Editorial Board   

Mr. Boni

Paolo Boni

President & Chief Executive Officer, VFM Leonardo, Inc.

Paolo Boni has been leading VFM Leonardo's vision and strategic direction since 2001. Under his leadership, the company has expanded globally and now has over 80,000 hotels, over 30,000 travel related website partners worldwide and the largest online visual content distribution network for the travel industry. As a recognized travel industry expert, Mr. Boni frequently speaks at major travel conferences on subjects relating to online travel marketing, online hotel merchandising and rich media. Since 2003, Mr. Boni has been a regular speaker and panelist at Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) conferences, including HEDNA Miami 2003, Frankfurt 2006 on and New Orleans 2008 on the transformation of distribution, customer experience, consolidation and the future of the online travel industry. In 2006, Mr. Boni spoke at the Eye For Travel - Travel Distribution Summit's (TDS) in Europe and Chicago, on the impact of rich media on consumers' hotel booking decisions and the Travelcom conference on using compelling content to build hotel brands online. He was a panelist on destination marketing to young adults at the Educational Seminar For Tourism Organizations (ESTO) and the online marketing roundtable at the MMG Vail Summit Senior Travel Executive Forum. More recently, Mr. Boni presented at the Hotel Association of Canada's Annual Conference 2008 on guerrilla marketing and marketing in the 21st century. Mr. Boni holds an LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School (1993) and a B.A. Economics from McGill University (1989). He was formerly a Partner with leading Canadian business law firm, Davies, Ward, Phillips & Vineberg LLP, practicing in securities and corporate law with an emphasis on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions. VFM Leonardo is the leader in online hotel merchandising with the largest, universally accepted online visual content distribution network (VNetwork) for the global travel industry. VFM Leonardo's VBrochure and VScape products leverage the distribution capabilities of the VNetwork and are the most effective visual content management and merchandising systems available to hoteliers today. For more information about VFM Leonardo, visit http://www.vfmleonardo.com

Mr. Boni can be contacted at 877-593-6634 or press@vfmleonardo.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.