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  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • 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.

5 Things Marketers Should Give Thanks For

MDG Advertising ·15 November 2018
'Tis the season to reflect and express gratitude.So, what should marketers be thankful for this year? Which evolutions, tactics, and trends impacted the field positively in 2018?There are countless options to choose from, but these five in particular stand out for both the scale of their influence this year and for their potential to continue to affect marketing for years to come.1. The GDPR Data RegulationAt first glance, Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) seems like something marketers should lament, rather than be thankful for. This sweeping legislation, which went into effect in May, gave consumers much more control over their own data and required businesses to disclose their data collection practices as well as ask for explicit consent to utilize information. Although the regulation was enacted by the EU, it impacted firms of all sizes across the globe.Why was this good for marketers? Because for years data had been collected, used, and stored sloppily: too many firms had embraced the power of data without accepting the necessary responsibility. This was leading to ever-increasing distrust and anger from consumers.Essentially, GDPR forced businesses to take much needed steps that had been avoided for far too long. While this brought some short-term pain, it made the long-term future of data-based marketing much more secure.2. Voice Search and Natural Language ProcessingWhile search engine marketing and search engine optimization have been powerful tools for businesses, there has also been a largely unacknowledged flaw: the way search platforms are used and they way operate has not matched real-life behavior. Specifically, the keyword-based approach to search hasn't been a good fit with how people naturally use language.Two trends are changing this. First, thanks to the popularity of tools such as Siri and Google Assistant on smartphones and devices enabled with Alexa-like helpers, consumers are increasingly using voice to search instead of typing. Second, search engines like Google are utilizing approaches such as natural language processing (NLP) to better understand how humans communicate. Essentially, people are searching more conversationally and search systems are simultaneously getting better at deciphering conversational language.For marketers, this combination means that trying to anticipate stilted consumer queries is becoming increasingly less important. The major benefit of this is that efforts can be focused on targeting what people truly want -- not the keywords they happen to use in a search engine.3. Account-Based MarketingWhile new technologies usually get most of the buzz, sometimes changes in approaches can be just as transformational to marketing.One prime example is account-based marketing (ABM). This framework, which transitioned from a buzzword to a mainstream strategy this year, is used to market to firms or even individuals with specific messaging, rather than lumping them into segments. While this may not sound revolutionary, its impact is: some 97% of marketers say ABM has a higher ROI than any other marketing initiative.Why is ABM such a big deal? Because it's an example of an approach maturing at the same time as the tools needed to execute it properly. Thanks to sophisticated marketing platforms, marketers and salespeople can now to highly tailor messaging, advertising, and content at scale. This means each target is delivered the most effective materials, resulting in higher engagement and revenue.4. InstagramWhat if there was a social network that was based on the visual content types audiences love (images, videos, ephemeral posts), that was adored by valuable audiences, that wasn't tainted by scandal, and that had highly-effective advertising capabilities?There is: Instagram.The platform now has more than 1 billion active monthly users, is catching up to Snapchat in popularity with young consumers, and has avoided the controversies surrounding parent company Facebook while still utilizing its incredibly powerful advertising engine.Basically, this was the year that Instagram became the Goldilocks network: just big enough, just popular enough, just trendy enough, and just sophisticated enough. In a time when audiences are increasingly wary of big social platforms, it has become a much-needed haven for marketers.5. MillennialsFinally, this year marketers should be thankful for a demographic that has been much maligned: Millennials.For years, businesses have been struggling to understand this group, which is expected to overtake Boomers as the largest age cohort in the United States in 2019. Unfortunately, much of the coverage has been alarming: supposedly these younger consumers want firms to be hip and political by diving into cutting-edge technologies and controversial causes.The data, however, paints a different picture. As with all other groups, Millennials' top concerns with products/services are cost and quality. Beyond that, this group doesn't necessarily want companies to take stands: just 15% say they pay attention to brands' political and ethical positions. Rather, what they care about are authenticy (97% value), trustworthiness (77%), loyalty (74%), and responsibility (73%).Fundamentally, Millennials are simply pushing brands to ditch artifice and focus on providing authentic messaging, high-quality service, and good value. That's a positive shift that both consumers and marketers should be thankful for.

In the wake of GDPR, what's next for data privacy?

Hotel Online·15 November 2018
In a marketer survey by SAP, 42% did not believe GDPR applied to them and 26% said they did not collect the type of data protected under the regulation. What should marketers know about strategies for data privacy?

New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

8 November 2018
The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders. By Briana Gilmore

HFTP 2018-2019 Global Executive Committee and Board of Directors Begin Term

HFTP · 5 November 2018
The 2018-2019 Global Executive Committee and Board of Directors for Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) have officially begun their term at the start of this month. The association leaders represent a wide variety of segments within the hospitality industry, including: clubs, consulting, hotels, finance, technology and more. The HFTP Global Board volunteers its time and professional expertise to help guide and progress the association to the forefront of the industry as it carries out its strategic plan.The HFTP Global Board is the primary decision-making body of the association. Under its Board's vision, HFTP is able to expand its international reach and address the needs of the hospitality industry at large. The Board ensures the continuity of the association by planning for the future, establishing and reviewing major policies and programs that support the mission of the association, and by ensuring that the association is fiscally sound."The HFTP Global Board looks at the association's big picture strategic goals, and makes sure its current programs and initiatives align with these," said HFTP Global President Scot Campbell, CHTP. "It is an active time for HFTP as it expands its presence internationally and develops and updates industry resources. The Board pursues each of these initiatives only after determining whether they do serve to provide a source of hospitality finance and technology knowledge - HFTP's strategic goal."HFTP 2018-2019 Global Executive Committee members:President: Scot Campbell, CHTP, CTO, North American Concerts - LiveNationVice President: Michael Levie, CHTP, COO, citizenM HotelsTreasurer: Mark Pate Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA, Assistant Controller and IT Director, Highpointe Hotel CorporationSecretary: Neil Foster, CHTP, MBA, IT Consultant, Tech-Tonic Hospitality ServicesImmediate Past President: President: Timothy G. Nauss, CHAE, CFO, Macau Studio CityExecutive Advisor: Stephanie Anderson, CHAE, CPA, CGMA, CFO, River Bend Golf & Country ClubHFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors:Director Toni Bau, Director of Finance, Portola Hotel and Spa Read her new director profile.Director Carson Booth, CHTP, CEO, SnapShot GmbH Read his new director profile.Director Cindy Braak, SVP Finance Business Partner, Marriott InternationalDirector Jill Burnett, CHAE, CPA, Controller, Medalist Golf ClubDirector Mark Fancourt, Co-Founder, Testbed.Vegas & TRAVHOTECH * Read his new director profile.Director Md Amirul Islam, CHAE, Assistant Manager of Income Audit, Marriott Autograph CollectionDirector Martha Mazzitelli, CAM, CHAE+, CHTP+, CFO, Bay Colony Shared ServicesDirector Nick Price, CEO, NetSys Technology LimitedDirector Laurie Rozeski, CHAE, MBA, CFO, Wildcat Run Golf & Country ClubDirector Justin Taillon, MBA, PHD, Professor and Department Head, Highline CollegeDirector Derek Wood, Managing Director, Derek Wood Associates LTDEx Officio Frank I. Wolfe, CEO, HFTPUpcoming this year, HFTP will continue to produce three Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conferences (HITEC). The largest is in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA on June 17-20, 2019; plus HITEC Dubai on December 5-6, 2018 and HITEC Europe in Mallorca, Palma, Spain on April 9-11, 2019. Other HFTP conferences include: Club Summit on March 11-12, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee USA; Club and Hotel Controllers Conference on June 17-19, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA; and the Annual Convention on October 23-25, 2019 in Orlando, Florida USA. The association will continue to promote its newsworthy, resourceful web series: HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP F&B Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP News - as well as its hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com.For more information on HFTP leadership and leadership opportunities, contact HFTP Executive Services Administrator Millicent Gustafson at millicent.gustafson@hftp.org or +1 (512) 220-6449.

Radisson Hotel Hack Shows Vulnerability Of Hospitality Industry

· 1 November 2018
Radisson Hotel Group has confirmed a data breach that exposed the personal details of "small percentage" of its Radisson Reward member's scheme.The hotel identified the breach on 1 October 2018. In a statement, the hotel group said that the data breach "did not compromise any credit card or password information".Information accessed by hackers was restricted to the names, addresses, country of residence and email addresses. In "some cases" company name, phone number, Radisson Rewards member number and frequent flyer numbers were also compromised.The hotel chain said that it "identified" the hack on 1 October, which occurred on 11 September. However, they did not inform Radisson Rewards members until the 30 October.It is unclear if they informed the UK's data watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office. Under Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), an organisation has 72 hours to inform the relevant data protection body.Rusty Carter, VP of product management at cybersecurity company Arxan Technologies, said that not all companies are taking note of GDPR.

What's Haunting Hotel Marketers This Halloween?

Tambourine ·31 October 2018
Continuing our annual Halloween tradition, we've asked hotel marketers nationwide, across all chain scales and property sizes, what they're most spooked about right now. In past years, the list has included:* Unrealistic goals set by ownership* Product deterioration* The cost of guest acquisition* Shaky job securityMany of those were on the minds of the folks we spoke to this year, however, here are five particularly frightening problems keeping hotel marketers up at night right now:1. Brand Proliferation/DifferentiationMany hotel marketers (and owners) view the industry's numerous and ever-growing assortment of brands as an increasingly frightening issue, especially considering that many of those brands are owned by a handful of massive conglomerates. For some marketers, as more brands enter each competitive marketplace, it becomes proportionally more difficult to convey the identity of their own brand to consumers and build lasting brand loyalty... Further commoditizing hotels in the eyes of consumers.There are hundreds of hotel brands currently operating, according to STR's latest global chain scale list. And as was reported in Skift, at least 30 of those brands are owned by Marriott, AccorHotels owns 25 (not including luxury rental purveyor Onefinestay), 20 are owned by Wyndham and Hilton and InterContinental Hotels Group each have 14. The list keeps growing too, as companies add more brands, without removing older brands that may no longer have the same appeal, partly due to the long-term nature of many brand agreements.One solution, according to experts, is to view each property as a brand unto itself, and focus on communicating the unique qualities, location and selling points of that hotel. This way, the hotel stands out on its own merit when searched by travelers, who may be more loyal to a third-party aggregator like TripAdvisor, as well as their own specific wants and needs, than anyone traditional hotel brand.2. Recruiting Digital TalentStaff turnover among job-hopping millennials can limit your hotel marketing successThe hotel industry stands to benefit from high-quality digital marketing even more than many other businesses, yet hoteliers frequently struggle to hire and retain skilled digital marketing professionals. It's partly due to the overwhelming competition for digital talent by multiple industries, the difficulty of marketing competitively against the OTAs and specific issues and perceptions within the hospitality business itself.When trying to attract candidates who might also be considering options ranging from joining Silicon Valley giants to creating hip new startups, hotel marketers often need to combat the (unfair) assumption that hotel marketing is a stagnant, slow-to-change profession. There are also issues with compensation--the hotel industry sometimes lags behind--as well as a lack of candidates who possess both the required digital skills and the experience demanded by owners and their hotel management firms.In addition to these hiring difficulties, you also need to be sure your digital team deeply understands the hotel experience and booking process. Look for hires who have substantial personal travel experience, understand the travel purchasing funnel and have the knowledge and skills to turn that funnel into tangible digital action.3. Integration WoesEven though it's a problem long bemoaned by hoteliers, the continued lack of integration between the numerous and growing list of software applications and vendors used by hotels remains a major nightmare for hotel marketers. Far too many hotels are still operating with a disparate hodge-podge of systems (PMS, CRS, POS, CRM, website, etc.) that each performs their given role, but may not communicate properly with one another.More seamless integration would enhance both the effectiveness of these systems and their reporting abilities, while eliminating some of the job frustration caused by the disparity. Reducing the amount of vendors utilized at each hotel will also boost accountability for each vendor, while saving the time that would typically be spent coordinating and communicating among all the various vendors.This is why it's best to partner with vendors who can potentially satisfy multiple needs under the same relationship and do it well. By paring down your vendor list, you'll be surprised at just how many fewer nightmares you'll experience.4. Vetting Social Media 'Influencers'The rise of hotel social media "influencers"--users who claim sway over a vast legion of social media followers, particularly on Instagram--has resulted in a sustained flood of requests for comp stays at hotels by numerous self-dubbed influencers, some of whom are flat-out scammers. As a result, the process of vetting these requests and determining their potential has become a growing problem for many hotels.Some marketers are now utilizing a standardized process where influencers complete a form when submitting their request. Management can then look deeper into validation metrics, like user engagement on that influencer's posts, which can help determine whether the influencer has real followers, or has purchased them. Once vetted, hoteliers can decide whether the influencer's audience is aligned with the hotel's customer base, and if the influencer's posts can bring pertinent value to the hotel.Hotels and resorts are being bombarded by social media influencers seeking free travel... creating another challenge for already beleaguered hotel marketing decision-makersIf your hotel does partner with social influencers, be sure to communicate in advance what the expectation will be for a return on your accommodations (i.e. the specific amount of posts or content that the influencer will deliver). You also want to be sure the posts will spotlight the features that are the most important selling points for the property.5. Big Data/data securityHotel marketers are increasingly called upon to harness data in the quest to enhance one-to-one consumer marketing, anticipating each potential guest's wants and needs, including the specific times of the year for those needs, amid a customer relationship that will hopefully last a lifetime."Big data" is also great for identifying peak and off-peak times, lucrative customer segments and a host of other analytical applications. However the realities of cultivating and maintaining that data--including keeping it safe--have become more perilous and onerous over time.Over the last decade, the hotel industry has tallied a lengthy list of data breaches, many of which were quite substantial, impacting even the largest hotel companies. Hotel IT staff do all they can to lock down systems and try to prevent future breaches, but the reality is hackers will continue their efforts, making the concept of "security" a constantly moving target.Further complicating the situation is the European Union's 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect on May 25, mandating that companies receive customer consent before storing, processing or using personal data from all EU citizens, while also providing a means for those citizens to remove their data from databases. For hotels, GDPR compliance is a great excuse to change all data-related processes, regardless of guest nationality; in the future, hotel marketers will be increasingly juggling big data and these heightened privacy and security fears.

3 tips for managing travel data breaches

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·30 October 2018
Since GDPR and the UK Data Protection Act 2018 came into effect in May there have been some high-profile airline data breaches. Data and cyber-security expert Keith Dewey shares some recent lessons.

GDPR Redefines Industry Privacy Practices on a Global Scale

mycloud HOSPITALITY·22 October 2018
Since taking effect in May, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has altered data management practices throughout the meetings industry, not just in Europe, according to 2019 Global Meetings and Events Forecast report.

APIs, AI, getting hyper-personal and the human touch

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·22 October 2018
Whether you are focused on data, technology, marketing or RM the message from Day 2 of EyeforTravel North America was that you need to understand the ‘why’.

Risking GDPR Penalties By Not Wiping The Memory From Old It Equipment

hoteldesigns.net ·19 October 2018
Despite GDPR legislation having come into effect over four months ago, the majority of UK hospitality businesses are now risking penalties by failing to adhere to some of the rules.According to a survey of 1,002 UK workers in full or part-time employment, carried out by Probrand.co.uk, a large proportion (45%) of businesses in the hospitality industry failed to wipe the data from IT equipment they disposed of in the two months following GDPR.This news is perhaps less surprising given the research also found that 97% of hospitality businesses surveyed did not have an official process or protocol for disposing of obsolete IT equipment. What's more, 97% of hospitality workers admit they wouldn't even know who to approach within their company in order to correctly dispose of old or unusable equipment.Worryingly, according to the data, hospitality businesses are one of the industries most likely not to wipe existing data off old IT equipment.
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Hapi Achieves Oracle Validated Integration with Oracle Hospitality OPERA

HAPI · 2 October 2018
Miami - October 2, 2018 - Hapi, a Gold level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), today announced that it has achieved Oracle Validated Integration with A disruptive new data streaming, integration and enrichment platform designed to solve the hotel industry's rapidly expanding data management challenges, Hapi's comprehensive platform aggregates data that is collected by disparate hotel systems and acts as a central hub for these hospitality data streams. The data is converted into a standardized data format and can be merged to create insights for more actionable data.To achieve Oracle Validated Integration, Oracle partners are required to meet a stringent set of requirements that are based on the needs and priorities of the customers. Through the new integration, both hoteliers and solution providers can access a set of simple APIs and connectors that allow them to innovate and deploy solutions faster and more efficiently."Oracle collects and stores a wealth of knowledge about hotel guests within Oracle Hospitality OPERA, and there are incredible opportunities to unleash new customer value by exposing this data with two-way Hapi connectors," said Luis Segredo, Hapi CEO. "Hotel companies, as well as solution providers, can develop and deploy innovations, creating new customer value in a fraction of the time.""The Hapi platform is scalable to help hotel groups of any size take control of their data," added Nikolai Balba, Hapi CTO. "It also improves confidence with GDPR compliance of downstream systems.""Achieving Oracle Validated Integration gives our customers confidence that the integration between Hapi and functionally sound and performs as tested," said David Hicks, vice president, Worldwide ISV, OEM and Java Business Development, Oracle. "For solutions deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or both, Oracle Validated Integration applies a rigorous technical review and test process that helps to reduce deployment risk and improves the user experience of the partner's integrated offering."Developed by a team led by hotel technology innovators Luis Segredo and Nikolai Balba, the Hapi data streaming platform is based on the most advanced and robust technologies available, including Apache Kafka, the same proven technology that runs some of the world's largest social media and security-conscious business services, such as LinkedIn, PayPal, Cisco and many others. To this proven foundation, multiple layers of encryption, authentication and governance are added to ensure maximum data security and efficiency."Working with the Oracle team to move the industry forward has been an incredible experience," continued Segredo. "Their willingness to partner with a young company and their desire to accelerate the pace of innovation in the industry is really refreshing."

Letter from the HFTP Global President: At the End of the Year, We Reflect on the Best of the Year

HFTP Connect·28 September 2018
As we prepare to transition to the new HFTP Global board at the 2018 Annual Convention in October, I would like to take the time to reflect on my year serving as HFTP Global president.
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KEYPR and Intelity to Participate in The Lodging Conference

KEYPR ·25 September 2018
Los Angeles, CA (September 24th, 2018) - KEYPR will participate in one of the world's top hotel industry events, The Lodging Conference which kicks off today in Phoenix, AZ. At Wednesday's think tank session focused on tech, the company's CEO Robert Stevenson will have the opportunity to speak about the merger between KEYPR and Intelity and the vision for the newly combined company. The company will also offer live demos of the platform for the duration of the conference. Stevenson will join five other panelists, during a think tank session titled "Tech Forward: A Look at Game-Changing Innovations and Concepts." He will share how the merger will form the most robust, reliable and sophisticated enterprise guest experience platform available in hospitality and what it means for hoteliers. The panel, which will be moderated by Richard Siegel, President and Publisher at Hotel-Online and Hospitality Upgrade, will cover game-changing innovations, and how hospitality technology is rapidly changing. Specific topics including mobile apps, data protection, GDPR Compliance, in-room automation, and keeping up with ratings agencies will all be covered."It's been a busy summer for us at both Intelity and KEYPR, and The Lodging Conference offers us the perfect platform to start talking about the merger - what it means for customers, and what it means for the industry as a whole, as well," said Stevenson. "There are no other companies out there that offer as complete a platform as ours. Both hospitality ratings agencies, like AAA and travelers alike, are increasingly demanding specific connective technologies in hotels, and we are perfectly poised to address all of these needs in a modular, easy-to-implement way."Not only does the united company have a strong product line but it also combines two talented, global workforces, which significantly strengthens the group's existing expertise in hotel mobile and in-room technologies.The combined platform covers the complete guest mobile journey, including check-in (allowing guests to skip the front desk), mobile key (integrated with most major locking systems), guest services and digital concierge tools. It includes a complete in-room solution with customizable tablets, seamless TV casting, and voice via Amazon Alexa. It also offers a text messaging solution for guest-to-staff communication, and a complete staff management system, full workflow, ticketing and an operations dashboard (desktop and mobile), real-time content controls, immersive business intelligence, guest-to-staff, and staff-to-staff request fulfillment, as well as robust marketing and advertising functionality.Intelity and KEYPR staff members will be present at the conference to provide demonstrations and explain how the platform creates operational efficiencies and revenue opportunities for property owners and operators.The companies' future consolidation is a huge step forward for hospitality technology. For more information, visit intelitycorp.com and keypr.com.About IntelityIntelity, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is the creator of the world's first and most widely used integrated guest services platform, ICE (Interactive Customer Experience). With certified integrations to all major hotel back-end management systems (POS, PMS, Ticketing, Spa and Room Controls), Intelity's ICE is a centralized property-automation system that delivers concierge-level services, guest request tracking and fulfillment, business-intelligence analytics, marketing/messaging capabilities, and a full content management system. Since beginning operations in 2007, the Inc. 5000 company has gained a reputation as a leader in hospitality technology with installations across six continents, including most major brands and many celebrated independent properties. Intelity recently received designation as the "Official Mobile and In-room Technology Provider" of the Forbes Travel Guide. For more information, please call 1-888-738-7271 or visit www.intelitycorp.com.About KEYPRKEYPR is the broadest cloud-based guest experience and management platform for hotels, casinos and luxury residences. The platform delivers a personalized, friction-free guest experience, while creating new operational efficiencies and driving additional revenue opportunities for property owners and operators. Guests can access a directory of services, including dining, entertainment, third-party content and more through an in-room tablet and custom mobile app. The app also allows guests to bypass the front desk via KEYPR's digital key. Additionally, owners and managers gain valuable insight through the integrated dashboard (GEMS) and intuitive tools that provide visibility into guest needs before, during and after their stay &mdash' all while easily monitoring operational KPIs across multiple properties. For further information, visit www.keypr.com.

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.

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