Tag Archives: hoteliers

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Are You Ready For EMV Card Adoption?”

Current standard-issue American credit cards store personal information in a magnetic stripe on the back of the card. EMV cards, however, store information on a secure computer emv cardschip,which generates a one-time-use security code for every transaction, making counterfeiting virtually impossible, according to the EMV Migration Forum, a consortium of industry players that support EMV chip implementation across the United States. 

Credit card security is a topic top of mind for any business that processes consumer payment data, and this October the stakes for U.S. businesses—including hotels—to comply with the latest wave of payment security will get higher.

It’s all part of a continuing wave for the United States to widely adopt EMV chip credit cards, which reduce counterfeiting and card fraud, but which require hardware and software upgrades on the part of the party processing the payment.

Beginning in October, new compliance language will shift the burden of liability for some types of fraudulent credit card transactions away from banks and ultimately on to merchants. Hoteliers who know these new liability burdens and are actively implementing technology upgrades to read these new cards will come out ahead, legal and technology sources said.

Knowing the reasons behind the change and the implications of noncompliance will help hoteliers make a seamless transition, sources said.

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Filed under Crime, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Are You Breaking the Law by Recording Calls?”

“Regardless of the content of the call, hoteliers should be ensuring that they are using automatic disclosures—in order to obtain consumer consenthotel-phone—if using an automatic recording system. If an operator becomes the target of one of these consumer privacy class actions, taking an aggressive approach and attacking these claims as incongruent with the legislative purpose and intent behind the respective statute is a recommended.”

In the past few years, class action plaintiffs have recovered billions of dollars in punitive damages by exploiting strict liability laws that punish businesses for failing to properly notify customers when a phone call is being recorded.

Under the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and similar state statutes, businesses including hotels are prohibited from using certain tactics when telemarketing or making calls to solicit potential guests or customers. Hotels and other businesses are precluded from making calls or using any kind of prerecorded message, unless the caller has obtained a recipient’s prior express consent in writing or electronically.

Additionally, hoteliers are prohibited from making calls to residences before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m., and a future hotel guest calling to confirm a reservation also must be notified if the call is recorded. Hence, under these laws, if a hotel receptionist in Montana receives a call from a California resident to confirm a reservation but never notifies the recipient that the call is being recorded, it could result in damages ranging from $500 to $5,000 per call under federal and state laws.

This seemingly innocuous business practice of recording customer service calls without providing some variation of the oft-heard disclosure, “This call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes” has the potential to financially cripple a business.

For more: http://bit.ly/1CBRlu6

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Filed under Crime, Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Liability, Management And Ownership, Technology, Training

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Hoteliers Need to Own Their Property Website”

While low cost and minimal fees are an appealing draw, rental websites are a classic example of a scenario in which one gets what one pays for, but in this case, possibly even less since the ownership of the site and what hoteliers are putting funds toward is not theirs at the end of the day.hotel website This doesn’t even take into account the additional shortcomings seen from rented hotel websites such as no search engine optimization, little service or support following the initial set-up, a limited number of site pages, photos or content and so on.

The hospitality industry has seen a number of agencies offering hoteliers a low-cost, low-budget website that they can rent. It has been widely noted that these agencies, which promise all of the bells and whistles associated with investing thousands of dollars and development resources, often leave hoteliers in the lurch after the deal is done.

Why? A number of reasons, but perhaps the most important is that agencies that rent hotel websites do not provide hoteliers with true ownership of their content which becomes problematic as explained below.

It should come as no surprise that a hotel’s digital assets should be owned by the property, however, the subject of digital ownership seems to be overlooked by hoteliers doing business with rental agencies. Hoteliers’ ownership should reach past the physical ownership of their property to include their digital content and here is why:

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “5 Social Trends Hoteliers Can Leverage”

“Everything is being rated and talked about, he said. And much of that is being done on mobile. For example,20150504_AmericInn_Levine he said a lot of hoteliers will say they aren’t interested in Twitter—but that’s where their customers are talking about them. Thus, hoteliers need to monitor it and join in on the conversation.”

A picture of a pet cat with a slice of bread on its head. A person standing in front of a waterfall and capturing a photo that makes it seem as if he or she is vomiting said waterfall.

The above two examples “broke the Internet,” according to Daniel Levine, director of The Avant-Guide Institute, a global trends consultancy for travel and consumer marketing, based in New York City. But they were short-lived fads and certainly not things to build a business plan around.

But building a plan around social trends? That might be the golden ticket.

“Trends are not specific to any one industry. Trends are what people are thinking and feeling, and they’re looking for these same trends to be answered in every part of their lives,” Levine said while speaking during the recent opening general session of the AmericInn 2015 Convention & Tradeshow held at Bally’s Las Vegas.

In other words: Hoteliers can adjust their operations to sell the answers to these trends, he said.

“The beauty of trends is that they resonate with people for reasons they may not even be aware of. They’ll go and beat a path at your door if you’re answering these trends in creative ways,” Levine said.

Here are five social trends hoteliers can capitalize on.

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “The Threat Most Hoteliers are Ignoring”

“That’s particularly true when hoteliers begin marking their competitive differentiation on price20150327_AirbnbNYC—the average price of an Airbnb listing in NYC hovers slightly above $200/night and is well below the average cost of a hotel room in, say, Manhattan.”

“Is anyone worried about Airbnb?”

Nary a hand was raised when Mark Woodworth asked that question from the main stage at the Hunter Hotel Conference. The head of PKF Hospitality Research had to peer into the sea of some 1,200 attendees, hand above his squinted eyes like a sailor gazing into a foggy horizon, to find any. There were maybe five in all.

“Well, I’m going to talk about it anyway,” Woodworth said.

He was right to do so. The peer-to-peer accommodations platform is a threat to both demand and rate. We’ve documented that fact time and time again. Hoteliers just don’t want to hear it.

This dismissive attitude is based on the fact that it takes a lot of Airbnb supply to truly steal share. To reach that mass, Airbnb needs a strong concentration of willing hosts in high-demand markets such as New York City and San Francisco.

For more: http://bit.ly/1CNEnao

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Increase Hotel Profits by Keeping Your Employees Happy”

Customers often base their spending behaviors solely on their perception of the service. This is particularly true in the travel industry. Happy hotel maid at work in hotel roomQuick and efficient check-ins, a welcoming and accommodating staff, honesty and brand reliability are essential. When combined, these ingredients create the ultimate recipe for profitability.

The hospitality industry is thriving, but with that success comes responsibility. Hotel and restaurant owners need good management practices in order to remain relevant and realize sustained profits. Effective management includes overseeing employee satisfaction. Research has shown that there is a direct connection between employee contentment and customer loyalty. This is why it is important to take an interest in each staff member’s happiness.

In an accommodation industry, the key to customer satisfaction is high-quality service. However, employees who are unhappy often lack the motivation to provide such service, which results in disgruntled customers. This trickle-down effect can adversely affect a company’s revenue. Studies have proven that the attitude of an employee is directly related to a customer’s spending. Essentially, happy employees create happy customers.

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Filed under Employee Practices, Hotel Employees, Management And Ownership, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Marketing Update: “Becoming Guest-Centric: Why Hotel Marketing Needs to Change”

At a time when guest-centric thinking has become critical for differentiating hotel brands,reinvent marketing hoteliers need solid information about guest preferences and behavior in order to deliver customer-centric marketing. By transforming not only their marketing efforts but their entire businesses in this way, hoteliers can deliver the value that today’s empowered guests crave.

Hoteliers: It’s not about you.

Is your marketing all about you? About how beautiful are your rooms, how delicious is the restaurant’s menu, how soothing are the spa services? All this may be true, but let’s be realistic: Your potential guests are hearing the same thing from every hotel.

There definitely is room for differentiation among hotel properties, and travel searchers yearn for it. Leisure and business travelers alike are usually undecided when they begin the online research process. Sixty five percent of vacationers and sixty percent of road warriors are considering multiple hotel brands when they begin planning. While most business travelers have a handle on the differences between hotel brands, sixty five percent of leisure travelers are unclear on hotel differentiation.

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Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Hotel Restaurant, Management And Ownership, Social Media