Monthly Archives: January 2015

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “FCC Rules Hotel Wi-Fi Blocking Is Illegal and Subject to Penalties”

“No hotel, convention center, or other commercial establishment or the network operator providing services at such establishments may intentionally block or disrupt personal Wi-Fi hot spots on such premises, includinghotelwifi as part of an effort to force consumers to purchase access to the property owner’s Wi‑Fi network,” The FCC states. “Such action is illegal and violations could lead to the assessment of substantial monetary penalties.”

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission forcefully came down on the “disturbing trend” of hotels and other commercial entities blocking consumers’ personal Wi-Fi hot spots and declared such practices “illegal.”

The enforcement advisory directly rebuffs efforts by Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide and the rest of the U.S. hotel industry to get the authority to block attendees’ personal Wi-Fi hotspots at meetings and conventions.

Although the FCC hasn’t directly ruled on the Marriott and American Hotel & Lodging Association petition, filed in August, to seek clarification of the law as it pertains to Wi-Fi blocking, the FCC did note: “While the Enforcement Bureau recognizes that the Petition questions our position, the Bureau will continue to enforce the law as it understands it unless and until the Commission determines otherwise.”

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Hospitality Industry Risk Management Update: “Preventing Credit Card Fraud at Hotels”(VIDEO)

Our P3 Team has created a video to help train your staff on how to recognize the signs of credit card fraud and how to best prevent your property from falling victim. If you have any questions, contact us today!

Petra Risk Solutions’ Loss Control Manager, Matt Karp, offers a P3 Hospitality Risk Report – ‘Preventing Credit Card Fraud at Hotels’. 

P3 (Petra Plus Process) is the Risk Management Division of Petra Risk Solutions – America ’s largest independent insurance brokerage devoted exclusively to the hospitality marketplace.

For more information on Petra and P3 visit or call 800.466.8951.

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Filed under Crime, Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Theft, Training

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Here Are The Top 5 Business Risks For 2015”

For businesses, the main cost of a cyber attack involves the impact to their reputation and the resulting financial damages, as well as the loss of customer business. The breaches at Sony, Target, Staples and Home Depotlocks demonstrated the damage that can be caused to corporate reputations. Seventy-one percent of customers indicated they would leave an organization following a data breach according to the Edelman Privacy Risk Index

The globalization of today’s economy means that businesses are more interconnected than ever, creating a greater risk of business interruption, supply chain disruption, and exposures that can quickly multiply.

According to UNCTAD, over the last 50 years the number of multinational companies has grown exponentially from 7,000 to almost 104,000, and could reach more than 140,000 by 2020.

The Allianz Risk Barometer 2015 surveyed more than 500 risk managers and corporate insurance experts in 47 countries to identify the primary challenges facing businesses this year. Some risks such as political upheaval, cybercrime and business interruption were viewed as a greater risk, while natural catastrophes, technological innovation and market stagnation were viewed as having less of an impact.

Here is a look at the top 5 business risks for 2015 as identified by the Allianz Risk Barometer.

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “How Lower Fuel Costs Will Pay Off for Hotels This Year”

Beyond just travel, oil prices also have a role to play in the operational expenses of hotels. Lower prices can bring down utility bills and transportation costs on goods and services and, depending on how long oil prices stay low, propertiesfuel may see this impact their bottom line. “There’s certainly going to be an operational benefit,” says PKF Hospitality Research President Mark Woodworth. “The ultimate benefit is mitigated quite meaningfully by the fact that 45 to 50 percent of hotel expenses are labor related.”

The 50 percent drop in oil prices during the second half of 2014 has put plenty of cash into consumers’ wallets and that could mean good things for the lodging industry this year. Crude oil is selling for $47.64 per barrel today compared to over $90 a year ago. And while prices have started to stabilize a bit, there’s still a chance for them to decrease even further due to the glut of crude and the expectations of weak global growth pulling down the market.

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “International Travel: On the Move with the Millennial Traveler”

In 2014, more than 1 billion people, in all age groups, will have made a trip beyond the borders of their country. That is about one out of every seven people on the planet. Roughly 220 million, or about 20 percent of thoseinternational-millennial-travelers international travelers, were part of the millennial generation. By the year 2020, the number of millennial travelers is expected to increase by 47 percent to 320 million.

She is 27, single, and sells real estate in San Diego. She is paying off a college loan, shares a house with two roommates and gets to the beach as often as possible. He is 31, living in New York and working for an investment firm on Wall Street. If you were born roughly between 1982 and 2000 (the millennial), you are classified as a millennial or member of Generation Y.

The publishers of the Millennial Traveller report studied data collected from 7,600 young, international travelers between the age of 18-30. Millennials from more than 100 countries were surveyed and asked questions about their international travel preferences.

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Hospitality Industry Risk Update: “Preventing and Reacting to Child Trafficking”

While it’s important to speak up if suspicious behaviors arise, Guelbart stresses the importance of carefully assessing and reporting the situation. Trafficking endangers not only the victim in question but everyone underTrafficking-620x330 the hotel’s roof. “Trafficking is often connected with other criminal activity, including drugs or violent assault, and this can jeopardize the safety of hotel guests and employees,” Guelbart says. “You should never, ever directly get involved in a potential sex trafficking situation.”

Human trafficking may seem like a distant problem—something that only happens abroad or in the movies—but traffickers have checked into hotels across the nation. As the world’s second largest criminal industry, human trafficking exploits 100,000 to 300,000 American children (ages 12 and up) every year. In New York City alone, 44 percent of the child victims were sexually exploited in hotels.

The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AH&LEI) and ECPAT USA, an organization dedicated to ending child sexual exploitation, have joined forces to educate hotel owners and employees on this issue. “Traffickers are now using technology. They’re selling children online—less and less on the street—and they might be living in a hotel setting, or they’ll bring the victim to a hotel for the exploitation,” says Michelle Guelbart, ECPAT USA director of private sector engagements.

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Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Does YOUR Website Have to be Accessible Under the Americans with Disabilities Act?”

Clearly, it has no brick-and-mortar store that we can shop in so the answer should be “no ADA coverage for its website.” That is exactly what happened in its California district court case (Cullen).Handicap-Assessible1-300x225 But, in Massachusetts, the district court case (National Association of the Deaf) went the other way. Law school professors call such cases “outliers,” but in the courtroom today’s outlier sometimes becomes tomorrow’s conventional wisdom.

Is the internet a place of public accommodation: a virtual town hall or a virtual shopping mall or a virtual movie theater? Courts still struggle with that.

Physicalist courts say that the ADA requires a physical location. Ouelette v. Viacom, No. cv 10-133-M-DWM-JCL, 2011 WL 1882780 (D. Mont. March 31, 2011) (no ADA claim re YouTube); Noah v. AOL Time Warner, 261 F. Supp. 2d 532 (E.D. Va. 2003) (same re: chat room); Earll v. eBay, Inc., No. 5:11-cv-00262-JF (HRL), 2011 WL 3955485 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 7, 2011) (same: no ADA claim re eBay); Cullen v. Netflix, Inc., 880 F. Supp. 2d 1017 (N.D. Cal. 2012) (same: no ADA claim re Netflix); Jancik v. Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, No. SACV 13-1387-DOC, 2014 WL 1920751 (C.D. Cal. May 14, 2014) (same: no ADA claim re

Virtualist courts say there are places in the heart and in the mind too. Those courts proclaim that the core meaning of the ADA is that “the owner or operator of a store, hotel, restaurant, dentist’s office, travel agency, theater, Website, or other facility (whether in physical space or in electronic space …) that is open to the public cannot exclude disabled persons from entering the facility and, once in, from using the facility in the same way that the nondisabled do.”

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