Library Archives

 
John Welty

Human trafficking is a despicable crime where individuals are forced into commercial sex or labor. It is crime that affects nearly 25 million victims around the world and a crime in which, too often, hotels unknowingly play a part. The privacy offered by hotels is particularly attractive to traffickers and can be a weak spot for hotels. In this article, we look at recent trafficking incidents where hotels were involved, state laws on human trafficking impacting hotels and what hotel operators and staff can do to prevent these incidents or properly identify such a situation should they encounter one. Read on...

Kurt Meister

For U.S. hotels, an active shooter situation ranks high on the list of security concerns. And without proper employee training, a hotel has no chance of handling such a situation correctly. Effective training should include local law enforcement, first responders and all employees. It should address real-life scenarios that prepare staff members to respond appropriately. It should include key roles and responsibilities for each division head. And it should include smart prevention strategies. This article walks you through the basics and provides resources hotel general managers can use to develop their own program or enhance their current training. Read on...

Nancy Brown

Disaster resilience is a multifaceted concept that requires an understanding of specific qualities and characteristics of a sector in order to develop measures and predictors of resilience. A review of literature across related disciplines was the foundation for the development of the Disaster Resilience Framework for Hotels (DRFH) which provides the hotel sector with a starting point to assessing and better understanding what disaster resilience is for hotels by identifying predictors of disaster resilience. The DRFH breaks down disaster resilience by capital resources to provide a comprehensive look at predictors of resilience and multiple ways to approach building resilience for hotels. Read on...

Nancy Brown

Disaster resilience is a core concept for contemporary hotel disaster/crisis management objectives. Resilience building provides flexibility, improved capacity to adapt, and leverage against the continually changing tourism environment. Understanding the value of resilience can make the difference in prioritizing this vital tool. The interconnectedness of the tourism sector worldwide requires novel approaches to assessing organizational strengths - organizations' face the need to develop potential solutions to unknown challenges. Building disaster resilience offers a potentially multi-faceted solution sets to todays', and tomorrows', challenges. This is the first article in a four-part series... Read on...

John Welty

Those who don't have an Amazon Alexa or similar smart device in their homes likely know family or friends who do. These new smart speakers and their Google and Apple counterparts are quickly becoming a part of daily routines as many go to their smart speakers first to check the weather, set alarms or play their favorite songs. Now, hotels are adopting this and other new technologies to help guests stay connected through the technology they have become accustomed to at home. Although providing this new level of service can be a win-win for many hotel owners and operators, hotels who implement this new technology could be increasing their exposures to new risks. Read on...

Ed Fuller

Hospitality industry leader Ed Fuller shares his expertise on the importance of hotel safety and security preparedness in today's tumultuous times. The need for hotels, both large and small, to have crisis management and a crisis communications management plan in place at all times has never been more urgent. Hopefully, hotel executives will never need to activate these plans but being prepared is paramount. Additionally, Fuller highlights several news stories that sparked a media relations nightmare for several national brands offering readers insight on how local incidents can become front page news thanks to people's smart phones. Read on...

Aaron Koppelberger

Is an automated external defibrillator (AED) on the guest list at your hotel? Currently, there is no federal mandate requiring hotels to have AEDs. However, a recent Harris Poll found that 69 percent of Americans believe hotels should have an AED installed. In the U.S., there are 350,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests (SCA) each year, and 90 percent of out-of-hospital SCA events are fatal. AEDs, however, greatly improve a person's chance of survival. This article explains the need for AEDs and includes steps for implementing an AED program at your property. It could help you earn more business and more importantly, potentially save a life. Read on...

Kurt Meister

The unpredictability of Mother Nature and extensive havoc she can wreak is one of the most universally acknowledged threats to people and businesses, including hotels. The best defense against any foreseeable weather emergency is a proactive plan. Both literally and figuratively, when the clouds roll in, will your hotel be able to withstand the storm, as well as the possible damage it leaves behind? Have the proper steps been taken to keep that damage to a minimum, and if not, do you know how to get started? This article will address preparing your hotel for the worst case scenario. Read on...

John Welty

It’s engrained into our minds at a very early age: call 911 in the event of an emergency. Unfortunately, for many of us, our emergency know-how ends there. For hotel staff, emergency preparedness skills can not only save the lives of guests or fellow employees, those skills can also help to prevent injuries, disable hazards, maintain operations and protect property. Though these events occur without warning, that doesn’t necessarily mean hotel owners and their staff have to face these situations unprepared. In this article, we discuss what hotel owners can do to prepare staff to better handle emergencies. Read on...

Kurt Meister

The events of the last 12 months – from the Las Vegas massacre to large-scale point-of-sale (POS) attacks to the #MeToo movement – have dramatically changed the risk landscape for hotels. Industry leaders are increasing guest-staff interaction, revamping longstanding “do not disturb” policies, ramping up to fight cyberattacks and phishing, bolstering employee safety training, and even providing panic buttons to housekeepers to prevent sexual assault. We’ll take a deep dive into three key risk areas – guest security, data security and employee safety – and identify interventions that all hotel owners and operators should make during these changing times. Read on...

Tiffany Couch

With more than 20 years of experience in accounting, forensic accountant Tiffany Couch, provides information on the most common fraud schemes perpetrated by hotel employees. Although no one sets out to hire dishonest workers, the fact is all businesses lose 5 percent of their annual revenue to fraud. Worse, it takes an average of 16 months before fraud is discovered, by which time the perpetrator(s) have often stolen thousands in cash and product. This article examines fraud in hotels – including specific examples that can happen in every department– and practical suggestions on how to detect, deter and prevent fraudulent activity. Read on...

John Welty

The hurricane season of 2017 brought with it destruction of near-Apocalyptic proportions. The Southeastern states, Texas and the Caribbean were hammered relentlessly with catastrophic winds and disastrous flooding. Like many businesses affected in the region, hotels and resorts are still working to recover from the damage and the right partnerships with insurers are helping many properties get back in business as they rebound from one of the most destructive storm seasons on record. In this article, we look at the 2017 hurricane season, its effect on the hotel industry and how the right insurance partner is essential to business continuation planning. Read on...

Kurt Meister

Hotels are becoming increasingly tech friendly, offering a range of value-added services such as smartphone check-ins, text message reservation confirmations, smartphone key cards and public wifi - just to name a few conveniences aimed at guest satisfaction. Simultaneously, hotels are also increasingly vulnerable to data theft. From POS terminals to guest apps, hotels collect and retain a great deal of guest data that is attractive to hackers. By understanding the risks and creating an appropriate response plan, hotel operators will position themselves to address those risks as well as cope with the fallout of a data breach should it happen. Read on...

John Welty

Not only did it shock the world, but last summer's massacre in Las Vegas served as a major wake up call to the hotel industry. In the months since the tragedy, we've seen major hotel chains take a renewed stance on security. In this article, we talk about the new reality for hoteliers in terms of security and the steps they can take to keep their hotels safe for employees and customers, as well as maintain a profitable business. Insurance can play a key role here as the underwriting process and regular risk control checks can uncover risk exposures related to security - exposures that can be mitigated. Read on...

Richard Hudak

On the night of October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, leaving 58 people dead and 546 injured. Instead of assigning blame for the shooting incident, more discussion should focus upon the value of 360 degree of protection and the layers of security the Mandalay Bay resort provided which altered the shooter's behavior, and minimized how much more destruction he could have unleashed. The impact of this tragedy is that although security can alter criminal behavior, even outstanding security measures, may not be able to prevent it. Read on...

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Coming up in August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences. Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.