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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.

Tech Billionaire's New App Helps Visitors Access California Beaches - Digital·16 December 2018
It's remarkable that what started as a rule violation turned into a useful app for beachgoers, instead of just a drawn-out fight.

Travelport Goes Private and 14 Other Digital Trends This Week - Digital·15 December 2018
The big digital news this week was all about Travelport. One of the big three platforms for airline distribution is being taken private in an all-cash transaction valued at around $4.4 billion.

Grab Is Hiring Tech Talent to Become Southeast Asia's First Super App - Digital·14 December 2018
Grab will hire an additional 1,000 tech employees in 2019, after doubling the number of software engineers, data scientists, and analysts it added this year to 2,000. A look at its next R&D hiring plan gives a few hints on what it is working on.

Noken Raises $2.5 Million for Trip Planning: Travel Startup Funding This Week - Digital·14 December 2018
This week, travel startups announced more than $114 million in funding, including WhyHotel, Oyo, Noken, and Wow Venue.

The Amazon Factor in Travel: New Skift Research E-Book - Digital·11 December 2018
Amazon's influence over travelers is likely to grow. Perhaps it will be a direct competitor, or maybe an advertising partner. In either case, travel companies need to pay careful attention. Our limited edition e-book evaluates lessons, threats, and opportunities that Amazon presents for the travel industry.

Venture Capital Shows Growing Interest in New Hospitality Models: What Are the Risks? - Digital·11 December 2018
To quote a smart venture capitalist, "Just because investment money is pouring in doesn't mean all bets are good bets!" WhyHotel itself may be well run business, but the sudden rush of venture money into a full array of hospitality businesses does raise eyebrows overall.

Expedia Isn't Ready to Invest Big in Restaurant Reservations - Digital·11 December 2018
Expedia has dealt with a ton of distractions in recent years as it acquired Wotif, Travelocity, Orbitz Worldwide, and HomeAway, for example. CEO Mark Okerstrom wants to focus on the basics instead, and doesn't want to take bold steps into dining reservations or food delivery for now. On the other hand, Expedia is a very acquisitive company so never say never.

Travelport's Proposed Buyout Deal May Not End the Drama - Digital·11 December 2018
The early consensus is that Elliott Management put together a disappointing deal for investors. We cover the case for and against the deal here. But expect larger Travelport investors to consider resisting the deal or hope that a white knight acquirer rides in with a better offer.

Lufthansa Ratchets Up Pressure on Sabre Over Distribution - Digital·10 December 2018
This year Lufthansa made a series of small moves that, when looked at together, reveal a doubling down on its multi-front strategy to pressure Amadeus, Travelport, and especially Sabre to conform more to its preferred airline distribution practices. Connect the dots, and it looks like a low-grade war.

HotelQuickly Disaster Raises Questions on How Travel Search Giants Vet Advertisers - Digital· 9 December 2018
It's simply a matter of odds that companies will face cash crunches, as HotelQuickly appears to have done. But global travel search companies need to detect problems sooner so that they can quickly put a pause on referring consumers to troubled companies before too many victims pile up.

Airbnb Ranks Its Top Up-and-Coming Destinations for 2019 - Digital· 8 December 2018
Quieter locales in Scotland, New Zealand, China, and Mexico lead Airbnb's trending destinations for the coming year. Note that these statistics show gains in search interest from small base numbers and so they're somewhat misleading. Paris hasn't lost its status as a popular spot, for instance.

Trivago Faces Multimillion Dollar Fine and 11 Other Digital Trends This Week - Digital· 8 December 2018
This week in digital news, Trivago has a court date to address reportedly misleading consumers about its hotel comparisons. Then, Expedia insists that alternative accommodations aren't a huge threat to hotels, and we have more analysis of the massive Marriott data breach.

Tourlane Raises $24 Million for Multi-Day Tour Booking: Travel Startup Funding This Week - Digital· 7 December 2018
This week investors bet more than $104 million on companies that help people plan trips (Tourlane, SnapTravel, Fineway, and AsiaYo), recruit hotel workers (Hosco), create adventure travel content (Roam), and book medical tourism (Hospals).

Expedia CEO: Google Is Our Biggest Competitor - Digital· 6 December 2018
It's rare to have an Expedia CEO speak so candidly about Google's threat to his own company. After all, Google knows how to punish companies when it wants to. Given Barry Diller's recent statements, and Okerstrom's view, there must be a lot of concern in Expedialand behind the scenes.

Travelport Close to Being Taken Private by Activist Investor - Digital· 6 December 2018
Travelport has only been on the public market for four years, but hedge fund Elliott Management believes it can engineer a leveraged buyout that will unlock more value from the company. A spin-off of payments unit eNett is a likely an early goal.

HomeToGo Buys a Near-Death Tripping in Vacation Rental Rollup - Digital· 5 December 2018
The acquisition of once-high-flying as a distressed asset was a losing deal for investors. It's not clear what the payoff will be for HomeToGo acquiring a Silicon Valley rival at vacation rental price-comparison. HomeToGo faces daunting expectations now, having raised $150 million.

SnapTravel Raises $21 Million With an Assist From NBA Star Steph Curry - Digital· 4 December 2018
The travel industry startup ecosystem could use some fresh ideas, so we salute new investors placing bets like Steph Curry, the basketball star playing for the Golden State Warriors. Curry's investment in SnapTravel, a messaging-based hotel booking tool, holds promise but the outcome remains uncertain for the company, which has raised $22.4 million to date.

Introducing Skift Cities: How Destinations Are Evolving to Create the Future of Meetings - Digital· 3 December 2018
We're launching a new platform that examines the evolving role as cities as collinson spaces for knowledge, creativity, and new ideas, and what that means for meetings and destinations.

Trivago Faces Possible Multmillion Dollar Fine in Australia Over Misleading Advertising Allegations - Digital· 3 December 2018
Trivago has reportedly admitted to misleading consumers about its hotel comparisons and will have to appear in court later this month to defend its actions. This comes as Australians are being whipped up to boycott foreign-owned hotel aggregators that are accused of ripping off local hotel owners and operators.

Michelin Guide Owner Buys Tablet Hotels to Build a Travel Business - Digital· 3 December 2018
Tablet Hotels found itself a world-class strategic buyer to propel its growth. It will still face huge marketing hurdles, and the challenge of trying to reshape Michelin's legacy guide offerings.

European Regulators Probe Travel Distribution and 16 Other Digital Trends This Week - Digital· 2 December 2018
This week in digital news, European Commission antitrust regulators are investigating the business practices of distribution-tech providers Amadeus and Sabre. We also have analysis on Marriott's massive data breach and the impending arrival of 5G.

Amadeus to Pay $3 Million to Settle an Antitrust Lawsuit in the U.S. - Digital·30 November 2018
In settling this lawsuit, Amadeus doesn't admit to any wrongdoing or violations of antitrust law. Along with Travelport, Amadeus agreed to have its team engage in antitrust compliance training.

Bidroom Raises $17 Million for Its Hotel Booking Platform: Travel Startup Funding This Week - Digital·30 November 2018
Bidroom, one of Skift's Top Startups to Watch in 2018, aims to challenge traditional online travel agencies with an Amazon Prime-like subscription model. Plus, fundings galore for Festicket, GlobalTix, Zizoo, Hotel Effectiveness, Loisirs Encheres, Bookaway, LokaLocal, and Vacation With an Artist.

Air France-KLM Launches a Unit to Churn Out Travel Startups - Digital·28 November 2018
Can you really grow a unicorn in a lab? In other words, can companies like Air France/KLM read all of the innovation advice books in airport bookshops and methodically create the next Airbnb? We're skeptical. But the travel industry could use much more innovation.

Ctrip and Tencent Team Up for IPO to Back Emerging Chinese Travel Brand - Digital·27 November 2018
It appeared several years ago that Ctrip had locked up the Chinese online travel market when it took control of Qunar and Elong, but that ship has sailed. The emergence of Meituan and now Tongcheng-Elong's initial public offering make it clear that many players will scramble for market leadership.

Tiqets Raises $23 Million for Museum Ticketing: Travel Startup Funding This Week - Digital·16 November 2018
Tiqets tackled the hard problem of helping many museums that lacked tech savvy to adopt modern sales techniques. Now it's seeing a payoff. In other news, events tech company Headbox and online travel agency Sastaticket raised money.


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