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  • Meet Minneapolis: Travel to the Twin Cities this Summer for HITEC 2019

    We all know that travel can be a real hassle. So, what about a trip makes it worth packing up your suitcase, saying goodbye to your family for the next few days, fighting the airport and staying in a.

  • 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.

  • A Series of Must-Read Articles on Cybersecurity Produced by the HFTP Research Centers

    Data security remains a pressing concern and top priority for the hospitality industry. The HFTP Research Centers are dedicated to producing findings that can significantly aid hospitality businesses in their efforts to protect their guests’ privacy and personal information against potential cyber threats and attacks.

  • 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.

Trump's sons are running the business -- and their big hotel expansion is at a standstill ·18 February 2019
The first Scion would open in the Mississippi Delta in early 2018. A second line of hotels, called American Idea, would soon follow, with three in Mississippi and more than a dozen elsewhere. In all, the Trump Organization said it had preliminary agreements to open 39 properties.This was the brothers' primary and boldest idea for expanding the family business -- a push into markets that it had long overlooked, they said.A year and a half later, progress has been slow. The first Scion, in Cleveland, Miss., remains nearly a year from completion. The first two American Idea hotels, in the same area, will not open until later this year.

What To Expect When You Travel In 2019 · 8 January 2019
If you like crowds, personalized travel experiences or talking to machines, then you're going to love traveling in 2019. That's because "overtourism," personalization and artificial intelligence rank among the top travel trends of the new year, experts say. And, as in years past, you'll also pay more to get where you're going.The roads, skies and railways will be filled to the point of gridlock, warns Mahmood Khan, a professor in Virginia Tech's Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Higher demand promises to make 2019 one of the busiest travel years on record."Domestic travel is bound to increase sharply," Khan predicts.Prices are also expected to rise. Hotels rates will jump 3.7 percent, and airfares will increase 2.6 percent in 2019, driven by a growing global economy and rising oil prices, according to Carlson Wagonlit Travel's 2019 travel forecast. Most of the other forecasts also call for moderate price increases across the board.

The Cybersecurity 202: Senators call for data breach penalties, tougher privacy laws after Marriott hack · 4 December 2018
A slew of Democratic senators are calling for tougher privacy laws -- and even steep fines for companies that fail to protect their customers' data from data breaches -- in the wake of Marriott's admission that hackers compromised the personal information of up to 500 million of its customers."We must set clear customer data protection standards for all companies -- whether they're hotel chains, online retailers, or big tech -- and severe penalties for those who fall short," Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) tweeted.Sens. Mark Warner (Va.) and Ed Markey (Mass.) also pressed for tougher data security laws, and said Congress needs to set limits on how much customer data U.S. companies are allowed to store. Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) went even further -- he said senior executives who ignore customer data privacy should face jail time.After potentially one of the largest breaches of consumer data in history, lawmakers appear ready to take a page out of Europe's playbook to ensure it does not happen again: Their calls for aggressive penalties for companies that have poor data security are reminiscent of the General Data Protection Regulation that went into effect in the European Union earlier this year. The GDPR requires companies to adhere to a highly specific set of security requirements -- and contains fines up to 4 percent of a company's annual revenue for violations. It is unclear, however, how such legislation would fare in a split Congress that appears poised for gridlock.

How eight identical apartments ended an Airbnb 'illicit hotel' scheme in San Francisco · 7 November 2018
There was something immediately weird about the eight San Francisco apartments owned by landlords Darren and Valerie Lee, who claimed that different families lived in each of them.The identical house plants were fishy enough. But in each of the eight units, the families who lived in them also happened to arrange all of their dirty breakfast dishes in the sink the exact same way. They also stocked their kitchens with the same Costco foodstuff, their closets with the same shoes and clothes, and their bathrooms with the same hygienic products and damp bathroom towels, each flung over the door with identical carelessness.Or, at least, this is what the Lees wanted city housing inspectors to believe.

What's ahead for hotel guests in 2018? | ·22 December 2017
When it comes to fees and surcharges, hotel guests are wondering: What's next?Mandatory "resort fees" mushroomed last year, even as hotels added new charges for all kinds of things, including cancellations and late checkouts. With pressure to squeeze even more profit from customers, you don't have to be an industry insider to see where this is going.

Hilton experiments with the future of hospitality at its new Innovation Gallery | ·21 December 2017
A few weeks ago, the company unveiled the Willy Wonka-esque incubator inside a former nightclub at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in Northern Virginia. The showroom, which is accessible by invitation only, is a safe space for unfettered imaginations and inventions both practical and fanciful. Here, the company will experiment with the next rage of products and services and, depending on the outcome, will release them into the wider hospitality world -- or consign them to the reject pile.

It's been a wild year for travel. What's ahead for 2018? | ·12 December 2017
Travel bans. Shootings. Viral passenger videos.No one will forget the past year in travel. How could they? But what does it all mean for your 2018 trips?"These are interesting times," says Patricia Schultz, author of "1,000 Places to See Before You Die."The year's watershed moments included a series of controversial travel bans, a mass shooting in one of America's top tourist destinations and the expulsion of an airline passenger captured on video.At the same time, several largely unnoticed events, mostly happening behind the scenes, promise to exert an equally powerful influence on your travel plans next year. Bottom line: Travelers will need to be more vigilant in 2018 than ever.

If hotel alarm clocks tick you off, you're not alone | · 5 October 2017
Mention alarm clocks to a frequent hotel guest and you'll probably get an earful. Those ever-present digital clock radios frequently evoke feelings of confusion, frustration and even rage.Why? Just check into any hotel and try to do anything with the timepiece next to your bed, like set it. Or try to turn the radio off that housekeeping left on. What does this button do?Then again, you could just wait until 3 a.m., when the alarm, set by a previous guest (who managed to figure out how to set it, thanks to a PhD in rocket science), starts buzzing. Good luck trying to get back to sleep after that.

The life of a hotel reviewer: Hang out in lobbies and bars, sleep in king-size beds | ·26 September 2017
On a sticky August morning in New Orleans, Cameron Quincy Todd walked into the Cornstalk Hotel, the 65th property she has visited in six months. She didn't look ragged after a long journey, and she wasn't carrying any luggage. Instead, she looked refreshed and toted only a small pink satchel containing a notebook -- two major clues to her true identity. She approached the front desk and announced herself: The hotel reviewer with Fodor's Travel had arrived. No need to be nervous.

Hotels put bigger focus on fitness with in-room equipment | · 1 June 2017
As executive director of Destination DC, which markets the capital to travelers, Elliott Ferguson knows a thing or two about hotels. When he travels, one of the first things he looks for is a good fitness center."Before I physically go up to my room, I stop by . . . to assess what they have and figure out what I can do," Ferguson said. "Some hotels offer yoga and cycling and/or at least access to some of the various companies that do that here in Washington, D.C. That really makes a big difference when people are looking at where they're going to stay."A growing number of hotels are making exercising on the road even more accessible -- taking equipment to guest rooms.

When school's out, a Canadian dorm stay could open the door to big savings | ·13 April 2017
If you're traveling to Canada for its sesquicentennial, there's an inexpensive way to do it -- but it requires going back in time.When I graduated from college many moons ago, I swore I never would set foot in another dormitory.But since then, I've attended several professional conferences on Canada's college campuses, where participants were offered the chance to stay in the dorms. They turned out to be both convenient and affordable, and my view of those accommodations has changed substantially.So much for never.

The desk is back: Marriott is redesigning hotel rooms | ·28 September 2016
The desk is back.Marriott is redesigning its hotel rooms, and desks with chairs are once again a standard feature.Desks had started to disappear from hotel rooms partly due to a perception that they were unnecessary in the era of laptops and cellphones, and that younger travelers weren't using them. Rooms without desks also seemed to fit into a larger trend in the hotel industry toward minimalist decor.

Find a hotel rate that seems too good to be true? Look for the 'resort fee.' | ·26 February 2016
If you've ever found a bargain on a hotel only to discover a few clicks later that the property charged a nonnegotiable "resort fee," you're not alone. Last year, 744 properties in the United States added these fees to their guests' final bills, an astonishing 25 percent increase from 2014.That's the bad news. The good news? The harder the hotel industry pushes these unwelcome fees on consumers, the closer the government comes to banning them.

Hilton exploring next moves in thriving hospitality sector | · 8 June 2015
Less than two years after going public, McLean-based Hilton Worldwide Holdings is preparing for its next corporate act. The giant hotelier is considering a number of business initiatives, including paying a modest dividend to shareholders, repurchasing its stock and spinning off the 148 hotels it owns and leases around the world. The company might also create a company for its timeshare business, which is headquartered in Orlando.

Hotelier Richard Louis Vilardo and his wife Julianne murdered in their house in Maryland | ·11 May 2015
Richard Louis Vilardo, 65, who served as founder and chief financial officer of Pinnacle Hotel Management, was found dead at his home near Rockville, Maryland, Sunday afternoon, according to published reports. Vilardo's wife, Julianne "Jodi" Vilardo, 67, was also found dead at the home. A police department spokesman said the couple appeared to have suffered trauma to their upper bodies, but an autopsy would confirm a specific cause of death. Police said they do not yet know of a possible motive behind the deaths.

Airbnb is about to start collecting hotel taxes in more major cities, including Washington | · 2 February 2015
or single rooms in them -- as a makeshift alternative to hotels. With the voluntary agreement, the District joins a handful of cities where the tech company has worked out tax deals to resolve at least one of the thorny problems posed by a business model that has turned thousands of people into innkeepers in their own homes.

Study: America's youth are super excited about robots working in hotels | ·29 October 2014
young people excited to try a new technology, and older people with little interest.

Can Indian tycoon Subrata Roy sell New York's Plaza Hotel and get out of jail? | ·24 September 2014
the largest prison complex in South Asia -- accused of running an illegal $4 billion investment scheme. Instead of being incarcerated alongside hardened criminals, Roy has been living like a VIP. The court has allowed him to set up shop in an air-conditioned conference room as he tries to negotiate the sale of some of his iconic hotel properties -- including New York's Plaza Hotel -- to raise $1.6 billion to pay back investors and secure his release by the end of the month.

Hotels are giving in-room entertainment a 21st-century update | ·21 February 2014
Today's traveling public is used to sophisticated technology at home. And we want it in our hotel rooms, too. Let's start with that TV, which, along with the bed, may be one of the major focal points of your home away from home. Surveys conducted by Hilton Worldwide indicate that guests want their hotel TV to be on the upscale side of things. "It needs to be a modern, nice TV set of a certain size or bigger," says Josh Weiss, the company's vice president of brand and guest technology. Flat-panel is a plus.

The hotels Brazil needs for the World Cup never got built | · 3 February 2014
The Gavea Tourist is an empty shell of a hotel, a 14-story modernist monument of disintegrating concrete and decaying beauty that has been abandoned for four decades. It is one of three huge, architecturally stunning ghost hotels in Rio de Janeiro, all of which are vacant in a city facing a shortage of rooms for June's World Cup soccer tournament. Rio could use the Gavea Tourist's 400-odd rooms. Instead, it is an emblem of the obstacles that hinder Brazil's World Cup preparations: cumbersome bureaucracy, a slow-moving judiciary and a lack of imaginative planning.

Marriott's Arne Sorenson On The Hospitality Business, Government Shutdown | ·14 October 2013
When Marriott International created Courtyard by Marriott in the 1980s, the company had one customer in mind: the business traveler.The no-frills chain offered a lower-priced option for those traveling for work. Courtyard hotels were mostly in the suburbs in close proximity to business centers, hospitals and highways.Today, Courtyard's 900-plus hotels have shifted to accommodate a growing number of leisure travelers and families as well. Most recently, the Bethesda-based company spent nearly $1 billion sprucing up lobbies and adding bistros to keep up with changing demands.The brand, which turns 30 this week, has evolved throughout the years. The company's anniversary comes at a time when Washington area hotels are looking for ways to stay relevant in the business world as the government shutdown continues to batter the local hospitality industry.

Hotels, online sites fight over travel tax burden | · 8 October 2013
When you log on to Orbitz to find that perfect room for your next vacation, you may be thinking about the pool, or the view, or the chance to get away from it all. But the travel site you use and the hotel where you stay are thinking about something else: Who's responsible for your taxes? Online travel providers and the hotel industry will clash next year over which side is responsible for forwarding taxes to state and local governments, setting up high-stakes battles in state capitals that are increasingly facing the question of how to tax Internet sales. In this case, the consumer's bottom line may not change, but shifting the tax burden is a threat to travel providers still operating on narrow margins after a recession severely dented their balance sheets.

D.C. wins hotel tax suit against online travel booker Orbitz, others | ·25 September 2012
A D.C. Superior Court judge has ruled that online travel firms should pay taxes on the full retail price of hotel rooms that they sell to consumers. In a filing released Monday, Judge Craig Iscoe said that the online travel companies, including Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and Priceline, must pay a 14.5 percent tax on the full retail price of hotel rooms. The travel companies have been paying taxes on the wholesale price, which is cheaper.

Marriott 2nd-qtr profit rises, but worries about overseas, luxury hotels remain | ·12 July 2012
Marriott International Inc. is betting that it can grow earnings this year through higher bookings and rates despite slowing growth overseas. The Bethesda, Md., hotel company raised its profit expectation for the full year but reined in its prediction for fees for extras like Wi-Fi. It also says demand growth is slowing in the Middle East and in Asia, where economic growth is weakening. It's particularly concerned about demand for higher-end hotels.

North Korea's super-size hotel is set to open... 23 years behind schedule | ·10 February 2012
and mockable -- buildings. It's taller than New York's Chrysler Building and wider at its base than an average city block. Constructed almost entirely of concrete, it looks like a rocket ship and casts a jagged shadow over Pyongyang's gray vistas.


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