RSSAuthor Archive for HTFO

Why do companies give up on customer service as they grow?

Everyone experiences second-rate service from a trustworthy brand at some point. Some recent examples of large brands plagued with a reputation for poor service include wireless service providers, airlines, auto manufacturers and Internet service providers. One need only look at Twitter feeds to see the angst that their customers are feeling. In the airline industry, United Airlines seems to be getting the brunt of customer complaints and media coverage as of late due to the infamous dragging of a passenger from one of their flights that went viral. Now, they are once again in crisis management mode because a United employee tried to wrestle an 18th-century violin away from a passenger who wanted to carry on the rare and valuable violin but was being forced to check it in.

Apart from the odd exception, top brands are not able to retain their status as market leaders as long as they used to. As companies grow, they try their best to ensure that service standards are maintained at the highest levels possible. However, in the long run, a decline in quality of either products or customer service is one of the greatest risks. There are many reasons for this degradation. When companies shift more focus on cost savings, they may consider outsourcing offshore to cut costs. Also, as hospitality management evolves, companies that develop software may have employees that are not up to speed on the latest variations made to the software. This all but ensures they will short on helping their clients with technical issues. Large companies can also become constrained by the fragmented departments and processes they put in place to streamline operations, but these processes can backfire and actually slow down responsiveness. In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, McKinsey claimed that disloyalty is caused by a lack of understanding of the various touch points rather than by customer dissatisfaction with a single interaction.

It takes a long time to steer a big ship

In the hotel technology industry, some big companies have experienced declines in service because they have not been able to adapt to change quickly enough. Their infrastructure is aging quickly. We live in a world of instant gratification. For a software company in the hospitality space, the delivery of reliable, knowledgeable service and support is paramount to building a successful business. Software that runs a hotel or connects a hotel to its guest needs to be working at all times. When something does occur that inhibits the software from performing correctly, there can be no delays in a resolution to the issue. Smaller hotel technology brands can be more agile, modern and responsive.

Domain expertise makes all the difference

The people on the front lines of hotel software service and support not only need to have exceptional knowledge of the software in varied configurations, but they also need be specialists on how the hotel business works. They need to be able to identify if the issue is of an operational nature or related to the technology itself. Without an adequate background and understanding of the complexities of our industry – service, and support can quickly fall apart. One survey discussing customer dissatisfaction states that a whopping 91% of its respondents complained about customer service because they had to contact the same company several times before their problem was resolved. Regardless of industry, exceeding customer expectations requires the right mix of personal service, quality interactions, and first-call resolution.

It is time that customer service returned to its roots

With customer service often being a key differentiator, companies cannot settle for declining service levels, especially in the hotel industry as high touch service is the hallmark of our business. The first step for hotel technology providers to stay on track is to determine what constitutes superior customer service, and learn how to deliver it. The next step is to be aware of industry trends and new technologies that emerge as they impact not only on the industry, but they also impact software with issues like new integration requirements, compliance and more. Finally, companies should always plan for success rather than planning for failure. If you plan for success, you will be able to ramp up your support services to address the growth of your company and thus be able to meet the needs of your customers.

No matter how big or small our companies may be, as software providers, we are part of the service value chain right down to each and every guest. By providing excellent service to hotels – we enable them to provide exceptional service to their guests. Hotel software companies need to maintain the highest levels of support to ensure that their technology does not negatively impact hotel operations or their ability to exceed guest expectations.

Source: https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4083250.html

Duty system can promote healthier attitudes towards alcohol

The ALMR has responded to HM Treasury’s consultation on alcohol structures encouraging the Government to adopt an innovative alcohol duty system that encourages products to be sold and consumed within the supervised environment of pubs, bars and restaurants.

HM Treasury has been consulting on new bands for cider, perry and still wine to encourage incentives for the production and consumption of lower strength products. The ALMR argues that this would provide greater choice for the sector’s customers and support industry initiatives to facilitate healthier lifestyles.

The organisation has also highlighted future opportunities to reform the duty system, either through a revision of the current EU Directive or post-Brexit. This could include differential duty rates, allowing lower duty to be charged on drinks sold through the on-trade.

ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “New bands for lower-strength wines, ciders and perries could reduce costs for both producers and retailers and help stimulate demand for high quality on-trade drinks. Brexit provides the opportunity for a more creative look at the duty regime to further incentivise innovation.

“We have evidence to show that lower-strength products are predominantly consumed in the supervised environment of a pub or restaurant. If the Government is serious about promoting healthier attitudes towards alcohol, a tactic would be to promote responsible and supervised consumption within our venues.

“High quality products that come with a lower strength and reduced price tag could help precipitate a shift in drinking habits that aids businesses and supports the Government’s plans to promote healthier lifestyles.”

Source: http://www.hospitalityandcateringnews.com/2017/06/duty-system-can-promote-healthier-attitudes-towards-alcohol/

1,190 Independent Restaurant Owners Share Their Thoughts on Over 100 POS System brands

RestaurantOwner.com released the 2017 POS Survey Report today. The report summarizes input gathered from 1,190 independent restaurant owners from around the world regarding over 100 different brands of POS systems, focusing on several critical aspects including cost, installation and support experience, and features. The results of this survey provide unique insight into the POS system market and emerging trends, all of which are valuable to independent restaurant owners.

The average cost for a restaurant POS system has notably decreased since 2012. In 2012, the average expenditure for a POS system was just over $18,000, as opposed to $13,344, currently.

The top seven POS solutions were Aloha POS, MICROS, Digital Dining, Clover, Adelo POS, Future POS, and POSitouch. These top seven POS systems accounted for 47.5% of the market. Beyond the top seven, all other POS brands each accounted for less than 3% of the market share.

We identified a shift toward cloud-based systems and POS solutions offered by credit card processors. Clover, Dinerware, Harbor Touch, and Square were the top credit card processor provided POS solutions, accounting for nearly 11% of total market share.

Despite the increased use of cloud-based and mobile systems, less than 10% of independent restaurant owners indicated they use pay-at-the-table devices. Moreover, only 31% of restaurants reported using EMV compliant POS systems. This is particularly noteworthy considering the fraud liability shift that took place in October 2015, mandating that merchants upgrade to EMV chip technology or accept increased liability for fraudulent transactions.

Improvements in plug-and-play components, increased Wi-Fi capability, and a tech savvy labor pool are allowing many restaurant owners to opt for self-installation and remote support. As a consequence, only 74% reported using an authorized POS vendor for programming, training, and support.

Source: http://hospitalitybusinessnews.com/20170127040/1190-independent-restaurant-owners-share-thoughts-100-pos-system-brands

Level Up(grade): W Hotels Debuts Hotel Industry’s First-Ever Video Game To Celebrate The Opening Of W Bellevue

To power up the forthcoming opening of W Bellevue, W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR), is taking the hotel guest experience to the next level – literally. With the brand’s newest hotel set in the heart of one of the country’s renowned tech hubs, W is excited to press play on the hotel industry’s first ever video game, Belle the Bear, on June 15th. W fans and tech-heads alike can play their way to W Bellevue virtually on opening day, with real-life rewards for top scorers in the United States.

Gamers, guests and W fans can explore the natural beauty and tech-centric city of Bellevue, Washington, with the Frogger-style Belle the Bear adventure game. Help Belle traverse landscapes, cityscapes, inside W Bellevue. Along her journey, Belle finds herself immersed in a robotic world, encountering drones and robots, all while avoiding (and occasionally embracing) cheeky roadblocks with skillful timing. Hit a cannabis leaf? Belle will turn into a gummy bear. One too many cocktails collected? Belle’s commands become reversed.

And what’s a video game without some friendly competition? To celebrate the debut of Belle the Bear, gamers can try their luck and compete for a variety of prizes from June 15th through July 15th, 2017. The five highest scorers in the United States will win prizes, with the top scorer receiving a complimentary three-night stay in the Extreme WOW Suite at W Bellevue, roundtrip airfare for two, dinner for two at The Lakehouse, a $500 shopping spree to The Bellevue Collection, VIP tour and private wine tasting for two at Guardian Cellars and a private 75-minute seaplane tour of Western Washington, including stunning views of Lake Washington and Mount Rainier.

“Bellevue is a gamer’s city, so we thought it would be fun to tap into that energy but with a W twist,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “Creating Belle the Bear, a throwback game with an innovative edge, is just another example of how we are constantly looking for new ways to engage with future W fans on their own turf. Plus, it’s a fun way to celebrate the opening of W Bellevue!”

W Bellevue will open its doors to guests on June 15th, touting 220 guest rooms and 25 suites with modern design elements inspired by the Puget Sound’s heritage of lakeside living, such as an oversized fireplace and library of pulp fiction novels. The culinary offerings at The Lakehouse also incorporate local flavor, serving vibrant, farm-inspired craft cooking from James Beard Award-winning Chef Jason Wilson. W Bellevue is the first new-build project from W Hotels to open in the United States in seven years, with many more to come.

To play the game via smartphone, tablet or desktop, visit BelleTheBear.com beginning June 15th. For more information on W Bellevue, visit WBellevue.com, or join the conversation with @WBellevueHotel, @WHotels and #BelleTheBear.

Source: https://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4083260.html

Four Seasons owner Provenance Land may sell up to 50 per cent stake to global investors

India’s hospitality industry may be one of the heavily taxed sectors in the country, but that has not deterred global investors from looking at key properties in the country.

According to a media report, Brookfield Asset Management and GIC of Singapore are vying to buy 50 per cent stake in Provenance Land that owns Four Seasons hotel and residences in Mumbai.

The deal is likely to value Provenance Land at over Rs 2,000 crore and could see Adarsh Jatia offloading between 26 per cent and 49 per cent stake, said a report in The Times of India.

Provenance Land has been constructing Four Seasons-branded ultra luxury residences at the 4.5-acre property located at Worli.

If the deal fructifies, the funds from the stake sale will be used for the company’s plans to develop branded luxury homes and offices adjoining the Four Seasons hotel, the TOI report said.

There were reports that Provenance was constructing a five-storeyed second tower with 26 luxury residences for outright sale with a price tag ranging from Rs 30 crore to Rs 100 crore, the TOI report added.

According to a recent report by KPMG, India’s hospitality sector is expected to grow at 16.1 percent CAGR to reach Rs 2,796.9 crore in 2022. The sector contributes significantly to indirect tax revenue at the state and central level which includes revenues from VAT, Service Tax, and Luxury Tax etc.

As per the GST Council’s decision all hospitality products above Rs 5,000 has been termed as luxury, drawing flak from the industry. The GST Council said along with rooms, even dining at restaurants at 5-star hotels will invite GST at the rate of 28 per cent.

Experts are of the opinion that a higher GST rate on the hospitality sector could make the country’s tourism products uncompetitive in the region. The industry also fears major events, congresses, conferences, etc. could give a miss to India in coming times.

Source: http://ehotelier.com/global/2017/06/15/provenance-land-may-sell-50-per-cent-stake/

What kind of a Leader are you – a Maker or a Breaker?

 

The dominant traits of the top most leader in any organization, unarguably, define the shape and personality of the organization as a whole. So whether the top dog is fair, biased, aggressive, assimilative, open-minded and inclusive or clique and coterie centered, insecure or confident, the organization tends to take on similar features and harbour the climate that screams of the same defining set of behavioural facets.

A Balanced Leader is the backbone of a Healthy Organization

In one’s career history, while growth and better opportunity are often the crucial reasons for moving out from one and into another organization, the other main reason that seldom gets talked about openly is a huge sense of disenchantment or dissatisfaction or unhappiness stemming from a sour equation with an immediate boss or the super boss or the politically charged peer group that makes it difficult for one to perform optimally. Complicated and unreasonable bosses or a set of ogre-like colleagues is in fact a bigger, often unspoken reason for people to move and seek greener pastures elsewhere. Several HR studies, globally, have proved this fact time and again.

In the early 1990s, as a young, sprightly fresher with rose-tinted glasses I joined the Public Affairs Section of a Diplomatic Mission in Delhi. This was my second job and I had often heard that it was Asians who were more clique-y, gossipy, with inherent biases and prone to apple-polishing. So, imagine my astonishment when I found some of my Western colleagues as guilty as their Asian counterparts. My first reaction was, “Hell, Here too!” And the second reaction post some thought, “We all are the same beneath the veneer.”

My first boss here was a grouchy, somewhat mean, cranky man given to favouritism and unpleasant disposition. He was tendentious towards one single person – obviously his favourite – instead of treating the entire team fairly; so much so that this person embodied the same attributes as the boss, adding extra doses of her viciousness to it. At one time when I was working along with her, she would rejoice in giving me some of the most menial tasks – “just do the filing,” “get me connected to so and so on the phone,” – and had the audacity to keep the official files hidden away and stashed under lock and key lest I lay my hands on them even when I had to file. Mind you, this was no confidential data but the ludicrous behavior continued, fanned by the boss’ strong inclination towards this person that allowed for many such unprofessional acts to flourish in the department.

Then one day this boss was transferred out and in came a breath of fresh air in the form of a youthful, dynamic lady who brought in a sea change in the department in terms of how we viewed PR work, how we regarded each other as colleagues, how our work was perceived by other departments and the parent Government we had to report back to.

What came across bright and clear were two different modes of leadership, two distinct personalities who contributed in their own way to the manner the department looked, breathed, felt and delivered.

While one was a negative influence, the other used her high standard of skills, fine leadership style, fair & equal opportunity approach to make every work day a fun and productive day and ended up turning the Public Affairs Department into a highly respected and sought after department in the High Commission.

Leadership Traits must dovetail into the Big Picture

My next stint for a period of about two decades has been with hotels. Now, hotels are completely multicultural organizations where the work force is truly international, hailing from different countries; but of course the largest base is of the countrymen from the place where the hotel is located. Yet, in hotels it becomes extremely pertinent to know how to work together with people from as far and wide as France and Germany to Sri Lanka and China. Despite the cultural differences, this ends up adding lot of fun elements to one’s day in the life of the organization as you

end up learning about these cultures and understanding what makes the ‘other’ people tick. This, however, is subject matter of another discourse.

In hotels, while the owner or the CEO of the hotel chain is the defining personality, the GM of the unit hotel where you may work is the lord of his own fiefdom. The team and staff pick out from this leader’s personality aspects and way of running his hotel as much as the top boss’ style percolates down.

On hindsight, having worked with six different GMs across three hotel chains, I have been fortunate to sometimes thrive and at times strive & struggle in as many organizational climates. And where there has been striving, it really has been a battlefront that has made one as hard as a rock, yet more understanding of the complexities and dynamics of a fire-pit organization.

As a Leader, are you a Maker or a Breaker?

It has also brought home the point that leaders can really make or break an organization. Not just what corporate literature may tell you, from personal experience, too, I can list out the following –

  1. The organization can be a happy and fun place to which you look forward to returning every morning and to which you willingly want to give extra hours at the end of the day. Such organizations create an overriding sense of job engagement and satisfaction.
  2. It can be such that each day, nay, moment is difficult to pass with an impossible boss breathing menacingly down your neck; and wicked set of colleagues rubbing their hands in malicious glee every time they pull you down like the proverbial crab.
  3. The organization can be healthy, conducive to work with unsurpassed functionality and highly ethical work practices. Responsibilities and recognition, exemplary output and rewards go hand in hand in such places.
  4. It can be sick, divisive, undermining and demoralizing. What might get you ahead is hoodwinking and proximity to the influential people like the bosses or the boss’ right hand man; even if such easily ill-gotten prizes are short-lived and open to scrutiny.
  5. The organization can be a place that allows you to blossom as a star worker with positive strokes that help germinate your skills and talent into wonderful fruits of productivity.
  6. It can also be a place where there is so much of negative energy that all that can flower there is more bad blood splattered about by parasitic employees who eat into the climate.
  7. The organization can be a place where workers breathe in fresh air, enjoy positive influences, are allowed space to make mistakes and grow, have access to information, become a two way process in clear communication and are given learning opportunities.
  8. Then there are organizations that live in the dark zone of fear, punishment, connivance and control. They operate like secret missions where unnecessary stuff is hidden and kept out of reach of the employees thereby acting as major impediment in the processes and execution of duty.
  9. There are healthy and buzzing organizations that promote good work practices, innovation and creativity and encourage workers to take ownership of their actions.
  10. And there are organizations where flattery, manipulation, bad performances, terrible attitudes and overall downward slope in almost all areas rule the roost.

It is widely seen that the top man maneuvering the reins of the Organization can really lead by example, allowing for the finest personal and professional traits and benchmarked business best practices to shape the organization into an exemplary company; that boasts happy, engaged and optimally delivering team.

Source: https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4083248.html

Protein packed meals, superfood smoothies and salads galore

Wholesome eating for time-poor Londoners is set to get a little easier this June when all-day healthy food destination Simple Health Kitchen launches its second site at 48 Baker Street on the 21st June.

The Baker Street outlet follows in the success of its first restaurant launched in St Pauls in 2016. Simple Health Kitchen was founded by former rugby player turned personal trainer and health-conscious restaurateur, Bradley Hill, after a life-threatening illness sparked an interest in nutrition.

Bradley woke up one morning with what he thought was back pain. It turned out to be an abscess on the spinal cord that spread up the spinal column, resulting in emergency surgery. After dying twice on the operating table, he spent the next six months paralysed from the neck down. Left with permanent nerve damage, Bradley had to learn to walk again.

Defying odds Bradley fought back and begun a long, remarkable recovery that led him back to personal training with a keen focus on diet and nutrition. With health-giving food and changes to diet playing an integral role in his healing, Bradley conceived Simple Health Kitchen.

“There is a misconception that health food has to be boring. The great thing about Simple Health Kitchen is customers can walk in and know anything they choose not only tastes delicious but is also good for them. And getting people to try new dishes and ingredients they never knew they would love, that’s exciting!” – Bradley Hill, Founder.

Simple Health Kitchen is open Monday to Friday and serves a seasonally updated menu of nutritionally balanced dishes including its famous Turkey & Cranberry Burger, Peri Peri Chicken, Sweet Potato Falafel as well as a variety of fresh salads made on site including Superfood Turmeric Inspired Coronation Quinoa and the super green seeded Spinach and Mizuna Leaf Salad.

Also on offer is an array of protein pots, snacks and low calorie high protein desserts, as well as cold-pressed juices and smoothies. All dishes are free of any refined sugars with plenty of options for high protein, vegetarian, vegan and free-from diets.

Source: http://www.hospitalityandcateringnews.com/2017/06/protein-packed-meals-superfood-smoothies-salads-galore/

How to deal with bad online reviews

The online component of owning a restaurant is the single biggest change in the restaurant industry over the past ten years. Websites that encourage guests to post reviews and feedback, like Yelp, Urban Spoon, and Open Table, have grown exponentially and are very influential for many potential guests. This is the case anywhere, but especially so in cities dominated by transient guests and out-of-towners, who are more likely to be swayed by online restaurant reviews.

The frequency with which potential guests read online feedback about restaurants before making decisions means that it’s essential to manage a business’s online reputation. In fact, this trend has spawned a new parasitic sub-industry – online reputation management. Few restaurants have the time or inclination to pay someone to manage an online reputation. But bad online reviews can be costly, inaccurate, and influential. The collection of a few of them – especially when they repeat the same message – is a serious red flag to many guests.

Restaurant managers have to tackle bad reviews like they do most everything in this business – by getting out in front of the problem. A few tips for dealing with bad reviews online:

Pay Attention

It’s worthwhile to make spending time on review websites a once-a-week routine. It’s imperative to know what people are saying about you, whether it’s good or bad. This is especially true in the restaurant business, governed as it is by subjective standards and emotional responses.

Google Alerts is a good option for any restaurant, because it will send reports on any online content covering your business. It’s also worthwhile to maintain a Facebook page, which offers guests the chance to post feedback and reviews. Some bad reviews are essentially meaningless, such as a negative comment on the hostess’s wardrobe or the ice content in the daiquiris. But some undermine a core product of a restaurant – like a critique of the steaks at a steakhouse. It’s essential to know these exist, and to spend time learning how to find them.

Respond to Your Guests

Dialogue with guests about their experiences demonstrates that you care, and that you’re responsive to feedback and criticisms. It shows that you don’t hide from problems and you value input. Most people recognize these traits as the foundation of a good business owner, even when they’re response to a bad online review.

Bad reviews don’t have to be followed up with a treatise on good taste and decorum (as can be found on some review websites – it’s worth a look). Instead, follow-ups should be succinct and fact-based. They should be the product of some background work into the specific problem and your work to resolve it. They’re strictly positive, and grateful toward the guest (easier said than done, I know).

It’s also worthwhile to thank guests for positive feedback, online and in personal correspondence. Email discounts or offers to people who give feedback is a great and simple way to win a lifelong customer.

Post Your Own Reviews

Is it ethical? Probably not. Does it save you a huge headache? Yes. Getting a known fan of your restaurant to post a review takes the spotlight away from mediocre reviews, especially when they’re listed first on a review site. The internet culture reduces attention spans, making the top couple of reviews on most sites essential.

It’s also important to leverage Facebook and Twitter in this way, perpetuating positive reviews, special events, and discounts. This is what online reputation management enterprises do.

The Online Game

It’s important to remember that not all online reviews are bad. In fact, good reviews strung together on multiple websites offers the free advertising every business can use. Something about the restaurant industry motivates people to respond in writing. It’s worth it to remember the value that paying attention to those responses carries.

Source: https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4082624.html

Marriott International combats homelessness among LGBTQ youth through #LoveTravels

In the United States, nearly four in ten American youths experiencing homelessness identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender*, and the number has been rising for the past decade. Marriott International, along with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt actor Tituss Burgess, True Colors Fund, Casa Ruby and social influencers Raymond Braun, Shannon Beveridge and Amber’s Closet, are inviting people everywhere to join the global #LoveTravels movement this week to spread awareness and stand in support of the LGBTQ homeless youth community by raising funds to combat this growing issue.

Marriott is dedicated to helping LGBTQ Homeless Youth

“Marriott created #LoveTravels four years ago to send a clear message that our company, including more than 6,100 properties in 124 countries and territories has a long-standing commitment to welcoming everyone,” said Apoorva Gandhi, Vice President of Multicultural Affairs, Marriott International. “This year, as the #LoveTravels movement grows, we are expanding our commitment to include support for Casa Ruby and True Colors Fund, two organizations dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youth that help ensure safe and reassuring homes and services so they may thrive.”

On Thursday, June 8 and Friday, June 9, ahead of Capital Pride in Washington, D.C., an art installation will rise in Freedom Plaza in support of LGBTQ homeless youth. Expressions of unconditional acceptance and love in the form of paintings, doodles, photographs and hand-written notes created in-person and on Twitter and Instagram tagged #LoveTravels and #MyPride will be brought to life on the collaborative #LoveTravels Mosaic.

How are they making a positive change?

Throughout the two days, celebrities, influencers and local personalities are scheduled to stop by to add their own expressions of love. In addition, seven Marriott properties, including Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront; The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City; Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel; AC Hotel San Juan; Charlotte Marriott City Center; Moxy New Orleans and Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center, will hold ‘expression sessions’ to invite their guests to create and contribute their own pieces of art to be included in the global #LoveTravels Mosaic.

For every original submission created on site or tagged #LoveTravels and #MyPride on Twitter and Instagram, Marriott will donate to True Colors Fund and Casa Ruby. Working locally, Casa Ruby is the only bilingual multicultural LGBTQ organization providing lifesaving services and safe shelter to many of the most vulnerable transgender residents of Washington D.C. The True Colors Fund is working on a national level to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, creating a world in which all young people can be their true selves, and recently created the first ever True Innovation Fellowship, underwritten by Marriott. The fellowship will provide a young person the opportunity to participate in the development of technology solutions that address homelessness among LGBTQ youth.

Marriott unveiled the first glimpse of the #LoveTravels Mosaic in 2016 with contributions from Laverne Cox, Jazz Jennings, Ross Mathews and thousands of LGBTQ supporters from over 90 countries around the world. This year, actor/activist Tituss Burgess is joining the movement as official ambassador.

“As an advocate for the LGBTQ community, I am proud to stand with Marriott International in support of the True Colors Fund, Casa Ruby and everyone fighting to keep kids and young adults in need of help safe and warm,” said actor Tituss Burgess. “And as a member of the LGBTQ community myself, I am humbled and honored to join in the unveiling of the #LoveTravels Mosaic. It warms my heart to see people from around the world participating in such a powerful expression of love.”

Launched in 2014, #LoveTravels brings to life Marriott’s longstanding commitment to ensuring every person is valued and welcomed whenever they enter the doors of its hotels.  It serves as a platform for sharing diverse perspectives on the importance of travel, including those of Jason Collins, Geena Rocero, Tim Howard Angela Simmons, Diane Guerrero and Diego Boneta.  The cornerstone of Marriott’s culture is its ‘put people first’ philosophy coupled with its belief that everyone deserves a welcome.  Just weeks before marriage equality became the law of the land nationwide, #LoveTravels hosted the wedding of George Carrancho and Sean Franklin in Washington, DC’s Capital Pride Parade, with TV personality Ross Mathews as officiant.  The campaign has also raised donations for recent immigrants at the Open Arms Community Center in South Florida.

Want to learn more?

Liquitex, creators of the first water-based acrylic paints will be donating art supplies for the #LoveTravels Mosaic. To learn more or join the conversation, travelers can visit www.Marriott.com/LoveTravels, follow #LoveTravels and @MarriottIntl on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Marriott International’s commitment to social impact and sustainability dates to our founding and our core value to “Serve Our World.” Through volunteerism, strategic partnerships, charitable giving, and lasting program development, we focus our efforts on social and environmental issues that affect our business, our communities, and our planet. We identify these issues as our Purpose Priorities: Protect the Environment, Advance Human Rights and Cultural Understanding, Empower through Opportunity and Build for the Future. In 2016 alone, Marriott provided over $28M in cash and in-kind support to its local communities, as well as over 720K hours of volunteerism. Awards and recognition for efforts over the years include Ethisphere’s Most Ethical Companies List, Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, Forbes’ Just 100: Best Corporate Citizens List, the World Travel and Tourism Council’s “Tourism for Tomorrow Award for Sustainability” and a 100% Score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

Source: http://ehotelier.com/global/2017/06/08/marriott-international-lovetravels/

Following Barcelona, Venice limits hotel development within its city centre

The city of Venice wants to control hotel expansion within its city centre, threatened by the havoc of mass tourism. Barcelona had already implemented equivalent measures back a few months ago.

Last week, Venice’s city council announced new measures aimed at addressing difficulties coming from mass tourism: they will prevent existing buildings from being converted to tourist accommodation, as well as existing ones’ expansion if they are already settled in the city.

However, the regulation would just cover the city centre, which means that hospitality development projects could still be set up in Venice’s suburban districts and islands.

In addition, yet no regulation is aimed at private rentals – Barcelona had conversely taken measures directly targeting Airbnb and HomeAway.

Tourism in Venice is the city’s main industry and its main employment pool: millions of tourists pay a visit to The Floating City each year. However, numerous voices raised against tourists’ disrespectful behaviour, overcrowded areas and havoc on Venetian heritage due to mass tourism. UNESCO even considers adding it to its endangered cities’ list.

Source: http://ehotelier.com/global/2017/06/13/venice-limits-hotel-development/