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Doug Luciani

In the hospitality industry, there are numerous ways to work with the media. You can send out news releases to alert the media to new amenities or packages. You can host travel writers who will then include you in their stories. If your releases and hosting go well, writers may then follow up with you for an interview. This may all sound easy to deal with. But, take it from someone who has been a journalist and now works with them daily, the media can be finicky. Let's start with sending your news to journalists. READ MORE

Doug Luciani

As a public relations professional, one thing is very clear to me. Most people do not fully understand or appreciate the benefits of PR to their business. PR is perhaps the most under utilized tool in a marketing tool box. Public relations takes time and commitment. Sending out one release won't get you on the cover of Southern Living or the front page of the NY Times. However, handle a crisis poorly and it will. Understanding public relations is important to any business. Effective PR can help you gain exposure and increase revenues. Sure, PR can be maddening. It's hard to measure the ROI sometimes, but it can be done. It's time consuming, but the results are very gratifying. READ MORE

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Coming up in December 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.