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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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Travel Megatrends 2018: Travel Brands Want to Be Experience Platforms

skift.com - Hotels·18 January 2018
It used to be that airlines simply got you from point A to point B. Hotels offered you a place to rest your weary head at night. Tour companies herded tourists onto buses and drove them around to see the sights. Cruises gave you a sea-level view of the world. Online travel agencies allowed consumers to begin booking their own flights and hotel accommodations.
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A Chinese Blockchain Firm Wants to Get Into the Hotel Business

skift.com - Hotels·17 January 2018
Sharing Economy International Inc., a Chinese textile machinery maker with blockchain ambitions, said it’s pursuing the acquisition of a boutique hotel from Hong Kong property billionaire Lee Shau-kee.
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Trump Organization Refuses to Check Out of Panama Hotel

skift.com - Hotels·17 January 2018
Most of the unit owners in the Trump International Hotel & Tower Panama want to get rid of the president’s hotel-management company. It refuses to go without a fight and, according to the owners, is trying to bully them into backing down.

Interview: Nihi Hotels CEO on Creating a Cult Property That's Distinctly Luxurious

skift.com - Hotels·17 January 2018
When you canvas hospitality leaders around the world for who they look up to or where they find inspiration, hotelier James McBride is a recurring name people bring up. He began his career in a Durban, South Africa kitchen; worked his way up through the Ritz Carlton for 14 years starting in 1988 and has a Harvard Business School case study referencing his work, and served as managing director of The Carlyle in Manhattan from 2003 to 2009.

HNA Debt Crisis Hits Its Hong Kong Unit After Acquisition Blitz

skift.com - Hotels·16 January 2018
A unit of HNA Group Co. sought more time to complete the arrangement of a second bridge loan it took to finance a luxury real-estate development in Hong Kong as the Chinese conglomerate juggles its borrowings following a debt-fueled acquisition spree. Hong Kong International Investment Group Co. needs “extra time” and the loan has been extended for six months through July 15, it said in an emailed statement on Monday.

Why Travel Agents Should Rethink the Sharing Economy in Luxury Hospitality

skift.com - Hotels·16 January 2018
The sharing economy has always been associated with a flexible, self-service style of travel, from young discount-seekers crashing in spare bedrooms to mid-market urban explorers discovering the quirks of other people’s kitchens. But as the sharing economy matures, it’s finally catching up with luxury travelers who expect all-encompassing, guest-centric experiences.

Stockholm Has Too Many Hotel Rooms

skift.com - Hotels·16 January 2018
It’s not just Stockholm’s housing market that is feeling the weight of a surge in supply. Profitability among hotels is also under pressure as demand fails to fill a raft of new rooms in the Swedish capital. That prompted Scandic Hotels AB, the Nordic region’s largest hotel chain, to warn on Tuesday that adjusted fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization would drop from a year earlier, mainly due to a decline in earnings at its Swedish operations. Scandic, as well as peers Pandox AB and Rezidor AB, slumped in Stockholm trading.
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Smart Speakers and Hotel Rooms Aren't an Easy Fit

skift.com - Hotels·16 January 2018
Smart speakers powered by artificial intelligence could be reaching the apex of their hype cycle. Vendors displayed dozens of them at CES 2018 in Las Vegas last week, with many embedded into household devices instead of standing alone as a consumer product.
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Newest Luxury Hotels in Milan Showcase the City's Ties to Fashion

skift.com - Hotels·13 January 2018
Milan’s luxury hotels are serious—sprawling, grand venues that can feel a tad stuffy and outdated. But two new hotels are catching up to the city’s fashion-forward status. Fifty House and Hotel Viu are fun, playful, and creatively designed and attract a new generation of posh travelers. Here’s how they compare.
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Blackstone Is Paying $1.1 Billion to Buy Maui's Grand Wailea Resort

skift.com - Hotels·13 January 2018
Blackstone Group LP reached an agreement to acquire a luxury resort on the Hawaiian island of Maui for about $1.1 billion, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The private equity firm plans to buy Grand Wailea from GIC Pte, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the purchase hasn’t been made public. Representatives for Blackstone and GIC declined to comment.
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Hoshino Resorts' New Midscale Brand Wants to Reinvent the Tourist Hotel

skift.com - Hotels·12 January 2018
Hoshino Resorts, a family-owned hotel company based in Japan that’s been in operation for more than 100 years, just announced its newest brand: OMO. The new midscale brand was designed to appeal to tourists, and to capitalize on the visitor boom that Japan has experienced in recent years, as well as the crowds expected for the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games.
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CES 2018 Dispatch: Transition to 5G Mobile Will Be Transformative for Hotels

skift.com - Hotels·12 January 2018
Over the next five years, a new generation of mobile technology will emerge that will change how people use their smartphones. Hotels, in particular, will end up in the front lines of this shift. What if hotel guests can simply download any movie they want to their smartphone in a few seconds, and view it on the screen in their room, without using hotel Wi-Fi? What if meeting attendees can participate in a high-definition video meeting powered by a mobile data network?

China Shuts Down Marriott's Website and Mobile App Over Tibet Gaffe

skift.com - Hotels·11 January 2018
Marriott’s Chinese website and mobile app are being shut down temporarily by Chinese government officials in Shanghai as punishment for the company listing Chinese-claimed regions Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan as countries in a recent Mandarin-language customer survey.
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NH Hotels Turns Down Barcelo Merger Offer But Is Open to Others

skift.com - Hotels·10 January 2018
The NH Hotel Group board has turned down an offer from rival Barceló, which would have seen the two companies merge. Barceló made the unsolicited offer, which valued NH hotels at around $3 billion, in November. The combined Spain-based group would have had a portfolio of 478 properties and 89,000 rooms.

Luxury Hoteliers Believe Customization Is Key to Winning Over Millennials

skift.com - Hotels· 9 January 2018
Smart hoteliers know they can’t afford to ignore the next generation of luxury travelers. Why? Because they are an economic force to be reckoned with. Millennials, or those born between 1981 to 1997, already surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation in the U.S. two years ago. And globally, millennials number about 2 billion, making up roughly 27 percent of the world’s population. That’s not counting Generation Z, those born beginning in 1998, who are expected to eclipse millennials in size, according to Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research.
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Luxury Travel Confronts a Widening Identity Crisis

skift.com - Hotels· 5 January 2018
Whether or not the luxury travel industry is willing to admit it, the sector finds itself at a pivotal crossroads. The traditional mainstays of luxury hospitality are no longer as valued as they once were, and a new way of thinking about it has emerged, making it harder than ever to know what luxury really is, and how to deliver it to guests.”I think the luxury segment is facing some really unprecedented challenges,” said Bjorn Hanson, clinical professor at the NYU Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism.
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Motel 6 Faces Lawsuit for Continuing to Provide Guest Information to Immigration Authorities

skift.com - Hotels· 4 January 2018
Let's hope Arizona follows Washington State's lead in clamping down on Motel 6 turning over guest information to immigration authorities. Parent company G6 Hospitality, too, needs to do a better job of ensuring that property owners comply with the brand's policies.
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Hoteliers Are Taking Different Approaches to Luxury Travel Innovation

skift.com - Hotels· 2 January 2018
Everyone in travel wants to know what the next big thing — or disruption — will come from, and for luxury travel, innovation has a number of different definitions and approaches. For some, it’s about using technology to personalize the experience. For others, like Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, it’s about empowering employees to deliver the best service possible. For Sereno Hotels, it revolves around staying true to the meaning of hospitality. And for W, JW Marriott, and The Luxury Collection, innovation involves looking to sectors like retail and dining for some inspiration. AccorHotels, too, is thinking more about improving the entire travel experience from end to end.

A Look Back at What the Hospitality Industry Taught Itself in 2017

skift.com - Hotels· 2 January 2018
The year 2017 was one preceded by a roller-coaster of a year in hospitality that saw a multitude of mega mergers, one of which — Marriott-Starwood — was particularly drama-filled. Last year wasn’t without its fair share of excitement, too, but it was also a period in which brands took time to really focus on what lies ahead. Now that those big mergers have taken place, the hard part has arrived: figuring out how to put everything together, and leading these companies well into the future. Here’s a look at some of the biggest hotel stories and themes we covered in the past year, and what to pay attention to as we head into the next one
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Hotel Loyalty Rates Finally Gave Room Key Site an Advantage

skift.com - Hotels· 2 January 2018
Room Key, a hotel search site founded by major chains five years ago, said it has unlocked revenue growth and profitability. Room Key’s 2017 transaction volume is up about 50 percent compared with the prior year, a spokesperson estimated, and the business has been profitable since mid-2015. The company did not provide absolute numbers.
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A Luxury Hotel Hitlist for 2018 Tied Together by a Creative Vision

skift.com - Hotels· 1 January 2018
As 2018 breaks into view, luxury-minded travelers start marking their calendars for retreats in the new year. Here are some of the hotels that caught our ever-searching eyes, and are worth putting on a luxury traveler’s 2018 hitlist. There are wide range of options presented here, with some wild cards and some tried and true classics. The selection spans remote and isolated properties like Nihi in Sumba, city hotels like New York’s The Lowell, Kyoto ryokans for regeneration, or mountain resorts to ski. The thread tying things together is vision, uniqueness and a guest-centric experience.

CEO Interview: Veteran Hotelier Stephen Brandman on Reinventing Lifestyle Hotel Management

skift.com - Hotels·28 December 2017
Stephen Brandman has a more than 30-year history of working in the hotel industry, including co-founding Thompson and Commune Hotels and working for more than 16 years for InterContinental Hotels Group. In 2017, he made news again with the announcement that he would lead a new hotel management company, Journal Hotels, which was started by Goodwin Gaw and David Chang, the owners of The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel.Journal Hotels’ U.S. portfolio includes The Hollywood Roosevelt, The Standard High Line, the newly opened Mondrian Park Avenue, the Ambassador Chicago (formerly known as the Public Chicago), Two Bunch Palms, and the Hotel G.

La Quinta Is Making a Big Play for Business Travelers

skift.com - Hotels·27 December 2017
The chief marketing officer of La Quinta Inns & Suites offers a glimpse of how the hotel company is thinking about business traveler needs. It's not a segment anyone can take for granted.-Hannah

CEO Interview: Paligroup's Avi Brosh on Growing Boutique Hotels in the Shadows of Big Brands

skift.com - Hotels·27 December 2017
When Paligroup CEO Avi Brosh decided to start his own hotel business in 2008, it was because he saw “a hole in the market.” He thought there was an opportunity smaller, neighborhood-oriented hotels that local communities could champion.

Extended Stay America's New CEO Looks to Business Model Changes to Drive Growth

skift.com - Hotels·26 December 2017
Just before the holidays set in, Extended Stay America made some news about a major leadership change: CEO Gerry Lopez would be succeeded by chief financial officer Jonathan S. Halkyard, effective January 1. The hospitality industry’s extended stay sector is doing very well, with demand increasing and average daily rates staying steady or rising despite an influx ofsupply. And because it’s doing so well, other brands are also expressing more interest in the space, and competition is heating up.

Development of Fontainebleau Resort in Las Vegas Gets Kickstarted by New Tax Law

skift.com - Hotels·23 December 2017
For New York developer Steven Witkoff, the tax overhaul signed today by President Donald Trump will have an immediate effect: he’s plowing ahead with his plan to develop the stalled Fontainebleau resort in Las Vegas. “Now, we’re not going to be patient,” Witkoff said in a phone interview. “We’ve basically pressed the ‘go’ button to do everything necessary to finish design on the project and take down a construction loan.”

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