Tag Archives: Petra Risk Solutions

Hospitality Industry Security Update: “Developing a Cyberbreach Strategy”


Throughout the business world, breaches have become a constant reminder of the critical need to assess and take action on cyberrisk. But they can also make addressing the issue seem like an ever more daunting task, leading many to either put off substantive measures or blindly buy the latest insurance or software to “take care” of the problem and move on.

“The biggest mistake companies make in the breach recovery process is just not being aware of the risk in the first place,” said John Mullen, managing partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP and chair of the firm’s data privacy and network security practice. “You would be amazed—I do up to 100 presentations a year, and at 80% of them, people still look at me like it’s the first time they have heard about it, and I have been doing this for over a decade. The people in the know are in the know, but there is an amazing amount of people who have no clue.”

There are countless ways a cyberbreach can unfold, and countless ways response can go wrong, but laying the strongest possible foundation ahead of time ultimately makes the difference between successful response and absolute disaster for a company that gets hacked or otherwise compromised. According to Mullen, a breach coach who reports that his firm sees a new breach case every business day of the year, “If you don’t do all of the prep stuff, you’ll never get response right.”

For more: http://bit.ly/1GycVMP

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Hospitality Industry Tech Update: “Two Digital Disruptors Hurting Hotels”

Airbnb’s price positioning play—accommodations often are less expensive than similar hotel rooms—is not sustainable, he said.20150730_distributioin_RSSDisrupter Once the platform is forced onto a level playing field and starts collecting taxes, it will costs hosts more to do business.

In an industry with so many variables, one thing is certain: Hoteliers are woefully inadequate when it comes to technological innovation. And that makes the impact felt by the so-called disruptors all the more disruptive.

Thus concluded a panel of owners and operators titled “Disruption 2020: The digital marketplace” at the Revenue Strategy Summit.

“We’re still stuck in the Stone Age,” said Shai Zelering, managing director of operations and asset management for Thayer Lodging, Brookfield Hotel Properties. Instead of investing in new technologies, hoteliers are more obsessed with new guestrooms amenities that ultimately don’t matter, he said.

“It’s about priorities,” he added.

To that end, panelists identified the two major disruptors that require the industry’s immediate attention.

For more: http://bit.ly/1MOx3yS

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Filed under Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Technology

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “How to Combat Last-Minute Cancellations”

“If it’s one call from a regular guest who has to cancel at the last minute because of extenuating circumstances, that’s not a problem,” Rauch said. “Our goal is to protect and grow our revenue.Cancellations-feature But at the same time, we have no desire to have guests hate us. The last thing we want is for someone to badmouth us on social media because of how we handled their cancellation.”

With last-minute cancellations having the potential to wreak havoc in the revenue management arena, hoteliers from Los Angeles to London are opting for a range of solutions that include tightening the rules on refundable bookings and turning to more sophisticated algorithms to forecast.

Last-minute cancellations have been on the rise in recent years amid an emergence of online tools and platforms that make it easier for consumers to shop and compare hotels, explained Bjorn Hanson, a hospital industry expert and professor with the New York University Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism.

“It’s an increasing problem that needs to be addressed,” he said.

“People are always looking for a better deal, and most cancellations happen when they see another hotel lowering their rate,” said Jamie Pena, VP of global distribution and revenue strategy for Omni Hotels & Resorts.

She and many of her fellow industry colleagues are taking action.

For more: http://bit.ly/1WA7So6

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

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “DIY Not the Answer with Hotel Technology”

For the first time, technology has become a real point of differentiation for hotel companies. As owners and asset managers become more involved and focus onDIY Hotel Tech technology and distribution, the pressure will grow for brand companies. It’s great the entire industry recognizes the problem, but the question becomes, how does it get solved? Or worse, what happens if it doesn’t?

After attending the summer season of hotel industry events, I was surprised to see a new found recognition from hotel brand companies that technology has become an urgent priority. It is refreshing to hear executives admitting that they have fallen behind the curve and are desperate for new solutions.

It wasn’t that long ago that technology and distribution were barely mentioned at these events, but now they are often the focus of general sessions at even the biggest investment conferences like NYU. And now we even have newer events like the Revenue Strategy Summit and the Hotel Data Conference where distribution is a main topic on the agenda.

It’s remarkable to see such a transformation, but that’s where my excitement stops. In the next breath, many of the same hotel brand leaders talk about a renewed commitment to building better technology. They want to compete with Expedia, Priceline, and Google by creating their own in-house platforms.

For more: http://bit.ly/1P4k8Lw

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

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “The Present and Future of In-Room Tech”

“Hotels should focus on making room technology easy to understand, accessible and relevant. Do not focus the efforts only on creating ‘fun’technology such as mood lighting and such.Roundtable-Feature It’s important to pay attention to the devices used by guests and add tech features, which can assist in an improved hotel experience.”

From cathode-ray tubes to flat-screen televisions to smart screens. From dial-up Web access to Wi-Fi.

In-room technology in hotels has evolved over the years, and it will only continue to do so. But what are the changes hoteliers can expect next? And in an industry often accused of being behind the curve when it comes to technology, what do hoteliers need to keep top of mind to add to the guestroom experience?

Five leaders responded to these questions in this Hotel News Now virtual roundtable. This is what they had to say.

From where it stands today, where do you see in-room technology headed in the next few years?

Mehul Patel, chairman and CEO of NewcrestImage
“Technology, notably Bluetooth, will increasingly make rooms more ‘open’—both literally and virtually. For example, mobile technology will allow guests to unlock and enter their rooms. And after they are in their room, guests will open their room to the virtual world with customized entertainment content and room management. Because today’s travelers have their own mobile devices, it enables us as hoteliers to provide them with technology that makes their stay with us smarter and simpler—‘smarter’ thanks to Bluetooth and ‘simpler’ by facilitating their use of personalized content in movies, television and music.”
Joachim Högefjord, managing director, and Gül Heper, commercial manager at HTL Hotels
“We believe it’s most important to stay relevant to the guests and their needs. In-room technology is not about filling a hotel room with all possible gadgets; it is about enhancing the guest experience and especially simplifying the stay at the hotel.“We need to continue looking at existing behaviors and identify the right needs, what devices are the guests bringing with them and review how to incorporate this in the room in order to provide a better guest experience. One given area, where we already supply device independent solutions is in terms of in-room entertainment. Why equip the hotels with expensive hotel TV systems with on-demand movies when most guests today can and will be using their own devices to stream and mirror everything from movies to HBO and Netflix for free with their existing subscriptions?“Mobile access to the room is of course also an area that will continue to develop and be more and more standardized. Today there are few hotels and chains that are fully offering this to all guests independent of distribution channel. From the start we decided that this should be one of our standard features, and already in spring of 2014 we launched our own app with mobile key.“Of course there is a lot of talk about in-room control systems for lighting, heating, shades, entertainment controls, etc. They might grow in the future, but at the same time it is generally a learning curve to handle them, and with guests staying in general 1.5 days in a room, it might add more complexity to your stay than added value.”
Bashar Wali, president of Provenance Hotels
“In-room technology will focus on connectivity for the traveler’s personal phone, tablets and computer. Guest-provided media will stream to TVs, USB outlets will be within an arm’s length away from the bed and desk in every guestroom. Personal technology has surpassed in-room hotel technology to the point of no return. With annual upgrade cycles for consumer technology devices, hotels can no longer spend enough to catch up. Hoteliers, stop implementing technology of the day and just let travelers have power outlets, free, fast Wi-Fi and access to their own media.”
Anna Blount, market research manager of MMGY Global
“When asked which device they are most likely to watch television or cable movies on during a hotel stay, 86% of travelers chose the in-room television, while 13% chose their personal laptop, 6% their tablet and 4% their smartphone.“Similarly, 84% of travelers said they were most likely to watch pay-per-view movies on the in-room television during a hotel room stay, while 9% chose their personal laptop, 9% their tablet and 3% their smartphone. Although in-room television is still dominate, we expect usage of personal laptops and tablets to consume in-room entertainment to increase considerably over the next five years.”
Euan McGlashan, co-founder and managing partner of Valor Hospitality Partners
“Technology will soon control the entire guestroom, and that’s a good thing. A guest will be connected to every element of the in-room experience—for example, entry locks, television, music, lighting, temperature, roomservice and in-room deliveries or services—through simple switches, remote controls and hand-held devices, which are either theirs or provided by the hotel.”

For more: http://bit.ly/1YzEVea

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

Hospitality Industry Risk Update: “5 Ways to Pummel Pests at Your Hotel”

“(Hoteliers) really should have an independent inspection of their vendors,” Rivard said. “The prime food producers throughout the country already do that. They’re checking them out,20150911_pest control whether they’re buying some ingredient or working with a pallet manufacturer.”

A hidden danger of record high demand is more guests walking through the door means a higher chance anything from bed bugs to cockroaches to rats and ants are following right behind.

One of the few things more disconcerting than the pests themselves is the effect they can have on your bottom line.

A recent survey conducted by researchers at the University of Kentucky showed a single online review mentioning a bed bug sighting caused many to immediately write off a hotel. The first reaction of 56% of potential guests will be to no longer consider staying at that property, 7% will shorten their stay and 12% will seek to avoid that hotel’s brand in the future.

The same survey, results of which have not yet been published, showed 60% of guests who spot a bed bug would immediately leave the hotel, which is almost three times as many as those who would leave after finding someone else’s blood somewhere in a guest room.

“It’s a maddeningly difficult problem to deal with,” said Michael Potter, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky and one of the authors of the study. “Everybody is dealing with bed bugs … but hospitality is especially vulnerable because people rely so much on social media when making decisions.”

The potential damage to your hotel’s reputation is only worsened when considering the fact that less than a third of those surveyed could identify successfully a bed bug, with many confusing other pests like lice, ants, termites and ticks for bed bugs.

The harsh reality is there are no 100% infallible methods to keep pests from darkening your doorways, but there are some things to make sure they’re less welcome after arrival.

Here are five ways experts seek to prevent pests.

For more: http://bit.ly/1gmpxiM

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Filed under Bed Bugs, Claims, Guest Issues, Health, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Insurance, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Conference Update: “Petra Hospitality Update: CH&LA Southern CA Conference”

Join Petra Risk Solutions at CH&LA’s

Southern California Hotel & Lodging Conference

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 8:00am – 5:00pm

This one-day event includes educational sessions, a trade show, and networking is free to all hotel staff. Each year over 500 hoteliers attend and take advantage of all that is offered at this very special event. 

Petra Risk Solutions’ very own Brad Durbin, Jennifer Lisanti and Todd Seiders will be presenting at the education sessions

click here to learn more..

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/138772085 w=500&h=281]

Petra is proud to partner with CH&LA and the endorsed broker for:

Insurance    *    Employee Benefits    *    Education

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

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Airbnb Casts a Long-Term Shadow”

“We need to embrace the technology,” he said. “We can choose to work with them, which we didn’t want to do with (online travel agencies) at one point20150818_hdc_altaccom.Let’s learn from that lesson.” Cox said there are obvious lessons that can be learned by how Airbnb does business.

These are happy days for the hotel industry, so why does it seem like the only thing anyone wants to talk about is the shadow cast by the black cloud of the sharing economy?

Airbnb represents a significant threat in the eyes of many hoteliers, including those who spoke at the “Alternate accommodations: The demand bandits” panel of the 2015 Hotel Data Conference.

“We definitely see Airbnb as a big threat,” said Kurien Jacob, chief revenue officer of Highgate Hotels. “We come across that in every single meeting we have.”

Jacob said the preponderance of Airbnb hosts in New York City, coupled with that market’s well-publicized supply issues, has worked to drive down rates.

“Airbnb is so well known internationally, so it’s not just a problem domestically,” Jacob said. “So we’re seeing (international travelers) coming into the city and staying with Airbnb.”

For more: http://bit.ly/1EWeZNz

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

Hospitality Industry Risk Management Update: “Bedbugs: A Nightmare for the Hotel Industry”

In order to mimic the way bedbug information would be discovered in real life as travelers booked hotels online, Penn explained, the information about bedbugs required a couple extra clicks from the participant.lead_960 They found that bedbugs were at the top of people’s lists of concerns when picking a hotel. Further, if an actual bedbug was found—participants reported it as the number one reason they’d leave the hotel immediately.

In 2010, it seemed all but impossible to escape bedbug infestation and paranoia in New York City. Almost everyone knew someone that had to deal with them; I remember guilt-ridden conversations of how to politely escape social gatherings at the homes of friends who had had them.

That year was the peak of bedbugs in New York. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development reports that infestation cases have been falling since then; last year’s case number—2,268 —is less than half of what it once was.

Nevertheless, bedbugs are still a huge concern for the hospitality industry.  The reason isn’t merely the bugs themselves, but how travelers choose their accommodations these days: online, guided by the reviews of their fellow travelers. And those online reviews can do real damage to a hotel if there is just the slightest hint of a bedbug infestation.

That’s the finding of three researchers—Michael Potter, veteran entomologist, and agricultural economists Jerrod Penn and Wuyang Hu at the University of Kentucky—who teamed up to look at the economic impact of bedbugs for the hotel industry. Their forthcoming report was funded by Protect-A-Bed (a company that makes mattress protectors), and it shows that bedbug reports lowered the value of a hotel room by $21 for leisure travelers and $38 for business travelers.

For more: http://theatln.tc/1J4SMxO

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Filed under Bed Bugs, Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management

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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