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MEDIA PARTNER TO THE INDEPENDENT HOTEL SHOW

INTELLIGENCE FOR HOTELIERS

WWW.HOTEL-INDUSTRY.CO.UK

AUTUMN 2013

INTELLIGENT ENERGY BUILDING CONTROLS 30% ENERGY CONSUMPTION REDUCTION

SUSTAINABLE MENU OPTIONS FOOD WASTE RECYCLED INTO RENEWABLE ENERGY

WATER HEATED BY RECLAIMED HEAT FROM KITCHEN APPLIANCES LOW ENERGY LIGHTING SYSTEMS

LEADING VIEW:

JOHN PENROSE MP

HERB GARDEN

INTERVIEW:

PETER TAYLOR OF TOWN HOUSE COLLECTION

GEN Y:

“Y PROOF” YOUR HOTEL


HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE

CONTENTS QUARTERLY REVIEW 9

SHORT VIEW

Independents take the lead

10 LONG VIEW

Strategies for growth

SUPPLIERS 14 SUPPLIER FOCUS

News and announcements

5 QUARTERLY REVIEW

LEADING VIEW: JOHN PENROSE MP

18 SUPPLIERS

ON THE MARKET: MOBILE PRODUCTIVITY

IN-DEPTH 20 ROUNDTABLE

Profit responsibly

22 IN-DEPTH

INTELLIGENCE: THE RISE OF SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT

EXPERT VIEWS 26 DO YOU LOVE YOUR CUSTOMERS?

Caroline Cooper urges you to connect with the customers you love

27 AN EMOTIONAL JOURNEY

Anne Blackburn gets emotional about customer experience

30 EXPERT VIEWS

INTERVIEW: PETER TAYLOR OF TOWN HOUSE COLLECTION

29 SELLING IN HARD TIMES

Conor Kenny on increasing your sales revenue

INNOVATION 32 HOTELIER 3.0

“Y-Proof” Your Hotel

AUTUMN 2013 | HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE 3


HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE

HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE Hotel Industry Magazine Autumn 2013 – ISSN 2051-0632 Editorial Editor: Lee Jamieson Email: editor@hotel-industry.co.uk Editorial Contributors: Anne Blackburn, Caroline Cooper, Lee Jamieson, Victoria Jamieson, Tahiyya Jurdine, Conor Kenny, Thomas Mathar, Ioannis S Pantelidis and John Penrose MP Hotel Data Partners: Euromonitor International and LJ Forecaster Commercial Advertising Sales: Andrew Schofield -Telephone: 0161 408 3912 -Email: andrew@spotonmedia.co.uk Production Graphic Design: Matthew Chilton (I Made This Design) Printing: Mixam UK Ltd Digital Web: www.hotel-industry.co.uk Supplier Directory: www.hotel-industry.co.uk/directory Twitter: @hotel_industry Facebook: www.facebook.com/hotel.industry Jamieson Media Hotel Industry Magazine and hotel-industry.co.uk are published by Jamieson Media, a UK Registered Partnership Website: www.jamiesonmedia.co.uk Email: contact@jamiesonmedia.co.uk VAT Registration No: 127 7969 65 The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions in this publication, however caused. All information in this publication is provided for general use. The publishers advise all readers to seek specialist advice before acting on any information contained in this publication. Readers are also advised to directly contact advertisers and companies mentioned in this publication in order to qualify the claims made, adherence to regulation and financial security. No material in this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of the publisher. © Copyright 2013, Jamieson Media

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WELCOME GENERATION Y

Generation Y is finally coming of age: they are poised to become the world’s biggest consumer group and, in just seven years time, will account for more than half of all business travel. Hoteliers know that they need to adapt their offering to appeal to this new demographic. They also know that longterm sustainability can only be achieved if Generation Y is placed at the heart of their business strategy... but how exactly? I mean, we can’t even decide on what we should call this generation: Millennials, Echo Boomers, Generation Y to name but a few labels ... and if you do not recognise any of those terms (or you are still charging for wi-fi), then flick straight to Dr Ioannis S. Pantelidis’ article on how to “Y-Proof” your hotel (page 32). The reality is that many of today’s hotels are built around the consumer needs of Generation X. Millenials have altogether different needs and values: they are global citizens that demand seamless technological solutions. They have shorter attention spans and seek instant gratification. They can near-destroy your brand reputation in an afternoon with just a social media app on their smartphone!

Research also suggests that they care deeply about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This issue of Hotel Industry Magazine has been written to help you connect these themes and take positive action to ensure a sustainable business strategy in the long-term.

“MILLENIALS HAVE ALTOGETHER DIFFERENT NEEDS AND VALUES” Euromonitor International sheds light on emerging growth drivers (page 10), Experts from Hyatt, Carlson Rezidor, and IHG share advice on building a CSR strategy (page 20), and we invite Former Tourism Minister, John Penrose, to guest write this issue’s “Leading View”. Lee Jamieson Editor, Hotel Industry Magazine editor@hotel-industry.co.uk


LEADING VIEW QUARTERLY REVIEW

FORMER TOURISM MINISTER, JOHN PENROSE: “CAN YOU RIVAL LONDON?” IN RECENT YEARS, LONDON HAS ESTABLISHED ITSELF AS A FINELY TUNED MARKETING MACHINE – BUT WITH MANY LOCAL HOTELIERS FORCED TO COMPETE WITH THE CAPITAL, HAS “BRAND LONDON” BECOME TOO EFFICIENT? WE INVITE FORMER TOURISM MINISTER, JOHN PENROSE, TO GUEST WRITE THIS ISSUE’S “LEADING VIEW”

Image: John Penrose Next page image: Can DMOs strengthen local destinations around brands like Shakespeare’s England - Photo of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre by Peter Cook

AUTUMN 2013 | HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE 5


QUARTERLY REVIEW LEADING VIEW

ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE

JOHN PENROSE’S FIVE KEY ACTIONS FOR LOCAL TOURISM 1. Red tape: Fight the EU directive on Package Travel to liberate our tourism businesses. 2. Partnership: Regional hoteliers need to work more closely with local attractions to build stronger destinations. 3. Rival London: To build and sustain a brand capable of rivalling London, a collaborative approach to destination marketing is required. 4. DMOs: The future is in the hands of the new local Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) - hoteliers should connect and collaborate with them. 5. Narrative: The UK needs betterdefined local destinations and local tourism businesses need to play their part in developing a clear narrative about what makes their destination unique and interesting.

It’s not fair, really. The British hotel industry has plenty of good value and top quality products – TripAdvisor users recently voted a Llandudno Bed and Breakfast as best in the world, after all – but, in spite of this entrepreneurial effort and brilliant hospitality across the rest of the country, London accommodation still rules the roost … which is pretty galling, actually! Whether you look at market share, average occupancy, or any other industry measure, London is usually sitting pretty – or smugly, depending on your point of view – at or near the top of the rankings. I know, I know; London is one of only a couple of ‘World Cities’ on the planet and it attracts people in huge numbers from absolutely everywhere. We are genuinely lucky to have it! But what do the rest of us have to do to compete, for goodness sake?

6 HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE | AUTUMN 2013

I mean, London is wonderful and all that, but Cornwall is pretty good too. So is Kent, Yorkshire, the Lake District, Shakespeare Country, the Peak District … need I go on? Why aren’t these destinations getting a bigger share? Is London a wonderful, international magnet that pulls people in before they set off around the rest of the country, or is it a “cuckoo in the nest” grabbing everything before the rest of the country gets a look-in? Rivalling Brand London I’m a huge fan of London. It’s an enormous, world-class asset which challenges the rest of us to raise our game if we are to compete for visitors’ heads in beds and bums on seats. In consumer marketing terms, London is an incredibly powerful brand. The answer is to build up those other destinations to rival London; not grumble and attempt to pull London downwards. Italy does it. Think of Tuscany, or the Amalfi Coast, as examples of well-defined destinations which attract visitors to other parts of the country. We must follow suit, but sadly, there is a long way to go. None of the rest of the country comes anywhere close to rivalling London as well-defined destinations with a clear consumer proposition capable of attracting and holding visitors for up to a week. Most of our other world-renowned brands are too small on their own: Stonehenge takes an hour or two; Stratford an afternoon, plus maybe a play in the evening; the Japanese treat the Lake District as a day trip from Liverpool or Manchester. If we’re going to fill more beds in local hotels, we’ve got to do better. Lots better. Stronger Together What can you do if you are a hotelier offering brilliant accommodation outside London? Well, you could start by asking whether all the attractions and accommodation providers in your

area are genuinely working together properly. What collective marketing is everyone doing to build and sustain a brand which could equal London … or the Amalfi Coast? Then, once they have decided to come, your hotel or B&B can market itself to grab a slice of the action. If you are reading the above paragraph with a sinking feeling, don’t worry! You aren’t alone. Almost every part of the UK, with a tiny number of honourable exceptions, is miles away from doing what is needed. And even the exceptions want to do more than they are.

“IS LONDON A CUCKOO IN THE NEST?”

Local Narratives The new local Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) are getting things moving in many places, but we are, to appropriate a famous phrase, “only at the end of the beginning”. There’s still a horribly long way to go. It isn’t all down to the industry either. Businesses should set the direction – saints preserve us from wellmeaning but hideously uncommercial bureaucrats trying to run effective marketing campaigns – and then expect local Councils and national Governments to play their part too. That’s why VisitEngland are promoting domestic tourism, and why VisitBritain are also running the “GREAT” campaign abroad. But they need the right product to sell, and that


LEADING VIEW QUARTERLY REVIEW

means well-defined destinations, with a clear narrative about what makes them unique and interesting … and the only people who can create those destinations, and that narrative, are the hoteliers and attraction owners outside London. So it is not going to be easy, but we have to start somewhere. And even though it looks a bit daunting, the fundamentals of UK tourism are sound: It’s the fifth biggest industry in our country, with huge potential for growth (5% year-on-year according to VisitEngland). And we have got worldclass raw material to sell, if we can only bundle it all together into appealing destinations. Most other tourism industries would give their eye teeth for hotspots like Canterbury, Hadrian’s Wall, the Cotswolds, Oxford, York, Ludlow or Liverpool.

“THE CURRENT RULES TREAT BRITISH PEOPLE BUYING INCLUSIVE TRIPS TO PLACES LIKE NORWICH AS THOUGH IT IS NEW YORK!” Red Tape Remains Building on my previous efforts as a Minister to cut down and simplify red tape for the hospitality industry, we still need to remove the obstacles that stop tourism businesses marketing themselves effectively. One example is the EU directive on Package Travel. The current rules treat British people buying inclusive trips to places like Norwich as though it is New York, and Stratford as though it is Shanghai!

The travel agents need an expensive bond, and local tourism attractions are also legally barred from marketing themselves jointly without one. This all adds cost to a British weekend away, and makes it harder for DMOs to create the kind of joint marketing with a shared destination narrative which I have been describing in this article. So getting an exemption would be a huge help, and would liberate British resorts from Whitby to my own town of Westonsuper-Mare. With some help from British tourism representatives, we are putting a case together to try and convince Brussels to make adjustments to the Directive and liberate our tourism businesses. And if it helps to wipe the smug smile off a few London hoteliers’ faces, so much the better!

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www.tss-locks.co.uk AUTUMN 2013 | HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE 7


Ecompter Helps Best Western Hotels in Finland, Poland and The Baltic States Slash Their Carbon Footprint Over the  last  12  months,  Ecompter,  a  provider  of  carbon  footprint   calcula9on  and  sustainability  services  to  hotel  and  accommoda9on   providers,  has  helped  36  Best  Western  Hotels  in  Finland,  Poland  and   The  Bal9c  states  to  slash  their  carbon  footprints  and  communicate  the   results  to  guests,  staff,  investors  and  peers.   As a result of using Ecompter, Best Western hotels in the region as a whole have decreased their carbon footprint, with the best performer saving a massive 29%.  The decrease in carbon footprint translates into a cost saving of tens of thousands of Euros across the group. Ecompter’s footprint and sustainability services also provide Best Western with a tool to demonstrate their hotels’ CO2 levels and provide the kind of sustainability information that large corporates are increasingly looking for when negotiating company bookings. The Best Western hotel group is made up of independently owned and operated hotels. The company has a history of encouraging the hotels within its group to “go green” in a way that works best for their own individual marketing, customers and local communities. Ecompter's solution has also enabled the hotels in the area to communicate their sustainability commitment to their guests and provide them with subtle suggestions, before their visit, of ways that they could consider saving energy during their stay, supporting each hotel's own environmental policies. This includes reminders to turn off lights, asking if it’s necessary to change their towels every day of their stay and pointing out that it’s more sustainable to take a shower than to have a bath.

"Ecompter's reporting tool draws data from all the hotels in the area and enables us to produce detailed sustainability reports, which we use to internally monitor progress. This is the first time that we've gathered this data and examined it at a group level. It allows managers to see how our sustainability initiative is developing and pinpoint areas that could be worked on for further savings. It is also very easy to link the calculator for our guests to use online to our websites and social media profiles - allowing guests to see our environmental credentials and get involved with them during their stay.” Saija Kekkonen, Managing Director Best Western Finland, Poland and Baltic countries Visit Ecompter on stand IH66 at the Independent Hotel Show Email: info@ecompter.com Web: ecompter.com Tel: 020 3402 1728 Twitter: @EcompterLtd


HOTEL PERFORMANCE - SHORT VIEW QUARTERLY REVIEW

QUARTERLY REVIEW: INDEPENDENTS TAKE THE LEAD Source: LJ Forecaster

Key:

Whilst UK hoteliers continue to operate in a difficult economic climate, there is evidence that confidence is returning. Recent surveys indicate an upward trend in confidence and output has grown in most sectors. Hotels also enjoyed boosts, according to data from the Confederation of British Industry, but profits remained squeezed. Exactly what this may mean for the UK hotel industry is difficult to estimate – but data from the last quarter (July and August) suggests that independent hoteliers are most likely to hold the answer. Occupancy rates for independents grew by an average of 8.1% - chained hotels only managed 4.6%. Moreover, independent hotel revenues grew by a whopping 26.3% year-on-year,

2012 Budget 2012 Midmarket 2012 Luxury

compared to just 6.8% from chained hotels. A Year of Growth At an average of 79.2%, hotel occupancy rates were 5.3% higher in July and August of this year, compared to the same months in 2012. RevPAR significantly outstripped inflation, increasing by an average of 11%. Last year, the London 2012 Olympic Games had a negative impact on many destinations outside London (and also within London!) which explains much of the growth this year. There are some interesting trends within different hotel segments: the budget segment outperformed its peers in July and August in terms of

2013 Budget 2013 Midmarket 2013 Luxury

occupancy (+6.9% compared to 5.3%). However, this was at the expense of room rate which increased less than average by only 10.4%. In the luxury segment, occupancy increased less than average (4.2% compared to 5.3%); however, luxury hotels outperformed their peers when it came to RevPAR, which increased by 13.1%. City centres and leisure markets drove growth in the last quarter: in Edinburgh, for example, the Festival Fringe closed its most successful year with nearly 2 million tickets issued. LJ Forecaster data suggests serviced apartments in particular benefitted from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

AUTUMN 2013 | HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE 9


QUARTERLY REVIEW HOTEL PERFORMANCE - LONG VIEW

STRATEGIES FOR GROWTH

WITH STRATEGIC PLANNING ALREADY UNDERWAY FOR NEXT YEAR, WE REVEAL HOW BEST TO POSITION YOUR BUSINESS IN THIS FAST CHANGING SECTOR. EUROMONITOR INTERNATIONAL’S TAHIYYA JURDINE REVEALS THE FUTURE GROWTH DRIVERS FOR THE UK HOTEL INDUSTRY

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CASE STUDY ME LONDON HOTEL

Hotels like Fosters and Partner’s ME London Hotel are maximising the USP of their design-led architecture to allure both hotel patrons and curious members of the public. The hotel includes a luxury roof-top bar with stunning views over London and a ground-floor New York-style steak restaurant. Images: ME London Hotel’s Rooftop Terrace


HOTEL PERFORMANCE - LONG VIEW QUARTERLY REVIEW

ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE The UK hotel industry is struggling against four difficult challenges: a grim European economic climate, a weakening pound sterling, shrinking disposable income, down to around £150 per week for the average family and an increased unemployment rate to 7.9% in 2013. These combined factors make it even more critical for UK hoteliers to innovate and creatively appeal to both UK and global tourists. UK Spa Towns Innovation comes in many forms. Many hotels are aiming to reposition as more of a lifestyle brand, offering customers niche experiences. For example, the health and wellness trend is likely to be a future growth driver – and the UK is home to 12 spa towns and cities, serving as a potential lifestyle brand development opportunity. Some hotels are embracing the wellness trend and they are rebranding around such concepts, offering customised healthy F&B menus and designing in-house gyms, for example. And it’s not just London attracting the world press: many well-known magazines such as Condé Nast, Wedding Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar, have recently reviewed The Danesfield House Hotel and Spa in Buckinghamshire, as Britain’s best luxury escape and best romantic weekend break. With this positive promotion, the UK hotel industry can do more to attract wellness tourism with the aim of increasing room occupancy rates. In time, this could lead to customers shifting away from independent spas to hotel spas, which offer more organised and inclusive packages.

“INNOVATION CAN DRASTICALLY IMPROVE GUEST SATISFACTION” Forget Occupancy, Maximise Your USP Many hoteliers are looking to the peripheral selling points of their hotel properties to increase revenue. Rather than solely relying on room occupancy, which has declined post-London 2012

Olympics, hotels are investing in and promoting their roof-top views, fine restaurants, cocktail lounges and events spaces. Maximising these additional USPs will continue to grow and develop over the next few years.

“GEOLOCALISATION WILL POSITIVELY AFFECT THE INDUSTRY” Refreshing Interiors Architecture and design are emerging as leading trends and offer another avenue of creative innovation to attract visitors. Investing in cutting-edge architecture and interior design are now a must for luxury hotels. Regularly refreshing hotel interiors is becoming a necessity in order for a hotel to remain relevant. Mid-priced and economy hotels are also aiming to improve the look and feel of their outlets by mimicking the latest in-home trends. For example, open plan layouts in lobbies, flat-screen televisions and energy-saving light bulbs are all becoming standard in most UK hotel chains. Hotels are beginning to rethink room design, technology and customisation by finding the most effective ways of meeting consumer demands. For example, the Hyatt Regency has announced the roll out of internet-enabled TVs and Novotel has redesigned its upholstered headboards, so that they are ergonomically designed to allow people to lean against them while typing on their laptops. Considering that these two hotels, the Hyatt Regency (two outlets) and Novotel (31 outlets) occupy opposite ends of the pricing and outlet spectrum in the UK, are proof that innovation can drastically improve guest satisfaction, regardless of outlet numbers or transaction figures. Embracing SoLoMo Another important growth driver for the industry is fully embracing the SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile) trend. With the increased use of mobile phones and tablets, guests can gain a wealth of knowledge about a particular hotel

3 WAYS TO MAXIMISE YOUR LOCATION: •

SoLoMo: Develop a SoLoMo strategy to increase revenue from mobile reservations and improve your SoLoMo presence before your competitors do.

Architecture and Design: What unique selling points does your hotel property offer the local community? (eg, roof-top views, swanky lounges). How effectively are you marketing these non-stay facilities to local consumers?

Be Healthy: Do you have the location and facilities to profit from the growth in the health and wellness trend? If so, ensure that all aspects of the guest experience reflect it – right down to the menu offering – and devise stronger packages to attract those customers moving away from independent spas.

within minutes. Through these devices, geolocalisation (the identification of the geographic location of the traveller, available through GPS technology) will positively affect the industry. SoLoMo allows hotel owners to personalise information and cater to individual consumer needs. It can also offer online concierge services, localised sales and offers, as well as being a platform for real-time social sharing. Social media is becoming increasingly important as prospective clients like to read a selection of online reviews and see videos and photos of their selected hotel. Through social media, hotels can either build up a positive or negative web reputation and can benefit from understanding feedback from clients. This fast-paced platform enables hotels to improve their services based on general praise or complaints. Geolocalisation, on the other hand, can open up new location-based opportunities, which can

AUTUMN 2013 | HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE 11


QUARTERLY REVIEW HOTEL PERFORMANCE - LONG VIEW

for hotel bookings. Although UK hoteliers are embracing social media, many are not maximising profit from these online channels by offering additional services. Only a third of all UK hotels are actively engaged online by responding to guest reviews on independent review sites like Tripadvisor.com.

focus on where the traveller is and what services are available to them locally. Making reservations on-the-go is a growing trend and Marriott Hotel, ranked ninth in the UK for number of outlets, led in terms of mobile travel bookings in

2012, followed by Orbitz, Hilton, EasyJet, Intercontinental and Expedia. These companies rank in the top 10 for mobile commerce in the Americas and Europe. Hotel Tonight has also pounced on this trend by launching a mobile-only platform

Food for Thought The UK hotel industry can play to its strengths by strategically utilising its national culture, architecture and international visitor traffic. Considering adding innovative features to improve a hotel’s offering, whether by catering to BRIC and SLIMMA tourists, inviting a Michelin-starred chef to run a hotel’s restaurant or making its lobby an online hotspot hub, can all help to increase visitor numbers and stimulate a weakened economy.

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4 - 5 February 2014 Earls Court 2, London

Europe’s specialist event connecting hoteliers with the latest technology The specialist exhibition and conference where the European technology professionals come to source new technology suppliers; update their knowledge and network with peers. Highlights: • Suppliers covering the entire spectrum of

hotel technology • Relevant conference sessions for all

experience levels • Connect with like-minded hoteliers

• 2 day VIP Programme for senior IT professionals

with exclusive knowledge sharing, networking and onsite hospitality • Central European location: London • Two dedicated business days: 4–5 February 2014

Register for free entry using invite code 1842 at hospitalitytecheurope.com/HoIn2

Founding partners

European partners

Media partners


SUPPLIERS SUPPLIER FOCUS

SUPPLIER FOCUS

NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM HOTEL SUPPLIERS URBAN BLOX: INCREASE CAPACITY TO MEET DEMAND Urban Blox have created a low cost, high specification solution to peak season overspill: prefabricated luxury units. Eco-friendly and incredibly affordable, these innovative units provide a low-cost solution to potential revenue loss caused by turning away guests during peak season, increasing your capacity to meet excess demand. By recycling the classic shipping container into unique, luxury accommodation, we have created a quick to construct, flexible product with a small carbon footprint and limitless design possibilities. Prefabricated at our warehouse and assembled on site quickly, units provide spacious en-suite double, or twin

GROUNDBREAKING CLOUD-BASED PMS FROM NEWBOOK Property management takes to the clouds as a state-of-the-art new platform for hotels, resorts, holiday parks, motels and apartments. Built using more than a decade’s worth of feedback from experts, NewBook is browser-based, intuitive, highly responsive and incredibly flexible.

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rooms as standard. However, we cater for bespoke projects of any size and scale as per your requirements. Benefiting from a rigid ISO core, units are transportable from location to location as a sustainable asset, transferable across the needs of your brand as an additional revenue stream (extra room stock, corporate events space, luxury suites or off-site events, for example). Our container design system allows for single or multi-storey configuration via side-to-side and end-to-end connection allowing for future development extensions on a unit-by-unit basis. Internal layouts and applications are endless, with units externally cladded as per your specification and carefully developed in line with your existing brand. Extremely quick lead times ensure immediate, profitable returns on your investment, making your bottom line figures more attractive, straight from acquisition.

For our full product range or to speak with one of our design team regarding your project, please contact us.

It streamlines accommodation and reservation tasks so everything can be managed from one place, whether in the office, at home, on-site or on the move. Harnessing cutting edge internet technology and mobility, NewBook is a revolution in both property management and software as a service (SaaS). The platform couples a proprietary property management system with cloud reservation software, all backed with a comprehensive set of indispensable tools. Packed with features, NewBook can handle every major and minor component of

accommodation management and delivery from online bookings and check in – check out to housekeeping, maintenance, staff performance, accounting and marketing.

SUPPLIERS YOU SHOULD KNOW Urban Blox 0845 653 1029 www.urbanblox.co.uk

SUPPLIERS YOU SHOULD KNOW NewBook PMS 01732 409 999 www.newbookpms.co.uk


SUPPLIER FOCUS SUPPLIERS

FILL YOUR ROOMS WITH SKY Providing guests with quality in-room content and entertainment has become increasingly important. Sky In-Room allows hotels to deliver award-winning TV to guests to create a home-from-home experience which, as reviews on www. tripadvisor.co.uk show, they appreciate and comment on. It operates exactly like an in-home Sky service, giving guests full control over what they watch across a wide choice of channels – all in HD. Sky is providing hotels with the opportunity to boost their profits through Sky In-Room via the launch of a new

LOCK IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION TillSecure Systems are specialists in hospitality and hotel locking systems. In addition to the latest systems for commercial and hotel guest room locks, we also provide service and support for existing systems. We have over 30 years experience in support and installation of systems throughout mainland UK, Ireland and the Channel Islands and always provide the highest level of

payment plan offering no upfront set-up costs1, interest-free payments and a three-year warranty. An exclusive three-year partnership with Samsung is also making it more affordable for hotels to upgrade their TVs to Samsung’s market-leading technology through a new bundle package, which means hotels will have the very latest HD technology. From as little as £13.50 per room/ per month (£14.85 for the Sky In-Room/ Samsung HD TV bundle), national hotel chains through to independent B&Bs2 can now spread their costs over three years, interest free and payable as part of their monthly Sky In-Room subscription – all backed by a threeyear warranty.

1. Upfront payment required on the first month

service and support to our clients. From a new install to a system upgrade to the latest RFID systems, TillSecure can help. Cost-effective locking solutions installed with minimal disruption and industry leading support for you and your staff. Why struggle with mechanical keys when there is a better solution available? User-friendly software interface, full audit trail available direct from the lock, simple card cancellation and cards are reusable many hundreds of times. We can also supply in-room energy savers, door indicators, mini bars, room safes,

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of the 36 month payments, which include set-up costs. 2. Independent B&Bs must be a limited company in the UK (excluding Scottish islands and Channel Islands) to take the payment plan option. Eligibility for all customers is subject to credit checks. Minimum price of £100 per premises, per month, ex VAT.

SUPPLIERS YOU SHOULD KNOW Sky 08442 411 880 sky.com/business

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AUTUMN 2013 | HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE 15


SUPPLIERS SUPPLIER FOCUS

MAKE SUSTAINABILITY COUNT WITH ECOMPTER Many hoteliers do not realise that they are engaged in “sustainability work”, but we strongly believe that every hotel does something in this area. Some do more, some less, but contributions are important and can make a difference. Environmental management has two core requirements: First, is the decision and commitment to put it on the agenda. This means that management shows the organisation that they are committed and consider sustainability to be an on-going journey, not a one-off project. Secondly, effective and creditable environmental management and communication must be based on facts and figures because what can be measured, can be changed. Ecompter is an online sustainability service specifically designed for the hotel industry, enabling hoteliers

to measure and communicate their environmental performance. Ecompter offers a comprehensive CO2 report that gives an in depth insight into the topic and enables hotels to set meaningful goals and monitor results. Furthermore, Ecompter offers unique features for communicating CO2 information and environmental initiatives to help the hotel to engage guests and personnel in sustainability. A direct benefit of a lower carbon footprint is the cost savings from electricity, heating and water costs. The benefits of sustainability are not, however, limited to cost savings. According to a 2012 TripAdvisor survey, about 71% of travellers reported they planned to choose hotels based on sustainability over the next year, compared to 65% in the previous year. Sustainability is thus becoming an important factor when choosing a hotel. This does not, however, mean that the only hotel with the lowest carbon footprint in town can claim to be sustainable. The true sign of sustainability

is to show the commitment in aiming at continuously improving and reducing emissions by openly communicating the efforts and investments done and reporting this with facts and figures. People want to see transparency and honest communication of what the current situation is, what has been done, and progress towards a smaller carbon footprint. Be sure to visit Ecompter at The Independent Hotel Show (Stand IH66).

SUPPLIERS YOU SHOULD KNOW Ecompter 020 3402 1728 www.ecompter.com

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16 HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE | AUTUMN 2013

SUPPLIERS YOU SHOULD KNOW Kärcher 01295 752142 www.karcher.co.uk


SUPPLIER FOCUS SUPPLIERS

AREA LICENSEES SOUGHT FOR DENNY’S 2013 marks Denny’s 60th Anniversary as America’s Diner. Today Denny’s has over 2,100 casual dining restaurants operating in 10 countries. Many Brits enjoy Denny’s when they visit Disneyworld in Orlando. Now Denny’s is planning to enter the UK market. They see a real opportunity due to their Mission Statement, pricing and broad menu offering. Denny’s Mission Statement is to serve customers great tasting, quality food along with outstanding hospitality and, where possible, for 24 hours a day. Denny’s is ranked in the top 10 of all US franchises by Entrepreneur Magazine,

and ranked first in family dining. Denny’s uses innovative, brand building advertising to stay relevant on TV, the social web, radio and print. In the past two years, Denny’s Facebook fans have increased by 360%! Denny’s is now seeking one or more hotel operator/F&B companies in the United Kingdom to become Area Licensees, developing three or more restaurants in a region. These will be stand alone, mall-based, travel centre, university-based and airport locations, all of which flourish in the US and other countries where Denny’s operates. This is therefore a great opportunity for food businesses which have a thorough understanding of the family dining market, as well as the expertise to ensure Denny’s success in the UK.

SUPPLIERS YOU SHOULD KNOW The Franchising Centre 01904 561598 www.dennysfranchising.com

ECOPURE WATERS: BRINGING SUSTAINABILITY TO THE TABLE A mains water filtration system from EcoPure Waters offers hotels a number of customer service advantages, as well as bringing significant CSR and financial benefits. The system allows hotels to provide guests with high quality, chilled, still and sparkling drinking water. This is produced on-demand, and served in reusable glass bottles which can be printed with your own design. The premium look and feel of these bottles is a major selling point; they look more professional than plastic bottles and, because they carry your own brand, more personal as well. The system replaces bought-in bottles, eliminating environmental concerns over the manufacture, transportation, storage and disposal of these bottles, helping you to meet your CSR aspirations. The EcoPure Waters system also offers substantial financial advantages

over buying in bottled water. It is not just the purchase price that is saved – it is also the cost of ordering, delivery, handling, storage, refrigeration and waste disposal. Organisations can start making savings from serving as little as ten litres a day, typically generating savings of around 80% or more against current bought-in bottled water costs. EcoPure Waters’ exclusive new 750ml bottles with tamper-evident lids are particularly easy to fill and cap. The extra security this cap brings means the bottles can be used equally effectively in restaurants, bars, conference venues or

bedrooms. Now it’s easy and profitable for operators to take the “green option” without compromising either quality or taste!

SUPPLIERS YOU SHOULD KNOW EcoPure Waters 01844 290 088 www.ecopurewaters.com

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SUPPLIERS ON THE MARKET

MOBILE PRODUCTIVITY

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE MORE GUEST-FACING AND SPEND LESS TIME SCRUTINISING DATA ON YOUR DESKTOP PC? WITH CLOUD TECHNOLOGY, YOU CAN NOW DO BOTH! WE REVIEW SOME OF THE LATEST MOBILE SOLUTIONS INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY (AND REVENUE) FOR HOTEL MANAGERS

MOBILE EPOS FROM GUESTLINE Guestline has gone mobile with its next generation EPoS System. Available on all mobile devices, hoteliers can access detailed reports on stock and billing information – right through to higher level management operations. One hotelier reported that their food margin leapt from 45% to 69% once the new mobile EPoS system was introduced, in part because direct communication with the PMS ensured that all orders were automatically assigned to a room, reducing the margin for error. 01743 282300 www.guestline.com

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ON THE MARKET SUPPLIERS

PROTEL FOR IPAD Protel for iPad allows general managers to run their hotels from any location with the touch of a finger, with a range of front office features available to all staff in the hotel. Managers can use the system to ensure VIPs are not left waiting or are greeted personally. They can handle booking requests, access management reports and evaluate the latest data to ensure that timely and informed management decisions are being made, regardless of location. 0845 094 2220 www.xnhotels.com

MOBILE WISH

BAR PASS

Mobile WISH from Prologic First is a new service for general managers on the move. The platform provides general managers with daily flash reports, revenue history, guest service requests and actions taken on their smartphones. Mobile WISH can also be used to log and track service, engineering or housekeeping tasks instantly. The device connects to the hotel server over wi-fi or a 3G network. The hotel’s database and software system are protected by firewalls and access is granted only to authorised users.

Bar Pass has launched version two of its mobile ordering app, enabling your guests to order and pay for F&B directly from their smartphones. Drinks can either be delivered to the table or guests can be notified that they are waiting for collection. The platform also offers greater flexibility to operators, with a newly redesigned tablet app, increased app customisation and greater functionality for multiple outlets within the hotel. One popular rooftop bar found that the app significantly reduced waiting times and increased average spend.

020 3129 9340 www.prologicfirst.com

07940 553 097 www.barpass.co.uk

E-TABLE E-Table technology enables your diners to order food (and more) by interacting with a projection on their own restaurant tabletop. Guests can order from the digital menu and see food projected onto their plates to whet their appetite. Hoteliers can connect E-Table to their PMS and develop a unique interactive service to meet all of their guests’ needs and upsell hotel services. 0207 388 2832 www.e-table-interactive.com

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IN-DEPTH ROUNDTABLE

PROFIT RESPONSIBLY

WITH SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS PRACTICES GAINING MOMENTUM, WE ASK WHAT HOTELIERS CAN DO TO DEVELOP AN ETHICAL AND PROFITABLE CSR STRATEGY

Brigitta Witt – Hyatt Hotels Corporation, vice president, corporate responsibility

Inge Huijbrechts – Carlson Rezidor, vice president, responsible business

Kate Gibson – IHG, vice president, corporate responsibility

All hoteliers want to operate a more ethical business, but only a few have managed to develop a strategy robust enough to fully support such an initiative. What can hoteliers do to improve their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and what are the characteristics of a winning strategy? We ask three industry pioneers to share their experiences.

more sustainable communities and better lives. To achieve this, we must acknowledge that every stage of a hotel’s lifecycle, from developing and building hotels to sourcing goods and services, feeds into our environmental, social and economic footprint. At the same time, our hotels support economic development by creating stable sources of income and providing opportunities for local communities, notably as employees of and suppliers to the hotel.

world to focus on positive local efforts that contribute to the prosperity and well-being of their communities. We tackle issues through two programmes: Hyatt Earth, which drives environmental stewardship across our hotels, and Hyatt Community, which strengthens our community impact through volunteerism, philanthropy and disaster relief.

What characterises your CSR commitments? Kate Gibson: We believe that incorporating societal and environmental factors into our business strategy and operations will play a vital role in the long-term viability of IHG. Our ambition is to transform hospitality for

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Brigitta Witt: Our global corporate responsibility platform, Hyatt Thrive, is built on our belief that no one better understands a community’s most pressing issues – and solutions – than those people who live and work there. We therefore harness the power of our 90,000 Hyatt employees around the

How did you approach the development of your CSR policy? Inge Huijbrechts: Well, Rezidor was the first hospitality company to develop an environmental policy back in 1989. Today, our responsible business strategy works both topdown (defining and target-setting for our


ROUNDTABLE IN-DEPTH

Think Planet programme, for example) and bottom-up (defining activities for our yearly Responsible Business Action Month). The Responsible Business work is driven by a central team, 23 Regional Responsible Business Coordinators and a hotel coordinator in each property.

ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE

TOP 3 TIPS FOR CSR:

How important is CSR to your guests?

Kate Gibson: We believe our guests, both now and in the future, will not only want, but expect hotels to manage their environmental impact and to work to have a positive impact on their local community – all without taking away from the guest experience. So, we address community and environmental challenges by aiming to develop innovative concepts, technologies and ways of interacting with the local community. This approach helps us to create hotels that are better for the planet, better for local communities and better for our guests; all at the same time.

Measure: Adopt the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI), a free methodology that allows you to calculate and communicate the carbon footprint of a guest stay or meeting event consistently and transparently. HCMI is voluntary and can be used by small independents and large groups. Email info@hotelcarboninitiative.org

Stay Local: Partner with local charities and encourage your guests to donate a small sum which is voluntarily added to their bill at checkout.

Employee Engagement: Harness the power of your workforce in developing CSR activities. Assign “ambassadors” in every business area and perhaps set an annual date for community or charitable activities. Allow employees to select these activities and the causes that will benefit from them.

How do you communicate your CSR efforts to your guests? Inge Huijbrechts: One of the schemes we are working towards is eco-labelling our hotels. Currently 220 hotels proudly carry an externally validated eco-label, and we aim to have all of our hotels eco-labelled by 2015. We also communicate to our guests what they can do to participate. For example, in some hotels we provide guests with free bicycles with which to explore the city, electric car charging stations or eco-car rental schemes.

So guests are involved in your CSR efforts? Brigitta Witt: Yes, very involved. By collaborating with us on fundraising, our guests’ generosity has enabled us to increase support for our partners. For example, every April we celebrate a Global Month of Service, we give something back to our local communities. In the UK, we asked our guests at the London Hyatt Regency – The Churchill to support the hotel’s partner, the West London Mission, by paying an additional £1 on their final bill. We communicated the campaign via leaflets in the bedrooms and reception area, and we’ve been touched by our guests’ generosity.

How serious are hoteliers about improving their CSR? Kate Gibson: One of the main ongoing challenges is the misconception that CSR it is not a commercial or financial priority. A lot of businesses view CSR as an added expense and something a company cannot afford to do. The truth is CSR is something a company cannot afford not to do.

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IN-DEPTH SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT

THE RISE OF SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT

LEE JAMIESON EXPLORES THE FAST-PACED GROWTH OF SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT

EUROPEAN HOSPITALITY AWARDS: “GREEN HOTEL OF THE YEAR” (SHORTLISTED)

There is a new buzz word doing the rounds of hotel boardrooms: “sustainable procurement”. Yet, despite the growing popularity of this term, a consistent definition that can be shared across the industry is difficult to come by. The reality is that sustainable procurement means different things to different hoteliers – a problem that makes it impossible to measure crossindustry in any meaningful way. Many argue that, in an industry as multifaceted as hospitality, such a “one size fits all” approach could only yield arbitrary results anyway. Is it really useful to compare a large, corporatelyowned five-star luxury hotel with a small, independently run budget offering? Can we really apply the same terms of reference to hotels, pubs, fine-dining restaurants and contract caterers?

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Trail Blazers Hoteliers have started taking sustainable procurement very seriously – and a few pioneers are doing their bit to shape the debate. For example, Hilton Worldwide has partnered with BSR and launched the Center for Sustainable Procurement (CSP) to help establish the business fundamentals around sustainable procurement. Their aim is to create tools and guidance for procurement managers to enable them to make more strategic sustainable purchasing decisions. Closer to home, the sustainability efforts of one hotel stands head and shoulders above the rest: The Savoy It has been a great year for The Savoy’s sustainability team, scooping a number of key industry awards. These include the Virtuoso Best of the Best Award for “Sustainable Tourism Leadership

(Hotel)”, Considerate Hoteliers Association “Green Team of the Year Award” and the Sustainable Restaurant Association “Best Food Waste Strategy Award”. This range of awards reflects the range of initiatives in operation at The Savoy, focusing on energy and water conservation, waste management, innovative recycling initiatives and community projects. At the heart of their success is a clear purchasing policy which ensures that products and services are sourced from companies that endorse similar sustainable and responsible purchasing practices, standards and values. This simple strategy forces the sustainability agenda back down through the supply chain and increases the demand for sustainable products and services. The need to improve and measure the sustainable standards upheld by suppliers


SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT IN-DEPTH

CONSIDERATE HOTELIERS ASSOCIATION AWARDS: “GREEN TEAM OF THE YEAR”

SUSTAINABLE RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION AWARDS: “BEST FOOD WASTE STRATEGY” VIRTUOSO BEST OF THE BEST AWARD: “SUSTAINABLE TOURISM LEADERSHIP (HOTEL)” is central to Fairmont Hotels and Resorts’ wider strategy. “To assist in understanding the sustainability practices of our suppliers and encourage continuous improvement related to specific initiatives, we developed the Supplier Management Program,” explains Fairmont director of environmental affairs, Sarah Dayboll. “The program focuses on engaging with both our corporate and local-level suppliers in a manner that promotes further integration of sustainability practices into their operations. We have created supplier management tools to enable us to collect and assess the sustainability efforts of our suppliers in a uniform and consistent manner. These tools assist Fairmont in better understanding the sustainability practices used by our suppliers and provide a basis to score, rank and monitor improvements.”

Global and Local Large corporate organisations like Fairmont and Hilton are leading the global sustainable procurement agenda – but what about smaller independents operating here in the UK? It is refreshing to discover that many of the issues being driven globally by large brands are being driven locally by smaller operators. “As a company, we favour suppliers who demonstrate responsible policies because this has a positive impact on how we are perceived by our guests,” explains Tracey Beck, general manager at Winford Manor Hotel, an eco-hotel near Bristol. “We try to source our suppliers from a 15 mile radius in order to cut down our carbon footprint and support local businesses. As well as locality, we also look at the trading principles of our suppliers. Our reputation can be damaged

by being associated with businesses that abuse the rights of their own workers or their local environment.” Sustainable Legislation It is curious that sustainable procurement in many pockets of the hotel industry is seen as an opt-in trend, but change is ultimately being driven by legislation. For example, the combined affect of the 2001 Climate Change Levy (which significantly increased hotel energy costs) and the 2006 CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (which made it mandatory to reduce carbon emissions) really focused hoteliers on reducing their carbon footprint. “I think the drivers vary considerably across the country and across brands when it comes to responsible procurement,” explains Green Tourism Business Scheme managing director,

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IN-DEPTH SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT

ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE

INITIAL FINDINGS FROM THE CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT •

Align the strategy with the nature of the category and supplier relationships: For simple products, the preferred business and sustainability specifications can be written by the company and then sent to suppliers for a competitive bid. But as products increase in complexity, companies must work strategically with suppliers to enhance the product’s sustainability characteristics over time.

Involve the right players: Include the broad range of internal stakeholders that influence the design, specification, and use of purchased products and services.

Establish a clear business case: Given the range of attributes procurement directors have for purchasing decisions, it’s important to emphasize how sustainability attributes support those needs-for instance, through reduced costs or savings over the life of the product.

Start with what is measurable: Achieving the ultimate goal of lifecycle sustainability will take significant time and effort, making it important for companies to start simple and build momentum through early wins.

Andrea Nicholas. “Legislation is a driver in some parts of the country. For example, the new (Scottish) waste regulations introduced last year will prevent hotels from putting any organic or food waste into their general waste as of the 1st January 2014 and also require them to segregate and

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have separate uplifts for metals, bottles, plastic, cardboard and paper. “Generally we have seen an increased awareness of increased running costs such as energy, waste and water and most hotels are making some efforts to reduce these. However when the responsible option is perceived as expensive, there is a slower uptake. Even though the initial costs might be higher (investment in high-efficiency equipment or use of non-chemical cleaning systems), the running costs are lower and yield savings in staff time.” Sustainable Economics The market is innovating around this new economic model of higher set up charges offset by lower running costs. One such system from EcoPure Waters offers a mains water filtration system capable of delivering chilled, still and sparkling drinking water on demand, all served in reusable glass bottles which can be hotel branded. “In our experience, a hotel can have a fully installed system with free bottles, dishwasher trays and carry-crates for less than £38 a week, which includes regular servicing and full parts replacement,” explained managing director, Paul Proctor. “If they spend more than this per week on bought-in bottled water – around 10 litres per day – then the hotelier is saving money from the first week onwards.” Eco Guests Another key demand driver in sustainable procurement is the evolving guest needs. With the growth of eco-conscious travellers, the decision making process behind the booking is evolving. “Sustainability is becoming more and more important to guests and hotels simply cannot afford to ignore this trend,” explains Flexis Hospitality Solutions director, Geoff Royle. “The primary reason for a first time visit is probably not always down to a hotel’s commitment to sustainability factors. However, once there, the guest does like to see locally-sourced foods and a hotel that operates conscientiously.

If the first visit translates into a good experience, then they are more likely to return if the hotel’s green credentials and food provenance is good.” At Winford Manor Hotel, this trend is evident in guest feedback, as Beck confirms: “We have been quite surprised by the guest reaction! On our guest comment forms we ask if they are aware of our green grading and if this is important to them. Approximately 1-in-30 completed forms state they are NOT aware of our green grading and around 10-in-30 forms state that IS important to them.” Sustainable Procurement remains a difficult term because the economics around which the industry can measure its effectiveness is still evolving. Essentially, procurement professionals must look beyond the traditional factors like price and quality, and find ways of evaluating the environmental and ethical “value” of a product – and measure the impact of the product’s life cycle from “cradle to grave”.

“SUSTAINABILITY IS BECOMING MORE IMPORTANT … HOTELS SIMPLY CANNOT AFFORD TO IGNORE THIS TREND” Whilst the necessary terms of reference evolve, hoteliers can still benefit from two things: cost-savings and brand differentiation. “Brands that integrate sustainability into their procurement actions gain stronger recognition through awards or sustainability rankings, setting apart those who do not engage in sustainable purchasing,” concludes Fairmont’s Dayboll. “Brands that implement a sustainable purchasing program provide a framework for their local-level properties to follow, but enabling them to innovate by tackling sourcing, challenging and finding innovative solutions. “What better way is there to differentiate?!”


SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT IN-DEPTH

Main image: The Savoy Hotel, London Right image: Winford Manor Hotel, Bristol Top middle image: Green Tourism Business Scheme managing director, Andrea Nicholas Bottom left image: Fairmont Hotels director of environmental affairs, Sarah Dayboll Bottom middle image: Flexis Hospitality Solutions director, Geoff Royle

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EXPERT VIEWS COLUMNIST

DO YOU LOVE YOUR CUSTOMERS?

CAROLINE COOPER URGES YOU TO CONNECT WITH THE CUSTOMERS YOU LOVE

Have you had guests that “spell trouble” the moment they walk through the door? We’ve all met them: they’re hard work, you don’t enjoy serving them, and worse still, this shows – albeit unintentionally. And to add insult to injury they are most often the least profitable! Not the best recipe for long term loyalty, or long term profitability. When you’re attracting the type of guests whom you love working with, who share your values and love what you offer, you will make that connection. It is then so much easier to build rapport, and this means you are in a far better position to know what they want, enabling you to meet and exceed their expectations. A win-win. So, what exactly is important to you, and are you utilising this to attract the type of guests you love to work with? If sustainability is important and you reflect this in the way you run your hotel, you will want to attract guests who also value this. If service excellence is your most important value you’ll want to attract people who value service. Whatever it is, whether it’s a sport, hobby, principle, or interest, the clearer you are on what’s important to you the easier it is to establish

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CAROLINE COOPER Caroline Cooper specialises in working with hospitality, tourism and leisure businesses to build loyalty through outstanding customer experiences and trigger repeat business. She is founder of Naturally Loyal and author of the Hotel Success Handbook. Discover more: www.naturallyloyal.com

your ideal guest and attract them. Having in mind your ideal guest means that you can tailor everything you do with them in mind, increasing your chances of attracting them (and not those who fail to appreciate what you do, spend less and complain in the process!) Too many hoteliers try to appeal to everyone and end up satisfying no one. You can always tell a venue that has no specific target market in mind because they are not focused and consistent with what they do. Not only does it make life more difficult appealing to a wide array of needs, it also makes it very difficult to market your business and attract new guests.

“TOO MANY HOTELIERS TRY TO APPEAL TO EVERYONE AND END UP SATISFYING NO ONE” Make your target audience clear in all your communications so that your ideal guest can spot quickly if you’re a good match for them. Not just your marketing speak, but tell your story, use the right images and focus on getting your message out to where your ideal guests will see it or hear it. This doesn’t mean to say that you can only have a single category of guest, but keep in mind the compatibility of your two or three main target markets – to each other and, just as importantly, to you!


COLUMNIST EXPERT VIEWS

AN EMOTIONAL JOURNEY ANNE BLACKBURN GETS EMOTIONAL ABOUT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Hoteliers understand what looks good, what tastes good, what “luxury” and “budget” mean. But this is not enough in today’s “me, me, me” world. Hoteliers need to empathise with their customers; they need to “get” them and connect on a deeper level. Over 50% of our experience derives from the emotions created by that experience - good or bad. Guests who have positive emotional experiences are happy to pay more, return and to recommend. But not enough hoteliers are designing their experience around their guests’ emotional needs. To get emotional with your guests, you need to tackle three key areas: 1. The Context of Guest Emotion Two thirds of guests are influenced by emotional drivers over rational benefits when making a booking. Even before a guest starts to directly interact with you, you can positively influence them. How you manage guest needs at these key touchpoints during and after their stay is key to the memories they take away. In short, hoteliers need to better understand their guests’ emotional triggers. Then, by planning, designing and articulating the guest experience and training staff to deliver it, hoteliers can start to build much richer connections. 2. The Emotional Journey No hotel would deliberately set out to create negative emotions for their guests,

ANNE BLACKBURN Anne Blackburn is the co-founder of award-winning Sidona Group. As the company’s customer experience director, she specialises in customer experience research, strategy, learning design and evaluation. Discover more: www.sidonagroup.com

but understanding how guests feel following certain hotel interactions is key. Things like not being acknowledged at check in, unsmiling staff, poor room design and illogical procedures or surcharges can all impact negatively on the emotional journey – so it is critical that hoteliers understand where negative emotions are created to remove them and evoke positive emotions in their place.

“HOTELIERS NEED TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THEIR GUESTS’ EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS” 3. Managing Staff and Guest Emotions As leaders, hotel managers need to have core emotional intelligence skills and be highly self-aware. Leaders who successfully harness emotional intelligence create cultures which are conducive to high performance. They influence the team’s mood and it is the team’s mood that drives the performance that yields higher productivity, retention and profitability. Hilton and Sheraton Hotels both put emotional intelligence at the heart of their service leadership programmes, and one Sheraton Hotel in Orlando saw a 24% increase in market share following a period of intense emotional intelligence training. This is a skill which makes a real difference to business.

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HOTEL INDUSTRY LEARNING

“SALES SERIES” WORKSHOPS OUR WORKSHOPS

HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE HAS DEVELOPED A SERIES OF LIMITED EDITION WORKSHOPS TO ENABLE UK HOTELIERS TO INCREASE SALES.

TOP THREE REASONS

TO BOOK TODAY: EFFECTIVE: We have formed a

strategic partnership with CKA to deliver tried-and-tested sales workshops with a track record of delivering results to the hotel sector.

RESPONSIVE:

Developed in direct response to hotelier concerns over the tough trading conditions expected in 2014

ACTIONABLE: We deliver measurable action, with deliverable results, that you and your team can implement immediately!

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TRIED AND TESTED TECHNIQUES TO INCREASE SALES “DELIVERED BY CONOR KENNY AND ASSOCIATES” HOW TO SELL MORE WEDDINGS London: Tuesday 12th November 2013 This workshop is for anyone involved in selling weddings or involved in putting together a wedding strategy. This highly interactive workshop will examine the barriers participants are facing in selling weddings. We will examine the importance of the showaround and generate ideas to help convert enquiries.

HOW TO DO THE PERFECT WEDDING SHOW AROUND AND SELL MORE London: Tuesday 21st January 2014 If you are looking to increase revenue from weddings, then conducting the perfect show round is key. Ensure that your team convert more sales and drive revenue with this interactive workshop. Price: £130 per delegate

Price: £130 per delegate

CONTACT Linda Halpin T: 0844 502 5250 E: learning@hotel-industry.co.uk W: www.hotel-industry.co.uk/learning


COLUMNIST EXPERT VIEWS

SELLING IN HARD TIMES CONOR KENNY ON INCREASING YOUR SALES REVENUE

Selling has not become harder; most sales people today are simply ill equipped, out of shape and in the wrong job. Harsh words, but true: I meet them every working day. The starting point for successful selling is being in the right job! Ask a sales person what they do for a living and I bet they answer “marketing”. Why? Because, for many, sales is not something they really want to do.

“PASSION ENSURES THAT FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION” The first step is to recruit people who want to sell by testing their track record and ability. To succeed in selling you have to be highly agile, mobile and articulate. Passion is fundamental to success because it drives persistence. In other words, passion ensures that failure is not an option. Next, you have to know who you want to talk to and why. The fatal conversation opener, “how are you today Mr. Kenny?” may quickly elicit a sarcastic, “thank you my friend, I’m in a very dark place but I’m so glad you care.” … Just get to the point because I know you’re selling and that’s ok. Wasting my time is not. The cardinal sin tends to occur at this point: there is no immediate engagement or benefit for the customer – you must benefit me first, yourself second. Crack that, and you are half way to making sales.

CONOR KENNY Conor Kenny and Associates are experts in sales, marketing, sales training and people development. They help you to get the most out of your people and your business. Companies don’t innovate; people do. Discover more: www.conorkenny.com

Recently, I was asked by the GM of a very fine hotel to develop a detailed strategy for them. I refused. He was shocked and asked why. Earlier that week I was in the bunker sales office where four attractive 30-somethings were sitting amidst pink balloons celebrating a birthday. It was 3pm on a Tuesday. I was back again the following week and the same four were pouring over a newspaper cutting with their photo in it. I turned to the GM and said, “here’s your one month, high performance, turbo charged strategy. Are you ready? Those four people out, every day for the next week. Three calls in the morning to lapsed customers, one in the afternoon to an existing customer and two to potential customers. That’s 30 calls per person, per week, times four people is 120 meetings, or 6,000 per annum.” He got it. They did it. They had a record year.

“CONOR KENNY IS DELIVERING OUR SERIES OF HOTEL SALES MASTER CLASSES IN LONDON FOR HOTEL INDUSTRY LEARNING” AUTUMN 2013 | HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE 29


EXPERT VIEWS LEADING LIGHT

PETER TAYLOR OF TOWN HOUSE COLLECTION

FOR A RELATIVELY SMALL OPERATOR OF BOUTIQUE HOTELS IN SCOTLAND, THE TOWN HOUSE COLLECTION HAS MADE BIG WAVES AND ATTRACTED A RAFT OF HIGH-PROFILE INDUSTRY AWARDS. CHAIRMAN, PETER TAYLOR SPEAKS EXCLUSIVELY TO HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE BUSINESS MANTRA!

PETER TAYLOR’S BUSINESS MANTRA: Never underestimate the power of making people feel good about themselves – both your team and your guests. Peter Taylor is a natural ambassador for the tourism industry across the UK – his CIS Lifetime Excellence Award and OBE for Services to Tourism are testament to that fact – but he is at his most passionate when talking about Scotland. “For such a small country, Scotland can really punch above its weight,” explained Taylor. “What I love about this market is the fact that you can get all the key industry players around the table at the same time and therefore make things happen. “This is much harder to do this in the South, but here we have organisations like the Scottish Tourism Alliance to pull industry together. It’s not about competition, but collaboration.” At the heart of this idea is Taylor’s fundamental approach to business: hotels are not about bricks and mortar;

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but people. As a result, the culture at Town House Collection is built on a passion for, trusting in, and driving change through its people. “I think you need to trust people and leave them to get on with the job,” he explained. “Nothing delights me more than when I walk into one of our hotels and see a development I wasn’t consulted on.” Scottish Independence As Scotland gears up for a referendum on Scottish independence in Autumn next year, Taylor voices concerns over its impact on the country’s hospitality industry. “There are real mixed views across the hospitality industry here. At this point in time, there are hundreds of unanswered questions – and this causes concern. “I know of some companies that are withholding investment until they know exactly how the land lies, so people are nervous and the situation is creating uncertainty in the market.” That said, Taylor remains upbeat about Scotland’s visibility as a tourist destination, despite political uncertainly in the background. He enthuses about the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Homecoming Scotland. “Scotland is strong in the short break market, and I think we will see more

people coming here seeking authentic experiences. I see growth in well-healed individuals visiting Scotland and staying in a five-star hotel one night and a cosy B&B the next. “This growing breed of traveller has done sun, sand and sea – they are now looking for experiential trips. They are not looking for ‘plush’; they already have that in their lives. Rather, they are looking for soft (and safe) adventure.” Boutique One cause for concern for many high-end hoteliers is that growth in the boutique segment is attracting the attention of big brand operators. Taylor, for one, remains unfazed. “The big boys are always trying to emulate boutique, but they just can’t seem to do it with the same flair!” he explains. “In the past, five of the big boys have approached us to fly their flag. We fleetingly explored one, but we struggled to see where the added value was for us. For example, rates at Blythswood Square in Glasgow are significantly ahead of its competitor set, and The Bonham in Edinburgh, where the market is more mature, is also achieving its share. I therefore find it hard to see where the added value is for us.” For Taylor, the key challenge of competing against big brand operators


LEADING LIGHT EXPERT VIEWS

lies at the opposite end of the market: the influx of budget hotels. “Budget hotels are not in the same market, but they do have an impact. That said, we now find that regular travellers want more than a budget hotel, so I think corporates have moved away from big brands and are no longer just chasing the best rate.” Taylor is still looking for opportunities in Scotland. Aberdeen has been on his radar since before the credit crunch, but at the moment Town House is still consolidating what it has in Glasgow’s Blythswood Square following a £30m investment. One thing is for sure, further growth is on the cards at Town House. This might come in the form of new properties or operating a

branded hotel, if the right properties, locations and contracts can be found. “As I mentioned, we have been approached for management contracts – and we have the teams and strength to do that, but it has to be a contract that we can add value to. It needs to be different; it needs to offer serious volume in the 60-120 key range; it needs to be aspiring to be in the boutique lifestyle sector. That’s where we can add value.” Taylor is a boutique hotelier at heart, and probably always will be. His passion and skills are naturally suited to the top end of the market. “I always say: be budget or boutique,” concludes Taylor, “just don’t get stuck in the middle where you will get squeezed from both ends.”

ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE

PETER TAYLOR’S ADVICE TO HOTEL GROUP LEADERS IN 2013: 1. Don’t believe your own hype! 2. Never tire of asking: “what can we do better?” 3. Listen to your team

AUTUMN 2013 | HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE 31


INNOVATION HOTELIER 3.0

“Y-PROOF” YOUR HOTEL

IOANNIS S. PANTELIDIS EXPLAINS WHY GENERATION Y SHOULD BE AT THE HEART OF YOUR BUSINESS STRATEGY Of course having the customer in mind when developing a strategy is extremely important, but what about other stakeholders? A holistic approach to a millennial-focused strategy should consider at least three stakeholders: customers, employees and suppliers. The Y-Customer Why it takes so long for hoteliers to realise that technology is becoming a cultural necessity for all customers and not just business, is beyond me! Increasingly, evidence suggests that guests never switch off, even when You may know them as Millennials, Echo Boomers or Generation Y. However you refer to this demographic, the discussion about how those born between 1983 and 2000 perceive your hotel has been ongoing. But the debate has intensified recently across the hospitality industry with the realisation this demographic will make up more than 50% of business travel by 2020. Recently, many hoteliers have been developing a strategy with a focus on millennials. For example, Marriott has announced a new millennial-focused concept: MOXY, a brand that promises stylish contemporary design, high-tech and low prices. Marriot plans to open 150 of these budget hotels across Europe in the next decade. The valuable lesson here is that many hoteliers appear to focus solely on millennials as customers.

32 HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE | AUTUMN 2013

Above image: Artist Renderings for MOXY Top image: Ioannis S. Pantelidis

IOANNIS S. PANTELIDIS Ioannis S. Pantelidis is a senior lecturer in Hospitality and Culinary Arts at the University of Brighton. He is co-author of the bestselling book, Food and Beverage Management, and has published and presented papers in numerous international conferences and academic journals including the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

they are on holiday. Free wi-fi (or the perception of free wi-fi) is now a basic requirement; access should be instant and bandwidth should be expansive. Customization, minimal design, ethics and sustainability are high on the agenda for this generation who is “trigger happy” when it comes to sharing news about your hotel on social media.

“THE Y-EMPLOYEE EXPECTS A FLEXIBLE APPROACH TO WORK THAT MAY SEEM CULTURALLY OFFENSIVE TO BABY BOOMERS” The Y-Employee Hoteliers must realise that if they do not adapt their policies and their organisational culture to cater for the Y-employee, then they are likely to struggle to attract the best talent and, in turn, compete for their share of the Y-customer. The Y-employee is well-educated, expects technology-based perks and a flexible approach to work that may seem culturally offensive to baby boomers. Forget paper CVs and email as the main form of communication; be ready to adopt electronic and video CVs, instant communication and feedback via mobile-apps or social media and a semistructured work day that is focused on results, not working hours.


HOTELIER 3.0 INNOVATION

ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE The Y-Supplier This is the one stakeholder that is often forgotten when considering a hotel millennial strategy. Yet it is one of equal importance for two reasons. Firstly, hotels traditionally spend very little money on research and development. Secondly, Y-customers are not only interested in the sustainability and ethics of your business, but also your entire supply chain. Now, I am not suggesting that you choose your suppliers based on their year of birth, but rather on how Gen-Y savvy their approach and practice is. The story behind your supplier choice can become as compelling as other elements of your brand to millennials. Ultimately, the Generation Y-adopted culture rubs off on older generations creating a shift in customer and

GEN-Y WILL NOT BE MOTIVATED BY TRADITIONAL HOTELS – SO WHAT DO THEY REALLY WANT?

Customer Service: The “attentive” service demanded by the baby boomers will give way to more self-service models. For example, mobile check-in

Experience: This generation is motivated by experience and look for hotels with distinctive and iconic design.

Technology: They expect their technology experience to work seamlessly – and they are not prepared to wait! This includes free wi-fi throughout the property.

Chill Out Zones: Gen-Y are more likely to use multi-purpose socialising areas where they can order casual food at anytime of the day.

CSR: They are more socially and environmentally conscious than previous generations, and will expect your business to operate ethically.

employee expectations towards a more sustainable and tech-savvy hotel. Today, you may think that revisiting your hotel strategy to focus more on Generation Y is non-urgent. The reality

is that hotel strategies take so long to be embedded in the organisational culture that, if you haven’t already acted, you may just about have enough time to do something about it before it is too late.

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01732 409 999 AUTUMN 2013 | HOTEL INDUSTRY MAGAZINE 33


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Hotel Industry Magazine - Autumn 2013  

This issue of Hotel Industry Magazine has been written to help you take positive action to ensure a sustainable business strategy in the lon...

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