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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.

7 Important Truths About Guest Messaging In Hospitality ·18 October 2018
The adoption of guest messaging in the hospitality industry is no longer a matter of if, but when. In an industry built on providing great guest experiences, it's only logical that SMS and messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Messenger and WeChat will soon be adopted at scale.But the change requires hoteliers to embrace messaging, and many have shown a reluctance to do so. How can I manage all these channels? Who will respond to guest inquiries? How can we maintain control of our brand image?Often at the core of such concerns is a misconception of what messaging is and how it fits into hotel operations. To dispel these myths, here are seven important truths about guest messaging.The Shift to Digital Communications Is a Natural EvolutionThe hospitality industry has come a long way technologically in the past decade, and these advances have had a big impact on the guest experience. From the speed and efficiency of booking accommodation to the ease of sharing opinions on social media, travelers and hoteliers alike have had to adjust to an increasingly connected world.Nowhere is this more evident than the ways in which we exchange information.Email, text messaging, social media - the speed and volume of communications have grown exponentially. Now, with messaging apps outstripping other forms of communication in popularity, hotels cannot afford to ignore this shift any longer.

GDPR - EasyJet brings data on board, but will it take off? - ·13 February 2018
It is estimated that 90% of the world's data was generated in the past two years, yet brands still are only using half of it. Everywhere you turn brands are claiming the status of data pioneer, hoping to be heard above the noise.With GDPR set to come into force in May, we will witness a dramatic change in the way businesses use data, and whilst it's useful to have an individual or team in charge of driving that change, it is far more important to change the mindset and structure of the business as a whole.The travel industry, in particular, will feel the full force of the introduction of GDPR, mainly due to the large amount of personal data it collects from consumers, ranging from home addresses to medical data.As the industry reels from a slew of negative PR stories from the latter half of 2017, from Monarch ceasing trading to Ryanair leaving passengers stranded, it is more vital than ever that they are fully prepared for the upcoming regulations. However, this cannot be the responsibility of a single data officer.

Programmatic native ads show promise for Sojern, Google, and San Francisco Travel [INFOGRAPHIC] | · 4 November 2016
Google has seen the number of user-initiated searches for travel drop for several quarters, according to iProspect, a digital agency.The era of travelers beginning their travel-related search by "Googling" may have hit a plateau. If so, what's next for travel marketers?"Native advertising" is one potential option. Facebook, for instance, has built a revenue stream off of native ads, which show up in news feeds on the social network looking much the same as status updates from one's friends.Google has faced the challenge of how to apply the native ad format to the open and mobile web, where there are dozens of variations of screen size and display type.Up until now, a brand marketer wanting to run a native ad campaign via DoubleClick, the digital marketing company owned by Google, needed to spend a lot of time creating variations in the creative that could display in different formats, as needed.

Reimagine revenue management | · 4 November 2016
Search engines, OTAs, review sites, metas and other tools have changed the way travellers look and book rooms. But revenue management has remained the same during my fifteen years working in the business.We are still so caught up in managing rates, availability, inventory and occupancies on a daily basis that there are a lot of opportunities that are being missed, so caught up in a department-driven processes that we are losing focus on critical changes happening in the world around us.

Drone holiday home - a glimpse at how we might travel in the future | ·19 February 2016
What can we expect from work, play and life in general in a 100 years is the subject of a report from Samsung SmartThings. The Future Living Report predicts three areas which might impact our leisure time in a century and it notes, we're likely to have more down time with advances in technology (virtual meetings from home etc.) making for a shorter working week.

Looking Back And Ahead - Hotel Marketing Shifts | Tnooz ·29 December 2015
As we reach 2016, Tnooz is unveiling its customary series of reflections on the year behind us and what the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry might expect looking ahead. And, as always, we've asked friends and family of Tnooz to help us out. Here is part nine of our 12-section bonanza - shifts in hotel digital marketing.

Vive Unique rebrands to Veeve as it takes $5.2 million investment | ·10 November 2015
London, UK-focused home sharing service Vive Unique will become Veeve following Smedvig Capital injection of $5.2 million. The Series A investment comes 18 months after an initial $5.2 million was put into the high-end business, also from Smedvig Capital. The company says since it launched ahead in 2011, ahead of the London Olympics, over 1,000 property owners have signed up to the service. The total overall portfolio is claimed to be worth of over $1.5 billion.

Startup Pitch: MyRoomIn, Which Books Particular Rooms At Luxury Hotels, Lands Euro 800k | ·17 September 2015
MyRoomIn is a Paris-based startup that's built a luxury hotel booking platform. In a twist, MyRoomIn presents only a few rooms in each of the hotels they tout. It also claims that travelers will get the exact room that they select in the booking process. In another twist, unlike other such search engines, it enables people to select from more than 125 search criteria, such as free wifi, specific room sizes, and gluten-free dining options. The site launched last month with listings in Paris. It plans to add London and Rome hotels by year-end. The company has raised Euro 800,000 in seed funding, led by the Impala Group.

Hotels: Fill your "mobile white space" | · 2 September 2015
An increasing number of property management system and door lock hardware providers offer software to enable mobile check-in and smartphone room keys. But they do not build guest-facing mobile apps, which creates a "mobile white space" in the hotel IT ecosystem. Today's "silent travelers" want to manage their entire stay from their mobile device: from booking and check-in to room selection, mobile room key and mobile concierge services. The hotels that move to fill this mobile white space set the standard that travelers will come to expect from the entire industry. - See more at:

India sets the standard for branded budget hotels | ·31 August 2015
India's online travel market continues to evolve, with an entirely new sector having emerged over the past year or so - online aggregated budget accommodation providers. The premise is simple and includes elements of the franchise model which dominated the hotel industry, particularly in the US, before the internet came along. Indian budget hotel owners can rebrand their properties, commit to providing a standard level of service and allow distribution to be managed centrally.

Hotel Pricing Mechanisms Need A Direct Approach | Tnooz ·23 April 2015
That's especially true today with the plethora of sites offering a bewildering array of hotels and apparent deals. But while consumers may enjoy greater choice about where to stay and how to book, hoteliers are pinning their hopes on the fact that trends in the hotel space often follow the airline sector, where many consumers now choose to book direct. Brian Hicks, InterContinental Hotel Group's (IHG) VP Revenue Management for Europe & AMEA, for one, thinks the case for booking direct is getting stronger. Reading the papers suggests that he may be right. The Guardian recently published an article which argued that the "best rate guarantees" of the likes of, Expedia and, as well as TripAdvisor's "just for you" offers, "are barely worth the pixels they are written on". The Mail Online followed up only last weekend saying, "Hotel guests are being fleeced by online agents". Another plus for hoteliers is that EyeforTravel's latest The Future of Metasearch report finds that while brand loyalty is less common, hotels have a much stronger link to the consumer than airlines do.

No, Amazon isn't launching a travel site, but it did this instead | ·22 April 2015
No, Amazon is not creating a travel brand to compete with the Expedias of this world, a spokesperson has said. But today its sub-brand Amazon Local has added some modest improvements to how it markets, on any given day, around 300 hotels in the US and about 150 in the UK. It has added a Destinations tab (via the new to the top of selected Amazon Local pages for Los Angeles, New York City, and Seattle. The landing page gives a much bolder treatment of travel than Amazon Local has before, with fly-out windows and larger imagery. makes changes to rate parity clauses in Europe | ·22 April 2015 says it will support changes put on it by regulators to amend hotel price agreements. The Priceline Group-owned accommodation booking giant will "abandon its price, availability and booking parity provisions with respect to other online travel agencies". The decision comes after recent pressure and rulings from regulatory bodies in Sweden, France and Italy.

ByHours to go beyond hotels to offer meeting rooms in hourly slots | ·23 February 2015
ByHours is a website that lets travelers book rooms in three-hour increments. A year ago, the Spanish startup raised $3.6 million. In 2014, ByHours processed 150,000 transactions. In Spain, hotels have earned 5,5MEUR by selling rooms by the hour through it, according to the company. Now the Barcelona-based startup plans to become a broader marketplace that sells not only hotel rooms but also meeting rooms, cars, and gym access by the hour.

Accor Hotels: How it's adapting to mobile | ·13 January 2015
Last October, Accor Hotels unveiled its five-year, 225 million euro plan for "reinventing the customer experience through technology." For an update, Tnooz spoke with a few key officials on its tech side. A focus for the company is mobile, according to Jean Luc Chretien Executive vice president, distribution sales and loyalty, who says: "Today about 35% of the users of Accor's digital platforms are arriving by mobile devices.

Airbnb takes steps in Europe to become official part of the hospitality landscape | · 8 January 2015
Airbnb will start collecting taxes from property owners in Amsterdam, following complaints from hoteliers in the city. In an agreement signed between the home sharing pioneer and city officials, Airbnb hosts will pay a tourist tax which will then be passed on to the authorities. Local hotels had previously complained how some hosts were not collecting the standard tourist tax from guests, in the same way that hotels, hostels and B&Bs did with their own customers.

Expedia releases live travel ticker and real-time reviews | ·12 December 2014
Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi revealed two new data-led features on stage from the annual Expedia Partner Event in Las Vegas: a live travel ticker and real-time hotel reviews. The other big feature that relies on Expedia's data and user behavior firehose is a live travel ticker. Essentially, it replicates a news or stock ticker at the bottom of the screen and keeps users updated on the latest pricing and availability of interesting travel products.

Priceline maintains focus on reducing friction for local experiences, no plans to become the next Oracle | ·26 November 2014
Tnooz sat with Priceline Group CEO Darren Huston to discuss all things Priceline, including the thought process on buying OpenTable, moving into hotel software, and becoming (or not) an enterprise software company. This last bit is especially interesting, as both SAP and Oracle have shown considerable appetites for entering the travel vertical with purchasing other enterprise-level offerings. Could Priceline's recent systems and distribution acquisitions signal a desire to compete as a broader, more horizontal enterprise software company?

RIP web marketing and six other digital marketing trends | ·30 October 2014
I live and breathe internet marketing. I don't have any hidden powers or know something that is not already public knowledge. I just like to ponder and hypothesize what the future might be, identifying trends from my unique perspective and offering up thoughtful solutions. The digital marketing space is quickly evolving and it's critical for travel businesses to stay abreast of trends in order to stay in the game. Here I offer up seven top trends I see coming and my recommendations for addressing each.

Google's 2014 travel study: App mania has ebbed, yet booking by smartphone is still hot | ·17 September 2014
Each year, Google publishes a travel study that shares key insights about US traveler shopping behavior. This year's report, the 2014 Traveler's Road to Decision, has yet to be published on its market research website Think with Google. A spokesperson says the study will appear there soon. In the meantime, Tnooz has obtained a copy. The report has some eye-opening findings that could help digital marketers plan their campaigns and help travel companies allocate their spending more optimally. The poll spotlights a declining use of mobile apps as a starting point for travel planning and booking. It also notes that nearly half of US travelers now use multiple devices to research and book a single trip.

Why rolling up hotel technology companies is the hot trend of the moment | · 7 July 2014
Anyone looking at the mergers and acquisitions of the past year would know that there is something in the air. Big, brand-name firms have been jockeying to acquire technology companies that provide business-to-business (B2B) services for hotels. To name some deals: Priceline acquired direct-booking marketer Buuteeq. Then it snapped up management platform Hotel Ninjas. Oracle bought Micros, whose systems are used by 30,000 hotels. Amadeus spent $500 million on hotel specialist Newmarket International. -

Opaque bookings on the wane: Priceline, Hotwire, and a changing landscape | · 2 July 2014
Priceline built its business in 1998 on opaque bookings, or buyer-driven pricing. But the supply of opaque deals appears to be shrinking for it and all players in the industry, according to Tnooz interviews. But a survey of bids shows the steepest discounts are still available on Priceline. Increasingly difficult market There's no authoritative market research on the total market for opaque or semi-opaque bookings, let alone anyone tracking a relative decline.

Does the Expedia billboard effect still exist for hotels? | ·26 May 2014
as if merely appearing on Expedia acted as a billboard for the properties in general.

Priceline Boosts Its Revenue, Thanks To Kayak, But Says No To TripAdvisor's Instant Booking | · 9 May 2014
The Priceline Group boosted its gross bookings during the first quarter to $12.3 billion, a 34% year-over-year rise. The US-based travel comparison conglomerate boosted its spending on marketing offline and online in its effort to fend off rivals including Google, Expedia, and Skyscanner. The company said its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the quarter was $513 million, an increase of 39% over a year ago.

As hotel booking engine Room Key turns two, it looks to loyalty personalization | · 1 April 2014
Room Key, a US-based hotel booking engine, recently turned two years old. We wanted to check in for an update from the company, which is owned by Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Wyndham and Marriott. We spoke by phone with CEO John F. Davis III. On a scale of 1 to 10, how successful has Room Key been? By what yardstick? I'm pleased. We've doubled our conversion rate since launch. The hotel chain shareholders are pleased, too. They like the amount of bookings they're getting out of Room Key. We're not profitable yet, because we're reinvesting in the product for future growth. The shareholders are okay with that.

In-depth review of travel reviews - gaming the system, popularity and more | ·27 March 2014
What is the travelling public's perception of travel reviews? Are they valuable or gamed to death? Or still a vital cog in the machinery of a purchase? The Worms University of Applied Sciences has pulled together research on reliance on review sites, how credible they are considered and what consumers like to see. The study from the institution's Department of Tourism reveals more than half of hotel customers always consult review site before booking. Of the 1,021 internet users surveyed, about 17% say review sites are essential to booking, 31% say important and 48% say important but recognise the need to handle with care.


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