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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.

Value Added Tax in the GCC

11 January 2018
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
Article by Andrew Duguay

Foreign economic growth will be a boon for U.S. travel and hospitality industry in 2018

Prevedere ·11 January 2018
When reflecting on the lackluster growth of the travel industry and international travel during the last few years, experts have been pointing to recent geopolitical explanations as the cause for the lack of international travel to the U.S. But the reality is that the answer is economic, as the decline of international tourism has been weak since 2014. The true culprit has been the very strong U.S. dollar that began before the presidential election and continued afterward, making it more expensive for foreign travelers to come to the U.S. As a result, the U.S. travel and hospitality industries weakened. However, over the course of 2017, we've seen positive indicators that inbound travel to the U.S. will begin to pick up again; the U.S. dollar began to soften and tourism was up year-over-year from 2016.By far, the biggest indicator that international travel to the U.S. will continue to rise in 2018 is the strengthening foreign economies in Europe and Asia. The European economy has recovered from the initial shock and fear of Brexit, leading to the stabilization of the economy in both the EU and UK. We've also seen stronger GDP growth in Europe overall in 2017, a trend that's predicted to continue in 2018 leading to what some are calling a "golden period" for the Euro.In Asia, the economy in Japan and China are both growing. The third quarter of 2017 marked Japan's seventh consecutive quarter of economic growth. With government stimulus programs in place, unemployment is at a multi-decade low and persistent wage and price deflation have eased. We also saw strong consumer spending in Q2, followed by increased foreign trade in Q3, both of which have buoyed the economy.The Chinese economy, for the first time, is growing on the shoulders of strong consumer spending. Even with manufacturing weakening, consistent wage growth coupled with a stable cost of living has given rise to a new Chinese consumer, as evidenced by the fact that the service sector accounted for more than half of China's GDP in 2017. Similarly, consumer sentiment in China is up, and the yuan has strengthened while the U.S. dollar softens. Overall, China's economy is maturing from a manufacturing-based to a consumer-based economy, opening up new opportunities for American companies to market their goods and experiences to the Chinese consumer. Additionally, the Chinese Millennials are benefiting from economic reforms and western-style upbringing. These Millennials have more disposable income than past generations and are paying top-dollar for spending more on travel, often spending more than $14,000 during trips to international destinations, according to the results of a survey by Singapore Tourism Board.While strong foreign economies and a comparatively weak U.S. dollar will largely drive growth in the U.S. travel and hospitality industries in 2018, the domestic economy is also growing. As a result, domestic travel will also play a role strengthening travel and hospitality. We know that millennials value experiences and like to travel, and boomers have more disposable income than any other segment of the population thanks to the fact that they're working longer and that their wages have remained higher than at any point in history. With the opportunity to amass more wealth than any other generation, boomers have more money to spend, a portion of which we can expect to go towards domestic travel.As we enter 2018, we can expect a good year for U.S. hospitality and travel industries, both from domestic and international travelers. But the major change for the industry will be to refine their focus towards international tourists who often plan trips to the U.S. six months to a year in advance.
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Evention Processed over $1 Billion in Gratuity Payroll and 3 Million Cash Drops in 2017

Evention LLC ·11 January 2018
In 2017, Evention automated the distribution of more than $1 billion in gratuity, tip, and service charge payroll and reconciled over 3 million cash drops for its hospitality and retail clients across the globe.Tips & Gratuities by Evention, introduced to the market in 2006, manages gratuity distribution for marquee hotel clients in all major hotel brands throughout North America. During 2017, Evention Tips & Gratuities processed over $1 billion in gratuity, tip, and service charge payroll. Evention's web-based gratuity calculation and distribution provides accurate and simple gratuity management, eliminates manual-entry errors and spreadsheets, and streamlines the management process.Evention SecureDrop provides automated cash reconciliation for retail and hospitality clients worldwide, including across North America, Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. In 2017, Evention SecureDrop reconciled over 3 million cash drops across the globe. This web-based software platform integrates Cash Recyclers/Machines, POS cash responsibilities, and Bank Deposits to provide complete automation for cash management, from the point of the cash "drop" through the posting to the general ledger."$1 billion in gratuity payroll, along with 3 million cash drops over the last 12 months are two enormous milestones for Evention," said Mike Baldinger, Co-Founder of Evention. "Our team thanks each of our clients for their trust in Evention to automate and manage these critical daily functions. We are very proud of these 2017 accomplishments, but are absolutely focused on the future and adding further value for our clients. We look forward to 2018 as we roll out more automation in our existing products, as well as launch our new Income Audit and Group Billing solutions."In 2018, Evention plans continued growth for its products, services, and team. Over the course of the coming year, Evention will expand its products to offer Credit Card Reconciliation for the retail and hospitality industries, as well as Group Billing Management for hotels. In addition to this product expansion, Evention's customer base continues to grow. At the beginning of the 2018 year, Evention reached more than1,000 world-wide software installations, which service an array of businesses, including hotels, convention centers, casinos, grocery stores, restaurants, and multiple retail verticals.
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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.

Lodging industry investors varied in type, motivation

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·10 January 2018
My, have times changed. There’s no question that the lodging investor of today is far more business savvy than 10 or even five years ago. While there are certainly a few individuals who are simply in the “game” to own that trophy property in a luxurious location around the globe, many investors today are looking for a specific return on their particular lodging investment. They ask sophisticated and intelligent questions to ensure that the investment is worth their while and that the ROI is going to be there.
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You Don't Just Need One Leadership Voice - You Need Many

harvardbusiness.org·10 January 2018
We often equate developing a leadership voice with finding ways to appear more confident. We assume that our success depends upon mimicking someone else, increasing our self-promotion, or saying things louder than others. But rather than living with imposter’s syndrome, or feeling exhausted by wearing your game face all day, you can build a truer confidence by more intentionally focusing on cultivating many different parts of your leadership voice each day. Ultimately, you should cultivate enough parts of your voice so that no matter the leadership situation or audience you find yourself facing, you can respond in an authentic, constructive, and effective way. So, what are the various voices to access within yourself and cultivate over time? And what are the situations that warrant each voice?

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.
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Efficient Hotel Design Tips - Save Monthly Utility Costs

Hotels University·10 January 2018
With construction costs on the rise, most developers are looking for ways to cut both upfront and operational costs. One way to drive down operational costs is to design a hotel as energy efficient as possible. While we see very few developers pursuing “formal” sustainable certifications like LEED, we do encourage all of our clients to at least evaluate “selfish sustainability” measures – design aspects that benefit both the environment AND the bottom line.

A Room for Robots in Hospitality

10 January 2018
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. Also learn ways to prepare a company and staff for AI use.

Hotel investments in MENA to hit record high in 2018

MEED · 9 January 2018
According to MEED Projects, the online projects tracking service, the value of new hotel investments in the MENA region could hit a record high in 2018.Ed James, Director of Content and Analysis at MEED Projects, said: "After a relatively subdued 2017 up to end of November which has seen US$5.45bn worth of new hotel construction contracts awarded, the value of hotels due to be awarded next year is more than US$14bn. This total would comfortably exceed the US$8.5bn awarded in 2016 and the previous record of US$11.9bn awarded in 2015."James added: "On the back of its forecasted performance, investment in hotels will comprise about 7 per cent of the total US$200bn scheduled projects spending in the MENA region next year, making it one of the most important construction subsectors. On a country basis, the UAE will be by far the largest market, with an expected US$8.4bn worth of contracts, followed by Saudi Arabia at US$1.9bn and Qatar at US$1.7bn."These figures will be discussed at the 14th edition of AHIC, which will be held from 17-19 April 2018 at the purpose-built AHIC Village in the grounds of the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA).Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events and Co-Founder of AHIC, said: "These new figures are exciting for the Middle East hospitality investment community, which gathers annually at AHIC. With oil prices now trading significantly higher than the January 2016 lows, we expect to see signs of recovery and stability in most regional economies."He added: "There is still enormous potential for hotel development in this region, particularly as the industry seeks to diversify and we foresee significant growth in the mid-market and serviced apartments segments, particularly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. With 'Focus on the Future' as our theme for AHIC 2018, the programme will include conference and networking sessions that tackle how to capitalise on these opportunities and maximise returns for the years ahead."Partner of AHIC 2018, Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA, added that hotel investors would need to rise to the challenge of meeting the shifting demands of travellers and the specific requirements of certain demographic and geographic groups, such as millennials, families, and baby boomers, as well as halal travellers and those from emerging markets such as China and India."Investors need to understand these requirements and must also take into consideration from the outset which type of technology will drive the sector in the future - they need to consider this right at the beginning or risk becoming rapidly irrelevant," said Mattar.He observed: "The biggest risk for hotel investors is not embracing the changes and challenges outlined above and expecting traditional business to keep on coming. It's no longer a case of build it and they will come. It's more a case of build what they want, and they will come. There's a lot of competition on the global scene for the business of the new emerging markets. The hotel guest is now very much in the driving seat from the very design and product development phase."AHIC 2018, which promises to further knowledge, deepen existing relationships and forge new ones among the leaders of the hospitality investment community, will attract around 800 hotel investors, major developers, leading financiers, and C-level hotel executives to attend three days of content, networking and events.For registrations and for more information, visit: www.arabianconference.com

Build, buy, hold or sell? Late-cycle owner strategies

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles· 9 January 2018
This year, some analysts talk about how the cycle is “getting long in the tooth” since we have been expanding for over 90 months. Since the tourism industry is resilient and still growing, success is very possible for another several years. Further, 2018 will be very prosperous with the likelihood of tax reform, strong consumer confidence, a durable job market and a robust global economy. If you’re considering whether to buy or hold a hotel today, the quality of your team is paramount. One operator cannot optimize revenues and expenses, make sales calls and handle the financial end of the business. Substantial due diligence is required to ensure the hotel has the right management, brand, renovation and business plan/budget. Hospitality might be an art, but it surely has become a science with revenue management, distribution-channel management, social media marketing, website development and much more. If building or renovating, an architect, designer, contractor, lawyer, brand, management company, engineers and lender are required as well as a great operating team.
Article by David Lund

Hospitality Financial Leadership - Any Monkey Could

The Hotel Financial Coach · 9 January 2018
A very colorful GM that I worked with many years ago had a lot of slogans he would use to get his point across. One of my favorites is, "Any Monkey Could Fill This Place When the Phones Are Ringing!"He would say this to our director of sales quite often, not only to ridicule their efforts but to remind them that the business is there-- and it's really about maximizing the opportunity and knowing that this telephone ringing condition will not last. It never does. So, what are they doing, and what is the plan to $eize the day?This is the tale of any and every hotel. "The rising tide lifts all the boats." This quote was made famous by JFK and it is said that he got it from the Chamber of Commerce in a small New England town, probably a resort town. The relationship from this idea to your financial leadership is one of opportunity. We all know that when we have a good month, season or year we know it is because the business is there. It all starts with that. Without the business being there and coming in like spades we are sunk. The reality in that statement is true, but we also need to see that we can have a much bigger impact when we have a high tide.We seldom examine the excellent results for ways to improve. Why would we bother to do that? We just had a record year, double-digit RevPAR increase and profits are off the charts. All indications point to the fact that we are doing an excellent job. But we also know deep in our soul that the volume hides a multitude of sins.The opportunity in all of this is to step back and look to see what these sins are and how we can correct them when business is good. We seldom or never do this exercise when it is actually the best time to do it. Imagine doing a staffing review in the middle of the best year we have ever had? That is right, doing the staffing review on a full tide will yield much more treasure. In addition to finding more opportunities, you will see that finding the money to do this is much easier when times are good. Why wait for headwinds in your business and your pesky asset manager telling you it is time?The same also true for an expense reviewLooking at your spending when you are spending the most will uncover the biggest opportunities. There is a reverse psychology that appears when you do things that all others miss. People are much more willing to adjust and change when times are good. Try and do this when your business is in the tank and you will meet resistance and bad morale.The same for looking at ways to increase revenuesDo this when business is strong and you will have more creativity and certainty. Being the leader that always looks for the opportunities to grow--especially when all others look away--is the greatest use of your talent.There is a quote by Earl Nightingale and it goes like this, "Enter a market and observe what everyone is doing and do the opposite." To sum this up, look at what everyone else is doing in business and especially when business is strong, and find the opposite. Do that, seize the opportunity.Creating this kind of culture inside your business and inside the hearts and minds of your team will have an amazing effect and create superior results every time.Any monkey can follow the crowd. It is the clever chimp that knows there are more opportunities when the house is full.If you would like a copy of any of the following send me an email at david@hotelfinancialcoach.comEFTE and Productivity ExerciseHotel Financial Policy Manual - Inventory of "Sections"Hotel Financial Coach "Services Sheet"F&B Productivity SpreadsheetRooms Productivity SpreadsheetFinancial Leadership Recipe F TAR WHotel Financial Coach - "Speaking Sheet"Flow Thru Cheat Sheet - EnhancedVisit my website today for a copy of my FREE guidebookThe Seven Secrets to Create a Financially Engaged Leadership Team in Your Hotelwww.hotelfinancialcoach.com

Soaring Costs and High Competition Severely Affecting Boutique and Independent Hoteliers

Magnuson · 9 January 2018
Spokane,WA / London, UK -- Owners of boutique hotels are facing an uphill battle when it comes to revenue as costs continue to rise and competition within the industry remains fierce, according to leading brand Magnuson Hotels. Despite a growing trend for travellers to choose independent hotels for an authentic experience, owners of these businesses are facing significant challenges as they strive to compete with large, established chains, hampering revenue streams.According to experts at Magnuson, hardworking hotel owners are being forced to give away significant chunks of their profit just to be able to compete in the market. Whether it's through making payments to be part of a franchise, with the costs potentially outweighing the benefits, to the large sums of commission they must pay out to list rooms on digital booking platforms, the skewed landscape of the hotel market is hampering the potential of boutique options.Stephan Fortier, Business Development Manager of Magnuson Hotels, said, "The hotel industry is tough but the amount of money independent hotel owners are being forced to pay out frequently means they're finding it difficult to keep up. These small but successful businesses need to increase their brand awareness, digital accessibility, and online booking process to attract customers, but they require investment. The need to pay for franchise options and online travel agents puts further pressure on budgets, meaning hotels will potentially fall further behind over the long-run too"."With travellers regularly choosing to stay at boutique accommodation options for a better, local experience, it would be a real shame if these hotel owners were pushed out of the industry. They're a vital part of the sector that truly offers something unique to guests that chains simply can't compete with."Magnuson was created to offer independent hotels an alternative to the usually costly franchise model. Designed with affordability in mind, the Magnuson brand gives hoteliers the power, awareness, and expertise that chains benefit from. However, unlike other franchise options, the brand recognises the importance of retaining a hotel's identity and delivering the services that they need, noting there's no one size fits all approach to running a successful hotel business. Through forging close partnerships, Magnuson gives hotel owners the tools they need to retain and even grow their slice of the hospitality market even as competition intensifies.To find out more visit magnusonworldwide.com/.

Video: Three approaches to running a travel startup

PhocusWire· 9 January 2018
One has taken in around $450 million funding. Another hasn't brought in any outside capital investment. The other a modest $1.5 million. Three travel startups with three very different takes on how to build a business.

Letter from the HFTP Global President: A New Year Equals New Possibilities

HFTP Connect· 8 January 2018
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. As president of HFTP, I am very enthusiastic about all of the possibilities for continued growth and productivity in 2018.

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

2018 starts with resigning CEO, cream buns, lost drones

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles· 8 January 2018
The New Year has started off in grand style, with an inspirational CEO on the move, an Italian town with sticky buns and remote thermal pools and guests deciding to ditch those annoying drone thingamajigs. First CEO casualty of 2018Back from my Christmas holidays in Spain (my wife Francesca’s twin sister lives in Valencia) and Italy (the twins grew up in Rome), I see that on the back of my 26 December article on the CEO changes seen in 2017, the first one has gone in 2018. Robert Nadler, CEO of Nadler Hotels—with four United Kingdom assets with two in the pipeline—resigned on 3 January following disagreements with shareholders as to the future path of the hotel firm Nadler founded a dozen years ago.
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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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QOTW: Something about Airbnb's legal dilemmas

PhocusWire· 5 January 2018
Quote from Apartment Investment & Management Co. (Aimco) in an article on PhocusWire this week: Lawsuit against Airbnb dismissed, but battle isn’t over “Complicit” here would be how Aimco characterizes the home-share giant’s involvement in what the landlord company views as illegal subletting of its properties. It’s a claim Airbnb not only disputes, but has also legally triumphed over - for now. A California judge dismissed Aimco’s case against Airbnb on the grounds of the Communications Decency Act, which protects online service providers from liability for user content. And while Aimco lost that battle, it’s not giving up the fight and is pursuing further legal options in California and also with litigation in Florida.
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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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