Hospitality Industry Management Update: “How Tax Extensions and Regulations Will Impact Hotels”

IRS regulations generally affect all taxpayers that acquire, produce,DollarGuy-620x330 or improve tangible property but especially impact lodging facilities, as these require continual upgrades, remodeling, and refreshes. Hospitality finance executives should be alert to the numerous elections required with 2014 tax returns.

There’s no easy way to say it—the lodging industry will likely face tax challenges in the next 12 months. The past year was fraught with congressional bickering, partisanship, gridlock, and, consequently, no passage of any major tax legislation. There was plenty of drama too, including the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act, congressional hearings over lost and retrieved IRS emails, and so-called corporate inversions, with U.S. companies acquiring foreign corporations, swapping headquarters, and reducing their U.S. tax load. This was all capped off by a shift in control of the U.S. Senate after the midterm elections.

Through it all, Congress and the Obama Administration have talked about various fixes to the tax code, but reform has largely remained at the bottom of the to-do list. Now, the new head of the Senate Committee on Finance and the newly minted chairman of the House Committee of Ways & Means, say that tax reform is a top priority.

And at the insistence of the National Taxpayer Advocate, the IRS has recently adopted an official Taxpayer Bill of Rights. It’s not the Magna Carta but certainly a step in the right direction. As 2015 begins, the most important impact of 2014 will be the new rules that will affect tax compliance and tax return requirements, which either stem from the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (TIPA) or will be triggered by earlier legislation, rulings, and treasury regulations.

For more: http://bit.ly/1xyqPtC

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Hospitality Industry Risk Management Update: “Preventing Credit Card Fraud at Hotels”

Petra Risk Solutions’ Loss Control Manager, Matt Karp, offers a P3 Hospitality Risk Report – ‘Preventing Credit Card Fraud at Hotels’. 

P3 (Petra Plus Process) is the Risk Management Division of Petra Risk Solutions – America ’s largest independent insurance brokerage devoted exclusively to the hospitality marketplace.

For more information on Petra and P3 visit petrarisksolutions.com or call 800.466.8951.

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Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Marijuana: An Emerging Coverage Risk”

The federal government has greeted legalization by the states with benevolent indifference. The Controlled Substance Act categorizes marijuana as contraband for any purpose,medical marijuana including medical use, designating it a Schedule 1 drug along with heroin and LSD. The manufacture, distribution, or possession of marijuana remains a federal crime for which, if prosecuted, state legalization laws cannot be used as a defense.

The emerging legal marijuana economy will see explosive growth in the coming years. Insurers should be prepared to adopt policies that spell out coverage for legally grown marijuana plants and medical marijuana property. The cannabis industry is expected to grow to nearly $15 billion over the next four years. In states where manufacture, sale and use is legal for recreational purposes, legalization will have a profound impact on not only personal lines insurance, but also commercial coverage, workers’ comp, product liability, healthcare insurance and more.

Currently, 27 states have either decriminalized or legalized marijuana use in some form. Four states: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, and the District of Columbia allow recreational use. In addition, recreational marijuana initiatives are expected to appear on the 2016 ballots in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada. According to a recent Gallop poll, 51% of Americans now support full legalization. In 2014, Oregonians voted to legalize marijuana by a 56 to 44% margin. More Oregonians voted to legalize cannabis than voted to retain their incumbent Democratic governor or senator in the same election.

For more: http://bit.ly/1Mybsbq

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Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Hoteliers Readying for Wearable Tech”

The Apple Watch will be available in early 2015. In the meantime, Starwood Hotels has developed a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone appwearable tech that allows customers to unlock their rooms with a simple swipe. The company upgraded 30,000 room locks across nearly 150 hotels, and in November the app went live at Starwood’s Aloft, Element and W brands.

Technology giant Apple made a splash with a 9 March keynote address providing more detail about the much-anticipated release of its new venture in wearable tech, which will be available for purchase on 24 April.

Several hotel companies are getting in front of that launch date with news of their own tailor-made apps for the device.

Accor announced an iOS app for Apple Watch shortly after Apple’s webcast presentation. Available in 10 languages, the app will promotes top hotels and destinations and allows users to manage bookings on Accorhotels.

Marriott International, meanwhile, announced it would be the first global hotel company to accept Apple Pay, which allows guests to use their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch to pay at check-in as opposed to via cash or credit card. The phased introduction this summer in the United States will include brands in popular locations, such as The Ritz-Carlton, Edition, Renaissance Hotels and Marriott Hotels.

For more: http://bit.ly/1ED7a3g

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Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “The Growing Risk of Cyber Liability” (Video)

In the last two years, significant data breaches have affected well-known companies such as Target,cyber liability Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase and eBay — just to name a few. The issue has become so prevalent that President Obama issued an executive order in February 2013 to strengthen the U.S. cyber security framework.

In today’s society, we’re experiencing a steady increase in the number of users who utilize the Internet and technology each and every day. As a result, businesses are looking more to technology in order to stay efficient in their business practices. While technology is convenient in many ways, it also exposes businesses to cyberattacks.

According to the Poneman Institute’s Cost of Cyber Crime Study, there was an 18% increase in the number of cyberattacks in 2013, and a report by Symantec on internet security found that 61% of small and midsize businesses experienced a cyberattack in 2013. Hackers are constantly looking to disrupt business operations; hence, it is more important than ever to prepare organizations for potential security breaches.

For more: http://bit.ly/1MtrBRm

And for more how to best protect your property from a cyber security attack, check out the video below from Petra’s own P3 Risk Management Team.

Petra Risk Solutions’ Loss Control Manager, Marco Johnson, offers a P3 Hospitality Risk Report – ‘How to Help Protect Your Hotel’s Computer Network and Information Systems’. 

P3 (Petra Plus Process) is the Risk Management Division of Petra Risk Solutions – America ’s largest independent insurance brokerage devoted exclusively to the hospitality marketplace.

For more information on Petra and P3 visit petrarisksolutions.com or call 800.466.8951.

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Hospitality Industry Marketing Update: “Trends and Budgeting For 2015” (Infographic)

Click above to view the whole image!

Click above to view the whole image!

1. Mobile Presence

2. Local Presence

3. Social Presence

4. Content Marketing

5. User Experience

6. Paid Search Presence

7. ROI Analysis – Cross Channels

8. Understanding Your Customer Journey

For more: http://bit.ly/1Bnw44D

 

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Engaging Today’s Connected Travelers”

To improve the overall guest experience, hotels should leverage their unique position as a supplier, said Bernard Ellis, vice president of industry strategy at Infor Hospitality,Entertainment-620x330 a software provider. “You know more about your property than anybody else, so you can maximize that with things like early check-in and late checkout, room type, food and beverage—all based on looking at the guest’s past preferences,” Ellis said.

Hotels that establish meaningful relationships with guests can maximize revenue opportunities and increase customer satisfaction, travel industry experts said during the Digital Marketing Strategy Conference, which was hosted by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International in Manhattan last week. Here are some best practices panelists shared for using technology to engage with guests before, during, and after their stays.

Before They Arrive
Google’s industry head for travel, Tiffany Miller, said that during the pre-booking period, consumers visit 18 travel-related sites. “You have two and a half weeks to inspire the traveler to book your property,” she added. To make an impact, marketers should take creative approaches, like using celebrities or YouTube stars to boost engagement or allowing consumers to spread the message through self-generated videos.

For more: http://bit.ly/1NACu5k

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