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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.

  • Letter from the HFTP Global President: At the End of the Year, We Reflect on the Best of the Year

    As we prepare to transition to the new HFTP Global board at the 2018 Annual Convention in October, I would like to take the time to reflect on my year serving as HFTP Global president.

  • 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.

Turkish Billionaire Looks for Buyers for Luxury Hotels in Europe ·11 October 2018
Turkish billionaire Ferit Sahenk's Dogus Holding AS is seeking buyers for luxury hotels across southern Europe, including the Capri Palace, according to people with knowledge of the matter.It's likely that these trophy properties, some of them formerly owned by wealthy families, will be sold individually rather than as a portfolio, one of the people said. Potential buyers include high-net-worth individuals from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Asia and the Middle East, some of the people said.The firm is also seeking buyers for the Grand Hyatt in Istanbul, another person said. A Dogus representative declined to comment.The hotels cater to the rich and famous. Capri Palace, for instance, has just 68 rooms but two Michelin-starred restaurants. Its presidential suite, which comes with a private pool, can currently be booked for 8,163 euros ($9,427) per night, according to its website. Madrid's Hotel Villa Magna is often the scene of photocalls for Hollywood actors, with Rami Malek, Olivia Munn, Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds promoting films there recently.

U.S.-Thai Billionaire Expands Hotel Empire to Tap Chinese Boom ·10 October 2018
Billionaire William Heinecke is on the lookout for further takeovers after more than tripling the number of hotels his Minor International Pcl controls through the acquisition of Spain's NH Hotel Group.Heinecke, a U.S.-born turned Thai citizen, says it's all about size when it comes to fighting off competition and capturing the surge in Chinese tourists.The number of Chinese outbound tourists climbed 6 percent to 135 million in 2016, and they spent $261 billion, or a fifth of the world market, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. That's set to continue surging, with the number of Chinese with a passport expected to double in the next two years to 240 million.Through acquisitions it has added the Elewana Collection in Africa, Oaks Hotels & Resorts across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, and four-to-five star Tivoli hotels and resorts in Portugal. The mid-market NH Hotel Group will give Minor 385 more hotels.

Belmond Attracts Interest From Hilton, Blackstone, KKR | · 5 October 2018
Belmond Ltd., which owns the iconic '21' Club, has attracted interest from potential buyers, according to people familiar with the matter.KSL Capital Partners LLC, Blackstone Group LP, KKR & Co., Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. are among parties weighing an offer for all or part of the company, said some of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. First-round offers for Belmond are due later this month, the people said.Belmond, with a market value of $1.8 billion, said in August that it's working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to evaluate a sale. Its shares have since soared more than 60 percent to their highest level since 2008 and rose to a session high Tuesday afternoon after Bloomberg reported on some of the company's prospective suitors.

Forget the Minibar. At Fancy Hotels, the New Thing Is the Maxi-Bar · 4 October 2018
Hotels are turning to new bar experiences as a means to keep luxury customers on their toes--and increase favorable food and beverage margins, while they're at it.Enter in-room cocktail service. While in-room dining has been on the decline--showing a 3 percent dip from 2016 to 2017, according to hospitality insights firm STR--hoteliers are realizing that expertly shaken martinis, rather than well-done cheeseburgers, are just what travelers want showing up at their doors. In some cases, that means dispatching a bartender for in-person service; at other times, it's about making a room's minibar feel more like a home bar.

These New Hotels Can Actually Compete With Airbnb | ·30 July 2018
It's one of the most divisive questions for road warriors: hotel or Airbnb?Don't agonize over your answer. Thanks to a new, hybrid concept that's taking the hospitality world by storm, it's possible to get the best of both worlds. Meet the boutique apart-hotel. It's half-apartment, half-hotel, but 100 percent ready for your Instagram feed.

Blackstone Agrees to $4.8 Billion LaSalle Hotel Deal - ·21 May 2018
Blackstone's checking out of Hilton and into LaSalle.Just days after announcing plans to sell the last of its Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. shares, Blackstone Group LP has agreed to buy luxury hotel owner LaSalle Hotel Properties, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The all-cash transaction values LaSalle at $33.50 a share, or $4.8 billion including debt, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deal is confidential. Representatives for Blackstone and LaSalle declined to comment.The agreement represents a premium of almost 35 percent above LaSalle's share price on March 27, the day before its smaller rival, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, announced a proposed all-stock deal for LaSalle, the owner of 41 luxury hotels. What Blackstone is offering is more than double the 14.7 percent median premium applied to U.S. real estate investment trust transactions over $1 billion in size over the past five years, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. data.

Chinese Tourists Are Taking Over the Earth, One Selfie at a Time - ·13 February 2018
Consider this: For the past seven years, the travel-and-tourism sector has outperformed the overall economy every year, contributing as much as $7.6 trillion in 2016, including the wider impact on the economy, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. During the next decade, the council predicts, almost one in four jobs created worldwide will be related to tourism.

Trump Is Pushing Travelers North to Canada, Marriott CEO Says | · 3 November 2017
Divisive language and policies from President Donald Trump are helping push business travelers north of the border, the head of Marriott International Inc. said on Wednesday.Large groups of travelers, particularly for conferences, are changing reservations to friendlier cities such as Toronto over U.S. options "with the view that bringing in an international group would be more hassle-free in Canada and maybe a little bit riskier in the U.S.," Chief Executive Officer Arne Sorenson said in an interview in Toronto.

Dream Hotel's Stein on Growing Brand: 18 Hotels In Pipeline | · 1 November 2017
Bloomberg Markets AM with Pimm Fox and Lisa Abramowicz.GUEST: Jay Stein, CEO of Dream Hotel Group, on the lifestyle hospitality space and continued growth.

Mermaid Instructor? Canine Masseuse? The Oddest Hotel Jobs on Earth | ·18 January 2017
Hotels can find room on the payroll for all sorts of odd jobs, from Aura Architects to Guacamologists. While some are marketing fluff, many are downright essential.Sometimes, as a travel editor, I think I've seen it all. The jaded journalist in me sneers at the countless "cupid concierges" that pop up around Valentine's Day, along with desperate-feeling marketing gimmicks that range from the campfire-based S'morrier to an Aura Architect to a Guacamologist. (Yep, those are all real.)

Marriott and Starwood Reveal the Future of Their Luxury Brands | · 1 December 2016
It's been more than a year since Marriott International entered talks to buy Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and the speculation--about which brands will survive, what the loyalty program will look like, timing, and more--has been constant.Now we have answers to many of your most pressing questions.Bloomberg secured an exclusive interview with Marriott's global brand officer, Tina Edmundson ahead of a major announcement on how the company's 30 brands will be divvied up and categorized--and what it all means for the top-tier properties.Here's what she had to say.

Airbnb, New York State Settle Suit on Short-Term Sublet Law | ·24 November 2016
Airbnb Inc. settled its lawsuit against New York state over a new law restricting short-term rentals, with both sides agreeing that New York City, not the state, is responsible for enforcing it.Airbnb and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman agreed in court papers filed Tuesday that the state would be dismissed from the suit. A lawyer for the city told U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in a letter on Friday that the parties are discussing a resolution of the case and will update her on their efforts by Dec. 2.

Morgan Stanley: Airbnb's Threat to Hotels Is Only Getting Sharper | ·15 November 2016
Thanks to (you guessed it!) millennials. Not even President-elect Donald Trump can make the hotel industry great again.The industry is already experiencing trouble with lower occupancy rates and smaller profits per room, and a new survey from Morgan Stanley points to more problems in the future. The bank's survey found that peer-to-peer travel startup Airbnb Inc. is presenting an even greater threat to hotels than expected. "Our AlphaWise survey shows rising Airbnb adoption (now ~18 percent of travelers) with demand increasingly coming from hotels," the team, led by Brian Nowak, writes. "While still small, we believe Airbnb has been almost double the threat to hotels in 2016 than previously believed, and the threat is growing."

Anbang Said to Complete Most of $6.5 Billion U.S. Hotels Deal | ·28 September 2016
now known as WH Group Ltd. -- in 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and New York-based research firm Rhodium Group. Beijing-based Anbang bought Strategic from Blackstone Group LP, which had taken the company private last December for about $6 billion.

Lone China Hotel Stock Seeing Gains Ducks Extravagance Purge | · 2 August 2016
President Xi Jinping's crackdown on fancy feasts and penthouse suites has decimated China's hospitality industry, with a notable exception.China Lodging Group Ltd. is the only Chinese hotelier to have gained in 2016. The Shanghai-based hotel operator has risen 23 percent to $38.43 so far this year, making it the fifth-strongest performer within the Bloomberg-China Index, which tracks Chinese stocks traded in the U.S.After taking leadership of the Communist Party at the end of 2012, Xi banned official extravagance as part of an effort to stamp out widespread corruption. Lavish spending on anything from showy cars to luxury hotel rooms was out, with far-reaching consequences to caterers, entertainment and lodging businesses not to mention alcohol giant Remy Cointreau SA. Intensifying that effect has been slowing economic growth, which hovered at a seven-year low in the first half of 2016.

Group Makes $1.3 Billion Offer for Grosvenor House, Plaza Hotels | ·28 July 2016
A U.K. multifamily office and two Middle Eastern partners submitted a $1.3 billion bid for London's Grosvenor House hotel and majority stakes in New York's Plaza and Dream Downtown hotels to majority owner Sahara India Pariwar, controlled by once-jailed Indian businessman Subrata Roy.The bidders "are committing our own capital resources to acquire all three" hotels, Jesdev Saggar, managing director of the U.K. multifamily office, 3 Associates Capital Management Ltd., wrote in an e-mail. "We now await the sellers' acceptance of our bid."

Airbnb Boots 2,233 New York City Listings | · 8 July 2016
Airbnb Inc. said it kicked 2,233 more listings off its platform in New York City, seeking to weed out hosts who violate its policies as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo weighs whether to sign legislation that would make it illegal to advertise multiple listings.The 2,233 listings, which amount to about 5 percent of those on the home-sharing website in the city, "appeared to be hosts with multiple listings that could impact long-term housing availability," Airbnb said Thursday in a statement.

Priceline Is Due for a TRIP - Why Priceline should consider a deal for TripAdvisor | · 7 June 2016
valued at almost $26 billion in its latest funding round -- take some market share. Most of the big takeover candidates have already been bought up: Kayak and are owned by Priceline, which has also been investing in businesses abroad such as China's, while Travelocity, Orbitz and HomeAway have all sold to Expedia. In fact, the September completion of the Orbitz deal allowed Expedia to reclaim the No. 1 position in online bookings.

Rezidor CEO Says HNA Wants to Grow Brand, Will Study NH Deal | · 1 June 2016
HNA Group Co., which in April agreed to buy a 51 percent stake in Rezidor Hotel Group AB, plans to turn the European lodging company into a "hotel chain on a global level," according to Rezidor Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Neumann.HNA may eventually try to combine Brussels-based Rezidor and Madrid-based NH Hotel Group SA, in which it owns a 30 percent stake, Neumann, 53, said in an interview in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on May 26. "The priority is to consolidate Carlson Rezidor and then we will study the possibility of integrating with NH," he said.A representative at HNA didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for NH declined to comment.

Marriott's Bid for Starwood Challenged in Suit by Hotel Owners | ·12 May 2016
Marriott International Inc.'s acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Inc. was challenged by the owners of hotels in Chicago and New York who say the merger would violate exclusivity agreements.Cityfront Hotel Associates Limited Partners, the owner of the Sheraton Grand Chicago, and Dream Team Hotel Associates LLC, which owns the Westin Times Square in New York, sued Marriott and Starwood in New York state court Tuesday, arguing the merger would unfairly eat into their business. Sheraton and Westin are units of Starwood. The lawsuit seeks to block Marriott and Starwood from taking steps to finalize the purchase.

Miami Suddenly Has a Glut of Plush Hotel Suites | ·10 May 2016
a key measure of rates and occupancies known as revpar -- has fallen each month this year, and in April was the worst of the top 25 U.S. markets, according to STR, a data provider for the lodging industry. Marriott International Inc., set to become the world's largest hotel operator, said on its first-quarter earnings call that Miami is among its weakest U.S. areas.

Facebook Bots Are a Tough Sell After Microsoft Tay's Racist Tirade | ·13 April 2016
As more than 2,500 coders and corporate-brand caretakers gather this week to hear what's in store for the future of Facebook Inc., the buzzword of the company's event will be bots. The social networking giant is expected by analysts to unveil ways for businesses to build chat bots for Messenger, allowing some 900 million users of that app to strike up conversations with automated representatives of their favorite stores and products.

Hotel Minibars Are Undergoing a Major Upgrade | ·25 March 2016
When was the last time you found a yellowfin tuna tartine in your minibar, made with locally baked brioche, black olive tapenade, and hard-boiled quail eggs? Never sounds about right. But this is just one of the surprises awaiting guests in the Fresh Fridge ($95), which is offered upon request. "What's inside is dictated by what's available at the farmers market," says chef Patrick Kelly, who oversees the program and runs the Epiphany's downstairs restaurant, Lure + Till.

Millennials Spending Power Has Hilton Weighing a 'Hostel-Like' Brand | ·11 March 2016
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., the world's biggest hospitality company by number of rooms, may add a new brand that focuses on small, cheap hotels in big cities, Chief Executive Officer Chris Nassetta said."There's potential for something that has more of an urban flair, more of a micro-hotel," Nassetta said in an interview in Berlin. "We haven't made a decision to do anything in that space, but it's certainly one of the things we've been exploring."

InterContinental Seeks New Asian Luxury Hotel Brands, CEO Says | · 9 March 2016
InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, the third-biggest hotels operator in Asia by number of rooms, is seeking to add new luxury chains in that region, either by acquiring a competitor or by developing its own brand, according to Chief Executive Officer Richard Solomons.

Millennials Are Starting to Change the Stock Market | · 2 February 2016
the millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000. Leisure and travel-related stocks, including pubs, airlines and pizza restaurants, have trumped retailers since consumer confidence picked up following the financial crisis. For U.S. and European indexes tracking the industries, the outperformance just reached the highest since at least 2011.


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