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John Welty

Wildfires have wreaked havoc out West in recent years, threatening California's wine country and other northern towns, as well as Los Angeles and its suburbs. While ensuring personal safety is the first priority after wildfires, a subsequent step should include exploring what a homeowner or in this case, hotel owner, can do to best handle a future wildfire situation. In this article, we'll discuss how hotels impacted by wildfires can take steps to deter damage and get their businesses back up and running. This could include starting up air handling equipment or bringing systems back on-line, among other things. Read on...

Kurt Meister

While a slip or fall remains the most common cause of guest injuries, a hotel's largest risk exposure may lie in the water. Legionella outbreaks have been reported at several hotels nationwide. This deadly bacterium can be fatal. When it spreads, it affects multiple guests. And when your hotel receives a claim, you may not be covered if your insurance policy includes a bacteria exclusion. This article walks through common causes of guest injuries – from legionella and E. coli to bed bugs and molestation – and offers best practices for preventing injuries, protecting your hotel and safeguarding your guests. Read on...

John Welty

In the competitive hotel space, guests expect hotels to offer variety, creativity and excellence in not only the accommodations and services they offer, but in the ancillary activities they provide. Pools, gyms, spas and daily excursions all present a variety of risk exposures to hotels that owners and operators need to consider. In this article, we discuss new trends in activities and services provided by hotels, as well as the risks involved with each and how to mitigate them. Read on...

Dana Kravetz

Insurance represents a significant cost of doing business for hoteliers. But too few truly comprehend the coverages they are paying for or why certain policies are needed at all. Which is why this overview of insurance and its role in hospitality-related risk management should come in handy. With an emphasis on the importance of adequate insurance coverage, and a straightforward explanation of the types of policies hoteliers should be in the market for - CGL, Worker's Comp, EPLI, Crime and Cyber, among them - the following primer for hotel and resort owners and operators is meant to clarify a subject that is oftentimes misunderstood. Read on...

Raul Chacon

Providing a safe and healthy workplace is not only required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), it is also essential to protect a hotel and its employees from the negative repercussions of work-related accidents and illnesses. As a hotel owner or manager, it is important to maintain a safe work environment to protect employees and better control related costs. This article explains what to do before, during and after a workplace accident, as well as actionable steps hotel executives can take to create a safe and healthy work environment for all employees. Read on...

John Welty

"Who are you wearing?" will again be asked up and down the red carpet this year during Hollywood's annual awards season. Big names in the fashion and jewelry world like Gucci, Carolina Herrera, Christian Louboutin, and Cartier are likely to be the answers. This may leave one to wonder - how are these high-value items protected when the celebrities are off the red carpet and back in their hotel rooms? And then, how do non-celebrity hotel guests ensure their higher value items are protected during their vacations and hotel stays? In this article, we discuss insurance coverages hotels provide or should consider providing to protect guest property - whether high value or standard, tips on how to mitigate risk exposure, as well as additional options for hotel guests to expand their personal coverage when they are on the road. Read on...

John Welty

Hotels provide a variety and growing number of ancillary services from child care to swim lessons to spa treatments. With so many different services being offered in one hotel, it can become increasingly difficult for hotel owners and operators to make sure they have the right protections in place in case anything goes wrong. Unfortunately, when a hotel is providing day care services, youth related events or intimate spa services, among other things, risks abound. In this article, we talk about the insurance coverages hotel owners and operators should consider when they add additional service offerings to their suite of hotel guest services. Read on...

John Welty

The opportunity to drive their dream car is on the bucket list of many. That goal can be checked off fairly easily these days as luxury car driver experiences are available through a variety of venues, including hotels and resorts. Dreamers no longer have to shell out hundreds of thousands to drive a Lamborghini; they can reserve a luxury suite at certain high-end hotels and enjoy the privilege of driving one for a few hours. Of course, for hotels and resorts offering this luxury service, new risks come with the experiences. In this article, we discuss what hotel and resort owners participating in these luxury driver experiences can do to make sure they have taken the proper steps to protect their guests, employees and their bottom lines. Read on...

John Welty

Discrimination has been a hot topic in the news lately. The "Hate Has No Home Here" campaign, women's marches, LGBTQ issues and Black Lives Matter protests are just a few examples of how Americans have been turning up the heat on what some view as existing but emerging threats to their race, gender, age, religion, or lifestyle. On the corporate side, the discrimination issue has left virtually no industry untouched. In this article, we will examine the impact of the topic of discrimination as it continues to gain steam in the hospitality industry, in particular. We will also discuss examples, insurance coverages available as well as risk management tips. Read on...

John Welty

Hurricanes can be frightening experiences, particularly for those on the coast. For hotels, which occupy much of the country's coastal landscape, they can bring revenue to a halt. Business interruption coverage is key to help hotels get through these catastrophes without having to board up their businesses for good. In this article, we explore the ins and outs of business interruption coverage to help hotel owners question their coverage and ensure they have the protection they need to come out on top after a major loss. Read on...

David Quezada

More than three million workplace injuries were reported in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of these, 75 percent occurred in service industries, which includes hotels, restaurants and bars. Workplace injuries and illnesses can have many negative repercussions, including potential litigation, higher workers' compensation premiums, employee turnover and low morale. Businesses with unsafe working conditions can also be subject to fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) - and the penalties for non-compliance just got a lot higher. Read on...

Philip J Harvey

A city's win of a major special event like the Republican or Democratic National Convention can mean a boon for the local economy, including the hospitality industry. Unfortunately, these days, it also means heightened security concerns. Whether here or abroad, acts of terrorism, bombings, and active shooter situations are a part of life and cannot be ignored. Hotels—particularly those in special event host cities, or those hosting large conventions or multiple conferences simultaneously—need a plan in place to reduce their risk exposure to these horrific events. By developing security action plans and reinforcing them, hotel management can be sure they are doing the best they can to protect their guests and business without spoiling the fun of these events. Read on...

Christopher Bolger

A good corporate culture of safety and risk management starts at the top and spreads to all staff until it is woven into the fabric of the hotel's daily activities. An effective safety program holds everyone from executives to housekeeping staff accountable for implementation and execution of clearly defined safety procedures. Hotel staff need to be proactively thinking and talking about safety - immediately wiping up spills, reporting pot holes in the parking lot and cutting off bar guests who've had one too many, among other things. By creating and implementing a top-notch safety program and holding employees accountable to it, hotels can significantly reduce their risk exposure and save millions of dollars in avoidable claims or potential reputational damage. Read on...

Philip J Harvey

For hotel guests, a pool can be the most inviting amenity on the property. For hotel operators, pool safety is an ever-present source of liability. Risks go far beyond the possibility of water-related catastrophic losses such as drowning or serious injury in a diving accident. The water quality of a hotel's pools and spas also poses significant safety issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are on the rise and can manifest in a variety of skin conditions and gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory and eye infections. Additional exposures include the unintentional ingestion of water. Read on...

Philip J Harvey

When hotels are victims of data breaches, they take a hit to their reputation as well as to their bottom line. When they do not have a data breach response plan, proper security and a specialized insurance policy to adequately protect them, they find the consequences are even more severe. They struggle to respond quickly and accurately, and discover they are exposed to liabilities far beyond what they imagined. It's time hotels large and small recognize and prepare for what's happening in the hospitality industry. Read on...

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Coming up in October 2019...

Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.