Loss of productivity: when CAPEX and management make no sense...

Hospitality ON - 20 September 2017
Which actors are involved? Hotel groups, hotel operators, employees and the client, or more precisely clients as they are many and polymorphic. Productivity loss affects hotel groups that have not made the necessary investments and have lost control over commercialization. Hotel operators, meanwhile, have not invested in CAPEX and in new procedures in order to get the most out of their hotels. Employees have not been sufficiently trained and given the tools to adapt servuction or even to innovate in the services customers expect. Where does the quality of service come from? At the beginning of the production line, before creation, conception, commercialization of the product, but also and especially at points of direct contact. The machine that is the hospitality industry has slowed in productivity, lost in terms of quality and thus seen a drop in occupancy. To expect the customer to adapt to the product would be both utopian and suicidal when it is the product that must adapt to needs and demands.How to reboot the machine yet remain productive ? By promoting its assets: qualified workers who are trained to be autonomous, encouraged to take initiatives, able to adapt. Product ambassadors who are flourishing in their jobs and must be true local entrepreneurs rather than just passive links to the headquarters of brand operators. This is one of the first levers for improving productivity.Optimal use of new technologies makes it possible to simplify, automate and lower operating costs, thereby allowing employees to concentrate on tasks with higher added value. Only new concepts have succeeded in lowering operating costs, but the problem remains for the other, majority share, of the hotel supply.Return autonomy to the divisions will make it possible to finally improve the jobs-activity flexibility to enhance productivity, better customer satisfaction and thus better competitiveness and growth in demand. Marginal costs will decrease with the repositioning of the supply, thereby helping demand increase. Labor flexibility is necessary in order to adapt to this new demand, but it has not yet fully implemented in the organization of personnel.By returning capital and labor assets to the production unit it will be possible to improve competitiveness. Boosting activity must also happen from the bottom up, from the point of direct contact with the client rather than from headquarters, which would be wise to give hotel managers more autonomy.It is clear that competition between destinations and products has been stepped up in recent years. The arrival of new concepts, the renewal of the camping offer with an improved range and the arrival of new products such as mobile homes, the diversification and modernization of the tourism residence supply and the explosion of the shared accommodations offer are examples that show that when investments are made on the supply, competitiveness becomes obvious. We can bet that if we rethink our functioning and our priorities on a local level, it will be possible to renew the value of the hotel industry and get the machine operating full throttle again.

What does and doesn't a chatbot offer hoteliers ?

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 20 September 2017
Described every year since 2015 as a major innovation, chatbots remain, despite a gradual take-off, largely unusual and unknown tools. These artificial intelligence interfaces, already in use in many sectors, have potential for innovations. From the possibilities they offer to the goals they could help achieve, including the limits encountered when using them, here is an overview of the relations between chatbots and the hospitality world.

IHG unveils its new brand: avidtm hotels

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 19 September 2017
First presented in the United States, the avid Hotels brand is launched as a second middle range offer for IHG. Intercontinental Hotels Group has unveiled the new brand that should boost its development on the middle range sector: avid Hotels. The avid Hotels brand has been added to Holiday Inn Express to support IHG's dynamic on this particular sector. It could be characterized mainly by its slightly lower rates approx. $10 less than Holiday Inn Express for a single room), and they will have "the basics done extremely well," according to the group's press release.

AccorHotels continues to grow in Seoul

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 18 September 2017
In the past month, AccorHotels group has drastically expanded its portfolio in Asia. After announcing a hotel complex in Seoul, three properties in Myanmar and its 800th property in Singapore, with this new signing AccorHotels realizes yet another important transaction in the region. The hotel is part of a resort that includes a mall and two office towers. The Fairmont Ambassador Seoul will host 326 rooms, a rooftop bar, and also a spa, a swimming pool, a fitness center and no less than four restaurants. It will be the 75th hotel of Fairmont brand.

De Vere is ready for a new look

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 15 September 2017
The English hotel group will use a £100 million investment from Starwood Capital Group to renovate a number of properties. The De Vere group will re-launch its brand following this £100 million investment from Starwood Capital, that had acquired De Vere in 2014. This investment is part of a £300 million larger investment destined to help the renovation of hotels owned by the 35 Principal Hotel Company in the United Kingdom.

Radisson RED: exponential growth

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 13 September 2017
Since its creation, this brand has met with a very important growth. Radisson RED has announced the opening in 2020 of a new property in Latvia's capital Riga, in collaboration with Astor Group. The 220-room hotel will be located near the Latvian city center.

Paris 2024 confirmed in Lima

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 12 September 2017
The members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) met one last time today to formalize the organization of the Olympic Games 2024 in Paris. Paris Olympics 2024 Paris Olympics 2024 It is the end of a long media and sports drama. After being announced this summer, news of Paris welcoming 2024's Olympic Games was confirmed September 13th in Lima, at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee.

Melia Hotels announces its financial results

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 11 September 2017
The Spanish group has recorded a 7.7% increase of the RevPar, pulled by the increase of daily rates. Benefits of the group have grown by 34%. Melia group has announced its financial results, that show a clear evolution of the RevPAR. In fact, it has increased by 7.7% overall, which can be explained by increased daily rates. If South America and Asia-Pacific regions have seen their RevPAR decrease, the first semester of 2017 was a success for the rest of the world, especially for Spain (+18.9%) and the Mediterranean area (+15.5%). In France and Europe, growth in demand and the upgrading of existing hotels are the main motivations for those positive results.

Alwaleed Bin Talal should invest $800 million in Egypt

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 11 September 2017
Saudi prince Alwaleed Bin Talal confirms Egypt's hotel development, as well as a possibility of resuming foreign investments on a larger scale. Those investments should be used to expand the Four Seasons Sharm el-Sheikh, but also to implement new hotels in el-Alamein or in Madinaty (near Cairo). The prince already possesses numerous properties in the country, and eighteen more are underway. His other properties include, most notably, the Four Seasons George V, in Paris.

Caesars Palace finally resurfaces

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 7 September 2017
The announcement of a $2.2 billion funding should mark the end of the crisis for Caesars Palace Operating Company Inc., which had filed for bankruptcy in 2015. While it is surely not the end of a long media and financial serial drama, it is beginning to feel like it.
Article by Georges Panayotis

When I examine myself, I worry. Is it better if I compare myself?

Hospitality ON - 5 September 2017
It is hard to talk with travelers about an ecosystem during summer season when train and flight fares soar, offsetting any efforts hoteliers make to control costs, and when during the year accommodations and transportation actors apply opposing rate policies. The reality that must be come to terms with is that tourism professionals went too far with yield management. The notions of "proposed value" and "perceived value" are but a vague memory from marketing manuals that have long been collecting dust on shelves. It's time to dust them off again and open them up.Airlines and accommodations, which are longstanding rivals, have always loved chipping away at margins. But when everyone is trying to get getting the biggest share of the cake, the problem is that no one is concerned about making that cake bigger, or investing in the product and the destination.The difficulty is that in some areas the season is too short to justify any real investment. And too many actors prefer to squeeze as much as they can out of peak season figures, rather than collaborating to change things.The time has thus come for destinations to recognize this coordination and projection, and to understand it. Tomorrow the real competition will not be between private tourism actors, but destinations, because they are what customers look at first.While their mission is to position themselves as a focal point, they will have to innovate. The most important challenge is to trigger the visit, and -even more difficult- the return visit. And yet, why return to a destination that offers nothing new?Success comes from their capacity to create a new activities, a new site that is capable stimulating arrivals. Some cities have been successful: it is possible to see what structures such as MUCEM in Marseille, the Cite du Vin in Bordeaux all have to offer ...More punctually, this is also true for events: what Lyon has succeeded in doing in a few years with the Fete des Lumieres or Arras has done with the Main Square Festival should encourage other destinations to think outside the classic summer season - the only time of the year when there is special programming with fireworks that have been the only, unchanging, event for decades.It is all the more paradoxical that simultaneously, the events offered to locals are increasingly numerous. So, why not develop events that are able to attract both tourists and residents?This is all the more interesting since today's tourists aspire to live like locals... and yet they often find themselves in lodgings in lifeless neighborhoods on the outskirts of cities. So it comes as no surprise if the sharing economy for accommodations is taking off in urban centers and beginning to compete with residential properties?Knowing how to develop and bring out new popular districts is a major challenge: the Kreuzberg in Berlin, the Olympic district in Barcelona, the Alfama in Lisbon and the East End in London were not much of anything a few years ago; today they are real tourism drivers for their respective destinations. One of the keys to the success of tomorrow will be to know how to "create" new destinations at a destination. The other will be the ability of destinations to analyze, compare, coordinate and plan.Finally, it is necessary to innovate in terms of digital technology. However, travel and/or museum passes are slowly developing, whereas technology makes it possible to do away with them entiorelu. When nearly everyone has a smartphone, destinations are purveying more and more bracelets, is the idea of a line at the entrance to tourist sites still conceivable? Clearly not, and it is only one example among many others. So what are we waiting for?

Albania plans tax exemption for five-star hotels until 2027

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 5 September 2017
The country's Prime minister, Edi Rama, has announced this exceptional measure in order to encourage the qualitative growth of the tourism sector. As in other Adriatic countries, increasing the scale of the offer is crucial for tourism. Albania intends to make headlines far and wide. The announcement of the tax exemption for the management of a five-star hotel specifically targets "30 international brands", according to the Prime Minister. It was at a press conference that Edi Rama talked about his project for the temporary tax exemption of upscale properties.

AccorHotels : Sophie Etchandy-Stabile leaves HotelServices France & Switzerland

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 4 September 2017
As the Director of HotelServices France and Switzerland inside AccorHotels group, Sophie Etchandy-Stabile was in charge of the development of ibis, Novotel, Mercure and F1. She just announced her departure expected at the end of the month. Sophie Etchandy-Stabile will leave her position as director of HotelServices France for Accor Hotels Group at the end of September. She has held this position since 2015. As director, she was in charge of the development of ibis, Novotel, Mercure and HotelF1 brands in France. Since 2017, she was general director of HotelServices for both France and Switzerland.

AccorHotels : Sophie Etchandy-Stabile quits her job as Director of HotelServices France & Switzerland

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 4 September 2017
As the Director of HotelServices France and Switzerland inside AccorHotels group, Sophie Etchandy-Stabile was in charge of the development of ibis, Novotel, Mercure and F1. She just announced her departure expected at the end of the month.

Hilton group progresses in Central America

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 1 September 2017
Hilton group has announced the continuation of its development in Central America with the signing of nine different addresses. Those properties will be developed by the brands Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn by Hilton.

iBis Styles lands in the United States

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 31 August 2017
AccorHotel group's low-cost company makes its debut in the United States with the opening of a first address in New York, located on the site of the former LaGuardia Airport Hotel, it has been entirely revamped for the occasion. "ibis Styles has already been a great success in Europe and South America, and should stand out thanks to its concept combining design, all-inclusive prices and family friendly space," declared Kevin Frid, COO North and Central America for AccorHotel.
Article by Georges Panayotis

Fear and/or Innovation in Hospitality?

Hospitality ON - 30 August 2017
According to Machiavelli, there are two major motives that make men act: fear and innovation. Today, hoteliers are living up to the rule. As new concepts abound, traditional players have entered a veritable competition to integrate (and take over) innovations launched by innovative start-ups. And this is good since the practices of yesteryear are no longer. It is not a reform, it is a revolution, one that is cultural and affecting the economic model, and it will have to be accomplished by all the actors without exception.The hotel industry has experienced several blows in recent years: while the finance industry impoverished it with cash extraction and rate increases that degraded its competitiveness, digital technology gnawed away at its margins... and then the sharing economy put the very core of its offer in question by offering accommodations to overnight visitors. The sector shown with a thousand lights, and attracted predators like a light bulb attracts moths. Where there is a herd, there will be shearers and those that eat the herd, said Bakounine...And yet, it is necessary to accept the idea that innovation may come from external sources. After all, the start-ups and new technology giants that have upset the industry do no less than what Conrad Hilton and John Willard Marriott accomplished in the United States and the Dubrule and Pelisson team did in Europe when they launched hotel chains.In order to move forward, hoteliers need to make way for innovation driven by new players. In the automobile sector, where technological disruption (Tesla) and changing habits (Uber, Lyft...) are also very strong, traditional actors no longer hesitate to change their business models: Volvo will only develop electric or hybrid vehicles, BMW is partnering with Intel and Fiat Chrysler to develop autonomous vehicles... With the enormous sums at stake to absorb technological developments, and considering the end consumer's interest in having compatible systems, automobile groups are quick to gather around shared platforms. It may be necessary one day for hotel groups to also stop staring icily at one another, while they scream bloody murder at Airbnb, Booking and other innovators.It will also be important for them to recognize that boundaries between different sectors of activity have become obsolete. When Amazon buys Whole Foods, Ford develops a prototype for a baby bed that rocks newborns to imitate a ride in the car, it is because their technologies and their respective know-how offer them a capacity to innovate and legitimacy in areas that may be new, but fit their DNA. Innovation has become transversal. This means that tomorrow's competitors will surely hail from other sectors.The first challenge is to maintain a strong position and values. "Fruit and nothing else", says the slogan of a successful fruit juice brand... Indeed, while price and location were key to yesterday's success stories, the product must also play an important role in the strategy.Since increasing their prices to serve financiers and digital players while salvaging their operating accounts, hoteliers have sacrificed their competitiveness. Who suffered? Consumers first, then (when they rebelled) small franchise owners and hotel personnel, and tomorrow the government once the industry has completed the necessary restructuring -and job destruction inherent to such restructuring. Disinflation, and in some cases deflation, is the only option.Within this context very few strategies are truly winning. A first, indispensable one, will be to launch new concepts with an attractive quality price ratio to freshen the supply. Another strategy will be to invest heavily to modernize non-competitive assets and put them back on the market. The real question is who will finance that, but that's another matter.Finally, there is a third option: take advantage of "nearly zero marginal cost" that has been theorized by Jeremy Rifkin, this innovation doesn't cost more to produce since it is already developed. Is that enough to rent out a room once a day (or night, in our business)? Aren't some travelers ready to share a room under certain conditions (think of the credo of Joe Gebbia, cofounder of Airbnb: "design for trust")? Is the room's space or that of the common areas (working and F&B areas) used efficiently, particularly outside sleeping hours? Remember: from Uber to Airbnb including new players, all great successes in the sharing economy were built on untapped existing customer bases, extracted from consumer habits in the old economy. The wealth of tomorrow will rise out of the best use of today's assets.The good news is that everyone can innovate, from the biggest global groups to the smallest independent hotel in the middle of the desert. There is always a fount somewhere ...

Grand Hyatt strengthens its presence in South Korea

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 30 August 2017
Grand Hyatt has announced a new hotel project in South Korea: the Grand Hyatt Hotel Jeju City. It is the brand's second-largest property and the Hyatt Group's sixth Korean address. Grand Hyatt will open its next Korean address in the city of Jeju (located on Jeju island), one of the country's most popular destinations outside the capital. It is the sixth property of the Hyatt Group in South Korea, including a Grand Hyatt in Seoul, and is expected to establish itself as the second largest hotel of the brand worldwide.

A Chinese hospitality crowdfunding platform raises $29 million

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 30 August 2017
This is the beginning of a brand new adventure for Kaistart: the Chinese startup, which had developed a platform dedicated to crowdfunding within the hospitality and restaurant industries, has just received financial backing thanks to Yunfeng Capital. The private equity firm - founded by Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba - has contributed to raising $29 million in order to support the Chinese startup's future growth.

Puneet Chhatwal leaves Deutsche Hospitality

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 29 August 2017
Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of Steigenberger Hotels AG/Deutsche Hospitality since 2013, leaves his position. For now, no successor has been chosen. Five years have passed since Puneet Chhatwal was appointed CEO of the German hotel group Deutsche Hospitality. It was just announced that its leader would leave his position to return to India, where he took his first steps in the hospitality business: he was indeed appointed CEO of Indian Hotels Company, a subsidiary of the giant conglomerate Tata Group. Rakesh Sarna, current CEO of the Indian hotelier, had resigned from his position in June, to assume his duties until the end of September.

[Slideshow] Disneyland Paris: Villages Nature to open its doors

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 28 August 2017
The property, spearheaded jointly by EuroDisney and Pierre&Vacances/Center Parcs, will open its doors on the 1st of September, following a delay which caused it to miss the summer season. Its much-awaited upcoming launch is the opportunity to discover the site in pictures.
Article by Georges Panayotis

It is possible to lose a battle, but don't be surprised...

Hospitality ON - 24 August 2017
What heavy industries are currently experiencing is making the top stories on the 8 o'clock news due to the extent of the social impact. The companies' employees are all experiencing individual dramas as they had no reason to question their situation for some twenty or thirty years. The shock is especially harsh when possibilities for reconversion are slow to present themselves. The Government can only limit damage and accompany a relentless exit from the working world.While it may be more pernicious, the work situation in the hotel industry is no less risky. The collision of the two worlds, one that provokes the rupture and the other that is subject to it, is less brutal but just as real. However, there doesn't seem to be full awareness of this. The steady development of tourism and hospitality could lead one to imagine that job creation is permanent. Hotel and management schools are producing more generations of collaborators with promises that career evolution is guaranteed for those who successfully climb the social ladder or hop on the social elevator.But they rapidly need to assess the future of these jobs if they don't want to find themselves in the same situation as their elders in the industry. In a service activity that is very dependent on the human factor, behavioral changes of customers, the change in concepts that adapt to new expectations will upset the definition of hotel functions. The traditional chain of tourist services will be brought into question by the technological evolution in transportation, information and promotion. Did anyone really anticipate this happening?The multiplication of applications that give customers autonomy; the apparition of automatic check-in/out terminals, robots and other self-serve innovations are seen as temporary assistance, but it is just the beginning of a revolution. Tomorrow artificial intelligence will bring a new dimension to customer relations, doing away with all useless interactions with front desk or reservation services.The economic model for hotel operations needs to gain in productivity, lighten charges, simplify procedures... technology appears to be an interesting direction to take when 50% of the gross operating incomes is absorbed by social taxes. But does that mean there is no future in hospitality professions? Is it necessary to accept as inevitable the fact that 50% of young hospitality graduates left the sector just two years after graduating? The new major challenge faced by management is undoubtedly avoiding any aggravation of social unease.Some committed themselves to this indispensable consideration to redefine the role of of each, to implement new recruitment methods, so hospitality staff may actively participate in the customer experience, the latest trend. Tourism growth can not be based only on low-cost; it also needs to be based on a quest for added value that can only be provided by the quality of service in hospitality. Today, few businesses have a clear vision of their growth strategy within a context that is changing. It is time to develop one urgently. Younger generations will be better prepared to adapt to new functions through conviviality, versatility and proximity as well as technicality. But over all, our industry must also implement the transition within hotel enterprises. Concepts age quickly. In an already distant past, innovations such as Novotel were able to maintain a ten-year advance while today products must constantly renew themselves as 'copy and paste' accelerates. Continuing professional training throughout life shows its full meaning here. It must happen before it's too late, before entire generations are put out to pasture because the changes were not foreseen. Fortunately, it would appear that the Government is ready to invest 50 billion euros to finance continuing education. Now that's a truly exciting subject to pick up on quickly to show that a thousands-year-old industry is able to project itself into modernity.

July 2017: a bright day for Europe's hotels

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 24 August 2017
After a month of June marked by steady growth in European hotel performances, the beginning of the peak season is synonymous with overall dynamism for the industry. While Europe's leading summer tourist destinations post very positive results, the highest growth may be found in other countries: Hungary, Luxembourg and Belgium are this month's top performers.

London: The Trafalgar St. James Hotel joins the Curio Collection

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 24 August 2017
Hilton's collection of upscale properties has just added London-based The Trafalgar St. James Hotel to its portfolio. This is the first British property to join the selection. Curio by Hilton has just added a new property to its upscale portfolio: The Trafalgar St. James Hotel, in central London, has just joined the luxury properties' collection. This is the first under that brand in the UK.

Destinations that oust mass tourism

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 21 August 2017
Dissuasive measures implemented by some municipalities and certain highly (too?) touristic sites have multiplied in recent years. Their goal is to cap the flow of visitors in order to combat the deterioration of neighborhoods or monuments, or the rise in property prices, which are often sources of conflict with local populations. Overview of these "anti-tourism" actions.

The first assessment of Summer 2017: with the capital in the lead, French hospitality sees the sun once again

Hospitality On (by MKG Hospitality)·Requires Registration - 18 August 2017
The French hotel industry recorded good performance this summer, driven by the strong recovery of Paris and Ile-de-France - liberated from the security yoke of 2016 - and the good results of the province apart from the coastal areas. On the coasts of France, average weather and / or the absence of certain engines have sometimes weighed. After a mixed month of July, with a strong rebound but prices falling, it was the first fortnight of August that helped to shift the results more positively. The outlook is thus encouraging for the end of the summer.


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