Prevent Fraud by Enforcing Strict Anti-fraud Policies

By Peter Goldmann President, FraudAware Hospitality | March 31, 2010

And-now is a good time to start getting serious about fighting fraud, because, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), internal fraud alone (not counting such crimes as credit card fraud by guests and vendor scams that don't involve a hotel employee) robs up to 6% of gross revenue every year.

A special challenge for hotel industry security managers is the fact that hospitality properties generate enormous amounts of cash. Whether it's guests paying cash for rooms or restaurant and bar patrons paying for meals with cash, without strict controls on how that cash is handled...and by whom...there's no question that a significant chunk of it is going to end up in employees' pockets.

First Things First

Whether it's cash embezzlement... theft of inventory... an employee accepting vendor kickbacks or some other profit-draining fraud, there is no getting around the fact that formulating and enforcing an employee anti-fraud policy is step one in the challenge of preventing fraud.

After all, you can't expect dishonest employees to be deterred from stealing if the company doesn't take a "zero-tolerance" position toward employee theft.

According to accountant, Andrew Durant of BDO Stoy Hayward in London, "The aim of a corporate [anti-fraud] policy is to demonstrate to both employees and the outside world that the company is taking the threat of dishonesty, fraud, and theft seriously.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.