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Three Considerations to Make While Preparing Your Hotel for GDPR

Amadeus Hospitality Insight· 2 January 2018
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will impact hotel industry practices worldwide. The controversial law aims to revolutionize data privacy across Europe, expanding rights for consumers, while mapping out strict new guidelines for businesses. The GDPR applies not only to European companies but to all companies processing European consumer data, making it the most far-reaching legislation of its kind in 20 years.
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Are hoteliers ready for the GDPR in 2018?

SiteMinder Blog·21 December 2017
In 2018, member states of the European Union (EU) will be subject to one of the biggest changes to data protection laws in the past 20 years. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect on the 25th May, but many hoteliers are seemingly not ready for the new law. Management consultants, Edgar, Dunn & Company (EDC) surveyed 300 hoteliers around the UK to gain a better understanding of the current status of their GDPR preparations.
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Guestline focuses on further growth in 2018 following successful year of investment

Guestline ·20 December 2017
eading global hospitality software business Guestline is planning for further growth in 2018 following strong performance this year. This has included a 20 per cent growth in its client base, significant investment in new technology and key markets worldwide, and development of its senior and country-level management teams over the last 12 months.The company has added to its portfolio of hospitality software technology throughout its 25th year, driven by growing demand from accommodation providers for innovative technology. Guestline's solutions support their distribution and revenue management, operations and digital marketing to deliver greater profitability and the company will continue its investment across all areas of operation in 2018.Andrew McGregor, CEO, Guestline said, "2017 has been a year of significant innovation, development and growth and this is testament to the hard work of the strong team we have in place at Guestline."Customer feedback is overwhelmingly positive and we have seen strong growth over the last 12 months with bookings via our portals up 30 per cent and a 49 per cent increase in total revenue generated for our customers."2018 will see more shifts in the hospitality market and technology landscapes as we prepare for new technology opportunities and the legislation on GDPR. Our continued investment and innovation in technology will help deliver greater efficiencies and greater profitability for current and new clients in the year ahead."International expansion and growth in management teamGuestline's global footprint now covers over 25 countries across five continents. In 2017 Guestline opened new offices in London and Dublin and a larger office in Thailand.Enhancements to the senior leadership team include new CEO Andrew McGregor, appointed in February 2017 and the appointment of Andrew Metcalfe as the company's first chief technology officer. The CTO oversees the development of Guestline's industry-leading technology, a team of 52 product developers and the Guestline Labs initiative, a central hub to deliver innovative product development.Further afield, the company recruited hospitality industry experts Clio O'Gara and Ingrid Fallon to join the team in Ireland in the roles of country manager and regional sales manager respectively. In Bangkok, new country manager Matthew Emptage leads the team across Thailand, Australia and Singapore.New product and service initiatives Guestline continues to enhance its product portfolio with the release of the latest free upgrade to its cloud-hosted PMS, Rezlynx. It now delivers superior revenue generating tools and improved functionality with combination rooms/virtual suites, shift allowances, reports and profile alerts (to name but a few) to enable hoteliers to achieve greater operational efficiencies. There have also been numerous feature enhancements in the Conference and Banqueting module, the Payment Express Chip and PIN module and e-commerce solutions, along with a new interface to the IDeaS G3Revenue Management System.Guestline now have over 350 partner APIs to enhance its end-to-end solution. APIs cover these main categories: EPoS, stock control, PABX, door locking, CRM, BI reporting, Spa, online bookings, TV systems and guest facing apps.In addition, Online Ticket Sales now provides hoteliers with the opportunity to diversify their offer by selling tickets to events online. Integrated to Rezlynx PMS, it allows hoteliers to manage payments and availability for events and to combine with room rates and packages for accommodation if required.Growth in the network: new client wins and strategic partnershipsThe company has recently further grown its profile within Best Western (including recent orders from the Best Western Crown and Best Western Kilima Hotels) and secured Marco Pierre White's company Black and White Hospitality as its newest opening in London, with the New Road Hotel. In addition, Essex-based Roslin Beach and the luxury Langdale Estate in the Lake District have both recently opted for Guestline solutions. As have the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh, adding to the 1,000 new rooms using Guestline technology across Scotland this year.Expansion of the Guestline partner network via a number of strategic partnerships has included amongst others the online reputation company GuestRevu, Avvio, HotelRez, UpSell Guru, Wihp, Revinate and Digital Alchemy.Industry networking and recognition Guestline is featured in the London Stock Exchange Group's '1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2017' report in recognition of its continued growth and dynamism.Recent, exhibition and attendance at key industry events included World Travel Market, the ASAP Conference, the Independent Hotel Show, the International Hospitality Exchange in Belfast, the Munster GDPR Hotels Conference and the Irish Hospitality Institute Founders Awards Event.For more information please visit www.guestline.com-ends-
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GDPR - The Regulation that will Shake-up your Data Strategy

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·19 December 2017
Amer Mohammed, Head of Digital Innovation, Stena Line. GDPR - The Regulation that will Shake-up your Data Strategy. Please login to view video.
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Webinar:Surviving the GDPR - The Unstoppable Regulation

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·19 December 2017
William Beckler, Co-founder of alltherooms.com gives us valuable insights about how GDPR will force travel brands to change their data strategy and how brands can survive and even thrive in this new environment.
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Protecting Data Is Paramount

Hotel Interactive ·15 December 2017
American consumers are expressing an increasingly high level of concern that their personal data will be adequately protected upon checking into hotels with many guests actually placing that ahead of their own personal security.
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Pulitzer Amsterdam cocktails inspired by hotel's perfume

Hotel Management·15 December 2017
Share Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Print This winter, Pulitzer Amsterdam is set to launch three new cocktails inspired by Le Labo Santal 33 perfume. Pulitzer’s Bar’s head bartender, Andrei Talapanescu, has designed three cocktails to reflect three of the most significant and long-lasting notes in Santal 33: cardamom, violet and leather. Santal 33 is a unisex perfume that is used throughout the hotel.

2018 Middle East Hospitality Tech Trends to be Showcased at Upcoming HTNG Event

HTNG ·14 December 2017
Along with informative and engaging sessions, HTNG conferences provide a plethora of networking opportunities with local, regional and global industry experts. HTNG's seventh Middle East Conference in Dubai will take place at the Jumeirah Mina A'Salam from 23-24 January 2018.The event will include the following sessions:Blockchain and Hospitality - With the concept of blockchain arising across many industries, it is critical for hospitality professionals to have a basic knowledge framework for understanding blockchain, separating fact from hype and assessing where blockchain can be applicable in hospitality. Learn from Blockchain Consultant, Jessica Houlgrave, about the basics of blockchain technology at a strategic level, with guidance on key variations and the applications where they may make sense.VAT Implementation in the Middle East - The VAT implementation will affect all companies in the region and is an important shift for everyone. Kate Bacon, Deloitte, will help the audience discover helpful tips on how to ensure your company complies with these new obligations both inside and outside of the hospitality sector.The AI Age: How Will Machine Learning and Intelligence Impact Travel and Hospitality? - We see AI and machine learning rapidly developing in the hospitality industry with the use of voice commands, chatbots, robotics and more. Kanishka Agiwal, IBM Corporation, will provide a glimpse into the near future and explore how it will affect our industry.Are You Ready for GDPR? - Global hospitality chains, trading partners and vendors who conduct business within the European region need to navigate to the pitfalls associated with compliance to these updated laws. Richard Chudzynski and Matthew White of PwC will help your company make sure you're ready to properly abide by this regulation.Other sessions topics include:Aligning HTNG with Industry PrioritiesCase Study: Using AI and Machine Learning to Improve Guest and Employee ExperienceGDPR Drill Down and Q&AIT Leadership PanelReinvigorate Your Executive CommitteeOther conference speakers include:Marwan Al Ali, Group CIO, Jumeirah GroupWillem Both, Executive Vice President IT, Kerzner Inernational Resorts inc.John Burns, President, Hospitality Technology ConsultingCraig Cochrane, SVP Human Resources, Movenpick Hotels & ResortsAlexander Lee, SVP - Marketing, Revenue Management, Distribution, Jumeirah GroupMichael Mrini, Director of Information Technology, Edwardian Hotels LondonJoe Tesfai, Corporate Director of IT, Dubai Parks & ResortsAleksandra Wozniak, Digital Content Assistant Manager, Movenpick Hotels & ResortsConference registration is open to any full-tim employee of a company who owns, manages or franchises a hotel or hospitality venue. For all other industry participants, HTNG membership is required.For registration or for more information on the conference, please visit: http://www.htng.org/MiddleEastFor HTNG membership information or sponsorship opportunities, please contact membership@htng.org

The key trends shaping the hospitality industry in 2018

Cendyntm ·14 December 2017
1. In your opinion, what are the top three trends that hoteliers should be aware of going into 2018?The evolving nature of the guest experience and keeping up with guests' needs and expectations is a huge focus for the hospitality industry. For a hotel, managing the customer relationship is one of the most critical elements of gaining and increasing loyalty, and yet can be the most difficult for hotels to master, as customers interact with them via a burgeoning number of contact points: email, mobile, social media, at the front desk and throughout the hotel property. Never before has technology played a more important role in improving what is ultimately the human experience of hospitality, both in terms of curating and providing it, but also in the way that customers express their gratitude for that experience in the form of loyalty. Secondly, understanding the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) and how that can focus and positively affect the interaction between the guest experience and the hotel. The focus for technology companies serving the hospitality industry is to enable hotels to communicate more effectively with their guests so that they are able to deliver the right message to the right person, at the right time and importantly through the right channel for that guest. With GDPR coming into effect in May 2018, never before has it been so important for hotels to ensure their communication with the guest is relevant and the data they store about a guest is compliant with these new regulations. Lastly, a key focus is personalization. Technology companies will need to work more closely together for the benefit of mutual customers to enable personalization between the hotel and their guests. Customer relationship management (CRM) is no longer just a tool for the sales and marketing departments, CRM is a tool that benefits the operations, revenue management, and distribution departments as well. Because of this, hotels are looking to integrate CRM with their other technology vendors as well, bringing the various data sources into one central place to create a single version of truth about that guest. This enables greater personalized communication between the hotel and the guest. For example, integrating a CRM to a revenue management system has enabled our customers to now offer personalized pricing based on the guests' profile including the recency, frequency and monetary value of that guest to the hotel.2. What is the biggest challenge the hospitality industry is facing? One of the biggest challenges, and opportunities, is how small our planet has become and ultimately how that has made travel easier and more accessible than ever before. This challenge opens up a wealth of opportunity but every culture and guests' needs are different. The industry needs to be mindful of this when managing travel and guest experiences on such a scale. Combine this need with the GDPR regulations coming into effect in 2018, it is imperative that hotels are working with CRM solution providers to ensure the guest profile data is accurate, communication is effective and profile data is managed in compliance with the new regulations.3. In the next 5 years, what role do you see Cendyn playing in the hospitality industry?CRM has become front of mind for hoteliers across the globe. Not just because of its ability to process data and provide a clear, digestible view of that data, but because it is the only way to process data from multiple technology platforms within a hotel and then provide a single version of truth for every guest. This has become imperative for hoteliers who want to provide a truly personalized experience, drive loyalty to their brand and stay competitive. In the next five years, this will become even more apparent as guests become savvier and demand more from their travel experiences. For hoteliers to stay ahead of the curve, we've seen that using data to pave the way in how hoteliers communicate with their guests has revolutionized how they can learn more about guests' interactions, drive direct bookings, maintain brand presence with their most valuable guests and stay competitive in their market. Our continued investment enables hoteliers to keep their guests at the forefront of what they do, and concentrate on providing exceptional, personalized customer service at all times. And as AI becomes more of the norm, hoteliers will need to embrace the ability to use machines/technology to aggregate information and learn from data to provide a seamless experience for every guest.
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Time is ticking for hotels as GDPR deadline approaches

Bookassist·14 December 2017
The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into force in May 2018 are a major overhaul of EU data protection law. These regulations give new rights to individuals and place an enhanced compliance burden on organisations that process personal data.

AI, Risk and Traveller Centricity Were the Hot Topics of GBTA Conference 2017 Frankfurt in Partnership with VDR

GBTA ·13 December 2017
Convergence was the prevailing theme of the Conference. The business travel industry has seen a great deal of disruption in recent years as we face the convergence of various elements like risk, mobility and personalization, presenting new hurdles and opportunities for the business travel professional.Through-provoking industry panels highlighted Centre Stage. Festive Road's Caroline Strachan moderated a panel called The Post-Procurement Practitioner - Beyond the Price Point to The Leadership Radar focused on a more strategic approach. Panelists Andrew Owen of UBS, Dirk Gerdom of SAP and VDR, and Jackie Taylor of Genpact discussed moving beyond pricing to understand what value really means and how travel program goals can translate into business goals as well. Strachan summed up the panelists advice to travel buyers saying, "Know your stuff, be ready to challenge and reimagine a different outcome.""Technology is evolving rapidly, but so are our ever-increasing expectations as to how that technology will serve us," said Catherine McGavock, GBTA EMEA Regional Vice President as she opened a panel on artificial intelligence. Panelists Karen Hutchings of EY, Alex Kaluzny of Egencia, and Serdar Gurbuz of Turkish Airlines took the stage to share their thoughts on the current state of AI and robotics in business travel and where the industry is headed.GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick hosted John P. Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Centre Stage to discuss not only increasing security, but also providing more efficiency and speed as travelers move through the airport ecosystem. Wagner addressed current threats to air travel, the balance between privacy and the need for information, and what biometric exit will look like once fully implemented.Steve Dunne of Digital Drums led panelists Hank Benedetti of American Airlines, Rita Visser of Oracle, Roxana Bressy of KDS and Tobias Ragge of HRS Group in a discussion on shifting business models. The panel talked about how in the past the business travel industry has been reluctant to embrace change and technology, but in today's world those who do not embrace it will be left behind. It is all about simplification, panelists said. At the end of the day, people want simple solutions and a great user experience at a low cost.World-renowned inspirational speaker and business author Ramon Vullings was the featured networking lunch speaker on Wednesday where he explored the emerging world of cross industry innovation. Vullings challenged attendees to use augmented reality to strip reality of the mess and ask how can we use technology to make things simpler for people? "For cross industry innovation, don't copy what others are doing but copy the thinking behind the ideas," he said.Attendees were also treated to high-level education sessions covering everything from AI, robotics and duty of care to GDPR, data protection, the consumerization of business travel, adapting travel policies to meet traveller needs and more to help buyers better understand their roles in an ever-changing business travel market.The event once again brought together over 900 attendees from 30+ countries for networking, education and top-notch speakers. The sold-out expo floor featured over 50 exhibitors showcasing the industry's latest products and services and a dozen suppliers shared breaking industry news at a media cocktail hour to kick-off the opening reception.Next year's Conference will come to Berlin 27-29 November 2018.

Buyers head into 2018 facing continued pressure to cut costs

eHotelier.com·13 December 2017
The poll of 243 business travel buyers asked, “What is the biggest issue facing you over the next 12 months?” Cutting costs reigns top of the list for the third consecutive year, followed by an increased focus on duty of care for the second time in a row. In third place (up five from last year) is rising hotel rates and, more specifically, availability. Rising airfares is at number six, a drop of three positions. Brexit – a new entry on the table in 2017 – features again in fourth place. Enforcing compliance continues to freefall down the table, from second place in 2016 to fifth last year and seventh for 2018. Unsurprisingly, GDPR – which comes into force next May – features on the list for the first time in tenth place.

5 things to know about the EU's new data rules

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles· 6 December 2017
If they’ve been paying attention, hoteliers should already know they have a massive challenge ahead of them with the European Union’s looming General Data Protection Regulation, which goes into effect 25 May 2018. The GDPR’s new rules threaten massive financial punishment in the case of data breaches or mishandling of data. The worst offenses will incur fines of either 4% of a company’s “global turnover” or €20 million ($23.7 million), depending on which is greater.

Security experts urge hoteliers to prep for EU's GDPR

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles· 5 December 2017
Cybercrime is costing global businesses billions, not millions, and in some jurisdictions—notably in the European Union—the cost to companies found guilty of negligence in regards to data breaches could soon rise substantially, according to sources. At a panel titled “Cyber-attacks are on the increase, so how secure are your systems?” at the recent Annual Hotel Conference and in telephone conversations with Hotel News Now, experts underlined that many businesses, especially small- and medium-sized ones, remained woefully unprepared. Moyn Uddin, a cyber and privacy consultant, said GDPR will change the landscape for everyone and could cost businesses huge fines, but he also sees it as a learning opportunity.
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General Data Protection Regulation - a winter chill for the travel industry?

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration · 5 December 2017
With strong penalties expected for companies that don’t comply, the travel industry is gearing up for new data regulation, which comes into effect in May next year. Senay Boztas reports May 25th next year is a momentous day for Europe. It’s not a royal wedding, but the day that a new piece of legislation comes into effect.

Travel firms looking to 'soft opt-in' consent as new EU rules loom

hotelmarketing.com·24 November 2017
A ‘soft opt-in’ for marketing consent will be used by some travel firms after new EU laws on data protection comes in, according to a leading legal expert. Partner at Travlaw Farina Azam told this week’s Travel Network Group conference that there is an option outside the General Data Protection Regulation. Azam said ‘soft opt-in’ is a legitimate exception to having to gain explicit consent as the new GDPR requires but that it only applies to email and text communications.

Personal data, privacy and identity

HFTP ·By Alvaro Hidalgo
The collection of personal data is inherent to the hotel industry; it is what allows us to tailor guest experiences, market our hotels effectively, and foster long-term loyalty. The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force soon, and it has the potential of turning all of this, and more, on its head. Alvaro Hidalgo walks us through the enormous challenges, and even posits a solution.
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Guestline to offer hoteliers GDPR roadmap

Guestline ·20 November 2017
Hosted by cyber security agency Techfindr, the convention will offer hoteliers insight into the requirements around the forthcoming changes to GDPR legislation. This will include a focus on the financial penalties they will face if they are not compliant and the need to have robust cyber security policies in place. General counsel for Guestline, Jeremy Espley, will present on the definitions and scope of the new GDPR legislation. In particular this will address the new obligations that both hoteliers and technology providers to the industry will face both for securing consent to access data and processing data.Espley will be joined by a notable panel of industry experts including Dina Vyapuri, managing director, Techfindr, Stilian Cvetkov, certified ethical hacker and Sharon O'Reilly, certified GDPR consultant, IT governance and GDPR coalition ambassador.Jeremy Espley, general counsel, Guestline comments:"GDPR is fast approaching. It is imperative that hotel owners and operators ensure they are armed with the right information in advance so that they have time to examine their existing operations, and make the necessary changes to ensure they are fully compliant. There has been much debate in the industry regarding the impact of GDPR and the requirements that will be in place for hoteliers, technology providers, and suppliers. We will be working with our customers in the months ahead to ensure GDPR compliance is managed efficiently."Earlier this year Guestline announced its expansion into the Irish market with the opening of a new office in Dublin and the development of a new team including the appointment of a new country manager, Clio O'Gara and more recently regional sales manager, Ingrid Fallon. As part of Guestline's ongoing investment in Ireland, the team is undertaking a packed schedule of networking and attendance at events including the Munster Convention. This is swiftly followed by the Irish Hospitality Institute Founders Banquet and Awards Event which takes place in Dublin on 23 November 2017.The company's multi award winning software is cloud-based and enables hospitality business owners and managers in sectors such as hotels, serviced apartments, pubs, student accommodation and more, to manage bookings and operations both efficiently and profitably.For more information please visit www.guestline.com

HFTP Builds Educational Campaign Ahead of GDPR Compliance Requirements

HFTP ·17 November 2017
With just over six months until the new EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are in effect, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is ramping up its education campaign to prepare the hospitality industry for compliance. The association initiated this drive last spring with the formation of the HFTP Hospitality Data Protection Officer (DPO) Task Force, a team of 23 experts developing compliance guidelines and resources specific to hospitality, including defining the role of the hospitality DPO. As part of its initiative, HFTP has created an education program to build awareness and educate hospitality companies on the steps needed to take leading up to the May 25, 2018 compliance deadline. Available free to the industry are a variety of resources, including a webinar on Monday, November 20, "Hospitality Faces GDPR -- How HFTP Can Help."HFTP Chief Operations Officer and Task Force Member Lucinda Hart, CAE, MBA, explained why this initiative is integral to the association's strategic goals. "The GDPR is greatly impacting the hospitality industry," said Hart. "The dedication that HFTP and our members have committed to industry awareness demonstrates HFTP's commitment to assisting our stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization."The upcoming webinar reviews key requirements to GDPR, and what it means for the hospitality industry. Topics to be covered include the main issues and challenges that hospitality faces, and a sample job description for a hospitality data protection officer - a position required by the GDPR. The presentation will be given by two HFTP Hospitality DPO Task Force members: Alvaro Hidalgo, task force chair and managing partner of FIRST LOGIC consulting and Carl Weldon, FIH FHOSPA, HFTP COO, Europe. The interactive, webinar will be Monday, November 20, 2017 from 10:45-11:45 a.m. CET (9:45-10:45 a.m. GMT), when the two presenters are live and available to respond to participants' questions. An archived recording will be available afterwards. Registration is now available on the HFTP website.The webinar is one of a several GDPR educational events from HFTP. Live presentations include the recent, standing-room only presentation on the same topic from Hidalgo and Weldon in London at HOSPACE 2017 on November 2 - the Hospitality Finance, Revenue and IT Professionals' (HOSPA) Annual Conference and Exhibition. Also, task force member Daniel Johnson, partner and co-founder at VENZA Inc., gave a similar informational presentation at the HFTP Annual Convention on October 27 in Championsgate, Florida USA. Also, to a broader audience, Hart spoke on the topic with Jon Albano for a Lodging Leaders podcast. Looking ahead, HFTP will be developing a webinar geared to suppliers.The HFTP Hospitality DPO Task Force is in the process of developing material to reference, free to the industry. Just published is an article written by Hidalgo, "Personal Data, Privacy and Identity", in the Hotel Yearbook 2018: Technology. The task force is also in the final stages of creating a definitive job description for the hospitality DPO. These resources are collected in a repository on the HFTP website.To find the latest materials, and information from HFTP on GDPR as well as any upcoming educational events, visit the task force page on the HFTP website.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website. Read industry updates on the suite of HFTP hospitality news sites: HITEC Bytes, Club Bytes, Finance Bytes and HFTP News.
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GDPR Countdown: How will the new EU data protection laws affect hotel marketing?

Travel Tripper Blog·14 November 2017
Proposed new restrictions to EU data protection laws will soon limit how tech companies such as Facebook and Google collect customer data. As a result, hotels with EU customers could see their own marketing efforts stifled. Set to take place in May 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is designed to provide EU citizens with greater online privacy by limiting how their personal data is collected and used. Under new laws, companies will still be able to collect data in order to offer services that consumers ask for. But using personal data for other purposes won’t be permitted unless consumers give their explicit consent.
Article by Ian Graham

Serving Up Profitability

The Hotel Solutions Partnership · 7 November 2017
The principal revenue generating asset under management in a restaurant are the seats and tables - and this applies whether the restaurant is a stand-alone business, is in a mixed-use development, is in a theme park, is in an airport terminal, is in a hotel, or even is a pop-up business in a yurt. The seat is a hugely perishable asset - every minute that it is unoccupied there is a missed revenue generating opportunity. If you don't fill the seats this meal period, the revenue (not to mention the profit that you could have made) is gone - and probably elsewhere!So, it's clear that a key metric for best practice is Revenue per Available Seat Hour. RevPASH is calculated by getting the revenue for the hour and dividing it by the number of seats that you have. If the restaurant is only half full, your RevPASH will be lower than it might be; if everyone orders one course only, your RevPASH will again be lower again.Caroline Wilce is Finance Director and shareholder at Black and White Hospitality Management Ltd (the franchisor of the Marco Pierre White brands - Marco's New York Italian, Marco Pierre White's Steakhouse and Grill, Wheelers Oyster Bar and Grill Room, Mr White's English Chophouse, Bardolino). She says "the main key KPIs used by successful restaurant operators include:Revenue per available seat hour (RevPASH)Revenue per available square metre (RevPASM)Cancelled / No Show Covers as a % of Reserved CoversTime per Table Turn"The common ways to increase RevPASH are todecrease the amount of time each party spends at their table and/orincrease the average spend and/ordecrease the time that a table stays empty after a party leavesHere are some ideas to increase your RevPASH.1. Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerStelios Haji-Ioannou made a success of easyJet by first filling the aircraft then raising the price. Sweat your asset; how often do we see hotel restaurants closed for lunch. And branded restaurants closed for breakfast. Yet, one rarely sees small privately run restaurants closed - they are open all hours. The entrepreneurial owner/operator knows that the asset must be sweated.2. Seven days a weekBy increasing available seat hours, you give yourself the opportunity to spread your fixed costs. So, if there is a market, keep the restaurant open all week, all meal periods. If there isn't an obvious market, create one. Many hotels have found success with (champagne) afternoon teas. Pre-theatre dinners are a similar reaction to creating a market that enables the restaurant to be more successful.3. No more quiet nightsCapitalize on menu trends. The industry is seeing a need for more organic, healthy locally sourced options. In some cases, and locations, customers value these options and are willing to pay for them. You need to understand your customers, though, as opinions can vary depending on the market or region. Sundays and Tuesdays are traditionally toughest nights for a restaurant, so running promotions to fill the seats will at least get some revenue. Maybe link in with a local cinema, or run a series of promotions to encourage people to come out on your quieter nights.4. Increasing the number of turnsThe number of turns is the number of parties that sit at a table each night. Depending on your clientele and target market, you may be able to get another sitting in. Some restaurants do fixed sittings, say, 6pm and 8pm so that customers know if they are in the 6pm sitting, they need to be out by 8pm This works well if people are going to the movies or the theatre.5. Create a pool of ready dinersThe bar is a great way to increase your RevPASH. Customers have a couple of beers before dinner and are sitting there ready and waiting as soon as a table is cleared. The in-room TV, the lift walls, are opportunities to promote the hotel restaurant to guests. Better still, a recommendation by the receptionist at check-in can generate business that might otherwise walk out of the hotel for dinner.6. Increase your pricesMake sure your prices are right. Check the local competition and see how you compare. The big thing is to look at each sitting individually and try to optimise the results. Some restaurants do this without thinking about it. It is why there are separate lunch and dinner menus. After you evaluate what other restaurants are doing to drive sales a review of customer data might show that demand indicates that some menu prices could be increased without hurting sales.7. Table optimisationSome restaurants and cafes attract more singles and couples, others larger groups. If all your tables are for 4, it means that every single and couple is wasting seats and decreasing your RevPASH.8. Last minute offersIf you are having an unexpected quiet night, why not Tweet a special or post it on your Facebook page. Work hard to get those extra couple of tables in. It can be the difference between a loss for the night and breaking even. Customer traffic is one of the key metrics restaurant operators use to measure success. When traffic is down, many restaurants turn to new promotions or even consider lowing prices, but will these actions reverse the trend? Before you act, first take time to understand the change in traffic and the underlying causes. Two key steps in deciding how to address traffic issues are to determine if it is a sustained problem or a short-term trend and to determine whether the decrease is caused by internal or external factors. Guest count problems can be addressed in many ways. Once you gain an understanding of what causes traffic issues at a specific location, you will be better prepared to create solutions that address the true, underlying problem.Ally Dombey Northfield is a Director at Revenue by Design, creator of revenue management solutions for the hotel industry. In respect of restaurants, she says "..the focus needs to be on optimizing profitability through contribution margins, differential pricing, menu mix and price blending"Restaurant technology can and should be leveraged to provide better information to inform better decisions. Such tools provide insights into restaurant customer purchasing behavior enabling prediction of their reaction to future initiatives. Technology can be harnessed tomeasure the effectiveness and impact of limited time offersunderstand the impact of coupons and deciding on the most profitable offersquantify the impact of testing a new menu line or a new service concepthelp selecting the most representative restaurants to test brand innovationsreview loyalty programmes and recommend marketing initiativesThe National Restaurant Association in the USA believes that over 60% of sales in fine dining restaurants and 80% of sales in casual restaurants come from repeat business. So, remember that it is existing customers who are your most likely future customers - and through social media they can influence potential customers who have not yet experienced your restaurant. Leverage the database of existing customers (respecting GDPR of course).I hope some of these thoughts help YOU improve your profitability
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GDPR and the hotel sector: what you need to know today

eHotelier.com· 7 November 2017
For example, when a consumer signs-up for Spotify and they want to use their Facebook login for ease, Spotify receives their contact info, who their friends are, location, and other details. And in return Facebook receives details on the consumers’ music tastes. However, this unchecked spread of personal information will soon be in for a change. According to GDPR, all businesses; including hotels, will soon need to know exactly where they get data from, to whom they send it, and what they do with it internally.

Are you keeping your guests' personal data safe? Interview with Alan D. Meneghetti

GuestRevu ·23 October 2017
Having previously been a partner at Clyde & Co LLP and Locke Lorde LLP, and with a legal career that includes specialisation in data protection, privacy and IT, few are better equipped than Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP Partner Alan Meneghetti to offer guidance to hoteliers on how to handle sensitive guest data carefully.We chatted with Alan to get the expert's opinion on how hoteliers can ensure they are treating their guest data with the care it deserves, and in compliance with current and incoming data protection laws.Where did you first begin to work with hotels and the hospitality industry?My first venture into hospitality was working as a room attendant at Sir Rocco Forte's fledgling group's first hotel, the Balmoral Hotel, in Edinburgh. I went on from that to be a trainee hotel manager at the Balmoral and then to work as Restaurant Manager at Sir Rocco's first purpose-built hotel in Cardiff Bay, the St David's Hotel & Spa (which the group has since sold).I knew that I loved the hotel business and spent a long time trying to work out how I could combine it with law, which I had read at both the University of Cape Town and the University of Aberdeen.How do you think hotels will be affected by the new privacy laws coming into effect next year?Hotels, as with most other businesses, will need to ensure that they are up to speed with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which commences across the EU on 25 May 2018, and ensure that their systems and agreements with their contractors are compliant with the requirements detailed in the GDPR (many of which are either new or extensions of the requirements under the existing European legislation).It is also worth remembering that the GDPR does not only apply to hotels operating in the EU, but also to those which offer services to customers in the EU (for example, gift cards, mail order and so on).With the rise of personalisation and hotels asking guests for more data than ever and often on different platforms, do hotels in general put enough emphasis on data security?No, but then I don't think most businesses do! Hotels hold an enormous amount of personal data and, quite often, personal data which is of a sensitive nature (for example, information about guests' medical conditions or meal choices which may indicate a religious preference), not to mention credit card and billing information. As a result of this, the data that hotels hold is particularly valuable and presents a prize target for thieves and fraudsters wishing to exploit vulnerabilities in a hotel's IT network.Hotels need to ensure that they know exactly what data they hold, how long they are holding it for, where they are holding it and what security measures they have in place to safeguard that data (as well as whether that security is currently sufficient - something which requires constant evaluation).Can hotels expect increased pressure to be transparent about how they are protecting guest data?Not necessarily so, in a general sense, although if there is an incident relating to personal data held by or on behalf of a hotel, the hotel must be in a position to respond to that. It is imperative that hoteliers have a plan in place for handling data incidents that is agreed upon and rehearsed in advance. Hoteliers also need to be prepared to explain to an investigating regulatory authority how its systems are set up and why it believes them to be sufficient to protect the data which the hotel holds.What is the first question a hotelier should ask when assessing whether their security measures are good enough?How strong, and where, is the weakest part of my network? This is where the vulnerability lies.Is there a chance that hotel staff could unwittingly be breaching privacy laws or regulations, particularly in smaller hotels?I think that there is every chance that this is the case. For example, does the hotel use a cloud service provider to back up its personal data and, if so, where does that cloud service provider physically store the data? If it is outside the European Economic Area (EEA), is the hotel able to point to a lawful ground (such as guest consent) to permit the export of this personal data outside the EEA?What advice would you give to independent hoteliers to ensure they comply with the new privacy laws?Spend a little bit of time getting to know your obligations under the GDPR and your network infrastructure. You can then work out if you need to update your customer and supplier agreements and your IT network, and create a plan to detail the areas that need addressing in order of priority.What's the best hotel you've ever stayed at?May I have two please? I love the Balmoral in Edinburgh because it is just so beautiful and perfectly decorated and I have watched it evolve since I first went there in 1996. Hadrian's and Number One are also two of my favourite restaurants - amazing food, great service, and both in settings which perfectly complement the food they serve. And then the Imperial in New Delhi, which has the most amazing food and service, and is a haven of calm and tranquillity in the middle of a thriving, bustling and generally very busy city.
Article by Abby Ward

Understand Your Guests to Increase Conversion Rates

Net Affinity ·19 October 2017
Do you know who your website content should be targeting, who's visiting your site and who's actually parting with their cash to make the booking? If you can't answer those questions, it's time to start building a picture of your target market in order to better meet their requirements and wishes.You can do this by tailoring your rate plans and packages to suit various guest types. You can also use data segmentation to send and display the right content to the right people. Be it for email marketing campaigns, or display and remarketing ads.Whilst you should be looking at your own guests in careful segments on a property level, it's helpful to take a look at the industry at large. This data can tell you who you should be trying to talk to and on which platform and devices.Across our portfolio of clients with 12,800,000 hotel website sessions for the first half of this year, we have monitored each transaction to find out those answers. Of course, this data is purely for guests who made their booking online, so keep in mind that there are guests who book over the phone, or in some cases in person, who are not represented in these figures.Let's take a look at the demographic of people who have visited our client sites and those who booked, from Q1 and Q2 2017:Who VisitsWomen made up the majority of visitors. The ratio of female to male users is more than 2:1, at 69% female and 31% male. This may reflect that more women are doing research, or that women simply prefer to visit more sites during their research.The young adults are the most enthusiastic travelers. 56% of visitors to hotel websites are 25-44, and the strongest demographic is 25-24 (28.8% of users).Who BooksWhile more women book than men overall, this number is skewed by the higher number of women visiting sites. On the whole, men convert 1.5 times more often than women, although they contribute less revenue and transactions overall.As far as the age of your guests is concerned, the same pattern as above holds true for transactions and revenue as well. Those aged 25-44 make up about 55% of transactions and revenue.However, it's worth noting that those aged 45-54 and those over 65 convert more often. This suggests that by the time your more mature guests reach the website, they are more ready to book. Younger ones, most dramatically those age 18-24, tend to shop around a bit more before committing to a booking.5 Ways To Implement Guest Data Into Your StrategyAsk your guests for information at checkout: name, email address, age, gender, occupation.Train your front desk in collecting data for each guest. Such as what the purpose of their trip is etc.Tailor your packages for each of your top segments. This could mean using value ads such as a free drink on arrival, or by using local events to make your hotel standout to those attending them.Segment your data for marketing purposes. For example, send your Valentine's Day campaign to males, with a special offer to save them money and hassle.Make sure your data storage processes and systems are GDPR compliant. A new regulation coming into force in May 2018 has significantly tightened up laws around storing and using data, so make sure you're clued up on it.For more interesting insights from our client data, check out our Digital Trends Report.
commercial

How to get GDPR ready

hotel-industry.co.uk·18 October 2017
Failure to prepare could see fines of up to 4% of a company’s worldwide turnover – News from A&OIT One Solution From 25 May next year all UK businesses – big or small – will need to comply with strict new regulations around how they collect, store and use personal information as the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the current data protection directive.
commercial

Is GDPR the Y2K for B2B marketing?

hotelmarketing.com·17 October 2017
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and Y2K share some surprising similarities. Marketing Land breaks them down and outlines four ways to prepare your organization for GDPR.

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