Library Archives

 
Greg Winey

Hurricanes define you and your business. They test everything from physical to mental preparedness. During times of crisis, those in the hospitality industry act as caretakers. Guests and staff are reliant on solid and strong leadership to feel safe in the face of these growing storm systems. Communicate. Stock up on necessary foods and goods. Secure your hotel. Above all, be patient and have endurance. Do anything and everything to prepare your properties, your guests, your staff and yourself for the unknown. Don't try to predict what the storm will do – it's almost impossible. Just monitor and prepare for the worst but hope for the best. Read on...

Nancy Brown

Hotels are a 365 day a year, 24 hour a day enterprise. This business model provides a number of challenges, including how best to provide for guests needs while balancing costs when considering overnight shift capacities. This final instalment of the four part series unfolding disaster resilience in the hotel sector provides lessons learned by Wellington New Zealand hotels following a midnight earthquake in Kaikõura New Zealand. Hotel staff rose to the opportunity to provide guest service when faced with this significant disruption. Hotel leaders and staff learned a number of lessons and provide a few clear ideas that hotel everywhere can adopt to improve their resilience. Read on...

Kurt Meister

Today, some of the foremost hotel security threats are crimes on which insurers have started to tighten the reigns. These include abuse (both sexual and physical), battery and molestation. Adding to the mix is the despicable global crime of human trafficking. Each of these emerging threats brings new questions for hotels and their employees, including how employees can identify this type of deviant activity. This article walks you through each of these emerging threats and explores the risks, the potential solutions, the value of getting it right, and the ever-expanding costs of allowing this type of activity at your hotel. Read on...

Nancy Brown

A study of hotels in New Zealand shows both strength in their disaster resilience and a few areas for improvement. The Disaster Resilience for Hotels framework is used as a basis for the surveys which were distributed to hotel general managers and staff. Analysis of the results helps to understand hotel resilience predictors. Hotel leaders can use this information to make evidence based decisions about their organizations disaster management activities and operational choices. Key findings: include front line service staff in planning, hotels need to network with community and government organizations, and operational capacities in disasters need analysis.? Read on...

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...

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Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.