• Compensation and Benefits... An Important Combination When Attracting and Retaining Talented Staff

    Figuring out the right combination of compensation and benefits is the key to attracting and retaining top talent within your organization. Since 2002, the HFTP Americas Research Center has been tracking trends and publishing the HFTP Compensation and Benefits Survey.

  • Write Your Way In: Become an Official HFTP Event Guest Blogger

    Would you like to join us at one of HFTP’s major events coming up this year and take advantage of its valuable education and networking opportunities — registration complimentary of HFTP®? Do you have a penchant for writing and an interest in sharing your experiences? We invite you to become a guest blogger for one of these events in 2018: the brand-new Club Summit, HITEC® Amsterdam, HITEC® Houston, or the Club Hotel & Controllers Conference.

  • 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.

Forbes Travel Guide announces 2018 Star Rating Awards

4hoteliers.com·23 February 2018
As it celebrates its landmark 60th anniversary, Forbes Travel Guide today unveiled its 60th list of worldwide Star Rating winners, continuing its exceedingly selective approach for recognizing the world's finest properties and rewarding gracious, intuitive service. The 2018 award winners include 27 new Five-Star hotels, 70 new Four-Star hotels and 76 new Recommended hotels. Other first-time recipients include five Five-Star restaurants, 24 Four-Star restaurants and 10 Recommend restaurants. The list also honors five new Five-Star spas and 29 new Four-Star spas. See the complete list of winners here.
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Airbnb on a path to more than 1 billion annual guests by 2028

4hoteliers.com·23 February 2018
The Roadmap puts Airbnb on a path to more than 1 billion annual guests by 2028; new property types, new tiers, Airbnb Collections and community recognition form key elements of a Roadmap launched today to bring the benefits of local and authentic travel to everyone. 10 years ago, Airbnb co-founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia inflated 3 airbeds in their San Francisco apartment and started what has become a global phenomenon in travel. Today, Airbnb is one of the world’s largest accommodation platforms with 4.5 million places to stay in 81,000 cities. Over the last 10 years, Airbnb hosts earned more than $41bn and guests have checked into an Airbnb more than 300 million times. As it looks to the next 10 years and the continued success of its host community, Airbnb today unveils a Roadmap for its core Homes business that is designed to bring the transformative benefits of local, personal and authentic travel to every type of traveler.
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What's driving Airbnb experiences one year later? Foodies, Millennials & Solo Travelers

4hoteliers.com·22 February 2018
One year ago Airbnb announced Trips, our vision of bringing together where you go, what you do, and who you meet into one people-powered platform and as part of that, we’ve expanded Experiences – local activities crafted and led by local people – to more than 40 cities across 26 countries, and to every continent except Antarctica.

Turning Potentially Negative Communications into Positive PR Opportunities

4hoteliers.com·21 February 2018
Welcome to When Legal Meets PR! Today every legal move has potential for PR ramifications and vice versa and that’s why it’s critical that your legal and PR work in tandem to produce the best possible product for the situation. In the first installment of this new blog series we’ll look at two “outside the box” cease and desist letters that not only avoided making the issuing organization look bad, but actually resulted in positive PR for everyone involved. First up, and oldie-but-goodie from Jack Daniels:
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Singapore tourism sector performance breaks record for the second year running in 2017

4hoteliers.com·20 February 2018
Tourism receipts rose by 3.9 per cent to S$26.8 billion[1], due primarily to growth in visitor arrivals across all top 10 markets[2] and higher visitor arrivals from high-spending markets such as China, South Korea, United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK); Visitor arrivals increased by 6.2 per cent to 17.4 million, with 13 of the top 15 markets showing growth.
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Boom or Bust? Where is tourism heading

4hoteliers.com·18 February 2018
Strong growth for world outbound travel despite natural disasters and terror attacks, an ongoing shift to ‘safe’ destinations, and controversial protests against ‘overtourism’ in various destinations. These top travel trends and issues of 2017 were the major topics at the 25th World Travel Monitor® Forum in Pisa on November 9-10, 2017, an exclusive industry meeting initiated at the invitation of consultancy IPK International and supported by ITB Berlin. The global travel industry again set new records over the first eight months of 2017, IPK‘s World Travel Monitor® found. These are the key percentage growth figures for outbound trips, by region and by holiday type (selection):
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Extraordinary results for European Tourism in 2017

4hoteliers.com·16 February 2018
Europe welcomed 671 million international tourist arrivals in 2017, an outstanding 8% growth compared to 2016 (+2%)[1], Europe has consolidated, for the eight consecutive year, its position as the leading destination worldwide. According to the latest European Travel Commission's "European Tourism 2017-Trends & Prospects", regional expansion was supported by the economic growth in major source markets and the recovery of destinations previously affected by security concerns. Almost all monitored destinations saw increases in tourist arrivals with more than a half growing in excess of 10%.

The Current Hospitality Scenario: Competition, Upswing, Marketing

4hoteliers.com·13 February 2018
The hospitality industry is one of the most dynamic sectors in the world: It places its customers at the heart of its operations and works to deliver the best experience possible, but with changing times and changing demands of new age travelers, what are hotels doing to keep up with them and stay relevant despite the fierce competition in the industry? The Current Hospitality Scenario: Competition, Upswing, Marketing The international hospitality industry is anything but kind. For a very long time, there was next to no innovation in this field, but the arrival of technology-fueled on-demand economy has dramatically changed that. Airbnb’s appearance on the scene was an indicator of this change, along with the rise of boutique hotels. Soon, even traditional restaurant chains began experimenting, growing, acquiring and by consequence, innovating intensely. This brings us to the current hospitality scenario. Although it continues to be a brutal, unyielding, and fiercely competitive industry, the path to success is now multifaceted. There isn’t one formula that applies to all and hotels no longer have to subscribe to hard and fast rules. Technology plays the role of a grand equalizer, giving even the smallest player a fighting chance to survive.

The beauty of a core data asset - time for travel companies to embrace it

4hoteliers.com·13 February 2018
How to identify a first time guest staying at a particular property or a passenger preferring a particular seat when flying? A core data asset is a must for travel companies to answer such questions. The significance of first party data and crafting “audience profile” is increasingly coming to the fore, and Chinese travel companies need to step up their initiatives in order to be data-driven. This is being highlighted by several stakeholders, be it for travel technology specialists such as Ireland-based Datalex or advertising technology (ad tech) companies such as Vpon Big Data Group. “Most (travel) advertisers lag behind in terms of investment in their own data capabilities,” says Arthur Chan, Chief Operating Officer at Vpon Big Data Group.

The Death of Engaging Experiences in Hotels - An Opinion

4hoteliers.com·13 February 2018
I am always amazed at the ever more sophisticated technology at our disposal to learn about our guests: we hold data in our PMS, our CRM, reputation management, complex algorithms designed to identify guest personas and propensities, machine learning to enhance these algorithms further and now we are even experimenting with AI. All of this is designed to know more about our guests, their habits, their wants and needs and ultimately to allow us to create more engaging experiences. Amazing, how technology has evolved and what it can do for us.
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Mobile matters in a personalized world

4hoteliers.com·12 February 2018
We have seen significant progress in recent years when it comes to data-mining and several brands are emerging that are able to ‘assist’ the traveler with information which could lead to improved conversion or upsold amenities. For example, when using HotelTonight, a mobile only travel company mainly for distressed last-minute bookings, the app recognizes a query which hasn’t matured into a sale. It will then send a regular push alert when prices decrease for that original query. This feature is focused solely on the one original query, meaning it is targeted and helpful as opposed to unsolicited messaging which is often seen as spam. This is just one example of how the much talked about trends towards personalization are being brought to life. Better personalization is also coming through greater ‘identity sharing’. For example, logging on via Facebook provides many more data points than a generic email logon.

Huge Devaluation - Marriott announces 2018 category changes

4hoteliers.com·12 February 2018
Following on from SPG's 2018 category changes, Marriott have announced theirs and it's a shocker with more than four times as many properties are moving up a category than are moving
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Address infrastructure crisis in Asia-Pacific to secure aviation's future

4hoteliers.com· 8 February 2018
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is calling for urgent attention to address infrastructure challenges in order to secure the industry's future. "Having the infrastructure to grow is vital to our industry's future. But in many key places, it is not being built fast enough to meet growing demand. And there are worrying trends which are increasing costs. One of these is airport privatizations. We have not found the correct regulatory framework to balance the interests of the investors to turn a profit, with the public interest for the airport to be a catalyst for economic growth. All the optimism supporting strong aircraft orders will mean nothing if we don't have the capability to manage traffic in the air and at airports," said Alexandre de Juniac in his keynote address to the Singapore Airshow Aviation Leadership Summit (SAALS). The theme of the Summit is 'Reimagining Aviation's Future'.
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How (Not) to Be Culturally Appropriate to Chinese Luxury Consumers

4hoteliers.com· 8 February 2018
“Why do luxury brands misunderstand us?”, “How come luxury brands interpret the Chinese aesthetic this way?”, “Let’s see which brand has the ugliest Year of the Dog edition product!”: These comments are just some examples of recent titles from popular WeChat/Weibo posts, they are from Chinese Millennials mocking some luxury brands’ Year of the Dog collections.
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Russia to improve legal regulation of hotel services and classification of travel industry facilities

4hoteliers.com· 8 February 2018
The President signed the Federal Law On Amending the Federal Law On the Basic Principles of Tourism Business in the Russian Federation and the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offences to Improve the Legal Regulation of Hotel Services and the Classification of Travel Industry Facilities. The Federal Law will introduce mandatory hotel classification, which is currently voluntary (unless otherwise stipulated by federal laws), and will update requirements for the classification of hotels, ski runs and beaches. The classification procedure will include the issuance of three-year category certificates to hotels, ski runs and beaches. A federal executive agency authorised to keep a register of the rated hotels, ski runs and beaches will publish information from this register on its official website.
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Positive outlook for financing although banks showing caution on over-supply

4hoteliers.com· 7 February 2018
A survey of leading European banks has shown that despite on-going uncertainty surrounding Britain’s exit from the EU they are still positive about lending on hotel projects in Britain, ranking the UK as their most preferred hotel lending market along with Germany and the Netherlands. According to the European Hotel Lending Survey 2018, published today by brokerage and investment services specialist HVS Hodges Ward Elliott, debt is widely available for all types of hotel projects across the continent.
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KrisFlyer to launch world's first blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet

4hoteliers.com· 7 February 2018
The SIA Group’s KrisFlyer frequent-flyer programme is to launch a world-first blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet capability that will help unlock the value of KrisFlyer miles to enable everyday spending at retail partners. A new KrisFlyer digital wallet app utilising this innovative technology is expected to be rolled out in about six months. It will allow the extensive KrisFlyer membership base to use ‘digital KrisFlyer miles’ for point-of-sale transactions at participating retail merchants.

PATA launches food waste campaign 'Building an Understanding For Food Excess in Tourism

4hoteliers.com· 7 February 2018
Building on the success of the UN’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (IY2017) initiative and in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), PATA, along with our project partner, Scholars of Sustenance (Thai-SOS) and knowledge partner Futouris, is launching the BUFFET Campaign to raise awareness of food waste in our industry to drive positive change. The BUFFET (Building an Understanding For Food Excess in Tourism) Initiative is about bringing together a coalition of industry partners and PATA members to create and implement a campaign that challenges our industry, particularly the hospitality sector, to reduce food waste to landfill.
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Champing At The Bit: Can You Pay Your Workers In Bitcoin?

4hoteliers.com· 7 February 2018
For the first time, a large, publicly traded company—Japanese web-business GMO Internet—has announced that it will soon offer its employees the chance to receive their pay in the world’s most popular cryptocurrency: bitcoin, and while it’s not unheard of for smaller businesses operating in the tech-savvy blockchain or cryptosphere to offer bitcoin as compensation, it became worldwide news when GMO disclosed its 4,000 employees will have the option of receiving bitcoin as a portion of their salaries beginning this February.
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The Hospitality Battle

4hoteliers.com· 7 February 2018
For years, hotel brands have maintained an uneasy agreement with online travel agencies (OTAs), exchanging reduced margins for expanded awareness. L2’s Google Hotel Finder report compares hotel brand sites to the top three online tourism destinations (TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Kayak) and finds that the average hotel brand secures only 5% of comparable website traffic, 6% of unique email subscribers, and 14% of unbranded Google search visibility.
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Personalization or privacy: The Southeast Asian travelers' paradox to sharing their data?

4hoteliers.com· 6 February 2018
It’s easy to forget just how big Southeast Asia is when it sits next to behemoths like China and India, but as home to more than 641 million people, or 8.5% of the world’s population, it deserves its own place in the spotlight. Throw in rising disposable incomes and a growing appetite to explore the world, it’s about time travel players start paying close attention to them in this up and coming region. We put several countries in Southeast Asia under the magnifying glass for our landmark Journey of Me Insights research. We looked at how they want to travel, and what drives their behaviors. We know that travelers today want personalized journeys, but are Southeast Asian travelers willing to trade data for greater personalization? Here’s what we found:
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Paris continues its reign as highest-rated city

4hoteliers.com· 6 February 2018
Sydney knocks New York off 3rd place, while Melbourne jumps from 9th to 7th, Tokyo records greatest score gain of all 50 cities. The latest Anholt-GfK City Brands IndexSM (CBISM) reveals that Paris retains its position at the top. For the fourth time since the survey began, the global public regards Paris as the highest rated out of 50 cities. Australian cities also show improvement: Sydney overtakes New York (4th) to earn a spot back in the top three and Melbourne jumps to 7th place, surpassing Amsterdam (8th) and Berlin (10th). These are some of the findings from CBISM, a biennial study conducted in September and October of 2017.
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Scott Dunn makes outbound luxury play in Asia

4hoteliers.com· 6 February 2018
Scott Dunn has marked its first move into Asia with its acquisition of Singapore-based tailor-made travel specialist, Country Holidays. In a press conference held this week, Scott Dunn CEO Simon Russell was clear about the company’s intent to make its presence known more dominantly in Asia. This meant finding a local partner that not only offered access to new target markets, but also finding one that shared the same company ethos of “quality, expertise, and service”.
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Facebook's Chatbot M is Dead. Will Text-Based AI for Travel Thrive?

4hoteliers.com· 6 February 2018
After closing a $3 million funding round, Hong Kong-based chatbot startup TravelFlan enters mainland China market, transitioning from Facebook Messenger to Tencent’s WeChat platform for the Chinese travelers. Artificial intelligence (AI) and big data already appear so yesterday, even in the context of entrepreneurship, but data tagging and content allocation are just starting to take off, as smart technologies continue to emerge and redefine the competitive landscape.
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Five Reasons Why Travel Brands Need to Take Notice of Alibaba's Fliggy

4hoteliers.com· 5 February 2018
Crafting a unique user profile from 1000 petabytes of data! Yes, this is what Alibaba is attempting to do as an ecosystem and in this context, it isn’t surprising to find more than 70 domestic and foreign airlines opting to establish flagship stores on Fliggy. More a user sticks to an ecosystem, tougher it becomes for a merchant/ advertiser to ignore the strength of such 3rd party platforms.
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Important Factors to Consider When Getting a Property Management System for Your Hotel

4hoteliers.com· 5 February 2018
A good property management system is the backbone of a hotel, and though invisible, its scope affects different parts of a hotel’s functioning and with operational efficiency and guest relations riding on the PMS, it’s extremely important you bring a system that’s best suited to the needs of your small hotel.

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