Editorial Board   

Mr. Smith

Donald R. Smith

Executive Vice President, Nor1 Inc.

Don Smith, a noted expert in ecommerce for hospitality, is responsible for developing strategic supply partners worldwide and creating additional revenue opportunities through innovative upgrade processes and other up-selling related modules and processes. Mr. Smith also oversees the implementation of the Nor1's suite of revenue enhancement products with these suppliers. Prior to Nor 1 Inc., Mr. Smith most recently headed up Business Development at SideStep from their early stages in 2004, maximizing SideStep's revenues and building the most comprehensive supply network in online travel, positioning the company for the successful sale to Kayak Software in December 2007. Prior to SideStep, Mr. Smith headed up the sales efforts at WorldRes, the first the real-time internet based hotel distribution platform. Mr. Smith was the founder of Performance Marketing, a corporate meeting planning, representation and consulting group. Mr. Smith has also held senior level sales and marketing positions at Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts, Pan Pacific Hotels and Princess Hotels International. He currently plays leadership roles in a number of different hotel industry associations, including the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA). Mr. Smith lives on the San Francisco Peninsula with his wife and three children.

Mr. Smith can be contacted at 408-996-7417 or don.smith@nor1.com

Coming up in September 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.