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Announcing the HFTP 2017 - 2018 HFTP Global Board Slate

28 July 2017
Earlier this year, the nominating committee — comprising past HFTP Global past presidents, advisory council chairs and chapter presidents — were tasked with picking the HFTP members that would replace the outgoing directors of the HFTP Global Board. After a long day of interviews, the nominating committee was able to narrow their choices down. Here is the official slate for the 2017–2018 HFTP Global Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

Online Travel Agencies and Occupancy Tax: A Proliferation of Lawsuits

14 July 2017
Online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia and Booking.com are the channel of choice for approximately 14 percent of all hotel bookings in the United States. Typically, these channels are responsible for collecting occupancy tax directly from the guest and then pay the hotel directly for the reservations. Recently, OTAs have come under scrutiny for the way they collect occupancy tax. Typically, taxes and fees are bundled together on the OTA website and the guest does not know what portion are taxes and what portion are fees. Furthermore, when the guest selects the option to pay at the hotel, the hotel charges tax on the full rate paid (retail) while the OTA only charges tax on the amount paid to the hotel (wholesale). Since the OTA receives a commission of between 20 to 30 percent, this discrepancy in tax collection can result in millions of dollars of losses to cities, counties and states.

So Long, Farewell 'O Canada!'

13 July 2017
Another HITEC down, and it may have been one of the best yet. “O Canada” how you impressed me! I must admit I had my doubts on what level of turnout there would be, with potential hassles of passports, border crossings and foreign transaction fees. What I did not expect was the ability to dodge all rain storms, because of the genius design of The Path, which allowed me to walk almost anywhere staying inside. I did not expect to pose with the Art Ross and Calder Trophies from the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame (I was ok that the Stanley Cup was off visiting with my beloved Pittsburgh Penguins). And I did not expect to turn in the HITEC Toronto exhibit hall to see a whole peninsula of additional vendor booths just as I thought I had gotten through all of the aisles!

What I Learned at HITEC Toronto

6 July 2017
Written By: Ron Hardin - Confession: I can not stop playing with the fidget spinner I picked up at the ALICE booth. My wife, a well-known “anti-fidgeter” (ask my kids), rolled her eyes when she saw it come out of my HITEC Toronto swag bag. Correction: In my previous blog post (HITEC Toronto: Our Story Thus Far), I mentioned the “sunset over Lake Erie” as seen from the CN Tower. My gentle readers are either all too polite – or slept through geography – because Toronto is on Lake Ontario, and the lake is southeast of the city – not southwest – so it was technically “sunset over Kitchener.” It was lovely, nonetheless.

13 E20X Pitches and One Home Run

29 June 2017
Written By: Jennifer Jones - As a native to Baltimore, Maryland USA, I was excited to see that the Orioles are in town this week playing the Blue Jays. Now that I reside out west, I do not get to see them much anymore. Granted with a full schedule of meetings, sessions and receptions, sneaking out of HITEC Toronto to catch a few innings just was not possible. However, I made a better decision with my schedule and decided to attend the Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) hospitality technology pitch competition. This was my first time watching the event, and I encourage everyone to make sure that they make E20X a vital part of their HITEC ritual every year.

HITEC Toronto: Our Story Thus Far

28 June 2017
The curtain descends on the second day of HITEC Toronto (#HITECtor), and it has been a busy couple of days. This is my first visit to Toronto, and I hope I get to come back to Canada someday when I have more free time. With the exception of a few showers, we have been blessed with lovely weather. For those of us who have attended this mid-summer event in more southern climes in recent years, the moderate temperatures have literally been a refreshing change.

Getting Organized for HITEC Toronto

22 June 2017
I have attended HITEC now for several years, as both an exhibitor and an attendee. Regardless of my role there, I have learned one valuable lesson: take a vacation after to catch up on sleep! I know that is not realistic, but if my day-to-day job could stop for a week after to allow me to sort through all of the business cards and collateral I collected, not to mention the overflow of emails that came in while at the show, I would not dread the post-HITEC “hangover.”

Why HITEC Toronto Is Important

22 June 2017
It sounds like one of those essays you had to write in school: “what I did on my summer vacation,” “what extracurricular activities mean to me.” It also sounds blindingly obvious – of course HITEC Toronto is important. After all, it is by far the world’s largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC Toronto is also historically significant, being the first-ever HITEC North America event to be held outside of the United States. #HITECtor will take center stage from June 26-29, anchoring a trilogy of international events in 2017 that include the debut of HITEC Amsterdam and HITEC Dubai. So, HITEC is clearly a big deal. But why?

Dispatches from HFTP Global: CHTA Disruptive 2017 Innovation and Technology Expo

9 May 2017
This is the second time I have attended a China Hospitality Technology Alliance (CHTA) event. Last month, I attended the CHTA Disruptive 2017 Innovation and Technology Expo from April 26-28, 2017 located at the Marriott QianJiang, HangZhou in Hangzhou, China. Featured exhibitors, impressive talks and discussions on heated topics contributed to a successful exhibition in the beautiful city. First introduced by Clayton M. Christensen in 1995, “disruptive innovation” – the event’s concept – is an innovation that provides different values and significantly affects the existing market. This might be the reason why the organizer chose this theme.

Dispatches from HFTP Global Director: Orange County Grassroots Membership Drive

4 May 2017
I was able to realize another first recently – attending the inception of a new HFTP chapter. I was privileged to travel to Orange County, California USA for a grassroots membership drive to re-establish an HFTP chapter in the area.

Revenue Recognition: Comments Due June 1, 2017 on Implementation Issues Facing the Airlines, Gaming, Hospitality and Timeshare Industries

26 April 2017
Since 2002, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have been working together to bring the guidance provided in the United States General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in closer alignment. Historically, the U.S. GAAP provided complex transaction and industry specific revenue recognition guidance. For example, U.S. GAAP consisted of various revenue recognition requirements for specific transactions and industries which resulted in differing revenue recognition practices for similar transactions.

10 Reasons Your Business Should Not Wait to Switch to the Cloud

24 April 2017
The Cloud was once conversation for techies and a distant future goal for visionary business leaders. How times have changed! Today, internet-based or “Cloud” computing is enabling businesses of all sizes to gain on-demand access to a growing pool of shared computing resources that includes networks, services, storage, VoIP phone systems and even complete omnichannel contact center solutions.

How to Make Hotel Technology Profitable

3 April 2017
Hotel tech professionals from all over the world gathered at HITEC Amsterdam last week. After dozens of informative sessions, inspiring keynote speeches and one thrilling hotel tech start-up pitch competition, one thing was very clear: The number of companies offering technologies that can benefit a hotel business is overwhelming. How is a hotelier to know which is the right piece of technology to implement? To help with that quandary, here are a couple of takeaways from the 45th HITEC—also the first ever to be held in Europe.

Dispatches from HFTP Global: Midwest Regional Conference

31 March 2017
As it was my first visit up to the Midwest, I was really looking forward to attending the Midwest Regional Conference March 16-18, 2017 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Bloomington is a suburb of Minneapolis and the conference was located at the at the Radisson Blu hotel which is right next to the Mall of America. Just to give you an idea how big it is, to walk around one level is 1.15 miles of the mall and nine Yankee Stadiums can fit inside the Mall of America. It is a big mall.

What to See at HFTP's Inaugural HITEC Amsterdam Conference - Spotlight on Entrepreneur 20X

8 March 2017
Who does not enjoy a little friendly, but very competitive, competition? Whether you are a budding hospitality technology entrepreneur or just interested in the startup world, it is thrilling to watch bold entrepreneurs compete. Making its debut in Europe this month, HITEC Amsterdam attendees should start with the action-packed Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) competition on March 28, 2017. Viewers will feel the suspense, and remain on the edge of their seats, as representatives from the competing startups present their technologies.

Ransomware: Sorting Out the Details

21 February 2017
With the recent stories of guests getting locked out of hotel rooms – or, in some reports, guests being locked in hotel rooms – it is hard to sort the fact from the fiction. A few weeks ago an Austrian hotel’s computer system was attacked by hackers. After all the dust settled, the truth about the attack was revealed and early reports of guests being held hostage in their hotel rooms was unfounded. The hackers were not interested in holding guests hostage, but were interested in disrupting the hotels business and holding the computer systems hostage. The hackers knew that the property management system is at the heart of the hotel’s operation, and without it the hotel would be crippled and unable to operate.

Millennials Reveal What they are Looking for in a Workplace

10 February 2017
As a hospitality student, and a millennial, I frequently hear discussions about how millennials behave. It is indeed intriguing, and somewhat entertaining, to see the labels being placed upon millennials when you are one of the subjects being studied. But from time to time, I just want to say, “that does not sound right!” As my peers and I are going into the workplace soon, I would really like to “right some wrongs,” and answer a few questions about hiring us millennials.

5 Ways to Share About Your HFTP Membership

2 February 2017
At various times as an HFTP member, you will meet a fellow industry professional who is not a member. You are talking with them and they tell you about themselves, and you think they are a good fit for HFTP, or maybe HFTP can help them.

Become an Official HITEC Amsterdam Guest Blogger - Apply Today!

30 January 2017
HFTP Connect is looking for professionals involved with the hospitality industry who have writing experience and would like to write original and educational blog posts about their experience at HFTP®’s inaugural HITEC Amsterdam event this March. HITEC® is the world’s largest hospitality technology exposition and conference, and has extended its reach even further with its recent expansion into Europe and Asia. HITEC Amsterdam is the first of three HITEC events planned for 2017, and will be 28–30 March at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Pre-conference events will take place on 28 March followed by the full conference from 29–30 March.

Global Hospitality Accounting Common Practices (GHACP)

23 January 2017
Congratulations, you recently started a new position as director of finance at a resort in a remote tropical paradise. You decided you were ready for a change of pace from the big city hotel scene and now you are wondering what you got yourself into. You are facing a major learning curve when it comes to the unique items you encounter at this property. Items like mosquito netting, fishing nets, bird houses, and hammocks are all new to you. You have complete confidence in your predecessor and accounting staff, but want to confirm that everything is recorded in the right place.

Do Not Make Your New Year's Resolution until You Read this Post

5 January 2017
The start of the new year is upon us and you may be reading all the articles on setting your New Year’s resolutions. According to website, Statistic Brain, only 8 percent of people are successful in achieving their resolutions. If you are like me, you read that statistic and wonder what is my chance for success?

How HFTP Certification Can Advance Your Career

19 December 2016
When it comes to certifications, it seems that there are so many letters a hospitality accounting, finance or technology professional can add behind their name: CHAE, CHTP, CA, CFE, CGA, CFF, CGMA, CPA, CMA, CHIA, etc. How do you determine which designation provides the greatest benefit? One thing we know for sure is that those who have earned certifications offered by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) receive higher salaries than those without industry certifications. This was evident in the results from the 2016 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Survey conducted by the HFTP Americas Research Center at the University of Houston.

Dispatches from HFTP Global: Hotel Technology Summit 2016

16 December 2016
Dispatches from HFTP Global: Hotel Technology Summit 2016 Written by: Lyle Worthington, CHTP It seems like every time I visit Dubai something changes. Whether it be a prodigious development, a broken record, a new restaurant, mall or even airport opening – it is difficult to keep up with the city’s massive scale and growth. Last year I visited Dubai for the first time, and chaired Naseba’s Hotel Technology Summit at the beautiful Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa – it was also HFTP®’s first event in Dubai. I immediately recognized the need, from an educational standpoint, for HFTP in the area. The city hosts technology conferences, but lacks an option for year-round education, networking, social events and problem solving meetings for both the finance and technology industries. HFTP is the only global association that provides its members these annual benefits.

What To Do Before You Travel Internationally

12 December 2016
As leading global hospitality association HFTP® continues to expand internationally, and prepares for several international events in 2017, we want to ensure the safety of our members and attendees who are traveling with us to these events. Before you pack up to attend the inaugural HITEC® Amsterdam, the larger HITEC Toronto or the premier HITEC Dubai next year, brush up on these international travel tips that will ensure a successful voyage. Whether you are a seasoned world traveler or preparing for your first major expedition, below is an essential checklist complete with information about required documents, security and safety, monetary exchange, electronics, entry rules and more to review before traveling abroad.

Software Replacement vs. Reengineering Assessment: Look Before You Leap

6 December 2016
We continue to be amazed at the number of private clubs that dump their older club management software for something new without a thought of how they might retain and improve what they already have. Helping clubs choose a replacement system has been the mainstay of our consulting practice for almost 30 years. If there is one thing we have learned through more than 350 replacement projects, it is that replacement is never pretty. Virtually every club department is affected, through data conversion, forms design, features configuration, user training, report generation and the break-in period of 12 months or so as staff (and members) become comfortable with the new software. Not to mention a significant financial investment to get from System A to System B. In the end, is it really worth the effort, disruption and cost? For many clubs the answer is a definitive “yes.” But for many others, the answer is a murky “I think so” or “I am not really sure.” So how do you decide? Written By: Bill Boothe & Jeremy Hoch

Key Benefits of HFTP Membership Explained in New Membership Video

1 December 2016
HFTP® was excited to recently film the association’s new membership video. Watch the full “My HFTP” video on HFTP’s YouTube channel, and hear from a group of HFTP members on how they have benefited from their membership. Hearing our members’ stories on why they joined HFTP, what they have learned and connections they have made reminded us how lucky we are to be in this unique industry. We hope when you hear from your fellow members in the video, it will resonate why this is Your HFTP, a community of sharing, collaboration and support of hospitality professionals. Find out what people have to say about HFTP as a whole. Below are quotes, pulled directly from the “My HFTP” membership video, from current and former HFTP Global Board directors as well as members, industry leaders and association influencers revealing what they have drawn from their experience as HFTP members.

Facts about Service Animals in the Hospitality Industry

17 November 2016
Horses, and ducks and monkeys! Oh, my! We are approaching one of the craziest travel seasons of the year, and you could very well be sitting next to a miniature horse, duck or monkey if you are traveling on an airplane. Do hotels, restaurants and clubs have to extend a warm welcome to any and all types of animals that come onto their premises? Well, this was the topic of discussion during a legal education session at the HFTP® Annual Convention that took place last month at Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada USA. The session was moderated by Richard Belair, SPHR, director of human resources at The Westmoor Club. The session was presented by Sean O’Connor, Esq., attorney and partner at Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP and Keith Pabian, Esq., attorney and partner at Pabian Law, LLC. The audience had many questions pertaining to this matter including the types of animals covered, services that must be provided, and legal ramifications.

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