The APEX workgroup is focused on educating the market on what meeting planners and suppliers can do to help minimize the impact of these poachers, pirates, and new disruptive companies. Consumer education is another important piece of the puzzle, especially as recent headline-grabbing breaches have made data security top of mind. â€œItâ€™s important to let people know we cannot control their data if theyâ€™re not booking through the official housing agency and the official hotel,â€ he says.
Room block poaching refers to businesses that actively seek to recruit or divert event attendees away from official room blocks and into other hotel bookings. â€œThis is pervasive,â€ says Mike Dominguez, senior vice president of corporate sales at MGM Resorts International. â€œItâ€™s touching everybody now, primarily in the big cities that have larger citywide conventions.â€
Dominguez is part of a workgroup formed by the Convention Industry Councilâ€™s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) that intends to develop awareness and best practices for minimizing the impact of room block poaching.
The practice isnâ€™t new, but technology has made it easier for accessibility to a customer, Dominguez says. Poachers attack public information, such as exhibitor lists on conference websites.
For more:Â http://bit.ly/1vKaPbs
â€œThe hospitality industry plays a critical role in the fight against modern slavery, since many traffickers exploit their victims in hotels and motels,â€ said Bradley Myles, chief executive officer of Polaris. Â â€œIf we are to truly eradicate human trafficking, itâ€™s absolutely essential that companies like Wyndham take proactive steps to combat this crime at the root while also helping victims rebuild their lives. Polaris applauds Wyndham Hotel Group for integrating a responsible business culture company-wide and for actively taking such a strong stance against human trafficking.â€
Wyndham Hotel Group, the worldâ€™s largest hotel company with approximately 7,590 hotels and part of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: WYN), today announced its continued commitment to preventing human trafficking by partnering with Polaris, a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery and restore freedom to survivors.
As part of the joint effort, Wyndham Hotel Group and Polaris are developing comprehensive training and educational tools for hotel owners and franchisees, property-level staff and employees at its corporate offices and call centers to educate them about all aspects of human trafficking.
For more:Â http://bit.ly/1r2xZbX
Hoteliers need to know how the bandwidth is currently being used so they can prioritize different types of usage. Packet inspection equipment can help you figure out if guests are using the Internet to download movie torrents or to make voice over IP calls, and then you can prioritize and make more bandwidth available for one activity over the other. â€œYou donâ€™t want to overpay for excess bandwidth when it isnâ€™t necessary,â€
Two years ago, BioMarin, a pharmaceutical firm based in San Rafael, Calif., called Inn Marin to book an offsite training session. This wasnâ€™t unusual since the 69-room independent hotel is located eight miles up the road from the companyâ€™s headquarters. And with only 35 people attending, the meeting requirements were far from onerous. But there was one last-minute request that nearly caused Inn Marin to lose this booking. BioMarin needed an Internet connection that was six megabits per second (Mbps) or faster to allow 20 desktop computers to log into the corporate server in San Rafael. And the DSL line coming into the hotel was only capable of 1 Mbps down and 1/2 Mbps up. â€œI just about had a heart attack,â€ says Inn Marin General Manager Robert Marshall. â€œThatâ€™s when I realized that we couldnâ€™t keep doing business like this.â€
For more:Â http://bit.ly/1p3ciar
At a Crowne Plaza hotel, the maid collected all the used drinking glasses, put them into the sink, and turned on the water. Then she gathered all the dirty towels from the bathroom floor, held onto one, and used it to help dry the cups.Â The Crowne Plaza maid then used the same towel to wipe down the countertop, the toilet and the bathtub. She never used soap on anything, but she did return to spray the room with air freshener.
When you check into a hotel room, you assume the maid has cleaned everything, including changing the sheets and disinfecting the bathroom. But a hidden camera investigation revealed that may not always be the case.
The Rossen Reports team booked rooms for two nights at some of the most popular hotel chains and rigged them with cameras (all three of the hotels were in northeastern New Jersey). In each case they put soda in the glasses, threw towels on the bathroom floors and made the rooms looked used before calling to have housekeeping make them up, as well as prominently displaying the card requesting that all linens be changed.
For more: http://on.today.com/1ur6PcG
Whatever the cost, hoteliers are advised to take certain precautions. â€œComplacencyâ€ is dangerous, Schoshinski said, adding that hoteliers should update security protection plans periodically…Despite such resources and other preventative measures in the hotel industry, â€œthe bad guys are getting smarter,â€ Cividanes said. â€œThe bad guys are watching what you do.
Data security breaches, a hot topic at last yearâ€™s Hotel & Lodging Legal Summit, took center stage again at the 2014 conference as the No. 1 topic that keeps hospitality lawyers â€œawake at night,â€ said Robert Lannan, program co-chair and principal of Lannan Legal PLLC.
His opening remarks mentioned several headline-making cases, including breaches at Target, Home Depot and White Lodging, where it was revealed in January 2013 that attackers allegedly collected customer credit and debit card numbers, security codes, card expiration dates and other personal information from guests who had stayed at 14 hotels.
For more: http://bit.ly/1zwrVIk
Labor cost is a major expense item throughout all operated and undistributed departments within a hotel. Not surprisingly, the labor-intensive rooms and food and beverage departments have the highest labor cost ratios. In 2013, labor costs represented 61.1 percent of total expenses in the rooms department and 59.6 percent in the food and beverage department. At the other end of the spectrum, labor costs are less pervasive in the administrative and general (48.8 percent) and maintenance (51.5 percent) departments.
As revenues continue to grow for most U.S. hotels, the combined cost of salaries, wages, bonuses, and payroll-related expenditures has declined as a percent of total hotel revenue. In 2013, labor costs represented 32.3 percent of total revenue, down from a high of 34.8 percent in 2009 but still above the long-run average of 31.2 percent. Labor costs measured as a percent of total revenue run from a high of roughly 35 percent at convention and resort hotels to a low of 22 percent at limited-service and extended-stay properties.
Strong growth in revenue, however, has the potential to mask the struggles hotel managers face to control labor costs. Therefore, it is important to also measure movements in labor costs relative to changes in other hotel operating expenses. While labor cost as a percent of revenue has declined significantly in recent years, labor cost measured as a percent of total expenses has remained relatively constant.
For more:Â http://bit.ly/111qTYD
Safeguarding against such an attack can be difficult for hotel guests. The best defense is to double check update alerts that pop up on your computer during a stay in a hotel. Go to the software vendorâ€™s site directly to see if an update has been posted and download it directly from there. Though, of course, this wonâ€™t help if the attackers are able to redirect your machine to a malicious download site
A hacking campaign known as Darkhotel has been deployed by Hackers to steal sensitive information from business executives, security researchers have revealed.
How it happened is that the sophisticated attackers had been lurking on the hotelâ€™s network for days waiting for him to check in. They uploaded their malware to the hotelâ€™s server days before then deleted it from the hotel network days after.
For more:Â http://bit.ly/1B9M6jS