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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.

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Hotel email marketing: five tips you can implement today

·15 January 2018
Despite all the attention social media and mobile marketing gets, direct - or email marketing - remains the most powerful digital marketing method. A recent survey showed that 72 percent of consumers prefer email as their primary means of communicating with brands, which was corroborated by a McKinsey study that estimated that email is 40x more effective for acquiring new customers than social media and the fact that email conversion rates are three times higher than social media. And for the number crunchers that remain unconvinced - Campaign Monitor has calculated a $44 ROI for every $1 spent on email. In short, it’s more than important for your marketing strategy.
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Hotel trends in 2018

· 5 January 2018
Every year, the colour experts at the Pantone Colour Institute read the proverbial tea leaves and proclaim a colour of the year. For those that missed it, this year it’s Pantone 18-3838, also known as ultra violet, and, according to the company, it alludes to the mysteries of the cosmos and the unknown…
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Modern accounting for modern hoteliers

·21 December 2017
In the hospitality industry, accounting is often one of the most technologically antiquated departments. Stacks of invoices and labour intensive manual reconciliations in your office are your daily proof. While reservations departments may have implemented integrated channel managers years ago, accounting teams can still be found manually inputting data into expensive legacy software and spreadsheets. But this should not be the case. Automating your bookkeeping and innovating in your accountancy department will serve to lower costs, save time and allow you to focus on the guest experience. And, in case your Director of Finance was wondering, it will also bring higher profits.
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How to find the right price

· 4 December 2017
90 percent of the world’s hotel properties still don’t use a proper revenue management solution despite the potential revenue uplift it could give of over 20 percent. Why? Because it is hard to do. To do it right, hundreds of thousands of pricing decisions would need to be taken every year. Curiously, those 90 percent who don’t have a proper solution mostly use a manual entry spreadsheet that can't forecast anything. Ideally hotels should be trying to guess what customers are actually willing to pay but it takes some complex statistics and heavy science to get close. In short, to do revenue management in a smart way is too costly and time consuming for individual hotels to achieve.
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Allotments - demand your release now!

·22 November 2017
An open letter from our founder Matthijs Welle: 'Our lack of support of allotments is, by a distance, the biggest point of friction we have had when onboarding hotels and I want to lay out our case as to why we don't believe in them nor support
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All you need to know about hotel door locks

·17 November 2017
Locks and keys are undergoing a rare historic shift from mechanical to electronic, after having evolved little for millennia. The foundations for the current change were laid in 1975 when Tor Sørnes patented the first electronic keycard lock and opened a new market for programmable locks and the potential for a range of authentication methods. Half a century later, it seems we are only now starting to glimpse the potential for electronic lock technology.
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Why a demo environment is key when switching PMS [Mewscast]

·13 November 2017
In this episode of Mewscast, Richard, Matt and Greg discuss the on-boarding process for hotels when switching to a new PMS and the importance of a demo
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Transparency: The Final Frontier (in PMS sales)

·13 November 2017
The decision to change property management systems for many hotels can be a daunting affair to say the least. Data migration, changes in operational processes and the inefficiency to re-train staff are just a few of the major concerns which hotels and hostels raise when switching to a new PMS. In fairness, these reluctancies are understandable, considering the implementation process which many PMS providers currently offer.
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The future of hotel housekeeping

· 6 November 2017
Frictionless internal communication is what creates the “magic” guests feel when entering a well-run hotel. But there are some departments that have an intrinsically high level of miscommunication and misunderstanding that, if not corrected, can lead to open rivalry and blame games between employees whenever things hit the proverbial fan. The traditionally turbulent relationship between the front office and housekeeping department is too often the headline act and, as with any sibling rivalry, is based entirely on the quality of communication between the two.
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Key takeaways from the Hotel Technology Revolution Forum

· 1 November 2017
Last month, the great and the good of the hotel tech industry gathered in Amsterdam to discuss the future of hospitality and the trends in hotel tech. If you missed out, here are the key takeaways from the conference that featured hundreds of attendees and dozens of hotel tech solutions at the bleeding edge of the hospitality industry.

How to profit from the consumer craving for experiences - Part 1: Upselling

·19 October 2017
Research has shown that we derive more enjoyment from purchasing experiences than physical products. Furthermore, the more in advance we book those experiences the more pleasure we ultimately get from them on account of the longer period of time we get to savour that impending treat. "You get extra time to imagine all the different foods you might eat, the songs the band might include in the set list, the feeling of the sand between your toes, and so on,” lead researcher Amit Kumar explains.
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How better data can make a better Hotel [Mewscast]

·18 October 2017
In episode 2 of Mewscast, Mews Systems’ founder Richard Valtr, alongside guests Benjamin Devisme from Quicktext and Jens Munch from Prix, come together to discuss the change from static to real time hotel operations within today's responsive environment.
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Why moving from offline to online payments will future-proof your hotel

· 9 October 2017
The seamless automation of payments using an online payment gateway is becoming essential for both an excellent guest experience and robust cyber security. Do you have any credit card data stored in your back office? If so, then, like many hotels, you may be at grave risk. The threat of data fraud is real and using clunky payment terminals or asking guests to fax or email card details is like leaving your back door open for hackers and fraudsters.
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Why your hotel should be thinking like a start-up

·25 September 2017
Hotels have operated the same way for hundreds years. There is a GM, a head of housekeeping, a head of reception and the all too familiar list goes on. With such an antiquated set-up, it is clear that there are several areas within the hotel industry that are ripe for disruption. Hotels are still wasting both money and time on tasks that, in 2017, should be automated. But how can we identify these ancient pain points and what can we do to fix them?
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The Movement Hotel and the future of social responsibility

·20 September 2017
When we think of socially responsible hotels, examples of environmental stewardship typically come to mind. But in today's increasingly competitive business landscape, corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts can - and should - go beyond the typical green initiatives that have become expected practice in the hospitality industry.
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How hotels and hostels can supercharge direct bookings

·11 September 2017
The reality within the hotel industry is that online travel agencies (OTAs) are increasingly favoured by travellers who would rather have one seamless booking option than dozens of confusing booking engines offering irrelevant products and outdated loyalty schemes. For all of us within the industry, this is no longer news and persistent marketing campaigns by the likes of TripTease have served to underline it.
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Podcast: Removing the reception desk, the demands of the millennial traveler and how to overcome the challenges of implementing new technology

·22 August 2017
Can you remove the reception desk from a hotel? Matthijs, Richard and Greg discuss the many challenges of innovating traditional processes from within a hotel. “There’s always been this need in hotels, to be be behind this desk, and it's never changed” explains Greg. But as Matthijs explains, Richard did this successfully in his first hotel project at The Emblem hotel. He actually said, "I'm going to remove that reception desk and we'll see what happens." Listen to the podcast below to find out what happens when you remove the reception desk, how you can automate your billings process and why guests actually prefer online check-in.
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Personalisation is the future of the hotel experience for the on-demand generation

·22 August 2017
At the recent Hotels.com conference in San Francisco, world renowned futurist Dr James Canton presented his anticipated blue-sky Hotels of the Future study to the hospitality industry. And the next big trend according to the former Apple Computer executive? RoboButlers … and they will emerge as soon as the next few years.
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How Mews and Oaky are transforming the way hotels upsell and serve their Millennial travellers

·12 July 2017
Today’s travellers are accustomed to receiving a more personalised and on-demand experience. They now expect that their accommodation providers are able to provide the services which cater to this. However, many hotels are providing guests with an experience that is not consistent with these expectations as data flows on legacy platforms can be static and slow, and they are yet to fully embrace the power of a cloud-first infrastructure.
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Introducing the Mews Entrepreneur Program

·24 April 2017
I was one of the lucky kids in school - I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up: a General Manager in a hotel. I went about achieving this goal pretty well for a few years – I went to hotel school, got great grades and eventually I was recruited by Hilton to join its Elevator Program, which should have fast-tracked me to General Management within 7 years. They shipped me off to London and South Africa for placements during which I was exposed to all departments within a hotel. It was probably the best experience I could ever have wished for, and I still can’t believe they paid me to do it!

The trouble with being an Oracle (Why the move to a Cloud mindset is always painful)

·31 January 2017
When Oracle purchased Micros back in 2014 for $5,3 billion, they gave us all the expectation (and instilled a fear in companies like ours) that they were taking this industry-leading product and were going to improve on it. Since then, most of us had expected that there must be a secret, hidden product being built, and once released it will have retained all the value of the existing version, while expanding functionality and ease of use. To this day, I wonder if the acquisition incorporated a process where actual customers, who work with the system day-in-day-out, were asked which features and improvements would make its solutions a front-runner once again.

Offering a 90s guest experience to your guests in 2017

· 3 January 2017
Last week I checked into one of Europe’s most forward-thinking luxury boutique hotel brands. Being a hotelier myself, I am always on the lookout to see how the hotel’s website lines up with the experience in the property. As I arrived at the hotel, I was really pleased to see that the look and feel of the hotel was completely aligned, all the way up until the first interaction with the hotel employees:
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Mews Systems raises 1.5m EUR to accelerate and innovate hotel management

·25 November 2016
Mews Systems announces that it has successfully raised a 1.5m EUR investment from Axivate Capital, to help accelerate the growth of its Property Management Platform. Mews has built a complete cloud enterprise solution for hotels and hostels, and the only solution which features a fully integrated online check-in procedure. The fully mobile solution comes with integrations into 35 industry partners, guest concierge application, web booking engine, open APIs and a fantastic user interface that allows quick and easy training and onboarding.

'Let's ignore mobile - what's the worst that can happen?'

·14 November 2016
So, the title is a little misleading, really. It’s not a real quote, but it seems to me to describe the state of mind of most of those that we meet in the hospitality industry, from hoteliers to their suppliers. It seems that everyone is in denial about a shift coming. Or, you know, it’s somewhere in the faraway future. Well, guess what - the future is here today: we are now in the era of the mobile internet and the desktop is now a minority:

General Managers: 7 changes you could make today to make an instant improvement across every department

·19 October 2016
As a general manager, every decision you make is scrutinised by your staff, and so being a leader requires you to affect every department in your hotel. However, managers often rise through the ranks of a specific department, and are, understandably so, not necessarily comfortable leading some of the other departments.

The Hidden Rising Costs of OTA's

·28 September 2016
Hotels are paying the price for inadequate security, and largely further enriching the OTAs in the process. We would like to expose one of their latest endeavors which has raised commission costs by 2% for hotels accepting Virtual Credit Cards. Hotels function with very clearly separated departments. The Sales department who signs sales contacts and agrees to the OTA commissions. Secondly you have the accounting department who are the ones who receive (and pay for) that hefty Booking.com bill that comes every month without fail. Often there is a disconnect between these 2 departments, and this is causing a lack of understanding why credit card commissions are rising faster than ever. We would like to explain why some OTA’s have suddenly started using Virtual Credit Cards, and how this is eating into the hotel’s profit margins even further.

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