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Dive in and Discover at the 2017 Annual Convention

HFTP Connect - 18 October 2017
As a first-time participant to the HFTP Annual Convention (possibly the first from the Middle East area), I will be looking for all of the insights the event will provide during its three-day agenda later this month. I believe this convention will be the best of its kind (those of an educational and informative nature) and provide tremendous networking opportunities.
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Introducing our Guest Bloggers for Annual Convention

HFTP Connect - 10 October 2017
We have selected our guest bloggers for the 2017 Annual Convention, and they are ready to begin sharing their stories and event experiences with you. The convention will take place October 25-27 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in Florida.
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Revenue Optimization: Driving the Bottom Line

HFTP Connect - 5 October 2017
In today’s competitive world, a great management team focuses on optimizing revenue in every department — including rooms, spa, ski, golf, ticketing, food and beverage, and retail. Where is the additional revenue going to come from? You need to track the success of upselling, promotions, cover charges and more. In addition to maximizing revenue, it is also crucial to control costs, from monitoring fixed expenses to labor costs. At the end of the day, accurately tracking data throughout all areas is a necessity.

Table Top Exhibit Space Sold Out for HFTP Annual Convention 2017

HFTP - 3 October 2017
HFTP is pleased to announce table top exhibit space for the 2017 HFTP Annual Convention is sold out, with 30 organizations participating. HFTP has changed the event's vendor interaction to allow attendees to meet with vendors in a new table top format at the Annual Convention, scheduled for October 25-27, 2017 at Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate in Championsgate, Florida USA. Online registration is open for Annual Convention 2017."For 65 years at the HFTP Annual Convention, the association has provided an opportunity for hospitality finance, and later technology, professionals to learn and explore the tools available to help us be successful in our professions," said Frank Wolfe, HFTP CEO. "The table top exhibits complement that goal, presenting to attendees products and services dedicated to the hospitality industry. The full house only serves to present a good representation of what is on offer."The exhibits will be open during the Welcome Reception on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., as well as the following Thursday morning beverage breaks and luncheon - providing exhibitors with ample time to network with attendees. 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.Annual Convention also offers multiple sponsorship and advertising opportunities for companies to participate in the event even after exhibit space is sold out. The available branding packages will allow companies to increase impressions and engagement among attendees before and after Annual Convention. For more information about branding packages or sponsorship opportunities, please contact HFTP Director of Exhibits Paula Lerash, CEM at paula.lerash@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org.Annual Convention 2018 is slated for October 24-27 at the new Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA. For more information about HFTP's Annual Convention and other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org. For the latest news, follow HFTP/HITEC on HITEC Bytes, PineappleSearch, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) 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, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org 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.
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Are You Ready for the New Revenue Recognition Accounting Standards?

HFTP Connect - 27 September 2017
Revenue recognition standards have been converged and are now changing for both IFRS (IFRS 15) and US GAAP (ASC 606-10) beginning in 2018. US GAAP will allow non-public companies to transition beginning in 2019. After receiving input from the HFTP Hotel Advisory Council, the American Hotel & Lodging Association Financial Management Committee recently issued an article published on Hotel News Now on the change to US GAAP:

OpenTravel to Host First Team-Based Challenge at Advisory Forum Next Month

HFTP - 27 September 2017
OpenTravel Alliance (OpenTravel) will host its first team-based challenge next month on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 from 1:30-5:00 p.m. EST at the OpenTravel Advisory Forum - early bird registration rates and housing reservations are still available through this week. The Evolution of Connectivity in the Travel Industry challenge will evolve OpenTravel's ability to respond to disruption and innovation in technology. Teams, or individuals, of industry participants will recognize problems in the travel industry, and compete to propose innovative solutions to a panel of judges using OpenTravel standards. Mentors will also be available throughout the challenge to provide guidance and direction to participating teams.The OpenTravel Challenge will be moderated by Co-founder and former Tnooz CEO Gene Quinn, keynote speaker at the Forum. Quinn is a pioneer in digital media, technology and financial services and e-commerce. He has been a private investor, adviser and chairman to public and private companies in travel, media, marketing, financial services and web technology. Quinn was the first Senior Vice President of Online and Interactive at MTV Networks, home of Viacom's global entertainment brands MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and TVLand.Challenge contributors include all registered participants from project managers to developers, innovators, designers, business developers, marketers, revenue managers and more. Interdisciplinary and cross-functional teams will foster innovation and generate winning ideas. Participating teams can be self-formed prior to the event, or formed on-site. A selected team spokesperson will have five minutes to present the group's findings to the panel of judges. Presentations may take any form, i.e. coded application, mock-up prototype, story board, etc. Resources such as white boards, flipcharts, WiFi, stationery, and a projector will be available for participants to use."OpenTravel is excited to host its first interactive Challenge at this year's Advisory Forum in Florida next month," said OpenTravel CEO Mike Tinkey. "Industry activists will have the opportunity to collaborate and influence the direction of OpenTravel and its integral role in the travel distribution ecosystem."The judge's panel will consist of 2017 Advisory Forum keynote speakers, other selected speakers and industry leaders. Prizes will be made available to the first place team; the second and third place teams will also be recognized. The criteria for judging will be based upon the solution's likelihood to be adopted/implemented by a mass of travel participants, ability to solve a "pain point" in distribution, cost effectiveness, efficiency and interoperability. It should also be a driver for membership and participation in OpenTravel Workgroups and Project Teams.The 2017 OpenTravel Advisory Forum will take place from October 23-25 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in ChampionsGate, Florida USA. The event will be co-located, overlapping one day, with Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals' (HFTP) 2017 Annual Convention, running October 25-27. For more information on OpenTravel Alliance's 2.0 Standards or the OpenTravel Challenge, please contact Sandy Angel (Sandy.Angel@Opentravel.org) of OpenTravel Alliance.About OpenTravel AllianceOpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena. Our mission is to enable the future of travel by driving the evolving digital experience for consumers. OpenTravel Alliance creates, expands and drives adoption of open specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry.OpenTravel Alliance is comprised of companies representing airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, railways, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, solutions providers, technology companies and distributors. Tens of thousands of OpenTravel Alliance message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between trading partners every day.OpenTravel Alliance is a not-for-profit trade association, founded in 1999 by travel companies, with a primary focus on the creation of electronic message structures to facilitate communication between the disparate systems in the global travel industry. For more information on OpenTravel Alliance membership, new products, or projects, please visit http://www.opentravel.org or email info@opentravel.org.

HFTP Announces 2017 Paragon Award Recipient

HFTP - 21 September 2017
Mary Gerdts was selected as the 2017 Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) Paragon Award recipient for her unwavering support of the association, and substantial contributions to increase knowledge sharing and promote growth in the hospitality industry at large. Gerdts will be honored next month during HFTP's 2017 Annual Convention held at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in ChamptionsGate, Florida USA.Based in Phoenix, Arizona USA, Gerdts is the founder, CEO and president of two companies in the electronic transactions industry: POST Integrations Inc. and EboCom, LLC. Her visionary leadership in business, innovation and technology led to her to be nominated for Forbes' "Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs."Gerdts has worked in the hospitality industry, and been active in HFTP, for over 25 years. She served as a board member for the HFTP Valley of the Sun Chapter from 1996-2001, and served as president of the HFTP Phoenix Chapter from 1998-2000. While Gerdts was president of the HFTP Phoenix Chapter, the chapter received the prestigious "Chapter of the Year" award as well as the "HFTP Chapter Choice" award. Over the years, Gerdts has been honored to speak at HFTP Annual Convention and serve on panels at Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC(r)). She also served on the HFTP Leadership Committee and was the chairwoman for two years in a row."I am so very honored to be chosen as this year's Paragon recipient," said Gerdts. "This award represents the culmination of my life's passion and commitment to the hospitality industry. I feel so incredibly blessed to be amongst my peers in being recognized for such a prestigious award. HFTP holds a very special place in my heart, and I will be forever indebted to HFTP for the amazing path that was laid out before me some 27 years ago. My involvement in HFTP truly changed the trajectory of my life and for that, I will be forever grateful."Established in 1999, the prestigious HFTP Paragon Award recognizes individuals each year who have made a significant and lasting contribution to both HFTP and the hospitality industry. Paragon Award nominees can be HFTP members; representatives of industry-related associations, societies or trade publications; leaders from hospitality businesses, educational institutions and other related disciplines. A panel of industry experts selects the award recipients who will be recognized at HFTP's Annual Convention each October.Previous Paragon Award winners include: Alice Banks, CHAE (1999); Henry "Buddy" Weeks, CHAE (1999); Frank Santos, CHAE, CHA (2000); Katherine Cavanagh, CHAE (2001); Raymond Schmidgall, PH.D., CPA, CHAE (2002); Frank Wolfe, CAE (2002); Len Bartello, CPA, CHAE, CHTP (2003); John J. Cahill, CHA, CHTP (2004); Wendy Zurstadt, CPA, CHAE, CHTP (2005); Richard Braa, CHAE (2006); Robert Patasnick, CPA (2007); George Glazer (2008); Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE (2009); Stephen LeBruto, CPA, CHAE, Ed.D. (2009); and Steve Doherty, CHAE, CHTP (2010); Frank Agnello Jr., CMA, CHAE (2011); Howard Field, FBHA, FCA (2012); Joseph McInerney, CHA (2013); Evelyn Adams (2014); Ralph R. Miller, CPA, CA, CBV, CHA, CHAE (2015); Raman (R. P.) Rama B. Com, CHA Emeritus, CHTP, CHAE (2016); Kris S. Shoemaker, CMA, CGFO, CHAE, CHTP, CPFIM (2016).Annual Convention 2017 will take place from October 25-27, 2017 at Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in ChampionsGate, Florida 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 HFTP events, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org, +1 (512) 249-5333. For more information on the Paragon Award, contact the HFTP Communications Department at publications@hftp.org or +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, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org 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.
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Why, 15 Years Later, the HFTP Mid Florida Chapter Still Raises Funds for Camp Boggy Creek

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

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

HFTP Hospitality DPO Task Force Outlines Objectives as Industry Prepares for GDPR May 2018 Deadline

HFTP - 14 September 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, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) has taken the initiative to develop hospitality-specific guidelines and a certification for a Hospitality Data Protection Officer (HDPO). The building of these resources is underway by a team of 23 experts, recruited by HFTP to comprise the HFTP Hospitality DPO task force. The task force chair Alvaro Hidalgo, managing partner with FIRSTLOGIC Consulting based in Spain, has outlined the objectives for the group in the months leading up to the May compliance deadline, detailed in the post on the HFTP Connect blog, "HFTP Hospitality DPO Task Force Outlines Objectives as Industry Prepares for GDPR May 2018 Deadline."HFTP chief operations officer Lucinda Hart, CAE, MBA, explained why this initiative is integral to the association's strategic goals. "The GDPR is greatly impacting the hospitality industry and the dedication that HFTP and our members have committed to industry awareness demonstrates HFTP's commitment to assisting our stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization," she said.The HFTP HDPO Task Force held its first meeting 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 Hidalgo. "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."When the task force met it set out to address the following:Identify the major challenges for the industry to achieve compliance, as well as the stakeholders involved;Provide guidelines to enable the industry to assess their specific needs to achieve compliance on time;Define the specific features of a Hospitality Data Protection Officer (HDPO) job role, and resulting from this, propose the structure of a HFTP HDPO certification;Establish a communication policy to create awareness within the industry.Hidalgo's post, details how the task force will address each of these areas. Part of the ongoing work for the task force and HFTP will be to continually provide related information to the industry to support compliance preparation. One of the first action items taken was to include a dictionary of terms related to the GDPR on the hospitality-specific site PineappleSearch.com. Referenced from the European Data Protection Supervisor, the glossary will be centralized with a library of hospitality resources.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 ateducation@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec/.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 education@hftp.org, +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, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org 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.

Leadership: Lessons Learned Along the Way

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

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

OpenTravel at the IATA NDC Hackathon 2017, Silicon Valley

HFTP - 7 September 2017
OpenTravel Alliance (OpenTravel) attended and participated in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC) Hackathon from August 25-27, 2017 at the LinkedIn headquarters in Sunnyvale, California USA. The IATA NDC Hackathon hosted about 20 participating teams, and consisted of a 28-hour coding experience, on-site workshops and access to industry mentors. Sandy Angel, specifications manager at OpenTravel, served as a mentor to the participating hackers.As part of the NDC program, IATA develops and maintains a suite of XML messages supporting airline distribution. APIs were provided by companies including LinksRez, IBM, SITA, LinkedIn and others. The hackathon asked participants to use at least one of the IATA APIs, and solve at least one of three challenges presented around travel. LinksRez, a sponsor of the OpenTravel 2.0 Golf Standards, provided several APIs that implemented the OpenTravel and HTNG standards for hotel as well as the OpenTravel standards for ground transportation and golf as part of their participation at the event. Two of the teams won a first place prize using the LinkRez, OpenTravel and HTNG standards-based APIs. All winning teams will now enter an incubation phase to further elaborate their ideas, and potentially present their application at a future IATA event."Hackathons are a great example of how NDC, by modernizing the communication protocols between airlines and travel agents, create opportunities for new entrant developers to build solutions around IATA standards," said Yanik Hoyles, NDC program director at IATA. "On this path towards innovation, we are glad to have travel partners offering their APIs at our Hackathons, and supporting us on the journey. We are looking forward to our third event in 2017 at Ecole Polytechnique in Paris (20-22 October) where LinksRez will become a gold sponsor.""It was important to OpenTravel to participate in the IATA NDC 2017 Hackathon as we did in Dublin," said OpenTravel CEO Mike Tinkey. "The event served as part of our ongoing work to expand collaboration with IATA NDC. Connecting the consumer for a seamless travel experience end-to-end with their business and leisure travel is a goal of both organizations."For more information on OpenTravel Alliance's 2.0 Standards, please contact Sandy Angel (Sandy.Angel@Opentravel.org) of OpenTravel Alliance.About OpenTravel Alliance OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena. Our mission is to enable the future of travel by driving the evolving digital experience for consumers. OpenTravel Alliance creates, expands and drives adoption of open specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML and JSON, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry.OpenTravel Alliance is comprised of companies representing airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, railways, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, solutions providers, technology companies and distributors. Tens of thousands of OpenTravel Alliance message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between trading partners every day.OpenTravel Alliance is a not-for-profit trade association, founded in 1999 by travel companies, with a primary focus on the creation of electronic message structures to facilitate communication between the disparate systems in the global travel industry. For more information on OpenTravel Alliance membership, new products, or projects, please visit http://www.opentravel.org or email info@opentravel.org.###END###

HFTP Helps 2017 to Support Medically-Sound Children's Camp via Silent Auction Fundraiser

HFTP - 6 September 2017
As part of its ongoing social responsibility efforts, international association Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) will host its third HFTP Helps silent auction fundraiser at its upcoming HFTP Annual Convention in ChampionsGate, Florida USA. Created to support the local communities that host HFTP's Annual Convention each October, the HFTP Helps 2017 fundraiser will benefit Camp Boggy Creek, a free, safe and medically-sound 232-acre camp that enriches the lives of children ages seven to 16 who have been diagnosed with serious illnesses and their families. The camp is located in the Orlando area, and has been a long-time recipient of fundraising campaigns held by the HFTP Mid-Florida Chapter.HFTP Helps 2017 will take place in conjunction with HFTP's Annual Tribute to Success on Friday, October 27 from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. at HFTP Annual Convention. To help make the auction a fun and successful event, HFTP is seeking donations of auction items to place on offer. Suggested items include, but are not limited to: hotel stays, golf rounds, gift baskets and cards, jewelry and more. HFTP will donate 100 percent of the silent auction proceeds and monetary donations directly to the charity."HFTP is proud to join the HFTP Mid-Florida Chapter in supporting local Orlando charity, Camp Boggy Creek," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "Last year's HFTP Helps fundraiser raised over $14,400 USD for Three Square, Southern Nevada's only food bank. This year, HFTP is aiming to set a new record to help provide opportunities for children with serious illnesses with a safe and fun-filled camp experience."HFTP has created an online donation site, so everyone can have the opportunity to join HFTP in assisting Camp Boggy Creek. Each monetary donation and/or silent auction gift further assists the camp's efforts of creating a safe environment for children with illness to discover joy, confidence and a new world of possibilities.During the HFTP Helps 2017 silent auction, Annual Convention attendees will have the option to bid on numerous items such as hotel stays, rounds of golf and bottles of wine from donors around the world. For those who are unable to attend Annual Convention this year, and wish to simply donate funds, an online portal has been set-up for convenience.If you are interested in donating an auction item, contact HFTP Director of Communications Eliza Selig at eliza.selig@hftp.org or complete the online donation form. For more information, visit the HFTP Helps website.Annual Convention 2017 will take place from October 25-27, 2017 at Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in ChampionsGate, Florida 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 education@hftp.org, +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, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org 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.

HFTP Announces Re-branded Annual Convention Formal Event, HFTP's Annual Tribute to Success

HFTP - 29 August 2017
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) is making some key updates to its Friday evening event at its upcoming Annual Convention, an event the association has produced since 1952. The event, which offers essential educational and networking opportunities for hospitality finance and technology professionals, will feature a reformatted formal dinner program. Now called "HFTP's Annual Tribute to Success," the celebration will focus on recognizing the association and its outstanding members beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, October 27, 2017.Each year, HFTP awards industry-leading professionals in several categories - these recipients are selected by a council of colleagues and peers. HFTP's Annual Convention represents a time for the organization to recognize outstanding achievement from individuals and HFTP chapters that embody the success of the association."The members, volunteers and community who make up this association are remarkable," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "The formal HFTP Annual Tribute to Success evening will serve as an opportunity to honor HFTP's 65-year accomplishments and show gratitude, recognition, respect and admiration those who dedicate their time and vision to enable future success for the organization."HFTP's Annual Tribute to Success, formerly known as "President's Evening," will still feature the installation of HFTP's 2017-2018 Global Board, and a fundraiser to support the local Orlando, Florida USA community. This year's HFTP Helps silent auction fundraiser, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday evening, will directly benefit Camp Boggy Creek - a safe, medically-sound children's camp environment that HFTP's Mid-Florida Chapter has supported for the last 15 years. Donations for the auction are being accepted now via the HFTP website, and 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the charity.This year's HFTP Annual Convention is scheduled for October 25-27, 2017 at Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in ChampionsGate, Florida USA. 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 education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org. 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 education@hftp.org, +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, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org 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.
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Be a 2017 Annual Convention Guest Blogger - Apply Today!

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

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

OpenTravel Advisory Forum Online Registration Now Open

HFTP - 23 August 2017
In demonstration of the two organization's partnership, OpenTravel will co-locate its annual OpenTravel Advisory Forum with Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals' (HFTP(r)) upcoming Annual Convention. The OpenTravel Advisory Forum - Enabling the Future of the Connected Customer - will take place from October 23-25, 2017, while the HFTP Annual Convention will overlap starting on October 25, 2017 and run through October 27, 2017. Both events will take place at the Omni Orlando Resort in Championsgate, Florida USA. Online registration for the OpenTravel Advisory Forum is now available via the OpenTravel website.OpenTravel's Advisory Forum will feature an opening and closing keynote presentation, case studies, how-to sessions, networking sessions, an award ceremony and OpenTravel Standards Workgroup and Project team meetings. OpenTravel's Advisory Forum will also include a golf outing at the Magnolia Golf Course at Walt Disney World. As an organization that represents the business and leisure consumer's end-to-end travel, OpenTravel Advisory Forum attendees and sponsors span all verticals of the travel industry. The OpenTravel Advisory Forum will feature the latest travel technology tools for a unified consumer experience - this year's theme is about "enabling the future of the connected consumer.""OpenTravel continues to evolve and focus on providing necessary technology to meet the needs of all travel parties to connect disparate systems in the travel industry," said OpenTravel CEO Mike Tinkey. "Co-locating events will accelerate awareness and support of travel industry and hospitality technology standards more effectively to create a full, seamless consumer experience."Together, OpenTravel and HFTP encompass an extended group of stakeholders and industry professionals; combining resources will enable better communication, and allow stakeholders to conduct business more efficiently. OpenTravel provides a community where companies in the electronic distribution supply chain work together to create an accepted structure for electronic messages, enabling suppliers and distributors to speak the same interoperability language, trading partner to trading partner.For more information, visit the organizations' respective websites for the latest updates at www.opentravel.org and www.hftp.org. 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 education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org.About OpenTravel Alliance The OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena. Our mission is to enable the future of travel by driving the evolving digital experience for consumers. OpenTravel creates, expands and drives adoption of open specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry.OpenTravel is comprised of companies representing airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, railways, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, solutions providers, technology companies and distributors. Tens of thousands of OpenTravel message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between trading partners every day.OpenTravel is a not-for-profit trade association, founded in 1999 by travel companies, with a primary focus on the creation of electronic message structures to facilitate communication between the disparate systems in the global travel industry. For more information on OpenTravel membership, new products, or projects, please visit http://www.opentravel.org or email info@opentravel.org.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, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org 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.

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 Robin.Bogdon@hftp.org. 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 ateducation@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec/.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 education@hftp.org, +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, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org 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.

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 ateducation@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec/.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 education@hftp.org, +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, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org 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.

HFTP and Naseba Announce HITEC Dubai 2017 Advisory Council

HFTP - 11 August 2017
Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), the world's largest hospitality technology conference brand, will be coming to Dubai, UAE on November 14-15, 2017 at the Conrad Dubai. Produced in partnership by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), the only organization producing nonprofit hospitality events at an international level, and Naseba, HITEC Dubai is set to be the region's largest hospitality technology showcase hosting leading hospitality decision makers and technology vendors. HITEC Dubai is an extension of HFTP's tremendously successful HITEC, which just completed its 45th year.To plan the event's educational program, an advisory council of experts with over 200 years of combined industry experience has been formed. The council met on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at the Jumeirah offices in the Dubai Design District to discuss and design an agenda that is most relevant to the Middle East's challenges, needs and upcoming hospitality technology trends.The other members of the council are senior executives from leading local and global chains, and the solution providers segment:Chairman Marwan Al Ali, group CIO, Jumeirah GroupNigel Hattersley, senior director of IT MEA, Marriot InternationalRadi Karnib, senior director of IT MEA and Turkey, Hilton WorldwideIftikhar Hamdani, cluster general manager, Ramada Hotel & SuitesLaurent Voivenel, senior vice president of operations and development for MEA & India, Swiss-BelhotelMahmoud Kamal, CIO, Al Habtoor GroupMd Amirul Islam, HFTP Dubai Chapter president, Dubai Parks and ResortsMohamed Rizwan, IT director, JW MarriottYazan Sabelaish, director of IT, Four Seasons Hotels DubaiEmilio Dragas, CEO, m3connectNaveen Bharadwaj, production director, NasebaAngela Dowell, meetings and events manager, HFTPNicholas Watson, managing director, NasebaFrank Wolfe, CEO, HFTPKhushru Siganporia, director IT, Taj HotelsFraidy Pinto, area IT director of Middle East & Sub Saharan Africa, Carlson Rezidor Hotel GroupJai Govindani, CTO, Red Planet HotelsLijo Mathew Kankapadan, corporate director, Emaar Linda Griffin, group GM, Jumeirah GroupSamir Abi Frem, corporate vice president, Rotana Group Sanjay Nadkarni, director of research and innovation, Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management"The Middle East hospitality industry is one of the fastest growing in the world," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "Combining HFTP's 65 years of hospitality finance and technology education, regional expertise from an industry advisory council and Naseba deal facilitation will create the ultimate hospitality information exchange that the region has experienced thus far."Some of the most important topics identified include: bandwidth and HSI, power of data analytics and intelligence, intuitive technologies, sustainable technologies and the future of management systems. There were also deliberations on the use of robotics, ethical implications of AI, blockchain and the rising risk of cyber-attacks.Production Director of Naseba and HITEC Dubai, Naveen Bharadwaj noted: "Dubai is the regional leader of hospitality and an epitome of innovation. By bringing HITEC to Dubai and working with the expert advisory council, HFTP and Naseba aim to facilitate knowledge sharing, networking and deal flow amongst hoteliers and hospitality technology providers."HITEC Dubai will feature an expo floor for exhibitors to showcase their latest solutions; and a summit floor for panel discussions, tech talks and pre-scheduled one-to-one business meetings between pre-qualified hoteliers and cutting technology providers.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 international activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec/.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 education@hftp.org, +1 (512) 249-5333.About HITEC Dubai Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place.Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), producers of HITEC, will partner with Naseba, a business facilitation company, to bring the brand to Dubai. Making the event accessible to buyers from the lucrative Middle Eastern market, currently worth over USD 75 bn. The show will offer an education program and exhibits. In addition, HITEC Dubai will feature a summit with one-to-one business meetings that have become the hallmark of Naseba's platforms. Hoteliers attending the summit portion of HITEC Dubai will be pre-qualified to confirm their purchasing authority, budgets, timelines and solutions of interest. hitec.naseba.comAbout HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) 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, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org 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.

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 education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org. 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 education@hftp.org, +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, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org 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.

HFTP Announces Advisory Council for its Second Annual HITEC Amsterdam in April 2018

HFTP - 2 August 2017
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), the only organization producing nonprofit hospitality events at an international level, including the world's largest Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), is pleased to announce the advisory council for its second annual HITEC Amsterdam. The next HITEC Amsterdam will take place from April 11-13, 2018 at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.The HITEC Amsterdam Advisory Council met in Amsterdam this month to plan the upcoming conference's educational program. Sessions planned by the pan-European group will address the issues of top concern to the hospitality technology field. HITEC Amsterdam is an extension of HFTP's tremendously successful HITEC, which just completed its 45th year."HFTP was overwhelmed by the success of its inaugural HITEC Amsterdam in March 2017, and is delighted to bring the event back in April 2018," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE. "The HITEC Amsterdam Advisory Council worked hard when they met last month to design an educational program that will radiate interest and knowledge-sharing amongst attendees."Planning for HITEC Amsterdam is in full swing with guidance from an advisory council representing six European countries. The council is chaired by Carson Booth, CHTP and vice-chaired by Derek Wood. The HITEC Amsterdam Advisory Council who are among Europe's finest hospitality technology group are:Carson Booth, CHTP, startup technology consultant, GermanyFergus Boyd, vice president of digital and IT at Yotel, LondonJames Byrne, owner at Eccleston Square Hotel, LondonMark Campbell, chief information officer at Dorchester Collection, LondonAlly Dombey, director at Revenue by Design, LondonGerhard Finster, owner at Arcadia Hotels Group, GermanyThierry Guiraudios, chief information officer at chez Louvre Hotels Group, FranceAlvaro Hidalgo, managing partner at First Logic Consulting, SpainTimo Kettern, director of IT at Lapithus Hotel Management, GermanyLodewijk Klootwijk, chief executive officer at European Golf Course Owners Association, The NetherlandsPhil Le Brun, vice president and segment chief information officer at McDonald's Corporation, LondonMichael Levie, CHTP, executive at citizenM, The NetherlandsIan Millar, CHTP, professor of IT at Ecole Hoteliere De Lausanne, SwitzerlandSophie Pommois, project director of global distribution at Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), SwitzerlandMichiel Roelfsema, deputy general manager at Hotel Okura Amsterdam, The NetherlandsHenri Roelings, founder and CEO at Hsyndicate, The NetherlandsBarry Thomas, CHTP, area director of information technology at Rosewood Hotel, LondonDerek Wood, managing director at Derek Wood Associates Ltd, EnglandLyle Worthington, CHTP, CIO at The Student Hotel, The NetherlandsIn traditional HITEC fashion, HITEC Amsterdam will include an exhibit hall, keynote presentations and over 16 educational sessions about trending hospitality technology topics including: blockchain, OTA's, sustainability, service bus, PMS, API, GDPR/DPO, development methodologies, meeting room technology, consumer journey and more.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 education@hftp.org, +1 (512) 249-5333.About HITEC HITEC is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.Historically hosted annually in a different city throughout the United States, HFTP decided to break tradition in 2017 by hosting three HITEC events all taking place outside of U.S. borders- in Toronto, Amsterdam and Dubai. This will be the first time the global association's largest HITEC event - featuring thousands of hospitality professionals from around the world - will take place outside of the U.S. In 2017, HFTP is producing its larger HITEC Toronto as well as two additional, inaugural HITEC events: HITEC Amsterdam and HITEC Dubai. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec. Download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) 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, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org 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.
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Announcing the HFTP 2017 - 2018 HFTP Global Board Slate

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

HFTP and OpenTravel - Announce Newest Partnership in Systems Standards Horizon

HFTP - 25 July 2017
The nonprofit groups, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) and Open Travel Alliance (OpenTravel) have announced a partnership to accelerate the support of travel industry distribution standards, as well as the creation and adoption of hospitality technology standards across the entire spectrum of the global consumer travel experience. Of top priority to both organizations are mobile standards for use within the industry, which are first on the work list.To facilitate the intended projects, OpenTravel will co-locate its corporate office with HFTP Global headquarters in Austin, Texas, USA, starting in August 2017. The move will enable the organizations to combine resources to help develop standards that ease communications between disparate technology systems, enabling stakeholders to conduct business more efficiently.More than 25 years ago, HFTP was given a mandate by its members to lead in establishing information processing practices and standards explains Frank Wolfe, CEO for HFTP. He said, "HFTP represents stakeholders from the cruise line to the casino, fairway to foodservice, the motel to the midway, and the resort to recreation, across the globe. OpenTravel also represents every one of these verticals, and by partnering on this objective, both of our organizations will better serve our stakeholders."Individually, the two organizations represent stakeholders that do not fully overlap; but combined, there are no other groups that encompass this broad horizontal reach. OpenTravel represents the enterprise and HFTP represents individual professionals, together they represent the full consumer experience."OpenTravel's 1.0 XML Messaging Standards are paramount among the travel standards and our new 2.0 Object Model will positively impact the consumer experience for years to come," said Mike Tinkey, CEO for OpenTravel. "OpenTravel continues to enable the future for the connected consumer end to end with their business and leisure travel across all aspects of travel including, but not limited to, airlines, lodging of all types, cruise lines, car rental firms, railways, ground transportation, leisure suppliers, solutions providers, service providers, travel agencies, tour operators, technology companies and distributors, and events of all types. HFTP's resources will allow us to accelerate standards awareness, adoption and utilization."Both HFTP and OpenTravel are in the process of planning upcoming events in Orlando, Florida USA. Visit the organizations' respective websites for the latest updates at www.opentravel.org and www.hftp.org.About OpenTravelOpenTravel is a global not-for-profit trade association founded in 1999 by travel companies across all travel verticals, with a primary focus on the creation of electronic message structures to facilitate communication between disparate systems in the travel industry. OpenTravel is the source of the most adopted cross industry technology standards that enable business and leisure solutions driven by the travel industry. For more information on OpenTravel membership, please email: info@opentravel.org.About HFTPHospitality 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, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org 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.
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Online Travel Agencies and Occupancy Tax: A Proliferation of Lawsuits

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

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