• HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Hospitality Organization Flow Charts

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

  • Job Description: Hospitality Data Protection Officer

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

  • Job Description Template: Club Accounting Positions

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

  • Members Only: A Room for Robots in Hospitality

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

Investors buying hotels in China, Hong Kong and converting to other use

Hotel Management·14 March 2018
Higher hotel transaction volumes in mainland China and Hong Kong are being attributed to investors buying hotels with plans to change their use, according to a JLL report. China's hotel market has been facing oversupply for some time now. Ling Wei Tan, JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group in Greater China, said in a statement, “A few years ago, we saw a trend of hotels being converted to office space, but more recently hotels have been bought with the intention of creating apartments for long-term leasing.” Older hotels, especially those with local brands, are main targets for conversions because they cannot compete with newer hotels and international hotel brands.

Airbnb cajoles hotel owners with promise of lower commission rates

Hotel Management·13 March 2018
Airbnb was first for home owners. Now it's going after hotel owners. In an open letter penned today by Airbnb and addressed to boutique hotel and bed-and-breakfast owners, the home-sharing titan outlined its case for why those properties should list on its site, which already boasts around 4.5 million global listings. It read in part: “We know that many of you are thinking about the best ways to market your rooms online... Time and again, small business owners told us that the fees charged by travel agents like Expedia and Booking.com—which can be as high as 30 percent—are too high.”

Overseas investors drove UK hotel sale volumes in 2017

Hotel Management·13 March 2018
Overseas investors drove a 32-percent boost in UK hotel transactions in 2017, pushing transactions to a total of £5.4 billion. Savills data show overseas investors accounted for 51 percent of total volumes, spending close to three times the total spent in 2016 thanks to the weakened pound. U.S. and European investors had the most investment activity last year, spending £682 million and £763 million, respectively. However, only a small number of hotel sales generated these totals. Two of these transactions include Sweden Paradox AB's acquisition of the Jury's Inn portfolio for £680 million and Ashkenazy Acquisition's purchase of the JW Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel in a £675-million deal.

Leonardo DiCaprio invests in David Rockwell-designed hotel in Israel

Hotel Management·13 March 2018
ctor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio has agreed to invest in Hagag Group Real Estate Development's new eco-certified hotel in Herzliya, Israel. Architect David Rockwell will design the hotel with 180 guestrooms, 130 of which are timeshare vacation homes. These guestrooms will be spread across two six-story buildings. The Hagag Group said DiCaprio, now a partner in the hotel project, will promote the new hotel and ensure it is developed in line with the highest hotel and environmental standards. "Green environmental development is a significant part of building communities that work in partnership with nature and not against it. As we seek to create a future that heads off the most severe effects of climate change, we need projects that push for new developments in environmental design," DiCaprio told Israel 21c.

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

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

Smartphone-managed hotel opens in Budapest, Hungary

Hotel Management·13 March 2018
The 40-room “paperless” KViHotel in Budapest, Hungary, is using the TMRW Hotels app to allow guests to manage most guest functions via their own smartphone. The app can be used for booking, checking in and out, and the smartphone running the app can be used as a keycard, TMRW founder Csaba Kató said. Via a Bluetooth connection, the phone is also the key for the room, and in the event of a late arrival, guests’ phones open the main entrance of the hotel, too. Using the TMRW application, hotel guests are in control of the cooling/heating and can set the desired temperature of the room for their arrival time.

Hotel industry threats cast pall over underwriting standards

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

Cobblestone Hotels' CEO reflects on 10 years of filling a niche

Hotel Management·12 March 2018
Brian Wogernese isn't quite sure how all of this happened. The president and CEO of Cobblestone Hotels just spent the past several days celebrating the company's 10th anniversary at the Radisson Blu Mall of America, and he reveled in the company's success at opening 90 hotels. "When we started this, we couldn't find a brand in the midscale category that would go into the smaller communities in the U.S.," Wogernese said. "We had a small management company at the time, and we were thinking midscale but all we were getting were economy hotels."

New Radisson Hospitality CEO leads company through HNA unease

Hotel Management·12 March 2018
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, now Radisson Hotel Group, has gone through much more than just a name change. Most indicative of its revision has been a reorganization at the executive level since the company was acquired by Chinese travel conglomerate, HNA Group, in 2016. At times, it's looked like musical chairs.

Hoteliers navigate tricky class-action waiver landscape

Hotel Management·12 March 2018
We often imagine the rule of law as something rigid or set in stone, but in reality it is anything but. Case in point, the National Labor Relations Board, the organization in charge of maintaining a balance between the powers of the employer and the rights of the employee, is in the process of walking back a number of Obama-era decisions regarding employment law. During the previous administration, the NLRB decided that class-action waivers in arbitration cases were not enforceable, but a new decision from the NLRB could be taking the opposite stance.

Warburg Pincus-backed Nova links up with Sunac to invest in China

Hotel Management·12 March 2018
A Shanghai-based division of developer Sunac China has partnered with property management firm Nova Property Investment to establish a $3.2-billion fund to acquire and redevelop aging hotels, office buildings and shopping centers in mainland China. Sunac and Nova, which was established by U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus, plan to invest in buying and redeveloping the properties in first- and second-tier cities using the fund. The companies will each own a 50-percent stake in the fund manager. Sunac and Nova will co-manage the redevelopment projects acquired by the fund while Sunac will convert the properties. Their fund is currently in talks with local and overseas investors to raise money for these investments.

Hotels tackle unique bathroom-design challenges

Hotel Management·12 March 2018
On the surface, hotel bathrooms are fairly standard. A shower, a sink, a toilet and some nice, fluffy towels and the space is ready to go, right? But not so fast—whether the project is a new build, a renovation or an adaptive reuse, designers often must overcome unanticipated challenges when creating bath areas for guestrooms. Not only must the space meet the latest guest demands and brand standards, but a wide range of logistics can affect the overall look of the room.

Why TUI is turning to cruise ships

Hotel Management· 9 March 2018
The hotel-related numbers from TUI Group's first fiscal quarter were positive. Total revenue per room was up 2.6 percent from the same quarter year-over-year, and occupancy was up 2.5 percent. The company had made some big deals to expand its hotel presence, forming a joint venture with Croatia’s Sunce Group to develop properties on the island of Brač, and acquiring Stella Polaris Creta, a subsidiary of the Greek Karatzis firm and owner of land on the southern coast of Ierapetra in Crete, to open a the country's third Robinson Club.

Magnuson Hotels offers UK not a brand, but a platform

Hotel Management· 8 March 2018
Magnuson Hotels is expanding into the UK, and CEO Tom Magnuson is promising owners there not another brand, but a platform. Magnuson described the need for independent hotels to compete not only with the corporate brands but the sharing economy as the country’s market undergoes fundamental changes.

Hotels and OTAs duke it out over customer acquisition

Hotel Management· 7 March 2018
In the constant contest for customers, battle lines continue to be drawn between hotels that have to fill beds and the prevalent, long-armed online travel agencies that are a continued, but costly, provider of customers. Discussion pivoted on distribution during a panel session at the International Hotel Investment Forum, here at the InterContinental Berlin. Who, then, owns the customer? The debate ensued. "We are all taking the battle seriously over the retention of the customer," said Carol Dodds, VP of commercial for Interstate Hotels & Resorts. The company, which manages more than 400 hotels globally, receives a broad range of OTA contribution, but it varies per market, Dodds said. "The core brand is winning the mid-week battle," she continued. "Where the brand struggles is over leisure demand times. When customers are looking for an experience and there is more selection, then they go with third parties."

Why hotel technology must be customer-centric

Hotel Management· 7 March 2018
On the final day of the International Hotel Investment Forum, attendees learned how innovation in technology is being driven by what consumers want, including greater personalization, fewer friction points and providing a unique—rather than a repeat—experience. "Everything you do has to be customer-centric" The online travel agencies highlighted the investments they have been making into changing the consumer experience. “People are getting more savvy," Peter Verhoeven, global director of partner services at Booking.com, said. "They don’t want a repeat experience; they want a unique experience. Everything you do has to be customer-centric. If the customer doesn’t find what he or she wants, they will leave and never come back.”

Starboard Hotels buys UK Ibis Styles portfolio

Hotel Management· 6 March 2018
UK-based hotel owner and operator Starboard Hotels acquired four Ibis Styles hotels in the UK from construction group Carillion. The properties, which Starboard will operate under franchise agreements with AccorHotels Group, will remain under the Ibis Styles brand and were acquired for an undisclosed sum. The hotels in Barnsley, Birmingham National Exhibition Center, Crewe and Haydock now bring the number of Starboard’s hotels to 19 with close to 2,000 guestrooms. These operate under several brands, including InterContinental Hotels Group, Wyndham and Best Western. The hotel group also owns the Windemere Manor hotel in Cumbria, an independent property.

Hotels need to pay better attention to social media to drive revenue

Hotel Management· 6 March 2018
A common argument in the hotel industry against social media is that return on investment is difficult to measure, so why spend time and money on it? That attitude can be bad for business, and recent research suggests that hotel brands need to do a better job conversing with customers on social media. “The challenge most marketers have is on deciding which metrics matter when it comes to dollars. Attributing a dollar value to likes on Instagram isn’t the right way to think about it,” said Elvis Lieban, product marketing manager for NetBase—which recently released its 2018 Luxury Brands Report that tracks social-media use of top luxury brands.

Accor to expand Raffles, Mercure, Novotel and Ibis brands in India

Hotel Management· 6 March 2018
AccorHotels Group set plans to expand its Raffles, Mercure, Novotel and Ibis hotel brands in India. The hotel group is upping its focus on India’s leisure sector, developing luxury hotels in commercial and industrial areas and bringing its Raffles brand to the country for the first time. “We will be signing pacts with the property owners in weeks or months,” Jean-Michel Casse, COO, India and Southern Asia, AccorHotels, said in a statement. “These luxury hotels will come up in Mumbai, Jaipur and Goa.”

How repositioning Mediterranean hotels can drive growth and profit

Hotel Management· 6 March 2018
Panelists at the International Hotel Investment Forum advised investors in the Mediterranean region to renovate existing hotels rather than develop new sites. The return of destinations such as Turkey, which have suffered from a drop in visitation as a result of terror attacks in recent years, is driving enthusiasm for the region, and the brands are looking to make their mark.

Hotel brands, like Facebook and Amazon, want deeper relationships with consumers

Hotel Management· 6 March 2018
Hotel brands, like a best friend, want to interact with customers more than just a few times a year. Turns out, brand CEOs want a relationship with consumers on a basis more akin to Facebook or Amazon, which is to say, with frequency. The CEOs of some of the most global hotel companies convened at the International Hotel Investment Forum for a spirited discussion on that issue and many more, including... socks. "Brands are like a group of friends for every occasion that you can always count on," said AccorHotels CEO Sebastien Bazin.

Italy unites to attract foreign investors, brands

Hotel Management· 6 March 2018
uring the second day of the International Hotel Investment Forum, delegates learned how the Italian government is working to bring the public and private sectors together to foster growth and development. As the market becomes more transparent, investment is expected to expand in the country, and with it, growth in the international brands, the panelists said. The panel was held after preliminary results in the country’s elections saw a collection of right-wing, Eurosceptic  and populist parties  win a majority in the Italy’s parliament. The Five Star Movement was the biggest party, with around 32 percent of the vote, while the far-right League and center-right Forza Italia took around 17 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

Transform the hiring process with experiential interviewing

Hotel Management· 5 March 2018
We’ve all been there. A reminder pops up on our computer for the interview we have in 15 minutes, and we spend the next 14 scrambling to find the application and remind ourselves what we’re hiring for. We may or may not have a job description, we may or may not have a place to sit and meet. When the candidate arrives, we ask about the best boss they’ve worked for (to make sure it’s someone like us) and have them describe why we should hire them instead of the other candidates. When that’s finished (phew!), we return to our desk feeling like we really accomplished something.

Germany's Union Investment chooses 5th U.S. hotel investment location

Hotel Management· 5 March 2018
Frankfurt, Germany-based Union Investment is set to acquire a Thompson-branded lifestyle hotel development in Washington D.C.'s Navy Yard for approximately $120 million. The vendor, developer and future operator of the property is Gone Yard Hotel Owner, a joint venture between Geolo Capital, the San Francisco-based private equity investment arm of the John A. Pritzker Family Office; and JW Capital Partners, a Boston-based real estate investment group. Transfer of the asset will take place upon opening of the 225-guestroom hotel, which is scheduled for the beginning of 2020. Upon completion, the project will be added to the portfolio of the open-ended real estate fund UniImmo: Global. The lease has a term of 30 years.

Mandarin Oriental's new project will get around Barcelona laws

Hotel Management· 5 March 2018
When Mandarin Oriental opens its branded residence development in Barcelona, the property will be the group’s first residences-only project in Europe. The company is turning a 20-story office block into 34 residences that they will manage under their own brand. The project is a redevelopment of an existing office building owned by KKH Property Investors, a joint venture partnership between KKH Capital Group and Perella Weinberg Real Estate Fund II. It is located close to the city’s Mandarin Oriental hotel, which opened in 2009 on Passeig de Gràcia. The residences are slated to open in 2020.

Get vendor agreement in writing before the worst happens

Hotel Management· 2 March 2018
When the delivery truck crashes into your hotel lobby, who pays for the new wall? If the truck hits your guests, who covers the medical bills? What does your delivery agreement say? What agreement? It matters. Today, hotels are so focused on revenues and profits from guests and groups that they neglect their vendor agreements. But vendors are repairing your elevators and delivering your food and wiring the stage in the ballroom. Whatever could go wrong? It is not very convincing in court when you hold up a Post-it note that you claim is the vendor’s indemnification agreement!


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