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AMSTERDAM (March 31, 2017) – As hospitality companies conducting business in Europe prepare to make operational changes to conform with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Hospitality Financial and Technology Professional (HFTP®) has put together a team of experts to prepare supporting resources for the industry. Specifically, the association has recruited an advisory council to develop Hospitality Data Protection Officer (DPO) Guidelines along with a Hospitality Data Protection Officer certification program, with a release date of Summer 2017. A key requirement in the GDPR is that companies who handle large stores of sensitive personal information must assign a DPO, and it is estimated that this could open approximately 28,000 positions overall. Impacting both the finance and technology areas and with a required compliance date of May 25, 2018 for the GDPR, HFTP has deemed it critical to develop resources for hospitality technology operations which assist in installing this newly-mandatory position.

HFTP, which produces HITEC® the oldest and largest hospitality technology conference and exposition, has expanded the brand internationally with three events in 2017. This includes the just concluded HITEC Amsterdam, March 28-30 with 1,121 attendees and 83 exhibitors and an education program with a unique European perspective. The GDPR and general data protection were top issues of discussion amongst the group of European technologists and highlighted the importance to HFTP leaders the importance to developing resources in advance of next year's deadline.

"By the nature of a hospitality business, hospitality companies now collect vast amounts of personal data to assist in providing seamless and personalized services to their guests. With that, in the coming year, hospitality technology operations doing business in Europe will need to focus on making compliance happen," said Frank Wolfe, CAE. "By making available these guidelines and directives from experts specifically knowledgeable with the hospitality space, HFTP is aiming to ease the unique protection challenges ahead."

The mandate for the DPO is described in Article 39 of the GDPR and requires the position to inform and advise employees on requirements, ensure compliance and act as the contact point.

HFTP currently offers two hospitality-specific certifications: the Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP®) and the Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE®) each demonstrating competencies in finance and technology. This puts HFTP in a unique position to establish a hospitality-specific certification for DPOs. With a team of experts, HFTP will build a program that demonstrates an individual's competency for the position within a hospitality company.

This year, HFTP will also produce its larger North American event HITEC Toronto from June 26-29 and HITEC Dubai from November 14-15, in partnership with Naseba. In 2018, HFTP will bring back HITEC Amsterdam on April 11-14 in addition to HITEC Houston on June 26-29.

For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec/.

About HFTP

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is a global nonprofit hospitality association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, that uniquely understands the industry's problems. HFTP has members and stakeholders across the globe. HFTP assists its members in finding solutions to industry problems more efficiently than any organization via its expert networks, research, conferences such as HITEC and certification programs. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segment of the hospitality industry. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website.

Contact: Jessica Blankenship

jessica.blankenship@hftp.org

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