Is this a relationship that is one premised upon the positives or negatives, is it a friend or foe type set of circumstances. I think ultimately what will be successful are those who can at least embrace it as a partnership opportunity, be mindful of where the OTAs can truly add incremental value. Many talk [...]
Is this a relationship that is one premised upon the positives or negatives, is it a friend or foe type set of circumstances. I think ultimately what will be successful are those who can at least embrace it as a partnership opportunity, be mindful of where the OTAs can truly add incremental value. Many talk [...]
We just had a discussion yesterday night at the Adnan hotel, which is an Icon hotel of course, and and, very traditional, very classical in one way, but they combine it with very new elements - a very, very hip bar, where locals are coming, and he told us that a few weeks ago there was the fashion week in Berlin, he saw that all these hip, guys and girls go somewhere else, and they came to his hotel because they say "we are living in a sort of hip environment all day long and it's very nice to go back into a sort of traditional authentic, er, environment" and that's what they found there. So I think the challenge is to be flexible, above all, because I mean the changes go so quickly that you have to innovate always, you know it's not something that you're doing every five or six years, it's a sort of continuous searching for new elements but, it's, I think a combination between a traditional and authentic and, gadgets, and new things, so this is, I think, a combination of everything.
Luxury experience is not as impressive as it once was in an age of technology. In this TV show Ramsey Mankarious of Cedar Capital Partners discusses challenges facing the luxury market.
Luxury experience vs Real life
Luxury, definitely, it's getting harder and harder. Historically you went to a hotel and it was better than your house. The hotel had the cool bathrooms, it had the beautiful marble, room service. Today people's homes are almost better than hotels, people are much higher level- their expectations are much higher than than what you expect, so it's not only delivering that wonderful room product, but something that's different that they cannot get at home, because I have, my house, I have a beautiful big screen TV with surround sound, coming to a hotel with a, you know, 40 inch screen isn't that cool anymore, you know, you need something different, that's that's a norm. So it's a challenge is, always trying to be ahead of the guest or consumer in terms of what their expectations are, and particularly on technology, it's very hard to do because it moves so quickly, and you do your hotel with 200 rooms, you change 200 TVs and then the next thing comes out, and you know, you just spent a fortune on the TVs, and now everyone has their iPad and don't even look at the TV – how many people pay for TV anymore, everyone has their, you know, things on their own computers. So that's a challenge, and it's very hard today, with all the technology, to keep up with it, but that's part of the challenge we face.
Browse more videos by the Hospitality 250 experts and find more insight into hospitality careers and other hospitality topics.
Social media profiles can greatly increase brand awareness, as Dan Wakeling of Trump Hotel Collection explains in this TV show.
Social media profiles at Trump
Technology is a huge enabler, and I think also, you know, social media around that, is a huge thing for us. All of the family members are very active, in social media, and they have a lot of following, which is great for our brand and also great for our partners, because the level of publicity generated, by the family members in the different markets that we're in, and we're going to be in, is immeasurable. I think technology has enabled that in one part, it's also helped us just to understand and track what our customers are into and also able to help us operate our businesses better. It think as a smaller, slightly smaller company, in terms of the number of hotels in our pipeline, or in our portfolio, we're able to be more nimble and more with the times a lot easier, so when these new technologies come out, we can access them and roll them out across our portfolio pretty quickly. We also own roughly half of our portfolios, so that’s not always a difficult discussion with an owner to say "Hey, I think this is a great idea from a technology perspective, there is a cost associated with it, but hey, you know, we're gonna spend the money as well".
Browse more videos by the Hospitality 250 experts and find more insight into social media profiles and other hospitality topics.
At Maxxton we provide the technology for, the broad hospitality sector, in particular the IP technologies so management software, to look after all the aspects of the business. It's a very very data driven technology, because it's one single database, and we have about twenty two different applications, so from a property management, going through online booking, distribution, and business so it's very very, shall I say, complete and complex.
So while consumer behaviour changes, it doesn't change in the way that people necessarily predicted a few years ago. We've actually see an increased call volume in our call centres at the same time as an explosion of activity on our digital sites and on our apps, so I think that's an interesting thing; you can't put all of your eggs in one basket these days, because the call centres are becoming more of a customer contact centre and doing a lot of things that are less traditional. At least in the Wyndham world, we're find ways to use these customer contact centres more innovatively than have been used in the past.
20 years ago it was about hospitality, it was about walking through the front door and creating an experience, you first now have to get them to the front door. It's actually become very transparent and it's almost irrelevant about a brand, which is where the struggle is, because TripAdvisor's really almost the biggest brand; we go there looking for confidence and capability. So there's so many new things that you have to learn and understand to be competitive, where in the past you had to kind of take care of your hotel and take care of the customer when they walked in. So that next level of even being competitive, is just so overwhelming, I think that uh, any normal human being would go on overload and in an instant try and understand that dichotomy that's happening there. So I think it's shift from we have to learn how to be virtual and talk to the audience that way, and that's not an easy shift because it's constantly moving.
The new generation of talent is visual and creative
I just saw this morning on the television here in Berlin, a whole transmission on, a new concept of, working only with icons, so we don't have a language any more, but we work only with icons, which would help to have all the language issues worldwide eliminated in one go. But this is very much the new generation, I mean everything is, with pictures, everything is visual, everything is, short and fast, you know, I mean what we see in the span of attention is not too high, not too long, so you need to interest in them and involve them in a very short period of time. I think visuals help a lot there. And I also support the creativity of the young generation, there's a lot of creativity and imagination, and if you try to, to limit that down to words, it’s not in line with how they function. So that's what we see, and and it means that in our curricular at our school and our university programs, we work very much with simulations, and er, interactive courses etc, so to really involve them directly and give them the chance to, to, work on their creativity. And we see that happening, and because, I mean, our students yesterday, that one against it was Cornell, it was really based on a sort of really creative imagination of how the world could be if you look into the developments of an Airbnb and all other kind of of Uber's etc that is going on. If you look into, into this development, they find a sort of very easy going answer, it's not complicated. And I think this is one of the skills of the new generation.
Digital engagement and driving bookings direct to brand websites is key to competing with OTAs. In this TV show Frank Reeves explains how Avvio can help.
Direct digital engagement
Avvio's a company that partners with hotels, groups and service departments, and our primary mandate is to work with the industry to grow the level of direct website bookings. So we provide a number of products, our flagship product would be in the area of booking conversion, so optimising booking conversion, studying and analysing abandonment levels, things like AV testing. And we would then follow that, with digital marketing services and web-design. We were founded out of Ireland back in 2003, and today we work with about three hundred and fifty hotel serviced apartment brands between Ireland and the UK.
Hospitality TV will continue to feature shows about digital engagement. Why not take a look at who else has been featured in the Hospitality250.
Improving conversion and digital marketing strategy
We've delivered significant gains in the level of growth of direct website business, over ten years now, it's very much been our core area of focus and specialisation.There are many different strategies, techniques, tools, and analytics that the OTAs have in fact studied and learned from the retail industry, and in a nutshell we would bring a lot of that same clinical approach to delivering booking conversion to the direct hotel or serviced apartment website channel. The gains we can make by improving conversion, lead directly into a more competitive and aggressive digital marketing budget, so you have one thing, in addressing improved conversion that then leads to a more aggressive digital marketing strategy, that then essentially creates a budget for better web-design and far more compelling and aggressive, competitive strategy online.
I think part of the, the reasons the OTAs have been able to pull away so effectively is that the hotel industry is in general still very bedded down and quite legacy technology, and a lack of awareness as to the gains that can be made online. So in a nutshell, yes, we deliver transformative growth of direct business, in a very short space of time, and there is a real series of methodologies and approach, and formulaic approach to delivering that, the gains that can be made are significant, and we can really help deliver, the primary hotel or service department channel as the fastest growing and the biggest channel online.
Data strategy can in involve updates in mobile or wireless technology. In this TV show Paul Richard Squires discusses Hewlett Packard leading wireless development in hotels.
Data strategy for hotels
I work for Hewlett Packard in the UK but I also have a European overlay role. So I look after the wireless portfolio as the business development manager in the UK and then lead the hospitality vertical from the wireless perspective across Europe. It’s key vertical for Hewlett Packard moving forward.
The package and the excitement is we’ve come back to this vertical. We had left it, we had deserted the wireless industry, probably for 2 of 3 years, we’ve come back in a big way, major focus for us and we’re focussing on 2 of, what largely have been the really sort of sizzle end of the market, which is location awareness and big data. So the analytics; the who, what, where, when and why and we have a unique offering in the way we do the location which makes it affordable to the industry.
Browse Hospitality TV for more videos on data strategy and wireless technology in hotels. Why not take a look at who else has been featured in the Hospitality250.
Why we’re leading it from the wireless perspective; very simply, that's getting to be the number one or number 2 reason for most hotels as to why people choose to stay somewhere else.
I think if you go and ask any of the major hotel chains to look at their customer satisfaction reports, you’ll find that they’re all on there and we also did our own survey independently and we came up with that finding. It depends on geographies, so in place like the UK, places like France, Scandinavia, very high. In some of the other geographies, in the Middle East and Africa, slightly less so – that probably reflects the use of the internet in those places as well.
OTAs have a strong position in the hospitality industry and will only get bigger as Tim Ramskill of Credit Suisse discusses in this TV show.
OTAs in 5 years
So I’m Head of Research on the transport travel leisure side of Credit Suisse as an equity analyst looking at the hotel sector, the airline sector and the whole of the travel space. Focus on the industry from the perspective of advising our institutional clients about the changes in the travel space.
I think what we’ve experienced, what we expect to continue to see is very dramatic growth from the online travel agents. That's manifested itself in a 30% growth rate over the course of the last 4 or 5 years and we’re forecasting that the online travel agents are going to keep growing their fee base at around about nearly 20% a year over the course of the next 5 or 6 years. So the pace of change has been, and we continue to believe will be, very strong.
Hospitality TV will continue to feature shows about OTAs and distribution channels. Why not take a look at who else has been featured in the Hospitality250.
Why do it? Because number one, if you don’t, somebody else will. And we’re already seeing the first hotel chain that's tied up with a retailer coming together to go in there. They’re going to bring their retail marketing ideas over. Secondly, it provides an ability to monetise the wireless. So you could put great wireless in, so you've taken away the worry about having to have great wireless and it being a complaint point, but you've done it in a way that it pays for itself by increasing the spend of your customer when they're on site with you by personalised their visit.
I’m very sceptical about brand loyalty is the first thing that I’d say and we’ve talked about that in today’s panel session, that ultimately I think brand loyalty in the hotel sector is limited. Will customers always be seeking best value? Well I think naturally that's going to be a part of their decision making process but I think the interesting thing is that there is a widely held perception that the online channel, the OTA channel is cheaper than dealing direct with the hotelier when actually, basically offering the same prices. So the challenge for the operators is really, you know, it’s not really that the OTA’s have got a price advantage it’s just that they’ve got a marketing capability and advantage that's been driving traffic to the OTA sites relating to the hotels. So I think yes, we’re sceptical about branding but overall there’s still a strong opportunity for the hoteliers to respond because the price differential is not that great.
One campaign we're working on is supporting a new company in the States called OpenKey, and what OpenKey is doing is it's trying to create a universal app for the new mobile door key entry. So now, you know, you're going to be able to use your mobile phone to open the door. A couple of issues with that - one is that if the brands control that - and initially they do - they're creating a different proprietary app for every brand, working with the different lock companies. Firstly, for procurement, you end up having to put entry across your portfolio by ten different systems, that don't talk to each other. And if you then want to change a brand, obviously you have to redo all your door locks, so this system will negate that issue. Perhaps more importantly, it means that this company will be controlled by hotel owners and it means that any data you can gather - an anonymised data - belongs to the hotel owners. If it belongs to the brands, and they share it with the OTAs, that’s another area of the business the hotel owners will have lost control of. If we can keep it, the hotel owners themselves will be able to pull the useful data about travel patterns and, you know, what people spend when they're in the hotel and so on, 'cause in the end I think your phone will become like an oyster card or something, you'll use it to buy food in the outlets, and obviously open your door and so on. And you can track it around, so you can tell what people's travel patterns are and so on. And to have, finally, a bit of, sort of, cutting edge data, controlled by the owners, would actually be a very interesting thing, so we're supporting that initiative.
OTAs have disrupted the industry in more ways than one. In this TV show Brian Reeves discusses how OTAs drive conversion rates.
OTA's approach to conversion
I guess the cornerstone, from a conversions perspective, the cornerstone of conversion matrix is abandonment analytics and understanding why it is visitors to our web site don’t end up booking with us. So we look at the performance of a typical hotel’s web site and compare it with the online travel agents; there’s a gulf between the two. So people like Booking.com spend a lot of time, probably a lot of money in multi variant testing which is the key too that drives the conversion improvement. Hotels are starting to pay attention to that a little bit at the moment but what happens as a result is that as the online travel agents improve their conversion rate, their advertising cost per room night sold decreases. So what they’re able to do is carry on with a lot more digital marketing work which tends to be disruptive and gain an awful lot of OTA market share in that space where even if you look at – I think it’s got some of the leading hotel brands. They haven’t caught up from any like, science perspective terms of understanding that key component which is I guess the central component from a travel investment perspective.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow discussions around OTAs and bring you videos from experts within online travel agents. Look out for the next 10 industry experts to be announced as part of Hospitality250
Technology systems are often divided up to serve different purposes. In this TV show Minesh Shah explains why this a problem for hospitality.
The struggle to unite technology systems
One of the struggles, I think, of the hotel industry is the amount of disparate systems that exist, right. I mean there’s every 3 letter acronym you can think of, from PNS to CRS to CRM that exist out there and being able to unite a hotel experience to some extent also means being able to unite the disparate systems that are out there. So, it is a struggle, it certainly is a struggle but what we’re seeing is, I think, a lot of hotels are struggling to embrace it. Either using tools so that they may be able to monitor social media conversations or user TripAdvisor content to be able to monitor in a more realistic way, bringing it in centrally so that they can then see what’s been going on, but also be able to kind of develop programmes to institutionalise that.
There is much more discussion of technology systems in the Hospitality Channel videos and briefings. Look out for the next 10 industry experts to be announced as part of Hospitality250.
Data strategy for hotels will vary from other industries because of the way it is set up. In this TV show Brian Reeves discusses how Big Data can connect pricing and marketing.
Connected Big Data strategy
I think there are a lot of instances of data just not being connected and I think in part it is because a lot of the functions within hotels are not connected. We have a siloed function of distribution to digital marketing, to revenue management and the hospitality I guess is a little bit unique, it’s certainly different from retail in that pricing is a function of revenue management within the hotel organisation and not marketing. So marketing sales are responsible for the generation of demand but the conversion of demand lies largely around pricing. So when you have those two departments operating from a perspective in a disconnected fashion, it doesn’t help matters. So I think one of the opportunities around big data is to get those 2 things connected. So to look at everything being driven by a demand forecast, that makes sense and then making our pricing decisions, our spend decisions, whether that’s spending in terms of condition overrides on online travel agents or spend in terms of the paid search arena which is a big area for potential growth for hotels. But that will be one of the big stand out areas I think that – it’s an opportunity I guess.
The Hospitality Channel is very interested in discussions around data strategy and technology systems in hotels. Look out for the next 10 industry experts to be announced as part of Hospitality250
New hotel technology can seem daunting to implement. In this TV show Richard Valtr of Mews Systems discusses emulating technology that employees know.
Staff friendly hotel technology
I think most of the people that have actually – that we’ve implemented the system with, they're actually frankly quite shocked at how easy it is to implement, how easy it is to actually train the staff up on the system. Because – especially if you have a young staffing core, they understand some of the features. So for example, the way that we think about the guest profile is actually thinking about it from the point of view of how they would see profiles on a social network so that they can actually work with the guest in the same kind of logic. So we’ve learnt from the likes of Facebook and the likes of Google in trying to actually incorporate all of those things which people understand and know and actually trying to understand these kinds of complex systems from that point of view. So, the actual implementation process and the changeover process is very quick on our side then it usually takes only about one training day to actually get everyone up to speed in most of the hotels that we’ve implemented the system in, so.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow developments in hotel technology and will bring you more TV shows from the companies producing new systems.
Technology systems have been upgraded across brands and hotels in recent years and many are still changing. In this TV show Brian Reeves of Goppar Digital explains how the transition from legacy tech is becoming less painful.
Upgrading technology systems in hotels
There are still some legacy technology pieces that are in play, particularly in the property management space but it’s improving. I think a lot of the more recent tools for reputation management, for revenue management, most of those have moved into the cloud. So, access to the data that runs behind those systems is relatively easy. So from that sense, transitioning to a demand driven organisation as a hotel is relatively straightforward. The property management system space is still, I think still needs to catch up a little bit.
So there is a movement to the cloud at the moment but there's still of the legacy tech that it can be difficult to get quality reliable data from that you can use. That's probably the only obstacle, so for the majority of hotels that I work with it’s relatively painless. So it’s a matter of just connecting thoughts – and understanding this was the business drivers, understanding the why behind, you know, going data driven and it is the optimisation of, as the name suggests, of gross operating profit, it’s – you know, how can we cut distribution costs and cut the cost of every room late that we sell.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow developments in hotel technology systems and will bring you more TV shows from the companies offering new products.
The digital economy offers many opportunities to connect better with guests. In this TV show Riko van Santen discusses three areas to improve relationships with guests.
Digital economy and communication
Working with partnerships, the distribution channels, that's been about for a while now. So we are there and we are working with many channels of distribution in order to partner to make reaches into the markets where we perhaps couldn’t establish ourselves. So we use the internet to extend our reach in terms of the distribution channels, that's the first area. Another area is to understand also the behaviour of the guests on the internet. So not only through the existing booking channels but also how do they search? How do they read about hotels? How do they understand experiences that hotel companies are offering? There are different kinds of portals, there are different kinds of platform and search behaviours that we try to tap into to ensure we can anticipate the guest’s behaviour and to be there with our brands to provide solutions for their travel experiences. Finally the third area is to connect to say once we have made that connection and we establish the relationships with the guests, both before, during and after the stays, we can actually use that information from those 3 touch points to better serve the guests in the future or during the stay. How do we find them, where do they come, where were they searching from. What is their experience or what are they wanting to have during their stay in our hotels and post-stay after they check out, how do we make sure that we can keep the relationships with the guests without being - you know, without spamming them with emails. It’s not just a question of just sending them an email to remind them, oh thank you for staying in the hotel, come again, it’s to really understand how did they enjoy the stay, what can we do to make sure that we can anticipate their stay next time to make it even better and to grow our data base of the profile and the understanding of our guests.
Hotel technology systems are most useful if the information on them is completely up to date. Richard Valtr of Mews Systems explains how real time technology can be used for on the go service.
Hotel technology systems that keep up
With anything that works with connected systems, um, the real time aspect is incredibly important because you’re trying to pass on information through to your colleagues and your co-workers. So for example, just the fact that somebody might be on their, on our applications, ordered some kind of service, that information goes straight through and through to the system and to the department that actually needs to kind of work with that information and it’s shared across that network. So somebody, so even the doorman, if you want him to kind of see this information, sees exactly the same information in real time as the person who’s manning the reception desk or if you've gotten rid of your reception desk, that kind of, just a stand essentially, where you have some of your employees. So even across these huge distances, if they’re connected they can see all of this information.
The Hospitality Channel is very interested in discussions around changing hotel technology systems. Look out for the next 10 industry experts to be announced as part of Hospitality250.
Innovative technology and finding better ways to reach guest are the main focus points for developments at Kempinski as Riko van Santen explains in this TV show.
Welcoming innovative technology
Well one of the things we want to ensure and one of our pivotal focuses in the company is innovation. So although we have heritage of the company we want to make sure that we are innovative and we offer solutions whether it be in the hotels, whether it be in distribution and the marketing to reach the guests, cutting edge technology solutions. So innovation is invested very much within Kempinski and one of the focuses we have within innovation obviously is the digital marketing aspects; how do we reach the guests, how are the guests reaching us as a brand, how can we make sure that our hotels and how we operate within and understand our guests, can take the maximum advantages of where the technology falls today.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to discuss innovative technology and how it is affecting the hospitality industry.
Digital platforms are an essential touch point for guests. In this TV show Frank Fiskers of Scandic Hotels discusses the importance of engaging guests on brand websites.
Engaging guests on digital platforms
I think that is a very good question and I think this is an area where the fight is at the moment, it’s the who owns the customer relation and I think all hotel companies are now trying to try to own this customer relation and I think something that encourages us is the fact that most research shows that guests go on to, often on to the brand’s web site before they make their final purchasing decision and eventually go back to the intermediaries and I think there is the challenge for us, it’s now to keep people there so that they book with us, so we have the data and then we own the customer relation. I think that is the, one of our biggest priorities now in the hotel industry.
In the digital economy digital platforms are ever more important. Subscribe to the Hospital Channel briefings for discussion of developing trends in the industry.
Disruptive innovation is changing the way the world does business and this is particularly evident in the hospitality industry as Riko van Santen explains in this TV show.
Disruptive innovation is changing business
I think there's disruptive forces, obviously new players coming on to the market, how people, guests are using the internet, how they are doing their research to find hotels, we need to understand and embrace that and also throughout the whole company. So it’s also a mindset change to understand that, you know; how do we do business, is it changing and are we ready to embrace that change. So it’s also the human factor and this is also an area we take a lot of focus on within Kempinski in talent and development, in training, providing trainings, providing seminars within our team members to make sure that we can embrace the changes and whatever initiative we have a at a brand level, that this also goes throughout the company to all our executives.
The Hospitality Channel is very interested in how disruptive innovation is changing the industry. Look out for the next 10 industry experts to be announced as part of Hospitality250.
Digital platforms have changed the way the hospitality industry works. In this TV show Frank Fiskers discusses how distribution has changed for Scandic.
Intermediary digital platforms
So Scandic is a Nordic hotel group. We operate approximately 230 hotels, primarily in 4 Nordic countries with a little bit of business in Germany, a little bit of business in Benelux. We are 13,000 team members and we have a of approximately 11 billion Swedish kroner.
I don’t know if it has disrupted distribution but I think it has changed distribution dramatically and that's of course the shift from, in principle, all other channels to the internet both through digital intermediaries and through our own web sites.
I think for Scandic it is like most other hotel companies, you know, we started working with these intermediaries back in – after it was 9/11, I think we never really realised whom we went into bed with and I think that this relationship has grown tremendously over the years but also it has its challenges and this is what we’re seeing now, that we are trying to cope with these challenges and trying to determine what should we do with these challenges that these intermediaries present.
Keep browsing the Hospitality Channel for more great TV shows about digital platforms, distribution and OTAs. Look out for the next 10 industry experts to be announced as part of Hospitality250.
Digital platforms must be adjusted to suit the goals and needs of each organisation. In this video Paul West of Cardola argues that it is about quality of information over quantity of information.
Digital platforms and hotel services
There is not physical or theoretical limit. I mean, what’s the skill and the art is getting the right level of information in there rather than necessarily in volume. It’s about the services being pertinent to that given hotel and therefore pertinent to the stay. So, the type of services delivered to our resort hotel, for example, may be different from a business hotel, um, and that's why our platform is modular. You can design how – you know, the presentation of those services, the order in which they are bought, whether they are presented to a guest that's on property or in advance, you know, all these things are flexible. So, it’s about quality not quantity I think, that is the key, rather than being, having a bag of limitless amounts of information, it just becomes too confusing.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow discussion around digital platforms and using technology for hotel services. Look out for the next 10 industry experts to be announced as part of Hospitality250.
Digital business models are the norm in a world where technology is constantly changing. In this TV show Remy Merckx discusses transforming thinking around technology.
Adapting to digital business models
I have been, in my personal professional life, I've been facing these type of opportunities twice because I started in the hotel industry and I went to the online industry for 10 years, and so I had to adapt myself to a completely new way of looking at how business was built and after 10 years in the online industry, then I thought, well now I'm ready, I'm full enough of this online capabilities and energy to bring that back to the hotel industry and to tell them well now it’s time to wake up guys and we need to adapt our old hotel business to the new world. And it’s a passionate – really, exercise to do actually, to transform also the way you are looking at the business and that's what makes it very interesting.
Hospitality TV will continue to feature discussions around digital business models, new technology and related subjects.
Hotel industry discussion at conferences is a great way to help the industry to develop. The Hospitality Channel attends many of theses events. In this TV show Peter Anscomb appreciates open honest discussion at the Hotel Distribution Event.
Hotel industry conferences for networking and real conversation
It has in terms of a lot of it on the networking side in terms of interaction with others and exchange reviews. I think one thing, having done, when I said 27 years before, I mean I've been involved as an advisory board speaking member of panels for the last, nearly 20 years, here, US, Europe – one thing that I've noticed and I've just commented to someone else in there, is it’s quite refreshing to see the level of honesty and open debate on platforms because so many conferences are based across people where they’re having to talk about the performance of their company when it’s looking at financial things, strategy things, rather than a product that's got to be engineered to work for the industry. Often people are trying to get across corporate messages rather than something that actually is of educational and debating value. So I've found a lot of this quite refreshing in terms of being quite honest on the studies, you know, and that's good.
Hospitality TV features a variety of discussion topic and videos from hotel industry conferences. Look out for the next 10 industry experts to be announced as part of Hospitality250.
Hotel technology has developed to a point where a guest could check in easily without going to reception or collecting a key as Frank Fiskers of Scandic discusses in this TV show.
Hotel technology at Scandic
Of course there's also a lot of changes in the technology that we use in the hotel, the physical box of the hotel in terms of wireless, wifi, key locks to the guest rooms and there we have – because we mainly work in Scandinavia which is reasonably high tech and where we have a lot of variant data and segments of the market, we have spent a lot of time and money on upgrading technology within the hotels. So I would think that Scandic is at the forefront of – we were among the first who offered free wifi which is spreading through. So there we are now testing, um, keyless locks and mobile devices, that works in one of our hotels and fully at the property and it works fully. We are one of the first that launched last year, online check out. So guests can now check out on their mobile phones without passing through reception. So there's a lot of emphasis in that area, so.
I think that there will be a distance in the shorter term where we are just meeting expectations before we are really delighting customers with new technology. So think we are, I wouldn’t say catching up, but I think we have a – this is now where we are living up to expectations to what customer sees in other businesses and other industries.
Developments in hotel technology are changing quickly. The Hospitality Channel will continue to bring you expert discussion about the developments. Look out for the next 10 industry experts to be announced as part of Hospitality250.
Data strategy and responsible practices is now a big consideration for all organisation. Paul West discusses responsible data usage.
Data strategy for today's customer
There obviously are privacy concerns, um. By being a responsible gatherer of data and making clear announcements to the user about what you are going to be doing, um, is the first step. Um, if you use data irresponsibly or there is, you know, breach unfortunately, then obviously there’s going to be damage going to be done and there's all the stories out there. Um, we think that the next generation are more, and this is borne out of today’s discussion, are going to be less concerned about the privacy, they understand the value of handing over – surrendering some of your anonymity will lead to a value, but by being responsible users of our data and being true to the commitment from the hotel not to share that information and protect it.
Hospitality TV will continue to feature expert discussion on data strategy in hospitality. Look out for the next 10 industry experts to be announced as part of Hospitality250.
Hospitality trends are showing an increase in mobile technology usage. Paul West suggests that hotels that don’t embrace technology lose the edge.
Following hospitality trends
The risk is that, um, the trend that's universally accepted that there will be, you know, pretty much spread adoption of mobile technology and mobile applications in hospitality – you know, recent reports have said that, you know, it was the CT report from our magazine saying that, you know, adoption the last 2 years has been between 40% and 50% and next year it’s going to increase to like 80%. So there’s – we’re on the cusp I think, of a major change in our adoption. So, the risk to those that don’t, that get left behind, are that the benefits that this brings, which we believe in obviously, at Cardola and I think the industry believes in, you know, you won’t be – you will losing an edge to your competitors because you don’t have that technology. So that's I think, the, you know, their primary risk.
Hospitality TV is very interested in discussing emerging hospitality trends and how mobile technology is being used. Look out for the next 10 industry experts to be announced as part of Hospitality250.
Technology systems in hotels will not be properly adopted unless staff are educated in how to use them. In this TV show Remy Merckx discusses setting up companywide technology training.
Implementing new technology systems
It’s a heavy process and it’s a lot of an educational process. So we are setting up specific training’s actually, for the rest of the company. We are a company with about 80,000 employees around the world. We are setting up interesting training and training programmes in order to help them to, to be updated and to be at the level that we are expecting today. Again, is it an easy process? No, it’s not but you know what, I think that's not linked to the hotel industry, that's linked to how companies have been set up in the past. And you know, when new trends and new technologies are coming on board you have to change, you have to adapt yourself and you need to have people that are ready to do this exercise.
Keep watching Hospitality TV for more videos and briefings on technology systems and how they are affecting the hospitality industry.
The connected digital economy, sharing, and visibility
In our connected digital economy there are many platforms emerging that can help companies connect to customers. Minesh Shah explains the cycle of sharing and visibility.
Reviews in the connected digital economy
We’ve found that TripAdvisor having hotels really drive a lot of rooms, has been a huge benefit for them in terms of performance and we have a number of self service tools and widgets that they can use, that can really encourage reviews and also form our relationships with a number of chains out there and a lot of success was about how that really helps sort of gain visibility on TripAdvisor because you're getting more reviews and you’re getting more contact to sort of share. What’s interesting about that is that when you set up institutionalised programmes to drive reviews from your centre, at your hotel, as consequence you tend to have managers and hotel managers embrace reviews as well. They do things like respond to reviews on a more regular basis, look at what’s being said and so it’s a really nice virtual cycle of getting more views, getting more visibility on TripAdvisor, you know, making sure that you have the right connection points so that you can get direct referrals but then also encouraging the hotels to really look at reviews as a way of kind of seeing how they're doing and then making operational improvements accordingly.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow the challenges and opportunities arising in our connected digital economy. Look out for the next 10 industry experts to be announced as part of Hospitality250.
Innovative business models are being thought up everyday. In this TV show TripAdvisor's Minesh Shah explains how focusing on consumers has made TripAdvisor a success.
Customer focused innovative business models
It’s really just being focused around sort of consumers and what they really understand but also how that can help complement businesses as well. So it’s having the wealth of information that's being provided by the consumers and also the network of consumers that we have, this kind of social community that really enjoys to share experiences that are helping future guests potentially identify where they want to go. As we’ve kind of moved elsewhere in mobile, you know, with things like Ride With Uber and sort of find a location offline, so being able to have an offline app that you can download as well as kind of looking at the directions that are shown through the actual mobile. We’ve moved away I think, from sort of just being part of those preliminary conversations and the post-experience to also being part of the in-stay kind of experience as well. And I think it’s the value of just the social contents that we have and how we service it up and make it easier for consumers to find, that's really valuable.
Keep watching the Hospitality Channel for more expert insight in to innovative business models.
The hotel industry used to lag behind other industries in technology uptake. In this TV show Simon L'Anson says this has now changed.
Technology in the hotel industry
I think hospitality has caught up and is starting to overtake again now. I think the importance of technology, which frankly in the past was an add-on, to say the hotel bill process, now has changed completely in terms of how the hotels will approach it. Technology is now a strategic enabler that is part of that hotel offer from the start. So I think probably a bit of a slow start but the reality is now, I think hotel companies are as advanced as pretty much anyone else in industry today.
Look out for the next 10 industry experts to be announced as part of Hospitality250. There will be more TV shows and briefings discussing technology in the hotel industry.
Innovative technology in the future of hospitality
Innovative technology is changing the way businesses everywhere are operating. In this video Duncan Berry discusses new technology in hospitality.
Innovative technology and business collaborations
Things are moving fast, you’re absolutely right. So, I mean I can share with you that in the US, by virtue of acknowledging that, they have recently partnered with Ford Motor Cars with an application that enables the guest to book hands free from their Ford car. So, you know, again it is that eye on the future, it is making sure that we’re in a situation that we can be keeping a pace, you know, with the demands of the consumers nowadays.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to discuss how innovative technology is used in the industry. Look out for the next 10 industry experts to be announced as part of Hospitality250.
Data strategy continues to be a hot topic in the hospitality industry and there is still a long way to go to get it right, as Michael Schaeffner of Serenata IntraWare discusses in this video.
Data strategy evolution
We are at the very very start. We still feel that, um, hotels, hotel groups are still blasting emails, you know which is going to – relevant the targeted messaging, which is still a very huge challenge. So before talking about trip marketing and, you know, guest profiling, you kind of really have to, still, kind of work on the homework and on the basement. So, I think we are at the very much beginning. The good thing is I think that a lot of hotels and hotel groups have realised that they have to invest. We’ve all just heard that earlier today, that it seems like it finally has arrived in our industry that's why it’s all been an exciting time for us because we get all sort of demand from the hotel groups out there that they’ve realised that they have to do something with their data. Again, it just got started the whole data thing, it’s going to be a lot more, um, in 3 years, in 5 years and 10 years, um, if we kind of don’t, hotels don’t build a certain basis, I think they’re going to have a pretty pretty rough challenge moving forward.
Browse more Hospitality TV videos for further expert insight into data strategy.
The digital age brings with it many quick and easy ways to access what we want. Consumers are starting to expect this everywhere, as Catalin Cighi of Cain Hospitality Innovation discusses in this TV show.
Digital age behaviours
When I address technology I really don’t care about technology itself for the sake of technology, is I only care about the way it impacts human behaviour. And this is important in our industry. So I’m interested on how it affects demand and the nature of demand. I’m interested in how it affects what becomes possible on the supply side when you are building your hospitality products and when you are crafting your value proposition to a certain segment.
Well on demand side for instance, I don’t like to use buzzwords but I think what the technology is creating is a vain customer. You hear about millennials, you hear about Generation X, Y, Z, I don’t care about that. What I care about is the fact that technology creates a certain expectation that the consumer wants everything and it wants it now. So that’s what I mean when I say technology simply expands expectations and once you’ve cut and paste of what can be done, then you never go back.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow discussions about the digital age. Watch the Hospitality TV briefings for more expert insight on the subject.
A technology revolution is happening everywhere. Innovation could help the hospitality industry connect with guests, as Philippe Bijaoui discusses in this TV show.
Innovation & the technology revolution
I think the industry in general needs to put more efforts, put more resources into innovation. We are nearly working the same way that we used to work before. And I think there is a moment where we will need to just think, stop, look and try to innovate. And the other thing is in the operation of, because we are, I mean hotel development is linked to real estate, to business, to return, always think back to the guest. The guest is the bread and butter, is the essence of everything. And I don’t think we can progress in the hotel industry if we don’t place the guest at the centre of our decisions.
We have been one of the first company that you see apps for reservations on smartphones and the iPhones and all that. It opens a wide range of opportunities to communicate directly with the guest before even he checks in. And very soon the check-in will be also available on apps. I see it coming, I don’t know how long it will take to be implemented, we have to resolve security issues of course. But sooner or later we will have that as well. And I think that’s a sector which will keep opening new opportunities.
The Hospitality Channel is following discussions surrounding the technology revolution and how it is affecting the hospitality industry.
In the connected digital economy guests, particularly younger guests, want new forms of entertainment, as Aqeel Raeees discusses in this TV show.
Connected digital economy guests
I believe first of all that, you know, the consumer has become more sophisticated. We have more buying power with younger groups. The younger groups demands are different than the older groups or the businessmen, or the older businessmen because now IT have become an important part of any hotel where if you go into a hotel and you don’t have a good service of the internet then you wouldn’t guarantee that those people would be coming back. Furthermore, you know, people are looking for entertainment and different types of entertainment because the entertainment as well is changing. I have been in the industry for the last 40 years and I have seen trends coming back and disappearing and reappearing. So you know these things change over the times with the change of people you know. And the new generations, they have their own demands for different types of services. And also there is one thing else that you know, I mean the market needs more competitive, let’s say affordable hotels. You see, I mean we are more concentrating on the leisure luxury hotels, business luxury hotels. But there is a need for good four star hotels and even lower than that, like what’s happening in the airline industry where you have the, you know, the budget airlines and they are very successful.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to show videos discussing the impact of the connected digital economy on hospitality.
Data strategy is improving as the industry realise the full potential of the reservation data they collect. In this TV show Simon Schwitallik discusses TravelClick's new approach to data.
Data strategy at TravelClick
So the most exciting thing that we are developing as TravelClick actually is that we are looking at future reservation data so we will be able to look 12 months into the future and be able to understand how a market is developing or how competitors are developing. so while hotels today look mainly at historical data and benchmark themselves against that, we want to kind of break that paradigm and say rather look into the future and still have time to make strategic changes to your business in order to improve the strategy instead of just looking at what happened in the past and either being happy about that you performed well or that you underperformed, that is really the biggest change. It is quite a revolution in the industry to be able to look into the future and see data cross channels and segments in order to create strategies according to those channels and segments.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow discussions around data strategy.
Connected digital economy has revolutionised distribution
A connected digital economy in hospitality means news ways of interacting with customers and receiving bookings, as Aron Libinson of InterContinental Hotels Group explains in this TV show.
Hospitality's connected digital economy
Well, digital revolution means there are different, 20 years ago there were calls to the hotel, there were visitors to the hotel, there were direct sales that a hotel management team would do. Now we have distribution channels, you know, we have direct bookings through the hotel websites. We have bookings through the intermediaries. And we have various options to capitalise on this new digital era. And the speed of decision making is much faster than it was before. I mean we have mobile applications for bookings, everyone has a smart phone now these days in the developed world, you know, almost everyone is using their smart phone for different things, not only for texting and calling. So we have 14 applications to book to all our brands in different languages, including Russian, Turkish, Hebrew, Arabic, French. And these applications, the revenue from mobile bookings has delivered 600 million dollars in 2013, I think so, 600 million dollars just bookings made through the mobile apps. That’s a great story because I mean you see we didn’t have that five years ago. We didn’t have that ten years ago. So what we’re seeing now is the speed of development of those channels unknown before. And the hotel groups, the brands must adapt to it. And we have launched our Russian website. We’re working on a Turkish website. We know what our guests want to see, how our guests want to make their decisions, because this is what I said, we need to think of our guests at the core of all our decisions.
There are more great videos about the connected digital economy and related issues on the Hospitality Channel.
Customer profile data can give an indication of what products and brands they are interested in. In this TV show Fred Hines of Patron Capital Partners discusses nurturing a mutually beneficial relationship with guests and brands.
Customer profile data opportunities
I think it’s pretty clear that the industry does not quite understand the implications and opportunities that are provided by having that guest give you willingly, their contact details and their show of interest. Not only that but it also links in to kind of the ability to understand what your guest is interested in. Not only in terms of hotel product and repeat stays but actually linking in external partners and saying, “Okay, we’ve got a great database of people that have demonstrated that they care about”, you know, pick any fashion brand, pick any technology brand. Those guests could have touch points at your hotel that allow them to understand what that brand might not have been able to put across in their online experience. So placing, you know, sponsored blankets in the hotel, giving, you know, sponsored onesies to your guests for the duration of their stay may just tick over in that guest’s mind. Maybe there’s an opportunity here, I don’t want to say the word ‘exploit’, but partner and certainly have a mutually beneficial for the guest, brand and hotelier, a mutually beneficial relationship.
The digital age has lead to may changes in customer behaviour. In this TV show Steve Lowey discusses data collection becoming an accepted part of life.
Digital age's 'Big Brother' isn't so scary
But what’s kind of exciting is with technology it’s going to get easier for even the small guys to offer great little touches of excellence to their customers and ultimately start using their data to improve your customers experience. And I think there’s a lot of scary stuff in terms of Google’s knowledge of what we are doing and tracking you and following you online and offline basically. But that can be used to an advantage and I think people of the sort of the Big Brother thing they know it’s there now and they just sort of, just carry on doing stuff.
If you found this video interesting and want to hear more about the digital age and data collection, please browse more videos on The Hospitality Channel.
Digital age generation have a different ideas and goals
The digital age generation are now both working in and visiting hotels. I this TV show Navneet Bali discusses their differing outlook.
Employing the digital age generation
Ours is a very young business model, so our average age of customers is 25, 26. In fact the staff also is 25, 26 average, I’m the oldest guy in the office. I suppose as far as technology is concerned they are all using palm tops or intelligent telephones and I think that plays a big part in, if you are booking a backpackers holiday or a school group, they’re all on facebook and it lends itself very much to, you know, our sort of niche market if you are using a Smartphone for example. They’re very international in their outlook. All they want is to see the world and be part of something which is vibrant, new, with new ideas. And the other thing is they all want to feel empowered, they don’t want a hierarchy sort of, old stuffy side of business, they want to be part of it and they want to be part of a growing company which is very international in its outlook.
The Hospitality Channel is very interested in ideas around the digital age generation and how their needs affect demand in hospitality
The connected economy puts an emphasis on engaging with people. In this TV show Christopher Michau discusses how Expedia is a part of the customer's travel process from start to finish.
Connected economy means being at every touch point
We’ve really grown from a web based only business to, no matter where the consumer is coming from, and wants to communicate with us, we have to be there. It’s important. We are not there just for the transactional fee, but we be there for people to start dreaming about the vacation up to, when they come back from their trip and share that. There’s a lot of different ways they can do this whether it’s over the phone, on the web or on mobile, or speaking to someone physically as well. We are there at every one of those touch points. Actually everything we do internally, we always think of our travellers first. I think it is really down to this communication that we have with consumers. We need to be there at every single point in their journey. So if they need you at the time of booking, we need to be there. If they need it when they travel because something happens at the airport and they cannot make it to the hotel, we need to help them to rebook. Their whole trip at the point of their fingertips on mobile for instance. This is something we are investing in a lot so we can really deliver a full scale experience to those consumers.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow discussions around the connected economy. Look out for more from Christopher Michau.
Business growth show: reinventing a global travel company
In this business growth show Christopher Michau explains how Expedia has adapted it's strategy as disruptors have hit the hospitality market.
Business growth show: Expedia
Well Expedia today is the number one travel company, not even online, travel company by itself. We do 37 billion of customers booking per year, and that’s throughout the globe, now it has different brands with Expedia, you have the leisure brands, you have the opaque brands and you also have the business travel brands. The beauty of it, is that it is a business that keep reinventing itself. It’s a business that dated back from 1996 with Microsoft at the time when you had only a brother, and today you know, we have to invent our-self with things like mobile, which are you know completely disruptive to this industry, so it’s a really fast paced business there.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow the impact of new disruptive forces in hospitality. Look out for more business growth shows.
Mobile digital platforms offer multi-faceted solutions
Mobile digital platforms are being used increasingly for hospitality bookings. But the motivation for customers using these platforms can vary and companies need to consider this in their platform development. Christopher Michau of Expedia explains in this TV show.
Mobile digital platforms are crucial
Mobile is becoming crucial. Today we are going into the double digits of our bookings are made with a mobile device. Now you have to differentiate what is a mobile from an iPad, which you use most of the time, when you sit on the coach and surf and dream about your vacation, to that last minute traveller, who needs to stay in London tonight and really need to make that booking. So there’s a lot of different needs with mobile. It’s not just mobile, have an app and that’s it. It need to be localised which we do in 36 languages. It needs to be apps, it needs to be mobile webs and with all of that today we’re running 130 of those, and today we have over 30 million people who’ve actually downloaded our apps. So there’s a lot of different things to do on the mobile in order to answer all those different customer needs.
If you found this TV show interesting and want to hear more about mobile digital platforms and similar subjects then please browse our videos.
Strategy development: The Expedia Travel Preference Programme
Strategy development at Expedia is moving towards increased consumer choice through the Expedia Travel Preference Programme, as Christopher Michau explains In this TV show.
Customer experience strategy development
One of the things that we have been working on over the last two years now has been working out how we can deliver a better experience the consumer. One of the things that we are doing for that is launching our Expedia Travel Preference Programme where we really give the choice to the consumer to either pay directly at the time of booking or they can also pay directly at the hotel when they check in and that’s something that no one else has done in history up to the scale that Expedia is doing it.
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Current hospitality industry trends include the growing use of mobile devices and social media. In this TV show Christopher Michau of Expedia shares what he has seen happening.
Hospitality industry changes
I think on trend, obviously we talked about mobile, but that’s more than trend, it’s really the way that people transact. It’s something that overtime we are expecting will become the majority of our bookings. We are seeing countries that don’t even go through the web, they don’t even transact with, they never actually had a pc or a mac to do something, they always had a tablet or a smart phone. So that’s really a big trend out there. Then there’s this whole social thing, which today we are not seeing yet in terms of transactions but really about the inspirational phase, how do you master the channel in order to be able to attract people to you. We actually in the US, for the first time launched a campaign first through social media, and it was such a huge success that we decided to put it on television. So you know it started as an experiment on social and there was so much great customer response that we decided to put it on the television.
If you found this TV show interesting and want to hear more about hospitality industry trends, please browse The Hospitality Channel for more great free content.
Business growth show: Proactively use customer feedback
In this business growth show Lennert de Jong explains how online customer feedback, and face to face customer care ensure that hotels can pass on good news to the company chairman.
Business Growth Show: Customer opinion matters
We look at it form a very high level of course. So, you know, our chairman wants to know how our hotels are doing, so what is our score on Trip Advisor. We take that very serious we promote it. Of course you take a look at customer feedback that comes directly, even more serious because people you know they take the effort of writing you a letter or an email. But what we constantly try to do, and this is going back again to the ants. You know ants communicate one to one, and this is what we want to do with our ambassadors. So if something is wrong for your specific stay, fix it straight away. Rather than reading it on some executive report that satisfaction is down. That is the danger of semantics analysis. You don’t find the individual little items where you can make a big difference. So we want our housekeeping staff to be alert we want our ambassador to be alert. If you look a bit unhappy we need to ask you, why do you look unhappy? Is It because you wife didn’t pick up this morning? Or is it because of something we have done wrong. We want to know, because we can fix it right there, and all these ambassadors are qualified to deal with you that way. They don’t need to ask the management, can we give him maybe a free breakfast because his wi-fi didn’t work. ‘Oh come with me let me get you a free breakfast, I understand how cumbersome it is if the wi-fi doesn’t work.’
We hope you found this business growth show interesting. Why not browse more TV shows on The Hospitality Channel.
In a digital age where there is an app for everything, citizenM is working on their right to remain on your phone. Lennert De Jong explains further in this TV show.
Mobile digital age
Well if you look at our name ‘Citizen Mobile’ you would say we are the first one with an app and we’re the new kids in the block, but we’ve struggled for a long time actually keeping up, there were no real companies that could help us in setting up a good presence, and also I don’t believe, and I’ll look at it myself, I have around 20 apps on my phone that I use all the time, and the rest I delete, there’s no hotel app on my phone, so you really need to make good use of the app in order to have the rights to remain on the phone. And this is what we are focusing on. So we wanna be helping you, assisting you at the check in process. So when you get close to the hotel a message pops up saying would you like to check in, then open the room key with your phone. It sounds gadgety, but you do this with the airline so that’s the type of experience we wanna replicate, this is where we think people start enjoying a citizenM app. Of course if you look at website development, it’s mobile first so we just had last Friday a new website design presented, which was all presented on the Mobile. It wasn’t on the desktop and yes we have a mobile version, no this is how it looks on a mobile and the website will kind of look like this but will have more space for certain things.
Keep an eye on The Hospitality Channel for more videos on mobile optimization and the digital age.
Social media usage by brands can help engage consumers, whilst social media usage by consumers can both help and hinder a brand. Rui Barros explores the issue in this TV show.
Social media usage by brands and consumers
It's tremendous, it's tremendous. In fact, I was just talking about it on the panel. I mean, you know, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, 20 years ago it was a very different world. You know our consumers' buying behaviours have changed significantly in that, you know, back then, you know, there wasn't a whole lot of social media, there wasn't a whole lot of, you know, our buying decisions were being driven by other influences that are different than they are today. Today, they're influenced by what other people are saying about your product, about your service. And so, you know, that's playing a huge role in our overall business whereas before you kind of relied on word of mouth. But word of mouth is simply a phone call and maybe it was a small circle of friends, family, whatever it might be. And now you're talking about millions and millions of people. I mean, you post a review on Trip Advisor or whatever it may be and you've got millions of people reading all about your hotel. And so, you know, that piece of the equation has been critical. I mean, it really has evolved our business in a way that it's become critical to be able to manage our online reputation. It starts with delivering service and providing a clean room and the technology that they're, you know, all of that stuff.
But it goes beyond that because if you do have a bad experience and it's posted online, it can have a really damaging effect on your overall business. And so we put a lot of emphasis on that. Wyndham, in particular, over the last few years has been investing quite a bit in e-commerce in general. One component is reviews and managing that online reputation and we struck a partnership with Trip Advisor to actually incorporate those reviews into our own brand websites so we're giving the consumers what they're looking for. They don't necessarily have to leave our brand website to go shop on Trip Advisor where they can book a variety of different types of hotels and different channels. We try to keep them with us and importantly as we rolled that out, we said to our franchisees, our operators, “You have to manage your online reputation.” So we provided them some tools to be able to do that. So it aggregates all of that information, they're able to respond and deal with any issues they may have. So technology, I mean, that's what's changed for us. It will continue to change so we need to keep our eye on it but, you know, generally, you know most of the business that we're seeing in terms of growth is coming from the online channels so we need to be ahead of that.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow discussions around social media usage.
Hospitality careers are more varied now than they were 20 years ago, as Michael Devereux of Starwood Hotels & Resorts discusses in this TV show.
Hospitality careers now include design, technology and PR
The industry has become a lot more evolved as far as being a hotelier is concerned. You know in the days of being a hotelier where you become either a chef or a front office manager or a food and beverage manager, those were the three key fundamental sort of ladder positions that you could climb in the industry. Looking at the global market now there are jobs within the industry that are so exciting from a marketing perspective, PR, feasibility for instance. I mean you have universities in the world that are training guys in feasibility aspects to become real business leaders from a financial point of view in the industry and not just your chef and your front office type of manager. So it was either a rooms division path that you followed or you followed a food and beverage path. Nowadays there are so many more aspects to where you can get involved, technology is a huge part. Design, you know, there’s universities in America that are teaching youngsters how to design hotels. So it’s not just the operational, it’s how to set a, asset management is another one. It’s one thing opening a hotel but to manage that asset for the benefit of either the owner or the operator, that makes it cost effective, that’s a huge task. And they’re teaching youngsters in the world now how to do that.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow discussions about the joys and challenges of hospitality careers.
Industry development in hospitality is limited in some areas of hospitality however loyalty programmes are a new area to explore, as Andrew Boshoff discusses in this TV show.
Industry development innovation
I think loyalty is probably the area that is advancing quickest in hotels because there’s nothing new about a hotel room. As you know, you can say the bathroom should have a transparent door or a wooden door, really it’s the same, it’s still a bathroom and it’s still a bed, and it’s still F&B. So loyalty is where everyone is focusing their efforts in the hospitality industry. I think the way we’re keeping up, I wouldn’t say we’re ahead, but the way we’re keeping up is by investing and adjust the technology required to do the loyalty piece. We leave the hotel operation to the hoteliers and our business is simply as the loyalty management business – a pure loyalty management business.
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Technology infrastructure development takes a lot of work, but is necessary as Andrew Boshoff discusses in this TV show.
Technology infrastructure development
We’ve spent a lot of time and money on the technological infrastructure which allows us to do some quite sophisticated analytical CRM. So we get data up from the hotels using a customised MICROS database, MICROS being one of our shareholders. And we then have a team of people in Dallas, Dubai, the UK, who analyse the data, analyse the PMS data, the reservation system’s data, the web analytics. Knit it all together and turn it into segmented offers in CRM terms and also turn it into offline recognition. Because what’s very important for a loyalty programme in the upmarket and luxury sphere is that you have recognition in the hotels. So the reward is just one part of loyalty and recognition is the other part. We try and do both.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow discussions around technology infrastructure development
Data strategy: Enticing guests to volunteer information
Data strategy in hospitality should not only consider ways to use data, but how it is being collected initially . In this TV show Carlo Gagliardi gives his view.
Data collection strategy
I’ve been a guest of hotels where I was given the iPad. My taste for dinners and wine was captured and the communication to me felt very personalised. There are other hotels that they’re still on a marketing long list push approach. It’s a difficult challenge, not only for the hospitality sector, for all sectors. And also there is a fundamental challenge that if I need to be relevant here, that’s a difficult proposition. I believe that the opportunity for hotels is to strike a different level of trust with the guest so that the guest will volunteer the information. I think young generations share an enormous amount of personal stuff on Facebook, if your hotel wants to help the guest achieve an outcome that is really relevant for the guest, just ask. The guest might give you lots of information. So it’s a difficult psychological Rubicon to cross because from being a number cruncher you need to think of yourself as somebody that is trusted by the guest, so the guest will tell you all sorts of things.
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The connected digital economy has had a great impact on the way the industry works and what hotels offer, as Carlo Gagliardi of PricewaterhouseCoopers discusses in this TV show.
Connected digital economy and a new generation of consumers
A lot of players in the hospitality industry are doing their best to become more digital. But I think like many players in a number of sectors, we are looking typically at the traditional touch points, which is research, booking and checking in and checking out, which is all great and good. But I believe that there is a huge area of potential during the stay, so between check-in and check-out and after the stay. So during check-in and check-out, technology nowadays can capture a lot of information that tells the hotelier what your goal as a guest is and it is incredibly valuable. And after the stay new generations are much more keen to link their stays in time and in space. They want to tell their friends what they visit in the world if it’s a leisure objective or for their travel. So I think the industry has got a long way to go to take advantage of what digital can do for them. The interesting development is that the move from some hotels to provide Wi-Fi for free or a very interesting rate I think is a good sign of digital potential exploitation by the industry.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow discussions around the connected digital economy.
Encouraging digital engagement is becoming an important part of the hospitality industry. In this TV show Charlie Osmond discusses consumer engagement with photo reviews.
Digital engagement with stories
We think photo reviews are a completely different category from, I guess, what we’re used to seeing in the text review. We find that people want to be much more expressive and share, you know their experience in a much more sort of engaging way. Tell a story, people say, “Well here was the greatest thing, that if you go, make sure you go for that walk through the pine needles, you know, through the forest.” They really tell the best of their trip. And so we’re getting kind of slightly different content. And we think that actually is much more engaging and interesting. Well we certainly, I guess we’ve certainly found that. So if you think up to today people don’t go to review sites for fun. We’re finding we’re getting people who just come every single day because they just enjoy being there.
We launched only a few months ago. In our first month we were finding people spent three minutes on site on average. And now we’re hitting over 10 minutes. So the average person is coming, just spending a long time just browsing and reading and taking in what’s there. Flickr for example is six minutes. So we’re getting good time on site.
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Social media usage is huge among people wanting to create content and share holiday experiences as Charlie Osmond discusses in this TV show.
Social media usage - Triptease
We felt really that made us start TripTease was this recognition that travel is the thing and people love sharing and talking about more than anything. It’s the number one type of content shared to Facebook. But if you look at how the travel industry gets value from that, from those photos shared through social travels, we think it’s really hard and they find at a challenge. So what we tried to do was create a new form of content. As I said, people get to feel a little bit like a travel writer. And by creating this content that looks great, makes the creator feel good about what they’ve written, but it also makes them very keen to share it. So we’re finding our sharing rates for TripTease photo reviews like 50 to 100 times higher than the proactive sharing rate of something like Trip Advisor because people never share text reviews. And it’s extraordinary that there’s this huge desire to share travel and yet no one currently shares the reviews that are out there. So we really try to create something new so that people could then share it with us.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow discussions around social media usage.
Business models in hospitality will now often include a loyalty programmes which, as Mark Winstein of Hilton Worldwide discusses in this TV show, are about more than collecting points.
Business models for loyalty programmes
Points in currency are certainly, as you said, hygiene factors critical to the programme to have in place. But for us it’s the experiences we’re sharing. It enables us to tell members our story about earning and redeeming points in a way that’s meaningful to them and personally connected to their families, their friends or loved ones, and those going along the travel journey.
At the end of the day we keep reinforcing the fact it’s about the people. It’s about the human connection, the dialogue the customers have with us and with each other. And delivering on top of their expectation and consistently exceeding it whenever possible. The human element transcends everything else of the loyalty programme. Experiences, rewards, and how you treat one another.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow discussions around all aspects of creating good business models.
Good operations management is vital to give customers a good experience at every stage of their ‘journey’, as Mark Winstein of Hilton Worldwide explains in this TV show.
Operations management in hotels
The first thing is just basic human empathy, right. We have to own that interaction. No matter how the guest got to us we own that relationship to make it right. So we train a lot of our team members at the hotels as well as the call centre to understand that that is the consumer along the journey. And for our members it’s about delivering that experience consistently along the way. And when there is a hiccup along the journey making sure we recover from it and show them their loyalty is important to us and that we’re able to rectify the problem.
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Marketing communications strategy is being somewhat undermined by user generated content. In this TV show Satyan Joshi, Travel, Google explains why it is imperative to update website content.
Marketing communications strategy - Keep it fresh
With regards to their own website it’s keeping content fresh. I mean in terms of enticing users to go back and search and look at your website is just crucial. I mean 95% of browsing habit online is actually looking at content. It’s only about 5% of users are actual search. So it’s making sure the content is fresh, making sure that our own crawlers and other search engines’ crawlers are updating their own systems with their own content, and that becomes a part of it. And I think users are becoming more and more savvy now as well. There’s websites comparing official photos to how they compare against other websites as well. People want to see user generated content they can trust. To a certain extent people do still trust hoteliers content but they want to get other people opinions as well. The validation of seeing people’s own photographs which are uploaded compared to the airbrushed content which you can see sometimes is a huge part of that.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow discussions around marketing communications strategy.
Innovative technology is changing our world to something that resembles a film. In this TV show Satyan Joshi, Travel, Google, discusses the positives and negatives of this new technology.
Innovative technology is making Sci-Fi a reality
I think it’s the emergence of the personalised search. People have seen the film Iron Man who has Jarvis literally knowing his schedule and being his assistant. It’s becoming more and more a reality, which can be slightly scary. But if you can shape it and adjust it to what’s most beneficial to you can start filtering out the chaff which is building up against all the messages you are getting. That’s an important thing going forward.
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A good deal means there is increased impact when companies grow. John Ngumi gives an example in this TV show.
Good deal: Telecoms
Impact. Let me give you a good example, for 10 years I have been involved with the telecom industry, I’ve seen it grow.
Well, take Kenya’s leading provider, Safaricom, I’ve been financing since it had 16,000 subscribers, just to see the impact it’s had across the country, not just in telephony but in mobile banking, amazing, that I look for.
The Hospitality TV Channel will continue to follow issues around good deal making across different markets including Africa, Asia and Europe.
Information management, data and loyalty programmes
Information management is an important part of the hospitality industry with so much customer information available. In this TV show Jean-Jacques Dessors of Accor discusses using data to meet customer needs.
Information management in hospitality
It’s quite new for our industry. I think that we are still learning.
But we launched our loyalty programme five years ago and we have enrolled more than 11 million members in less than five years.
Today we have a really good database but not only numbers, but also in qualification of customers.
So today really we approach a customer like retail or the other industries like airline industry.
There is no point to offer to a customer a destination which is not really a destination which will be a favorite destination for this customer.
So we have learned from other industries to manage our database of guest and to make sure that we adapt for each guest the right speech and the right approach.
The Hospitality TV Channel will continue to follow discussions around information management, data, loyalty programmes, customer profiles and direct marketing.
Digital platforms increase exposure, but content is still king
There are more digital platforms than we might realise. Peter Greenberg explains further in this TV show.
Digital platforms - CBS News
When I do a piece on CBS news, it rests almost instantaneously on about 25 other platforms in the digital space. Websites, all sorts of URLs I don't even know exist but the impact there is huge and yes, I'm on Twitter and yes, I'm on Facebook and I'm on things I don't even know I'm on. But I still am a content creator and as I content creator, my staff is smart enough and young enough to know where to put it. The key is that content is still king and that applies to hotel development as well. You can't just say we're building X number of hotels. It's not a numbers game, it is not a numbers game, it's an experience game and if you're going to build a hotel, you better bring along the experiences or your hotel will fail.
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In this TV show Alan O'Dea discusses keeping people as the priority in a digital age.
Digital age not driving business
We’re always very self-critical. But at the same time number one, people, I think we are a people driven business.
Service standards, you can have manuals and standard operating procedures but you really need good people, well paid, very well trained and you need to motivate them constantly.
We still need to invest a lot more in people. Within Mövenpick today we try to have as few expats as possible in our hotels. And we have as many locals as possible.
So if I take one example today of Egypt where we have 10 hotels and 8 boats in operation today, I think out of the entire portfolio, we may have two or three expats in each property, other than that the majority of people are either Egyptians or Jordanians.
So people is number one, technology, we are still in the dark ages, whether it be technology customer facing technology that is Wi-Fi, whether it be free or not is another debate, but Wi-Fi that works.
Wi-Fi that is easy to connect to from a customer perspective, in room technology as well, so very important, and also the technology that we use in the back of the house in operating hotels.
We are an industry that is very far behind a lot of other industries in terms of data management, systems to run a hotel, that is where we need to invest.
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Renzo Iorio: "The main problem is to be on one side, very visible on the net, because 85% of the decision of a holiday, of a trip, it starts on the web. So it’s crucial to be there as a company and as a destination, hopefully both together. Then it’s important in terms of infrastructure that the hotel has a large connection, a very efficient connection. I am not thinking that the IT tools, gadgets, tablets etc is crucial, I mean I think it’s much more crucial that the device that the client is bringing with himself could be very well connected and efficient in this sense."
Instantaneous online platforms difficult to digest
Ian Goldin: "I mean we’re still grappling to understand what it means. Social technologies again have immense power. We’ve seen how they’ve been used in very, very positive ways in the Arab Spring for example, in many other places where they’ve become a real political force. The impact for example of Wiki, closing its website effectively for 24 hours on the political process in the US was quite remarkable, it led to the reversal of legislation. So very rapid new forms of political mobilisation have resulted. We’ve also seen how it’s lead to the collapse of reputations, photographs of the Gulf, oilfields for example, have led to very, very serious loss of value for shareholders. And this will continue. I think the danger with it of course is that there’s a lot of herding, there’s a lot of trivia and discerning in this deluge – data deluge, what’s significant, what matters and what one shouldn’t absorb is the biggest challenge. So it’s like drinking from a fire hydrant, very difficult to do effectively. And that power is only going to increase over time. So working out what we absorb, how we absorb it, how we learn from it I think is going to be absolutely critical."
Peter O'Connor: "For those hotel groups, right now what they’re doing is they’re basically just using demographic data and a small amount of preference data about their customers to do their target marketing. But you can take it so much further. So you can take it into operations and you can use those preferences to customise the guest experience. This is starting to happen. Just Monday here when I checked into a hotel, not to this hotel, two days before I received an e-check-in email which was really interesting, being a technology guy this interested me. I obviously clicked on it and they allowed me to check-in to the hotel two days in advance. When my room was available on Monday I got an SMS with the little 3D barcode which allowed me to go to the hotel, flash the barcode and receive my key. Great. Now during this process they asked me about my preferences. You know what preferences they asked about? Smoking or non-smoking, there is a missed opportunity. They could have found out maybe just two or three key things about me this time and two or three key things next time and two or three things, key things next time. And they could have used that to enrich the experience and to tie me into their brand. They didn’t, missed opportunity."
Peter O'Connor: "Right now social networks, you look at the statistics in the UK, almost a quarter of internet users time is spent interacting with other people on social networks right now. Hotels are very personal, there is a brand image issue, there is a connection with the customer if they do it right. If they were to leverage social networks effectively they could actually start to talk and interact and engage with the customer. Right now the majority of hotel chains are using social networks as an advertising media. And unfortunately when you try to sell to people over social networks it just doesn’t work. It’s a little bit like a very, very pushy car salesman coming to you at the bar when you’re having a drink with some friends and you’re trying to relax and all of a sudden you’ve got a guy in there trying to sell you a used car, it just doesn’t work. It’s like an awful lot of developments that we’ve had in the electronic distribution arena, the hotel industry just doesn’t understand it, it doesn’t give it enough resources and by the time they figure it out the consumers will have moved on to something else.”
Steve Pateman: "Sky have a great way of communicating with me about films. They know I like films. They know I like sports. So they connect with me in the areas of sport and films. They sort of create a sort of connection with me in my own time and my own space. They’re not forcing me to do something at a time that suits them. They’re giving it to me at a time that I can choose, and it’s information I’m interested in. And that’s why I go away and read it and then kind of watch the films and so on and so forth. And within Santander we’re going to try to do the same, to use the data we have about people to connect with them in their time at their convenience in a way that’s useful to them. So for example if we provided a mortgage for someone then actually we should be able to provide their house insurance without having to ask them how many bedrooms it’s got and who’s living there, because on the basis we’ve provided the mortgage we should actually know whose living there and how many bedrooms it’s got. But we don’t, we ask them the same information again. And I think that’s a way of turning a customer off and actually not using the data you have intelligently. So I think you can use a huge amount from some of the new guys, some of the retailers I see and I’ve talked about, you can learn a huge amount from somebody like Sky, who are much more innovative in that space. And you can use the data that you have on customers to find a way to connect with them that’s relevant to your business."
Technology transparency forces hotels to pick up their game
David Fenton: "Obviously the emergence of the online travel agents has been a hugely disruptive technological change, massive effects on profit margins and the elements of a power struggle going on in the sector. The other big technological change of course is social media which is completely changing the way that we experience hotels, I mean we've all read a thousand reviews before we even show up. We're sifting through, dismissing or choosing certain hotels on the basis of what other people said. Whereas in the past of course it was much more on the basis of personal experience, a brand that you trusted or maybe the recommendation of a friend or a colleague. So this is massively changing things, shifting the focus towards greater transparency and really forcing hotels to raise their game across every single area of service. Because we all know what it's like when we look at these reviews, you always focus on the one thing the hotel's got wrong and think I'm not sure I want to stay there, at least that's what I do. That's maybe not fair but I think that's how consumers operate."
Cyril Ranque: "The main benefit of mobile is being able to have a constant connection with the customer, which is not what the website can do, right. I mean with mobile you're literally in the hand of the customer all the time. So, to the extent that you can build some technology that provides information that is relevant to the consumer either before they book, after they book, before they check in or during their stay or after their stay. Then you have a place in their hand. S,o it is a unique opportunity to connect one to one to consumers that the desktop does not provide or the phone does not provide."
Josh Wyatt: "In any industry, there are always challenges, especially after a significant economic downturn. The hotel industry I believe, has suffered in the last four to five years with respect to a couple of key things, one is innovation. If you look at where technology has gone in other industries, whether it’s entertainment, media, advertising, fashion, there’s been a great sense of innovation because these companies have been forced to innovate because of economic pressure. The same has not happened necessarily in the hotel space. So we’re big believers in innovation and technology to drive forward the guest offering and hopefully to drive better profits down at the hotel level. I also think that design and how an interior is designed for the hotel guest needs to have a rethink. It’s not necessarily adding more expensive things, but it’s being more intelligent about what the guest wants. We’re looking in all of our products, whether again it’s up at the five star space or down at the youth hostel space to see what our guests truly want and what they value. And we’re trying to accommodate that by using better design spaces. So I think there’s two key things, better innovation, better design for the guest. I think is absolutely critical to ensure the healthy success of the hotel industry going forward."
Peter Henley: "In order to achieve this leading Asian hospitality ah provider goal, we need to get five things right. One was, we have to have the right brands for the right segment. One is the right network and we’ve gotta grow and have the right network around the place. The right operational standards of excellence. We said okay there are certain things that you’ve gotta have in order to be a regional provide, whether it be the right technology or the right ah CRM or the right loyalty programmes , we’re putting those in place. But...and the right support was the fourth one, which is from a Board structure internally. But the right culture, the right people. Absolutely essential and ah so we’ve, we’ve done that by a, a number of ways. We’ve put in place a very substantial ah HR department and the, the owners of the company have supported this expense, if you like, before the revenue comes in. Because, we said we had to get eleven different initiatives right. We had no training strategy, we had no...strategy, we had no succession planning strategy, and these are all really important to get the right people in place. We had no management trainee programme in place as it were, and you’ve gotta start bringing in employees at the beginning and raise them to the end. And we fundamentally believe that, as one of my old Chief Executives used to say, it’s the people that make the difference and it’s really a philosophy to keep on trying to burn into the company. We wanna be more collegial...we wanna be more collective in our decision making process but we wanna make sure that the people who who operate in our business, whether they be in the hotels or the regional offices, are focussed upon the fact that it’s the people that make the difference."
Richard Candey: "For a business of our size, with almost 50,000 employees, it is a constant challenge. But I’m not sure that any company of that magnitude ever gets really on top of. But certainly where it is important for those individuals to have the latest technology to be able to be at the table on certain opportunities as opposed to have missed them, critical. And in our business we focus on that and invest on that area very heavily."
"I think we are all are looking for luxury, but luxury in the past was maybe a crystal chandelier and white gloves service. Today it is more in the hybrid environment, when you flip open your laptop that you have an internet connection. Historically we would be categorised by gender or by income or by origin or by, well, whatever. Today we travel in jeans, we have on the cheap t-shirt. We have a designer watch, we sip champagne, and then we take the bus home. And we do that both for leisure and for business. What we feel is that today, people gravitate to a lifestyle. And you wanna belong to a certain lifestyle. So with the day and age of Apple iPhones and computers. We take a strip of sushi. We would like to have fashion and architecture, and err beautiful objects around us. And that provides us an environment that we’re comfortable in, or that we aspire to. And that’s what we try to provide uh at citizenM."
Michael Levie: "I figure that if I can get a cup of coffee for three bucks and get free internet with it, then where we sell our rooms a little bit higher than that cup of coffee we should provide internet for free. I think it is just completely stupid not to provide it for free. We’ve gone much further. We provide our content on television free, because they’re usually at mid-market segment, cannot be put on the expense report. We’ve even gone as far as voice over IP phone systems in the hotels where we charge Skype rates to guests. If our guests associate it with your brand and love your brand then that reflects in the rate and that should cover everything. That’s it. Don’t nickel and dime people."
Simon Vincent: "You have to embrace the technological advances. I think as a whole the hotel sector’s been relatively slow to adopt the online platforms, but I think they’re growing immeasurably. I think you’ve got to embrace and you’ve got to exploit and you know, we’re working both with third party partners and very hard on our own technological developments. We embrace new channels, we’re working very hard on things like facebook and Twitter and all the new social media, you know, that is the way of life now and hotel companies have got to embrace that. That’s how consumers of the future want to communicate and be communicated with. So we’re embracing it, we’re investing in it and if you ignore it you ignore it at your peril."
James Berresford: "One thing about the tourism industry and tourism and hospitality is it’s imaginative, it will always go with the flow, it will change, it’s actually the leading edge of much of the new technology, making use of new technology that we have. And actually, in a visitor-facing economy, which is what we are, you have to use these new technologies and our industry is incredibly good at doing that. So, online booking, social media content, it’s about what the consumer wants, they want to interact with the product in different ways. And the whole hospitality is a leader in that field."
Steven Rudnitsky: "With the millennium generation, really starting to enter into the workforce at a far greater level than years past obviously, they really do have expectations around bandwidth if you will, by way of example. They want their iPad, their iPods, their laptops to all work not just in their rooms but in their lobbies and in their meeting space. And people have multiple pieces of equipment, our properties allow for multiple devices to work wherever you are in our properties. It’s that type of connectivity that younger business people are really demanding and quite frankly it’s just kind of a way of the world that we need to respond to it. I think that’s one good example of what’s occurring out in the market."
Ian Goldin: "I think there will be more financial crises, so we will stutter from one to the next. I think there’ll be other sorts of systemic crises. I’m pretty certain there’ll be a pandemic of very significant proportions over the next 10 years or so. So that will lead to very sharp curtailment of travel to all sorts of ... and other controls in the process. I think there’s likely to be increased, prevalence of cyber, attacks and cyber systems. So a lot of the hospitality industry now is highly dependent on virtual systems, so imagine those go down for a while or are captured , the datasets are captured by outsiders, that’s a key systemic risk I think for the industry and for society more broadly. And then I think there’s a whole lot of risks associated with climate change both, what will happen as a result, in other words, while changes, increased frequency of weather outages, of tornadoes of all of that, but also reputational risk associated with it. So will people travel less? Will they care more? I think they will about for example, a carbon footprint of their hotels, of their vacations. So those will become very important items I think to think about, part of the systemic risk."
Ian Goldin: "Technology is a double-edged sword. It can be both an enabler and a major, major problem for society. This is not new, Einstein saw this with his work, people have always seen that, even the things which are so brilliant at, for example, prolonging lives create other problems which is high levels of dependency ratios in society. So all these technologies need to be thought through, I think what’s most troubling is the technologies which could really be revolutionary in terms of cognitive ability. So if people could become say 10% more effective through taking a tablet, who would have it? That’s an interesting question. Will it widen inequality or lessen it? DNA sequencing is another good example, it will be fantastic in terms of improvements in healthcare, we will be able to tailor drugs much more effectively. At the same time the prospect of DNA sequencing raises questions about whether people will be able to create new bio pathogens, smallpox, Ebola or whatever, and dissipate these widely. So the potential of individuals is growing very strongly with technological change and also with it’s err, availability, ideas availability on the internet is a hugely liberating force. The internet is really the most powerful positive influence on education and development the world has ever known. At the same time a carrier of some very dangerous ideas. So a very good example about all these technologies have multiple uses, and I think the challenge for us is to harvest the upside, to try and regulate and control the downside to ensure globalisation is inclusive. The danger of course is if it’s not, people will start closing their doors. If they see openness and connectivity is bringing more bads than goods they’ll start slamming the doors shut, xenophobia, nationalism, protectionism, these are real threats for society that come from not effectively managing globalisation. And of course it will be dramatically negative for the hospitality sector."
Gerald Lawless: "We really enjoy working with say the likes of TripAdvisor for example. We monitor very carefully what our guests are saying about us. And if in the rare instance we have a negative, we always try to then take it offline by saying to the guest, and we go online and saying this, “Thank you very much for your comment, we really do want to connect with you. Do you mind if we give you a call?” So we call them then directly and usually then they go back online and say, “Oh, well these guys called me, this is great service and thank you very much.”"