2015 - 09 September


New Products and Services

AHLEI, TISOH, and Les Clefs d’Or USA Collaborate on New Concierge Certification

The International School of HospitalityLes Clefs d'Or USA The International School of Hospitality (TISOH) with Les Clefs d'Or USA and the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) have introduced the Certified Hotel Concierge (CHC SM ) credential, which is the result of their joint efforts to establish a global professional standard for hotel concierges.  

The certification training takes into account key trends shaping the profession, from the use of technology and the Internet to growing demand for personalized service, expectations of global and cultural awareness and the need for diversity and multilingual talent. It also sets standards for ethics and risk management.  

"This is a hallmark moment for one of the most high-profile fields in the hospitality industry, and it's intended to promote a standard for delivering the highest-level of guest services," said TISOH executive director Timothy M. Lam, MS, MIBS, CHT, CGSP. "Despite a plethora of guides and manuals for aspiring and working concierge professionals, no current standards exist. Meanwhile, the hospitality industry itself is seeing the value of concierge services more than ever, with increasing demands for top-notch concierge services."  

The three partners each provided unparalleled expertise to build the certification. Les Clefs d'Or USA provided the peer-recognized expertise and credibility that gives the credential worldwide merit. TISOH provided industry-recognized competency based research capabilities. Together with the reach and operational expertise of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, the certification is expected to redefine concierge education worldwide.  

"With TISOH's solid record of educating aspiring hospitality professionals and AHLEI's extensive history of creating hospitality-specific certification programs, the partnership to create a concierge training program with Les Clefs d'Or USA seemed a natural fit," said Shujaat Khan, president of Les Clefs d'Or USA. "Written by Les Clefs d'Or USA members, the course materials are designed to hone the skills of hotel concierges and prepare them to consistently provide exemplary service to their guests."  

The team of authors for the 14-chapter certification workbook includes: John Adler, St. Regis, New York; Frederick Bigler, The Peninsula, New York; Debbie Brumfield, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas; Susanne Carter, Ritz-Carlton, New York; Rick Castaneda, Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills; Sarah Dandashy, The London, West Hollywod; Leigh Anne Dolecki, InterContinental, San Francisco; Charisse Fazzari, Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco; Laurel Gray, Ritz-Carlton, Chicago; Robert Marks, Omni, San Diego; Jeanne Mills, Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills; Dan Sotelo, InterContinental Mark Hopkins, San Francisco; and Elizabeth Wilson, Les Clefs d'Or USA administrator.  The workbook's editors were Polly Buchanan, Ph.D., CHE; and Sean McCray, MA, CGSP, while the research team/editorial board consisted of Lam; Donnell G. Bayot, Ph.D., CHE, CPCE, CFBE, of TISOH; and Khan, who is chief concierge at the Capital Hilton, Washington, DC, as well as Les Clefs d'Or USA president.  

The Certified Hotel Concierge designation may be pursued by currently-employed hotel concierges with at least 90 days' experience on the job, by Les Clef d'Or members in good standing, and by educators currently teaching a course in concierge skills at an accredited academic institution. The certification is also open to those who have successfully completed the Art of Concierge program with TISOH.  

For more information or to apply, visit www.ahlei.org/chc .

International Spotlight

South African Partner Works with Students and Professionals to Advance Hospitality Industry


Africa 2 The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) has worked for several years with the International Hotel School (IHS), designating the school as its master licensee in South Africa, which gives the school the right to offer AHLEI courses and training programs throughout the country. International Hotel School (IHS) is Africa's leading hotel school, offering its graduates worldwide status through internationally-recognized qualifications and dedication to exceptional service in the hospitality industry. The school has campuses in Sandton, Durban and Cape Town; as well as an online campus.  

An interesting facet of the school's program for students is Work Integrated Learning (practical training), which takes place at leading hospitality establishments nationally and is designed to reinforce what is learned in the classroom.  

"It ensures that our students are job ready when they leave the International Hotel School, something which sets us apart from our competitors, and which is why our graduates are in demand globally, explained Stuart Blackburn, managing director, Training Division Head Office, International Hotel School.  

In addition to preparing students for hospitality careers, the school offers AHLEI training programs and professional certifications for those already working in the industry.  A sampling of some current IHS training projects includes:  

  • GM Workshop and CHA® Certification- 30 general managers nationally
  • Supervisory Development and selected CHS certifications for 50 employees at The Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre
  • HOD Development and Certification for 20 employees at Legacy Hotels
  • Hospitality Skills Development and Certification at more than 45 properties nationally    

IHS recently hosted and facilitated a General Manager's Workshop at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga, which was attended by several of the country's elite hotel general managers. The workshop, which took place August 24-28, served as a practical preparation session for the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) certification. The globally-recognized CHA® is one of the most prestigious certifications available to a hotel manager or hospitality executive.  

According to Mike Lambert, Chief Executive Officer of the International Hotel School, this professional credential is an important validation of the manager's advanced knowledge of the hospitality industry on a local and global level. "The certification is an honour awarded to lodging professionals whose leadership and managerial abilities are exemplary - and IHS is proud to connect local industry leaders and to equip them with the tools to not only satisfy the examination requirements, but to exceed them," he said.  

During the week, IHS facilitated working sessions that covered the CHA® coursework, including sections on Financial Management, Marketing and Sales, Leadership and Human Resources, Rooms Management and Food and Beverage Management. Delegates also had continuous opportunities to discuss and share knowledge from their own personal learnings to supplement the course theory preparation and to align thoughts on the state of the industry and collective challenges they face.  

"The workshop enabled me to refine my knowledge through the exchanges with my esteemed industry colleagues," said Patrick Serakwane, general manager at the Legacy Kwa Maritane Hotel. "The conversations and discussions during the week demonstrated a clear vision for the local industry and where we should be headed as hoteliers," he added.  

Werner Geere, general manager at the Protea Hotel Edward, was equally impressed with the value the workshop added to his examination preparations. He commented: "I take home with me tangible and usable insights and a wealth of information that will lead my business towards more prosperous grounds. The individual recognition I will receive for completing the Certified Hotel Administrator program with IHS is invaluable and I'm confident that it will create personal momentum that will ensure my future career and business successes."  

Based on the success of the August workshop, IHS plans to offer two additional general manager/CHA® workshops later this fall in Cape Town and Johannesburg.  The school will also begin offering workshops for the Certified Food and Beverage Executive (CFBE®), Certified Rooms Division Executive (CRDE®), and Certified Hospitality Housekeeping Executive (CHHE®) certifications this October, with programs in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban.  

The International Hotel School also conducted a six-month program built around AHLEI's Supervisory Skill Builders workshop for selected learners at the Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre in Johannesburg.  To date, 50 learners have completed the program, facilitated by IHS trainer Patricia Biggam, CHT. Selected learners will now undertake their Certified Hospitality Supervisor (CHS®) examination through AHLEI, in an attempt to achieve their international certification.  

Blackburn and IHS also work with properties, including The Maslow Hotel and the Cape Town Hotel School Restaurant, to train and certify employees using AHLEI's Guest Service Gold® training program and Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®) designation, guiding both to the coveted designation of Certified Guest Service Property.   

"AHLEI works with several high-caliber academic institutions around the world, but the International Hotel School is unique because it was born from a hotel group, so they have been able to effectively bridge the gap between industry and academia," said Ed Kastli, AHLEI's vice president, international sales. "They know what is expected as far as industry competencies, and used that knowledge as they developed their curriculum and internship programs.  They are in a unique position to deliver both AHLEI's academic courses and our industry training and certification programs." 

High School and Workforce Education

AHLEI Programs and Certifications Featured in Louisiana’s New Career & Technical Education Program

htmp sm The Louisiana Department of Education has launched a new "All Things Jump Start" web portal to assist students who are interested in exploring the state's new career-focused curriculums. The portal offers information on 47 career pathways and how to qualify for a career education credential. The Jump Start program is Louisiana's statewide career and technical education (CTE) mandate designed to help young people get on a better track to featured careers. 

AHLEI worked closely with Bill Langkopp, CHA, CAE, executive vice president, Louisiana Hotel & Lodging Association , to ensure that the hospitality industry is a featured career path in the Jump Start program. The web portal includes information about AHLEI's Hospitality and Tourism Management Program (HTMP) high school curriculum and its accompanying designation, the Certified Hospitality & Tourism Management Professional (CHTMP). 

The web portal's Jump Start Fact Sheets include information on the Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®) and four of AHLEI's line-level professional certifications : Certified Front Desk Representative, Certified Maintenance Employee, Certified Guestroom Attendant, and Certified Restaurant Server.

Uniform Systems of Accounts for the Lodging Industry

Implementation of the11th Revised Edition of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry

Miller and Mandelbaum Medium The 11 th revised edition of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) was published in the spring of 2014, with an implementation date of January 1, 2015.  The responsibility for revising the USALI lies with the Financial Management Committee (FMC) of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).  

Throughout the implementation process, the FMC has received several questions from the worldwide lodging industry.  To answer these questions, the FMC has created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on the USALI resource portal page of the AH&LA Education Institute's (AHLEI) website ( www.ahlei.org/usali ).  

In an effort to assist hotel owners and operators with their implementation, the FMC is presenting a series of monthly articles that address some of the most frequently asked questions.  Some of the topics to be discussed include the expanded labor cost reporting, gross versus net revenue reporting, service charges, the change from cover to customer counts, mixed-ownership facilities, and operating metrics.  

For this month we discuss some of the more subtle, yet impactful, changes incorporated into the 11th Revised Edition.  The article was prepared by FMC committee members Ralph Miller and Robert Mandelbaum.  

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Small, Yet Impactful, Changes in the 11 th Revised Edition of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry   

By Ralph Miller and Robert Mandelbaum   

The 11 th Revised Edition of the USALI contains some significant changes that are very obvious to readers. Examples include the addition of a new Undistributed Department (Information and Telecommunications Systems), or the movement of Non-Operating Income out of Total Revenue.  

Other changes, however, are much more subtle in nature. They include a simple change in wording, or the inclusion of an additional sentence in the paragraph describing a revenue or expense.  In the following paragraphs we describe some of these smaller subtle changes made in the 11 th Revised Edition of the USALI, the rationale behind their inclusion, and the potential impact on revenue and expense reporting.

New Terminology


  • Customer:   The term Customer has replaced Cover as the common measure of business volume within the food and beverage department.  Customer is defined as, "One person served in a food and beverage venue or function space."  The change intentionally includes all food and beverage patrons, and makes no distinction between adults versus children, beverage-only patrons versus a full meal, or guests for a cocktail reception versus a sit-down banquet.  The use of Customer is consistent with current trends in the food and beverage industry and the new standards published by the AH&LA Food and Beverage Committee.  
  • Miscellaneous Income:   The term Miscellaneous Income has replaced Rental and Other Income as the fourth line for reporting revenue on the Summary Operating Statement.  This income category continues to include just revenue classifications that are reported on a net basis.  Throughout the 11 th Revised Edition of the USALI, enhanced guidance for reporting revenue on a gross versus net basis is referenced in every operated department.  As a result, there is a greater likelihood for more diversity in the sources of net revenue reported in this category.  At resort hotels, the change to reporting Resort Fees as Miscellaneous Income may significantly increase this income category, while also impacting ADR and RevPAR.  
  • Website:   In the 10th Revised Edition of the USALI, E-Commerce was listed as an expense classification within the Sales and Marketing Department.  It included the costs associated with the development and maintenance of a hotel's website.  As the impact of the internet on hotel operations has evolved, so has the amount, and purpose, of time spent to maintain the on-line presence of a hotel.  In the 11 th Revised Edition, the term Website has replaced E-Commerce as an expense classification and includes an expanded list of internet-related sales and marketing functions.  
  • Labor Costs:   The term Labor Costs has replaced Payroll Costs in all operated and undistributed departments to recognize the increased use of outside personnel not directly compensated through the hotel's payroll system.  These additional personnel are frequently contracted, leased, or outsourced from an external vendor.  
  • Departmental Profits :  The term Department Profits is now being used to describe the net income derived after subtracting Departmental Expenses from Operating Revenue in the Summary Operating Statement.  Throughout the 11 th Revised Edition of the USALI, "Departmental Profit" replaces "Departmental Income".  Within each operated department, "Departmental Profit" replaces "Departmental Income (Loss)".  The change was made to emphasize the profit motivation of most Operated Departments.  
  • EDITDA:   EBITDA stands for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization.  The term EBITDA has replaced Net Operating Income in the 11 th Revised Edition of USALI.  Notwithstanding that EBITDA is non-GAAP terminology, the change was made to be consistent with terminology used to describe "the bottom-line" on the operating statements of most other forms of real estate.  

Clarification and Emphasis


  • Sales and Marketing - Combined:   In the 10 th Revised Edition of the USALI, Sales and Marketing department expense were separated into three distinct categories: Payroll and Related, Sales Expenses, and Marketing Expenses.  In the 11 th Revised Edition of USALI, hotels are no longer required to report non-labor related Sales and Marketing expenses on a discrete basis.  Based on feedback from the industry, the FMC recognized that it was unrealistic to consistently make the distinction between a Sales Expense and a Marketing Expense.  
  • Revenue Management:   The 10 th Revised Edition of the USALI stated that the Payroll and Related Expenses for the Director of Revenue Management and Revenue Manager positions be reported in the Rooms Department.  No guidance was provided for any other revenue management related expenses.  In the 11 th Revised Edition of the USALI, the labor related costs associated with the revenue management function are included within the Sales and Marketing Department.  In addition, greater detail is provided within the Sales and Marketing Department for other revenue management related expenditures.  
  • Catering Managers :  For a long time the hotel industry has debated whether Catering Managers should be included in the Food and Beverage Department, or the Sales and Marketing Department.  In the 11 th Revised Edition of the USALI, additional guidance is provided to enables users to assign Catering Managers based on their primary function.  If the Catering Manager spends the majority of their time selling banquets and catering functions, then they should be designated as a Catering Sales Manager and report to the Sales and Marketing Department.  However, if the Catering Manager spends the majority of their time servicing events, then they should be categorized as Convention Services Manager and reported in the Food and Beverage Department.  Based on feedback obtained from the industry, the Director of Catering (or Banquets) is more often than not responsible for selling food and beverage events.  Therefore, personnel with that title have been assigned to the Sales and Marketing Department.  
  • Ordering of the 11 th Revised Edition of the USALI:   One of the more subtle, yet meaningful, changes was in the ordering of the sections of the 11 th Revised Edition of the USALI.  In the 11 th Revised Edition of the USALI, the presentation of the Operating Statements precedes the presentation of the Financial Statements.  The change was intended to recognize the importance of the USALI as a management reporting tool and not as a ``how to`` financial statement manual.  

Many of the smaller changes made in the 11 th Revised Edition of the USALI were made to provide clarity, emphasis, or simply keep up with contemporary language.  However, some of the small changes could have a big impact on reporting in certain operations.  

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Ralph R. Miller CPA, CA, CBV, CHA, CHAE is President/Owner of Inntegrated Hospitality Management Ltd.  Ralph serves on the AH&LA Financial Management Committee, and is one of the authors of the 11 th Revised Edition of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry.  Ralph is a former Global President of the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals.  

Robert Mandelbaum is the Director of Research Information Services for PKF Hospitality Research, a CBRE Company.  Robert serves on the AH&LA Financial Management Committee, and is one of the authors of the 10 th and 11 th Revised Editions of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry.  

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To purchase a copy of the 11 th edition of the USALI, and access the nearly 100 questions and answers on the FAQ, or submit your own question for the FMC, please visit www.ahlei.org/usali .

Professional Certification

Professional Development Sessions Offered to Caribbean Hoteliers During CHIEF

str sm Prior to the opening of the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) is offering two professional development courses for hotel employees designed to develop their performance analytics and leadership skills and add value to overall hotel marketing and operations. 

CHTA members and non-members can register for the Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) workshop, which is jointly offered by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) and STR, and Florida International University's (FIU) Leadership for Service Excellence workshop. Both sessions are offered on Oct. 2, 2015 from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, in Puerto Rico. 

"CHTA is pleased to partner with STR/AHLEI and FIU to offer two of the industry's most popular courses at a substantial discount and in the region. Our goal is to provide educational opportunities that enhance our members' effectiveness and ultimately their bottom line," said CHTA President Emil Lee. 

"The STR/AHLEI data analytics certification equips owners, managers, industry researchers, yield management and marketing professionals with the skills to better plan, manage and enhance their performance. The FIU Leadership for Service Excellence workshop helps top management to better engender a culture of exceptional service within their company," said Lee. 

The Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics workshop is currently the only certification for hotel and tourism industry professionals focused on analytics. Course objectives include: learning how to analyze hotel industry data and make strategic inferences based upon the analysis; determining how data can be used to interpret and plan accordingly; and understanding benchmarking and performance reports. Registration is US$300 for the workshop, which is a 50% discount for CHTA members, and includes the workshop, materials, the exam and lunch. Registration is available via http://chtachief.weebly.com/chia-workshop.html . 

The Leadership for Service Excellence Workshop is offered in conjunction with FIU's Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Education and Research (ITHER), the exclusive educational partner for CHIEF. The workshop will teach staff how to determine guest expectations, coach employees for performance improvement, and integrate recovery efforts into overall operations. CHTA members pay US$150 and non-members are charged US$175. Registration is available via http://chtachief.weebly.com/fiu-workshop.html . 

CHIEF, scheduled for Oct. 2-4, will bring together global leaders with regional expertise to share insight with Caribbean hoteliers and other tourism and hospitality providers. CHIEF offers peer-to-peer exchange sessions in Operations, Sales & Marketing, and Sustainability which are focused on helping businesses to generate revenue, reduce costs and become more efficient. Hoteliers will walk away with practical business tips and best practices for tackling operational and marketing challenges. The educational tracks will be led by experts from a variety of travel, tourism and hospitality industry segments featuring round-table panels.