The growing use of high-tech interfaces and digital applications such as AI and facial recognition in hospitality operations present a need for thorough, hospitality-specific direction on data management, thoughtfully developed by the experts who implement the solutions.

AUSTIN, TEXAS (March 31, 2021) – The movement toward high-tech solutions to engage guests and customers has greatly increased in the hospitality industry and has especially accelerated over the past year as hospitality enterprises implemented health safety protocols to address distancing guidelines. As a result, the implementation of property-wide technologies using personal identifiable information (PII) has presented a conundrum to hospitality organizations: how to safely manage this data — to use it for meaningful guest services, while also protecting it from malicious cyber activity.

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) is taking the step to put together the Global Hospitality PII Management (GHPM) Task Force of prominent hospitality technology experts to thoughtfully examine and develop guidelines for hospitality companies to follow as best practice. The information presented will have an international perspective, with participants representing countries across the globe. This is especially important as data privacy regulations vary internationally and will be an essential consideration in the development of the resource.

"By the nature of today’s technologies, companies now collect vast amounts of personal data to assist in providing seamless and personalized services to their customers. Artificial intelligence, facial recognition and other future technologies will change the way the entire world operates," said HFTP Global President Mark Pate, Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA, assistant controller and IT director for Highpointe Hotel Corp. "Developed by experts specifically knowledgeable of the hospitality space, our goal for these guidelines and directives is to stay focused on the data issue and assist with solutions to challenges the industry is facing today and into the future.”

The GHPM Task Force includes:

  • Chair: Michael Levie, CHTP │ Co-founder, CitizenM Hotels │ Holland
  • Dr. Ghasaan Aidi │ President, International Hotel and Restaurant Association │ Switzerland
  •  Pablo Alonso │ CEO, HotStats │United Kingdom
  • James Bina │ Director of Finance, Rosen Hotels & Resorts │ USA
  • Stuart Butler │ COO, Fuel │ USA
  • Carson Booth, CHTP │ COO, POS8 │ Germany
  • Scot Campbell, CHTP │ CTO North American Concerts, Live Nation │ USA
  • Steve D’Erasmo, CHTP │ Director of Software Engineering, Hilton Worldwide │ USA
  • Mark Fancourt │ Co-founder, TRAVHOTECH │ USA
  •  Neil Foster, CHTP │ Tech-Tonic Hospitality Services │Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • Ted Horner │ Owner, E Horner & Associates │ Australia
  • Steve Hood │ Senior Vice President of Research, STR │ USA
  • Raavish Jhala  Digital and Data Practice and Partner, VCNS Global │ India
  • Daniel Johnson │ Partner / Co-founder, Venza │ Netherlands
  • Ashish Khanna │ Deputy Vice President and CISO, The Oberoi Group │ India
  • Martin Lew │ Founder, ML Business Consulting │ Australia
  • Flo Lugli │ Founder and Principal, Navesink Advisory Group LLC │ USA
  • Sherry Marek │ Co-founder and Vice President, Datavision Technologies │ USA
  • Shannon McCallum │ VP of Hospitality and Customer Success, Volan Technology │ USA
  • Ian Millar, CHTP │ Professor, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne │ Switzerland
  • Ralph Miller, CHA, CHAE │ President, Inntegrated Hospitality Management Ltd. │ Canada
  • Cristian Morosan, Ph.D., MsC │ Associate Professor, CN Hilton College, University of Houston │ USA
  • Dr. Sanjay Nadkarni │ Director of Innovations, Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management│ UAE
  • Neal Patel, CHIA, CHP │ Managing Partner, Blue Chip Hotels │ USA
  • Jane Pendlebury │ CEO, HOSPA │ United Kingdom
  • Nick Price │ CEO, NetSys Technology Ltd. │ Hong Kong
  • Raman (RP) Rama, B.Com, CHA Emeritus, CHTP, CHAE  │ President and CTO/CIO, Sarona Hotels │ USA
  • Michael Schubach │Chief of Staff and Industry Strategy – Hospitality, Infor │ USA
  • Fitzroy Walker │ Regional Financial Controller, Sandals Resort Intl. │ Jamaica
  • Lyle Worthington, CHTP │ CEO, Worthington Tech BV │ Netherlands
  • Frank Wolfe, CAE, FIH │ CEO, HFTP │ USA

“Since 1952, HFTP has been the global spokesgroup for hospitality finance and technology professionals. The association has an obligation to provide our stakeholders with trusted information to help make their jobs better," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE, FIH. "Expanding the industry's access to curated knowledge is another reason that HFTP is granted nonprofit status and entrusted with experts who volunteer their time to provide solutions to everyday industry problems."

Because the panel of experts will represent the global hospitality industry and the resulting resource will be published as guidance for the global hospitality industry, HFTP has left positions open for additional volunteers. The selection of individuals to fill these spots will be done by the entire task force. To submit your interest in volunteering, visit the task force web page.

HFTP has recently completed a similar project for the club industry in partnership with the National Club Association (NCA). The guidance will be available to HFTP and NCA members at the end of May 2021 during both associations' member conferences.

To keep up-to-date with the task force’s initiatives, follow HFTP News and visit the HFTP website.