THE MEGA TRENDS OF HOSPITALITY Comments Off on THE MEGA TRENDS OF HOSPITALITY 2900

The world of hotel management has evolved at tremendous pace over recent years, largely driven by technologies.

In simple words these three technologies have single handedly been the enablers and disruptors.

a) The Cloud

b) Social Media

c) The Mobile Revolution

Platforms have made a logical inroad with the creation of sophisticated infrastructures, networks and connections & integrations. These elements are driving the entire industry to re-invent itself. We have seen the emergence of new distribution patterns and options. The surge of OTAs and the loss of market share from intermediary agents and tour operators, whilst direct reservations become increasingly important and strategized by hotel companies.

Social media also play an increasingly important role in driving sales, whilst hotel reputation management has become a key success component. This has given rise to innovative hotel management structures in this 21st century, and these have become totally ‘Guest-Centric’. In other words, it’s all market driven in real time, and guests dictate how quickly these changes are adopted by hotels. Failing to identify these fundamentals will likely drive hotels out of their markets.

The four phases of the hotel management cycle, as we see them at Hospitality Plus are simplified as being –

a) Pre-Booking

b) Reservation

c) In House Operations

d) Post Stay

They need managing distinctly.

So where do we see the hospitality management market going next?

As digital breakthrough speeds up, and we get compelled into implementing complex to manage hospitality solutions, it will become increasingly important to harness people around corporate objectives, corporate culture and the whole digitalization process. No single service will work in isolation, and technologies will continue being ‘people’ driven, demanding more self service solutions.

At Hospitality Plus we have gambled on a few predictions to support our strategies.

These are, in our independent view;

  1. More guest centric solutions and services to enable growth in peer to peer demand. We have gone from a B2B, to a B2C to a P2P environment, and hotels must embrace these changes.
  2. The surge in artificial inteligence have linked customer relationship management tools and yield management solutions. This delivers unprecedented marketing data. The shift from Big Data to Precision Data may even re-invent our industry.
  3. Content management must evolve and be updated continuously. Live videos and up to date photos, often guest generated and loaded, will be the trend. Obviously firewalls exist and will be applied.
  4. We are already seeing a surge in “data security – compliance – anti-intrusion” protection standards globally. These may impair on how we do business in our hospitality environment.
  5. We have moved into a ‘mobile first’ environment and seen the growth of social media influence. These have given rise to other phenomenon in our environment. Hotel reputation management in real time. Reputation impacts severely on rate plans and booking conversions. Guests do not want to be mixed with, or to be perceived as being part of bad reputation organisations. Another branding head ache!
  6. Technologies have also given rise to what we call ‘crowdsourcing – crowd sales’. Again, this is still poorly understood by the industry. Social media and mobile-data communication drives this growth. Its impacts are not properly measured yet. However hotels are warned.
  7. Hospitality ‘Block Chains’ are seeing the day. Stakeholders are being pulled onto inter-connected supply chains.
  8. Enabled by digital solutions and the cloud, more training and perhaps more business process outsourcing will become the norm.
  9. Change management has become the only ‘constant’ and this will likely drive more staff turnover and burnouts.
  10. The race for “more for less” will grow, complemented with additional pressures from open source financial markets.In a transparent world we can no longer afford to operate in isolation.

System talk to each other, and we are likely to see the emergence of growing networks with ‘value exchange protocols’.

Supply chains will become managed by artificial intelligence and the human role will evolve but remain in control.

Mass collaboration with infinite reproducibility will become the norm, and the hotel industry will not be excluded from this disruptive environment.

Who would have thought that the world’s largest taxi company owns no vehicles (Uber)?
Who would have predicted that the world’s most popular media owner creates no content (Facebook)?
Unreal it may be, but the world’s largest retailer owns no inventory (Alibaba).
Closer to our turf, who would have thought that the world’s largest accommodation provider owns no real estate (Airbnb)?

The management of hotels will be: Reinvented, Simplified and Outsourced in many ways.

Revenue & yield management will be automated with AI.

Reservation platforms will manage distribution and many other operational departments will work with third party support.

Hotels will be owned by investment funds and administered by asset managers, who will perhaps engage with multiple specialists to manage their assets.

Hotel management structures and control will evolve.

Blockchain-Digital enablers will continue changing our world.

They are not disruptive technologies as many may think. They are foundation technologies that will create fresh opportunities for hotels.

Make no mistake, the business of hotel management has evolved, but the basic principles of guest satisfaction remain unchanged.

Together, lets embrace these opportunities !

Author: Philip Taylor CEO

Hospitality-Plus.Travel

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Hospitality.mu
Mauritius B2B Hospitality magazine, a quarterly publication and blog for the industry professionals. Want to reach the hospitality decision makers in Mauritius/Rodrigues? Contact us +230 57 94 64 37 or info@hospitality.mu

HOW TO USE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND TO ALLEVIATE YOUR BUSINESS PROFILE Comments Off on HOW TO USE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND TO ALLEVIATE YOUR BUSINESS PROFILE 180

Whether we believe so or not it is in our DNA to sell both ourselves and any tangible product we can regain enough influence to promote, in the outcry for both attention and reiterated self-absorption, the tactical selling tools we use to advance our way into the hierarchy of society and manufacture relationships is the very tool we must interject into our career proposition. This leads to purposeful sales and trustworthy partnerships.

It dawned on me recently that the trajectory of my personal life lies effervescent in all notion of proprietary influence, from the recommendation of small purchases such as hula hoops, books and sun cream, to more permanent life changes with influence of recommended breakfasts, vitamins and health alleviating foods. Yet minor, these personal wins got me thinking about how to use the attributes of your vocal whims to succeed in business.

Firstly consistency, the closest people to you, family, friends, partners, may see you regularly enough to see whether you are upholding any kind conscience and impactful life plan, this could be turning vegan, cutting out alcohol or changing your sleeping pattern. Showing consistency is a sure-fire way to get you noticed for your strong will and desire for meaningful change, this goes hand in hand for any career and business endeavours, constantly being active, communicative and visible on a cross platform of social media will build your authority and express a clear narrative to your readership.

Secondly, stay within your remit, I don’t mean isolate yourself and pigeonhole your talents, I mean stay clear to your niche, a continuous stream of career changes and sector interest broadcasts a message of uncertainty and disorientation, ( I certainly speak from experience on this one ) trying to find your passion and enjoyment is one of life’s downfalls, but stick with a specific talent and explore the territory around it instead of moving on to the next.

From my personal experience I started out in fashion journalism and decided some years later I hated fashion, and decided to move into PR and marketing, however realising some months down the line, I loved journalism I was just located in the wrong sector, finally now finding my feet with specific concentration on the luxury market for female pioneers. 

Distinguish yourself from the sheep, it is harder now more than ever to create and imagine something that solves a problem and fills a void, with endless pop-ups of data driven ads and access to more content than we can ever consume, finding un explored territory is nigh on impossible.

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There are thousands of consultants, marketers and PR agencies vying for the same end client, but in the race for the chase ensure your voice differs from others, usually you will find, every imaginative topic or multi-million-dollar idea you dream up has already been traversed. Hence, identifying and honing in on a unique niche will get you noticed far more frequently than choosing a conventional topic. Once your passions and talents are in line, devise strategies, marketing and sales tools that will not only directly hit your end consumer but those of a wider audience, gaining industry recognition and viable sponsors will build a loyal audience, then you just need to deliver on discussing out of the box ideas and selling with credibility and authority.

If your pipeline is drying up and sales seem a thing of the past then look into changing up your tactics, direct sales door-to door, telephone and email stratagems are so 2018, building meaningful relationships that align with company values, generating industry credibility and showing consistent and out of the box ideas will keep your buyers and audiences desiring more.

For more luxury, consulting and business related articles, visit:https://www.thecblifestyle.com/ or contact me directly at thecblifestyle@gmail.com

POSSIBLE FUTURES FOR A POST PANDEMIC TRAVEL INDUSTRY, PART 2 Comments Off on POSSIBLE FUTURES FOR A POST PANDEMIC TRAVEL INDUSTRY, PART 2 264

The first part of this series outlined the background to the disastrous set of circumstances that the travel, tourism and hospitality industry finds itself in.

It also outlined the first of four scenarios: Travel swings back to normal in 2021.

We continue with the next theory…

Scenario 2:  The end of mass tourism as we know it

In this future, the economic recovery plays out in similar fashion to the scenario described before. However, the emotional and social impact this crisis has on humanity is too deep for people to get back to the old normal.

Months of lockdown and new patterns in social distancing, bio-surveillance and our digital consumption will change travel at its core. Spending more time at home, a higher focus on hygiene and health and shunning away from crowded places will be the new normal.

These attitudinal shifts will also be reflected in policy changes in our daily life, such as health and safety regulations, data privacy and border controls. All of these trends have huge consequences on the travel industry

Urban-based crowded tourism will decrease in favor of outdoor and natural environments and long-haul destinations will be perceived as high risk compared to closer-to-home locations.

Tourist destinations will experience different fates. Countries that have traditionally been net tourist flow senders (Northern Europe, U.S., Japan, etc.) will win, while countries that enjoyed positive inbound numbers (Southern Europe, Thailand, Mauritius, etc.) will be on the losing side.

Beyond washing hands

In a rush to build confidence among travelers, hygiene protocols and labels have started being implemented across all destinations and companies from the early days of the outbreak.

Singapore was a pioneer in its announcing of a nationwide hotel audit scheme branded as the “SG Clean” label, regulating measures like temperature screening intensity at hotel entrances and disinfection frequency rates in common areas and guest rooms. 

Hong Kong quickly turned its airport into its first line of COVID-19 defense by sending all incoming travelers to the AsiaWorld-Expo upon arrival for throat saliva samples, as well as providing tracking bracelets for visitors tied to a smartphone app.

Elsewhere, Emirates has launched on-site rapid coronavirus tests that take 10 minutes for passengers landing in Dubai. The city of Madrid, badly hit by the virus, has launched its own “Hotels COVID-Free” quality stamp.

In this scenario, this patchwork of protocols and certificates all over the world generates confusion and mistrust across travelers. In a coordinated effort by governments, international tourism organizations and major industry associations, a new universally accepted health certificate label will be established in 2021 for air transport and hotel accommodation ensuring consistent standards worldwide.

In aviation, discussions around the end of the loathed middle seat on aircraft will turn into reality, food services onboard becomes a distant souvenir of another era, indicators like cabin air recirculation rates will emerge and face masks will be a part of new standard safety measures on planes.
 
Hotels will focus marketing efforts away from the beautiful pool landscape towards features like disinfection standards, touchless technology for all types of physical interactions and larger spaces between sunbeds. Hotels will switch to room-only food services, transforming breakfast and other food-related spaces into spacious lounges.

What will hurt a hotel’s balance sheet is the need to keep hotel occupancy rates low, with a health buffer of over three nights between guest stays in the same room to eradicate any risk of contaminated surfaces. 

The alternative accommodation industry will enjoy the advantage of being perceived as a less-crowded lodging option but will have a harder time building travelers’ confidence around hygiene and health standards.

Industry leader Airbnb will push hard amongst its hosts to establish a new set of cleanliness and disinfection protocols, but certain travelers will steer away from private accommodation for good.

The travel industry faces a soul-searching moment 

All these measures will have a dramatic impact on the industry economy. In a world where maximizing occupancy rates or load factor has been turned upside down, travel companies will have to take a hard look at their cost structure and their pricing strategies.

Some companies will feel the punch more than others. Low-cost carriers will be forced to rethink their business model. Their strategy of squeezing as many passengers as possible on aircraft, which in turn stay as in the air as much as possible, will become unsustainable. 

Network mega-carriers relying mostly on long-haul flights channeled through massive hubs will also face a gloomy future. Fewer long-haul trips and travelers shunning crowded places will trigger a significant downsizing of airlines with sky-high airplane orders and iconic airport projects coming to a screeching halt.

Short-haul flights, already under attack pre-coronavirus from the flight-shaming movement, will see the shift of travelers towards lower-carbon-emitting transport means like high-speed trains. 

Corporate travel apocalypse

One of the most radical transformations in societal attitude will be around business travel, fueled by virtual meeting practices adopted during the lockdown period and new corporate travel policies implemented to curb expenses during the cash crunch.

The irreversible decrease in business travel, by any measure the most profitable clients of the travel industry, will hit the balance sheets of travel companies like a sledgehammer.

The implosion of meetings and events activity during the crisis was a watershed moment for the industry. The unstoppable rise of virtual conferences and webinars during the lockdown period and the perceived danger of large crowd gatherings will transform major convention centers into indoor leisure spaces or city landmarks of a past golden era. 

The rise of a new distribution landscape 

Two types of travel intermediaries will suffer a Darwinian process of natural selection.

  1. Traditional offline travel agencies that were behind the digital curve will slowly fade into extinction in this hyper-connected world.
  2. The few travel management company survivors will be the ones rapidly adapting to a significantly smaller market and to a change in paradigm in servicing and duty of care.

On the online travel agency front, there will also be major changes in play:

  • Servicing and connecting with customers during the darkest moments of the crisis will turn out to be the most powerful loyalty program any marketer could conceive. Speedy refunds for cancelled bookings, transport and lodging rebooking alternatives for clients stranded overseas and an ongoing and candid communication strategy will win the hearts and pockets of customers.
  • Deploying bots and machine-learning algorithms, allowing for automation of back-office processes and customer service interfaces, will make the most successful players future-proof for disruption in the years ahead.
  • Many will integrate a traveler’s health data across the entire industry’s service chain, in an ecosystem where health information will become a mandatory data field for all actors.

Faced with our rapidly increasing digital life, where tech giants try to keep users locked into their ecosystem, the most successful travel players will start to integrate daily users’ services like inter-urban mobility, local entertainment booking facilities and food delivery services, in order to remain relevant in the customer’s mind.
 
This trend towards Asia-like super apps in the Western World will spark a frenzy post-crisis, with merger activity between travel tech giants and mobility and food delivery tech players, whose valuations suffered a massive downward correction during the economic deadlock due to their weak balance sheet.

* Check scenario 1 here, then 3 and 4 when they are published next week.About the author…

Mario Gavira is a tech executive, angel investor and board adviserAirlineAirportGround TransportationHotelOnline Travel AgencyPrivate AccommodationTours and ActivitiesCoronavirus