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Culture for a digital age

hotelmarketing.com - 24 July 2017
Risk aversion, weak customer focus, and siloed mind-sets have long bedeviled organizations. In a digital world, solving these cultural problems is no longer optional. Shortcomings in organizational culture are one of the main barriers to company success in the digital age. That is a central finding from McKinsey’s recent survey of global executives (Exhibit 1), which highlighted three digital-culture deficiencies: functional and departmental silos, a fear of taking risks, and difficulty forming and acting on a single view of the customer.
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Why the sale-leaseback model is gaining ground in America

Hotel Management - 23 July 2017
It sounds like a philosophical riddle: How can you sell your hotel but keep your hotel? There is a way: Under a sale-leaseback agreement, popular in Europe’s hospitality scene, the seller of a hotel becomes a lessee to a new owner, maintaining a brand flag and management agreement but avoiding certain economic risks and alleviating concerns over potential oversupply in top markets. These types of deals are nothing new. Earlier this month, Deka Immobilien, the real estate arm of Germany's DekaBank Group, signed a deal to buy the 257-guestroom room Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago hotel for $110 million. The property's developer, an affiliate of Murphy Development Group, will pay rent to Deka and continue to operate the hotel. The Murphy affiliate has a long-term franchise agreement with Hyatt.
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Has Data Security Risk Undercut the Role of Third-Party Aggregators in TRM?

Business Travel News (BTN) - 21 July 2017
Many organizations now view itinerary tracking as an absolute necessity for travel risk management, but to keep their personnel safe, are companies opening themselves up to potential data security risks? In passing the General Data Protection Regulation in May, the EU shined a light on responsible data handling and forthcoming penalties to organizations that don't comply with the rules within the next 12 months. With that and a number of high-profile data hacks over the last 12 months and even U.K. travel association ABTA itself falling foul of a cyberattack in March, data security and the individual's right to privacy also have risen on travel management agendas.
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The IRS May Crack Down on Airbnb and Uber Income and Unpaid Taxes

skift.com - Digital - 21 July 2017
Airbnb Inc. hosts and Etsy Inc. vendors who have avoided taxes on income from the sharing economy might have to start sharing more with the Internal Revenue Service. Federal rules don’t require such companies to withhold any income taxes on the payments they route to people who provide services or sell items via their online platforms. The companies do have to notify the IRS about some participants’ earnings — but only if they exceed $20,000 and conduct more than 200 transactions a year.

The UK's Transport Secretary Doesn't Agree With Ryanair About the Impact of Brexit

skift.com - Transport - 21 July 2017
U.K. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said there’s no chance that planes will be grounded when Britain leaves the European Union in 2019 and that any transitional arrangements on border controls are likely to be contingent on maintaining maximum access for airlines. The notion that jets could be forced to stop flying once Brexit is implemented shouldn’t be taken seriously, Grayling said in an interview. Airlines including Ryanair Holdings Plc have said it’s possible flights could be curtailed for weeks or months if negotiators fail to make early progress on the issue.

HNA Group Must Answer Questions About Collapse of Its Booking Startup Travana

skift.com - Digital - 21 July 2017
Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co., already under scrutiny from local regulators, will also be probed as part of the U.S. bankruptcy of one of the companies it invested in. HNA Group’s dealings with San Francisco-based travel agency Travana Inc. will be investigated under bankruptcy law, which gives creditors the right to depose witnesses and seek internal records. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Hannah L. Blumenstiel approved the request in San Francisco court on Thursday over objections from the company’s board.
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Dodd-Frank Will Benefit CFOs in the Long Run

CFO Magazine - 21 July 2017
When upheaval struck the financial markets starting in 2007, chief financial officers absorbed much of the impact, whether they worked on Wall Street or Main Street. Dodd-Frank was adopted in 2010 as a response to the upheaval, and in the five years since, the financial world has seen its share of Dodd-Frank critics.
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Cash-Back Biz Travel App Raises $7 Million: Travel Startup Funding This Week

skift.com - Digital - 21 July 2017
The Austin, Texas-based company’s pitch is that it lets a person book work-related travel on their corporate card but get cash back on their personal card. The app also works for other retail purchases unrelated to travel. Travelers have to book through the app to get the cash back. Amounts of reward vary. Some recent deals included 5 percent of the purchase price back on Avis rental car rentals, and 18 percent back on the value of Hyatt hotel stays.
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Hilton matches Marriott's 48-hour cancellation policy in US and Canada

Tnooz - 20 July 2017
Hilton will follow Marriott’s lead in imposing a 48-hour requirement on cancellations. Guests who cancel their reservations within 48 hours of check-in will be subject to a penalty that is the equivalent of one night’s stay. The new policy will go into effect July 31 and will apply to all Hilton brands in the US and Canada.
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TMCs disappointed, concerned over Marriott's revised cancellation policy

hotelmarketing.com - 20 July 2017
According to a recent industry poll, some 59% of respondents indicated that business travelers will likely book away from Marriott properties, especially after they get burned by cancellation fees a couple of times as many travelers do not read the fine print on travel documents.
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Article: In India, Mobile Financial Services Are Displacing Traditional Ones

eMarketer - 20 July 2017
Mobile payments are almost on par with credit card use among some consumers in India, according to new data from financial services provider FIS. A survey of internet users conducted on behalf of the firm by Kantar TNS in December 2016 found that 40% of respondents had used a credit card to complete a digital shopping transaction, while almost the same number (37%) had used some kind of mobile payment service.
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Got Extra IP Addresses? You Can Sell Them

CFO Magazine - 19 July 2017
Can there be a “secondary market” for a scarce resource, when that resource was available to its original market for free? It’s merely a question of semantics. Whatever you call it, any company that possesses unused internet addresses — that is, internet protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses — can very likely sell them at a high profit margin.

Hotel Pools: A Legacy Staple or a Litigation Liability?

Lodging Magazine - 19 July 2017
It’s summer and both kids and adults alike are flocking to hotel pools once again. Yet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reminds us that the number one cause of injury death for children between the ages of one and four is drowning, resulting in 390 lives lost annually. This tragic figure is amplified by the fact almost 5,000 children will be treated for pool-related injuries this year, including near-drowning incidents.

GDPR: 10 examples of best practice UX for obtaining marketing consent

hotelmarketing.com - 19 July 2017
With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) due to come into force in May 2018, there are already lots of resources out there to help guide you towards compliance. However, there are fewer articles that point to companies who are already exhibiting best practice. So, I'm going to attempt to round up examples that already seem to comply with aspects of the GDPR.

Opinion: U.S. State Travel Bans Are Counterproductive And Contradictory

skift.com - Destinations - 19 July 2017
It’s now illegal to use California state funds to travel to eight other states: Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas. The travel ban, which went into effect Jan. 1 and expanded last month, punishes states with laws that run afoul of California’s anti-discrimination statute covering sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

The growing expense of hotel management fees

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles - 18 July 2017
Management and incentive fees have been on the rise since 2010. Here’s how that has affected hotels’ bottom lines during that period. The U.S. hotel industry’s recovery from the depths of the Great Recession was characterized by strong growth in rooms revenue (revenue per available room), concurrent with strict cost controls. This combination resulted in double-digit growth rates for profits1 from 2010 through 2014. Starting in 2015, market conditions changed. The pace of RevPAR growth slowed down, while expenses increased at their highest level of real change in the past 20 years. With RevPAR growth forecast to be somewhat muted for the next few years, the attention of owners and operators has now shifted to controlling expenses. Management fees are an expense that has consistently grown at a pace greater than the average of all other costs from 2010 through 2015. When growth of an expense item exceeds the overall average, owners typically become concerned. However, since management fees are designed to reward operators for positive performance, excessive growth in management fees is not necessarily unwelcome.

Hospitality Financial Leadership - Ego is Not Part of the Recipe

Hotel Online - 18 July 2017
“If you want to be more than a flash in the pan, you must be prepared to focus on the long term. We will learn that though we think big, we must act and live small to accomplish what we seek. Because we will be action and education focused, and forgo validation and status in their pursuit, our ambition will not be grandiose but iterative—one foot in front of the other, learning and growing and putting in the time.” Ryan Holidays – Ego is the Enemy
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Tourism Boards Increasingly Worried About Politicians and Budget Cuts

skift.com - Destinations - 18 July 2017
While both sparsely and highly funded tourism boards have seen their coffers grow over the past three years, there’s a general consensus that their budgets face threats from politicians, particularly in the United States. That’s based on a survey from Destinations International (formerly Destination Marketing Associations International), which surveyed 433 tourism board executives in 52 countries online in April 2017 about their outlook on funding, strategy and other trends playing out in the travel industry.
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Article: P2P Payment Transactions to Exceed $120 Billion This Year

eMarketer - 18 July 2017
The use of mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps such as Venmo in the US will continue to grow by double digits through 2021, according to eMarketer’s latest mobile banking and payments forecast. The transaction value of US mobile P2P payments will grow 55.0% this year to $120.38 billion. This figure is on pace to double by 2021.
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Customer Obsession Drives Financial Results: Study

CFO Magazine - 17 July 2017
Companies that aren’t putting solutions to customer concerns at the top of their to-do lists risk losing ground to competitors. That might not be a surprising statement, but new research suggests that CFOs are flat-out obsessed with the idea.
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Red Lion Sues Hard Rock Hotels for Infringement in Race to Win Over Millennials

skift.com - Hotels - 17 July 2017
When it comes to appealing to Millennials — of which there are now 75.4 million in the United States alone — hotel companies are doing all they can to launch wallet-friendly, yet still-stylish accommodations that emphasize such features as co-working spaces, communal stadium seating, artisanal goods, and craft beers. Often classified as midscale hotels, these brands include the new Tru by Hilton and Marriott’s Moxy, for example. And there are more of these brands in the works: Trump Hotels’ American Idea, for one, and InterContinental Hotels Group’s yet-to-be-named one.
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Conflicts of Interest in Your Contracts with TMCs & Suppliers

Business Travel News (BTN) - 17 July 2017
Every industry has buyers and sellers, and most have an additional network of partners that ease the pain points between the two. The business travel industry works similarly, but with airlines, hotels, transportation providers, technology companies, payment providers, global distribution systems, travel management companies and others, a travel buyer's supply chain is more complex than most. Though challenging for travel buyers to control, these interconnected relationships help them manage their category effectively.
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Will Annual Hotel RFPs Ever End?

Business Travel News (BTN) - 16 July 2017
Ask parties on both sides of the negotiating table what they think about the annual hotel RFP season, and more often than not, they'll say it's an inefficient, outdated process. But that doesn't mean everyone's ready to change it.
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A Tech Investment That Could Make Virtual Cards Easier for Midsize TMCs

Business Travel News (BTN) - 16 July 2017
A startup that could make it easier for more midsize travel management companies to issue virtual cards has received funding from CSI Enterprises' financial technology incubator, CSI Kick Start. ConnexPay aims to launch in November.
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Inflation Flat in June As Slowdown Continues

CFO Magazine - 15 July 2017
Inflation continued to soften in June after hitting a five-year-high just five months ago, possibly undermining the belief of some Federal Reserve officials that the slowdown is just temporary. The Labor Department reported Friday that the consumer-price index, or cost of living, was unchanged last month, while the rate of inflation over the past 12 months slowed to 1.6% from 1.9% in the prior month.
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Yellen Skeptical About Trump's Growth Target

CFO Magazine - 14 July 2017
“In the last five years, productivity growth has averaged a half percent. The last decade, something like 1.1 percent,” Yellen told the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, adding that labor-force growth is also on the decline. For the administration to hit its goal, she said, productivity growth would need to rise to “something over 2.”

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