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.

For more: http://bit.ly/1NavP2i

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

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Hotel Owners Can Get More Green by Going Green”

When looking for the smartest ways for your hotel to implement resource and money-saving updates, reach out to a consultant who can help you determine the costs, returns,Tap with dripping waterdrop. Water leaking, saving. and impact that going green will have your business specifically. It can be overwhelming, but remember that one small change at a time will add up to a lot of savings over the long run.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s a phrase we’re all well-acquainted with, and for good reason. The earth’s natural resources that we depend upon are finite, so the advice is simply to use them wisely. Even if you don’t consider yourself an eco-focused person, it just makes good practical sense to be resourceful–whether it’s in vogue or not.

The best part about wasting less resources, though, is wasting less money. Wasting less money is having more of it, and because the nature of hotels requires the use of a lot of water, energy, food, and other materials, hotel owners have an incredible opportunity to save a lot of money by being more resourceful.

Save money, help the planet–these aren’t the only benefits. Taking responsibility for the way your business uses the earth’s resources reflects well upon your brand and becomes part of your company culture. Your business can effect positive change in the world!

Below we review three areas that are full of opportunities for savings. Some of the ideas do require an upfront cost but will pay for themselves in savings. Remember to look into opportunities for rebates and tax credits when considering the cost of efficiency updates as well.

For more: http://bit.ly/1INnQlt

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Filed under Employee Practices, Green Lodging, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “How to Use Reviews to Size Up the Competition”

One of my panelists (he who cannot be named) brought up an interesting tactic to help hoteliers size up the competition and see how they’re delivering on the guest experience.hotel website Have you ever thought about really digging into TripAdvisor’s “star” reviewers’ reviews? That’s a mouthful. But it’s an interesting way to look at what your hotel might be missing the mark on.

As our readers might know, Hotel News Now is deep in the throes of the beast that is the Hotel Data Conference. Leading up to the event, which kicked off last night, we pulled the data, assigned stories and called our panelists. (Shameless self-promotion: Hear me moderate the panel titled “Online, offline: Keeping your reputation intact”).

While this is only my second time moderating a panel, I have to say I’m really excited about this one. Why, you ask? Well, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with each one of my panelists via phone about how the discussion will go. Let’s just say we’re all on the same page when it comes to giving you some concrete examples of how your hotel can better manage its reputation.

I don’t want to spoil all the fun, but I wanted to give you all a preview of what to expect during the panel, which will take place right before lunch on Thursday, 6 August. OK, enough of the self-promotion. Hopefully I’ve already wooed you.

For more: http://bit.ly/1T3M9kT

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

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Company Uses Technology to Reduce Hotel Noise”

Given that studies have shown an increase in a hotel rating can correlate to an increase in the all-important average daily rate for a property,hotel noiseit’s no wonder why the hotel industry is trying to find ways to anticipate guests’ needs before they have time to bring it to the attention of hotel staff.

In a busy, bustling world, noise can be a problem for both hotel guests and hoteliers.

One company, Quietyme, has set out to reduce noise and cut down disturbances with the help of advanced technology.

Quietyme — founded in 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin — uses sensors to pick up the decibel levels of locations. Sensors can be placed in individual rooms and are connected via an electronic network. The sensors not only pick up the origin of high noise levels, but also indicate which particular rooms within a property are affected, based on each room’s decibel level. Reports are then sent to hotel staff either via mobile device or through the main hotel system.

Huey Zoroufy, COO of Quietyme, said the technology was originally designed for apartment managers, who used it to both monitor noise levels and curb property damage associated with high noise levels.

For more: http://bit.ly/1IeSGGy

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Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology

Hospitality Industry Conference Update: “2015 CTSSA Fraud Conference”

The 2015 California Tourism Safety and Security Conference is being held Thursday, September 17, 2015 at the beautiful Island Hotel in Newport Beach, California.  This half day conference is centered around fraud4d30d4d05aa65b796643a506d93fc01a and forgery detection and prevention at your business. With subject matter experts instructing in hands-on, nuts and bolts training format, you will see first hand how criminals forge fraudulent credit cards, wash checks, and take advantage of your unsuspecting business.

Together with several California law enforcement, security, and tourism industry organizations, the Association plans and hosts the nation’s largest training conference dedicated to issues of safety & security for visitors and visitor venues.   The annual conference features timely new training topics each year, presented by experienced practitioners and subject matter experts.   Content and logistics are planned and coordinated by a committee of CTSSA volunteers, chaired by Dave Wiggins.

The event includes a full day of training, plus the Tech Expo which showcases emerging tools & technologies, as well as a keynote address, and hosted luncheon and cocktail reception.   The conference has been praised for its timely and relevant “nuts-n-bolts” training content, as well as its valuable networking opportunities.  The conference has been held at various locations throughout California.  Participants come from all across the United States.  Participation is by pre-registration, and is open only to qualified working professionals.

For more: http://bit.ly/1Mt3G6e

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Filed under Conferences, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Theft

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Why Union Leaders Want L.A. to Give Them a Minimum Wage Loophole”

“Some see thinly veiled self-interest at work in labor’s quest for waivers in minimum wage laws. Glenn Spencer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said that Southern CaliforniaLA minimum wage in particular shows the potential benefits of such provisions for private-sector unions at a time when many are struggling to stanch long-term declines in membership”

One of the most divisive issues that Los Angeles City Council members expect to confront when they return this week from a summer recess will be a proposal by labor leaders to exempt unionized workers from the city’s new minimum wage.

The push for the loophole, which began in the final days before the law’s passage, caused a backlash rarely seen in this pro-union city and upended perceptions of labor’s role in the fight to raise pay for the working poor. Union activists were among the most stalwart backers of L.A.’s ordinance raising the wage to $15 by 2020, and argued against special consideration for nonprofits and small businesses.

Rusty Hicks, head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, said the union waiver would be a routine protection against challenges to the ordinance under federal labor law. “This is about staying consistent with previous provisions and crafting something that will withstand legal scrutiny and delay,” Hicks said in May. In California, he added, “we’ve seen every city that has passed a minimum wage include this kind of a provision.”

A Times review of other cities’ minimum wage laws, as well as interviews with labor leaders and legal experts, suggests the truth is more complicated.

Guarantees that organized workers should be allowed to bargain for a subminimum wage appear to have scant legal justification, some experts said. They are not a universal feature of local wage ordinances, in California or other states. San Diego, the largest California city to raise its minimum wage in recent years before L.A., did not include such an exception.

For more: http://lat.ms/1OLyDlk

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Filed under Employee Benefits, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Northwest Dallas Hotel is ‘hub for drug use, prostitution and violent crime,’ Says City Hall”

The city of Dallas has had enough, and late Thursday filed suit against the owners of the motel that looks decent enough on the outside but is anything but on the inside, according to the City Attorney’s Office. The city wants the court to order the owners to clean it up immediately or face thousand-dollar-a-day penalties until the laundry list of problems are remedied.

In early December, two men were shot and another man was injured (after he jumped out a window to escape being shot) at the Orange Extended Stay Motel on Finnell Street in Northwest Dallas, near Northwest Highway and N. Stemmons Freeway. Several residents told our Naheed Rajwani at the time they feel unsafe at the Orange and that, perhaps, it was time to move away from the crime-ridden (and poorly reviewed) hotel. Said one woman, “I’m scared, and I don’t want to end up losing my life being in this area.”

She had good reason to be concerned: On May 30, someone was shot to death at the hotel.

The city of Dallas has had enough, and late Thursday filed suit against the owners of the motel that looks decent enough on the outside but is anything but on the inside, according to the City Attorney’s Office. The city wants the court to order the owners — Carrollton-based Dynasty Hotel Group — to clean it up immediately or face thousand-dollar-a-day penalties until the laundry list of problems are remedied.

“The relatively well kept facade of this business belies the abhorrent physical conditions, habitual drug offenses, and violent crime that have pervaded its interior and for which the property has become known,” says the suit, signed by Assistant City Attorney Melissa Miles.

For more: http://bit.ly/1KkzKtx

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Filed under Crime, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “6 Ways to Prepare For the Next Downturn”

“Providing an exceptional guest experience is the best investment any hotelier can make.20150714_downturn_feature This is why we as a brand have rolled out a membership-wide training program all about the importance of unlocking the personalities of the staff and the story of the hotel when guests stay,” she said.

Good times continue to roll for the global hospitality sector with growth in the travel and tourism industry expected to increase by 3.9% this year, according to Ernst & Young’s “Global hospitality insights” report for 2015.

But in the cyclical fashion of the industry, the upswing can’t last forever.

So what should hoteliers be doing now to prepare for the inevitable down cycle, and how much can investing in their products and services now set them up for not so good times in the future?

For Eric Danziger, president and CEO of Debut Hotel Group and Hampshire Hotels Management, preparation now is absolutely key to success in a future downturn.

“Hoteliers should be pragmatic, preparing for when it is a bit more difficult to get those much-needed guests through a property’s doors,” he said. “Hoteliers that are prepared with a product and with services that guests value, appreciate and are willing to pay for will be ahead of the game.”

For more: http://bit.ly/1IflBgM

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Filed under Employee Practices, Finances, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Social Media, Technology, Training

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “DOJ Releases Supplemental Guidance on Service Animals Under the Americans With Disabilities Act”

“Public accommodations and facilities covered by the ADA (including, but not limited to,those noted above) are well-advised to review the new guidance,Seal_of_the_United_States_Department_of_Justice.svg which provides practical insight into these and other thorny issues that frequently arise with regard to service animal access.”

With the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) just two weeks away, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has released a new technical assistance document addressing frequently asked questions regarding service animals and the ADA.   This additional guidance is intended to be read in conjunction with the DOJ’s previous July 2011 technical assistance on Revised ADA Requirements: Service Animals, which remains in full effect.

The DOJ has stated that this additional guidance is meant to further assist people with disabilities as well as places of public accommodation covered by the ADA – such as retail shops, restaurants, hotels, medical facilities, theaters and event spaces, and other places open to the public – in understanding how the ADA’s service animal provisions apply to them. Among other topics, the additional guidance addresses in detail:

For more: http://bit.ly/1e0XPqP

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Filed under ADA, Hotel Industry, Training

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Three Rules of Renovation”

“In an era when the next big tech invention seems to arrive every week, we recognize that our guests require us to stay on trend,” Spillett says.Renovation “We know that traveling can take its toll and sometimes leaves us vulnerable, without the comforts of home. These comforts increasingly fall in the technology category, so we make every effort to ensure that our guests have convenient access to the latest tech amenities and services.”

Lodging’s current robust performance is creating a competitive environment when it comes to product freshness. The industry fundamentals have never been better, and these conditions are driving a flurry of construction projects, rebranding and conversion activity, and renovations of every scope throughout the United States.

In the last three years, an estimated 1.2 million hotel rooms have been renovated, representing more than 20 percent of the existing supply, Lodging Econometrics (LE) data reveals. According to Bruce Ford, LE’s senior vice president and director of global business development, the number of renovations will likely trend downward as strong hotel operating profitability discourages owners from making rooms unavailable while being renovated. However, for those hoteliers willing to take the plunge and make some upgrades, here are some key takeaways for making the best renovation decisions for your bottom line.

For more: http://bit.ly/1MrH4ks

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Filed under Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Technology