RAR Hospitality Recognized on Inc. 5000 List of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies

RAR Hospitality - 17 August 2017
SAN DIEGO -- Today, Inc. Magazine unveiled its 36th annual Inc. 5000 list of the nation's fastest-growing private companies and San Diego-based hotel management firm, RAR Hospitality is pleased to announce its ranking of No. 2383. This is the first year RAR Hospitality has been featured on this exclusive list."The RAR team is honored to receive this recognition as we have relentlessly worked to make a difference in the hospitality industry," said Robert Rauch, founder, chief executive officer and president of RAR. "We have grown because of our partner commitment, employee dedication and comprehensive ability to adapt to the evolving industry."The 36th annual Inc. 5000 list represents a multitude of fast-growing, privately-owned companies and industries. To qualify for the list, Inc. examined each company's growth percentage and revenue, analyzing data from 2013 to 2016. RAR Hospitality achieved the No. 2383 spot because of the company's remarkable growth rate of 152 percent. Since the company's establishment in 1990, RAR has expanded its hotel portfolio of branded, independent and boutique properties in Southern California, Arizona and Colorado including The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, The Keating Hotel, Fairfield Inn & Suites San Diego North/San Marcos, Hilton Garden Inn San Diego/Del Mar, DoubleTree by Hilton Phoenix North and Arabella Hotel Sedona.The rarefied 2017 Inc. 5000 list can be accessed online at along with company profiles and results and the Inc. 500 list will be published in the September issue of Inc. Magazine.The company has been awarded with prestigious accolades such as San Diego Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies,LODGING Magazine's top 50 management companies and Hotel Business Magazine's top management companies. RAR Hospitality is located at 10840 Thornmint Road #110, San Diego. For more information, please visit or call (858) 239-1800.

JMBM's Global Hospitality Group Announces the Publication of an EB-5 Handbook for Developers

JMBM - 17 August 2017
LOS ANGELES -- JMBM's Global Hospitality Group(r) and EB-5 Finance Grouptm are pleased to announce the publication of The Developer's EB-5 Handbook for EB-5 Construction Financing, a "must-read" resource for developers who are considering using EB-5 financing to complete or enhance their capital stack for construction projects. This is the much talked-about and often (inappropriately) maligned EB-5 program, also known as the immigrant investment visa program.While there are many pending developments that could affect the EB-5 program, this is still a good time to learn how the program works and why so many developers have used EB-5 financing as part of the capital stack for their new projects. The Global Hospitality Group has developed an approach to guide clients through the EB-5 process with a minimal amount of financial risk to find and evaluate the reliable players and execute financing with a high degree of confidence.The Developer's EB-5 Handbook is written to help developers assess the potential opportunities for EB-5 financing while avoiding potential traps for the unwary. Written by legal and business advisors to top developers with great projects in the United States, the Handbook includes articles addressing the following topics:What is EB-5 all about? What are its essentials?Is EB-5 still viable for developers with everything going on today?How can you evaluate an EB-5 construction financing opportunity for your project?What is the optimum EB-5 construction financing structure for development projects?What drives the size and terms of EB-5 financing in the capital stack?How much? How cheap? How certain? How long?How can you spot key "show stoppers" before you get too involved?What are the most common mistakes developers make with EB-5 financing?Who do I need on my EB-5 financing team?To download a free copy of The Developer's EB-5 Handbook, go to the Resource Center on you would like to discuss any of the issues presented in the Handbook, please contact us:

HFTP Announces 2017 CHAE of the Year Recipient Guus Martinus Heijmans, CHAE

HFTP - 17 August 2017
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) will honor Guus Martinus Heijmans, CHAE as the 2017 Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE(r)) of the Year at its upcoming Annual Convention this October. The CHAE of the Year award honors the individual that scored the highest on the CHAE certification exam within a given year. HFTP's Annual Convention will be held from October 25-27, 2017 at the Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate in Championsgate, Florida USA.Heijmans' accounting journey began from an F&B internship that he had under a J1 visa program that brought him to the United States in 2008. This was the year he received firsthand experience working within hotel management at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland USA, and realized his passion was in hotel accounting. After returning to The Netherlands, Heijmans decided to continue his education at Stenden University in Leeuwarden where he earned his bachelors in International Hospitality Management and Business Administration in 2012. Alongside his studies, he had the opportunity to do a cluster traineeship in internal auditing for the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel and the Amsterdam Marriott Hotel.With a bachelor's degree and certificate in hospitality real estate, Heijmans took his first job out of college as a hotel night auditor at the Grand Hotel 'Huis ter Duin' in The Netherlands. In 2013, he became an assistant hotel controller before moving back to the United States in 2014. After moving to Long Beach, California USA, Heijmans received a job offer from The DoubleTree by Hilton Los Angeles-Commerce. Currently, Heijmans is an accounting/HR manager at Residence Inn by Marriott Los Angeles LAX/Century Boulevard."Receiving my CHAE designation and being nominated as 'HFTP's 2017 CHAE of the Year' has been one of my proudest and most rewarding accomplishments," said Heijmans. "The designation has already helped me so much in my day-to-day tasks and responsibilities as an accounting and HR manager for the Residence Inn LAX/ West Century Boulevard Hotel. I am thankful to those who offered moral support while I prepared to take my CHAE exam, and am thankful to HFTP for the opportunity to take the next step in my career and demonstrate my skills as a finance expert."The CHAE professional designation is an industry designation showing competency in the area of accounting, and is acknowledged throughout the hospitality industry as it elevates the professionalism of both the recipient and the industry. More than 1,500 hospitality accountants, from several countries, have earned the CHAE designation through HFTP since the certification program began in 1981. A new CHAE exam is now available, and features a more global finance focus. HFTP also administers the examination and awards the Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP(r)).For more information on HFTP's certification programs (CHTP and CHAE), please contact HFTP Certification Manager Robin Bogdon at For immediate information, visit the FAQ pages for both CHTP and CHAE certifications.HFTP will produce its inaugural HITEC Dubai counterpart event, in partnership with Naseba, from November 14-15 - serving as the third, and final, HITEC of the year. In 2018, HFTP will bring back HITEC Amsterdam on April 11-14 in addition to the larger HITEC Houston on June 18-21. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department or visit and the latest news, follow HFTP/HITEC on HITEC Bytes, PineappleSearch, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube. For more information about HITEC Amsterdam, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at, +1 (512) 249-5333.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) 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, For more information about HFTP, email 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.

HOSPA announces exciting Autumn 2017 line-up of seminars and discussions

HOSPA - 16 August 2017
HOSPA - the Association providing unparalleled support for hospitality's Finance, Revenue Management, Marketing and IT professionals with career development, networking and up-dating on industry trends and developments - is delighted to announce its highly topical autumn line-up of discussions and seminars, open not just to HOSPA members but the hospitality industry as a whole.The HOSPA autumn programme for September 2017:Thursday 21 September: Bridging the gap between traditional and technologyVenue: The Rubens at the Palace, 39 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0PSTime: 6pmCost: PS10 for non-HOSPA members; free for HOSPA membersBookings: E: hospa@hospa.orgT: 0203 418 8196How Red Carnation's Rubens at the Palace and Hotel 41, both in London's Buckingham Palace Road, have themselves met the challenge of blending traditional service with the cutting-edge technology demanded by today's guests.Thursday 28 SeptemberStaff and Skills Issues in the Tourism and Hospitality SectorSeminar hosted by Mazars and run in conjunction with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) Tourism and Hospitality Group, and the British Hospitality Association (BHA).Venue: MazarsTower Bridge House, St. Katherine's Way, London E1W 1DDTime: 5.30pm for 6pmCost: PS10 for non-HOSPA members; free for HOSPA membersBookings: E: hospa@hospa.orgT: 0203 418 8196Speakers include: Jon Claypole, Partner, Tax Investigations and Employer Solutions, Mazars; Richard Karmel, Partner, Business and human Rights, Mazars, John Guthrie, Employment Policy Adviser, British Hospitality Association, Moderator: Gareth Jones, Partner - Head of Entrepreneurial Services and Head of Hospitality and Leisure, Mazars. Topics will include the sensitive service charge/tronc issue; the National Minimum Wage; staff uniforms; employee accommodation; and the impact of the Modern Slavery Act.The HOSPA autumn programme for October 2017:Thursday 5 OctoberFor hoteliers ONLY: HOSPA and Atos 1st Annual Roundtable Event: 'Transforming Hospitality, embracing Digital'Venue: Atos Business Technology and Innovation Centre, 4 Triton Square, Regent's Place, London NW1 3HGTime: 3.30pm to 7pmCost: Free for non-HOSPA members and HOSPA membersBookings: Limited spaces available.Speakers include: Juan Antonio Gomez Garcia, Research Analyst BDO UK Leisure and Hospitality. Focusing on how embracing digital can transform hospitality. An opportunity for hospitality leaders to meet and discuss latest trends impacting the sector, in a strictly no sales environment; and learn from keynote speakers. Delegates will have direct input into the inaugural 'Directive on Digital Transformation: Hospitality' report.Wednesday 18 OctoberHotel Asset Managers - Minimising the PainHow can the relationship between owner and manager - and the value of the hotel - be optimised?Venue: Sofitel St James's Hotel, Waterloo Place, London SW1Time: 6pm for 6.30pmCost: PS10 for non-HOSPA members; free for HOSPA membersBookings: E: hospa@hospa.orgT: 0203 418 8196Speakers include: Katie Benson, Vice President Operations, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, Cody Bradshaw, Senior Vice President and Head of European Hotels, Starwood Capital, Frank Croston, Partner, Hamilton Hotel Partners, Richard Nottage, Owner, Sofitel St James's and Sofitel Grand, Amsterdam, Hugh Taylor OBE, Chief Executive, Michels & Taylor, Moderator: Russell Kett, Chairman, HVS London OfficeHotel operators expect their operators to increase their hotels' revenues, profits and values. Increasingly they are turning to professional hotel asset managers to help ensure this is achieved. So, what are the advantages - and limitations - of bringing in an asset manager? What are the various options - in-house or outsourced? Shouldn't an experienced hotel operator be able to look after all the owner's interests without such 'interferences' or can each bring out the best in the other? How can it be a mutually rewarding, enlightening and productive relationship? These questions and more will be addressed by the expert panel.

Orkin Reveals Financial Impact of Bed Bug Infestations in Hotels

National Association of Hotel & Lodging Engineers (NAHLE) - 15 August 2017
A new study from pest control leader Orkin finds that eight of 10 hotels have dealt with bed bugs in the past year, and 40 percent have treated for bed bugs in the past month. In addition to revealing that bed bugs are not a rare occurrence in hotels, the study also uncovered the average cost of bed bug remediation. Orkin partnered with The Bantam Group, a market research firm, to survey hoteliers nationwide to discover the impact of bed bugs on a hotel’s bottom line. According to the research report released today, Behind the Cost of Bed Bugs: Hospitality Industry Report, hotels spend on average $6,383 per bed bug incident. This cost includes the replacement of soft-goods, treatment and lost business. The report also shows that almost half of all hotels have been the subject of litigation because of bed bugs, which according to our research costs, on average, $17,177 per incident. All in, that could be as high as $23,560 for litigation and remediation costs – not a small concern for a single bed bug incident. The study also found that respondents on average treated for bed bugs 7.1 times every five years, making the cost of bed bugs as high as $167,276 assuming all incidents involve remediation and result in litigation.

HFTP Hospitality DPO Task Force Holds First Meeting in Amsterdam, Moves Ahead on Building Resources

HFTP - 15 August 2017
Preparing for the new EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), a framework legislated by all EU member states with a required compliance date of May 25, 2018, international nonprofit association Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) recruited a team of experts to develop Hospitality Data Protection Officer (HDPO) guidelines and supporting resources for the industry. In addition, the group is designing a certification program specific for HDPOs to demonstrate their competence with the specialized position. A key requirement of the GDPR is that companies who handle large stores of sensitive personal information must assign a DPO, and it is estimated that this could open approximately 28,000 positions across all industries.The HFTP HDPO Task Force held its first meeting last month from July 14-15, 2017 at the Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel and Conference Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands."I am very pleased with the outcome of our first meeting held in Amsterdam this summer," said Alvaro Hidalgo, managing partner at FIRSTLOGIC Consulting and HFTP HDPO Task Force co-chair. "We have identified areas in which specific solutions (registration challenges, integration of DPO, communication with IT providers and others) are being analyzed, and we are confident to bring those solutions to the industry this autumn."The HFTP HDPO Task Force consists of 23 members representing a three-dimensional cross section of the hospitality industry including: global, regional and local hotel operators; IT and service provider vendors (distribution, marketing, CRM, etc.); academics and counselors specialized in data protection regulations; members of large multinational groups as well as medium and small companies from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, United States, Switzerland, UAE, Belgium, Netherlands and Spain.The HFTP HDPO Task Force committee consists of the following hospitality industry leaders:Nigel Allport, vice president of EMEA at Digital Alchemy, United KingdomKen Bailey, managing director of public sector at Fortalice Solutions, USASjoerd Blum, CIO at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, The NetherlandsStephen Carter, OBE, general manager at Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, United KingdomDennis Collet, CEO at NextRound Ltd, United KingdomLuis del Olmo Pinero, president and chairman at Idiso, SpainRichard Harrington, director of finance of luxury at Splendid Hospitality, United KingdomLucinda Hart, CAE, MBA, COO at HFTP, USA Alvaro Hidalgo, managing partner at FIRSTLOGIC Consulting, SpainDaniel Johnson, COO at Venza, USATimo Kettern, director of IT at Lapithus Hotel Management GmbH, GermanyDennis-Kenji Kipker, research managing director at Universitat Bremen, GermanyJose Medio, Attorney, CIPP/us, CIPP/E, managing director at Privalis Group, USAIan Millar, CHTP, professor of IT at Ecole Hoteliere De Lausanne, SwitzerlandBenny Nur, technical services director at Interstate Europe Hotels & Resorts, United KingdomTar O'Neill, CFO for Jamie Oliver Group, United KingdomSophie Pommois, project director of global distribution at Global Hotel Alliance, SwitzerlandStephanie Timsit, director of finance at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, United KingdomRajesh Vohra, director at Sarova Hotels Ltd., United KingdomCarl Weldon, FIH FHOSPA, COO Europe at HFTP, United KingdomFrank Wolfe, CEO at HFTP, USAJames Wright, vice president of IT field services EMEA at Hilton Worldwide, UAEOguz Can Yildirim, CHT, associate director of information risk management EAME at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Belgium"By its nature, the hospitality industry manages a vast amount of personal data. The GDPR will set a new standard for data processing/management that will impact both the finance and technology sectors, and any company that offers goods or services to EU residents," said Wolfe. "Unlike previous frameworks, GDPR includes companies outside the EU who either have customers that are EU citizens or who monitor the online identifiers of EU data subjects. HFTP has deemed it critical to develop resources to alleviate the hospitality technology operational changes ahead."HFTP will host a HDPO education session at its upcoming Annual Convention on October 25-27, 2017. Wrapping up 2017, HFTP will produce its inaugural HITEC Dubai counterpart event, in partnership with Naseba, from November 14-15 - serving as the third, and final, HITEC of the year. In 2018, HFTP will bring back HITEC Amsterdam on April 11-13 in addition to the larger HITEC Houston on June 18-21. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department or visit and the latest news, follow HFTP/HITEC on HITEC Bytes, PineappleSearch, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube. For more information about HITEC Amsterdam, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at, +1 (512) 249-5333.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) 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, For more information about HFTP, email 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.

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) Hosts Insurance & Financial Leadership Exchange Conference

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) - 10 August 2017
ATLANTA, GA -- Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), the leading independent Global Sales Organization serving the Meetings & Incentive marketplace, held the 2017 ALHI Insurance & Financial Leadership Exchange (IFLE) from July 26-28, 2017. The conference, hosted at the stylish Loews Atlanta Hotelin the heart of Midtown Atlanta, brought together 20 senior-level meeting professionals and incentive specialists from the insurance and financial industries with 20 hotel executives. The event was co-hosted by Delta Air Lines and Loews Atlanta Hotel.Participants are shown here, with conference chairperson Ashly Balding, ALHI Executive Vice President, pictured in the front row, second from right; and conference co-chairperson Kathy Kozminske, ALHI's Vice President of Sales for the U.S. Midwest region, shown in the front row, fourth from right. Also pictured is Associated Luxury Hotels' President & CEO Josh Lesnick, shown at the top right (in the black jacket).The IFLE conference addressed key issues in the insurance and financial industries, with engaging peer-to-peer exchanges and roundtable discussions, as well as keynote addresses by former Naval Commander and best-selling author of It's Your Ship Michael Abrashoff; and technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist Josh Linkner.Featuring a prime location in Atlanta's trendy Midtown neighborhood, the contemporary Loews Atlanta Hotel is surrounded by the city's best shopping, dining and cultural attractions. Offering 414 luxurious guest rooms and 40,000 square feet of flexible column-free event space, the cosmopolitan hotel also features a spa and fitness center. The hotel is just blocks from Piedmont Park, Woodruff Arts Center and dozens of restaurants and shops, and is only 12 miles from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).ALHI provides one-call access for its distinguished membership of more than 250 luxury-level and upper-upscale hotels and resorts, which are either independent or are with an independent hotel brand. In addition to offering distinctive hotels and resorts worldwide which specialize in hosting meetings, conventions and/or incentive programs, ALHI's portfolio features a Global Luxury Alliance partnership including 23 luxury cruise ships appropriate for meetings and incentive programs, and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) in 100-plus locations worldwide. ALHI provides extensive Global Sales services, valuable expertise, local connectivity, market intelligence, and account advocacy for meetings and incentive programs of any size and scope worldwide, at no cost to accounts.For more information, contact your nearest ALHI Global Sales Office, or call the "ALHI Group Desk" toll-free in the U.S. at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit .

Marriott Hotels Announces The Shortlist For Its 2017 Testbed Programme

Marriott - 9 August 2017
The eight shortlisted start-ups will now be invited to London on 22 and 23 August to pitch their solutions in front of a panel of judges, including Georgie Barrat, presenter of The Gadget Show, tech industry leaders, and senior Marriott figures, who will decide which start-ups will enter the TestBED programme and pilot their products in one of the Marriott Hotels in Europe.The shortlisted start-ups are:Reward Technology - a UK start-up that has developed a digital engagement platform using smart card detection. Reward Technology offers guests personalised communication and services based on the detection of their loyalty and/or room key card.Umbo - a US start-up that has developed a device that turns surfaces into interactive interfaces by projecting information and using gesture recognition to navigate. Umbo could be installed in guest rooms, meeting rooms and/or public spaces and allow guests to interact with content that is projected onto surfaces.HiJiffy - a Portugal-based start-up that has created an AI powered chatbot designed for the hospitality sector. Through the use of chatbots, Marriott Hotels can offer a variety of services to its guests using Facebook Messenger at any place and time, in an effective and efficient way.My Brain Technologies - a French start-up that has created 'Melomind' - a brain training headset that uses neuroscience to combat stress and anxiety to help individuals relax. 'Melomind' would offer guests a single stress-relief session or a personalised coaching programme that could be developed over a series of stays.Mymanu - a UK start-up proposing 'Click' - wireless earbuds that offer live voice translation in 37 languages. 'Click' offers the ability to communicate with guests in their native language and make their interaction with Marriott associates feel more seamless and natural.New'ee - a French start-up that has developed a device that wirelessly turns furniture into speakers, allowing guests to broadcast music without the need for speakers. New'ee could be used in guest rooms or public spaces to enable a more efficient and focused diffusion of sound.Phaceology - a US start-up that has developed a platform enabling analysis of emotional responses in real time, to improve employee performance and customer experience. It offers the ability to track associates' communication performance and help to improve it.Optishower - a Portugal-based start-up that has developed smart meters to measure water and electricity consumption and the ability to provide associates and guests with analysis of usage. Marriott Hotels could use 'Optishower' both to reduce wastage as well as offer its guests the ability to track their own consumption and be rewarded for sustainable energy use during their stay.Key insights from the application processTravel apps and concierge services continue to be the main focus of start-ups in the travel-tech sector, accounting for over 33% of applications for the 2017 programme.Most travel apps looked to capitalise on the growing trend for experiential travel, offering diverse solutions for travellers to discover, curate and share experiences. Shareability was a recurring theme, with over half of the travel apps based on social media and the ability to enable travellers to share their discoveries with others.Mobile served as the main touchpoint in a third of the applications; particularly those offering concierge services, of which two thirds were mobile first/only solutions. Several start-ups already offering online booking/mobile key solutions were looking to expand their offering to a full-service customer journey, providing seamless experiences from booking to check-out.IOT and wearable tech featured in approximately 20% of the products put forward, suggesting a growing trend towards technologies that can be used 'on the go'. This is up on last year, where IOT and wearable tech accounted for just 3% of submissions.The adoption, implementation and widespread use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is still nascent.For more information on the accelerator programme, please visit

HFTP Announces Keynotes for its 2017 Annual Convention

HFTP - 9 August 2017
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) added three informative and motivating keynote speakers to the education program for its upcoming Annual Convention 2017, an event the association has produced since 1952. This year's HFTP Annual Convention is scheduled for October 25-27, 2017 at Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate in Championsgate, Florida USA."This year's event will offer a variety of essential education formats, continuing education, enhanced networking and vendor opportunities as HFTP celebrates its 65th year as an association," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "The dynamic event program, created by a selected expert advisory council, provides relevant industry information specific to current industry trends. Annual Convention is also traditionally an opportunity to honor the association's accomplishments and outstanding member volunteers."Wednesday, October 25. Selected opening keynote speaker Dennis Snow, professional speaker and author, will present a session from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. about "Performance Excellence - The Employee Factor." Based on his 20-years with Walt Disney World along with many years of consulting with organizations around the world, Snow will provide a "how-to" program for engaging employees in delivering outstanding customer service.Thursday, October 26. Selected Thursday keynote speaker Greg Land, global segment leader of travel related services at IBM, will present a session from 3:10 to 4:25 p.m. about "Cognitive Computing and the Digital Guest Experience." Land's presentation will reveal how cognitive computing can be used to personalize the digital guest experience.Friday, October 27. Selected closing keynote speaker Steve McClatchy, speaker and award-winning author of a New York Times best seller, will present a session from 8:00 to 9:45 a.m. titled "Decide to Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress and Lead by Example." McClatchy will teach the audience how to dive performance to increase work and life engagement, and re-gain critical planning and personal time.Online registration is open for Annual Convention 2017. Visit the Annual Convention page on the HFTP website for complete information about all conference events, including the program schedule, hotel and travel details and more. For more information about HFTP's Annual Convention and other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at or visit Annual Convention 2018 is slated for October 24-27 at the new Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA.For the latest news, follow HFTP/HITEC on HITEC Bytes, PineappleSearch, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube. For more information about HITEC Amsterdam, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at, +1 (512) 249-5333.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) 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, For more information about HFTP, email 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.

Owners of Waldorf Astoria asked by China to sell hotel and assets

Chinese insurance company Anbang Insurance Group has been instructed by Chinese authorities to sell off their foreign assets, which include the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The insurance company has a spread of assets overseas, after going on a spending spree in the last three years with the purpose of accruing foreign acquisitions in a bid to position themselves abroad, eventually making a name for themselves on Wall Street. However, the company's dealings have been overshadowed recently with the controversy surrounding its Chairman Wu Xiaohui, who has been held for questioning since the middle of the summer, and also by the keen eye that is being kept on them by regulators who are skeptical of their takeover policies. The group has risen to prominence in recent years due to the sale of a number of high-performing investment products, until China started to reel in its insurance companies, citing "improper innovation" as the reason. A recent conference on financial regulation held in China and organised by Chinese president Xi Jinping has offered stern warnings to borrowers in an effort to shore up capital and prevent systemic risk. Anbang, for its part, has said that as yet is has no intention of selling off its foreign assets and that the running of the company is continuing as normal.Anbang has been buying up hotels as part of their purchasing binge since 2014. The Waldorf Astoria acquisition was the one that really put them on the map, but they also are in possession of Strategic Hotels and Resorts, which the acquired in a takeover bid that closed in 2016 for $6.5 billion. If they end up going ahead with the sale of the Waldorf and other assets, China has said that the funds must be brought back to China once the sales are complete.The following hotels are currently in construction in New York:Virgin Hotel New YorkRichard Branson's Virgin Hotels has announced that it will build a hotel in New York City. The company will build the Virgin Hotel on the northwest corner of 30th Street and Broadway in the NoMad neighborhood.Edition Hotel Times SquareThe tower, dubbed 20 Times Square, will rise 517 feet above street level and will contain 269,769 square feet of commercial space, according to the latest building permits.TriBeCa HotelThe property is a rare full block front site in prime TriBeCa, and will have three fine dining food and beverage outlets with banquet space, private dining rooms, the largest screening room facility in lower Manhattan.More information on the Waldorf Astoria can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider in the exchange of cutting-edge information of hotel construction in the international hospitality industry.

Vat in the Gulf: What economic impact can we expect? - 7 August 2017
When I wrote three months ago about why the economic changes afoot in the Gulf region have taken on a whole new urgency in 'The challenge of change: And why it matters this time', my analysis was very much framed against a background of anything but business as usual.

How to Network and Ethically Do Business in a Relationship Industry

Meetings Today Blog - 4 August 2017
My number one “strength” is “connectedness.” And though I dislike networking in the traditional sense (the kind that is done at big events with too much noise and no time for deeper conversation—check out this video podcast for more), connecting with others, and learning more about their ideas and opinions and experiences, matters greatly.

Avison Young Hospitality Group Announces 5 Over 5

Hotel Online - 3 August 2017
The Avison Young Hospitality Group announced today that during the past five years ending July 31, the firm has closed one hotel transaction every five days. The hotels closed consisted of mostly franchise brand families and were located in each of the U.S. regions, with over half being Hilton or Marriott branded assets.

2017 Call for HOSPA Career Investment Scholarship entrants 2017

HOSPA - 2 August 2017
In total 10 HOSPA Career Investment Development Scholarships are available this year. Successful applicants will have the chance to learn from, and be recognised by, senior members of the hospitality industry at HOSPA's highly acclaimed annual HOSPACE 2017 Conference and Exhibition on 2 November at the newly refurbished Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.HOSPA is delighted that once again HIT Scotland (Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland) - whose mission is "assisting people to achieve their potential within Scottish hospitality" - is offering one HOSPA Career Development Scholarships of its own to Scotland's talented 30 year-olds and under, studying or working in hospitality finance, revenue management, marketing and IT.In addition to the HOSPA scholarship offered by HIT Scotland, HOSPA is very pleased to announce 'Career Investment Development Scholarship' opportunities for four upcoming young people, 30 years old and under on 28 October 2017, working in hospitality finance, revenue management, marketing and IT.Also, HOSPA is offering 'Future Career Investment Development Scholarships' for five aspiring final-year hospitality students, who have excelled in their current studies, and are planning to start their hospitality industry careers in Autumn 2017.Candidates for the two award categories must be nominated accordingly by senior members of the industry and course leaders. (See Notes to Editors for entry criteria)The 2017 HOSPA Scholarship Awards will afford the 10 lucky winners an unparalleled opportunity to be noticed and publicly recognised for their outstanding achievements in the work-place and the classroom. Their prizes will comprise a full day's attendance at HOSPACE 2017; places at HOSPA's Conference Gala Awards Dinner where their achievements will be recognised; and the chance to be individually featured in the Conference Edition of the monthly HOSPA journal, The Overview."We are greatly indebted to IDeaS for their sponsorship," said HOSPA Chief Executive Jane Pendlebury. "The HOSPA Career Development Scholarships provide a great career stepping-stone for networking with, and learning and gaining recognition from, current industry leaders in the key disciplines of hospitality finance, revenue management, marketing and IT."It is also an invaluable opportunity for successful candidates to learn from the conference sessions, and participate in our education workshops on future business best practice. In the evening at the Conference Awards Dinner, they will be able to meet and gain inspiration from the newly crowned Hospitality Finance, Revenue Management and IT Professionals of the Year 2017."The closing date for nominations is 16 October 2017. All candidates will be notified before 20 October 2017. The nomination forms for Career Investment Development Scholarships and Future Career Investment Development Scholarships can be downloaded from: . HOSPACE2017 details can be found on

Q2 2017 Financial Reports Round Up - Part 3: Choice, Chesapeake, Chatham, Sunstone & ESA

Hotel Online - 2 August 2017
Choice Hotels Reports Results for Second Quarter 2017, Chesapeake Lodging Trust Reports Second Quarter Results, Chatham Lodging Trust Announces Second Quarter 2017 Results, Sunstone Hotel Investors Reports Results for Second Quarter 2017, and Extended Stay America Reports Second Quarter 2017 Results.

Questex Appoints Debra Mason, Veteran Finance Executive, as CFO

Questex - 31 July 2017
NEWTON, Mass. -- Questex LLC, a leading global business event and information company, today announced the appointment of Debra S. Mason, a veteran finance executive, as chief financial officer, responsible for leading the company's global financial operations.Reporting to Kerry C. Gumas, Questex president and chief executive officer, Mason will be based in New York."Debra is a talented and accomplished leader with over 25 years of experience as a chief financial officer in relevant sectors including media, marketing and event services, advertising and market research," said Gumas. "Her track record demonstrates an ability to create value and growth for companies where she has been part of the leadership team. We look forward to Debra applying her financial and business expertise and collaborating with our executive team to drive value and growth for all our stakeholders. Mason previously served as chief operating officer and chief financial officer for ALM Media LLC, a leading provider of specialized industry news and information, based in New York. Prior to that, she was chief financial officer for the Americas region of Ipsos, a global market research firm, where she spent nine years as a key advisor to the business leaders while driving efficiencies through process improvements and strategic cost reductions as well as assisting in the negotiations of acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and alliances."It is a great opportunity for me to join the Questex leadership team at this point in the company's growth trajectory," said Mason. "Questex has tremendous capabilities, talented people and growth potential. I'm excited to continue building on the company's success in global events and digital information products, bringing innovations to customers and creating value for our constituents."Her previous leadership positions include chief operating officer and chief financial officer of X Plus One Solutions Inc., a technology start-up formerly known as Poindexter Systems Inc.; six years with Interpublic Group, where she served as the global CFO of several divisions, including Jack Morton Worldwide, a global event marketing group, and NFO WorldGroup, a leader in market research; and CFO at full-service advertising agencies, including the independent brands of The Lowe Group, Mullen and Wolf Group.Mason began her career in auditing with PricewaterhouseCoopers and EY, formerly Ernst & Young. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics and a bachelor of science degree in accounting at The University at Buffalo School of Management, State University of New York. She is a certified public accountant in the State of New York and earned designations including Chartered Global Management Accountant and Certified Valuation Analyst.

Investors still find value in real estate despite cyclical lows

JLLH - 28 July 2017
As global political uncertainty continues to dominate headlines in 2017, the amount of capital seeking opportunities in real estate remains relatively unhindered as we hit the half year mark - even as yields in many markets hit their cyclical low.Global transaction volumes came in at US$153 billion for Q2, in line with the same quarter last year, bringing first half 2017 volumes 2 percent higher than H1 2016 at US$297 billion.Asia Pacific saw the strongest growth with half year volumes climbing by 13 percent, led by China. EMEA, too, recorded strong H1 gains of 7 percent as London maintained its title as the most traded city globally while investment activity in The Americas fell by 6 percent.We continue to see a huge weight of capital looking for value in real estate and, as such, our forecast for full-year 2017 remains steady at around US$650 billion.Fast Facts from the Q2 2017 reportFind the full report here.

Host's Q2 better than expected; execs warn of weaker Q3 Featured Articles - 28 July 2017
In light of the company’s second-quarter earnings results, executives from Host Hotels & Resorts discussed current and future Marriott International benefits and a likely weak third quarter. Host Hotels & Resorts executives raised the company’s midpoint guidance for the full year after a better-than-expected second quarter, but executives on the real estate investment trust’s earnings call said they’re anticipating a weak third quarter. The company reported a 1.7% year-over-year increase in comparable revenue per available room for the second quarter, which was driven by a 0.8% rise in average daily rate and a 0.7% increase in occupancy, according to Host’s earnings release. Host shifted its total comparable RevPAR guidance for the full year to 1% to 1.75% (from 0% to 2%). The company also raised its full-year net income guidance to $615 million to $646 million (from $557 million to $621 million).

Q2 2017 Financial Reports Round Up - Part 2: MGM, Las Vegas Sands, Host, AccorHotels

Hotel Online - 27 July 2017
Diluted earnings per share for the second quarter of 2017 of $0.36, including a benefit of $0.04 related to a Borgata property tax settlement and a benefit of $0.05 from a modification of the 2016 NV Energy exit fee, compared to $0.83 in the prior year quarter, which included $0.57 related to a gain on CityCenter's sale of Crystals;

Hotel Industry Applauds New Joint Employer Legislation

Lodging Magazine - 27 July 2017
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) applauded the introduction of the “Save Local Business Act,” which will provide clarity to America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs on what it means to be a “joint employer.” Following a recent hearing on the effects of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Browning-Ferris Industries of California ruling that significantly expanded the joint employer definition, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, along with Representatives Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Tim Walberg (R-MI), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), and Lou Correa (D-CA), introduced the bipartisan legislation, which will address joint employer liability under both the National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards Act. The legislation reverts back to the previous definition of joint employment where an employer may be considered a joint employer of a worker only if it “directly, actually, and immediately” exercises significant control over the primary elements of employment, such as hiring, firing, determining pay, or supervising employees on a routine basis. This solution addresses uncertainty experienced by local businesses under the expanded joint employer standard.

Auckland's new hotel tax slammed by New Zealand's Tourism Minister - 21 July 2017
New Zealand’s Tourism Minister Paula Bennett has slammed Auckland’s ‘bed tax’, calling it “not fair” for hotel owners. Speaking at the 2017 New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference (NZHIC) in Auckland yesterday (July 20), Bennett said the targeted rate tax would have a major impact on the industry across the board.

The HVS Asia-Pacific Hotel Operator Guide 2017

HVS - 4 July 2017
Branding, anchored by the management expertise and distribution power that operators bring to a hotel property, is becoming more and more critical. In the face of increasing competition, non-branded properties often perform at a discount to their branded peers due to lack of awareness and quality assurance. Running a hotel is no easy task and owners have a tendency to view operators' fees as unjustified for the value they deliver. It is essential that owner and operator align their interest from very early in the process and work towards a common goal, rather than start their long-term relationship from conflicting standpoints.In this fourth edition, we have captured close to one million existing and more than half a million pipeline rooms spread over 6,930 properties. This publication features major operators and we look forward to have more brands included in forthcoming editions. Our analysis covers 30 countries and territories in Asia-Pacific (excluding India) and 901 markets with existing hotels as well as 574 markets with proposed hotels.

Paymentwall opens $524 billion market for the travel industry

- 28 June 2017
HITEC Conference, Toronto, Canada -- Paymentwall announced today that every hotel, booking engine, cruise, car and boat rental business owner from United States and Canada will now be able to get instant access to untapped markets in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America."We solved a major problem that most travellers face every day: If you don't have a credit or debit card, how do you book a hotel or international trip?" says Pelin Dede, Paymentwall's Head of Travel. "We've discovered that more than 40 percent of people worldwide don't have credit or debit cards, creating $524 billion untapped market for the travel industry".Paymentwall's research shows that only 45 percent of people worldwide prefer to use credit cards to complete online purchases, with almost 55 percent catering to alternative payment methods, such as ewallets, cash, bank transfers, prepaid cards and mobile payments.Paymentwall makes it possible for travellers to use over 150 local payment methods, such as Sofort in Germany, iDeal in Netherlands, Qiwi in Russia, Mercadopago in Brazil, or Alipay in China, making it the most global payment provider for the travel industry.Paymentwall surpasses current offerings on the market with a full suite of included features, including dispute resolution, PCI DSS certification, 24/7 customer support & fraud prevention teams, machine learning algorithms, in-depth analytics, customizable checkout and localization services.

HotelQuando Announces First Hotel Partnership in Miami

- 23 June 2017
Miami, Florida: HotelQuando, an online booking site and App that allows consumers to instantly book hotel rooms by blocks of three, six, nine and twelve hours, announces its first hotel partnership in the Miami area. The platform joined forces with Pullman Miami Airport Hotel to service business travelers looking for accommodations near the Miami International Airport; a segment that has been increasing in the Latin American hub. HotelQuando announced its U.S. expansion in March and since has 45+ hotel partnerships across the country."This is a great accomplishment for us and an early indicator that we will be ahead of our forecast due to the incredible demand in the US market, says Founder Max Campos. "The partnerships we are forming will not only accelerate our growth, but are also an endorsement of the viability of our platform."With its sights set on gaining 500 partners by the end of the year, HotelQuando is targeting busy U.S. travel hubs, including Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, as well as properties near or within major airports. As part of their launch plans, the company is offering a "preferred partner" program to new members. The first 100 hotels to sign up for the platform will receive search rank priority during the first partnership year, a custom website equipped for sales by the hour and inclusion in special sales and press initiatives.HotelQuando's platform is free of charge for partners and based on projections of a $200 daily rate. Partner hotels can generate over $100,000 in booking revenues and up to $30,000 in food and beverage revenues.For more information and to become a Preferred Hotel partner, visit: HotelQuandoFounded in 2014 by Brazilian entrepreneurs Max Campos and Pedro Xavier, is an innovative online booking platform that overrides the concept of "daily rate" by allowing users to book a hotel for three, six, nine or twelve hour packages for an affordable price. With more than 600 hotels partners available throughout Brazil, the platform also allows users to choose check-in and check-out times. The company, which currently operates in Brazil and Colombia, launched in the US in March 2017.

What President Trump's New Cuba Policy Means for American Business

Hotel Online - 23 June 2017
Some U.S. executives that do business with Cuba breathed a sigh of relief after President Donald Trump outlined his new Cuba policy in Miami because it won't have much impact on their companies. But others have pressed the pause button until they see how the new regulations implementing the changes are written. Lawyers who help firms navigate the thicket of laws and regulations governing the embargo and dealings with the island have been combing through a memorandum that Trump signed on June 16 as well as three pages of frequently-asked questions issued by Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and a White House fact sheet to get a sense of the new policy.

Governments need to support production of sustainable aviation fuels. - 21 June 2017
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) 73rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) approved a resolution calling for governments to implement policies to accelerate the deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). The Resolution also reaffirmed the industry’s commitment to work with governments to implement the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) global CO2 emissions agreement.


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