
Priced at £495, Guest Master excited considerable interest at HOTECH. It is claimed to be the firstWindows-based system designed for small hotels, and users can train themselves to use it.
A novel feature - and an impressive one - is that no manual is supplied with Guest Master. The instructions for use are all contained in context-sensitive help screens.