Letter from the HFTP Global President: Partnerships Are Powerful Assets

By: Michael Levie, CHTP  — 2019-2020 HFTP Global board president

And now, suddenly, it is 2020 — A new year, with new targets and new opportunities.

The Austin, Texas-based HFTP Global team is energized and ready to deliver another outstanding year for the association. And for HFTP, 2020 also brings with it a bevy of new initiatives and goals.

One of our focal points will be to actively pursue and strengthen HFTP’s working relationships with a variety of other hospitality associations. You may have heard the popular adage, “There is strength in numbers.” Building strategic partnerships within the vast hospitality industry benefits everyone — not just the two (or more) organizations involved, but also their members, stakeholders and audiences.

Within the world of hospitality, HFTP plays a major role when it comes to finance and technology information. HFTP works diligently year-round to recruit knowledgeable industry experts for educational opportunities in a spectrum of delivery formats — from online webinars to global conferences. HFTP offers two professional certifications: the Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE®) and the Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP®). The newly-inaugurated HFTP Foundation oversees three global research centers to produce white papers, conduct industry surveys, write research blogs and more. Moreover, HFTP has developed the Bytes sites that deliver aggregated news focusing on the association, hospitality finance, hospitality technology, GDPR, food and beverage (F&B), and the club industry.

All these resources, from HITEC® to the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI), are true trophies to cherish. But there is always more. Our members deal with many questions outside of the specific scopes of finance and technology. These questions may be related to the ever-changing distribution landscape, standard requirements or industry lobbying in Washington, D.C. — and these are just a few examples.

This is where strategic partnerships can help maximize efforts to keep our members as informed as possible. There is no need for HFTP to stretch its focus too thinly or lose sight of our mission, as we are fortunate to have incredible fellow associations that represent the hospitality industry in these other sectors.

By joining forces with other hospitality associations, we can strengthen each other and serve our stakeholders together. Each association continues to operate as an independent, separate entity but can combine their common interests and goals to develop joint programs, workshops and co-located activities that span the globe.

There are many partnerships that, as HFTP Global Board president, I look forward to continuing in 2020, as well as others that I hope we can initiate. Here are some examples of partnerships that have been spotlighted in the association’s news just in the last year:

  • HFTP partnered with  Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) on the fourth annual HITEC Europe, taking place April 21-23, 2020 at the Palau de Congressos in Mallorca, Spain.
    Read more >>
  • HFTP and HTNG will also work together to develop the first-ever HITEC Asia. This will make the fourth HITEC event to take place in 2020 across the world. Read more >>
  • This past year, HFTP and Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) organized two gatherings of hospitality technology and marketing executives for an open discussion on the roles each group occupies within their organizations and how their responsibilities intersect. Resulting from these meetings is the just-released report: “Bringing Together Hospitality CMOs and CTOs: Takeaways From European and North American ThinkTanks on the Strategic Integration of Marketing and Technology.” Read more >>
  • HFTP formed a Global Finance Committee for the Lodging Industry alongside the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) that will update and expand the current USALI 11th edition to include both U.S. and international standards, becoming the new 12th edition. Read more >>
  • Last spring, HFTP announced a partnership with HotStats to manage the Global Hospitality Accounting Common Practices (GHACP) database. The site is a searchable database of detailed operating financial reporting practices. Read more >>
  • HFTP was selected by Hospitality Upgrade to partner for the 15th Annual Executive Vendor Summit founded by Hospitality Upgrade, which took place early Spring 2019 in Austin, Texas USA. The annual summit is an invitation-only, two-day conference that offers a rare combination of networking, educational programming and immersive social events for C-level executives from the world’s finest hospitality technology suppliers. Read more >>
  • Later in the year, HFTP partnered again with Hospitality Upgrade on the CIO Summit, a two-day conference designed especially for C-level technology executives. Learn more >>
  • Also in Spring 2019, HFTP partnered with the Young Hoteliers Summit (YHS) Global 10th Edition held at the École hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland. The event aimed narrate the hospitality industry’s success stories and create a roadmap for future industry leaders. Read more >>
  • Coming Soon: HFTP is collaborating with the National Club Association (NCA) to produce a comprehensive cybersecurity guide for clubs. The publication, which will include case studies and up-to-date best practices specific to the club environment, will become available in late Spring 2020.

HFTP has so much to offer and to give — the right start for any relationship. We also have clear goals as to what kind of value these relationships can give to our members, and we know that serving the hospitality community together can make us stronger.

Stay tuned for the results as we finalize future partnership initiatives and make plans to deliver on our new 2020 targets and opportunities.

The cover photo for this blog post was taken during an HFTP Global visit to the National Club Association (NCA) Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in December 2019. Pictured from left: NCA Vice President of Government Relations Joe Trauger, HFTP Global President Michael Levie, CHTP, NCA President & CEO Henry Wallmeyer, and HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE.

Michael Levie, CHTP is the 2019–2020 president of the HFTP Global Board and currently serves as chief operations officer for citizenM Hotels.

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About the Author: Briana Gilmore

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