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  • HFTP Research Report: Pre-opening Expenditures in Hospitality

    A study of the pre-opening budget; the timeline for these expenditures; timeline for onboarding of staff; and the selection, installation and training of the technology component. By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.

  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • Internal Controls and the Important Roles They Play in Eradicating Fraud

    Although I have been preoccupied with getting in the education sessions purely related to hospitality finance, technologies and hotel pre-opening, I made sure to participate in Fun with Fraud and Enchanting Employee Embezzlement in Clubs and Hotels presented by Jerry Trieber, CPA, CHAE, CFE, CFF, CGMA, HFTP Global past president and director of audit services/support at HEI Hotels and Resorts.

  • Members Only: 2018 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Report

    By Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA. Results to the biannual survey conducted by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Information includes data on compensation and benefits trends for finance and technology professionals in the club and lodging industries.

Japan Invests In Service Industry, Reshaping Its Legendary Hospitality · 5 November 2018
Japan's capital expenditure boom is shifting to the services sector, stirring fears that self-checkout systems and software will take the human touch out of omotenashi, the country's vaunted commitment to hospitality.The economic forces at work are undeniable. The working-age population is forecast to shrink by about a third in the next half century, and companies simply cannot hire enough workers.Turning to automation raises productivity and removes a bottleneck to economic growth - but marks a retreat from a services-oriented culture where the customer is king."The level of omotenashi depends on where you shop, but regardless, we place a lot of emphasis on face-to-face interaction," Naoki Kobayashi, 52, a sales manager at a telecommunications company, said after buying drinks from a store in northern Tokyo that had no staff. "We also have a shrinking population, so I can understand why some retailers have to change."East Japan Railway Co worked with information technology consultancy Signpost Co to set up the store last month at a train station on a popular commuter line.

French court approves Colony Capital purchase of hotel group ·20 October 2018
A Marseille commercial court approved U.S. investment group Colony Capital and France's AccorHotels to take over French hotel group Maranatha in receivership since 2017.Maranatha runs about 50 mostly four and five-star hotels in France owned by some 5,500 private investors through 135 companies, which must also approve the sale.The court chose the offer from Colony as a financial investor and AccorHotels to operate the hotels over other offers.

HNA Group hires banks to sell shareholding in Spain's NH Hotel | ·22 January 2018
China's HNA [HNAIRC.UL] said on Friday it had hired banks to look for buyers of its majority stake in Spain's NH Hotel Group (NHH.MC), just days after NH turned down a takeover offer from Spanish peer Barcelo.The announcement also came a day after Reuters reported that the U.S. government would not approve any HNA investments in the United States until the Chinese aviation-to-property conglomerate provides adequate information on who its shareholders are.HNA said it had hired JP Morgan and Benedetto, Gartland and Company to look for possible buyers of its 29.5 percent stake in Spain's NH Hotel Group (NHH.MC). The stake is valued at around 632 million euros at current prices.

AccorHotels drops booking service for independent hoteliers | ·10 November 2017
AccorHotels, Europe's largest hotel group, said on Thursday it would pull the plug on an online service that enables independent hotels to offer rooms on its booking website because the scheme had failed to meet expectations.

Online travel sites getting squeezed by Airbnb, hotel chains | ·10 November 2017
Online travel booking sites Priceline Group and TripAdvisor took a beating from investors on Tuesday, highlighting how the companies' once industry-disrupting model is under growing pressure from other competitors.

Australian hotel group Mantra rolls out the carpet for Accor's $920 million bid | ·16 October 2017
AccorHotels has been on an acquisition spree that, in part, aims to support chief executive Sebastien Bazin's goal of adding businesses that can complement its core hotel operations and offer more control of hotel distribution.This latest deal would give the combined group about 50,000 rooms - roughly 11 percent of Australia's hotel market, according to IBISWorld statistics.Accor is offering A$3.96 per share, a 23 percent premium to Mantra's last trade before the bid was initially announced on Monday. The offer price is more than double Mantra's A$1.80 issue price when it listed in 2014.

Accor in $920 million Mantra bid as Australia tourist boom stokes hotel demand - · 9 October 2017
rance's Accor SA has bid A$1.18 billion ($920 million) for Mantra Group Ltd - a deal that would combine the two biggest hotel owners in Australia and seek to capitalize on surging tourism in the country.Accor, already the biggest hotelier in Australia, offered A$3.96 a share, or a 23 percent premium to Mantra's closing price on Friday. The total offer is worth A$4.02 per share if a six-cent final dividend paid in 2017 is included, Mantra said in a statement.

U.S. hotels bank on loyalty programs in push for direct booking - ·18 July 2017
Hotel loyalty programs have helped U.S. chains such as Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott score more bookings on their own websites, luring customers from online travel agents that had seen commissions balloon to an estimated $3.5 billion a year. Grabbing a bigger piece of the reservations pie has become a priority for chains trying to limit the flow of commission dollars to companies like Expedia Inc and Priceline Group Inc.

Turkish court rejects appeal against ban on | ·30 May 2017
A Turkish court has rejected online travel agent's appeal against a ban on its activities, broadcaster NTV and the pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper reported on Friday.An Istanbul court banned on March 29 for an undisclosed period of time, ruling that the company had violated competition law.

Rezidor Group targets 60 pct jump in Africa hotels by 2020 - ·26 May 2017
Sweden's Rezidor Group AB plans to increase by 60 percent the number of hotels it operates in sub-Saharan Africa to 120 in the next four years to take advantage of growing business travel, its regional head said on Tuesday. The company has been focusing on Africa due to growing demand for well-known accommodation brands, such as its Radisson Blu hotels. Such brands are estimated at about a third of the available room capacity in the region. The rest are independently-run hotels. Other global chains that have opened branches in markets such as Kenya in recent years include Marriott and Kempinski.

Global tourism GDP resilient this year, but woes for France, Turkey | ·23 August 2016
Travel and tourism will contribute less than previously forecast to the economies of France, Turkey and Brazil this year, hit by attacks, political and economic turmoil, though globally the sector is resilient, the World Travel and Tourism Council said.Brazil is hosting the Olympic Games this year but its travel and tourism sector has suffered under a political crisis, its worst recession since the 1930s, and the Zika virus.The sector's contribution to Brazil's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to shrink by 1.6 percent this year, against a previous forecast for a drop of 0.9 percent, the WTTC said.

Bulgari to build hotel in Russia with Magnit minority shareholder | ·26 May 2016
Italian jeweler Bulgari has teamed up with Russian real estate investor Alexei Bogachev to build its first hotel in the country, it said on Wednesday, a day after opening its second Russian store.Bogachev, who also invests in agriculture and owns around 4 percent of shares in Russia's top retailer Magnit (MGNT.MM), said he would invest around $200 million in the Moscow hotel which will be operated by Marriott International Inc. (MAR.O).

Hotel industry set for more M&A deals after busy 2015 | ·14 March 2016
A fragmented hotel industry is set for more consolidation this year by owners seeking scale to better resist shocks to the economy and to improve their bargaining position with online travel agents.The hotel industry saw a series of deals last year, with Marriott (MAR.O) announcing plans to purchase Starwood (HOT.N) and France's AccorHotels (ACCP.PA) agreeing a deal for FRHI, the owner of luxury hotels such as London's Savoy.

IHG likely to look at more boutique-style hotel deals: CEO | ·11 March 2016
Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG.L) is interested in smaller deals to expand its portfolio, but won't be growing for the sake of it, its chief executive told Reuters on Monday. Consolidation in the hotel industry heated up late last year, with Marriott (MAR.O) announcing plans to purchase Starwood (HOT.N) and France's AccorHotels (ACCP.PA) agreeing a deal for FRHI, the owner of luxury hotels such as London's Savoy.

China's Jin Jiang raises AccorHotels stake to 5.5 pct | · 2 February 2016
Jin Jiang International has raised its stake in French hotel group AccorHotels to 5.50 percent, becoming its second-largest shareholder, according to a regulatory filing. The Rubyrock Capital Company Limited, an entity controlled by Jin Jiang, made the stock purchase on the market on Jan. 25, the AMF stockmarket watchdog said in the Jan. 29 filing. AccorHotels, Europe's largest hotel group, could not be immediately reached for comment. A growing number of French and Chinese groups have joined forces in recent years to seek opportunities in tourism, with Chinese investor Fosun buying a stake in French holiday group Club Med last year.

Video: Hyatt Hotels attacked with payment-card stealing malware | Reuters ·28 December 2015
Hyatt Hotels Corp said on Wednesday that its payment processing system was infected with credit-card-stealing malware in an attack discovered three weeks ago, the latest in a series of breaches at hospitality firms.Company spokeswoman Stephanie Sheppard said in an email late on Wednesday that the attack was discovered on Nov. 30.She did not say if the attackers succeeded in stealing payment card numbers, how long its network was infected or how many of the chain's 627 hotels were affected.Hyatt Hotels hacked - video"Customers should review their payment-card account statements closely and report any unauthorized charges to their card issuer immediately," she said.Hyatt, controlled by the billionaire Pritzker family, is the fourth major hotel operator to warn of a breach since October.Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc last month disclosed attacks on payment processing systems.. Donald Trump's luxury hotel chain, Trump Hotel Collection, also confirmed the possibility of a data security incident.FireEye Inc said that Hyatt had hired it to help the company investigate the attack. FireEye's Mandiant unit is one of the biggest providers of response services to companies that are victims of cyber attacks.

Lotte Group says Hotel Lotte to hire IPO managers in Sept | ·20 August 2015
Conglomerate Lotte Group said on Wednesday its South Korean hotel arm Hotel Lotte Co Ltd , a key vehicle for control for the group's South Korean businesses, will hire managers for an initial public offering by early September.

Carlyle eyeing B&B budget hotel chain sale | ·20 July 2015
U.S. private equity giant Carlyle (CG.O) has mandated Morgan Stanley to look into the sale or the stock market listing of its budget hotel chain B&B Hotel Group in the Autumn, French daily Les Echos reported on Friday. Carlyle controls 80 percent of B&B Hotel Group, an operator of over 300 hotels across Europe, along with Montefiore Investment, which has a 15 percent stake. B&B Hotel Group managers hold the remaining 5 percent.

Hotel Investors Battle For Yield As Sector Heats Up | Reuters · 9 March 2015
Bumper year in prospect but search for yield gets trickierFocus on budget sector and buzzy lifestyle hotelsReport predicts $68 bln in hotel real estate deals in 2015By Victoria BryanInvestors are expected to pump more money into buying, converting or building hotels in 2015 than in any year since the start of the global financial crisis, with a focus on budget and 'buzz'.In a sector enjoying the benefits of economic recovery and growing traveller numbers, yields are attractive compared to alternative real estate like office, industrial or retail."It's not about people loving hotels, it's about investors searching for a return on their money which they can't get these days on government bonds," said Nick Skea-Strachan of law firm BLP at this month's IHIF hotels conference in Berlin.But investors say there are signs of overheating in some areas, making it more challenging to hit target returns that are typically around 6.5 to 7.5 percent.That is forcing them to seek out niches and jump on new trends like lifestyle hotels, serving a generation of travellers looking for a hip place to hang out, not just somewhere to sleep.Typically featuring smaller rooms, local-themed design and buzzy lounges, lifestyle covers both luxury and budget classes and includes hotels such as Starwood's W, IHG's Indigo , Citizen M, and Moxy. Hilton, Best Western and Germany's Steigenberger are among those recently announcing new brands in this space.

Hispania and Barcelo establish joined company to operate in hotel sector | ·26 February 2015
Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios SAU said on Tuesday that its wholly owned unit, Hispania Real SOCIMI SAU (Hispania), had signed an agreement with Grupo Barcelo to establish a joined hotel company focused on holiday sector. Under the deal Hispania will initially buy 11 hotels and one shopping center and it will have the option to buy five additional hotels and one more shopping center

U.S. airlines, hotel industry wary of Expedia-Orbitz merger | ·17 February 2015
The U.S. airline industry expressed concerns on Friday about the tentative merger of Expedia Inc and Orbitz Worldwide Inc, saying it could hurt the travel business, but hinted it would not lobby actively against the deal. Expedia's agreement on Thursday to buy Orbitz for $1.33 billion marked the latest in a spree of acquisitions it and the larger Priceline Group Inc have made to become the world's dominant online travel agencies. Experts say the companies' followings give them power when negotiating contracts with hotels and airlines, which to varying degrees rely on the sites to sell their products. Combined with Orbitz and Travelocity, which it acquired in January, Expedia received about 39 million unique website visitors in December 2014, according to Internet analytics company comScore Inc.

Study: Execs in Asian luxury hotels fall prey to cyber espionage | ·10 November 2014
Security researchers have uncovered a sophisticated industrial espionage campaign that targets business executives in luxury hotels across Asia once they sign on to computers using in-room wireless connections they consider private and secure. The attacks, which go well beyond typical cybercriminal operations, have claimed thousands of victims dating back to 2009 and continue to do so, Kaspersky Lab, the world's largest private security firm, shows in a report published on Monday.

Accor to spend 225 mln eur in digital push | ·30 October 2014
Accor, Europe's largest hotel group, said on Thursday it would spend 225 million euros (283.5 million) between 2014 and 2018 to beef up its digital business to cope with challenges from online booking rivals such as Expedia and Accor also said in a statement it had bought French start-up Wipolo, a travel software company that offers mobile and web itinerary management services, for an undisclosed amount.

French Ministers Call For Back Off On Hotel Tax Hike | Reuters ·30 June 2014
French ministers on Sunday attacked proposals by lawmakers to increase taxes on hotel stays and called for them to be scrapped as they could undermine plans to boost the tourism sector.France, whose economy came to a standstill in the first quarter, has made tourism one of its priorities. The sector accounts for more than 7 percent of the country's gross domestic product and employs two million people directly or indirectly.An amendment to France's draft budget this week raised maximum hotel taxes to 8 euros (6.45 pounds) from 1.50 euros previously in a bid to bring them more into line with other European cities including Berlin, Rome and Brussels.Another of the parliamentary proposals - which have yet to be approved - would create an additional tax of 2 euros per night for hotels in the Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris, to fund public transport. "We want the Parliament to reconsider its decision," French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg told BFMTV channel.In a statement, the foreign affairs ministry called the tax increases dangerous for the promotion of tourism and said Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius considered it "imperative" that the proposed increases be scrapped.With 83 million international visitors in 2012, France was ranked the world's number one tourist destination ahead of the United States and Spain, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). But it only ranked third in terms of receipts behind the same two countries at $54 billion.Sebastien Bazin, chief executive of Europe's largest hotel group Accor (ACCP.PA), told Journal du Dimanche weekly the new taxes would severely cut hotel margins and penalise tourism."These decisions are unjust, unsustainable and dangerous," he said in a tribune posted on the weekly's website on Saturday evening."The impact on company margins and France as a touristic destination will be very negative," he said.The new 2-euro tax in Ile-de-France would amount to a loss in earnings of 20 millions euros, Bazin said. The impact of a rise in maximum city taxes would be calculated next week.

Oracle may buy Micros Systems for more than $5 bln | ·18 June 2014
Oracle Corp is in talks to buy Micros Systems Inc, which makes software for retailers and hotel chains, for more than $5 billion, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter. While the companies are in exclusive talks, they could still fail to reach an agreement, the report said

Intesa Sanpaolo agrees to sell a stake in NH Hoteles | ·28 May 2014
Intesa Sanpaolo said on Monday it agreed to sell a stake in Spain's NH Hoteles for 132.7 million euros ($181.2 million) through a share sale and purchase agreement with China's HNA Group. After the transaction is completed, Italy's biggest retail bank will hold 7.6 percent of the Spanish hotels group, Intesa said in a statement.


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