• What to Expect at HITEC Houston 2018: Elite Education, Exhibits, E20X and More

    HOUSTON: A booming cosmopolitan city that is home to more than 2 million Texans, NASA’s famous Johnson Space Center, and — in just two short months — the world’s largest hospitality exhibition HITEC®.

  • 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.

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Experience Hospitality's 'Most Innovative Technology' at HITEC Houston with Beekeeper

Beekeeper ·3h
Visit Beekeeper in Booth 1702 and Attend the Beekeeper Breakfast with Special Guest Sixty HotelsNext month C-level hotel executives will meet in Houston to attend HITEC, the world's largest hospitality industry technology exposition and conference. One of the hottest solutions on the market today, Beekeeper, voted the "Most Innovative Technology" for 2018 by HTNG, will showcase its simplified, secure, and easy-to-use tool that stores in one convenient location anything a worker needs to excel in their daily routine. This award-winning workplace communication app is proving to be integral for engaging multi-lingual employees without emails. Discover how to connect colleagues across locations and departments in real time and provide a secure, automated, and relevant flow of employee information that is readily distributed, searchable, and measurable in one central hub, by visiting Beekeeper in Booth 1702, June 19 to 21, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston."We are really excited to be bringing Beekeeper to HITEC for the very first time in the U.S.," said Connie Rheams, Beekeeper VP of Hospitality. "While today's mobile technologies are ensuring that hoteliers stay connected to guests at every touchpoint, little is being offered that focuses on the communication needs of employees. These hotel ambassadors are making the biggest difference in each guests' stay - especially employees who are on the front lines and interacting closely with guests throughout the property. Beekeeper is a tool that sends the right information to the right people who are touching the guest. Until now, it was the missing mobile link to engaging employees, reducing turnover and enabling a hotel company to become an employer of choice."Beekeeper, named the 59th fastest-growing company by SaaS 1000, is a GDPR-compliant workplace app that digitizes hospitality workers by connecting operational systems and communication channels within one secure, intuitive platform. It brings together colleagues across locations and departments in real time via mobile or desktop devices by allowing top-down, bottom-up, and peer-to-peer communication to give every employee a voice. Secure, automated, and relevant information is readily distributed, searchable, and measurable in one central hub for an efficient digitized workflow. The platform includes an intelligent dashboard to help companies gauge the effectiveness of their internal communications to streamline business processes.With Beekeeper, hoteliers can:See what's happening throughout the day at their hotel and read what's happening in the company.Keep all team members aligned and unified by sharing information that is necessary for staff to do their jobs.Use the Survey feature to poll employees on their satisfaction or request input.Communicate with team members during a crisis or while a property is closed.Onboard new team members and engage with them even before they start on their first day.Update staff on the status of engineering or housekeeping projects.Enable GDPR-compliant peer-to-peer chat functionality (displacing non-GDPR compliant WhatsApp business groups)The mobile and web app easily integrate with existing operational systems, so employees have all the tools they need at their fingertips. The custom branded interface and advanced front- and back-end features create an interactive employee experience proven to strengthen engagement, retention, productivity, and the bottom line.Breakfast with Beekeeper at HITECBeekeeper is inviting hoteliers to attend a private educational breakfast at HITEC on Wednesday, June 20th, at 7:00 a.m., at the Audi Sports Club at the BBVA Compass Stadium (just 2.5 blocks from the Convention Center). During the event, Sixty Hotels will discuss the digitization of their workforce, share property updates and best practices.Invitees will also learn about a new awards program being launched by Beekeeper in September in conjunction with Labor Day. The WorkHero Awards are designed to honor hotel employees worldwide for doing something spectacular for a guest."Our goal through the WorkHero Awards is honor those unsung-hero's in hospitality who labor every day to make a difference," said Corey McCarthy, Beekeeper VP of Global Marketing. "With unemployment rates the lowest they've been in several years, retaining quality employees is crucial. We want hoteliers to recognize those employees who have gone over and above their job description to do some extraordinary for their customers in hopes that it will incentivize them to cultivate their own work-hero culture. A business can't have happy customers without happy employees. It's time the hospitality industry joins in celebrating its work hero's, and Beekeeper is proud to kick off this global initiative."To register for the Beekeeper Breakfast event, click here.
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GDPR in 3 minutes for hotel marketers [video]

GuestRevu ·7h
With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect tomorrow (25 May 2018), we know that many hotel marketers are wishing for a magical way to ensure their marketing procedures are compliant. So, we searched far and wide for the mystical GDPR Genie, and put together this quick video with all of the advice that he has for marketers who want to make sure that their everyday activities comply with the data protection standards.

The birth of the Universal Digital Profile - techcrunch.com

techcrunch.com ·8h
It is a well-known fact that Europeans are generally more concerned about privacy than some other countries. Indeed, we've had a history of major privacy breaches that had such catastrophic consequences that it is now part of our culture that personal data should be treated as highly sensitive -- something the U.S. is now catching up to in the wake of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal. The culmination of this is the new EU-wide privacy regulation, the GDPR, which will come into effect on May 25, 2018, and was a hot topic during the recent Zuckerberg testimony.
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Caveau Provides GDPR and PCI Compliance Solutions for Leading South African Corporate Travel Management Company

Caveau - CardVault ·9h
Miami, FL -- Caveau, the comprehensive software platform and service designed to simplify financial transactions and protect personal and financial data, has announced it's partnering with Grindrod Travel to reduce its risks of GDPR and PCI-DSS. As one of the most established and respected travel management companies providing corporate and leisure related travel and conferencing services in South Africa, it was imperative to find a solution for safely handling credit cards and personal information of its a broad range of clients. With multiple deadlines for meeting compliance security standards for account and personal data protection looming, Caveau was able to quickly assess the travel management company's challenges and deliver customized solutions for addressing their unique requirements.The addition of Grindrod Travel to Caveau's client roster emphasizes the pressing need for flexible and affordable support dealing with compliance regulation worldwide. Says Gregg Scott-Brown Caveau Managing Director, South Africa based in Cape Town, "We're excited to be working with Grindrod Travel and other hotels, agencies and a broad range of travel-related businesses in South Africa to decrease dangers and liabilities associated with GDPR and PCI-DSS."According to Grindrod Travel Divisional Executive, Su Moller, being a single division of a large logistics company with its own IT department presented a variety of complexities in finding a solution. "The technology providers I approached to help us insisted on performing a vulnerability scan of the Travel Division, which was difficult to accomplish without including the entire organization. Time was ticking and we had to move fast. When we were referred to Caveau, their team got right to work on developing a secure vault to store our client's credit card and personal details," says Moller.Says Brian Dass, Caveau CSO, "Grindrod Travel's large client database and the sheer volume of daily transactions required us to tailor-make a system to their particular needs. As a company built by travel technology experts, our complete focus is on delivering efficient solutions for adhering to strict industry regulations to ensure positive consumer data experiences while protecting your business from financial penalties and negative reviews."Since implementing Caveau, Grindrod Travel's consultants and account staff have quickly adapted to the easy to use enterprise-grade software platform that utilizes tokenization to encrypt financial information and personal data in a GDPR and PCI DSS-compliant method. "In the end, Caveau was the quick and reliable answer to achieving compliance we were searching for," says Moller. "We are now fully compliant, which is a great relief. I'm thrilled our organization can say with the utmost confidence to our clients that their credit card details are safe with us!"About Grindrod Travel: The team at Grindrod Travel, one of South Africa's oldest travel management companies with branches in major cities, are totally committed to assist the corporate traveller with all domestic and international travel. "We are passionate about making each traveller's journey as seamless and as convenient as possible."

GDPR: The birth of the Universal Digital Profile

hotelmarketing.com·24 May 2018
A big part of your online identity will soon be transferable across multiple providers. It’s by far one of the most profound impacts of the GDPR on our digital lives and on our digital freedom of movement. As these data transfer requests become more and more common, companies will necessarily want to minimize the effort it takes to comply. The only logical thing to do to avoid having to convert data into each provider’s format is to eventually agree on standardized formats for personal data and APIs used to access them. Our messages, social networks, location data, images, purchase history, music listening history and everything else will become standardized, just like our email or calendars have been for decades.
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Are hotel operators ready for GDPR?

Tnooz·23 May 2018
Is that the sky falling, or just a new era dawning? If you believe the fear-mongers, GDPR is game-over for contemporary marketing techniques.
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Hotels Think They Are GDPR Compliant, But The Truth Is There Are No Universal Compliance Standards

TND NFC by Creating Revolutions ·23 May 2018
MIAMI, May 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect globally on May 25, introducing dramatically stronger rules on data privacy. The EU hopes to achieve a fundamental change in the way companies think about data - its central idea is "privacy by default." But these new regulations are the broadest ever implemented by the EU, because they are not limited to just EU member nations. In fact, GDPR is worldwide, meaning every country must follow these new rules, or be fined up to 4% of a company's global annual revenue.Many industries will be looking for ways to become compliant with these new laws, but they will soon discover that there are no universal compliance standards, according to the EU's own website, under the section controversial topics. The hotel industry will be the most vulnerable.A Miami, Florida based company, Creating Revolutions, has built a groundbreaking solution to solve such a complex problem. Their multi-patented technology, uniquely solves the lack of universal compliance standards for GDPR by not attacking the liability problem, but instead removing the liability completely.Creating Revolution's communication technology allows smart guest to employee communication in a hotel. Unlike text messaging or SMS, private information is not used by design, while incredibly still maintaining full personalization for the guest. Rather than having to work within the scope of GDPR restrictions, Creating Revolutions does not use any private information, therefore offering zero liability to GDPR.The hotel industry is the most vulnerable because, compared to any other industry it's very focused, with only a few companies controlling the overwhelming majority of the market. This means the EU can go after fewer players, and get the biggest bang for their buck. These penalties are set to be the largest in history, at between 2% - 4% of a company's global annual revenue. Additionally, the hotel industry has more assets within the EU, compared to any other industry, making it much easier to collect those massive fines.Hotels are also specifically designed to attract foreigners, many of which are EU citizens. Unlike the retail or restaurant industry, when a guest checks in to a hotel, they are expected to give up personal information such as a driver's license, credit card, or even their passport. An EU citizen going into a restaurant in the US wouldn't give the hostess their passport, just the same as they wouldn't go to a retail store and hand over their credit card prior to shopping. Due to the majority of hotels requiring guests to give their credit card at check in, it is impossible to keep their personal information to themselves."Are You GDPR Ready have been some of the scariest words that have come across my computer screen. We are actively looking for innovative solution providers like Creating Revolutions, that can remove GDPR liabilities from our hotels," states Marc Lawrence, owner of The Anglers Hotel, a Kimpton Property.Hotel loyalty tools, websites, and guest communication services such as text messaging or SMS will be the most vulnerable to GDPR. Even if a third party is used, the hotel is still liable for any issues of compliance, as stated formally by the GDPR.Creating Revolution's technology, not only gives a hotel access to guest communication, but also offers the most advanced and immersive communication technology available to hotels today. While there is no universal standard for compliance of GDPR, using Creating Revolutions, hotels have a way of protecting themselves from what is considered the most broad and costly regulations in history.Hotels need to be proactive and think out of the box when implementing any technology that could open up highly expensive liabilities regarding privacy laws in the near future, and that's where pioneers like Creating Revolutions are the answer.
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Most GDPR emails unnecessary and some illegal, say experts

hotelmarketing.com·23 May 2018
Many companies, acting based on poor legal advice, a fear of fines of up to €20m and a lack of good examples to follow, have taken what they see as the safest option for hewing to the GDPR: asking customers to renew their consent for marketing communications and data processing. But Toni Vitale, the head of regulation, data and information at the law firm Winckworth Sherwood, said many of those requests would be needless paperwork, and some that were not would be illegal.

Businesses See GDPR as an Opportunity to Improve Data Privacy and Security

Lodging Magazine·22 May 2018
A new study from IBM reveals that nearly 60 percent of organizations surveyed are embracing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as an opportunity to improve privacy, security, data management, or as a catalyst for new business models, rather than simply a compliance issue or impediment. To reduce their exposure, the study indicated that the majority of companies are being more selective in the data they collect and manage, with 70 percent disposing of data ahead of the deadline for compliance.
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5 Tips for More Secure Passwords

Eleven Blog·21 May 2018
Thanks to the impending deadline for the European Union's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), online security has been getting a lot of attention of late. We think it's also a great excuse to do some spring password cleanup. Creating a secure password shouldn't be difficult.

What hoteliers need to know as GDPR deadline looms

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·21 May 2018
The deadline to be GDPR compliant is 25 May. Are you ready? Hotel News Now recaps its coverage of the EU’s new data privacy rules and what it means for hotel companies.
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Should you be ready for GDPR?

hotelbusiness.com·Requires Registration ·21 May 2018
On May 25, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that the European Parliament agreed upon in 2016 will replace existing data protection directives. And while the new regulations will have more of an effect on businesses across the pond, U.S.-based companies that market goods and services to those in the European Union (EU) will have to make sure they’re in compliance. But is the hospitality industry ready?
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New Oracle E-Business Suite Person Data Removal Tool Now Available

Oracle Hospitality Check-In·21 May 2018
Oracle is pleased to announce the availability of the Oracle E-Business Suite Person Data Removal Tool, designed to remove (obfuscate) data associated with people in E-Business Suite systems. Customers can apply the tool to select information in their E-Business Suite production systems to help address internal operational and external regulatory requirements, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
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How GDPR Will Transform Digital Marketing

harvardbusiness.org·21 May 2018
This month will see the enforcement of a sweeping new set of regulations that could change the face of digital marketing: the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation - or GDPR. To protect consumers' privacy and give them greater control over how their data is collected and used, the GDPR requires marketers to secure explicit permission for data-use activities within the EU.
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The Changing Landscape of Hotel Management

RAR Hospitality ·21 May 2018
Shifting demographics and new technologies are primary catalysts for the evolving hospitality business; however, the impact on management is enormous.Led by revenue management but now including distribution channel management, social media marketing, Web 2.0, cybersecurity, human resources and more, this industry has been thoroughly transformed. The key is to have GMs and corporate executives who understand this.Here are a few things to consider.Revenue management may be the single most important element in driving profitability. Today, it is time for the industry to price based on value perception and not just price relative to a competitor. Understanding the true demand in a marketplace is quite scientific. The large quantities of demographic and psychographic information available about the makeup of today's traveler requires analytical skills and creativity to correctly respond to the marketplace. Product choices by consumers are influenced by a model of the consumer decision process that stresses the importance of finding the right customer for the right hotel at the right time. Is our guest interested in sustainability, fitness or wellness? Knowing our guest will drive our marketing efforts.Booking more profitable business is critical as the distribution landscape is expanding beyond online travel agencies, including popular sales vehicles such as meta-search, flash sales and mobile channels. Beyond simple awareness of the different mediums available to sell hotel rooms, hoteliers must know the costs of the variety of distribution channels and the returns expected from each. GMs are the gatekeepers for these channels when a revenue manager is not around.Next, product quality must be exceptional. Overall service must be at the level of "wow," and there must be a compelling value proposition for the consumer to choose the hotel. Loss of market share is difficult to regain, which means desertion management (asking guests why they did not return) is paramount today and easy to define via social media. Staff service and attitude make a significant difference in competitive advantage in every market segment and these require strong leadership from the GM. No GM can do it all--corporate support is required.Hotels that can train and motivate their team members will have a much better chance of getting repeat business. It is beyond the basic four-step skills-training method; rather it is adding the component of why they need that skill.Millennials have become the fastest-growing customer segment within the industry and also have no problems speaking up. If what they are seeking is not handled to their liking, they will turn to Twitter, Facebook, Yelp or TripAdvisor to voice complaints. Reputation management rules, and this is where the GM must be hanging out in the lobby, at the front desk and in the restaurant.Customer service must include enabling guests to be self-sufficient. For example: if a guest wants to find information using his/her smartphone, providing an app or mobile website that accommodates that information will appeal to many. The rise of this digital traveler requires the hotel industry to balance the expectation of personalization while enhancing the need to remain independent.International visitors are here now but have been talked about for years, and this group of travelers has increased markedly this past decade. Management must understand the language and culture of these guests as they are arguably the fastest-growing travel segment today and spend more than any other traveler. With the European Union's General Data Protection Plan (GDPR) compliance requirement coming later this year, cybersecurity must be at the forefront of our industry. Security in general must be tightened up with active shooter training and drills for each type of crisis.The path forwardThe transition from art to science in hospitality has caught many by surprise and unfortunately, these are the people and the companies that are falling behind. There will always be a need for great customer service, but today's travelers require both great service and technology. It is crucial that we understand the hospitality industry as it is today because if we focus solely on the art of hospitality, we will be missing out on capturing more business and increasing our profitability. Further, there are legal challenges with human resource management, ADA laws, public relations and crisis management, to name a few.Are our properties exciting or are they just clean? Do they provide unique experiences or are they just offering the basics? Is there true ownership or management oversight and input or is it absentee management reviewing monthly financial performance? Are our digital assets such as website, social media sites and real-time marketing efforts effective? These four questions will give each of us a hint at where some opportunity lies. Management companies and GMs must utilize this playbook and much more.This article was first published in Hotel News Now and is reprinted with the permission of the author.
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GDPR: What are the priorities for the IT department?

Oracle Hospitality Check-In·21 May 2018
All too often it is assumed that GDPR compliance is 'IT's problem' because having your personal data and technology in order are such vital parts of it. But compliance must be an organisation-wide commitment. No individual or single department can make an organisation compliant. However, in planning discussions around GDPR compliance, there are clear areas where IT can add significant value.
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Unlocking travel security, part 3: Biometric ID

PhocusWire·21 May 2018
For the first two installments of our series on privacy and security, we have looked at cybersecurity for travel brands and the upcoming GDPR deadline – two topics related to data.

How to Deliver Personalized Guest Experiences in the Age of GDPR and Data Privacy Concerns

Concilio Labs, Inc. ·18 May 2018
Hotels are faced with an interesting dilemma. We're entering a time of hyper-personalization -- guests show dominating preference for hospitality experiences which are more unique in nature and catered to individual needs/expectations. However, riding the coattails of the on-going personalization trend comes the initial implementation of GDPR on May 25th.For those unfamiliar, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aims strengthen and unify data protection for individuals within the European Union (EU). This legislation, which applies to guests and employees, brings with it a large number of changes relating to the use of personal data.This is where the dueling conundrum lies. With all these rules and guidelines, how will hotels remain competitive in their quest to deliver the exceptional, personalized service guests expect? How can hotels be expected to get personal if they have limited access to personal data?We're here to break it down for you.What Constitutes 'Personal Data'?In order to understand the expectations (and subsequent limitations) of the new protocol, we need to first gain an understanding of what exactly GDPR defines as the "personal data" of guests and hotel employees.In the case of GDPR, personal data is "any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person ('data subject')". Basically, this could include an individual's name, identification number, location data, online identifiers, their physical appearance, and more. Consider this the beginning tier of data classification, while other personal information such as political beliefs, biometric data, genetic information, is considered sensitive and is therefore held to a higher standard of security.Why GDPR?You may be wondering why this new legislation has come to fruition. Over time it has been noted that the hospitality industry is exceptionally vulnerable to data-related threats. From pre-stay to post-stay, guests are engaged in a near limitless number of transactions, which involve the exchange of sensitive information in addition to credit card data. In fact, according to the Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations, the hotel industry accounted for the second largest share of security breaches in 2016.GDPR has been formulated in an effort to remedy this trend in the EU, compelling hotels to upgrade their data protection processes to meet new, improved standards. Those hotels who do not meet the standards enforced by GDPR will face serious financial penalties, with costs up to EUR20 million or 4 per cent of worldwide annual turnover (whichever is greater).How Can Hotels Collect Personal Data for GDPR?While it may seem daunting at first glance, the GDPR legislation shouldn't act as an impenetrable barrier between hoteliers and their guests.With GDPR in place, personal data must be collected for specified explicit purposes. Further, data cannot be captured (with consent for a specific information exchange) and then used for other purposes, unless consent is readily provided and documented. Let's consider a common example. Imagine a guest has supplied their email address at the time of booking a hotel. Under GDPR's regulations, you cannot use that email for email marketing at a later stage, unless the guest provided documented consent (likely through an 'opt-in' feature) for that use.Due to the dynamic nature of hotel services and touch points, it's likely that guests' personal details are shared amongst different areas of a hotel's operation (the front desk, spa, restaurants etc.). In preparation of GDPR, hotels' management teams should set aside time to complete a data mapping process that clarifies what data is captured, where that information is stored and how it can be used -- in order to protect and monitor it appropriately.Hoteliers should also take a closer look at their third-party partnerships, to ensure there is no risk to the security of guest data within those touchpoints, as well. Why is this so important? Under the standards of GDPR, if a hotel is outsourcing the process of data to a third party who is not complying with GDPR regulations, the hotel and the third-party processor can be held jointly responsible if a breach occurs.GDPR might leave some hoteliers feeling nervous as they prepare for changes to their current data processes, especially considering how many hotels rely on email marketing as a critical pillar to their business model. However, it's important to recognize the opportunity this legislation provides to establish more open communication streams with guests. In order to access and use their personal data, hotels must now develop a communications strategy that allows guests to know exactly what their data is being used for, and why. Essentially, hoteliers will be expected to talk with their guests, in a more holistic and transparent manner, to determine what they want out of their experience.In many ways, GDPR may ultimately yield a positive outcome for hoteliers and for guests. By forcing an opt-in and being specific about how information will be used, hoteliers will be left with a database of clients that are interested in receiving relevant guest experiences, marketing messages, and perhaps more receptive to booking or becoming loyal to your hotel.Additionally, it forces hoteliers to become smarter about what data they request and keep. The data which hoteliers must access to satiate and earn the loyalty of modern guests speaks to their preferences. What wine do they like, what type of pillow do they prefer, what other items, service styles or experiences will make their stay more enjoyable? The use of this type of data should be easy to obtain guest consent for, as it will ensure their visit meets (and exceeds) their expectations.

Global MICE trends to look for

WORLDHOTELS ·18 May 2018
Frankfurt -- The MICE industry is an important component of the tourism industry and the economic development in destinations. The industry is still growing at a tremendous pace and generates millions in revenues. With the industry being dynamic and trends continue to change every year, Anke Ebinger, Director of Sales Central Europe, WorldHotels and Ganessan Suppiah, WorldHotels' Regional Vice President of Sales - Asia Pacific discuss the latest trends and predictions for the MICE industry as a whole. Here are some forecasts and predictions for 2018, provided by WorldHotels.New technologies have been transforming the travel industry. Which technological trends will be impacting the MICE industry this year?Anke Ebinger: Gone are the days, when venues only needed to provide an overhead projector. Now, venues not only need to provide high speed internet connection, but also virtual assistants. Technologies, like virtual reality, artificial intelligence, etc., will affect the travel experience. Virtual and augmented reality, web casting, live streaming and video conferencing are not considered luxury, they will become increasingly important. It is essential for venues to stay updated with these trends in order to stay at the top of the game.Ganessan Suppiah: We also see that apps become key features of events. Event apps provide easier registration and offer a conversation both before and after the event. Simplify is the buzzword for 2018. Everyone in the MICE industry will ensure that the guest's journey is easy and efficient. It is not all about AR and AI, this year will also be about enhancing the human elements of events. Technology will help to personalize experiences; it won't replace the human interaction, but will enhance it. At WorldHotels, we expect an increase in virtual attendance at events. Therefore, venues need to provide opportunities for online attendance and intervention, so people inside and outside the venue can participate. 360-degree images and virtual reality on Youtube, Facebook and Periscope will become important for event promotion this year.Anke Ebinger: An important topic this year will be the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), that comes into force this month. It will come with a lot of challenges but also opportunities to improve data quality and transparency.What are the most requested destinations for 2018?Ganessan Suppiah: There is an increase in business coming to the countryside. A lot of organizers look for venues that provide tranquil settings. Go local is another trend, that we can see. People are looking for authentic relationship and behind-the-scenes experiences with local experts. They want to actively participate in the communities they visit.What do MICE venues need to offer in order to be successful this year?Anke Ebinger: Standard conference halls and regular buffet food are no longer sufficient to please and satisfy our clients. Unique experiences count. Spa treatments, team building, cocktail courses, venues need to offer fun activities alongside the serious business focus. For the younger generations, work is life and life is work. Therefore, meetings should not be dull, but provide offerings activities and meeting spaces to lure the guests. Venues that provide exciting new experiences will have the most ROI.Ganessan Suppiah: We see that demand has clearly shifted from traditional venues to more personalized places. Events need to be more experiential. Organizers want tailor-made experiences with a unique flavor. Flexible meeting spaces are near the top of every participants' wish list. Venues need more than just to provide a space for an event, they need to create the overall personalized experience for the client. People do not want a cookie-cutter approach, they value individuality. Therefore, flexibility is a must these days to organize the event to specific requests.What about the expectations from the younger generations. Do they differ?Ganessan Suppiah: Organizers need to create more interaction and involvement from the audience. Younger generations do not fancy traditional speakers anymore. Interactive elements are critical; people prefer engagement to instruction. Activities, greater collaboration among people and information exchange sessions will become more important this year.Anke Ebinger: Generation Y and Z are more conscious of wellbeing and health; therefore, wellness will become a much higher priority. Fresh and healthy food instead of biscuits and cakes, strong emphasis on brain food, this is a trend which we experience already. Catering will also no longer be only a facility to be provided at a venue, but it will be something to impress the guests. Boring food sets an overall boring tone to an event. Organizers expect the latest innovations in food and we expect to see this trend develop and become more creative. More and novel concepts will delight guests this year. Food needs to be Instagram-worthy.About the intervieweesA veteran of the hospitality industry for over 30 years, Ganessan Suppiah has served WorldHotels for over 11 years and was recently promoted to Regional Vice President of Sales - Asia Pacific. Suppiah has been a driving force of the Sales department when he first started off as the Director of Sales for Australia and New Zealand in 2007, before moving to the United Kingdom for his new role as Regional Director of Sales for the UK, Ireland, Nordic and Russia in 2016. In his current role, Suppiah leads all sales strategies and initiatives in the region, out of his base in Sydney, Australia.Anke Ebinger joined WorldHotels in 2000 as Key Account Manager Central Europe. In her current role as Regional Director of Sales Central Europe, she is leading the Worldhotels Sales Force for Germany, Austria & Switzerland. By building long-lasting relationships and networking with corporate clients, Consortia partners and MICE buyers and implementing marketing strategies, organizing custom-tailored activities, analyzing trends and results they ensure driving revenue to 350 Worldhotels members worldwide.About WorldHotels CollectionNewly relaunched, the WorldHotels Collection delivers proven soft brand solutions for a curated global offering of over 350 of the finest independent hotels and resorts. Founded by hoteliers dedicated to the art of hospitality, only WorldHotels curates the best independent properties around the globe, each reflective of the locale by offering intuitive service, and a refined sense of character. WorldHotels' proprietary 'Start With Why' philosophy helps each hotel identify their unique set of assets that distinguish and elevate their guest experience and revenue generation performance from the competition. Geared to both business and leisure travelers, the WorldHotels Collection is classified into three tiers allowing guests to select the offering that meets their needs: WorldHotels Luxury, WorldHotels Elite and WorldHotels Distinctive.
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The Week, That Was - May 2018 Week 3

eRevMax Blog·18 May 2018
eRevMax Certified for GDPR Under EU-US Privacy Shield Framework Hotel distribution connectivity leader eRevMax has announced that it has been certified for GDPR from the U.S. Department of Commerce for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework program. This certification assures that eRevMax solutions meet European Union's General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) for the transfer of personal data between the U.S. and EU.
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How to Deliver Personalized Guest Experiences in the Age of GDPR and Data Privacy Concerns

Hotel Online·17 May 2018
Hotels are faced with an interesting dilemma. We’re entering a time of hyper-personalization — guests show dominating preference for hospitality experiences which are more unique in nature and catered to individual needs/expectations. However, riding the coattails of the on-going personalization trend comes the initial implementation of GDPR on May 25th.

Four Tips for Becoming GDPR Compliant

Lodging Magazine·17 May 2018
Ciske van Oosten, senior manager of the global intelligence division at Verizon’s security assurance consulting practice, and John Barchie, senior fellow at Arrakis Consulting, offer the following tips for hoteliers looking to ensure their properties are GDPR-compliant.
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eRevMax Certified Under EU-US Privacy Shield Framework

eRevMax Blog·17 May 2018
Hotel distribution connectivity leader eRevMax has announced that it has been certified from the U.S. Department of Commerce for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework program. This certification assures that eRevMax solutions meet European Union's General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) for the transfer of personal data between the U.S. and EU.
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Upcoming changes to Cloudbeds' Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

cloudbeds.com Blog·17 May 2018
As you may have heard, new data protection laws are being enacted throughout the world (including the GDPR in Europe). The post Upcoming changes to Cloudbeds' Privacy Policy and Terms of Service appeared first on Cloudbeds.
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What You Actually Need to Know About the GDPR

Koddi Blog ·16 May 2018
Whether you hung on every word of Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional hearing, or you routinely click “share” without a second thought, you can’t help but be aware that data collection has become a hotly contested issue worldwide. Enter the GDPR —or, the General Data Protection Regulation—a regulation implemented by the European Union that is poised to replace the Data Protection Act of 1998 later this month. So, what exactly does this legislation encompass, and how will it affect both your business and your browsing habits? Read on to learn more.
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Benbria reports compliance with GDPR

Hotel Management·16 May 2018
Benbria reports that it is compliant with the European General Data Protection Regulation, which will become enforceable on May 25. The GDPR requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states.

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