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  • HITEC Special: Does EU GDPR Affect U.S. Hospitality Companies?

    By Alvaro Hidalgo. The EU General Data Protection Regulation has set a path towards protecting personal data which many other countries will follow. In a global industry such as hospitality, it should be a primary objective to take the steps towards compliance.

  • HFTP Report: Hospitality Data Security — Strategy for Data Protection and Regulation Compliance

    This guide from Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(R)) covers safeguards that can be implemented in hospitality businesses today, tips on how to continuously improve security and data regulation compliance.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Privacy Policies for Hotels

    This document offers points to consider in the development of a hotel’s privacy policy. In view of the multiple organisational and legal structures under which hotels operate, as well as the complexity of the third party landscape that may be part of the complete guest experience, this document serves as a guideline only.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Hospitality Guest Registration Cards

    This document offers recommendations for guest information collection on the guest registration card along with consent for use. It can be used as a guideline for loyalty cards, health data, export of data outside of the EU, privacy policies and direct marketing.

HFTP and Naseba Announce HITEC Dubai 2018 Advisory Council

HFTP ·20 September 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and Naseba are bringing back HITEC Dubai this year from December 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. A regional extension to the world's largest hospitality technology conference brand, HITEC Dubai 2018 will feature 30+ speakers, 600+ hospitality stakeholders and 60+ solution and service providers. The show will give Middle East buyers - currently worth over USD 75 billion - access to global top solution providers in hospitality market through a top-notch education program planned by the expert HITEC Dubai 2018 Advisory Council, as well as an exhibition showcasing the latest in hospitality technology, and a summit with one-to-one business meetings.To plan HITEC DUBAI's educational program, an advisory council of experts with years of experience has been formed. The council's role is to discuss and design an agenda that is most relevant to the Middle East's challenges, needs and upcoming hospitality technology trends.The 2018 HITEC Dubai Advisory Council includes:Laurent Voivenel, SVP of Operations and Development for Middle East, Africa & India, Swiss Belhotel InternationalNeil Menezes, VP of IT, Dubai HoldingSanjay Nadkarni, Director Research and Innovations, Emirates Academy of Hospitality ManagementFerghal Purcell, COO, Hospitality Management Holding (HMH)Ajay Rathi, Group Senior IT Director, Meraas HoldingReda bin Abdoun, IT Director, Dur HospitalityNaveen Bharadwaj, Production Director, NasebaAtul Gupta, Regional Director of IT, Wyndham Hotels and ResortsSamir Hamadeh, General Manager, Alpha Destination ManagementMohamed Amirul Islam, President, HFTP Dubai ChapterMahmoud Kamal, Group CIO, Al Habtoor HospitalityNicholas Watson, Chief Digital Officer, NasebaFrank Wolfe, CAE, CEO, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP)HITEC Dubai's Advisory Council Chairperson Laurent A. Voivenel, senior vice president of operations and development for the Middle East, Africa and India for Swiss-Belhotel International, said, "HITEC, co-produced by HFTP and Naseba, is the world's largest hospitality technology show for hotels and we are delighted to participate in it. We operate in smart cities such as Dubai - hence our hotels need to be smart too. HITEC Dubai offers the perfect platform to know about the latest developments in hospitality technology based on the rapid innovations in the field and the specific needs of the Middle East region, especially Dubai, in order to keep up with the expectations of international travelers."In addition, HFTP has several other HITEC events coming up in 2019. HITEC Europe is April 9-11, 2019 at Palau de Congressos in Palma, Mallorca, Spain. HITEC Minneapolis is June 17-20, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About HITEC Dubai Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place.Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), producers of HITEC, will partner with Naseba, a business facilitation company, to bring the brand to Dubai. Making the event accessible to buyers from the lucrative Middle Eastern market, currently worth over USD 75 bn.The show will offer an education program and exhibits. In addition, HITEC Dubai will feature a summit with one-to-one business meetings that have become the hallmark of Naseba's platforms. Hoteliers attending the summit portion of HITEC Dubai will be pre-qualified to confirm their purchasing authority, budgets, timelines and solutions of interest.hitec.naseba.comAbout HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.About Naseba Naseba offers global business facilitation services. The company creates growth opportunities by bringing together people, partners and ideas. It helps clients raise capital, enter new markets, secure partners, close sales and educate workforces. Naseba's goal is to create opportunity and add economic value at every stage of its client's journey. It does this through three key areas: investor services, commercial services and leadership services. Since inception in 2002, Naseba has facilitated deals totalling billions of dollars for its clients. The company has connected over 100,000 global executives through more than 1,000 proprietary business platforms and is an expert in growth markets.

HSMAI and Cvent Release White Paper on Value of Real-Time Data for Group Bookings

HSMAI ·19 September 2018
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), in collaboration with Cvent, is pleased to release Room Blocks in Real Time, a white paper on the benefits--for meeting planners, hotels, and event attendees--of managing group bookings at hotels by strategically applying software solutions.Group bookings for events are a key part of most hotels' business, but managing room blocks has long been a cumbersome, time-consuming task. HSMAI and Cvent's white paper seeks to inform hoteliers about real-time data tools that can result in smarter, more efficient group booking management."Room block management is still a major pain point for hotels of all sizes and with increasing focus on data security from regulations like GDPR, the need for software solutions that automate time-consuming manual processes, maximize revenue opportunities, and ensure secure transfer of information is at an all-time high," said Chris McAndrews, vice president of marketing for Cvent's Hospitality Cloud. "Like us, HSMAI is committed to delivering the information and education hoteliers need to grow their group business and we are proud to partner with them to address the topic of room block management. Our hope is to illustrate the important role technology can play in managing group reservations and creating valuable upsell opportunities for hoteliers around the world."An automated room block management system not only saves time and minimizes errors, it can also increase revenue, minimize interference from OTAs, and reduce group wash. Other key benefits of such software solutions for group booking shared in Room Blocks in Real Time are as follows:Real-time data facilitates upselling and contributes to increased profits.Elimination of traditional rooming lists decreases manual workload--and minimizes errors.Connectivity to registration tools in real time provides a more comprehensive picture of the pace of room pickup.Meeting planners can access information day or night, without having to contact a hotel's housing manager.Up-to-date data allows for flexibility for the hotel's revenue management team and frees up time to focus on selling higher-value items, such as meeting breaks.Customized websites for groups allow individual attendees to seamlessly make their own reservations--and to see the hotel's personalized offerings for them during their stay.Online group-booking solutions are more secure than traditional rooming lists and are GDPR compliant.Meeting planners can most easily gain insight into rooming trends by block and room type, which they can share with C-suite and upper management.Some software solutions feature deadline reminder alerts, which help both hotels and groups avoid penalties.To view or download a copy of Room Blocks in Real Time, please visit the HSMAI Knowledge Center.

HFTP Heads to Orlando in 2019 and Minneapolis in 2020 for its Upcoming Annual Conventions

HFTP ·18 September 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) announces future dates for its Annual Convention, an event the association has produced since 1952. Next year's HFTP Annual Convention will take place October 23-25, 2019 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida USA. In 2020, HFTP will produce its Annual Convention from October 14-16 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. This year's HFTP Annual Convention will take place October 24-26, 2018 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA.The HFTP Annual Convention is one of many events the hospitality association produces each year, and has a program that provides topics of professional interest as well as celebrates the accomplishments of the association. Hundreds of hospitality finance and technology professionals will enjoy education, networking, exhibits, recognition, a black-tie optional dinner and much more. Registered attendees can earn CPE credits for attending educational sessions - the 2018 program offers up to 22 CPE credits. Also, it is tradition that HFTP's new Global Board is installed during the black-tie optional dinner known as HFTP Annual Tribute to Success."HFTP's Annual Convention represents a time for the organization to recognize outstanding achievement from individuals and HFTP chapters that embody the success of the association," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE. "The multi-day conference also offers keynote sessions, excellent hospitality education, social networking opportunities, black-tie events and a variety of other options for industry professionals who want to improve their job performance and organization."This year during HFTP Annual Convention, HFTP chose to support a local charity in the event's host city. The HFTP Helps 2018 online silent auction will direct its fundraising toward the HFTP Scholarship fund, and the money raised will support area hospitality, finance and technology centered education programs overseen by NAF. Item donations for the silent auction are now being accepted, and the online silent auction is now open and available to all who wish to bid on items such as hotel stays, dinners and more.Online registration is open for this year's Annual Convention 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky USA. Register by September 26, 2018 to receive the early registration rates. Visit the Annual Convention page on the HFTP website for complete information about all conference events, including the program schedule, hotel and travel details and more. For more information about HFTP's Annual Convention and other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.

Marketing Leaders Embrace Gdpr As Path To Trust And Improved Experiences As Compliance Laggards Shirk Responsibility And Fail To Champion Change

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council ·13 September 2018
While some organizations saw the May 25 enforcement deadline for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as the finish line for compliance, leading edge marketing executives saw the day as a starting point of a journey to reinforce trust and actively improve the customer experience.According to data from the CMO Council, in partnership with SAP Customer Experience, marketers from organizations who took the lead in preparing to meet and exceed GDPR data standards noted increased trust and engagement levels with customers. While survey respondents agreed that the implementation of GDPR standards reinforced a responsibility to better protect their customer's data, the issue became whether or not an organization would seize on the responsibility and turn regulation into optimized experiences.For their part, GDPR leaders - those marketers who had not only established a plan but were also well down the path of execution and compliance - believed GDPR was an opportunity to deliver better customer experiences and to build customer trust and loyalty. Alternatively, GDPR laggards - marketers without a plan in place or far removed from process, having no idea if a plan was in the works - remained happy to see compliance as a burden for other teams to resolve or an issue for only EU-based companies to tackle."What marketing leaders have seized upon is the reality that trust is the currency of today's data-driven customer engagement - without trust, the customer will walk away from an experience, taking their loyalty and their wallets with them," noted Liz Miller, SVP of Marketing with the CMO Council. "GDPR, and more specifically the frenzy of activity surrounding the compliance deadline of May 24, 2018, was not the end of a security conversation...it was the start of an experience transformation."The white paper entitled "GDPR: Impact and Opportunity - How Marketing Leaders Addressed GDPR Readiness and Compliance," is based on an online survey of over 227 senior marketing executives, taken at the height of GDPR readiness planning and activation. What emerges is a view of best practices taken by data and engagement leaders versus the attitudes adopted by the laggards.Among the key differences between GDPR compliance leaders and laggards:Leaders see opportunity to secure trust, loyalty and experience. Laggards assume GDPR is someone else's problem. 39 percent of marketers without a GDPR strategy felt the regulation did not apply to their business.Leaders lean in and take part in the strategic planning and execution. Laggards wash their hands of the burden.Leaders audit, assess and accelerate shifts needed across data and marketing and engagement's technology stack. Laggards stay in the dark. 55 percent of leaders had already initiated some form of data audit to fully understand where and how customer data was being stored and collected.Leaders champion change on behalf of the customer. Laggards stick to the status quo. 37 percent of leaders are planning to upgrade capabilities across all data management solutions.Leaders are empowered by an idea that trust and engagement are the reward for compliance. Laggards are being held back by a lack of understanding GDPR requirements."Savvy businesses already understand that to win customer loyalty they must lead with transparency and consent," said Patrick Salyer, General Manager, SAP Customer Data Cloud, SAP Customer Experience. "In today's landscape, companies are realizing that trust is the ultimate currency and it serves as the foundation of all meaningful customer relationships."The white paper is now available for download by visiting https://cmocouncil.org/thought-leadership/reports/gdpr-impact-and-opportunity. It is based on the input from marketers across a broad range of industries including retail, financial services, consumer packaged goods and consumer electronics and information technology. Some 40 percent of respondents hold a title of Chief Marketing Officer, Head of Marketing or SVP of Marketing, whose headquarters are primarily in North America. One in four is with an organization with revenues in excess of $1 billion USD.

From GDPR to Employee Engagement: What Hotels Need to Know

Beekeeper Blog·13 September 2018
Last year, consumers spent $1.6 trillion on hotel rooms worldwide. As global travel continues to grow, and with new GDPR compliance laws taking effect, hotels need to keep pace in a constantly evolving industry. In order to stay competitive and build a productive team, every hotel should have a digital workplace handling internal communications.
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Hoteliers + Non-Desk Hotel Workers to Benefit from Beekeeper's $13 Million 'Series A' Extension

Beekeeper ·11 September 2018
Beekeeper, the leading communication and operations platform for connecting a hotel's non-desk workers across locations and departments, announced today that it has raised an additional $13 million as a part of its Series A extension round. Built from the ground up for secure, centralized operational communication on mobile and desktop devices, Beekeeper plans to deploy its latest round of capital by continuing to invest in hospitality market growth, innovation and its information security management system to maintain their ISO 27001:2013 certification. This will ensure the platform delivers a simple and elegant experience for hotel workers while maintaining the highest security levels.Atomico and Keen Venture Partners led the round with a diverse group of strategic investors including Samsung Next, Edenred Capital Partners (ECP), and Swiss Post who have joined Beekeeper's mission to connect the nearly 2 billion non-desk workers who have been forgotten when it comes to digitalization within companies. All existing key investors, including FYRFLY Venture Partners, ALPANA Ventures and investiere.ch, participated in the round as well.Aligning employees without email addresses or corporate devices with the entire organization in a centralized, secure environment is a major challenge. Seventy-five percent of the workforce currently use their personal mobile devices to communicate with co-workers, and the lack of proper operational communication tools has forced employees to use consumer-based workarounds like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Data privacy scandals by consumer giant Facebook and the launch of GDPR has emphasized the importance of data privacy and security."Atomico is proud to support Beekeeper as their innovative employee communication and operations platform, built specifically for the world's two billion non-desk workers, continues to succeed on a global scale," said Ben Blume, Principal at Atomico. "Over the last few years we've watched Cris, Flavio and the team build not only a world class product and culture, but consistently win some of the world's most well recognized corporations as clients across a range of industries from hospitality and manufacturing to retail and construction. It is a testament to our belief that big enterprise SaaS winners will continue to emerge from Europe.""Beekeeper plays right into the heart of the digital workplace trend," said Robert Verwaayen, general partner at Keen Ventures. "We believe that Beekeeper is on a path to become an indispensable collaboration tool for the 80% of the global workforce that has been largely forgotten by digital technology. The market opportunity, strength of the product and the talent of the team gives Beekeeper a real shot at becoming a meaningful giant in the mobile enterprise space."This round of capital will also be dedicated to the next evolution of Beekeeper's Marketplace and plug-in ecosystem. As the central employee touchpoint, Beekeeper has the unique ability to streamline internal communications and operational tools within one intuitive app that desk and non-desk workers can access in real time from their mobile phone. Through Beekeeper's integrations and out-of-the-box apps, corporations can consolidate operational tools and communications into a simplified employee experience - something that will be imperative as frontline workers are introduced to corporate technology, many for the first time.Christina Bechhold Russ, principal at Samsung NEXT Ventures said, "Non-desk-based workers are one of the most overlooked markets for digital services, yet they are estimated to have a mobile penetration rate of 84% and only continues to grow. Beekeeper enables employers with distributed workforces from manufacturing companies to retailers to seamlessly connect everyone in the organization and transform the way information is disseminated and shared. A strategic investment for NEXT, this is a great opportunity to support a fast-growing scale-up leveraging mobile devices to define the future of work."Beekeeper's new financing comes within a year of closing its Series A round and marks a time of rapid corporate growth. In the past year, Fortune 500 firms across the globe have adopted Beekeeper to improve internal communications and streamline operations. Beekeeper has also increased its user base by more than 500% and is currently being used in more than 137 countries worldwide.

What US Hotels Need to Know About GDPR Legislation

mycloud HOSPITALITY· 6 September 2018
While many people in the United States have already heard about California legislation, which is similar to GPDR legislation, that has been taken into effect in June this year, a lot of them don’t know what it exactly refers to and how and whether it will affect them.

Wave of data-security regulations coming to U.S.

Hotel Management· 6 September 2018
In May, our email inboxes and internet browsing were inundated by messages of compliance for a new data-security regulation—-the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. For the hospitality industry, the new regulation holds significant weight due to the range of personal data we hold and the international nature of our guest database, including the EU citizens protected under GDPR. The reality though, is that hospitality companies outside the EU might still slowly be moving toward compliance, which is costly and time-consuming and not as high a priority.

Come to the Dark Side, We Have Cookies

mycloud HOSPITALITY· 4 September 2018
Have you noticed recently that when you click on most websites a notice appears stating that the host uses cookies? Many are aware that on May 25, 2018, the GDPR ('Global Data Protection Regulation') took effect; The law applies to any person or organization that is physically located in the European Union and has a website, as well as any website that targets consumers in the EU.

[EBOOK] How to Get Your Hotel PCI and GDPR Compliant

mycloud HOSPITALITY·31 August 2018
The hospitality sector over the years has been the number one recipient of attacks and data security breaches. An estimated 14% of data related incidents have happened in or around the hospitality industry. The increased attacks are most likely associated with the increased use of digital systems.

HFTP Announces 2018 CHAE of the Year Recipient: Elijah Spiritoso, CHAE

HFTP ·30 August 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) will honor Elijah Spiritoso, CHAE as the 2018 Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE) of the Year at its upcoming Annual Convention this October. The CHAE of the Year award honors the individual that scored the highest on the CHAE certification exam within a given year. HFTP's Annual Convention will be held from October 24-26, 2018 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA - online registration is open now.Spiritoso started in hospitality as a busboy for a local Philadelphia restaurant, and then became a server at the downtown Hilton Garden Inn in Philadelphia while in high school. Spiritoso graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia with a Bachelor's in Business Administration, where he was a finance major. He continued to work as a food server in both a-la-carte and banquets, working for many well-known restaurants, caterers and hotels in the area. One Five-Diamond rated hotel, The Rittenhouse, became Spiritoso's main employer, until one day he was offered a position to become the hotel's new income auditor. He was quickly promoted - based on his ability to automate and streamline processes - to condominium accountant then to staff accountant, working directly under the CFO. After many years, he became a controller for GF Management, then a restaurant group. Spiritoso now works as the controller for Frog Commissary, the exclusive in-house food provider for The Franklin Institute."The CHAE certification was very helpful in obtaining my new position, as it showed my willingness to continue to stay educated on the fundamental industry knowledge," said Spiritoso. "Employers need to trust accountants at the executive level, so being a CHAE gives added confidence that I am managing the business properly and staying continually educated on the latest industry trends. Every hospitality accounting professional would greatly benefit from studying and retaining the knowledge covered while obtaining a CHAE - it shows that you are a true professional that is serious about your career and future."I would like to personally thank everyone at HFTP that worked hard to make the CHAE certification possible, and a special thanks to HFTP Certification Manager Robin Bogdon for guiding me through the process," Spiritoso continued. "I also want to thank all of the other CHAEs out there every day working hard to represent the ideals of the certification. I am truly humbled and honored to be the CHAE of the year and will wear the honor with pride throughout my entire career."The CHAE professional designation is an industry designation showing competency in the area of accounting, and is acknowledged throughout the hospitality industry as it elevates the professionalism of both the recipient and the industry. More than 1,500 hospitality accountants, from several countries, have earned the CHAE designation through HFTP since the certification program began in 1981. A new CHAE exam is now available, and features a more global finance focus. HFTP also administers the examination and awards the Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP).For more information on HFTP's certification programs (CHTP and CHAE), please contact HFTP Certification Manager Robin Bogdon at Robin.Bogdon@hftp.org. For immediate information, visit the FAQ pages for both CHTP and CHAE certifications.HFTP has upcoming events around the world. HITEC Dubai will take place December 5-6, 2018 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. HITEC Europe will take place April 9-11, 2019 at Palau de Congressos in Palma (Mallorca) Spain. HITEC Minneapolis will take place June 17-20, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.

Looking back three months: What's changed since the GDPR went into effect?

mycloud HOSPITALITY·30 August 2018
Some marketers are still scrambling to become GDPR compliant, others are changing their martech stacks, and consumers largely don't notice a difference.
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DHISCO secures PCI certification and GDPR compliance

mycloud HOSPITALITY·30 August 2018
DHISCO Inc., the world’s leading hospitality distribution company, today announced that the company achieved the two most well-recognized industry certifications over this quarter, namely, PCI certification and GDPR compliance, which are considered the best-known standards for consumer data security. Being PCI and GDPR compliant reinstates DHISCO’s commitment to providing the highest levels of information security to its customers, and deliver advanced and innovative solutions for the industry based on the principle.

GPDR: A Chance to Improve Your Customer Service

4hoteliers.com·28 August 2018
Are you ready for the General Data Protection Regulation? No? Do not worry, GDPR is not a burden imposed upon us by the EU, however, it is an excellent opportunity to stand out from the crowd and gain a competitive advantage.

The GDPR - The New Normal?

Revinate Blog - Key Trends in Hospitality·20 August 2018
Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is live, and the sky hasn’t fallen. So what happens next for hoteliers? We have some of the answers here.

Privacy vs security: first fines reveal shift in data protection landscape

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·15 August 2018
Over two months since ‘GDPR Day’, most organisations are still successfully processing personal data, but travel companies beware. With regulation now enforceable, consumers more empowered and security – a small part of GDPR – becoming an increasing focus, the Information Commissioner’s Office is keen to show it has teeth. Since May, several fines have been levied against companies making everything from annoying sales calls to not being rigorous with privacy and security. While the ICO has not fined any companies under the EU GDPR or UK Data Protection Act 2018 yet (the breaches happened before May 25), the value of these fines does appear higher.

What You Missed in London

4hoteliers.com·15 August 2018
This report also hits on Travel's most important topics such as AI, blockchain, GDPR and more, this is your chance to level the playing field on your competition.

In a post GDPR world, first-party data is more important than ever

clickz.com·14 August 2018
At the beginning of the summer, the General Data Protection Regulation went into effect, requiring marketers in the EU to obtain explicit consent from consumers before collecting and using their data. Companies refusing to comply could be fined up to 20 million Euros, which has been a motivating factor for brands around the world to update their policies and focus on educating the public about how their data is being used. The post In a post GDPR world, first-party data is more important than ever appeared first on ClickZ.

9 Reasons Why Your Business Can't Ignore SMS Marketing

The SMS Works Ltd ·13 August 2018
Mobile marketing is no longer the impressionable young upstart it was 15 years ago.It's matured and the use of sms by the hospitality sector has grown and continues to grow at a steady rate.Consumers are no longer surprised to receive offers from venues that they've opted into, in fact they have come to expect them.According to research by SAP, 70% of people feel that SMS is a good way for an organisation to get their attention.If your business hasn't yet taken the plunge, there's a whole opportunity to generate eyebrow raising response rates that will impress even the most cynical of marketers.Here are the top 9 reasons, to roll up your sleeves and dive into the world of mobile marketing.1. Killer Open RatesNo direct response marketing channel can compete with the astonishing read rate of SMS. 90% of all SMS are still read within the first 3 mins (mobileSQUARED).Despite the explosive growth of messaging apps and in app notifications, SMS still has the power to make us stop what we're doing and check the SMS inbox.It makes some sense, when was the last time you ignored a text?2. SMS has the highest response of any communication channelIf only email response rates could match those of SMS.According to Cellit, SMS can boast response rates that are 6-8 times higher than email.Compared to any other way of getting your message across, SMS open and response rates are one of the marvels of the marketing world.3. SMS is here to stayEvery week I read a new article telling us how SMS is on the verge of meltdown and will soon be swept aside as messaging apps take control.In fact, when messaging apps first appeared around 10 years ago, many industry pundits reckoned the writing was on the wall for SMS.While it's undeniably true that messaging has rapidly overtaken SMS for person to person use, the use of SMS in business is still growing steadily and is predicted to do so for another few years.According to Zion research, the A2P messaging market (application to person) will grow by 4% a year until 2020 when it will reach a global total of $70 billion.4. SMS is still the only universal messaging platformZero learning curve.Nothing to download, no web connection or data issues.Every mobile phone ever built can send and receive texts.We understand it, we don't need to learn it and we still get a buzz from receiving them.5. There's a low spam rateJust a few years ago, I used to receive dozens of junk texts a week?It was infuriating to put it mildly.Spam SMS seems to have almost completely dried up, in large part due to the implementation of stringent new rules around the sending of marketing texts.In the EU, since GDPR became law in May 2018, regulators have increasing powers to punish the rule breakers.They can and do hand out large fines to organisations who break the rules. The new rules mean that our SMS inboxes remain largely spam free.6. SMS marketing is trackableEvery mobile marketing text sent receives a delivery report, letting you know whether the message has been delivered or not.Dead numbers can be removed from your list, so that no further effort is made to text them.Links in your texts can be shortened and click through / engagement tracked, so you can measure exactly how your campaigns are performing.7. Uncompromised by advertisingMessaging apps offer far more flexibility than SMS which is so basic and clunky in comparison. You can't for example, create groups or send pictures easily.The issue with messaging apps is that the platform must generate revenue through in app advertising.The business model depends on advertisers seeing a return on their ad spend, users need to click away from the messaging to view the ads.So, ads are a necessary distraction that encourage users to move away from the messaging app and visit an advertiser's website.By contrast, SMS operates in a cocoon. You're either viewing or sending texts with no tempting exit doors.8. Your competitors are using SMS"If you're not using mobile marketing to attract new customers to your business, don't worry -- your competitors are already using it and are getting those customers instead." Jamie Turner, 60SecondMarketer.comWhatever sector you operate in, it's likely that other companies will be using SMS as way of communicating with their customers.While it's not a smart idea to get too obsessed with what competitors are up to, you don't want to let them dominate one of the most responsive communication channels.9. You can get up and running fastOne of the joys of SMS is that you don't need to involve every department in your company to get a campaign off the ground.There's no artwork to get bogged down in or media buying agency to consult. You can simply extract the mobile data, compose your text and your message can be landing on customers' mobiles within the hour.ConclusionThe hospitality sector is perfectly placed to take advantage of the humble text and many businesses have been doing so for over 20 years.But if you haven't yet got involved, it's not too late to start. When it's done well, the benefits can be genuinely transformative.What's your experience of SMS marketing in your business? Have you used it to drive customers to your venue or have you steered well clear?Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Some Companies Are Ignoring GDPR Risk

CFO Magazine· 9 August 2018
During the six-year lead-up to the May 25, 2018, effective date of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), much attention was focused on the onerous financial penalties for noncompliance.
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10 Steps Marketers Can Take to Prepare for 'California's GDPR

MarketingProfs·Requires Registration ·26 July 2018
If you're tired of hearing about GDPR, just wait until you start dealing with CCPA. The California Consumer Privacy Act is coming... and, marketers beware, it will change everything. If you collect consumer data in California, you need to prepare for a slew of new data management obligations. And, considering that one in eight Americans resides in the Golden State, it's highly likely the CCPA applies directly to your organization.

HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe Honored as Most Influential Hospitality Association CEO 2018

HFTP ·25 July 2018
Frank I. Wolfe, CEO for Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), was recognized as Most Influential Association CEO 2018 in Hospitality by the European-based corporate finance publication Acquisition International (AI). Published by AI Global Media, AI is a monthly magazine that seeks to inform and shape the global corporate conversation through a combination of high quality editorial rigorous research and an experienced and dedicated worldwide network of advisors experts and contributors."This is truly an honor, but is really a testament to our talented staff as well as the HFTP Global Board of Directors and our Executive Committee. The past few years have been marked by significant progress for HFTP, as we have established long-planned events that place us as an internationally influential organization. This honor is a notable recognition for all the efforts we have put in," says Mr. Wolfe. "We have also made available our signature services such as quality education and resources to the global hospitality finance and technology community. I am proud that our efforts have been recognized by such an esteemed publication, but I also know that we have much more to accomplish."Recipients of the brand new honor are internally researched, shortlisted, judged and selected. The publication's in-house research team looks into the global industry thoroughly in order to determine those most deserving of the accolade. Some factors the team takes into consideration include the nominee's significant achievements over the past calendar year, company and career profile, commitment towards innovation and company performance under the individual's leadership.Wolfe has been with HFTP since March 1991, and assumed the CEO position in 1994. He has overseen the positive evolution and growth of the association. Under Wolfe, HFTP has made a number of bold moves towards global expansion, new club conferences, and many organized clusters of members around the world. In 2017, HFTP also expanded its Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), the largest hospitality technology conference brand in the world with two additional events in Europe and Dubai, in addition to its annual North American event. He also spearheaded the hospitality-specific search site Pineapplesearch.com and HFTP news sites, topic specific sites for hospitality finance, technology, club, food and beverage, GDPR and the HFTP association.To read more about Frank Wolfe, including articles he has written, visit his bio page on the HFTP web site. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.###

Nigel Allport joins For-Sight Guest CRM as Head of Business Development

For-Sight Guest CRM ·25 July 2018
Edinburgh -- After a record breaking year of new client acquisition and the on-boarding of a number of renowned UK and Ireland hotel groups and prestigious Independent properties, For-Sight Guest CRM today announced the appointment of Nigel Allport as Head of Business Development to oversee its ambitious growth plans over the next three years.Speaking following Allport's appointment, For-Sight Founder and Director Allan Nelson said that "I have known Nigel for a number of years and have always been impressed with his success and professionalism" adding, "his reputation in European hospitality technology is simply unmatched and he is the perfect appointment to lead our sales effort in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe".Experienced in hotel guest CRM, Allport has worked with a diverse client portfolio consisting of top tier hotel brands, luxury and boutique hotel chains, hotel management companies, resorts, franchises and independents, and business partners. Commenting on his appointment, Allport said "I am absolutely thrilled to have joined For-Sight Guest CRM at a time when they are enjoying un-paralleled success with their CRM and Data Analytics platform adding that in a post GDPR world, For-Sight's experience of data management including laser segmentation and guest profiling is a clear differentiator for hotels seeking a competitive edge".Nelson concluded, "For-Sight are very excited to welcome Nigel on board and are delighted that he is already making headway, the impact of which, is already being seen and we are excited at the contribution he will make to our growth strategy in the coming years". About For-SightFrom UK based Forth Communication Ltd, For-Sight Guest CRM helps hotels, groups and management companies leverage their data to establish & retain guest relationships. A combination best of breed technology and excellent customer service, means the business has become well established in the Hotel CRM space with a reputation to match.For further details please contact: Jenny Duffy Forth Communication Ltd Tel: 0131 467 4467 Email: jenny.duffy@forth.co.uk
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GDPR Compliance Deadline Has Come and Gone; What Does it Mean for Hotels?

Beekeeper ·24 July 2018
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance deadline has passed, and it now requires every hotel in the world to have guidelines in place that protect European Union (EU) residents' personally identifiable information against security breaches. While a lot has been discussed to help hoteliers become compliant, many are wondering "what comes next?" Dr. Amir Ameri, Data Protection Officer for Beekeeper, a GDPR-compliant developer of a digital workplace app hailed as the "Most Innovative Technology" for 2018 and the "People's Choice" by actual users and buyers, is providing answers to some of hoteliers most frequently asked questions.Q: How quickly will regulators levy major fines if a hotel or hospitality-related business is not GDPR compliant?A: Before a fine is levied, an offence must be established. This may be due to an incident impacting personal data of an employee or a guest or a defined regulatory audit. Hence, establishing an offence in this matter would require evidencing several criteria, performing audits, assessing the knowledge of the offender to the offence, i.e. establishing intent and the level of due diligence the offender had met. Taking all factors into consideration, previous court rulings in the EU have taken time to give a ruling in data protection and privacy matters. Article 83 states: "In any event, the fines imposed shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive." This will be case dependent and influenced by the legal proceedings in the jurisdiction in question as defined by the regulatory body.Q: Will the GDPR regulation help or hinder future innovation?A: In my opinion, not only will GDPR regulation significantly help future innovation, but it will also establish an absolute maximum of the necessary level of "trust" required to have a flourishing use of any future innovation.Q: Will the GDPR regulation help or hinder my hotel's global marketing efforts?A: Understanding that establishing "trust" is the cornerstone of any successful marketing effort, there is nothing better than upholding a basic "undeclared human right" in any company's effort to commercialize their product. Adapting to new processes and marketing efforts will be necessary, but it's also addressing an important need in the minds of most consumers.Q: What do hotels need to do to maintain their opt-in-subscriptions? What will this mean to customer loyalty and bottom line revenues for the future?A: It is helpful if businesses/hotels recognize that personal data is not a free commodity and there is an ownership title associated with the personal data to the data subject. Safeguarding this is all GDPR requires. Incentives, or any form of compensatory measures of interest to the data subject, may result in maintaining a higher customer loyalty. It is important to note, however, that customer loyalty and bottom line revenues were only impacted for businesses/hotels with a model to use a "free commodity = personal data" to generate income. As we all know, in a free economy, this itself is considered an unfair distribution of resources and a disadvantage for a healthy economy and it is not tolerated in many countries.Q: What happens if there is a third-party breach? For example, a hotel uses WhatsApp to stay connected to their employees. What happens to that hotel if WhatsApp is not compliant? Is it liable for the breach or is WhatsApp solely responsible?A: One of the points that GDPR addresses clearly is the responsibility of each party in the processing life cycle. In this respect, although GDPR has a "pass through" approach, it is the responsibility of the controller to be transparent towards the data subject and manage such risks with the processors and the involved third parties. For example, having a data processing agreement in place between the involved entities, performing risk assessments and taking other risk mitigating measures are the norm in managing this type of risk. In the example stated, since the hotel is considered as the controller, certainly the hotel will be audited to establish whether it had performed its due diligence towards managing this risk or not. Basic assumption is that the data subject was informed and consented to in the first place to allow WhatsApp to have possession of their personal data. If not, clearly the hotel will be held liable in a first instance.Q: Understanding that GDPR is not a one-off compliance effort (like the rush to fix the Y2K Millennium Bug) and continuous changes will need to be made, is there a grace period on updates? Will there be a global schedule specifying when updates need to be made? How does a company know if it's up-to-date with all the recent regulations?A: GDPR is the law and became enforceable on May 25th, 2018. The grace period for meeting GDPR requirements started in April 2016, with a 2-year period allowed for compliance. Although, it has happened in the past that regulators have "extended" enforceability timelines, to date, I am not aware of any extension periods for the start of enforcement of GDPR.
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Coffee Chat: APEX Hotels & HEBS Digital

Max Starkov | The HeBS blog·24 July 2018
HEBS Digital’s Executive Vice President Jason Price chatted with APEX Hotels’ Digital Manager Steven Howe, based in the UK, to discuss Steven’s career, GDPR, and the latest from APEX Hotels.

HFTP Annual Convention 2018 Online Registration Now Open, Keynotes Announced

HFTP ·24 July 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) has opened online registration for its Annual Convention, which it has produced since 1952. Following the traditional event format, the event will offer a variety of educational sessions, networking and vendor opportunities. HFTP has secured two keynote speakers who will discuss topics relating to productivity, engagement, collaboration and communication in the workplace: Colette Carlson and Curt Steinhorst. The HFTP Annual Convention will take place from October 24-26 at the brand new Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA.HFTP Annual Convention full registration attendees will have access to three days of education, two days of table top exhibits, a Welcome Reception and a formal HFTP Tribute to Success dinner and dance. The 2018 schedule of events is available on the HFTP website, and will be continuously updated until the event. Additionally, Annual Convention will feature a business meeting and the HFTP Helps Silent Auction benefiting the HFTP Foundation during the HFTP Tribute to Success. The HFTP Greater Louisville Chapter will also host a social night event on October 25, 2018 at the Kentucky Derby Museum to support the HFTP Helps fundraiser."HFTP is excited to host Annual Convention in Louisville, Kentucky this year," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "Annual Convention is created specifically with our association's members best interests in mind - join us this October for hospitality education, networking, exhibits, vendor interaction, fundraising, fun social events and more."The dynamic event program will provide relevant industry information for hospitality professionals. Vendor interaction this year will allow attendees to meet with participating companies at table top exhibits. Exhibits will be open to attendees on Wednesday evening during the Welcome Reception, as well as during breaks and lunch on the following Thursday.Visit the Annual Convention page on the HFTP website for complete information about all conference events, including the program schedule, hotel and travel details and more. For more information about HFTP's Annual Convention and other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org.Coming up, HFTP's Florida Regional Conference will take place July 25-27, 2018 at the Sarasota Westin in Sarasota, Florida USA - immediately followed by HFTP's inaugural Club Forum which will take place July 28, 2018 at the same location. HITEC Dubai will take place December 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.

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