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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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Italy regulator fines online travel agents for unfair practices

hotelmarketing.com·18 January 2018
Italy's Antitrust Authority has fined six online travel agencies more than 4 million euros for unfair practices and violating consumer rights, the Italian regulator said in a statement.
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Fraud prevention in travel needs a different approach

Tnooz·17 January 2018
The growth of ecommerce has had an enormous impact on most industries, but perhaps none more than travel.And one of the by-products of this has been the rise of card not present (CNP) fraud – criminals stealing credit card information and using it to book flights and hotel rooms. Fraud is present in most online verticals, and travel is particularly exposed: razor-thin margins mean every chargebacked order is a huge revenue setback, especially when so much is invested to bring in customers to begin with. Selling digital goods makes airlines and OTAs particularly vulnerable to fraudsters, who get the stolen reservation – for a seat or room – delivered instantly to a makeshift email address.
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With tax-law changes, is it time to become a C-Corp?

Hotel Management·16 January 2018
One of the biggest talking points from the recently passed tax law—the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—is that corporations will enjoy a tax-rate reduction from 35 percent to 21 percent. That14-percent windfall has many hoteliers asking: Should we reclassify as a C-corp? Paul G. DiNardo, founder of CSG Strategic Tax Consultants, said it’s one of the most common questions he receives from his clients now. To understand the answer, it’s important to first break down some of the changes that affect the numbers.

Hotel stocks surged with boost from brands, tax breaks

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·16 January 2018
Michael Bellisario, senior hotel research analyst and VP at Baird, said those overall numbers obscure the strength of C-corps and the relative underperformance of hotels REITs. “It was the year of the hotel brand,” he said. “You look at the subindexes, and it was all the hotel brands. Wyndham, Choice, Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton—all the big-cap names just ripped. For the most part, it was just over 2% growth for the REITs, but there was a wide range of performance in there.” C-corps dominateThe Hotel Stock Index’s brand subindex was up 49.9% for full-year 2017, with top performer Marriott International up 64.2%.

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.
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Investors looking for balance turn their attention to hotels

Hotel Management·12 January 2018
Investors seeking diversification of their portfolios are expected to turn to Europe’s hotel sector this year for it, according to JLL, which said that it expected to see an increase in core-plus capital funds being raised to invest into hotel real estate, led by private-equity groups. Investment was expected to predominately come from investors already with a presence in Europe, and with investments across all assets classes, including hotels. This new capital, JLL said, would look for either single assets or portfolio opportunities across Europe and would target lower internal rates of return than typical opportunistic capital, i.e. a 5.5 percent to 6 percent dividend yield. Leverage, or borrowing, was likely to be conservative at 50 percent of the fund.
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Sabre Corporation's CFO to Retire

hotelbusiness.com·Requires Registration ·12 January 2018
Sabre Corporation’s CFO Rick Simonson, 59, will retire from his role at the end of the year. To help ensure an orderly transition, Simonson will step down from his current position once a successor is appointed, but will remain with Sabre as a senior advisor. The company has initiated an internal and external search to fill the CFO position.

Marriott and Delta learn tough lessons on importance of localization

Tnooz·12 January 2018
Marriott found itself in an uncomfortable position in China after an online customer questionnaire listed Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and Tibet as separate countries. Shanghai authorities closed the hotel brand’s website for a week. The Shanghai Cyberspace Administration issued a statement that it would be closing down Marriott’s mobile app, according to Reuters, which would could negatively impact bookings in China’s mobile-first economy. Shanghai’s Huangpu district market supervision bureau will also launch an investigation into whether Marriott has violated China’s cyber security law and advertisement law.
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Companies Share Tax Savings With Workers

CFO Magazine·11 January 2018
It’s a burning question in corporate finance early this year: What are companies going to do with the cash windfall they’ll be reaping because of the reduced corporate tax rate? Shareholders likely will get some of it, via dividend increases or share buybacks. Perhaps acquisition activity will pick up a bit. It’s probable that some companies will do nothing at all with the new money other than toss it atop their already big pile of cash reserves.
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Rough week for Marriott includes angering China and a family lawsuit gone public

Hotel Management·11 January 2018
Share Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Print It's been a trying week for Marriott International, marked by family infighting gone public and a rebuke by China over a survey gone wrong. On Thursday, Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson in a statement was forced into a mea culpa regarding a wrongly worded survey in China that listed Tibet, a region of China, and Taiwan, an island China claims as its own, as separate countries. The survey also reportedly listed Hong Kong and Macau as separate, but they are territories ruled by China.
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CFO Job Decision Tree

CFO Magazine·11 January 2018
CFO job decision tree
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Is It Time to Seek a New CFO Job?

CFO Magazine·11 January 2018
For a CFO, deciding whether to take an opportunity with a new employer involves not just how much the compensation will be, but also what the company is all about and what the job responsibilities will be. Before seeking new employment or evaluating offers, a more fundamental question should be addressed: Is it the right time in my career for a job switch?
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Crunching The Numbers

Hotel Interactive ·11 January 2018
Flowing your role is a very simple mantra for a hotelier to adopt, but first you must wholeheartedly understand the concept of Flex and Flow. This applies to the Profit and Loss Statement generated for your property each month, usually from the accounting department.
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Greece's new tourism tax is reckless. Here's why.

Hotel Management·10 January 2018
Share Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Print Greece implemented a 'stayover' tax on Jan. 1 that goes into effect just as the country wrapped up an auspicious 2017 with a 9-percent increase in tourism arrivals, bringing the total to more than 30 million visitors. The Overnight Stay Tax was introduced by the Greek Ministry of Tourism with the aim of driving revenue to help cut the country’s debt. The fee runs between €0.50 and €4 per night, based on the official rating of the accommodation booked, and guests are required to pay the tax at check-in.
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'Taxpayer Friendly' IRS Guidance Could Ease Offshore Worries

CFO Magazine·10 January 2018
Barely a week after President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued a guidance that could ease the confusion CFOs might have had about how corporations should calculate the act’s “transition tax” on offshore earnings.

Gulf cooperation sales tax sign of regional maturity

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·10 January 2018
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two largest economies and hotel markets among the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations, introduced value-added/sales tax on 1 January. The rate in both countries is 5%. In the UAE, VAT will be collected throughout the supply chain, while in Saudi Arabia, it will only be charged at the time of final supply to the end consumer. Response from hoteliers has been the imposition of VAT has been well publicized and that it signifies a needed next step in the region’s development.
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Full-Service Figures in Four Financings, Sale

hotelbusiness.com·Requires Registration ·10 January 2018
Some full-service hotels with large inventory pools are in the news today, whether they’re getting the funds they need or in transaction mode. Here are a few to know.

Revenue managers to 'adapt and adopt' in 2018

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles· 8 January 2018
Plenty of unforeseen events, recurring shifts and emerging disruptors swept through 2017 and kept revenue-management teams on their toes. But these six executives from hotel companies across the globe who manage and develop properties also learned some lessons for 2018. Each is looking ahead to the new year with plans in place to help maximize revenues around calendar shifts, weather-related events, pressures from increased supply and alternative accommodations. Johnathan Capps, VP of revenue, Charlestowne Hotels
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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.

Owners: What supply, deals might look like in 2018

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles· 5 January 2018
As new supply continues to come online in 2018, how should hotel companies adapt to capture demand? Executives discuss the supply-demand impact on their acquisition strategies, their cost-control methods and other concerns for the year ahead. As hotel owners, investors and developers look ahead to 2018, common concerns like increasing supply, the pace of transactions and labor issues permeate the industry. Hotel News Now asked executives of several companies to share their perspectives on these hot-button topics as well as the other matters that are currently top of mind.
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Hospital CFOs Struggle to Keep Up With the Times

CFO Magazine· 4 January 2018
Anyone who has spent more time than they care to waiting in an emergency room or doctor’s office — and who hasn’t — probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear that hospitals and medical groups don’t operate very efficiently. The shortcoming extends to these organizations’ finance operations, new research suggests. Medical-industry CFOs report that they’re struggling to keep pace with the demands placed on their organizations by the transformation the industry has been undergoing for the past decade.
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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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Lenders Now Taking Bitcoin As Collateral

CFO Magazine· 4 January 2018
Would your business accept bitcoin as collateral? Would it feel confident that an obligation would be paid in full if the price of bitcoin fell 20%, 25%, even 30% from its current level of $15,200? Would it feel comfortable with murky laws that do not clearly define what it means to be custodian of a digital asset? Would it be OK with accepting bitcoin despite the fact that in the last few years billions of dollars of the cryptocurrency have been filched by online thieves?

California proposes hotel 'panic button' bill to protect workers from assaults, sex harassment | cnbc.com

· 4 January 2018
Two California state lawmakers Wednesday introduced a bill that would require hotels to provide housekeepers with a "panic button" to prevent violent assaults and sexual harassment.Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, jointly introduced the so-called hotel maid "panic button" bill with Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward. If it gets passed, it would make California the first in the nation to have a statewide law requiring hotels to provide employees working alone in guest rooms with a panic button.
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Are Rising Dividend Payouts Backed By Cash?

CFO Magazine· 3 January 2018
Do public companies have enough free cash flow to cover the burgeoning dividends they’ve been serving up to shareholders over the last half-decade or so? dividendsIn general, the answer is yes, according to a recent Georgia Tech study of free-cash-flow coverage of dividends and stock buybacks among the non-financial, dividend-paying companies in the S&P 500 from 2012 through 2016.
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New Tax Law Raises Exec Comp Questions

CFO Magazine· 3 January 2018
Among the many aspects of corporate finance affected by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, executive compensation has received relatively little attention from the mainstream media. Yet the new law raises a number of questions with respect to performance-based incentives.

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