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  • Value Added Tax in the GCC

    Details on the new VAT established in the region covered by the GCC, including implementation best practices and documentation requirements. By Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA

  • 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.

  • Letter from the HFTP Global President: A New Year Equals New Possibilities

    Written By: Timothy G. Nauss, CHAE - We are officially in the year 2018. Now is the ideal time to reflect on the successes of the old year, and prepare to make this new year the best one ever. Just as we set goals for ourselves to make us healthier, happier and more successful, HFTP as an organization sets goals each year to better meet the needs of our members and the hospitality industry.

  • GDPR in Hospitality: Vendor Compliance Query Template Available to Industry

    As a professional association, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) created a group of hospitality industry experts to develop hospitality-specific guidelines to assist with preparation for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.

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National Geographic Travel Names U.S. Cities 'On the Rise'

Lodging Magazine·17 January 2018
National Geographic Traveler this week unveiled its 29 “Cities on the Rise” based on a unique set of metrics and expert picks from its editors. To identify these rising small cities, Traveler worked with global destination branding advisors Resonance Consultancy in developing a Small Cities Index, a survey that drew from statistics and social media mentions to determine which cities rank highest in a variety of categories including green spaces, coffee shops, live music, and even Instagrammable moments.
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Industry Groups Form 'Visit U.S.' Coalition to Increase International Travel

Lodging Magazine·17 January 2018
The United States Travel Association has partnered with several tourism industry groups to launch a broad-based coalition, Visit U.S., to work alongside the president to grow travel to the United States. International travel to the states has been on the decline, with market share decreasing from 13.6 percent in 2015 to 11.9 percent in 2017, says the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA)—one of the coalition’s member groups.
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Check-in Trends

Lodging Magazine·17 January 2018
Mobile check-in and kiosks are becoming more popular throughout the hospitality and travel industries. However, guests sometimes have issues with the evolving technology, especially if they don’t travel frequently. According to Scott Koster, regional VP at Two Roads Hospitality, leisure travelers typically prefer a face-to-face interaction to a machine, while business travelers may just want to skip the front desk altogether and get to their rooms. Some Two Roads Hospitality hotels will soon have check-ins “with minimal fuss,” for guests that want to surpass check-in. Koster explains, “While we’ll have kiosk check-in systems at these locations, we will still have a concierge and lobby staff to help with any questions. We want to be sure we cover all of our options.”
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Improving Front Desk Operations Starts with an Empowered Team

Lodging Magazine·17 January 2018
The front desk experience can make or break a guest’s hotel stay. When the process is done right, the guest is delighted, either from a fantastic interaction with a friendly associate or a quick and easy transaction that gets them up to their rooms to relax as quickly as possible. However, if the front desk does not live up to guests’ expectations, it may lead to disaster. Whether it be disorganization, unprofessional or unhelpful associates, or an overall lack of polish, a poorly run front desk leaves guests frazzled, upset, and unlikely to return to your property.

Twenty Hotels Inducted into Historic Hotels of America

Lodging Magazine·16 January 2018
Historic Hotels of America inducted 20 historic hotels into membership in 2017. The oldest historic hotel inducted dates to 1771. Hotels nominated and accepted into the prestigious National Trust for Historic Preservation Historic Hotels of America program range in age from 246 years to 52 years old. Seven of the 20 historic hotels are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and one has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark. The 20 inducted historic hotels represent independent hotels, brands, and collections from across the U.S. from 13 different states.

BENCHMARK Reveals Top 10 Meeting Trends for 2018

Lodging Magazine·16 January 2018
Global hospitality company BENCHMARK has released its “Top Meeting Trends for 2018” as observed by its properties. Benchmark operates 70 hotels, resorts, and conference centers within its Benchmark Resorts & Hotels and Gemstone Collection brands nationwide and internationally. The pharmaceutical and healthcare industries are topping the business segments for 2018 meetings and events. While pharma is taking a step back in 2018 as a significant contributing industry to meetings, when combined with healthcare, the joint segment will still dominate demand for the year. Education is a close second followed by financial services, associations, and technology.

Implications of the Rising Cost of Customer Acquisition

Lodging Magazine·16 January 2018
On a superficial level, the implications of the rising costs of customer acquisition are easily identified. Increased costs lead to a decline in profitability, which results in a loss of asset value. However, like most things, it is never quite that simple. One of the first areas to consider in this type of analysis is the economic cycle in which the industry is operating. In a strong economy, like the one the United States has been experiencing over the last several years, many revenue strategy sins can be covered up by occupancies that are improving and average room rates that are increasing. Combine these two key performance indicators and all seems well; however, the truth lies beneath the surface. In this kind of environment, any increased costs incurred to acquire the customer can be obscured by the increased level of room revenue. For example, if your hotel-collected RevPAR increased by 5 percent, that may appear to be excellent on the top line, but what might not be so obvious is the additional 1 percent in acquisition costs that are slowly eroding the bottom line.

Chicago Sets New Record of 55 Million Visitors in 2017

Lodging Magazine·15 January 2018
The number of visitors to Chicago reached 55.2 million in 2017—a new record and 2.5 percent increase over the previous year. With the major increase in leisure visitors to the city, Chicago hotels reported an overall annual increase of 6.3 percent and hotel demand in terms of rooms occupied grew 3.3 percent in 2017.
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LG Develops Robots to Take on Hotel Service Functions

Lodging Magazine·12 January 2018
Following the introduction of its commercial robots in 2017, LG Electronics (LG) this week unveiled three new work robots at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. The new concepts—specifically developed for commercial use at hotels, airports, and supermarkets—are part of LG’s efforts to expand its artificial intelligence (AI) products.

From Urban Retreats to Remote Glamping: Virtuoso Releases 2018 Hotel Trends

Lodging Magazine·12 January 2018
Virtuoso has released its 2018 Best of the Best catalog of the world’s top hotels and experiences, revealing emerging trends across the lodging industry. This year’s edition is the largest to date with 1,250 hotels, resorts, villas, and private island retreats in 108 countries. The report includes properties in Virtuoso’s global luxury travel network, a curated collection of hotels that range from four to 4,004 rooms. Below are the most significant trends observed among the new additions to the collection.

Hotels Seek Diverse Development Teams for a Fresh Perspective

Lodging Magazine·12 January 2018
One way to inject a fresh perspective into the hotel industry is to seek out diverse development teams. This is a strategy that Choice Hotels has been using for more than a decade. “We launched our emerging markets division in 2004,” Brian Parker, vice president emerging markets and new business development at Choice Hotels, says. “This department specifically focuses on recruiting under-represented minorities and untraditional hoteliers.”

Best Western Hoteliers Contribute $1 Million to Charitable Initiatives

Lodging Magazine·12 January 2018
Best Western Hotels & Resorts' hoteliers have committed approximately $1 million over the next five years in support of the brand's charitable arm-Best Western for a Better World (BWBW). Portions of these funds were donated to the American Red Cross-the charity's disaster relief partner-to aid victims in the aftermath of 2017's powerful hurricanes and wildfires. 'Since our brand's beginnings, Best Western hotel owners have felt a strong sense of responsibility to the communities in which

Dream Hotel Group CEO Jay Stein on Creating Stand-Out Lifestyle Hotels

Lodging Magazine·11 January 2018
Jay Stein, CEO of Dream Hotel Group, isn't too worried about macroeconomic trends that could impact the hospitality industry. The lifestyle hotel company isn't like other big names in hospitality, he says, in that Dream Hotel Group is hyper-focused on select markets and the niche hotels in its competitive set. 'Our hotels are unique and they drive unique business,' Stein explains. What sets Dream Hotels apart from other lifestyle properties, according to Stein, is its
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Research: Business Travel Can Help Attract and Retain Employees

Lodging Magazine·10 January 2018
New research commissioned by Booking.com for Business shows how people’s professions shape their outlooks towards business and leisure travel and the increasing intersection of the two. The independently conducted study surveyed more 17,000 working professionals who have traveled internationally in the last 12 months. The sample of professionals spanned 24 countries and more than 20 industries and the results identified common trends and variations by profession.
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How G6 Hospitality Leveraged its Legacy Brands for Growth

Lodging Magazine·10 January 2018
In 2017, G6 Hospitality celebrated its 55th anniversary. The company, which is headquartered in Carrollton, Texas (near Dallas), has two economy brands that franchise throughout the United States—Motel 6, which has been around since 1962, and Studio 6, an extended-stay brand that launched in 1998—as well as two brands that serve Latin America, Hotel 6 and Estudio 6.

TripAdvisor Reveals Destinations on the Rise in 2018

Lodging Magazine· 9 January 2018
TripAdvisor announced the winners of its Travelers’ Choice awards for destinations on the rise. Ishigaki, Japan earned the top spot while the small Hawaiian town of Kapaa on the island of Kauai ranked as the top rising destination in the United States.
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Rosie the Robot Creator Maidbot Partners with BISSELL, Inc.

Lodging Magazine· 8 January 2018
Maidbot, Inc., a robotics company that created Rosie, the first housekeeping robot and indoor mobile data platform for hotels and commercial buildings, announced today it received a strategic investment from BISSELL, Inc. BISSELL led the investment round with participation from existing and new investors including 1517 Fund, Comet Labs, and Rough Draft Ventures, along with strategic hospitality and industrial cleaning organizations. The investment will help the company expand its sales and marketing efforts, build out its engineering capabilities, and accelerate Maidbot’s transition to mass production.

Hospitality Construction Spending Forecasted to Reach $232 Billion by 2021

Lodging Magazine· 8 January 2018
A new report by Research and Markets finds that spending on leisure and hospitality construction has improved significantly since 2012, rising to $181 billion globally in 2016 and forecast to reach $232 billion by 2021. The increased spending of 5.2 percent per year in nominal terms is supported by growing tourism, particularly in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. Within these areas, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar are all expected to grow at above 7 percent per year, with huge developments planned or in progress, according to the report.

Five New Innovative Hotels of 2017

Lodging Magazine· 8 January 2018
The hotel industry is defined by its movers and shakers. Whether someone introduces an industry-disrupting technology or just executes a truly flawless renovation, those are the hoteliers and properties that people will remember. Here, LODGING turns the spotlight on some of 2017’s newest innovative properties.
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Three Mistakes To Avoid When Buying Hotel Furniture

Lodging Magazine· 8 January 2018
Being a furniture buyer in today’s lodging industry can be an intimidating task. There are so many options, tons of steps, and lots of tight deadlines. Buyers must steer clear of any unnecessary mistakes when choosing a furniture manufacturer and purchasing new items. Below are three tips to avoid the top issues that today’s hotel furniture buyers are making.
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Designers Weigh in on Custom Furniture Trends

Lodging Magazine· 5 January 2018
Custom furniture pieces are one of the biggest architectural trends in the design community but relatively new to some areas of the hospitality sector. Designers are starting to customize furniture and lighting fixtures as opposed to using mass-produced copies of typical furniture pieces. Guests wanting an authentic stay at a hotel look for surrounding architecture and design that is unique to the property, and custom-designed furniture helps hoteliers create that distinctive environment.
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Checking Out the Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe

Lodging Magazine· 4 January 2018
Located along the edge of the California/Nevada border, the Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe incorporates nature-inspired design elements that attract guests from across the generations and the spectrum of interests and tastes. The latest iteration of the property has been 25 years in the making.
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Vicki Poulos: Pushing the Hospitality Envelope

Lodging Magazine· 4 January 2018
In designing and developing Moxy Hotels, Vicki Poulos, senior brand director for the flag, has challenged conventional hospitality practices and created something unique. Poulos discusses her career and dispenses advice for hospitality hopefuls.
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Forbes Travel Guide Names 2018 Best Hospitality Brands

Lodging Magazine· 3 January 2018
Forbes Travel Guide this week announced its 2018 list of the top service and amenity providers for each segment of the hospitality industry. These “Brand Officials” offer items and services that Forbes Travel Guide qualifies as notable and worthy of endorsement.
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Five Luxury Travel Trends to Watch in 2018

Lodging Magazine· 3 January 2018
Small Luxury Hotels of the World, in partnership with global trends analysts Trendwatching, released a report on what will shape the luxury boutique hotel experience in 2018. Below are five luxury travel trends that are expected to influence the global lodging market this year.
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PM Hotel Group To Manage the DoubleTree by Hilton Wilmington

Lodging Magazine· 3 January 2018
Hotel management company PM Hotel Group has signed a management contract to operate the 244-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Wilmington, Del. The Buccini/Pollin Group, a privately held, full-service real estate acquisition, development, and management company, acquired the hotel in October 2017.

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