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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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European Tourism Had One of Its Best Years While U.S. Had One of Its Worst

skift.com - Destinations·16 January 2018
After economic shocks and terrorist attacks roiled Europe in 2016, international visitor arrivals made a notable comeback in 2017, making it the strongest year for the region’s tourism in seven years.
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Egypt Has a New Tourism Minister as Visitor Numbers Climb

skift.com - Destinations·15 January 2018
Egyptian lawmakers approved the appointment of a former senior central bank official as tourism minister, one of four cabinet changes after President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called for a reshuffle.
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Asian Casino Operator Melco Has European Ambitions in Cyprus

skift.com - Destinations·14 January 2018
The Hong Kong-based investor building Europe’s largest integrated casino resort in Cyprus wants to attract high-end customers from the neighboring Middle East to the island nation and target visitors from Russia, Britain, and Asia.
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Prague Stops Its Famed Astronomical Clock for Repairs

skift.com - Destinations·14 January 2018
One of Prague’s major tourist attractions, its medieval astronomical clock, was stopped last week, and is to be taken away for months for major repairs. The clock last performed its hourly show of the 12 apostles and other figures for crowds of visitors to the Czech capital on Monday at 9 a.m. Prague officials say the clock that was installed on the City Hall’s tower in 1410 will be completely disassembled and its parts taken for restoration, the first complex fix since World War II.
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Spain Overtakes a Struggling U.S. as World's Second Favorite Tourist Destination

skift.com - Destinations·12 January 2018
Spain has jumped above the U.S. to become the second biggest tourist destination, according to new estimated figures. Despite facing a number of significant challenges in 2017, around 82 million tourists visited the country in 2017. The preliminary figure, which uses data for the first 11 months of the year and an estimate for December, would likely put it ahead of the U.S. and behind France in terms of overall numbers.
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U.S. Tourism Confronting Its Worst Year Since the Financial Crisis

skift.com - Destinations·10 January 2018
Fewer international travelers visited the United States during the first seven months of 2017 and with that decline, foreign visitors also spent less across the country, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data released this week.
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U.S. State Department Overhauls Travel Warning System

skift.com - Destinations·10 January 2018
The U.S. Department of State is changing the way it makes recommendations to U.S. travelers about which destinations are unsafe to visit by eliminating travel warnings and alerts and issuing travel advisories, to various degrees, for every country in the world.
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Trump Administration Grants Florida a Reprieve From Offshore Drilling

skift.com - Destinations·10 January 2018
The Trump administration is ruling out plans to sell new drilling rights off the coast of Florida, including eastern Gulf of Mexico waters coveted by oil companies, amid pressure from Republican Governor Rick Scott. The about-face came just five days after the Interior Department said it was considering selling oil and gas leases in more than 90 percent of U.S. coastal waters, including on all sides of Florida — the straits in the south, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
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The Actual Number of Chinese Visitors to Europe May Be Surprisingly Low

skift.com - Destinations· 9 January 2018
2018 marks the China-EU Tourism Year, a European Union-funded project aimed at promoting travel and cultural exchange between EU member states and China. The designated tourism year is very much the European Commission’s response to the growing number of Chinese travelers who visit Europe and constitute an increasingly important source of revenue across EU member states.

U.S. Travel is Launching a Coalition to Break Through to Trump

skift.com - Destinations· 9 January 2018
Facing a prolonged dip in international tourist visits, the U.S. Travel Association is gathering allies to make the case to the Trump administration that the travel industry needs friends in high places. U.S. Travel plans to launch the Visit U.S. Coalition, a group of organizations representing industries mostly outside of travel, later this month, as reported earlier by the Los Angeles Times.
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Chefs as Destination Ambassadors Appeal to Travelers' Foodie Obsessions

skift.com - Destinations· 5 January 2018
They say one of the best ways to get to know a place is through its food, and chefs have plenty of stories to tell that can resonate with travelers. There will be plenty of more such marketing campaigns served up in 2018
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Trump Plans to Expand Offshore Drilling Despite Tourism Fears

skift.com - Destinations· 4 January 2018
Days after revealing plans to roll back safety regulations put into place because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill — a catastrophe that devastated Gulf Coast tourism — the Trump administration announced a proposal to significantly expand offshore drilling. What could possibly go wrong?
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Tourism Boards Used New Platforms to Woo Connected Travelers in 2017

skift.com - Destinations· 4 January 2018
From Facebook advertising to 360-degrees photos and video to outfitting visitor centers with more interactive exhibits and devices, 2017 was a year of experimentation and growth for tourism boards learning new platforms and technology.
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Fierce Storm Disrupts Travel Across Western Europe

skift.com - Destinations· 3 January 2018
A violent storm packing winds up to 100 mph (160 kph) battered parts of western Europe on Wednesday, derailing trains, toppling trees and halting flights. Authorities said one person was killed and at least 15 others were injured in France and Switzerland. The high winds played havoc on transport, derailing trains in Switzerland and Germany and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes across France, Switzerland, Britain and Ireland without power.
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MIT President Views Immigrant Travel Ban as Hurting U.S. Competitiveness

skift.com - Destinations· 3 January 2018
If higher education is under attack from restrictive U.S. immigration policies, the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology considers it a personal battle.
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Video: Apple Leisure Group CEO on the Appeal of Luxury All-Inclusive

skift.com - Destinations· 3 January 2018
Among independent travelers, all-inclusive vacations have a bad rep, one in which you trade quality for convenience. Many savvy consumers would rather do their own research, and a little more work, to secure each part of their trip as they wish. But the all-inclusive model isn’t married to lower quality, according to the CEO of Apple Leisure Group, Alex Zozaya, who spoke at Skift Global Forum in September 2017. Apple Leisure Group targets luxury consumers who want the convenience of a packaged trip.
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Weakening Dollar Could Wipe Out Trump Travel Slump in 2018

skift.com - Destinations· 1 January 2018
U.S. consumers may soon begin to feel some pain from the dollar’s downturn. The greenback has dropped 8 percent in 2017 and is on track for its first annual decline in five years. It weakened after U.S. tax changes aimed at spurring growth were slow to materialize and lackluster inflation weighed on the longer-term trajectory for interest rates even as the Federal Reserve tightened policy. A more upbeat picture in other parts of the world such as Europe has also weighed on the U.S. currency, and many analysts predict further weakness ahead.

Tourism Board Engagement With Airbnb Is Not One-Size Fits All

skift.com - Destinations·29 December 2017
Tourism boards often find themselves in a complicated position when it comes to Airbnb and they’ve been less vocal about the sharing economy than the hotel industry. Endorsing a platform like Airbnb would in many cases draw the ire of hotel partners; hotels pay taxes to municipalities while Airbnb still operates unregulated in many destinations.

Destinations That Will Be Popular in 2018

skift.com - Destinations·27 December 2017
From Malta to Minneapolis, here’s a look at some destinations around the world that will be making news in 2018. They include designated culture capitals, places hosting sporting events and even a couple of cities — San Antonio, Texas, and New Orleans — celebrating their 300th birthdays.

Luxury Travel Reshaped by Hurricanes and Wellness Trend in 2017

skift.com - Destinations·27 December 2017
A lot can happen in a year—but 2017 was particularly eventful when it came to how we travel the world. The threats that loomed largest in 2016, Zika and the migrant crisis, faded into the rear-view mirror as talk of a United States travel ban and Brexit suddenly dominated global headlines. And that was just the beginning. Here are six significant ways the world changed for globetrotters in the last 12 months.

Bethlehem Tourism Surges Despite Political Tension

skift.com - Destinations·22 December 2017
In the West Bank town revered as Jesus’s birthplace, hotels are at full capacity for Christmas despite simmering Israeli-Palestinian tensions over President Donald Trump’s labeling of nearby Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “We have not witnessed any cancellation since the Trump announcement and are 100 percent booked for Christmas Eve,” said Palestinian Tourism Ministry public relations director Jeries Qumsieh.
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Iceland Overtourism Meant 7 Visitors Per Resident in 2017

skift.com - Destinations·17 December 2017
If two is company and three is a crowd, then seven must be a horde. Iceland has become such a popular tourist destination that foreign visitors are estimated to outnumber the local population by seven to one this year. The government is now considering whether the scarcely populated island in the North Atlantic can — and should — accommodate even more.
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Domestic Tourists Often Underestimated in Overtourism Equation

skift.com - Destinations·14 December 2017
Busy destinations like Amsterdam and Madrid know that their cities face threats from overtourism, and want to find solutions. But, at a time when many destinations invoke the importance of getting locals involved in tourism to help them understand its benefits, some tourism boards have found domestic tourists — not just international visitors — are also part of the problem.
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U.S. National Park Service Wants to Raise Fees to Counter Its Massive Maintenance Backlog

skift.com - Destinations·14 December 2017
National parks in the U.S. will sharply drop the number of days they allow visitors to get in for free, a move that was criticized by opponents of the parks’ plan to raise entrance costs at other times of the year.
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Cruise Ships Are Bringing Tourists Back to Hurricane-Hit Caribbean Islands

skift.com - Destinations·13 December 2017
Almost three months after Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico as a nearly Category 5 storm, a third of the island is still without power. Roughly two-thirds of its 45,000 small businesses suffered closures, with as many as 10,000 planning never to reopen their doors. Just 129 miles away, the British Virgin Islands has begun to shift from crisis mode to recovery following earlier devastation by Hurricane Irma, with cleanups still underway on land and along coastlines.

Bali Hotels Face Occupancy Crisis Because of Volcano in Busy Tourism Season

skift.com - Destinations·12 December 2017
mran Ameer booked tickets to spend 10 days on the beaches of Lombok, near Bali, with his pregnant wife and 17-month-old daughter. Then Mount Agung in eastern Bali erupted, forcing the 28-year-old from Melbourne to scrap that plan. He’s not alone. With a possibility of the volcano erupting again any time, scores of hotel rooms and flights to Bali have been left empty into the year end, casting doubt on one of the resort-island’s busiest seasons. Five numbers show what’s at stake:

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