Library Archives

Bob Butler

As the U.S. edges further into the summer months, it's safe to say that this year things are very different. COVID-19 has dramatically impacted consumer confidence. As the pandemic unfolds, many are reluctant to go back to 'the way things were.' These days, the country has embraced unusually 'low key' summer celebrations in the wake of COVID-19, yet even the notion of public activities is understandably too much for some. This article looks at insight from a recent nationwide consumer confidence survey, and suggests actions operators can take, to increase consumer and employee trust and confidence this season and beyond. READ MORE

John Bailey

Technology is a hot topic of discussion in the hospitality sector. But while hotel professionals are intrigued by the disruptive potential of new tools and technologies that promise to improve the guest experience and impact the bottom line, the tech revolution in hospitality is introducing new and concerning vulnerabilities. Increasingly connected hotels are a target for bad actors, and with more sensitive information exposed, hotels - many of which are behind the cybersecurity curve - are ripe targets for increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks and other digital scams. With email phishing and ransomware at an all-time high, it is incumbent upon hotel owners and operators to protect themselves, their properties and their guests. READ MORE

Katharine Le Quesne

Let's talk solutions, indeed. So much coverage has focused on the spread of the corona virus and the business impact – but where is the open debate about solutions? What should the hospitality industry do, in light of the global concern, travel restrictions and financial impact? This article is really a rallying call to our industry, to start an honest discussion with operators, investors and individuals about ways to mitigate and manage the risks of this global emergency. Let's get a grip and pool our collective ideas to help colleagues across the world as they grapple with the effects of the corona virus on global travel and tourism. READ MORE

John Welty

As recreational marijuana usage has become legal or decriminalized in a number of states and medical use has been accepted in even more, it has become important for business owners to understand marijuana's position in the workplace. In particular, hotel owners should understand its impact on safety and productivity. In this article, John Welty, president of SUITELIFE® Underwriting Managers, will discuss new changes to cannabis laws and what they mean for hotel owners and management. He will discuss employer rights when implementing a drug-free policy in the workplace and offer best practices to include in employee training and handbooks. READ MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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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.