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Why, 15 Years Later, the HFTP Mid Florida Chapter Still Raises Funds for Camp Boggy Creek

HFTP Connect - 20 September 2017
This year, the HFTP Annual Convention will be held October 25–27 in the Orlando area, my home turf. And for the third year, the convention program includes HFTP Helps which raises funds for a charity based in the surrounding area of the host city. When planning, HFTP Global conferred with HFTP Mid-Florida chapter leaders for local charity suggestions. Without hesitation, we named Camp Boggy Creek, a free, safe and medically-sound camp environment that enriches the lives of children with serious illnesses and their families. The HFTP Mid-Florida Chapter has been raising funds for Camp Boggy Creek through an annual golf tournament, and September 29 will be the chapter’s 15th tournament to benefit the camp. I thought I’d share a bit of my experience working with the camp, and why our chapter has been so dedicated to it.
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HFTP Asia Research Center Supports Tourism Industry Growth in Asia Market

HFTP Connect - 18 September 2017
In 2014, the HFTP Asia Research Center was established in collaboration with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM). The center is based in Hong Kong, the central city in Asia geographically.

Leadership: Lessons Learned Along the Way

HFTP Connect - 12 September 2017
I have been to more sessions on what it means to be a leader that I can count. Often the presenter will have a white board or a flipchart and have everyone yell out characteristics or attributes of a great leader. By Lisa Martin, CHAE
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HFTP Hospitality DPO Task Force Outlines Objectives as Industry Prepares for GDPR May 2018 Deadline

HFTP Connect - 8 September 2017
The European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that was announced in April 2016 put in place a substantial mandate on EU-based organizations, as well as any organization doing business with EU citizens. The GDPR will be in force in the EU starting May 25, 2018 posing significant challenges to the hospitality industry as one that manages a vast amount of personal data. To address this question, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) united a multidisciplinary team of experts to address the different facets of the impact of the GDPR in the hospitality industry. The task force met in July 2017 to prepare for the upcoming deadline.
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Be a 2017 Annual Convention Guest Blogger - Apply Today!

HFTP Connect - 23 August 2017
Returning this year, HFTP Connect is looking for up to three professionals involved with the hospitality industry who would like to write original and educational blog posts about their Annual Convention experience. Guest bloggers do not have to be professional bloggers; however, must have good writing skills and an interest in sharing their Annual Convention experience.
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Okay Google, Are Apps Dead? Alexa, Do Hotel Guests Want You?

HFTP Connect - 23 August 2017
Are apps dead? This was a question presented during a session on mobile applications at HITEC Toronto 2017. Between upgrades to phone operating systems and the rapid marketplace acceptance of voice operated technology, some in the press have declared that 2017 will be the end of apps as we know them. Additionally, it is predicted that by 2020, 82 percent of mobile devices will have some sort of speech recognition technology. Are these two trends related, and what do they mean for hospitality?
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Announcing the HFTP 2017 - 2018 HFTP Global Board Slate

HFTP Connect - 28 July 2017
Earlier this year, the nominating committee — comprising past HFTP Global past presidents, advisory council chairs and chapter presidents — were tasked with picking the HFTP members that would replace the outgoing directors of the HFTP Global Board. After a long day of interviews, the nominating committee was able to narrow their choices down. Here is the official slate for the 2017–2018 HFTP Global Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
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Online Travel Agencies and Occupancy Tax: A Proliferation of Lawsuits

HFTP Connect - 14 July 2017
Online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia and Booking.com are the channel of choice for approximately 14 percent of all hotel bookings in the United States. Typically, these channels are responsible for collecting occupancy tax directly from the guest and then pay the hotel directly for the reservations. Recently, OTAs have come under scrutiny for the way they collect occupancy tax. Typically, taxes and fees are bundled together on the OTA website and the guest does not know what portion are taxes and what portion are fees. Furthermore, when the guest selects the option to pay at the hotel, the hotel charges tax on the full rate paid (retail) while the OTA only charges tax on the amount paid to the hotel (wholesale). Since the OTA receives a commission of between 20 to 30 percent, this discrepancy in tax collection can result in millions of dollars of losses to cities, counties and states.
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So Long, Farewell 'O Canada!'

HFTP Connect - 13 July 2017
Another HITEC down, and it may have been one of the best yet. “O Canada” how you impressed me! I must admit I had my doubts on what level of turnout there would be, with potential hassles of passports, border crossings and foreign transaction fees. What I did not expect was the ability to dodge all rain storms, because of the genius design of The Path, which allowed me to walk almost anywhere staying inside. I did not expect to pose with the Art Ross and Calder Trophies from the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame (I was ok that the Stanley Cup was off visiting with my beloved Pittsburgh Penguins). And I did not expect to turn in the HITEC Toronto exhibit hall to see a whole peninsula of additional vendor booths just as I thought I had gotten through all of the aisles!

What I Learned at HITEC Toronto

HFTP Connect - 6 July 2017
Written By: Ron Hardin - Confession: I can not stop playing with the fidget spinner I picked up at the ALICE booth. My wife, a well-known “anti-fidgeter” (ask my kids), rolled her eyes when she saw it come out of my HITEC Toronto swag bag. Correction: In my previous blog post (HITEC Toronto: Our Story Thus Far), I mentioned the “sunset over Lake Erie” as seen from the CN Tower. My gentle readers are either all too polite – or slept through geography – because Toronto is on Lake Ontario, and the lake is southeast of the city – not southwest – so it was technically “sunset over Kitchener.” It was lovely, nonetheless.

13 E20X Pitches and One Home Run

HFTP Connect - 29 June 2017
Written By: Jennifer Jones - As a native to Baltimore, Maryland USA, I was excited to see that the Orioles are in town this week playing the Blue Jays. Now that I reside out west, I do not get to see them much anymore. Granted with a full schedule of meetings, sessions and receptions, sneaking out of HITEC Toronto to catch a few innings just was not possible. However, I made a better decision with my schedule and decided to attend the Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) hospitality technology pitch competition. This was my first time watching the event, and I encourage everyone to make sure that they make E20X a vital part of their HITEC ritual every year.

HITEC Toronto: Our Story Thus Far

HFTP Connect - 28 June 2017
The curtain descends on the second day of HITEC Toronto (#HITECtor), and it has been a busy couple of days. This is my first visit to Toronto, and I hope I get to come back to Canada someday when I have more free time. With the exception of a few showers, we have been blessed with lovely weather. For those of us who have attended this mid-summer event in more southern climes in recent years, the moderate temperatures have literally been a refreshing change.
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Getting Organized for HITEC Toronto

HFTP Connect - 22 June 2017
I have attended HITEC now for several years, as both an exhibitor and an attendee. Regardless of my role there, I have learned one valuable lesson: take a vacation after to catch up on sleep! I know that is not realistic, but if my day-to-day job could stop for a week after to allow me to sort through all of the business cards and collateral I collected, not to mention the overflow of emails that came in while at the show, I would not dread the post-HITEC “hangover.”
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Why HITEC Toronto Is Important

HFTP Connect - 22 June 2017
It sounds like one of those essays you had to write in school: “what I did on my summer vacation,” “what extracurricular activities mean to me.” It also sounds blindingly obvious – of course HITEC Toronto is important. After all, it is by far the world’s largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC Toronto is also historically significant, being the first-ever HITEC North America event to be held outside of the United States. #HITECtor will take center stage from June 26-29, anchoring a trilogy of international events in 2017 that include the debut of HITEC Amsterdam and HITEC Dubai. So, HITEC is clearly a big deal. But why?
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Dispatches from HFTP Global: HFTP Texas Regional 2017

HFTP Connect - 1 June 2017
On May 19-20, 2017, the HFTP North Texas Chapter hosted the 2017 HFTP Texas Regional Conference which brought together a mix of hospitality finance and technology professionals at the Embassy Suites Dallas Love Field in Dallas, Texas USA. Attendees came from across the state of Texas – as well as neighboring states – for a two-day, education-packed conference. On Friday morning, pre-conference activities started with a CHAE review to assist attendees in preparing for taking the CHAE exam.
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Exclusive Interview: Dual Award Winner Hyre Talks Entrepreneur 20X (E20X)

HFTP Connect - 25 May 2017
In June 2015, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), debuted its Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) innovation pitch competition, designed for hospitality technology startups, for the first time at the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®) – the world’s largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. Rapidly gaining popularity after its introduction at HITEC Austin, E20X has become a reoccurring feature at HITEC. In 2017, HFTP expanded E20X globally with its first European feature at HITEC Amsterdam in March and will be an upcoming feature at HITEC Toronto in June.

Dispatches from HFTP Global: CHTA Disruptive 2017 Innovation and Technology Expo

HFTP Connect - 9 May 2017
This is the second time I have attended a China Hospitality Technology Alliance (CHTA) event. Last month, I attended the CHTA Disruptive 2017 Innovation and Technology Expo from April 26-28, 2017 located at the Marriott QianJiang, HangZhou in Hangzhou, China. Featured exhibitors, impressive talks and discussions on heated topics contributed to a successful exhibition in the beautiful city. First introduced by Clayton M. Christensen in 1995, “disruptive innovation” – the event’s concept – is an innovation that provides different values and significantly affects the existing market. This might be the reason why the organizer chose this theme.
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Dispatches from HFTP Global Director: Orange County Grassroots Membership Drive

HFTP Connect - 4 May 2017
I was able to realize another first recently – attending the inception of a new HFTP chapter. I was privileged to travel to Orange County, California USA for a grassroots membership drive to re-establish an HFTP chapter in the area.
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Revenue Recognition: Comments Due June 1, 2017 on Implementation Issues Facing the Airlines, Gaming, Hospitality and Timeshare Industries

HFTP Connect - 26 April 2017
Since 2002, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have been working together to bring the guidance provided in the United States General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in closer alignment. Historically, the U.S. GAAP provided complex transaction and industry specific revenue recognition guidance. For example, U.S. GAAP consisted of various revenue recognition requirements for specific transactions and industries which resulted in differing revenue recognition practices for similar transactions.
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10 Reasons Your Business Should Not Wait to Switch to the Cloud

HFTP Connect - 24 April 2017
The Cloud was once conversation for techies and a distant future goal for visionary business leaders. How times have changed! Today, internet-based or “Cloud” computing is enabling businesses of all sizes to gain on-demand access to a growing pool of shared computing resources that includes networks, services, storage, VoIP phone systems and even complete omnichannel contact center solutions.
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Service Charges: Then and Now

HFTP Connect - 13 April 2017
Have you ever wondered about the history of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI)? Recently an HFTP member contacted the HFTP Americas Research Center to research the history of the treatment of service charges in the uniform system for hotels. This sent me down a path of discovery and I found myself fascinated at the changes throughout the years. For example, the 5th edition of the Uniform System of Accounts for Hotels, printed in 1952, presents information pertaining to “service charges to guests for the purchase of railroad, airplane, steamship or other transportation tickets.”
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Dispatches from HFTP Global Director: HITEC Amsterdam 2017

HFTP Connect - 11 April 2017
So the day finally arrived: HITEC Amsterdam. After many strategy meetings and discussions about growing HFTP and HITEC, one of the industry’s most prominent shows, on March 29, 2017 HITEC Amsterdam kicked off to recording breaking attendance. How can one say it is record breaking when it is the inaugural event? Well, as a finance and technology group there are always goals and metrics established, and while forecasting is something we do well, we exceeded our expectations. Therefore, it was record breaking!
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HFTP Chapter Event Highlight: Orange County Interest Meeting

HFTP Connect - 10 April 2017
This month, HFTP is inviting HFTP members and hospitality industry professionals in the Orange County, California USA region to join a special Orange County Chapter Interest Meeting on Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa. There has been interest in chartering an HFTP chapter in Orange County area, and HFTP is looking for members to be a part of the development of this chapter. Click here to reserve your spot today.
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How to Make Hotel Technology Profitable

HFTP Connect - 3 April 2017
Hotel tech professionals from all over the world gathered at HITEC Amsterdam last week. After dozens of informative sessions, inspiring keynote speeches and one thrilling hotel tech start-up pitch competition, one thing was very clear: The number of companies offering technologies that can benefit a hotel business is overwhelming. How is a hotelier to know which is the right piece of technology to implement? To help with that quandary, here are a couple of takeaways from the 45th HITEC—also the first ever to be held in Europe.
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Dispatches from HFTP Global: Midwest Regional Conference

HFTP Connect - 31 March 2017
As it was my first visit up to the Midwest, I was really looking forward to attending the Midwest Regional Conference March 16-18, 2017 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Bloomington is a suburb of Minneapolis and the conference was located at the at the Radisson Blu hotel which is right next to the Mall of America. Just to give you an idea how big it is, to walk around one level is 1.15 miles of the mall and nine Yankee Stadiums can fit inside the Mall of America. It is a big mall.

Entrepreneur 20X: Wi-Fi, Upselling and Digitalizing Daily Operations

HFTP Connect - 29 March 2017
On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, HFTP’s hospitality start-up pitch competition Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) took place in Europe for the first time at HITEC Amsterdam. Each participant had four minutes to pitch their business concept, followed by four minutes for the expert judges panel to ask questions. I did notice that most of the start-ups were evolving around one (or more, in some cases) of three main hotelier-focused goals.

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