HFTP Members Meet at Rosewood London for Professional Dialogue and Education

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Written By: Carl Weldon

Arriving at the Rosewood Hotel London is always a pleasure — especially when greeted by the “hotel dog” Pearl, who even has her own social media presence (check out her Instagram profile here).

A big “Thank you!” to the Rosewood Hotel team for providing an excellent room, facilities and hospitality — and especially to IT Director Barry Thomas, CHTP who set everything up before he rushed off to Hong Kong. The hotel’s manager, Remus Palimaru, introduced the hotel itself (recently the subject of a major article in The Caterer) with an overview of the facilities and of Rosewood’s future development plans.

The attending delegates gathered for light refreshments before we provided an HFTP Global update: everything from events like HITEC in Amsterdam, Houston and Dubai to membership resources. This includes recently released resources for the industry from the HDPO/GDPR Task Force on the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These new GDPR resources include a vendor letter template translated in four languages, a standardized Hospitality Data Protection Officer (HDPO) job description, and sample industry data flow charts.

The evening was a span of three fascinating presentations, each on its own diverse topic exploring different aspects of the hospitality industry.

Providing the attendees with a perspective of the current European and UK hotel trends was Ivana Neskovic, senior manager regional accounts at STR. Ivana provided an interesting overview of “Europe and UK Hotel Trends. This included 2017 as a whole year, analysing various aspects of European landscape both by country and major cities — and then drilling down into the UK. There was a compression analysis specifically of London hotels and the number of nights that reached more than 90 percent occupancy. The presentation also included an array of interesting statistics by city of hotels being built or developed, or that are currently “in the pipeline.”

The overall message: European hotels are outperforming previous peak levels, rising above the challenges of the recession, terrorist attacks, increased supply and private rentals.

Next on the agenda: event sponsor Keystep Solutions’ CEO Andrew Evans explored the “Age of RFID and AI.” Andrew’s message covered what is available and why it is not being used in terms of machines — cleaning robots being a great example of this. Andrew also examined the changing nature of “door locking,” since we invested in it as a business, and how the landscape has changed for hoteliers in just the past few years. He finished with a closer look at some of the stranger developments out there in the industry.

The event finished with a look at one aspect of the current hot topic for all businesses out there in Europe: GDPR. Jose Medio, CIPP/US, CIPP/E — managing director of Europrivalis and a key member of the HFTP GDR/HDPO Task Force — discussed “GDPR and Mapping Your Data.” In other words, Jose explored the documenting and review processes of various computer systems, and the interrelationships between a hospitality business and its systems. Jose suggested that, sooner or later, systems will need to be automated and reviewed on various levels — and, at the same time, must document a business’ data inventory.

The meeting concluded at 8:30 in the evening, with more refreshments courtesy of the Rosewood Hotel. A final, big “Thank you!” to Keystep Solutions, the event sponsor, and their CEO Andrew Evans for the nice goodie bags.

If you are interested in hosting or sponsoring a similar event in Europe, please contact me at carl.weldon@hftp.org.

Carl Weldon is the COO of Europe for HFTP. Contact Carl at Carl.Weldon@hftp.org or +1 (512) 220-4164.

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