HFTP to develop hospitality code of digital responsibility

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), the global spokesgroup for the industry’s hospitality technology segment and producers of the HITEC brand, has unveiled a new project that will develop a code of digital responsibility for hospitality.

Earlier this year, HFTP commissioned the University of Houston College of Global Hospitality Leadership to write a white paper on digital responsibility, which is featured in the inaugural issue of HFTP’s Tech+Fin Hospitality Magazine available at HITEC 2024 and on the association’s website (available June 24). Resulting from the paper’s conclusion and discussions with industry experts, it became clear that the industry needs some base guidelines or code of conduct for digital responsibility. Therefore, HFTP decided to adopt the project, beginning by convening a task force of industry experts and academics to develop the code.

Task force members include:

  • Co-chair Scot Campbell, principal, Integrated Resort Advisors, HFTP Global past president and inductee to the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame
  • Co-chair Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., Conrad N. Hilton Distinguished Chair at University of Houston and HFTP Global past president
  • Mike Blake, VP, IT, Kemper Sports
  • Steven Bronken, head of global hospitality, Ruckus Networks
  • Sanovnik Destang, executive director, Bay Gardens Resorts
  • Florian Gallini, CEO, INTEREL
  • Thomas Hempel, VP, sales and partnerships, VENZA
  • Barry Thomas, VP, technology, Orient Express and Fairmont Hotels
  • Sherry Marek, founder, Aiken Street Consulting and inductee to the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame
  • Shannon McCallum, VP, hotel operations, Resorts World Las Vegas,
  • Neal Patel, managing partner, Blue Chip Hotels
  • Andrew Rubinacci, chief advisory officer, FLYR for Hospitality
  • Thomas Atzenhofer, deputy CEO, HFTP

“There are many good practices for digital responsibility throughout the industry, but these have never been aggregated, vetted and published as a compilation of the best practices in a uniform guide,” said Atzenhofer. “HFTP’s task force of global industry technology and business experts, has agreed to tackle the task and make the industry better for all segments—from small to large.”

The first in a series of task force meetings will be held later this month at HITEC 2024 in Charlotte. Once a draft code is developed, it will be presented for industry feedback. Ultimately, a final code will be developed and hospitality enterprises who opt to follow the base guidelines will be awarded a compliance seal.

“The advent of AI and digital responsibility is going to continue to be a growing concern to our customers,” said Campbell. “Rather than have disparate governmental regulations by those who don’t understand our business, it is more prudent to have these guidelines developed for the industry by the industry. None of us want to be able to have an unhappy customer whose digital information is accidentally used in a way they did not intend.”