• HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Hospitality Organization Flow Charts

    This document is a set of flow charts illustrating data flow scenarios, involved parties providing hospitality services, steps of the guest journey and more. Four scenarios are presented: independent hotel, independent hotel with third party agreement, branded hotel and branded hotel with independent control.

  • Job Description: Hospitality Data Protection Officer

    This document highlights the role and qualities of a hospitality data protection officer. It can be used as a guideline for an internal recruitment, the expansion of an existing position or the recruitment of a third party to assist in the compliance for the GDPR.

  • Job Description Template: Club Accounting Positions

    The HFTP Americas Research Center has developed example job descriptions for club accounting positions. The process involved reviewing sample job descriptions, and compiling the information into standardized job descriptions.

  • Members Only: A Room for Robots in Hospitality

    Realistic uses for artificial intelligence are increasing, making way for machine-based assistance in accounting, marketing, customer service and more. This feature details current scenarios where robotics is used in the business environment, such as for accounting tasks.

Is Hilton Hotels Next on HNA's Asset-Selloff List?

skift.com - Hotels·16 March 2018
Troubled Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co. has sold out of two Hilton-related companies so far this month. Now, investors are wondering whether Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. is next. To help reduce one of the biggest debt loads in China, HNA purged its ownership in Park Hotels & Resorts Inc. earlier this month, and sold its 25 percent interest in timeshare business Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. on Wednesday for $1.1. billion. In both cases, the Chinese firm found a way to amend restrictions that kept the stock tied up until next year, leading to speculation that a similar allowance could be made for HNA’s 26 percent stake in Hilton Worldwide.

Pushing back against rising cost of guest acquisitions

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·16 March 2018
Over the last two decades, the cost of customer acquisition has increased substantially. The industry has seen the introduction of digital platforms, online travel agencies, rewards programs and the shift from corporate in-house meeting planners to third-party meeting planners, to name a few. For the most part, the cost burden is placed on the owner. The brands have tried to add efficiencies into the process by creating call centers, sales clusters and field marketing platforms. In the most recent and perhaps most impactful response, one of the major brands announced in January it will reduce commissions on group bookings to 7% from the current 10% on March 31 for its hotels in the U.S. and Canada. Contracts signed before March 31 still will receive 10% commission. This is a critical step toward reigning in guest acquisition costs and creating a more sustainable relationship between hotels and intermediaries. Commissions affect the owner community. Third-party charges have become a standard practice, and many owners are resigned to this being the new reality. However, this also was the case with the airline industry until they went to a transactional model. The cruise industry is following suit, putting downward pressure on travel commissions as well. And now, it is prudent that the hospitality industry takes a closer look at commission structures.

Keep your policies and practices honest and transparent

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·16 March 2018
People have a sense of what’s fair, particularly when a situation that could be deemed fair or not could potentially affect them. To aid in my point, I refer you to the comment section of The Wall Street Journal article about retailers who hire a third-party company to track customers’ returned-purchases habits. The company named in the story apparently “has the power to override the store’s touted policy and refuse to refund their money.” Why are some retailers taking this approach? They’re concerned about return fraud, which is when someone requests a refund “for items they have used, stolen or bought somewhere else.” The article cites a 2017 survey of 63 retailers by the National Retail Federation in which respondents estimate 11% of returns are fraudulent. Coincidentally, they estimate 11% of their sales are returned. So, they’re worrying about, on average, 11% of 11%. If my math is correct (and the survey accurately reflects the situation), that represents about 1.2% of their sales.

Tracking the Real Costs of Business Travel Takes New Types of Collaboration

skift.com - Travel Services·16 March 2018
Early in the decade, travel managers were focused on keeping costs low as business travel ramped up during the global economic recovery. But as costs have increased in recent years, many are looking for a more holistic way to understand what their organization spends on corporate travel outside of just flights, hotels, and food.

European owners: Cost curbing, revenue growth paramount

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·15 March 2018
Anders Nissen, CEO of Stockholm-based Pandox, said the discussion should be more about productivity than about costs, which he learned early in his career when he first became a general manager. “That’s a big difference,” said Nissen, whose company owns and/or manages 143 hotels with approximately 31,500 hotel rooms in 15 countries. “With cost, you cut something. You close your restaurant or you take away one person in reception and you make the guest experience less good. “Productivity is to increase revenue of a working hour,” Nissen added. “That’s how you use your organization better.”

Concilio Labs CEO Terri Miller Talks About the Impact of GDPR on Hotels and Their Guests

Concilio Labs, Inc. ·15 March 2018
Recognized as an industry expert on hospitality technology, eCommerce, and business intelligence, Terri Miller, CEO and co-founder of Concilio Labs, discusses the impending European General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR) and what that means for hoteliers.Why has GDPR become such a top-of-mind issue for the hospitality industry?The May 2018 deadline for GDPR implementation will significantly change the way hoteliers handle guest data. Having guest's personal data stored in the cloud has become a necessity for today's hotelier.Until now, fines for breach of data protection regulations were limited and enforcement actions infrequent. GDPR, on the other hand, promotes the risk of costly penalties in the event of incompliance and data breaches.Even though GDPR applies specifically to EU countries only, in today's global society, it is likely that most hotels touch EU citizens in some form or fashion - and so they must comply with regulations. GDPR is also seen as a "first move" towards greater information transparency and security overall, and thus many savvy hoteliers, even those outside of the EU, are using the new regulations as a way to get their marketing, data management, and privacy programs into shape.How do you see the GDPR affecting hotel companies' strategies and habits over time?Fundamentally, GDPR requires hotels to be transparent about what data they collect as well as to take responsibility for what they--and their partners-- do with that data. Many industries, including hospitality, are struggling when it comes to winning and keeping their customers' trust. GDPR is about bringing consumers into the data ecosystem by allowing them to see, access and consent to the data that companies have and utilize.How do you see the GDPR affecting guest expectations and behaviors?The processing of personal data should be designed to serve the guest. If hotels don't honor that principle, guests will become distrustful and certainly less loyal. They may even begin to lie when asked for non-essential information. They may also shame brands that don't follow the GDPR standards of transparency and choice.We need to make guests feel as if a data exchange is beneficial - better data for better guest experiences - vs. data used simply for the purposes of mass-distributed marketing.In the short term, hotels can look to GDPR as an opportunity. Among many regulations, GDPR requires hotels to ask customers to "opt in" to marketing communications. By playing their cards correctly, hotels can use their opt-in as a chance to re-engage with guests and educate them on the benefits of data sharing to improve the guest journey.I believe that most guests will be happy to grant access to their data if their needs are being met.The GDPR introduces the concept of profiling. How will that impact hotel marketing and personalized guest service practices?The GDPR describes profiling as any form of automated processing of personal data, in particular to analyze or predict aspects concerning that natural person's performance at work, economic situation, health, personal preferences, interests, reliability, behavior, location or movements.For hoteliers, the ability to leverage guest profiling is essential when it comes to personalized, relevant marketing and services. Not only can profiling deliver benefits to the hotel-- it can also deliver benefits to guests by tailoring services and offers to align with their preferences, interests and guest history. Hoteliers will need to ensure that all profiling has met the core GDPR requirements including data permission, data access, and data focus - and honor any requests or objections from guests.For some hoteliers, it will require very little change. For others, it will require a whole new set of data management systems and processes.What do hoteliers need to do next when it comes to GDPR?To start, hoteliers must prioritize based on their resources, locations, guest expectations and risk profile. I think the most critical first phase is to audit the data they already have and develop an efficient and robust record-keeping system to prove compliance. The next step is to do a privacy impact assessment of all sources to determine when it seems data could be put at risk and respond quickly to mitigate it.GDPR offers a unique opportunity to develop completely new ways of working that are based on the key principles of trust and transparency. Ultimately, in the long run, data protection and privacy will become more of a brand differentiator, so those who do the right thing will win.Concilio Labs is working with clients to ensure their data gathering and storage protocol for its Insight Engine product remains compliant with GDPR regulations.To learn more about Concilio Lab's Insight Engine and how it can transform your guest personalization, visit conciliolabs.com.

HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Hospitality Organization Flow Charts

15 March 2018
This document is a set of flow charts illustrating data flow scenarios, involved parties providing hospitality services, steps of the guest journey and more. Four scenarios are presented: independent hotel, independent hotel with third party agreement, branded hotel and branded hotel with independent control.

Getting Ready For The GDPR: What Hoteliers Need To Know

ALICE ·15 March 2018
IntroductionALICE has been working hard to fully understand the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) and its obligations on us and our customers. We'd like to share what we've learned in order to help hoteliers and anyone else who has to figure out what is going on.1. What's the GDPR and why should I care?In essence, the GDPR was brought into effect to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU). Building upon the 1995 Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC), the GDPR was approved by the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission on April 14, 2016. After a two-year transition period it will become enforceable across the 28 member states on May 25, 2018.The GDPR gives power back to the consumers by forcing companies to become transparent in how they are collecting, storing, and sharing their customers' personal data information. Although the GDPR applies to any organization or business collecting data on EU citizens, the nature of hotels and the various data holding sources such as OTA bookings and PMS systems escalate the regulation for travel and hospitality industries.As ALICE grows and expands to new markets, we are complying with the GDPR to ensure our privacy settings are being adequately integrated, allowing our partners to adapt at every stage of the life cycle of customer personal information data.2. Which hotel staff need to know about the GDPR?Decision makers and key people in EU and EEA-based hotels should be aware that the law is changing to the GDPR. This would include at least the following roles, if they exist: General Manager, Head of Marketing, and the Revenue Manager. Each of these roles deals with a significant amount customer and employee data. These leaders should read this FAQ and look further into how to comply within the areas they are presiding over.3. What kind of information should a hotel be cautious with?All data about persons in the EU are covered under the GDPR. This includes both guests and employees. Hotels should document what personal data they hold, where it came from and with whom it is shared. Hotels may need to organise an information audit."Personal data" is any data about an identifiable person. A person can be identified by their name, phone number, email address, reservation number, IP address, or any information that allows them to be uniquely identified.The GDPR grants extra protections for "sensitive data." This includes personal data that reveals any of the following:trade union membership, which may be revealed by event attendancebiometrics for the purpose of uniquely identifying someone, such as a fingerprint stored for opening doorshealth status, which may be disclosed in guest requestssex life or sexual orientation, which may also be disclosed in some guest requestsThe following are less likely to show up in hotel systems, but should still be understood to be sensitive in case they do show up:genetic dataracial or ethnic originpolitical opinionsreligious or philosophical beliefsAll of the above types of sensitive data can only be handled with explicit consent. If this kind of data is collected incidentally, it should be removed immediately to avoid undertaking new obligations for the protection of that data.4. How does GDPR affect the software hotels can use?All rules that hotels must follow also apply to the software they use. If a hotel uses a product to process its data, that product must adhere to all the same obligations that the hotelier has. Every single vendor who receives personal data from a hotel must share a Data Processing Agreement (DPA) with the hotelier to confirm that the vendor is compliant with the rules of the GDPR. The DPA must dictate the purposes for which the processor is processing the data.If a hotel is using a software given to it by its brand or flag, it may not be in complete control of how the gathered information will be used. In that case, as joint controllers of the data, the hotel and its brand would need to draw up a contract that explicitly states their relationship with regards to managing data. Both parties would need to communicate the relationship to both guests and employees.5. Can EU hotels use software vendors or software on servers based outside the EU?Yes, but there are limits to how data can be transferred outside of the EU/EEA. Most major cloud service providers and many other companies, such as ALICE, have systems in place to address these rules. To confirm that a cloud service is compliant with the GDPR, hoteliers need to make sure:They have a Data Processing Agreement in place. These agreements are required for all data processors, not just international ones (GDPR Art.28[3]).There is a lawful basis for transfering the data (GDPR Rec.39, 40, 41; GDPR Art.6[1]), which can be through the service provider's membership in the Privacy Shield, signed standard contractual clauses, or other mechanisms allowed under the GDPR. Most companies will be relying on the GDPR's standard contractual clauses.The transfer is mentioned in the hotel's privacy policy and the purpose of the transfer is explained.6. What do hotels need to do about their vendors?For each vendor that processes guests' personal information, a hotel needs to do the following:Determine the type of data the vendor processes.Determine the purpose for which the processing is happening.Obtain a Data Processing Agreement.If the vendor is outside the EU, sign the standard contractual clauses (usually part of the Data Processing Agreement mentioned above), or confirm that the vendor is a member of the Privacy Shield.Mention the vendor in the hotel's privacy policy, along with the purpose of the vendor and how the data will be used.Confirm that the vendor can handle data rights requests with a SLA under one month (e.g. 25 days).7. How should a hotel communicate privacy notices to guests?You should review your current privacy notices and put a plan in place for making any necessary changes in time for GDPR implementation. You should review how you seek, record, and manage consent and whether you need to make any changes. Refresh existing consents now if they don't meet the GDPR standard.Hoteliers may need to speak with customers at check-in if explicit consent is required for any forms of data collection that require it, such as consent to marketing communications. All loyalty programs need to be examined for similar requirements if data is used in a way that requires consent.8. Do hoteliers or vendors need to encrypt their databases?It depends. The GDPR recommends that companies take steps to protect all personal data, but it does not specify what those steps have to be. Instead, companies are asked to identify the risks to personal data and do what is appropriate for those risks. Encryption is one of many options available to protect data, but it is not specifically required by the GDPR.Article 32 of the GDPR gives the following options, none of which are strict requirements, but which should be considered for their benefits to your guests' data privacy:the pseudonymisation [obscuring the identities] and encryption of personal data;the ability to ensure the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability and resilience of processing systems and services;the ability to restore the availability and access to personal data in a timely manner in the event of a physical or technical incident;a process for regularly testing, assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of technical and organisational measures for ensuring the security of the processing.9. How can hoteliers make sure they are able to honor requests for data portability, correction, or erasure, a.k.a. "the right to be forgotten"?Customers, employees, or anyone whose personal data is stored at a hotel may request that their data be erased. They can also ask for a copy of all of their data (right to data portability) or for their data to be corrected. There are cases in which this does not need to be honored, for example if there is an ongoing contractual or legal requirement to retain the data. But in most cases, the request will need to be honored. Recital 59 of the GDPR requires these requests be answered within one month. This period can be extended under exceptional circumstances, by requesting for another month.In order to be able to handle these requests in time, hotels need to plan in advance how requests can be honored. Each location where data is stored should be mapped out with a plan on how to address the rights request for data in that location. Each vendor also needs to be vetted to confirm they have a similar plan in place. Vendors should have an SLA that is less than a month (e.g. 25 days), in order to give time for communication between you and the vendor on each end of the process when a request happens.For data portability requests, the law requires the data be given to the customer in a standardized format for transfer to other companies. Since at the moment there is no industry standard for this kind of data to be transferred from a hotel, you must use a generic but easily transferable format, such as text files with headers and comma-separated values.10. How should hotels handle children's data?Within the EU/EEC, a "child" is defined as someone younger than a country-defined age between 13 and 16. For most cases, hotels will not need to rely on children's' or parent's consent to process guest information, since the primary basis for data processing is handling reservations. However, in cases where consent is the basis for data processing, for example, for marketing purposes, children's data needs to be handled with extra care.You should start thinking now about whether you need to put systems in place to verify individuals' ages and to obtain parental or guardian consent for any data processing activity. Children's data can only be handled with explicit consent when consent is required.Best practice is to avoid collecting and storing data about children unless it is legally required or absolutely essential for handling a reservation.11. Do hotels need to hire Data Protection Officers (DPOs)?You should designate someone to take responsibility for data protection compliance and assess where this role will sit within your organisation's structure and governance arrangements, even if you are not formally required to have a DPO. You should consider whether you are required to formally designate a Data Protection Officer, and this designation depends on the volume and sensitivity of the information. At the chain and large group level, a DPO is almost certainly required, but for individual hotels, the law is not yet clear and you should seek guidance from your local counsel as to whether it is required.12. Do hotels outside the EU/EEA have to do anything to comply with the GDPR?According to Article 3 of the GDPR, the regulations cover activity happening within the EU or data processing by organizations based in the EU. When an EU citizen travels outside the EU, their activities outside the EU are no longer protected by the GDPR unless the organization processing the data is based in the EU.However, a booking process that happens between a person in the EU and a hotel outside the EU is considered covered by the GDPR. Data that is collected in the EU during that process is an activity happening within the EU. So hotels outside the EU do collect data that is covered by the GDPR as part of the online reservation process. This data needs to be protected with the appropriate safeguards dictated above.13. What are the consequences for not complying with GDPR?Businesses can have fines of up to 4% of annual global turnover or $24.6 million (EUR20 million), whichever is higher for not complying with the GDPR rules.

13 Things to Know on the Quest for Hotel GDPR Compliance -- Newsletter 58

Hosp. Tech Matters - A Blog by Alice·14 March 2018
Writing this from the HT-Next conference this week in San Diego, where hoteliers and technology companies are meeting to discuss standards in the industry. ALICE actually has been helping HTNG release a new tool for the industry, an API Registry, that if successful could be such a game changer. Imagine knowing exactly who is integrated with whom when looking for new technology partners. Finally, the first question would not have to be “are you integrated with our PMS?” We encourage all of our technology partners to sign up here.

Don't Buy a Revenue Management Solution Before Asking These Two Questions

Starfleet Research ·14 March 2018
According to The 2018 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management (click here to access), more than one-quarter (28%) of hoteliers who have not upgraded their revenue management within the past 3 years plan to do so in the next 12 months.By asking the right questions, decision makers can determine which hotel revenue management solution on the market best fits their needs and is most likely to deliver the benefits they seek, with minimal risk and expense. Needless to say, the hotel's revenue manager(s) -- people who know the nuts and bolts of inventory management and length of stay control and who understand, for example, how to calculate group rates and apply rate fences -- should be included in the evaluation process.According to the research, most revenue managers want solutions that provide visibility. They want to be able to look under the hood and dive into price sensitivity data and observe at a detailed level what inputs are behind the system outputs that are being made and how adjustments to the decision model would change revenue outcomes. They do not want to wait for actual booking numbers to come in to understand the impact of their strategies and determine whether they made the right decisions. In short, revenue managers need to be comfortable that the new solution will enable them to do their jobs with maximum effectiveness.The following are two must-ask questions that decision makers and influencers may wish to explore with solution providers to ensure that, once implemented, the revenue management solution will enable them to achieve their desired business outcomes.Will the solution provide the answers we need to our pricing questions?To be effective, revenue managers require tools that will enable them to answer all of their day-to-day pricing questions. These questions may be voluminous, and some may be difficult to always know in advance. Such questions might include: By how much should we increase or decrease our rates for a given type of room? How many groups, and what size groups, should we accept on a given day?How much should we charge walk-in guests? What should be the floor and ceiling for our rate range? Are the changes in demand and bookings likely to represent a short-term or long-term pattern - and, if the latter, what actions should we take in response? To what extent should we discount negotiated rates? What should our best available rates be for the coming year? What discounts and promotions, and to what target customer segments, are likely to perform well right now and in the near-future? What discounts would likely dilute profits and should we therefore avoid?To what extent should we mark up our premium rooms, based on the current and near-term demand patterns? What competitors' price moves would likely affect these demand patterns and how should we respond if those moves become reality? How can we counteract cancellations and no-shows, group wash, extensions and early departures to capture optimal profitability?Smart Decision Guide Tip: Compile a comprehensive list of pricing questions and verify that the solution will be able to address these questions in a straight-forward manner.To what extent does the solution offer depth and flexibility in data analysis and reporting?Revenue management is a quantitative puzzle with ever-changing numbers, patterns and results and a need for continuous refinement. Delving into the data, testing different if/then scenarios, and collating actual results requires a high degree of flexibility. Not all data queries can be anticipated. A significant percentage of pricing questions may, in fact, need to be investigated on an ad hoc basis. Out-of-the-box functionality may satisfy the needs of novice users or small properties with relatively simple needs. But it is likely to be insufficient for more sophisticated revenue managers and larger properties with multiple room types, customer segments and ancillary revenue streams.A solution should provide for flexibility, which is important when it comes to setting pricing, noting special events, adjusting segmentation schemes, etc. A solution should also make it easy to accommodate virtually any need, including the need to monitor and measure individual property, portfolio, and departmental performance, the need to create customizable hierarchies for different geo-markets, channels, room types, time periods and loyalty programs.Important questions might include: Once problem areas are identified, can the solution guide users on how to take appropriate action? Can tactical decisions, including the overall impact, be tested live? Can the dashboards provide exception reporting, identifying areas needing the most attention?Smart Decision Guide Tip: Verify that the solution is flexible in terms of keys areas of functionality, including custom reporting, and validate all of the vendors' claims. If customized reporting is possible, find out what is involved in the process of filtering and sorting data according to a specified set of parameters.

Growing a small business: Fruit bearing trees must be tended to!

Hospitality ON ·13 March 2018
Agriculture represented 714,000 jobs in 2014 compared to 899,000 jobs for hotels and restaurants. France's granary brings in 32.1 billion euros per year, or 1.5% of the GDP, compared to 7.2% for tourism, which brings in 160 billion euros of domestic consumption. The agriculture sector - which is essential to the health of our economy and to our health in general - has been subsidized since the birth of the common agricultural policy more than 50 years ago, while hotels and restaurants generate foreign exchange and taxes which are used to finance the state budget. In 2015, 282.6 million euros were paid to municipalities and local authorities via the tourist tax. Don't throw any more...While global groups are able to absorb debt, implement tools and processes to make economies of scale, and have an international base that allows them to withstand periods of crisis in certain destinations, independent hotel and restaurant owners must maintain their activities alone, against all odds. More than 95% of companies in France have less than 20 employees. Hoteliers and restaurateurs operating in rural areas, produce value for a region, hire and train locally and often find themselves alone to manage their business and maintain it with respect to market competitiveness standards.Hotels and restaurants are long-term investments in a territory. They support the dynamism of a tourist destination that can build a coherent offer around a coherent offer of accommodations. It is a workforce trained in French excellence that has seen the birth of the cuisine of star chefs. The culture of French gastronomy has now been exported but its reputation is international and the whole world envies us. We must not forget the importance of our sector. While it is laudable to come to assist the weakest, it is dangerous to only turn to those who are loudest and forget about an industry that is less significant from an electoral point of view despite being much more important for the vitality of our economy.Why is it that cafetiers, hoteliers and restaurateurs who spend their days in the kitchen are taxed more than large companies? Why is it that independent accommodations and restaurants receive so little help for the day-to-day management of their business? Why is a small property taxed on the same basis as a multinational? Is it not possible to relax certain regulations for small craftsmen, as is the case in other sectors? It is not a question of asking for less from independent properties, but rather of asking for better and for helping them to maintain their activity that is vital to the quality of our reception. Indeed, we are not talking about the hotel groups that are established in rural areas where tourists go for a just few weeks a year, but rather about independent properties are active most of the year with an open cafe, the organization of events...The time has come to consider the sector for its true value and to accompany it in its transformation for its sustainability and for the attractiveness of our destinations. The hotel and restaurant industry is a sector that is thriving; it has reinvented itself and continues to evolve. If we continue taking advantage of the beast instead of accompanying it as it evolves, we risk cutting off its wings.

Hospitality Financial Leadership - How to Read Hotel Financial Statements and The Link

The Hotel Financial Coach ·13 March 2018
The first thing you need to know about reading a hotel financial statement is there are basically two different statements you will want to get comfortable with. The two are the income statement--some call it the P&L or profit and loss statement--and the second is the balance sheet.Now I know what you are thinking, balance sheets are for the accounting types and they are complicated. Nothing could be further from the truth and I am going to give you a new understanding and share a secret about the balance sheet and the relationship to the P&L.Let's start with the income statementSomething to note here: Hotel income statements are free-form items and are not all created equal. One characteristic they all have in common, however, is they are all set up by department. They always start with the rooms department, then F&B, then the minor operating departments like golf, spa, telephone and laundry. These departments are what are called operating departments because they all have income. Then you will find the non-operating departments, i.e., administration, sales and maintenance. These departments are called non-operating because they do not generate any income. I know some of you think the sales department makes money--not so fast. Sales book business but the rooms department generates the income when the guest actually stays in the hotel. Funny, the P&L is organized and laid out just like a hotel.Inside each department you will see the same layout: income first, then cost of sales (if required), then payroll and last, expenses. The P&L usually starts with a great summary or overall report. This is where you will want to start your review. Here you should find total revenues for all hotel activities and the total costs, leading you to the gross operating profit and net operating profit lines. The statement is usually laid out so you can see the results of the month compared to the budget and or forecast for that same month and a last year comparison. In addition to the month's numbers, you will want to see the accumulated year-to-date results, normally to the right of the monthly numbers.In the YTD you want to see the accumulated result--let's say for November vs. the accumulated budget values up until November and the accumulated YTD last year results for the prior year up until November. Always compare like periods of time in the budget and last year to the actual monthly and YTD amounts. A good summary P&L is probably the most read and highly anticipated financial statement in any hotel.One thing to always keep in mind is the fact that many miss. That is, we do what we do the way we do it in hospitality, because of the book.The 11th edition of the Uniformed System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry lays out in nauseating detail the standards for our industry. Here is a link:https://www.ahlei.org/Product_by_Category/Featured_Products/Uniform_System_of_Accounts_for_the_Lodging_Industry,_Eleventh_Revised_Edition_-_PRINT/It is a great resource for defining what goes where and standard formats, but it does not include several aspects like flow thru and productivity reporting that are incredibly powerful and useful tools. If you are serious about hotel financial knowledge, then I highly recommend you get yourself a copy.Leaving the summary statement, you will find the balance of the income statement laid out by department in the same order you see the top level. Each of these departmental statements will have totals for revenue, cost of sales (F&B, Spa, Telephones), payroll and expense that need to tie back to the summary statement. Once people make this connection it all comes together rather quickly. What you previously thought was so complicated and confusing is pretty straightforward.The profit and loss statement is the most interesting statement because it shows how you are doing as it relates to profit for a given period. It is a snapshot of what revenues and costs are for the period you are looking at. If you are looking at the June statement and it is December, it really is not relevant. The income statement tells how you are doing financially regarding operating profit. It is how you keep score relative to the budget (the promise) and last year. You can clearly see these comparisons for the most current month and year-to-date. You also can see where there are successes in operations and where there are challenges. This is pivotal. Seeing where you are not having the level of success you planned and having the ability to manage around that challenge is the highest sole purpose of the income statement.How can you improve your results? Is payroll too high? Are expenses out of control? Are revenues falling short of the budget? It all comes out on the income statement. Like a report card and a wake-up call to pull up your socks and your marks too. This is where the income statement transcends the black and white piece of paper and becomes the vehicle for change and ideas. Get your team involved and change the way you manage.That's the result that's possible using some financial leadership.Balance SheetThe second most common statement you want to be comfortable reviewing every month is the balance sheet. The balance sheet tests the fundamental accounting equation. The equation states that assets equal liabilities plus equity. Most people get quiet here when we start talking the mumbo jumbo but this concept is super easy and once you grasp it you are going to see the world of finance in a completely different light, like riding a bike.When I teach my students this concept in my workshops they often comment that they had no idea that the fundamental accounting equation was so simple.Here goes: I liken the explanation of the fundamental accounting equation to the ownership value relationship of a house. You--along with the bank--own the house. In this example, the house has a market value of $500,000 and you have a mortgage of $350,000 on the house through the bank. You subtract the two numbers and that's your share or, as described in accounting terms, your equity or sometimes called owner's equity:$500,000 (assets) - $350,000 (liabilities) = $150,000 (equity)This basic concept is exactly the same as the balance sheet mechanics. It is the "fundamental accounting equation."You can be the most complicated business in the world and it all boils down to the same concept: Assets-Liabilities=Equity. In the example of the house, you get the fact that the $150,000 is yours. That would be your right to the upside of the sale price less the mortgage. In business, the assets minus the liabilities is what the owner is entitled to, their equity. It is also important to remember that the equity can be a negative. Using the example of the house and given the recent financial crisis, you know houses can have bigger mortgages than value if the market goes down. In a business, you want to have a healthy asset to liability ratio but this is not always the case. So, knowing this simple equation you can now test the health of the business by examining the values of total assets and liabilities.The quality of those assets in a hotel should be relatively easy to measure. Cash, receivables, inventory, prepaid expenses. You use these items to make money, hence they are assets. The liabilities are all the commitments you have that you must honor. Vendors to pay, deposits for future guests, taxes collected that need to be paid, employee wages and vacations to honor. In simplistic terms, you have the good stuff, the assets, less the bad stuff, the bills you need to pay, and the difference is the equity. Same concept as the house above.The LinkThe link between the income statement and the balance sheet is an important and powerful concept.When you make a profit or have a loss in your business, you can see the bottom line number on the year-to-date column on the income statement.The link.What you also can see is that it is the same number you find on the balance sheet when you look at the current year's retained income line in the equity section.The other line called retained income from prior periods, is the accumulated profits and losses since that business was created. This is the link between the current year's profit performance and the lifetime of the business's accumulated results.The business gets created when it is bought/sold. A new set of books is created and you start everything from the purchase price values. Everything from that point forward moves from the income statement each month to the balance sheet and its accumulated profit or loss is found in the equity. Assets - liabilities = owners' equity. See? Not so difficult.I have written five other blogs on hotel financial statements and the powerful features you can incorporate into your statements, check them out if you have not read them already and learn how you can supercharge your financial statements.http://hotelfinancialcoach.com/do-your-hotel-financials-statements-pass-the-test-part-1/http://hotelfinancialcoach.com/do-your-hotel-financial-statements-pass-the-test-part-2/http://hotelfinancialcoach.com/flow-through-understanding-how-it-works-and-how-to-include-flow-thru-in-your-financial-statements/http://hotelfinancialcoach.com/hospitality-financial-leadership-measuring-labor-productivity-part-1/http://hotelfinancialcoach.com/hospitality-financial-leadership-measuring-labor-productivity-part-ii/If you would like a copy of any of the following send me an email at david@hotelfinancialcoach.comEFTE and Productivity ExerciseHotel Financial Policy Manual - Inventory of "Sections"Hotel Financial Coach "Services Sheet"F&B Productivity SpreadsheetHow the Hotel Financial Coach Helped MeRooms Productivity SpreadsheetFinancial Leadership Recipe F TAR WHotel Financial Coach - "Speaking Sheet"Flow Thru Cheat Sheet - EnhancedVisit my website today for a copy of my FREE guidebookThe Seven Secrets to Create a Financially Engaged Leadership Team in Your Hotelwww.hotelfinancialcoach.com

Executives detail asset strategies, deals

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·13 March 2018
Hotel companies and real estate investment trusts were both active with acquisitions and dispositions during the fourth quarter of 2017, and executives detailed some of the strategy behind their activity. Read on for more from Wyndham Hotel Group, La Quinta Holdings and Extended Stay America executives about those deals, as well as quotables from other C-corp and REIT executives. Geoff Ballotti, president and CEO, Wyndham Hotel Group“We’re looking absolutely at every deal that presents itself and we’ll continue to do it. But I think what we’re most excited about is our organic growth, particularly in North America. We saw our North American pipeline grow 15% and what it really excites us in terms of the organic side of that growth is we’re growing in the area of the market right now that we’re looking to grow in. Obviously with acquisitions like AmericInn and La Quinta, but (also) with our prototype midscale brands that saw the greatest growth in their pipeline—our Hawthorn brand on the extended-stay side, our Wingate on the midscale side and our Trademark brand, which … has added 5,000 rooms to the pipeline and is now at 70 hotels. We see great opportunity for both organic and acquisition opportunities as they present themselves.”

Private equity continues ownership dominance, for now

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·13 March 2018
Hotel ownership in Europe continues to move up the food chain, according to sources, who added the dominance of private equity ownership will see a natural dip as holding patterns inevitably come to an end. “With office (real estate) not being so expensive, where is your long-term income coming from?” said Chris Day, global managing director at business consultancy Christie & Co. “Investors increasingly are saying (it’s) in hotels, certainly with more people continuing to travel.” Speaking at a panel titled “Follow the money” at last week’s International Hotel Investment Forum, Day mentioned declines in office real estate have been accentuated by the trends of shared-office spaces and more employees working from home.

Inside the Fight for More Female CFOs

CFO Magazine·13 March 2018
With talk of gender equality in the workplace becoming commonplace, from the red carpet to the Ford production line, female finance executives are also getting in on the conversation. They’re scanning the C-suites of large companies and wondering why so few women are CFOs. Jenna Fisher of Russell Reynolds. The reason is certainly not a supply shortage. In the United States, women now earn 51% of bachelor’s degrees in accounting, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. These degrees are being put to good use: Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that 61% of U.S. accountants and auditors are women.

Radisson CEO shares vision for owner-driven change

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·13 March 2018
The new Radisson Hotel Group has emerged to put owners first, grow the portfolio across the globe and have the two management and leadership teams fully aligned, said John Kidd, CEO of Radisson Hospitality, in a video interview at last week’s International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin. John Kidd, president, COO and CEO of Radisson Hospitality, is convinced the road to growth for his company is by putting owners first and having them understand the company’s newly devised five-year strategic plan. On 5 March, the new company’s go-to-market name of the Radisson Hotel Group was announced at the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin to give customers and owners a better notion of the company’s eight brands and their guest promises, Kidd said.

Letter From the HFTP Global President: HFTP's Latest Initiatives Fit Nicely into the Overall Picture

HFTP Connect·13 March 2018
When I first assumed my role as president of the HFTP Global board four months ago, my promise was to continue to deliver on those initiatives that have been put forth in the past several years. In addition, I stated that I would work together with the board, councils and HFTP team to address any relevant issue as the year moved forward. I knew that progress would be necessary — no, critical — for success. Written By: Timothy G. Nauss, CHAE

Do U.S. hotel stock trends point to larger industry concerns?

Hotel Management·13 March 2018
U.S. hotel stocks have been playing a game of Chutes and Ladders so far this year. While STR and Baird reported that the Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index increased 6.4 percent in January, the companies announced Monday that the index dropped 6.9 percent in February. “Hotel stocks fell sharply in February and erased their early year-to-date gains. Higher interest rates and broader stock-market volatility were the main drivers of lower stock prices,” Michael Bellisario, senior hotel research analyst and VP at Baird, said in a news release.

Working with franchise companies on PIPs is a 'win-win'

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·13 March 2018
One thing most of us can agree upon is that product improvement plans are essential. They ensure your hotel remains competitive, while safeguarding the look and the feel of the brand image. With every new build, or when a property has a change of ownership, major franchise companies require a hotel to meet current brand standards. With a new build, these requirements are built into the design document. A PIP is created by the brand for an acquisition, which will typically become part of the franchise agreement and must be completed within a certain timeframe. In addition to the PIP, brands will require the ownership to update the properties at certain cycles or when driven by quality assurance audits. These refreshes are equally important and critical to maintain brand standard and quality. As with any capital improvements, these upgrades can be costly. Our experiences have found the brands understand this impact to the overall revenues and have allowed some leeway as long as the standards are maintained and the intent of the PIP obligation is fulfilled. The brand is not expecting ownerships to break the bank, but they do want the property to conform to the essence of the brand and have been reasonable and are willing to collaborate on the design intent.

Is the Crypto-Luxury Market Worth the Risk?

skift.com - Travel Services·13 March 2018
The growth of cryptocurrencies as an asset class has helped create a new type of wealthy individual. The so-called crypto-affluents are becoming more attractive to luxury brands and retailers which are experimenting with accepting these digital payment methods. Yacht dealer Denison and watchmaker Chronoswiss were two of the first luxury brands to directly accept cryptocurrencies.

Are You Guilty of Stealing Images? How to Avoid Breaking Copyright Law [Infographic]

MarketingProfs·Requires Registration ·13 March 2018
You may have noticed some recent changes to Google image searches: The "View Image" button has been removed (athough you can still view images in the context of their original websites), and the copyright notice has been made more prominent.

What CMOs Need to Know About the Looming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

MarketingProfs·Requires Registration ·13 March 2018
The countdown is on: Only two months are left for companies to ensure they are in compliance with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), set to be implemented on May 25. The regulation will apply to all businesses that hold and process personal data collected in the European Union, regardless of those businesses' industry or location.

Hotel industry threats cast pall over underwriting standards

Hotel Management·13 March 2018
Hotel underwriting hasn’t changed significantly since 2014. Depending on the capital source, cash flow continues to be reasonably normalized and standard adjustments are made. Strong debt yields are applied, along with loan-to-value ratios and other typical underwriting metrics. Despite this, 2018 may prove to be the year when some of the threats facing the hotel industry seep into underwriting standards.

HTNG Delivers GDPR for Hospitality White Paper

HTNG ·13 March 2018
The GDPR goes into effect on May 25, 2018; at that time, it will replace the EU's earlier Data Protection Directive (1995). This law governing PII will affect global hospitality chains, trading partners and vendors who conduct business within the European region, whether or not they are located in the European region.The executive-level white paper describes key considerations, use cases and impacts of these regulations for the hospitality industry. HTNG's GDPR for Hospitality Workgroup also produced a GDPR assessment tool to help professionals in the industry evaluate their company's ability to comply with the new regulation.Over 50 companies participated in HTNG's GDPR for Hospitality Workgroup. The group was led by Co-chairs John Bell of Ajontech, Chris Farrar of DOCOMO interTouch, Daniel Johnson of VENZA and Richard Sheinis of Hall Booth Smith, P.C.The GDPR for Hospitality White Paper and Self-Assessment can be downloaded under the "Applicable to most software systems" section on HTNG's Technical Specifications page.

Cool Cousin goes crypto: Another effort to integrate blockchain into travel

Tnooz·13 March 2018
Ah, the blockchain. The travel startup ecosystem around this emerging technology continues to expand. This time, it’s Cool Cousin with a new cryptocurrency named ‘CUZ’ to facilitate transactions between its ecosystem partners. The 16-person startup has created a community of locals that personalize itineraries, with the content being created and curated by the community. These are de-facto local travel agents, who use their local knowledge to help travelers have better trips. The best content brings better trips to travelers, and those ‘cool cousins’ are rewarded.

CBRE Hotels is pleased to present the Limes Hotel for sale via EOI.

hotelmanagement.com.au·13 March 2018
CBRE Hotels is pleased to present the Limes Hotel for sale via EOI. by Bgrover on March 13, 2018 in What’s Hot Key investment highlights include: 4.0-star award-winning Alexander Lotersztain designed hotel which opened in 2008 21 boutique guest rooms, rooftop bar and function room with two plunge pools Offered with vacant possession – ideal for owner operators and boutique brands High profile asset with strong brand equity Operational simplicity – limited service offering with an efficient design and layout Attracts a mix of mid-week corporate demand and weekend leisure demand Located in close proximity to major demand generators including the CBD, Fortitude Valley Entertainment precinct, RNA Showgrounds and Convention Centre, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and surrounded by office and retail precincts


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