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  • HITEC Special: Revenue Strategy: Not Just a Fancy New Name for Revenue Management

    By Cindy Estis Green. A strategic view of revenue calls for proactive business mix planning and decision-making around deployed resources, well beyond reacting to what comes over the transom. Excerpt from the 2018 HITEC Bytes Special Report.

  • HITEC Special: Forecasting Accuracy: The Living Forecast

    By Jill Wilder. Forward-looking, continuously updated statistical trend analysis is emerging as a strategic tool that performs the practical magic of creating an accurate forecast you can take to the bank.

  • Members Only: IT Spending in the Lodging Industry

    HFTP Research Report: The new USALI Schedule 6 — Information and Telecommunications Systems and the effects thus far on the industry. An analysis of IT spending data in the industry and compliance practices by lodging executives.

  • Primary Club Metrics

    Survey results identify which metrics are most often used to determine performance. By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE; Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA; and Amanda Belarmino


Labor Scarcity, Finance, and Innovation: Evidence from Antebellum America

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications·22 June 2018
This paper establishes labor scarcity as an important economic channel through which access to finance shapes technological innovation. We exploit antebellum America, a unique setting with (1) staggered passage of free banking laws across states and (2) sharp differences in labor scarcity between slave and free states. We find that greater access to finance spurred technological innovation as measured by patenting activities, especially in free states where labor was relatively scarce. Interestingly, in slave states where slave labor was prevalent, access to finance encouraged technological innovation that substituted for free labor, but discouraged technological innovation that substituted for slave labor.

Lodging Stocks Outperform Casinos on Wall Street, Reversing Their 1992-93 Performance

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications·22 June 2018
A comparison of the stock market performance of lodging stocks and casino stocks over the past year reveals returns superior to the S&P500 for both groups. Over the 52-week period ending March 18, 1994, the average price of a sample portfolio of lodging stocks rose 61.6%, and a corresponding portfolio of casino stocks advanced 37.2%, compared with the S&P500's 4.6% return over the same period. The gain for lodging stocks represents a sharp rebound from the prior 52-week period, but a slowdown for the casino stocks. The strong showing of these stocks over the last year, as well as the changes in relative performance can be explained by an analysis of measures of fundamental value, such as the profit margin, return on equity, and return on assets, as well as structural changes in the industries. Interest in lodging and casino stocks by institutional investors is encouraging, but significant uncertainties, in particular with respect to taxation of gaming revenues and legalization of speci

A Value Added Tax in the GCC

HFTP · 5 June 2018
HFTP Feature: 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

Primary Club Metrics

HFTP · 5 June 2018
HFTP Research: Survey results identify which metrics are most often used to determine performance. By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE; Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA; and Amanda Belarmino

The HFTP Middle East Research Center: March 2018 Bulletin

HFTP ·25 May 2018
The industry has had an interesting year here in Dubai, and the HFTP Middle East Research Center at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management has decided to briefly discuss two relevant topics: VAT and its implications in the region, and updated visa regulations andtheir impact on current tourism arrivals in the region. The HFTP Research and Innovation Center hopes this sparks conversation amongst HFTP members.

HFTP Research: Tracking Hotel IT Expenses: A Review of 2016 Hotel Spending Data

HFTP ·17 May 2018
Technology is an integral part of lodging organizations. Whether installing a PMS or exploringthe implementation of AI, tracking technology related expenses is key to running a successfuloperation.

What Really Happens During Flight to Safety: Evidence from Real Estate Markets

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications·15 May 2018
Flight to safety (FTS) affects the markets for risky assets such as stocks, corporate bonds, and commodities. Yet, little is known about the effects on commercial real estate. We show that REITs offer a partial hedge against FTS, with daily total returns being less sensitive to FTS than many other industries and measures of REIT liquidity actually improving on FTS days.

Rental Housing in Bogota, Columbia: Challenges and Opportunities for Creating More Multifamily Properties

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications· 4 May 2018
This article examines the rental housing market in Bogotá, Colombia and the challenges in developing multifamily rental properties. A description of the factors that affect the development of this asset class is followed by recommendations to overcome the existing problems. Even though more than half of the population live in rental housing, there is almost no supply of rental housing projects at a large scale in Bogotá. Four reasons explain why this type of property has not been developed: (1) lack of financing; (2) laws that protect the tenants, making eviction a long and complex process; (3) market rents do not cover the cost of development; and (4) lack of firms capable of designing and operating rental housing projects. On the other hand, for sale housing projects have easier access to financing, can justify the high value of land, and gain the advantage of the mortgage system with governmental subsidies for mid to low-income segments.

Multifamily REITs: Columbia's Opportunity to Attract Foreign Capital

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications· 4 May 2018
The real estate market in Colombia has been very active during the past decade. Government spending through a free housing initiative and the stable and favorable political environment have incentivized capital flow into the country. All asset classes have benefited from the investments. Commercial real estate developments have taken advantage of this economic growth, but the residential market has been the strongest as an average of 230,000 units have been built and sold every year since 2013. Colombia still has room for residential expansion. Housing shortage is close to 4 million homes and it is estimated that 35% of the population are renters. This paper explores the history of the mortgage system, explains the current investment vehicles for real estate, and proposes an alternative to inject liquidity and stimulate housing production. The focus of the investments should be on operating the assets rather than selling them. The business model of building and renting out units has been overlooked in the country, with a potential rental market of 14 million people.

Match Made in Heaven: Investment Benefits of Coworking Spaces in Historic Sacred Places

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications· 4 May 2018
Coworking has experienced exponential growth and established a global identity in the short period of a single decade. While the terms “coworking” and “shared work space” existed prior to the market collapse in 2008, their presence as an asset class and worldwide network had not developed fully. Philadelphia has seen firsthand the rapid expansion of coworking spaces with companies like WeWork and Benjamin’s Desk (1776) opening multiple locations with thousands of square feet in the space of a few years. These and other coworking companies continue to see growth with some seeking to expand into more suburban areas once a CBD flagship has been established. With growing membership and a need to be near members (either directly or through transit), where are the locations in Philadelphia where coworking companies should consider investing? As coworking demand increases, Philadelphia also has an increasing inventory of vacant historic sacred places—currently at thirty-nine buildings equaling approximately 500,000 square feet (Partners for Sacred Places, 2017). This paper will first define coworking and the coworker, give statistics on coworking growth, identify key real estate needs, and finally propose historic sacred places as an alternative for coworking expansion.

Individual Investors and the Financial Crisis

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications·22 March 2018
This paper studies the trading behavior of individual Chinese investors before and during the recent financial crisis. We have three major findings: (i) individual investors did not withdraw their capital from the equity market during the crisis; instead, they reduced investment more in the pre-crisis period, especially following portfolio gains; (ii) the net flow decisions were influenced by past positive returns, but not by past losses; the net .ow patterns were consistent with the disposition effect, which was even stronger during the crisis; (iii) during the crisis, investors revised their portfolios to hold relatively safer and more liquid stocks, and this pattern is more evident for small investors.

Where Are the Shareholders' Mansions? CEOs' Home Purchases, Stock Sales, and Subsequent Company Performance

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications·22 March 2018
We study real estate purchases by major company CEOs, compiling a database of the principal residences of nearly every top executive in the Standard & Poor's 500 index. When a CEO buys real estate, future company performance is inversely related to the CEO's liquidation of company shares and options for financing the transaction. We also find that, regardless of the source of finance, future company performance deteriorates when CEOs acquire extremely large or costly mansions and estates. We therefore interpret large home acquisitions as signals of CEO entrenchment. Our research also provides useful insights for calibrating utility based models of executive compensation and for understanding patterns of Veblenian conspicuous consumption.

Occupational Boundary Setting and the Unauthorized Practice of Law by Real Estate Brokers

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications· 9 March 2018
Real estate brokers and lawyers have been engaged in a longstanding "boundary dispute" over which activities brokers can perform in real estate transactions without engaging in unauthorized practices of law. In general, state court decisions have lacked uniformity and no universal standard has emerged for making unauthorized practice of law determinations, some broker activities have been found to be clearly unauthorized practices while others have not surfaced as issues in these cases. This paper examines the manner in which courts have resolved jurisdictional disputes between licensed lawyers and licensed real estate brokers and considers whether the precedents established have tended to promote or impede the efficiency of exchange in the market.

Portfolio Allocations to Real Estate: Another Story

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications· 9 March 2018
Almost 25 years ago Friedman (1970) demonstrated that unsecuritized real estate, because of its relatively high risk-adjusted return and low correlations with stocks and bonds, receives substantial allocations in efficient, mixed-asset portfolios. Fisher and Sirmans (1994) argue that these attractive features of real estate still exist today. In recent empirical work by Mei and Lee (1994), the presence of a unique real estate factor is detected in securitized and unsecuritized real estate returns that cannot be captured by investing in other assets.

HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Hospitality Organization Flow Charts

HFTP · 9 March 2018
This document is a set of flow charts illustrating data flow scenarios, involved parties providing hospitality services, steps of the guest journey and more. Four scenarios are presented: independent hotel, independent hotel with third party agreement, branded hotel and branded hotel with independent control. These charts are intended to be used as guidelines and customized for individual organizations/purposes. The flow charts were developed by the HFTP Hospitality DPO/GDPR Task Force.

Job Description: Hospitality Data Protection Officer

HFTP · 1 March 2018
This document highlights the role and qualities of a hospitality data protection officer. It can be used as a guideline for an internal recruitment, the expansion of an existing position or the recruitment of a third party to assist in the compliance for the GDPR. This description was developed by the HFTP Hospitality DPO/GDPR Task Force. The task force is a group of 23 hospitality industry experts tasked with developing hospitality-specific guidelines to assist with preparation for GDPR compliance.

Harnessing Wastewater for Renewable Energy (2013-2)

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications·30 October 2017
This case study explores the options for using wastewater to produce renewable energy in the context of a public wastewater treatment plant. It provides an opportunity for students to synthesize knowledge from resource economics, engineering, environmental science, agriculture, and public policy to develop a transdisciplinary approach to a socio-environmental issue. The case is designed for upper division undergraduate courses in resource economics or environmental engineering, but several modifications are provided graduate course applications. Students assume the role of a newly hired analyst at a consulting firm in Washington, DC, that specializes in renewable energy solutions. They are charged with proposing a system that uses wastewater to produce energy, while accounting for multiple constraints across disciplines. Students are provided with economic, political, environmental, and engineering data on four different solid waste disposal options and work in small groups to develop a proposed solution that balances these factors. They present and justify their suggested solutions in small-group presentations, and the case concludes with an instructor-led discussion of the relevant considerations.

Visa Information System (VIS) -- EU General Data Protection Regulation Definitions

The Visa Information System (VIS) is a large scale IT system which will contain information, including photographs and fingerprint data about visa applicants. The EDPS issued an opinion on the establishment of the VIS in 2005 and another one about the access of law enforcement authorities to the VIS in 2006.The information will be collected by consulates in the different Member States and then transferred to a central database, VIS, where it will be accessible by all Member States. In principle, the rolling out of the VIS should start in 2009. One of the main purposes of the database is to fight "visa shopping". Citizens from more than 120 countries need visas to enter the EU. In the current situation, an applicant who has been rejected by one country's consulate could continue applying to other consulates. Once VIS is in place, this will not be possible. Information on previous applications and reasons for rejection will be available through the new system. The inclusion of fingerprint and photograph information is intended to allow border checks to verify whether the person presenting the visa is in fact the person to whom it was issued.The data protection supervision will be the responsibility of the EDPS at the level of the Central Unit and of the Member States' data protection authorities at national level. The EDPS and data protection authorities will jointly ensure coordination of that supervision.

Using Cash Flow Dynamics to Price Thinly Traded Assets

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications·23 August 2017
Are cash flows informative and predictive in valuing thinly traded assets? We investigate the extent to which cash-flow and discount-factor information plays a role in pricing thinly traded assets. We focus on pricing the various traded tranches in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) by developing an adaptation of the Campbell-Shiller dynamic Gordon growth model, which we term a Self-Propagating Rolling-Window VAR. We apply this to cash flows and actual bond prices. In contrast to stocks, we find that cash flows are informative in valuing thinly traded assets. Our predicted cash flow yields closely resemble ex-post realized transaction yields, and these predicted yields even outperform yields based on matrix prices especially for subordinated tranches. We also find that discount-factor information, while important is not as informative as cash flows in this setting, except after the financial crisis where the impact of discount-factor information increases somewhat. Our results provide a good representation of CMBS yields; investors can readily apply this algorithm to infer values of other types of thinly traded assets where cash flows are observable.

Institutional Ownership and Return Predictability Across Economically Unrelated Stocks

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications· 4 August 2017
We document strong weekly lead-lag return predictability across stocks from different industries with no customer-supplier linkages (economically unrelated stocks). Between 1980 and 2010, the industry-neutral long-short hedge portfolio earns an average of over 19 basis points per week. This predictability is related to common institutional ownership and is distinct from previously documented lead-lag effects. Common institutional ownership is a complementary rather than a substitute explanation for return predictability. Information linkages are enough to induce return predictability among stocks in the same industry, but economically unrelated stocks exhibit return predictability only when they have common institutional owners. Our findings suggest that institutional portfolio reallocations can induce return predictability among otherwise unrelated stocks.

Real Assets, Liquidation Value and Choice of Financing

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications· 4 August 2017
We use real estate firms to examine how asset liquidation values influence a firm’s financing choice, because the productivity and quality of each asset is observable and potential measures of an asset’s liquidation value are easier to ascertain ex ante. We show that compared to firms that issue equity, firms that issue debt have higher asset quality. The effect of their expected asset liquidation value is significant, even after we control for other factors that influence financing decisions. For firms whose assets’ quality is not easily observable, we find that firms’ financing choices depend heavily on conditions in the overall real estate market.

Unexpected Inflation, Capital Structure And Real Risk-Adjusted Firm Performance

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications· 4 August 2017
Whether it’s booking a hotel using Amazon Alexa, or checking your Priceline booking from your Apple Watch, we tend to focus on incremental improvements to how consumers book and experience their travel. Yet, the main system that sits underneath the snazzy interfaces, which actually connects hotels and airlines with online booking sites and travel agents, has its roots in a handful companies originally founded by U.S. and European airlines.

The Implications of Bank Loyalty Card Programs for Hotel Owners

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications·28 July 2017
This thesis looks into hotel loyalty programs and the relationships between the involved players: hotel brands, hotels, guests, and financial institutions (co-branded credit card partners). Past studies have been conducted around loyalty programs structures and their associated value to guests. To better understand the intricacies of loyalty programs, phone interviews were conducted with industry professionals. This thesis examines the business relationships of the industry players and the flow of loyalty points. Hotel owners emerge as the net losers from the expansion and growth of these loyalty programs.

Maximal Gaussian Affine Models for Multiple Commodities: A Note

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications·19 July 2017
This study extends the maximal affine models of single assets to a multi-commodity setup. We show that the correlated version of maximal affine models for a single commodity is no longer maximal for multiple commodities. In the maximal model, the convenience yield of a certain commodity could depend on the prices of other commodities, which is consistent with the structural model in our companion study Casassus, Liu, and Tang [Review of Financial Studies, 26, 1324-1362, 2013]. This cross-commodity relationship is a feedback effect that may generate substantial co-movement among long-run commodity prices, a fact that is consistent with many empirical studies.

Brexit: Its Passing and Reverberations

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications·19 June 2017
The most significant financial and economic news story in 2016 was the June 23 decision of the British public to terminate the U.K.’s membership in the European Union. Polls and bookmakers in the days leading up to the vote had constantly maintained that, while the vote would be close, a “Brexit” was unlikely. As we now know, that position proved false. Financial markets around the world reacted quickly and sharply to the unexpected news.

Capital Expenditures, Asset Dispositions, and the Real Estate Cycle

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration - Research & Publications·31 May 2017
Recent empirical research provides evidence on the asset disposition choices of individual and institutional real estate investors that is consistent with the `disposition effect'. We propose a value-add investment strategy as an alternative rational explanation for the observed patterns in disposition choices. The main value-add mechanism in real estate investment is capital expenditures. However, capital expenditure investment is a real option whose exercise depends on its moneyness, which is a function of the economic environment. Therefore, we study the links between economic conditions, building-level capital expenditures, and subsequent transactions throughout the real estate cycle. We present empirical evidence consistent with our proposed rational explanation for the alleged disposition effect in real estate asset disposition decisions.


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