Somewhere on the globe, a door latch was just locked, pharmacies and grocery stores are probably a bit more busy, stock markets might be preparing for an unexpected downturn and some people may even cancel travel… All because the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has just confirmed America’s first Ebola case.
Would I fly into Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Today? Absolutely! Would I visit Texas Presbyterian Hospital where the patient of the confirmed case of Ebola is being treated? Sure. Am I crazy? Sometimes, but not on this issue! WHY? Because in spite of the sensationalism of the press and the human nature tendency to panic when something unexpected happens, Ebola is VERY difficult to catch. It can only be spread through direct contact and it is not spread through the air, water or in general food. The only way that Ebola is spread is through direct contact with blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola (sex, excretion, vomit); direct contact with items (like needles or syringes) that are contaminated with the virus; direct contact with infected animals (apes, monkeys and gorillas are thought to be responsible for transmitting the disease to humans); and in Africa, as a result of handling bush meat.
It has been reported that the person in Dallas infected with the virus had returned from Liberia, an African country. Little details are known if the person was a rescue worker or volunteer helping fight the virus there. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Liberia has a very weak health care system. But even travelers to Liberia are told by the U.S. Government that the risk of traveling there and contracting the disease is low and Americans have been traveling there since 1976 when the disease was first reported.
It will be easy over the next few days, weeks or maybe even months, to get caught up in all the media hoopla over Ebola. There might even be an additional case or cases which the media will talk about in every news break, ticker tape or tweet that they possibly can. While their goal is not necessarily to create hysteria, they do want to sell views and good news does not make the news.
Please forgive this former Health Educator for being a bit graphic in the ways to contract Ebola. But it is important that all of us in the hospitality industry and your guests understand that Ebola is not a contagious disease like the common cold.
Frank Wolfe, CAE, is the CEO of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and an inductee into the International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame and a Paragon Award winner. He often speaks on hospitality and travel related issues. He is an author, speaker and an advocate of careers in hospitality technology or finance. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter @frankwolfe. Or Facebook: Frank I. Wolfe
GHACP stands for the Global Hospitality Accounting Common Practices. The goal of this initiative is to provide a searchable database of detailed operating financial reporting practices used at lodging properties around the world, along with guidance on industry standards, and commentary and analysis from industry experts.
The users of financial information come in many forms, from owners to investors, from controllers to CFOs, from financial professionals to academic constituents. Thus any benchmarking information services that can be used by these groups to compare common practices for hotel management reporting from region to region would prove to be very useful.
As with any benchmarking services, in order to stay relevant, it is imperative that the GHACP is a fluid product requiring continuous updating and development. The project leaders started by collecting information from Europe and Asia with the assistance of industry practitioners and university students. For North America, HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe gained the permission of the Financial Management Committee of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) to include the 10th and 11th editions of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) in the GHACP. To-date, the database hosts approximately 5,000 items. Read More »
It is really exciting to be in Los Angeles for this year’s HITEC and so far so good. Monday evening’s opening party at the Belasco Theater was quite sensational. Good music, good food and drinks, and good conversations. Not to mention the elegance of the venue.
HITEC itself has been running quite smoothly. The registration and badge pick-up processes have been less cumbersome this year, thanks to the producers, HFTP. I was unable to attend Monday’s opening keynote. However, Tuesday’s keynote session on “The Collaborative Economy” presented by Rachel Botsman was very good. If you’ve never heard Rachel speak, you should check out her presentations on TedTalks and YouTube. You’ll not be disappointed. Read More »
That was funny, right? At this time, please visualize Monday’s keynote Douglas Merrill raising his hand (an inside joke if you weren’t there).
Tuesday’s keynote, Rachel Botsman, knocked it seriously out of the park (while scaring the pants off us). I will stop short of saying that by itself it justified the trip, but hearing speakers like her is why you should be here, if you aren’t (yesterdays L.A. HFTP Chapter/IBS party at Lucky Strike Lanes being another).
Ms. Botsman talked about the emerging (heck, it’s here) Collaborative Economy. Read More »
The first session of the day was also my favorite, “Building a Better Hotel Infrastructure” led by Robin Koetje, Ken Barnes and James Lingle. It was the sort of block-and-tackle information that I come to HITEC for. Here are a few of the many great points made:
- You’ve got to start with the environment. what are the brand standards and other decisions that are already made for you? What is the owner’s vision and mindset? Are they in it for the long haul, or to flip? Do they want to push the envelope in terms of technology and guest services, or play to the low denominator? What are the local requirements; for example is water abundant or scarce? Read More »
One glance at my inbox says it all… HITEC is just around the corner. It’s time to step back from the day-to-day and get immersed in what’s happening with technology in our industry. From a career standpoint, this is what Dr. Stephen Covey (in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) called “Sharpening the Saw.”
This will be my third conference. After my first HITEC in 2012, I kicked myself for not having been there all along. Even though it’s a bit of a hike from North Carolina, it has become a must-attend event for me.
We all share the feeling that keeping up with technology in our industry is an overwhelming task. None of us can know everything about hospitality technology (although some of my HFTP colleagues do amazingly well at it), but our constituents — whether we call them clients, coworkers, or something else — seem to think that we should. Read More »
With HITEC 2014 just a few short weeks away, I thought it would be timely to go ahead and update the industry on the latest progress HFTP has made concerning the CHTP Certification Program since the CHTP Task Force meeting earlier this year.
At the HFTP March council meetings, the Certification Advisory Council and a few members from the CHTP Task Force, revisited where the CHTP is today. The group then took an in-depth look at the current CHTP certification program examination questions. The group eliminated several more subjective and for lack of a better term, ‘dated’ exam questions from the pool. As a result of that review, the exam question pool was also significantly reduced, leaving approximately 242 usable questions that can be applied toward the new CHTP exam that is currently being developed. Read More »
Education is important to all of us whether you want to better yourself in your own career or just feed that inherent curiosity people possess. Education is a big portion of all HFTP events, but especially HITEC. However, no matter how mind-blowing or life changing the speaker you saw can be, sometimes it’s really difficult to remember every session you attended at a four day juggernaut conference like HITEC. This can become especially difficult when you are required to keep track of session attendance as part of any professional designation you may have or hope to possess.
This year we want to help you keep track! In each of the HITEC education rooms we’ll provide scanners for those seeking to track their continuing education credits. We have made this a super simple process because we know nothing is more annoying than having to sit down and fill out a paper sheet especially at a technology geared conference. Read More »
Editors Note: Since the publication of this article, movement to regulate e-cigarettes by the FDA has progressed. On the local government level and in other countries e-cigarettes have been banned in public places or banned all together. Recently, the European Parliament rejected a proposal to regulate e-cigarettes as medical devices.
The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) boasted the largest show floor in its history featuring more than 3,200 exhibitors. It was a sight to see, with a lot of improvements on things we have been hearing about in the industry for quite a while.
One trend that really stood out to me was the proliferation of e-cigarette vendors and users. The growth in sales of the e-cigarette will likely make it a habit that’s here to stay. Many large tobacco companies seem to think so, including R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard and Altria (think Marlboro).
Over the past few years, the Certification Advisory Council (CAC) and the HFTP Board of Directors have been discussing the Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP) Program. The question of how do we keep a technology certification relevant, is obviously one of the biggest questions we are faced with every time we meet.
As we all know, technology is evolving rapidly these days. The evolution and innovation of technology has also impacted the hospitality industry as well as the CHTP certification program. HFTP was aware that the CHTP exam was dated in some of the sub-section content areas that were tested on the exam. The study materials reflected this information as well. The perception of the CHTP program, from the industry’s point of view, is simply that the exam has some issues that needed to be addressed. HFTP is on a mission to fix these issues and the industry’s perception of the certification program as a whole. At our best efforts, HFTP has removed dated and subjective questions that were on the current CHTP exam.