HoteliersGuild's ForumOfDialogue Vol. VI | May 2021

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Vol. VI

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VOLUME VI. May, 2021


Dear Friends & Colleagues, Optimism is a psychological phenomenon that influences many areas of life, optimistic individuals always look positively on every event in life. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought many changes to both human life, and to our industry. For those of us who insist on seeing the glass half full, even when the miserable legions point out that it’s also half empty, COVID-19 poses particular challenges.

Frank M. Pfaller President | HoteliersGuild Publisher

In ‘normal’ times, our unbroken optimism wins us friends and provides us with us a bunch of benefits including an feeling of wellbeing which also causes surging resilience and eventually better health. Things are very different now. And, scientifically, there’s a bright side and a dark side to optimism. "People who are optimistic are more committed to their goals, are more successful in achieving their goals, are more satisfied with their lives, and have better mental and physical health when compared to more pessimistic people," says Suzanne Segerstrom, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky. However, over-optimism can cloud our minds and lead us to miscalculate risks and make unsound decisions. It cause us to falsely assume that positive things are more likely to happen to us than others, and that we are more invulnerable to negative events than the rest. So, it seems that a somewhat ‘moderated optimism’ would be the better approach. But how? A good way to check if we are being excessively optimistic is to ask ourselves: what evidence do we have to support our predictions? In the United States, the optimism seems to be especially renewed as it swore in Joseph R. Biden Jr. as its 46 president on Wednesday, along with Kamala Harris as vice president. Recently, as reported by Luxury Travel Advisor, Biden proposed a $1.9 trillion relief package targeted at combating the COVID-19 virus directly and economic relief in the form of new grant programs, enhanced unemployment benefits and direct checks to Americans. “We welcome and wholeheartedly support the provisions of [President Biden]’s COVID-19 relief proposal that will help spur the travel industry’s recovery and provide support to ASTA members, employees and independent contractors," said Eben Peck, EVP, advocacy for the American Society of Travel Advisors. In Europe, and according to FitchRatings, ‘Leisure Will Steer European Hotels' Course to Recovery’, as domestic travel will be key to recovery in the European hotel sector. Even

though new European travel restrictions delayed recovery in the region's lodging sector, and the forecasted that its 2021 performance will be well below 2019 levels, with full-scale recovery starting only in 2022, unless there is another round of strict coronavirus pandemic-related mobility limitations. However, and as we already also mentioned in earlier forum meetings, ‘hotel operators may need to adapt to a new post-pandemic reality as demand, particularly in the business segment, may not fully recover in the medium term. Hotel rates will be down in the short term under pressure from overcapacity and the need for hoteliers to generate sufficient occupancy to break even. European hotels are unlikely to benefit from quicker demand recovery in other regions, such as APAC, as long-distance travel remains limited…’ So, and while we all continue to be optimistic, we should avoid the dark side of optimism in these difficult times of a pandemic at all costs. Because in situations like this, excessive or irrational optimism could lead to serious negative consequences. What is normally considered a strength of optimists, such as entrepreneurial risk-taking and visionary mid-to-long-term planning for the future, in the absence of absolutely necessary reliable and resilient facts to back it up, could easily turn out to be a dangerous weakness. Which brings us to the question of how to govern for optimists? Well, as a much wiser author recently stated: ‘In ambiguous situations, optimists tend to gravitate towards the most positive interpretation of the rules. In situations where confusion reigns due to constantly changing regulations, we will come to our own conclusions. When rules come with exceptions, we will assume that these exceptions apply to us…’ Conclusion: Optimists Are Better at Bouncing Back! When life delivers lemons, optimists are more likely to make lemonade. Those were the findings in a survey of college freshman in Australia: The students who were more optimistic about their transition to university life experienced less stress, anxiety, and uncertainty and had a more successful first year overall.

To all of you: Stay Healthy and Confident and please continue to support our HoteliersGuild initiative! Thank you and warm regards! Frank

Gratefully acknowledging the support of our panel members & friends!

Individuality is at the core of the Preferred brand, and we celebrate all forms of diversity:

I am proud to share that I’ve doubled down on my commitment to this key value by cofounding LeadingHôteliéres, part of the HoteliersGuild community with Frank M. Pfaller, that has a mission promoting gender equality within the hospitality industry.

Lindsey Ueberroth

CEO, Preferred Hotel Group

It is a great pleasure and honour to join the panel of the HoteliersGuild. I am delighted to support industry colleagues dedicated to working on solutions towards a hospitality industry, which is kind to the environment, healthy to its workers, pleasing to its guests, efficient for the operators and profitable to its owners. Thank you Frank for this unique opportunity to contribute to a future proofed hospitality.

Prof. Dr. Willy Legrand Professor of Hospitality Management at the

At Hoteliersguild we are very pleased to extend a warm welcome to Astrid Oberhummer, Founder & CEO of LobsterExperience who has just been affiliated to our LeadingHôteliérses chapter upon the kind recommendation of our Ambassador Onno Poortier. Nobody in the German market knows the luxury industry better than Astrid. For over 25 years it has specialized in this segment and revolutionized the luxury travel market with its ideas and service offers. What does luxury mean and how do you sell it properly? Astrid shares this knowledge regularly in the context of training courses and appearances as a guest speaker. Within the company, she leads the sales team and, together with the team, develops innovative products that provide real value for luxury tour operators and vendors. We are now looking much forward to Astrid’s support of our common causes. Frank M. Pfaller President | HoteliersGuild

At Hoteliersguild we are delighted to extend a warm welcome to the wonderful Tea Colaianni, Founder and Chair of Women in Hospitality, Travel & Leisure. Tea founded the WiHTL (formerly known as WiH2020) campaign in 2017. A keen advocate of gender diversity, in 2018 she rallied support to conduct the first ever research into female leadership across the Hospitality, Travel and Leisure sector. She has since created the most influential collaboration platform of leaders across the HTL sector with the objective of increasing gender representation and diversity as a whole at leadership level across hospitality, travel and leisure. Tea is a non-Executive Director on a number of Boards and has held senior HR Executive roles at Merlin Entertainments Plc and Hilton Hotels. We are truly honoured to count on Tea’s support to our cause!

Dear Frank I am delighted and honoured to accept your invitation for personal membership. I look forward to continuing to support your mission. Thank you very much. Best wishes Tea Tea Colaianni Founder and Chair

Frank M. Pfaller President HoteliersGuild

At Hoteliersguild we are delighted to extend a warm welcome to Philipp Weghmann. Philipp comes highly recommended and has just recently taken over his new position as Vice President & Global Brand Leader. Taking this opportunity, we also send him our best wishes for this new position. Frank M. Pfaller President | HoteliersGuild

Dear Frank, Many thanks for your kind message and invitation which I gladly accept. I am delighted to be joining this esteemed group of professionals and look forward to virtual and in person encounters in the months ahead. Best regards, Philipp Philipp Weghmann Vice President & Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection

At Hoteliersguild we are delighted to extend a warm welcome to the wonderful Anni Hood, CEO at WELL Intelligence. A leading global wellness adviser and strategist, Anni spearheads a cross section of workplace, hospitality, travel, c-suite, community and wellness tourism projects. She advises and supports ministerial, tourism and public sector organisations, private businesses and individuals. Her work is largely anchored to insights and analysis, conceptual development, strategic planning, operational delivery, programming and re positioning. Anni is the Chief Executive of Well Intelligence, an industry insights and market intelligence platform for public and private sector businesses. Also, founder of Well Business Solutions (global advisory). She is also the founder and visionary behind K.I.S Lifestyle® – an online wellness community. We are truly honoured to count on Anni’s support to our cause! Frank M. Pfaller President HoteliersGuild

Dearest Frank, my goodness, what an honour. It is an absolute privilege to be included in such an esteemed community of leaders and professionals. I am both moved and inspired, very much looking forward to contributing to the richness of the hospitality experience through this eminent group. I humbly accept you kind and generous invitation for personal membership, thank you so much. With love and kindness, Anni

Anni Hood Chief Executive WELL Intelligence Web:

UK intl: +44 7885255887

HoteliersGuild's LeadingHôtelières Chapter

is a collective of senior industry specialists and academics, campaigning for increased female leadership in the hospitality and travel sector. We believe that improved gender equality at executive level is the key to our industry's future, and we are committed to driving positive change through demonstrating academic research, building sponsorship and like-minded networks, transforming design and development strategies, and engaging communication.

At Hoteliersguild we are thrilled to extend a warm welcome to Maria Velez, Program Director at INSTITUT PAUL BOCUSE. Maria is absolutely passionate about the F&B business, and an expert in the whole spectrum of restaurant operations. Her position comprise responsibilities to plan and supervise curriculums for the master's degree program, collaborate with lecturers on course contents and structure, design, plan and pilot yearly and inter semestral projects with students and companies, guarantee program's academic quality, design and develop new academic programs and develop collaboration with partner schools, to name just a few.

Dear Frank,

We are looking much forward to Maria’s contribution t o o u r c a u s e a s a n a ff i l i a t e d m e m b e r o f HoteliersGuild’s LeadingHôtelières Chapter and the YoungCheffesInitiative! Frank M. Pfaller President | HoteliersGuild

 BP 25 - 69131 ECULLY CEDEX 
 FRANCE LIGNE DIRECTE +33 4 72 18 02 20

I am excited and ready to tackle this challenge, as this initiative combines everything I believe in and one of my many reasons to work at the Institut Paul Bocuse: empowering young women from all over the world to find their place in a notoriously maledominated field. I hope that we create a tight network of mentors and supporters of female chefs, who will open more doors for those behind them. Thank you! Maria Velez
 Program Director

At Hoteliersguild we so pleased to extend a warm welcome to Eugénie Guillermin, Chef Instructor at INSTITUT PAUL BOCUSE. Eugénie is one of the keepers of the savoir-faire of Institut Paul Bocuse and ambassadors of excellence with the French Touch, who constantly revisit and enthusiastically impart this culinary and cultural heritage. They keep a permanent track on the sector’s trends and changes and adapt the content of the modules accordingly, to match the needs and obligations of the market. They have developed innovative pedagogical methods specifically for adults. We are looking much forward to Eugénie’s contribution to our cause as an affiliated member of HoteliersGuild’s LeadingHôtelières Chapter and the YoungCheffesInitiative! Frank M. Pfaller President | HoteliersGuild

Dear Frank, Thank you for spearheading this necessary cause for young women in the industry. I believed that my background as a professional chef and the only female chef instructor at Institut Paul Bocuse can be add a unique perspective to the Guild. On top of it, my vast network and connections in the industry may prove invaluable to reach out and establish a solid group dedicated to the cause. Therefore, I believe that my inclusion as a member would benefit the Guild and its current and future activities. I appreciate your time and attention, wishing you a good day. Best regards, Eugénie GUILLERMIN
 BP 25 - 69131 ECULLY CEDEX 
 FRANCE LIGNE DIRECTE +33 4 72 18 02 20


United by Optimism from Vicki & Beatrice Tollman Director & Founder | The Red Carnation Collection Member & Hon. Ambassador respectively | HoteliersGuild LeadingHôtelières


2020 saw the hospitality industry come to a standstill. With 18 unique and special hotels around the world now closed, and 2 new properties in the pipeline, the team behind Red Carnation Hotels were faced with some unprecedented challenges. As a business we chose to pivot, with passion and purpose and realise the opportunity! Opportunity makes it possible to do great things. Optimism is ignited when real opportunities for growth become clear to us. Purposeful optimism is built on substance, derived from strategy and underpinned by a well-resourced team. It frees us up to consider new options and change our business, and lives, for the better. It helps us look to the future and create expansive, evolving realities. An optimistic attitude provides motivation, fortitude, and resilience. Optimism keeps the light of opportunity glowing even when the world seems dark…. WHEN THE INDUSTRY WAS QUIET, WE FOUND OUR VOICE In 2020 Red carnation Hotels celebrated 100 years of hospitality which began when my grandfather, Soloman Tollman, opened a small hotel in Paternoster (a small fishing village in the Cape in South Africa) in August 1920. One-hundred years later, with a global pandemic, closed hotels and furloughed teams, we decided to share our story with our guests, partners and teams around the world with monthly storytelling videos from The Tollman Family, interviews with partners and ambassadors and updates from our hotel teams. This truly brought us closer to our global family and opened the hearts and minds of our treasured guests and valued teams during a time of such disconnection around the world. WE OPENED XIGERA SAFARI LODGE Xigera is our love letter to the magic of the African bush. Xigera Safari Lodge is the fourth, and latest, African property to join The Red Carnation Hotel Collection. It was nothing short of a dream come true for my family to become custodians of Xigera and nothing short of a miracle to be able to finish the lodge welcome guests from December 2020. Xigera Safari Lodge offers an exceptional land and water safari experience of anything anytime, with just 12 beautiful suites, each resting effortlessly in this wild landscape. Amid this remarkable setting, Xigera’s design aesthetic is wholeheartedly dedicated to celebrating African art, design and creativity. From bespoke handcrafted pieces and inspired works of art, to an unforgettable sleep-out experience beneath Africa’s star-spangled skies. WE CONTINUED TO INVEST IN SALES AND MARKETING Despite the financial challenges of the past year, the Red Carnation team saw a unique opportunity to elevate our brand and invest in our assets. With a new property Xigera Safari Lodge ready to open, the team worked tirelessly to redesign and rebuild each and every hotel website across the collection, we also invested in a new PR agency to ensure our properties remained visible, despite our doors being closed. Red Carnation Hotels is part of the TTC family of travel brands, and along with our 40 sister companies we united as one global sales team. Our General Managers sent regular, personal video updates to each of their guests and industry partners, our sales teams presented our beautiful properties to thousands of industry partners around the world, we collaborated and communicated with each other more than ever before to reach new clients and stay connected with our most trusted partners too. WE CREATED A HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT FOR OUR GUESTS AND OUR TEAMS As a hospitality business, we take our role very seriously and we have always employed stringent safety and sanitation protocols. In response to the pandemic, we also implemented Leitha CleanCoat™ into our UK hotels, this is the first solution of its kind and offers long-term protection by purifying the air and rendering treated surfaces self-disinfecting. As we continue to face the global challenge of responding to Covid-19, we remain focused on caring for the health, security and wellbeing of our guests and employees, and continue to operate our hotels with both our head and our heart during these difficult times. WE ARE COMMITTED TO MAKE TRAVEL MATTER As a family-owned and run business we genuinely care about our people and our local communities. We work hard to protect the wildlife and environments within which we operate and are passionate about sustainability. We are proud to work alongside The TreadRight Foundation and The TTC family of brands to MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® through conservation, leadership and support for communities. In 2020 we launched 11 Sustainability goals developed to address Red Carnation Hotel's impact on Planet, People, and Wildlife. These goals include achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 or sooner, source 50% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025, reduce food waste by 50% by 2025 and eliminate as many unnecessary single use plastics by 2022. We remain optimistic for a successful 2021 and on behalf of The Red Carnation Hotel collection we wish our industry colleagues the very best for business recovery and personal health and happiness!


Reimagining the African Safari Experience at Xigera Safari Lodge from Mike Myers General Manager | Xigera Safari Lodge Member of HoteliersGuild


Taking guests on safari in Africa has been both my life’s work and my pleasure. I have worked in southern Africa for over forty years during which time I have seen, first hand, how the safari offering has changed and developed. Early safari experiences revolved around hunting and it was only later that the idea of going on safari to just see the wildlife in its natural surroundings became the “raison d’etre” for being in the wild places in Africa. The bulk of my time has been spent in and around the wildlife paradise that is the Okavango Delta in the northwest of Botswana. When I first arrived here in the late 70s tourism was dominated by hunting with just a few photographic safari camps. These camps operated on a model which came from South Africa where Mala Mala and Londolozi were early names in the industry. Guests were woken early before sunrise to go out looking for wildlife, mostly the big cats, and getting back to camp for a brunch around mid-morning followed by a siesta. High tea followed around 15.30 and then a further game drive with sundowners before dinner. Traditionally dinner was served in a circular boma under the stars around a fire, after which everyone went to sleep, and the process repeated itself the next day. In the mid 90s the land use policy in Botswana changed and everyone was able to tender for the best wildlife areas which till then had been the domain of the hunting companies. This resulted in the best areas going to the photographic safari operators and business boomed. The safari camps and lodges have become more sophisticated and the offering has developed however, the manner in which safaris operated remained the same. I have been the guide to the Tollman family since their involvement with the tourism industry in Botswana started in 1995 with Wilderness Safaris. Throughout this time, it was their wish to raise the standard of the hospitality offering to match the quality of the wildlife offering in the country. While on safari, sitting around the fire for many nights this was a topic of discussion, but it was not until the family’s acquisition of the Xigera site in the Okavango that the dream could become a reality. It took three years from the first site visit to the completion of the build, with the opening slightly delayed by six months owing to prevailing pandemic conditions. The build was complex and highly detailed and had to follow the strict ecotourism guidelines prescribed in Botswana. This resulted in a longer-than-normal and more capital-intensive build. As a result, Xigera Safari Lodge is unlike anything else in Africa. Once the lodge was designed and determined, we needed to work on the experience and what had been the dream to match the wildlife experience to the hosting experience. Red Carnation Hotel Group prides itself on generous and caring hospitality, so this became the benchmark by which Xigera Safari Lodge would operate. The question remained: how was the whole experience going to be different? As I described earlier the traditional safari experience in southern Africa can be exhausting. I have also heard many guests saying they felt as though they had little time to enjoy the camps and lodges they stayed in. Also, because Botswana is a longhaul destination most safari itineraries will go to a couple of different camps or lodges which often involve staying just two nights at each. This was not what we wanted Xigera to be. At Xigera we took this to heart and adopted a philosophy which said our guests could do as little or as much as they wanted. Xigera Safari Lodge is built for longer stays and more time for relaxation as there is so much to do. Interior design by Toni Tollman, in collaboration with the Southern Guild Gallery in Cape Town, has filled the lodge with the work of over 80 contemporary African artists and this is certainly a unique offering and one which surprises and delights our guests. Architect Anton de Kock designed the lodge to blend into its natural surroundings seamlessly, so the lodge has this sense of place being part of nature. The spa, gym, yoga deck and pool are the wellness area where our guests can relax during their non-naturerelated activity time. In the suites we have satellite-fed wifi so any guests who have work to do can keep in touch and make video calls if the need arises, although given our remoteness, we do temper the expectation to be for basic video conferencing, emails, etc. Our meal times are not driven by photographic safari activities, rather they are more flexible, so we don’t have to stick to the set meal times which are the norm in other camps. The food and beverage offering is in a league of its own and we have a very well-appointed cellar. All-in-all, this is how we have brought the ethos of Red Carnation into this remote and wild place. At Xigera we offer a variety of different wildlife activities from game drives in purpose designed vehicles, specialized boats and mokoro (dugout canoe) excursions to see the wildlife and make the most of the unique delta experience. It’s the combination of all of this which is the experience guests get when they stay with us. Longer stays allow our guests to relax and really have the time to enjoy both the unique lodge and wildlife experiences on offer. It is our intention to constantly refine the experience as time goes by and have our guests return many times.


United by Optimism! by

Duncan Palmer Managing Director | THE BEAUMONT Founder Member of HoteliersGuild


As I write this, the British press is reporting that UK manufacturers have recorded the sharpest rise in optimism since 1973: a poll from the CBI found business sentiment increased in the three months to April 2020 at the fastest pace since April 1973. This year Britain’s economy is forecast to grow by 4%, followed by 7.3% in 2022 as the pandemic recedes, with GDP recovering its preCovid peak by the middle of 2022. This is the fastest growth rate seen since 1948. Let’s hope this optimism is catching. After more than a year in which our industry has faced an almost existential crisis, what has been striking has been the resilience it has shown, how we have all continued to hope and shown confidence in a successful and positive future, although there have been devastating casualties. This dark period has demonstrated that as an industry we can rise stronger and that we have acquired some humanity and thoughtfulness along the way.

Certainly when it comes to our

people, our values, our sense of responsibility to the planet and the wider communities around us, all I have heard, read and seen over the last twelve months points to a renewed vigour and sense of purpose in the world of hospitality. Why is optimism important? Having a positive outlook will enable us to pick ourselves up and return, better than ever. To some extent, this is a The innovation and displayed by so many in demonstrated this Optimism opens us up new ideas. It enables us options, change, us to face the future and Here at The Beaumont o p t i m i s m anticipation of a strong to invest in our staff and


new start for many of us.

Optimism opens us up to new possibilities and new ideas. It enables us to consider new options, change, improvements. It helps us to face the future and move forward positively.


entrepreneurship our industry has admirably. to new possibilities and to consider new improvements. It helps move forward positively. we have embraced wholeheartedly and in return have continued throughout the closure, bedrooms, as well as

new F&B outlets. Optimism is contagious It is proven that individual optimists tend to be happier and healthier than pessimists, and I would argue that this could equally be applied to a workforce, or even an industry as a whole, and as leaders, it behoves us to foster this outlook and focus on the positive, instead of the negative, as we engage and inspire our teams, our industry and our customers to move forward. Various studies, by F Luthans and M Seligman amongst others, have shown that at work, optimism has been linked to intrinsic motivation to work harder, endure during stressful circumstances, and demonstrate solution-focused behaviour, perseverance and improved decision-making. Thus I know that, as some parts of the world begin to open up cautiously for visitors and as many hotels begin to prepare for opening and to welcoming back their guests, a united sense of optimism will bolster our confidence and lead our industry to a brighter future, hopefully with rates of growth not seen for almost 75 years.

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GoodRead Highly recommended by

Tea Colaianni Founder and Chair | WIHTL LeadingHôtelières Includes leadership insights from Rita Clifton CBE: Chairman and portfolio non-executive director, speaker, writer and mentor



Includes leadership insights from Rita Clifton CBE: Chairman and portfolio non-executive director, speaker, writer and mentor


Imposter Syndrome is defined as an internal belief system of not being good enough – despite evidence to the contrary – which leads the sufferer to feel like an intellectual fraud. Such is the influence that these self-defined inadequacies hold over people's confidence levels, that the result can be an adverse affect on a person's career and overall feeling of wellbeing. An internal monologue determined to ignore intrinsic capability and proven achievement, will repeatedly ask, “Who do you think you are?” or “When will they notice that I'm a fake?” This invisible affliction manifests from a number of causes, the most common of which is self-doubt. Comparison to others who appear to be higher achievers, having to ask for help from colleagues and receiving criticism are also contributing factors which, left unchecked, can lead to anxiety, depression and a negative impact on work life in terms of job performance and job satisfaction.





Identified by two American psychologists who were studying a group of highly-successful women in the 1970s, the cognitive dissonance between indisputable achievement and perceived inadequacy has been labelled Imposter Syndrome. More recent studies have uncovered the scale of this form of anxiety within the workplace and, such is its prevalence, it can now almost be classified as 'the norm'. Reaching across a wide demographic with higher numbers of women at risk than men, millennials having greater susceptibility than other age groups due to societal pressures (including social media), and ethnic minority groups being disproportionately more affected. This phenomenon also throws up the paradox of high-achievers being some of the worst sufferers.






Commitment to Gender Equality from Lindsey Ueberroth CEO of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Co-founder & Ambassador LeadingHôtelières


Individuality is at the core of the Preferred brand, and we celebrate all forms of diversity. I am proud to share that I’ve doubled down on my commitment to this key value by cofounding LeadingHôtelières, part of the HoteliersGuild community with Frank M. Pfaller, that has a mission of promoting gender equality within the hospitality industry

Xenia zu Hohenlohe Managing Partner | Considerate Group Xenia began her career in the hospitality industry 23 years ago and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the company. She has handled the PR for cultural tourism Spain and international hotel groups such as Mandarin Oriental Hotels and Oberoi Hotels as their European Account Manager. She then spent three years at Amanresorts, first heading Sales & Marketing for The Americas & Europe, then building up the European Sales Office in London before moving into operations as Assistant General Manager for the Amanjena, Marrakech. Having developed a thorough understanding of the various operational as well as commercial aspects of the hotel business, she joined forces with Benedetta to rebrand and re-position the Considerate Hoteliers Association. Xenia is based in our Munich office and is fluent in five European languages, which positions the company perfectly for a European expansion. Xenia’s motivation is her life-long concern for the environment and desire to create new systems for the integration of sustainable practices into the hospitality industry

Leading Hotelières Study Proposal BACKGROUND: Leading Hôtelières (LH) is founded by CEO and President of HoteliersGuild, Frank M Pfaller, and co-founded by Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO at Preferred Hotels & Resorts. Considerate Group Founding Partner, Xenia zu Hohenlohe, leads as Chairwoman for the inaugural year and is joined by co-chair Associate Professor of Management at EHL, Dr. Sowon Kim. LH mission is to accelerate UN’s SDG5 Gender Equality in our industry via four key pillars: 1) Academia & Research, 2) Sponsorship & Network, 3) Communication & Media and 4) Design & Development. Given our mission and the effects of the Covid19 pandemic, the working theme of LH’s first target year was set to be: Driving flexible working structure in hotels. OBJECTIVE of STUDY: LH is undertaking a research on flexible work in hotels and we would need your help to understand the situation in your property, giving you full access to the study results. The study has three goals: 1) understand the type of flexibility hotels have (i.e. labor flexibility vs. workplace flexibility 1), 2) identify what determines the types of flexibility, and 3) identify the effects of types of flexibility on critical work outcomes. Figure 1 shows the model of the proposed study.

Figure 1: Model of proposed study This model will show which color-coded flexibility category leads to best or worst outcomes. In addition, it can also measure improvements. Hotel A who joins this study in Time1, will have a snapshot in the color-coded category it scored highest. Hotel A decides to improve its outcomes by improving its flexibility and takes concrete actions and rejoins this study in Time2 and tracks down its development (shift from one category to the category that leads to better outcomes). CONTRIBUTION AND BENEFITS of STUDY: Your contribution would be to enable us to run a survey in your property that should be answered by the GM (~15min), the Head of HR (~20-30min) and 5-10 randomly selected staff (~10min) from which 20% are senior managers. The participation in this study will give you access to an overview of the flexibility situation in your hotel with associated outcomes. This study is conducted by LH’s academic & research pillar members and expert scholars. RESEARCH TEAM: This study is led by Dr. Sowon Kim, Prof. at EHL, Maribel Esparcia, Prof. at ICD Business School & MD at European Sustainable Hospitality Club, and Dr. Renee Minnaar, Destinations & Systems Trainer at andBeyond Travel. In addition, this study counts with the advice and support of expert scholars, Dr. Nick Beutell, Prof. at La Penta School of Business, Iona College and Dr. Hans-George Wolff, Prof. at Cologne University. 1

Labor flexibility refers to flexibility that enables the company to better respond to fluctuations. Workplace flexibility refers to flexible work arrangements that enable employees to better manage work-family responsibilities.

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I’m an OPTIMIST! from Philippe Clarinval

General Manager | Carlton Hotel St. Moritz Member of HoteliersGuild


As a hotelier, coach and mentor, I like to be an optimist. The "glass half-full-kinda guy"! And I like to surround myself naturally with optimistic people. Does that make me a naïve fool who butterflies through life without seeing the seriousness of it? Certainly not! I understand that there is a continuum between pessimism and optimism and that both extremes aren't good in the long run. Both are habits of thinking, and I choose cognitively to lean towards the optimistic side because I believe that there is a silver lining in everything. Especially now, with all those question marks swirling around us and trying to kill our mental sanity. I genuinely believe that everything has a reason, and that the outcome will be positive. In our trade, we smile at guests, sometimes put up a Potemkin face and pretend that everything is "sooo wonderful", without being nuanced or honest. People long for authenticity, sincerity and a dash of optimism when needed. They can see through fake positivity and judge our foolish, overconfident, and sometimes risky optimism. They might even raise a caution flag if they are benevolent and candid. At the same time, is there something more demotivating and uninspiring than pessimists, who see no silver lining, who think that they are the cause of all problems and that a negative situation is pervasive and permanent? I guess it's necessary to strike the right balance between pessimism and healthy optimism. Thus, choosing an attitude and seeing the shades of grey or the various colours of the prism, is a cognitive process that answers "it depends…" on how one should see the world. A key lies in neuroscience and the miraculous work of the prefrontal cortex. In that area of the developed brain, behind the forehead - when stimulated –, people really think, understand their biases and see how behaviours breed consequences. Optimistic leadership We, as leaders, cope with uncertainty and constant change - and let's face it, leaders are change managers. We give hope and exude a good portion of optimism to navigate our organisations through waters muddied by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Teams lacking hope will cling to the status quo and the tried-and-tested because they miss vision and purpose. Therefore, our job is to give the direction; to be Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. I found that transformational leadership, where leaders stimulate, inspire and are in tune with the people they lead, benefit from being optimistic as they will feel more connected with their teams. Natural leaders will understand precisely what gives hope because they know the individuals on a deeper level. Considering each employee personally shows genuine care and will make the message of optimism less superficial, more tangible and more credible. Probably the chief role of the leader is to inspire. Like Saint-Exupery said, "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." In this context, one might add "the beauty of the destination and the hope to find something even better". Inspiration helps to shape organisations and the people therein. It touches them, rewires their brains to believe that something good is coming and that they shouldn't worry too much about the future. They shouldn't take life too seriously but rather with a little pinch of salt. The more optimistic and balanced you are, the more you'll believe in serendipity – that magic can strike or that something beautiful can happen, just by accident. It needs optimism, though, to recognise it and to see the beauty in things and circumstances. I love this concept, and I love to show it to others, who might prefer to see the darker side of life. Perhaps our mission is to make people around us realise that beauty and good are theirs, if they want to have it and if they are willing to work for and get it. So, my take-home message is that we need to give hope, that – in the end – whatever we do, makes sense in the grander scheme of things. Thus, let us dream that these testing times will not have a positive outcome; they probably won't, but at least that our actions will have some positive significance in the future. The only thing we have to do is keep going, not give up, and not look at the past; we can't change it, but we can enjoy the thought about the future while shaping it.


Female Leadership in Post Pandemic Era from Dagmar Symes Member of LeadingHôtelières


COVID-19 has not only reshaped the world but has reciprocated our workplace habitat’s DNA in multiple ways, compared to nothing more than a neck of the wood’s labyrinth. The same concept as evolution, new leaders are needed who will embrace this change to orchestrate their leadership effectively in this new reign of the post pandemic era. This onset pandemic may have indeed taught humanity a lesson. It has instructed us that leadership will matter more than ever and is the beating heart of organizations, most of who will face a cloudy future based on a mere prefabrication of a lethargic system to awaken the damaged economy. Leadership will change for ever after this lengthy pandemic. Crisis is the most effective way to remedy and recalibrate leadership in all aspects. in a crisis the leaders who have the biggest impact are rarely the “official” leaders at the top. Thus, this health crisis – one sub microscopic virus renders all standards of hierarchy meaningless - has featured blue collar vs. white collar Nurses who are on the cover of every social platform as “Person of the year”, the angels of mercy and leaders of the moment. Their empathy to people’s feelings and troubles reveals true authenticity. However, this could be compared to any organization, where titles and designations are to be inconsequential, based on a collapse of a déjà vu standardised job, the former model based on command and control, hierarchy, and silos. Standardisation endorses efficiency, sets clear goals in a normal and predictable environment, but efficiency is not resilient. Resilience requires adaptability, and adaptability requires the freedom for people to be at their fullest individual selves. Not everything is as it seems to be a certain criteria such as efficiency may not witnessed as volatile, as adjusting to certain norms, environments, and organizational settings and would direct individuals to compass their own views, and context of mindset to simply be themselves! As we emerge from this pandemic marathon, building trust, constant and empathetic communication, listening skills, being openminded to diverse perspectives, creating a sense of belonging, care, appreciation, compassion are currently on the front page of the agenda of all leaders. The organizational environment would need to be re-created to somewhat of an inclusion of their team members at all levels. This much needed transformation would route the organizational compass to point due north, to our female leaders and workforce. Researchers have found that women tend to have a distinct leadership style that shapes how they run their teams. This newly enforced strategy is nothing more of a blueprint to pave the way forward with a limelight on Transformational Leadership led by our female workforce. Women are basilar pawns in enhancing motivation, uplifting of moral and job performance of their teams, whilst identifying the needed calibration by creating a clear vision and by guiding through inspiration. This metamorphic and transformational leadership stars inspiration and motivation as their staring leads. The world is constituted of different cultures, norms, traditions and beliefs, spread on a vast plain which is constantly changing as a form of adaptability to newly enforced ideas and trends. In comes transformational leadership, which is somewhat similar to the latter. It is also inaugurated with different notions about ourselves and those around us. The orchestrating notion leads us to believe that leadership is not a basilar operation but a course of being or actuality. Then comes the focus on power. In previous times power was used to control others, predominate one’s leadership stance over others and be the go-to person for all related decisions. This is not the case anymore, for now is the time to use leadership in enabling others to apprehend their own will power, potential and their own arsenals needed where each can transcend to a worthy purpose and behave with moral fibre, courage, integrity and trust. And to conclude these notions, leaders should resort to their own humble approach to deviate from getting people to do things as the leader would see it to be done, rather to working together as equal business partners directed towards their common goals, by following the “yellow brick road” to success. The above strategies incline women to take the lead in the full implementation. This because these notions come naturally to women as part of their being. Despite women being characterised as “soft and pliable” leaders, their own instincts and natural leadership strategies incline them to be the right person for the job, especially in the post pandemic era. This non changing description is none other than an undefined stereotype. In comes transformational leadership to dissipate this adverse perception of women in leadership, of a highly competitive nature without the need to lower her true level of intrusiveness. A female leader with a drive towards ethics, partnered with a diversified business model, associated with adopting a team ambiance and highlighted by a creative vision for success and high achievement can point her circumference to a highly successful model paving the way for the team’s success, goals and most importantly the true leaders of tomorrow. “United in optimism” as huge opportunities lie ahead within the mandatory changes in the workplace ecosystem paving the somewhat organic way for female empowerment.


Out of Crisis Comes Evolution from Luca Franco CEO LuxuryFrontiers Supporting Member of HoteliersGuild


Luca Franco, CEO and Founder of Luxury Frontiers, reflects on the past 10 years in the sustainable hospitality space. Ten years ago, the world was recovering from a global crisis. Many industries, among them travel and hospitality, were still feeling the effects of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Whether it be a global recession or a global pandemic, I can’t help but reflect on the similar state we find ourselves in today. The crisis that occurred last decade sparked an evolution in the market where the Luxury Frontiers journey began. Financial uncertainty caused a cultural and behavioural shift where consumers began to prioritize travel to collect meaningful memories rather than things. Consumers were particularly seeking travel experiences that allowed them to reach beyond the boundaries of their everyday world. Out of this movement, adventure and experiential travel took off, with travellers seeking transformational experiences in remote locations. In the midst of another catastrophic global event and entering the next decade of Luxury Frontiers, I can’t help but wonder what this new crisis’s cultural evolution will be and where the next 10 years take us? The consumer evolution was most visible in the luxury African safari market. Affluent travelers, particularly from the United States and the United Kingdom, were seeking nature-immersive experiences without sacrificing luxury. Driven by market-demand and a noticeable structural change in the hospitality industry, I started Luxury Frontiers in 2011 seeing a niche market to bring the African safari experience to the rest of the world by W e f i n d o u r s e l v e s designing and developing experiential resorts and lodges. While not exempt of setbacks l o o k i n g a t a n o t h e r and initial lukewarm reception by many in the industry, ten years on I have seen how the fundamental shift in the interest and demand grew exponentially in the Americas and the Middle East, with i n d u s t r y d r i v e n b y w o r l d - c l a s s p ro j e c t s s u c h a s Nayara Te n t e d c o n s u m e r s e a g e r t o Camp and Camp Sarika by Amangiri under our belt and several others about to see venture into and explore light. Our projects are examples of this strategy, both providing an immersive experience with the natural world nature without sacrificing luxury, sustainability and a sense of place. Throughout the past decade, we have seen the adventure and experiential market explode and global brands marketing strategies have followed suit. This tells us we were on to something back then. But here we are again, in the midst of a global pandemic, with the travel industry in tatters. We find ourselves looking at another fundamental shift in the industry driven by consumers eager to venture into and explore the natural world. I believe this will lead to another fundamental shift in the way we travel and relate to our surroundings. After being cooped up inside for almost an entire year, we are looking to nature, national parks, state parks and wildlife to inspire, balance and heal us. If this crisis bares any similarities to the crisis of last decade, the travel market is at the cusp of another cultural and behavioural evolution where tourists take social responsibility for their footprint and seek to leave places better than they found it. Travellers will seek to both regenerate the soul while regenerating tourism dependent destinations allowing for stewardship of the land. Rewilding the environment, while rewilding the spirit. If the last decade was about transformational travel and meaningful journeys, the next 10 years will be about purpose, returning to and enriching nature. In this new scenario, Luxury Frontiers is set to evolve by elevating our designs by embracing biophilic inspiration, which fosters beneficial connections between travellers and nature – engaging and stimulating them to embark on unfiltered adventures.


What if it gets to be simple? Take care of yourself, take care of the planet from Celine Vadam Members of LeadingHôtelières Founder CEO WE(I)Think


In a world where everything seems so complicated and overwhelming, where the impact of small actions feels like a drop in the ocean, what if it gets to be simple? What if the key to our modern society’s problems rests in our ability to see the glass half full instead of seeing it half empty? We are one – ocean, land, human beings, animals. What impacts one element has a collateral impact on the others on the same polarity – if a positive impact has a positive ripple effect to every element, the reverse is true of a negative impact. In other words, when we take care of our planet, we take care of ourselves, and vice versa. Then, why don’t we do it? We all have good excuses not to take care of ourselves or the planet, but that doesn’t mean they are good reasons. Too often, wellbeing and sustainability related actions are seen as inconveniences. Wellbeing is associated with depriving ourselves from things we like, from our comfort and convenience, from a place of lack and scarcity. What if we looked at things in a different way, coming from a place of abundance and opportunities? Let’s take a few concrete examples. According to studies from the World Health Organization, 80% of chronic disease is preventable by integrating the following lifestyle changes: •

Eat healthy



At this stage, you might wonder, what is the relationship with sustainability? This is where it gets interesting! (please bare in mind that this is a simplified version of this topic, please feel free to contact me if you want to know more, but as I said, what if it gets to be simple?). Eating healthy I will not enter into the details of what eating healthy means here, this would need another conversation. But think eating prepared meals versus home-cooked meals. Instead of seeing this as a chore, why not make it an opportunity to have fun with your kids and teach them some useful life skills. They might make a mess, I’ve been there! But trust me, now that my daughter is older, I am getting all the benefits of having her cook me delicious meals! Plus, you tick 2 boxes: eat healthy and socialise! Another way: eat local and seasonal food. Go to the farmers market instead of the supermarket. It supports local enterprises, get you quality fruit and vegetables, and an opportunity to socialise. Eat healthy and socialise…tick again! And it is better for the planet, avoiding plastic packaging and mass agriculture products. Less meat in your diet. Easy! Think of all the other options you have that can bring more colour (and joy) to your plate! All that whilst reducing CO2 emissions. Move Tempted to take your car to grab something at the market located just a few miles away? You think that this would save you time? Actually, it won’t. If you walk or take your bike, this little trip to the store will not only mean less pollution for the planet, but will also tick your daily exercise box! You’re welcome! There are various ways to move your body. You don’t need to hit the gym and lift weights; the important thing is to move your body. Walk, dance, take the stairs, play with your kids. As long as you move, that’s a win! Socialise Socialising is a big part of keeping healthy. It is also a big part of caring for our planet. When you care about your community, you are more likely to protect it and make it a nice place to live. We undervalue the power of connections. With the lockdown, I felt that I was becoming antisocial, but going to Costa Rica and socialising again, being immersed in a chilled and positive atmosphere boosted my energy tank that I had difficulties to maintain when isolated. We underestimate the importance of connections. We are energetic beings, living in an energetic world. We get our energy from our interactions with others, and what we put our there comes right back to us. Smile, say hello when you encounter someone in the street, be the best version of yourself. The mind is a powerful tool and even if things these days are not going as planned, shift your mindset to look at the positive. Being alive every day is already a miracle, your morning cup of tea, being in touch with your loved ones. We become focused on the big things, and we forget that it is the little things, done every day by every single individual, that produces sustainable results. Next time you ask yourself “is it worth the effort?”, the answer is always yes. We are united by optimism, by our ability to say yes to ourselves and to the planet every day, and our willingness to do good.


15 min. With Frank M. Pfaller from Yasmine Mahmoudieh Members of LeadingHôtelières




United by Optimism from Bill Bensley Ambassador of HoteliersGuild


I grew up on a small farm in California, which instilled in me a passion for the environment and sustainability. We were sustainable before that was a trend; we were organic before it was cool. Every summer we camped in the wilderness, learning to live in harmony with Mother Earth. Some 45 years later on the other side of the world, I still live by these principles. I made Bangkok my home and founded my architecture, interior design and landscape studio here and in Bali. To date BENSLEY has created some 200+ luxury hotels and palaces worldwide. In almost all of them my first goal is to instill the idea that we are a part of nature, rather than living alongside it. Last year, when COVID wreaked havoc on us all, many watched the world from indoors, and realised just how much hope could be held in that one walk outside a day. Lucky people like me, blessed with a garden, treasured them all the more. As someone who spends most of my free time in the wild - places like the Cardamom forest in Cambodia, or Mongolia, free of wifi and full of hiking and fishing - it made me smile to hear stories of people reconnecting and finding solace in nature. It gave me optimism that one of the projects closest to my heart, Shinta Mani Wild, might be the future of luxury hospitality and conservation. Seeing people fall in love with nature again last year gives me hope that others will follow this model, and use it around the world. It all began with an auction, where Sokoun Chanpreda (founder of the Shinta Mani Foundation) and I bought a piece of the Cardamom Rainforest to save it from becoming a tin mine. The Cardamoms is one of the last great wildernesses in Southeast Asia, and it is wild to me that we could buy a Central Park sized piece of such precious natural heritage. We soon realised that the forest was under attack from illegal wildlife poachers and loggers. So, we set about looking for a sustainable way to police and protect the land. Our answer came in the form of the Wildlife Alliance, a private army of rangers who patrol the forest, and have the authority to prosecute offenders, confiscating chainsaws, freeing animals and protecting hundreds of hectares of land - in Cambodia and around the world. Their good work is funded by BENSLEY Collection - Shinta Mani Wild, a 15 tent luxury adventure camp set in a small corner of the forest, and was built without felling any trees. It is a sustainable model which gives guests the chance to be on the front lines of conservation whilst in complete safety, and helps them reconnect with nature. They stay in beautiful jungle tents inspired by King Sihanouk and Jackie Kennedy’s 1967 travels through Cambodia, fitted with every luxury, and waited upon by a private BENSLEY Adventure Butler. The camp provides long-term employment to locals, many of them ex-poachers as the region has little infrastructure. They were trained by the Shinta Mani Foundation, which has a hospitality school in Siem Reap, and through many initiatives education, healthcare, clean water - gives a hand UP to people in need, rather than a hand out. Everything I do is for conservation, and to help these people. Since last March I have constantly been painting at my easel it's crazy how much more free time one has when flying is replaced with Zooming! So I figured why not put this to good use? Now people can buy both original paintings and prints from my BENSLEY Outsider Gallery in Bangkok and the Intercontinental Danang in Vietnam (launching in May), as well as - and 100% of all proceeds go to support the Wildlife Alliance and Shinta Mani Foundation. My artwork revolves around 4 themes: the idiosyncratic behaviours of the LGBTQ community (I love to paint my friends), pestilence (there had to be a painting about COVID!), Racism (as I believe the only thing that should be separated by color is laundry), and of course Environmentalism, as it is the core of what I do and who I am. There is a trio of paintings which acutely resonate with my hope that people will start to give a damn about our planet and embrace nature. All 3 paintings are the same size, and show the tall, elegant figure of a friend called Gui, a 6’4 black Brazilian friend who poses for me often. I painted him three times on each canvas, from different perspectives. The first, in tones of green and teal, I call “The Greatest Danger to our Future is Apathy” which is a quote by Jane Goodall. The three Gui’s standing together are inundated by a myriad of spores, hanging mushrooms and vines - all the beautiful things that come out of the forest. Things that Gui knows well, as being from Brazil he has seen firsthand the destruction of the forest and its effects… The second again shows the trio of Gui’s, this time with blue skin, standing before a sandy desert background, above the caption “The Wind and the Sun are Free” a quote from Al Gore. The wind blows sand across the figures, drawing patterns on their skin. It is a powerful painting to me, as he is very much a part of the desert. The last painting once more shows Gui sitting for the painting from three angles, this time entangled in vines from the deep jungle in hues of purple and blue. In all 3 paintings they are cupping a dead white bird, asking themselves why it is dead, how they can stop it, how they can learn to live with nature in a way that does not end like this. The quote on the last painting is from another hero of mine, David Attenborough, who says “If we take care of nature, nature will take care of us.” It is so true, and I am sure he agrees that we are not doing a very good job of it right now. It is something I realise often seeing reports from the Cardamoms - Shinta Mani Wild is closed for a time now and sadly COVID has not slowed logging nor the consumption of illegal wildlife which threatens the Cardamoms. These illegal activities still need to be thwarted. I continue to hope that our efforts are not in vain, for we have chosen the right arms to fight and enforce the laws of Cambodia: the AK47’s of the Wildlife Alliance, and my paintbrush...


A Message from Prof. Dr. Sowon Kim Associate Professor

Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne Co-Chairlady HoteliersGuild LeadingHôtelières



HoteliersGuild's LeadingHôtelières Chapter is a collective of senior industry specialists and academics campaigning for increased female leadership in the hospitality and travel sector. We believe that improved gender equality at executive level is the key to our industry's future and we are committed to driving positive change through demonstrating academic research, building sponsorship and like-minded networks, transforming design and development strategies, and engaging communication.

An initiative created by HoteliersGuild, EHL, Institut Paul Bocuse and IUBH under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Sowon Kim, Prof. Dr. Willy Legrand and Prof. Dr. Henri Kuokkanen


YoungHôtelièresInsights aims to develop the professional visibility of our young female talent in a

network of established hoteliers and hôteliéres.

EHL’s Women in Leadership, IUBH University of Applied Sciences, and Institut Paul Bocuse share a commitment to promote our top female students in the hospitality industry. Together with HoteliersGuild’s LeadingHôtelierès chapter, we created YoungHôtelièresInsights (YHI), a space dedicated for aspiring female hospitality leaders where they can contribute to our industry with their reflections, ideas, trends and hot topics as viewed by their generation. A compilation of these i n p u t s w i l l b e f e a t u r e d i n t h e H o t e l i e r s G u i l d ForumOfDialogue magazines and LookBooks with the aim to develop the professional visibility of our young female talent in a network of established hoteliers and hôteliéres . EHL’s Prof. Dr. Sowon Kim and Founder of WIL says: “We focus on female students and from time to time male students here is a thought, we could for example limit to 10-20% of male contribution, and content could be in lines of male championing women (in line with one of our pillars) like for example how they see the contribution of their female peers; this might be eye opening for the established hoteliers reading such a piece and realising why there might be a need for them to change too. From my perspective making the “YoungHotelièresInsights” primary female is not being exclusive but rather in line with the mission of HoteliersGuild’s LeadingHôtelierès chapter. In addition there is a need to be inclusive when a group is a minority which in this case is women in leadership positions. While everyone needs to be promoted is these hard times, the system is heavily biased against women which is the exact reason why less than 5 percent of the top leadership functions across business and politics worldwide are occupied by women, and hence the raison être for HoteliersGuild’s LeadingHôtelierès chapter”

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Hospitality Innovations: A Personal View on What Makes Glamping Attractive from Aneliya Antova Bachelor student at IU


Of Bulgarian nationality, Aneliya Antova is a 2nd year Bachelor student at IU who will be graduating in August 2022. With experience in F&B, HR and Front Office at InterContinental Hotel Sofia and Bonn Marriott Hotel, and currently working for Glamping Advisors in Portugal, Aneliya has a keen interest in sustainable tourism and hospitality innovations. Aneliya is fluent in German, English, and Bulgarian, has a proficiency knowledge in Russian and is currently studying Chinese. She is passionate about cooking, travelling and Yoga. Aneliya can be reached at Aneliya Antova is a student of Prof. Dr. Willy Legrand, Advisory Board member of the HoteliersGuilds LeadingHôtelières Chapter. In March, I started an internship at a glamping consultancy company and thus, glamping became part of my everyday life. Having worked for the traditional luxury hotel sector in Sofia and Bonn, I was curious: Why is glamping, with its many different accommodation types from tent structures to treehouses, becoming increasingly popular in the travel sector? What makes glamping so unique and attractive? In this article I will try to give an answer to these questions based on published research, tourists’ reviews, as well as my personal experience as a traveller and a hospitality student. The term glamping is derived from the words “glamorous” and “camping”. Glamping is, however, very differently positioned from camping, as it is more associated with a hotel stay (Filipe et al. 2018). Furthermore, campers are less likely to go glamping as they “question its authenticity in providing a nature immersion experience” (ibid.). Thus, the main target group of glamping are rather hotel guests, looking for a unique holiday experience. Interestingly, throughout reading glampers’ reviews on booking engines such as or TripAdvisor in order to study the demand side of this segment, I often saw the phrase “authentic experience” outlined. Travellers that have tried glamping find it authentic as glamping sites are usually set in nature and offer a relaxing and natural ambience. Glamping may be considered part of the nature-based tourism (NBT) segment which aims to “facilitate an increased understanding of nature via a direct interaction with the natural environment” (Newsome et al. 2013). Nature is usually the main unique selling proposition of this accommodation type – situated in remote locations, designed in a way to blend with the surrounding environment, offering activities set in the wild. Furthermore, glamping has received increased attention throughout the COVID-19 crisis due to the possibility for social-distancing while matching the increasing need of people to be outdoors and the emerging trend “staycation”. Staycation is spending your holiday close to where you live and what could be a better way of exploring the nearby surroundings than in a unique glamping structure which offers seclusion and reconnection with nature. A study investigating the benefits tourists look for when visiting a NBT destination resulted in the following terms – “nature-escapist” and “cultural-naturist” traveller. Nature escapists are travellers, looking for a relaxing getaway in nature, while cultural naturalists have the desire to explore the culture and nature of the region (Lesedi Tomana Nduna & Cine van Zyl., 2020). While the study focused mainly on a destination, namely Mpumalanga province in South Africa, it gives an important insight in what glampers seek in their holiday since Mpumalanga is prominent for its glamping sites such as tented camps or lodges. Glamping accommodations are more prone to provide those benefits compared to traditional hotels. A glamping site can be designed to express the cultural and environmental atmosphere of the location. This can be achieved by blending into the natural space and allowing visitors to connect with the exterior which is not so easy with a traditional hotel building. Apart from the connection to the natural environment, glamping is often owner-operated business which allows for guests to connect with the hosts directly. Many guests’ reviews outline the hospitality provided by the owners, and how knowing those who own and oversee the operations makes them more connected to the establishment, it fosters the authentic experience. I can attest to this as the hotels that have made an impression to me while travelling were the ones where I met the people who run the place. This often happens to be a family-owned and/or operated hotel and in some rare cases, it can also be the hotel management. From that point of view, I think that the connection between a guest and a host is going to be even more important in the future as travellers will seek that authenticity and that can be achieved via a series of attentive details such as being personally greeted upon arrival rather than receiving a card signed by the General Manager. There is an opportunity to redefine the guest-host relationship in leisure tourism based on authenticity and sincerity. Lastly, who are the glampers? Well, they could be a couple seeking a romantic getaway, a friends’ get-together, anyone who is looking for an escape from the everyday busy life, active tourists wanting to devote in their holiday to sports, yoga, healthy food, meditation, and also families. While glamping has clearly a focus on nature, serenity, and, in some cases, sports, it is indeed also family-friendly. Hotel rooms usually offer an accommodation just for 2, whereas most glamping sites can accommodate a minimum of 4 people. Furthermore, many activities are great for children as they can explore the nature, often related to some adventure activity together with parents and other family members. Since glamping sites can accommodate larger groups, it can be a financially attractive proposition to families who will not have the need to book multiple hotel rooms but just one glamping structure. Of course, this is not to say that glamping will replace the traditional hotel sector; far from this, glamping simply enriches the world of hospitality. As such, I believe that it is important to follow the development of hospitality innovations such as glamping as it is undoubtedly becoming attractive for a growing number of travellers. Finally, hotels can also learn from glamping by becoming more personal, nature-based, and offering a unique experience beyond just an accommodation. References Filipe, S., Santos, C. & Barbosa, B. (2018). Tourists’ Motivations and Obstacles for Choosing Glamping: An Exploratory Study. CBU International Conference Proceedings, 6, 113. DOI: 10.12955/cbup.v6.1142.Nduna, L.T. & van Zyl, C. (2020). A benefit segmentation framework for a nature-based tourism destination: the case of Kruger, Panorama and Lowveld areas in Mpumalanga Province. International Journal of Tourism Cities, 6(4), 953–973., D., Moore, S. & Dowling, R. (2013). Natural area tourism: Ecology, Impacts and Management, 2nd References

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A personal view on hospitality: creating a sanctuary from Nienke du Preez 3rd year student at IU


Of South African & German nationality, Nienke du Preez is a 3rd year student at IUBH who will be graduating in August 2021. With management experiences at Robin Pope Safaris, and Nambithi Game Reserve, Nienke has a keen interest in sustainable hospitality management. Nienke is fluent in Afrikaans, English & German. She is passionate about wildlife conservation, birding, equestrian showjumping, art and enjoys a challenge. Nienke can be reached at Nienke du Preez is a former student of Prof. Dr. Willy Legrand, Advisory Board member of the HoteliersGuilds Leading Hôtelières Chapter.

Humans have been living on earth for more than six million years. We have adapted to our environment but in the process have also altered and shaped it to our needs, thereby becoming increasingly disconnected from what it means to be part of nature. In 2017, former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy published an article in the Harvard Business Review, outlining the increasing epidemic of loneliness (Murthy, 2017). Murthy states that while “we live in the most technologically connected age in the history of civilization, rates of loneliness have doubled since the 1980s” (Murthy, 2017). And while smartphones allow us to communicate over vast distances, this also isolates us from the real world, leaving many individuals to feel lonely, and unable to connect with others on a deeper level. Our use of digital tools has become a ubiquitous part of our daily personal and professional lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing is to be found in other areas of our lives. Reflecting on my personal life, I realize how much we have tamed the land and animals, and in the process have lost the connections to the products we consume. At the age of ten, I accompanied my father on his hunting trip and suddenly realized that the animal (my burger patty), was once a deer wandering around freely, and was then used to feed my family. Till that moment, I was never exposed to the origin of meat, and I also never thought about what or where the food I consumed came from. The instincts that enabled our ancestors to survive in nature have largely become foreign to the modern human. Of course, this food chain cycle is something very natural - the predator-prey relation found in any natural environment - that consequently ensures a balanced eco-system. With a majority of the global population having migrated to cities, nature in general and food in particular has become an abstract concept discovered in books or watched on television. We are experiencing a disconnectedness, not only in terms of human relations, but also in terms of our relationship to the surrounding fauna and flora. So, the question is, how can one genuinely appreciate a product consumed if one does not know the true cost behind its existence with regards to its production cycle and its origin? From excessive consumption of cheap, mass-produced items to the ever-growing amount of solid and e-waste (Kaza et al., 2018) along with the complete disregard for the larger impacts along the supply chains (OFI, 2020; UNICEF, 2020), our everyday decisions have multiple overlooked consequences. This being said, how do we move forward? We are responsible for our own wellbeing, as well as for the wellbeing of those that we share our home with. I argue that we must relearn, what it means to be connected to our social and natural surroundings. Hospitality is perfectly positioned to provide this reconnection framework. Contrastingly, the concept of biophilia has become a relevant aspect for many travelers. Luca Franco, CEO and founder of Luxury Frontiers, points out that “after being cooped up inside for almost an entire year, we are looking to nature, national parks and wildlife to inspire, balance and heal us. If this crisis bares any similarities to the crises of the last decade, the travel market is at the cusp of another cultural and behavioral evolution where tourists take social responsibility for their footprint and seek to leave places better than they found it” (Franco, 2021). The human need to connect and affiliate with nature, (even in small doses), but also with others, and ourselves has been felt strongly during this period (Meredith et al., 2020; Sachs, 2020). So, while hotels and destinations are forced to adapt and create hygiene solutions, the greater questions still remain: bounce back to the short-termism, non-sustainable approach or bounce forward to become a regenerative, force for good, with the three pillars of sustainability at its core. Hospitality could be a pioneer in taking the concept of biophilia one step further as presented in Figur 1.


• • local • sustainable


• Environmenal • Economic • Socio-cultural

• • • •

staff cultures generations other sectors

Innovation • • • •

creativity inclusivity sustainable ideas efficieny

• empowering • enabling startups • fair working conditions


Positive economic development

Transparency • sustainable effort • measurments • continuouse improvement

• • • •

hotel staff partners suppliers travelers

Regenerative • • people • environemnt

Trust - good relationships

Figure 1: Hospitality as a driver for positive micro-economic development

Biophilia is about the bond between us and our natural environment (Wilson, 1984). Building on that, the collaboration between different generations, hospitality stakeholders, and other sectors can provide the foundation on which future sustainable innovations will be built upon. Wisdom from older generations ensures that best practices are not forgotten, and mistakes are revealed to prevent

repetition. Education about the environment builds understanding, and consequently, enables us to reconnect, and protect it. New ideas and technology will enable efficiency, as we can measure our actions and progress, and also imitate nature’s activities to enhance our performance. Lastly, the collaboration of hotels with all its suppliers is vital, as hotels are a magnet, with their demands and operations creating a micro-system. Therefore, every demand needs to be met with a sustainable product, with a solid relationship between supplier and hotel, as the hotel needs to genuinely know the products it supports. Through the collaboration of all these parties trust, common goals, and connections are formed. Transparency regarding sustainable practices leads to increased travelers’ trust, and moreover, the travelers also experience a connection to the environment they find themselves in and are furthermore given the opportunity to connect to everything they consume Many feel disconnected these days, but the hospitality industry is capable of changing this. In reviewing the origin of hospitality, O’Connor (2005) states that the hospitable behaviour of the first homo sapiens was essential to create positive relationships between various social groups. This has not changed and can be extended. Hospitality can be a sanctuary where all are given the opportunity to recharge, reconnect and regenerate. This is a unique opportunity for an industry that is as old as recorded human history (O’Goman, 2010).

References Franco, L. (2021, 01 28). Luxury Frontiers. Retrieved 02 25, 2021, from 10 YEARS OF LUXURY FRONTIERS: OUT OF CRISIS COMES EVOLUTION: Kaza, S., Yao, L., Bhada-Tata, P., & van Woerden, F. (2018). What a Waste 2.0: A global snapshot of solide waste management to 2050. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank: Washington. Meredith, G.R., Rakow, D.A., Eldermire, E.R.B., Madsen, C.G., Shelley, S.P., & Sachs, A.A. (2020). Minimum time dose in nature to positively impact the mental health of college-aged students, and how to measure it: A scoping review. Frontiers in Psychology : 14. Murthy, V. (September 26, 2017). Work and the Loneliness Epidemic: Reducing isolation at work is good for business. Harvard Business Review. O’Connor, D. (2005). Towards a new interpretation of ‘hospitality’. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 17(3), 267-271. O’Gorman, K.D. (2010). The Origins of Hospitality and Tourism. Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers Ltd. OFI. (2020, n.d. n.d.). Orangutan Foundation International . Retrieved 03 18, 2021, from Problems with palmoil: #:~:text=Palm%20oil%20is%20the%20leading%20cause%20of%20orangutan%20extinction.&text=Every%20year%20it%20is%20estimated,without%20fail%E2%80%93every %20single%20year. Sachs, N.A. (2020). Access to Nature Has Always Been Important; With COVID-19, It Is Essential. Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 10.1177/1937586720949792 TheWorldCounts. (2021, n.d. n.d.). The World Counts. Retrieved 02 18, 2021, from Planet Earth: UNICEF. (2020, 09 03). Retrieved 02 18, 2021, from Child Labour: Wilson, E.O. (1984). Biophilia: The Human Bond with Other Species. Cambridge: Harvard University Press


Optimism in the face of adversity: A Personal EXPERIENCE from Prof. Dr. Willy Legrand Member of HoteliersGuild LeadingHôtelières Advisory Board Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management IUBH University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef, Germany


Faced with a crisis, hotels, but also other businesses, will go into three modes, being: survival, adaptation, and innovation. The outcome can set the stage for greater resiliency. This is exemplified with a personal story. Crisis As a teenager living on a dairy farm in Eastern Canada, I experienced first-hand the power of community support in the face of distress. During one warm summer in the 1980s, my brother and I had spent days stacking hay bales under the roof of our traditional two-level barn (where the cattle is on the ground level while hay and straw is stored on the second level, under the roof). In the early evening as I was heading to the kitchen for a well-deserved meal, I took a look out the window and saw the entire barn on fire; an electrical short-circuit had turned the building with its dry hay into one large blaze. The cattle were grazing and thus saved from the flames, but the rest, building and milking facilities, was burnt to the ground within an hour. Survival, Adaptation and Innovation For farmers, work is a 365-day endeavor (similar to hoteliers). It was important to find space for the milking operations. A neighbor offered his farming space to ensure continuing operations. Following the initial shock, our family decided to re-built from scratch. The window of opportunity to undertake such construction was short; a couple of months before the Canadian winter makes its way and the cattle needs indoor space. The community of neighbours and farmers joined forces to help our family throughout the two months that it took to rebuild. The first large-scale community support came at the time when the insurance company put a ‘spoke in the wheel’, delaying the reconstruction plans by being ambivalent about the overall sum of due from the insurance claim. Farmers from across the region voiced their support, pressuring the insurer for prompt insurance contract cancellations, the due amounts without any further counted more than 30 volunteers, the walls or nailing a new roof. summer party was taking place every their own operations to attend to but welfare of their neighbor on the same the barn was an opportunity to free-stall barns in the region. In this

payment. Fearing a wave of

Leadership in the face of adversity: while some may be discouraged (i.e. me looking at a building which has gone up in flames) others take an optimistic, positive approach (i.e. my dad arguing that we can reconstruct better!).

insurance company transferred the delays. At times, the construction site setting the farm foundation, raising Communal lunch was provided as if a day of the week. Those famers had in the face of adversity, put the level as their own. The destruction of innovate and create one of the first model, the cattle can freely roam

throughout the entire building during

the winter months. Visitors, from near

and far, came to view this new system

(at the time, in this Canadian region)

which ensured a healthier cattle and simplified the farmer’s feeding and cleaning work. The model was subsequently adopted by many farmers in the region. A Few Lessons It is a simple story, but one with a few lessons in terms of retaining optimism in the face of adversity. Leadership in the face of adversity: while some may be discouraged (i.e. me looking at a building which has gone up in flames) others take an optimistic, positive approach (i.e. my dad arguing that we can reconstruct better!). Leadership is critical through difficult times, and this is as relevant at the individual business level as it is a government level. The opportunity to bounce forward: bouncing back would have meant to reconstruct in a similar way as to obtain whatever was lost. More important is finding ways to implement innovation so as to bounce forward. This is particularly important as tourism faces an existential crisis in the face of climate and biodiversity challenges. Cooperation as a powerful tool: Careful optimism is one that stays grounded in reality; there is little point in being positive but irrational but to be discredited. Here, strong ties to the community, whether the physical community in the geographical surrounding, or virtual such as other partners, competitors and future guests is a powerful tool to channel and maintain an optimistic approach. We need to cooperate to achieve a positive outcome when faced with major challenges.

The Case for Optimism There a are few breakthroughs in terms of climate actions with countries and governments aligning, to a certain extent, for a carbon neutrality future (i.e. The US Green New Deal, The EU Green Deal, PRC’s 14th Five-Year Plan & Roadmap 2060). On the energy front, Carbon Tracker announced that solar and wind energy potential is estimated to be 100 times as much as global energy demand in a recent report (Bond et al., 2021). According to the same report, by the end of the decade, 90% or more of the renewable energy produced will be cheaper than fossil fuel (Bond et al., 2021). There are major advancements in construction techniques making it possible to build high-rises from laminated timber making those buildings carbon sinks (Chrukina, et al., 2020). The technology is available, the savoir-faire as well and the economics behind much of the sustainable transformations and investments are showing a favorable return. And travel? Well, where I live, the North Frisian Islands (Nordfriesland) close to Denmark have recently and carefully reopened access to travelers. The hotels and restaurants are full (Westermann, 2021). talks about Wandermust ( while Trivago’s recent survey concludes that “Consumers say they’d give up their savings, their jobs and their sex life to travel again” (Trivago, 2021). There is no doubt that travel will pick up. Travel is imperative for a healthy planet. Why? Because it helps us better understand the world, its inhabitants, diversity and outstanding natural beauty. But as an optimistic realist, the imperative also means that we need a healthy planet to travel.

References Bond, K., Benham, H., Vaughan, E., Butler-Sloss, S., (2021). The sky’s the limit: Solar and wind energy potential is 100 times as much as global energy demand. Carbon Tracker. https:// (2020). Wandermust: our love of travel lives on. Churkina, G., Organschi, A., Reyer, C.P.O., Ruff, A., Vinke, K., Liu, Z., Reck, B.K., Graedel, T.E., & Schellnhuber, H.-J. (2020). Buildings as a global carbon sink. Nature Sustainability, 3, 269–276. Trivago (2021). Consumers Say They’d Give Up Their Savings, Their Job and Their Sex Life to Travel Again. Trivago. Westermann, R. (May 02, 2021). „Zack ist die Hütte voll“ - Modellversuch erfolgreich gestartet. AHGZ.

Prof. Dr. Willy Legrand Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management IU International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef, Germany Email:

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The Green School Scholarship Fund needs your help. The pandemic has done huge damage to everything, and this, unfortunately, includes the scholarship program which funds local kids to attend Green School. We lost the Green School tours which go 100% to supporting Balinese kids and we lost many of our families who are big supporters of the program. We have a


campaign that will help

our Balinese scholars continue their education at Green School. If you are able, please donate. The world needs more green leaders.

P.S. Green School is alive, and many of our families are returning. That's the good news.

P.P.S. on Saturday, May 8, if you are in Bali, you can attend our annual fundraiser IGNITE. Scroll down to see a sneak peek of where it will be held (Hint: at the brand new Arc at Green School).


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Sustainable, luxurious Foods with the Health and Wellbeing of your Customers in mind

from Carola Becker Strategic Nutrition for Corporates, Hospitality and Individuals LeadingHôtelières Supporting Partner


As a nutritionist I love spending my time helping people understand how foods and nutrients work, showing them the difference it makes to their wellbeing if they eat well and look after themselves. And, not surprisingly, my customers tell me that a lot has changed. After the initial urge in March 2020 to post pictures of home-made cakes on social media it became clear very quickly that this pandemic will stay with us for longer and everybody had to adapt. And if I learned one thing over the last 14 months, it’s that the wellbeing of body and mind has taken centre stage for more people than ever before. Herein lies a unique opportunity for the hospitality industry. Studies found that even though many people were struggling with weight gain, at the same time the uptake of the Mediterranean diet as well as the sales of organic foods have increased. People quickly turned to healthier foods and experienced the positive effects of eating well. They had more energy, kept their brain active and were overall happier. They saw less brain fog and reported increased physical and mental wellbeing. And in the same way our personal lives have changed – and with it the way we eat – your industry can take this idea even further and continue your customer’s journey rather than disrupting it. Because the desire for enjoying a meal in a beautiful environment will certainly not go away but your customer’s priorities may have changed. No matter if it’s a holiday with the family, a business trip or a client dinner, many customers won’t compromise on health anymore. Think of all the business contracts which are negotiated and signed over a meal. Do you really want to risk a good deal because you are tired after a heavy meal? I call it a ‘food hangover’! Your customers expect to eat well, think clearly, and ultimately, feel well. Dare I say it: the concept of indulgence is largely outdated. Wellbeing should be an ongoing experience, and food should be fuel and fun. It’s in your hands to create something special that sets you apart from your competitors. You can help your customers to maintain this wellbeing without diminishing the absolute joy of eating out, having a meal with friends or colleagues, and finally socialising again. From selecting your produce to the development of innovative recipes and the design of interesting menus with a purpose. You do not only create a luxurious experience for all senses but – almost more importantly – support and increase aspects of the customers health and wellbeing. This is not about counting calories; it’s about incorporating specific impactful nutrients! How does it work? To grow healthy produce, that support human life with vitamins, fibre, and nutrients, we need good soil. We can’t expect produce to be nutritious and healthy when they have travelled thousands of miles after being grown in depleted soil, which is being maximised for output, not for nutritious value. Buy your produce locally and in season: in the same way your customers have changed their views about their environment and shopping behaviours, so should you. Maybe you even have the space to grow your own herbs or a few vegetables. If not, reach out to the farmers and food producers in your area who grow a variety of produce in accordance with the concept of crop rotation which helps keeping the soil fertile. The asparagus bought in May from a farm around the corner will not only be much higher in nutrients like Vitamin A and Folic Acid, but it will also taste so much nicer than the asparagus you get from South America in March! Create exciting recipes of meals that take the foods, their nutrients and texture, their make-up, and their vulnerability into account. Know which nutrients work together and which ones inhibit absorption: you can make your meals even better by adding in ‘helper-nutrients’ that increase absorption – for example Vitamin C supports iron, zinc supports magnesium. Go one step further and support your customer’s mental health by creating a menu based on scientifically proven strategies and the foods that contain nutrients which have shown to support brain health. Your industry is in a unique position to provide both: a beautiful experience and ongoing wellbeing for your customers. Our world has changed. If not forever, then at least for the foreseeable future. If you embrace that change and continue to support your customers, you will retain your value.

Carola Becker is a nutritionist, based in the UK. She creates nutrition concepts for hotels and restaurants, works with Corporates and individuals so they can shape rewarding food and lifestyle routines for a greater feeling of wellbeing. Find more information about her on her website:


Maribel Esparcia Pérez Professor at University of Lleida Introducing European Sustainable Hospitality Club


ROOTS May 2021

UNITED BY OPTIMISM Maribel Esparcia Pérez



The COVID-19 has accelerated the business landscape and its transformation in many aspects. From digitization to sustainability, as well as other practices, that otherwise would have taken years to change. It is hard to imagine a corporate agenda that does not include these topics as a priority. Nonetheless, we are still far from making regenerative practices the standard in the Hospitality industry. It is imperative to stay away from old careless, and irresponsible practices. Becoming a force for good is not to have a competitive advantage, but rather the only way businesses will survive in the long run. Regenerative practices go quite beyond having a certification or doing "less bad". It is a gamechanger because it transforms the way business operates at its core. Establishing KPIs, and sustainability reporting are great however is not enough. As stated recently in a Harvard Business Review article, "if we take a closer look at the evidence suggests that the impact of the measurement and reporting movement has been oversold" (HBR, 2021). The company purpose has to be clear and every employee should be part of the journey. They have to be educated to become change agents.

But, how do we decouple growth from negative impacts in hospitality? To advance and see materiality, especially in the travel industry with its complexities and subsectors, we have to consider changes in different areas. Universities, business schools are key to influence the mindsets and actions of future leaders. Responsible investment practices, encourages investors and owners' commitment to ESG and responsible investment for capital allocation. Public-Private support, especially after COVID19 made the travel sectors lose more than $900 Bn and affected directly and indirectly to households, economic and social development. Thus, it would not make sense to talk about degrowth in this context, but growth must be environmentally restorative, socially just, and economically sustainable. Some of the challenges ahead are Climate change mitigation and adaptation (GHG emissions: do not rely on offsetting programs. The solution is making deep cuts in rising greenhouse-gas emissions; paying up instead isn't solving the problem), protection of water and marine resources, support the transition to a circular economy, pollution prevention and control, and protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.


As business leaders we can promote local communities' art, offering plant-based food in our restaurants, source locally, internal biodiversity conservation plans, educate employees, and raise awareness within the stakeholders to tackle grand environmental and social challenges. The aim to restore and replenish the damage that has been made to the environment and communities. It all comes down to a willingness to implement changes and create alliances with different stakeholders to have a multiplicator effect of good and positive impact. “The main challenge is the lack of human imagination; our inability to see a different future because we’re staring down this dystopian path of the pandemic, climate change, biodiversity loss. But the collective awareness that we are in this together is a huge opportunity." - Tim Christophersen, head of Nature for Climate branch at the UN Environment Programme. To improve resilience against those challenges we must prepare prevention and response protocols for future likely scenarios by integrating sustainability practices as an innovation strategy and a regenerative approach. Also, focus on technology skills and sustainability education at all company levels.

So, how do we navigate raising consciousness around social and environmental issues that are crucial but at the same time politized? Well, the answer is not easy but we can not relay or wait for more regulations to come to take action. Education for entry-level employees to leadership teams is a priority. Technologies, such as blockchain, could help to accelerate supply chain sustainability, biodiversity conservation, sustainable procurement initiatives, workforce and human rights best practices, food security, and waste prevention, etc. What we can certainly state is that regenerative practices go beyond what is expected or legal, or sustainability as we know it today. We, as leaders, have to take a values-driven approach to business. The goal is to create positive impacts. We have an opportunity to reverse the current situation, protect the natural heritage and the wellbeing of communities as well as ensure a sustainable economic and social development of destinations.


HOSPITALITY SUSTAINABILITY + INNOVATION Now more than ever, we are writing our industry's future Our purpose is to advocate to preserve natural resources, ensure human rights and people development are a priority in the travel industry. We are guided by European regulation and key international frameworks such as PRI, GRI, UN SDG's Agenda for 2030 to provide ESHC members 24/7 access to sop's and procedures, operational and strategy documents, a marketplace of sustainable suppliers (products and services), handbooks, procurement protocols, and an online academy with modules for employees and leadership teams. The platform improves the hotel digitisation process, cooperation with stakeholders, and internal communication. Do you need to cut your consultancy budget? With the ESHC platform, you can connect with industry peers and share best practices while accessing scientific research and strategy papers.


What is the new era of lifestyle everyone’s talking about?

from Hamish Kilburn Editor, Hotel Designs


“ A few months after

governments around the world put the population into lockdown – a new phrase I didn’t think I would ever use in an article about the future of hospitality – Hotel Designs looked at meaningful ways to keep the industry connected while amplifying conversations around relevant topics. “

More often than not in this industry, designers, architects, hoteliers and editors are mistaken for fortune tellers, expected to have all the answers about the future of hospitality and hotel design. But, even with all the best, most informed qualitative research behind us, who, in early 2020, would have predicted that here we would be sat here in 2021, working from home for the 13 or 14th month, in the middle of a pandemic following a highly contagious deadly virus breaking out around the world? It is, though, these choreographed situations that are the catalyst for change. A few months after governments around the world put the population into lockdown – a new phrase I didn’t think I would ever use in an article about the future of hospitality – Hotel Designs looked at meaningful ways to keep the industry connected while amplifying conversations around relevant topics. Cue the launch of Hotel Designs LIVE, a one-day virtual conference for all designers, architects, hoteliers and developers globally. A month ago, we broadcasted our third Hotel Designs LIVE event. In one of the four engaging panel discussions, we presented during the event, we turned up the volume on the topic around sound in design. The panel, which I curated specifically due to the projects that the designers and architects were working on, included Tina Norden, Partner at Conran and Partners; Mark Bruce, Director at EPR Architects and sound architect Tom Middleton. Together, we went beyond acoustic solutions in hospitality in order to really understand the role of sound in wellness, wellbeing and this new era of lifestyle that we will stagger towards once we are able to.

Which got me thinking: what is this ‘new era of lifestyle that everyone is talking about’, and how do we purposefully design for it? Well, from the conversations I am having at the moment, it is clear that the hospitality landscape as we knew it pre-pandemic is changing – you only need to read about the recent merger between ACCOR and Ennismore to establish that lifestyle is king in hospitality in the roaring 20s... Like most evolutions in time, tomorrow’s hospitality arena will still be recognisable, but, in places, it will look and (importantly) feel more like an improved version – like a software update on Zoom, if you like (but without the glitches). In this debate on how Covid-19 is impacting hotel design and hospitality, we cannot ignore that modern travellers – especially in the luxury sector – are longing for human interaction after months of possibly feeling isolated from the outside world. And yet, technology is on the opposite side of the argument. I recently checked in to a completely contactless hotel, which felt somewhat unsettling as someone who loves the art of hospitality; a concierge remembering my name when checking in or discussing with the barman what my favourite cocktail is. Taking away that magical, unreplaceable element of service is hard to swallow. Cue the arrival of innovative thinking and extraordinary campaigns from hoteliers and hotel brands globally. As I write this, my Instagram feed is flooded with hotels from around the world announcing new F&B outdoor dining experiences. Although all B y u s i n g c u l i n a r y brands are amplifying similar messages, each post is unique. By using experiences as a vehicle culinary experiences as a vehicle to reopen – and in to reopen – and in some cases reinvent – this has further blurred the some cases reinvent – line between lifestyle and luxury. this has further blurred In our upcoming Hotel t h e l i n e b e t w e e n Designs LIVE virtual event, which takes place on May lifestyle and luxury. 11, we will put ‘lifestyle’ through our crystal ball, with world-renowned designers and architects joining us on the virtual sofa. This session will effectively future-gaze towards the role of public areas post-pandemic and why brands are now designing spaces that are no longer accessible for all demographics, but instead targeted towards the niches, whether that be the Gen Z generation, ‘bleisure’ travellers or those who emerge from this lockdown simply with a new-found respect and demand for the bare necessities in hospitality. If you are a designers, architect, hotelier or developer and would like to join us at Hotel Designs LIVE for free, simply click here and register your place in the virtual audience (booking form takes less than two minutes to complete).

since 2000

Couture Hospitality Concept

ANNOUNCEMENT At HoteliersGuild we are very pleased to announce this new powerful partnership with Hotel Designs, recently agreed between Frank M. Pfaller, Founder President of HG and CEO of CoutureHospitalityConcept, Hamish Kilburn, Editor of Hotel Designs and Katy Phillips, Publisher, Hotel Designs at Forum Events & Media Group. Hotel Designs is a leading international hotel design website for interior designers, architects, hoteliers and industry suppliers. Every day Hotel Designs delivers, and creates in-depth discussion around, daily news from across the international hotel design industry including exclusive hotel news and reviews. With a unique position at the heart of the hotel community, the team creates and delivers specifically targeted events such as Meet Up, Brit List and the Hotel Summit that bridge the gap between all components in an industry where collaboration is key. All parties agreed: “We are so excited about this new relationship - it's clear we both share the same ethos, drive and passion!” Cornerstones of the alliance will be the a special edition of HoteliersGuild’s LookBook and the continuous presence of Hamish and Katy as contributors to our ForumOfDialogue with inspiring insights and opinions. They also agreed to give EHL’s YoungHôteliéres (EHL/IUBH/IPB) and Institut Paul Bocuse’s YoungCheffes that we are recognising in our LeadingHôteliéres chapter another important platform for additional promotion and visibility via Hotel Designs. Also, HD will have a ‘Rising Star of the Year’ award at this year’s Brit List Awards, and we are considering to profile some of the young hoteliers in this category. Furthermore, Frank M. Pfaller is thrilled to accept an invitation to join Hotel Designs as a judge for the coveted Brit List Awards The 2021 awards will be celebrated as part of a live event, taking place at Proud Galleries in London on November 3rd. And in a forthcoming editorial series with Hotel Designs he will also explore various hot topics facing the hospitality industry today.


Eco is in our DNA from Alberto Apostoli Owner

Studio Apostoli


Baia del Sole, will be transformed into an “Eco Beach Resort” thanks to the intervention of Studio Apostoli

Baia del Sole, the village located on the Costa degli Dei (Coast of the Gods – Calabria region in the south of Italy), will be transformed into an “Eco Beach Resort” thanks to the intervention of Studio Apostoli. Baia del Sole Resort is a facility that directly overlooks the sea along the splendid coast that connects Tropea to Capo Vaticano. Dedicated to travelers looking for authentic experiences, it stands out for its luxuriant private park of over 25,000 square meters and a rich offer of services for families, sports enthusiasts and environement discovery lovers. As part of a development plan designed to meet the needs of a clientele increasingly sensitive to “Eco” requests, Mediterranean Hospitality Management & Consulting has chosen Studio Apostoli to renovate the structure, giving it an adequate market positioning and making it capable of offer its guests a unique and extraordinary experience. From the point of view of the brand image, Baia del Sole aims to transform itself from a tourist village to a “Beach Destination” thanks to a biophilic architecture capable of integrating the Resort with the sea and the large park. A project with a great appeal in a contemporary style; a pleasantly vernacular architecture reinterpreted according to the vision of the architect Apostoli.


It is my view. I believe in growth and synergy between Hospitality and Wellness. A growth that is the fruit of market demands, but also of technical innovations, new lifestyles and creative opportunities. The result is an architecture capable of generating value, accentuating regional characteristics and improving the way we live and relate to ourselves and others. These are places destined to become ever-more part of our future, able to develop economic opportunities but, at the same time, to play a primary role: improving quality of life. Alberto Apostoli – Founder and CEO.


An English ode to optimism from Angelina Villa-Clarke Journalist & HoteliersGuild Media Supporter

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Angelina Villa-Clarke FORBES Contributor & HoteliersGuild Media Supporter Travel Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me I've always travelled. From holidays as a child, often taken in Italy to visit my family, to cheap escapes with friends from my late teens onwards. It's always been a part of my life. Some 20 years ago, after living abroad in two different countries, and already having clocked up a fair amount of air miles already, I started working as a writer on a well-known travel magazine. It was a dream job - and within a few weeks of starting, I was off on my first press trip to Costa Rica. I never looked back. After 10 years and now holding a senior role with the title, I took the leap to work for myself as a freelance journalist, and now write for many magazines and newspapers. I have been fortunate to have travelled the world extensively over these years, and - pre-Covid - could not think of a time when I wouldn't be planning an adventure somewhere exciting. Last year, as we all know, this all came to a halt. At first, I was filled with anxiety and sadness at the thought a life without travel. Apart from anything else, how would I make a living? But, I realised that out of dark times, comes light and that nothing is forever. It's undeniably that Covid has hit the travel industry hard, but perhaps it has also made many parts of the sector look at itself more closely. Hopefully, this will result in more sustainable and thoughtful ways we will be travelling in the future. Maybe our experiences will be even better because we will value them so much more. I know I will. The past year has taught me to be so much more resourceful. How can a travel writer write without travel? I have managed to do so. I realised that all these years of travelling the world has given me a wealth of knowledge and so I've called upon trips already taken, memories of wonderful travels and knowledge of destinations for a wide variety of articles, content and commissions. Now with the vaccine roll-out, there are green shoots of hopefulness again. There's a flurry of activity with new hotels gearing up to open and innovative travel initiatives being planned. The world is opening up again, slowly but surely. One big positive of 2020 has been the rediscovery of the staycation. Last summer, when there was the opportunity to do so, I didn't fly off anywhere, but instead decided to explore some more of the UK. Having been grounded for the best part of the year has meant that many of us took the opportunity – when we could – to explore the treasures we have on our doorstep. With a flurry of new hotels slated to fling open their doors across the UK this year, there’s even more reason, therefore, to be excited as to what we have at home. It’s still early days for global travel to resume to the ways we once knew and loved, but with the vaccine now rolling out, we can only remain hopeful that the industry will slowly start to return later this year. One positive of 2020 has been the rediscovery of the staycation. Having been grounded for the best part of the year has meant that many of us took the opportunity – when we could – to explore the treasures we have on our doorstep. With a flurry of new hotels slated to fling open their doors across the UK this year, there’s even more reason, therefore, to be excited as to what we have at home. Here are the hottest new UK hotel openings for 2021. THE HARPER, NORFOLK What’s the buzz? Once a glass-blowing factory, The Harper – a 32bedroom boutique hotel – gives a nod to its heritage with bespoke glass features across its artfully, individually-designed rooms. What are the highlights? The laid-back ambiance and elegant interior design. Expect velvet statement chairs, modern four-poster beds, warm oak floors and original art. There’s also a serene spa with pool and pampering treatments. What’s to discover in the destination?Set in the pretty

Boutique living comes to Norfolk. (CREDIT: THE HARPER)

village of Langham, in north Norfolk, this is just the spot to discover the ‘Champagne Coast’ with windswept dunes, crab fishing in uncrowded harbours, seal spotting and bird-watching on tap. The hotel has its own fleet of bikes to explore, or ramblers can follow the Harper’s Hikes, the hotel’s own bespoke walking routes. What’s on the menu? The food celebrates the hotel's location – where land meets sea – and all-day dining is on offer throughout the hotel. Stanley’s is the main restaurant space but you can also order in Ivy’s – the living room area, with its gorgeous exposed beams and deep sofas. Come the summer time, the magical al fresco The Courtyard is the place to order grilled seafood with a glass of crisp rosé. When’s it opening? Spring 2021. FAIRMONT WINDSOR PARK, WINDSOR What’s the buzz? The lavish new hotel from Fairmont will offer 200 opulent rooms, stunning grounds, and have a focus on wellbeing, with a standout spa offering. What are the highlights? The property is positioning itself to be the UK’s leading wellness retreat with a sprawling spa spanning some 2,500 square metres. There will be indoor and outdoor pools, 18 treatments rooms, a salt room, hammam and Japanese foot spa. What’s to discover in the destination? It is found next to Windsor Great Park and Savill Gardens – the stunning ornate gardens founded in the 1930s (the hotel is actually a multi-million-pound redevelopment of the former Savill Court Hotel). Interior design reflects a noble feel at the Fairmont Windsor Park. (CREDIT: THE FAIRMONT)

What’s on the menu? A modern take on quintessentially British offerings, giving a nod to its regal setting. Guests can enjoy the tea lounge, Champagne bar, gin bar and fine dining restaurant. When’s it opening? Spring 2021. THE ALBION, ABERTEIFI, WALES What’s the buzz? The team behind the cult Fforest offering – a unique 200-acre farm retreat in west Wales – is opening a 23-room hotel on the banks of the River Teifi, carved out of two historic warehouses. Fforest is a unique world of eco-led designed Onsen domes, traditional crog lofts, luxury garden shacks, a Georgian farmhouse and a myriad of wholesome foodie outlets - all of which embrace outdoor living. As the first hotel, the new opening elevates the rustic Welsh offering. What are the highlights? The hotel will bring more of a refined experience, yet maintaining the down-to-earth and simplistic luxury that Fforest embodies. Parts of the original buildings will remain untouched so as to be able to ‘tell their story’. Of particular interest is the historic graffiti drawn into the crumbling render of the third floor. The drawings are pencil sketches of tall ships covering many of the internal lime washed walls, which date to the second half of the 19th century. What’s to discover in the destination? You can delve into the world of Fforest – from the tiny stone pub – the smallest in Wales –

Warehouse living at The Albion in Wales. (CREDIT: THE ALBION)

to the wooden cedar-barrel sauna, but there is also lots to do in the local area, such as canoeing, surfing, bushcraft and archery. What’s on the menu? Locally-sourced produce and heritage menus, showcasing Wales’s best, will be the real deal. When’s it opening? Spring 2021. GLENEAGLES TOWNHOUSE, EDINBURGH What’s the buzz? The iconic Scottish country estate that is Gleneagles is venturing into town – namely Edinburgh – with this swish, urban outpost. Found at 37-39 St Andrews Square, originally home to the British Linen Company which later became the Bank of Scotland, it has outstanding architectural features designed by notable architects and sculptors such as David Bryce and Alexander Handyside Ritchie. What are the highlights? The city dwelling will have 33 bedrooms, each uniquely designed and inspired by the heritage of the building. Gleneagles Townhouse will also be home to a members’ club – described as “a community with a passion for exchanging ideas, discovering new obsessions, collaborating together and simply having fun”. Guests can use exclusive private spaces, a gym and wellness offerings. What’s to discover in the destination? Edinburgh is there for the taking, but this is also the ideal pitstop for those en route to Gleneagles in Perthshire. What’s on the menu? A vibrant all-day restaurant will be perfect for breakfasts, long lunches and spirited dinners. The hotel also boasts two bars, including a striking rooftop terrace. When’s it opening? Autumn 2021.

ReadMore: FORBES

I have been a travel writer for nearly 26 years. I spent 11 years as deputy and associate editor on BA's High Life magazine and have been freelance for the past nine years. I contribute to a range of newspapers and magazines, including Metro, Mail on Sunday, City AM, Canary Wharf Magazine, Family Traveller, High Life, Sainsbury's Magazine, and many more. I am also a travel contributor for I'm interested in new places, interesting people, cool design and, above all, authenticity. My expertise is 'luxury intelligence' – cool openings and new destinations. I’ve lived in Barbados and Venice, Italy, and continue to travel widely, often with my family in tow. I’ll never tire of discovering the world around me. I’m always looking for the ‘new’, so tweet me @AVCbeauty22, follow me on Instagram (@angelinavillaclarke) and read my blog: https://


The Power of One from Anne Arrowsmith Corporate General Manager 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts, Thailand HoteliersGuild Member


t is all too easy to wallow in self-pity and become despondent especially when things go wrong. And each of us have had enough challenges this past year; be they personal, professional or both, to last a lifetime. For some, not being able to visit the hairdresser is a calamity while others have dealt with closing companies, laying off staff, being isolated from family and friends or most tragically loosing loved ones, many without being able to see them one last time. Thankfully, having been spared the later, I shamefully admit to indulging my pessimistic self, more often than need be. Fortunately, I have gently and quickly descended from my self-erected ‘pity pedestal’ brought down by almost daily encounters with individuals whose kindness, generosity, positivity and can-do attitudes are equally as inspiring as they are humbling. Even on your worst day, it doesn’t take long to think of others worse off. Just last week, I spend what comes close to a spiritual experience at the Elephant Nature Park, and Animal Rescue Service in Chiang Mai. It was truly a privilege to be in the company of Khun Lek Chailert, the founder and key catalyst behind this philanthropic entity. Diminutive, Lek exemplifies the saying “ good things come in small packages”. Her achievements are Herculean, her heart immense and her energy endless. In the past twenty years, she has dedicated her life to rescuing abandoned and abused elephants and provided them a safe, caring and protected environment. Like all entities, the advent of Covid and the closing of borders snuffed out her key financial support; international visitors; and left Lek and her team to figure out other ways to sustain the daily expenses associated with feeding and caring for the parks pachyderms and other animals. In fact her challenges only magnified as the restrictions continued and more and more owners and operators of commercial elephant “sanctuaries” could not or would not continue to keep their leased elephants along with their mahouts with an associated expense of upwards of THB1000 per day just to feed just one elephant. To give perspective, this amounts to 3 times Thailand’s minimum wage. Never saying never, Lek came to the rescue and her elephant count now stands at 104, in addition to 900 dogs, 1200 cats, 200 cows and buffalo and up to 500 rabbits. So when any of us think that circumstances are overwhelming, take a look through Khun Lek’s lens and rejoice at life’s possibilities. Inspired, I thus started the week filled with optimism. Vaccine programs were well underway in the US and the UK, key feeder markets for 137 Pillars properties, picking up speed in Europe and economic data out of China; another important source of business for us as well as Thailand; was positively euphoric. On the home front and on the back of enviable covid containment in Thailand new tourism corridors were being piloted with the plan for Phuket to open to international travellers as early as June. 24 hours later, the news was not so good and 72 hours into the week Thailand was experiencing upwards of 1000 locally transmitted cases with clusters in Bangkok, Hua Hin, Phuket and Chiang Mai.

As a pre-emptive move

authorities in Chiang Mai mobilized the opening of a field hospital but appealed for public support in the form of toiletries, towels, masks, surgical gloves etc, to help the less fortunate. Without a second thought our HR Manager at 137 Pillars House, Khun Orn, leapt into action and enlisted the team to give what they could as well as approaching our owners for permission to donate personal hygiene kits along with bathroom slippers and disposable containers, which of course was granted without a moment’s hesitation. Yet again, here was I reminded that one person can ignite the flame of goodness and inspire others to simply do the right thing.

Selfless acts and sharing are an inherent part of Thai DNA. There is never a second thought about

helping others and giving even when ones own circumstances are far from certain. It is quite simply the nature and character of the country to aid each other and yet again an inspiration to me to strive to be considerate and kind to others.

This is reflected in a quote from the very wise and wonderful Mother Theresa, who said “I alone cannot

change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” So as our industry remains battered and bruised by events of the past 15 months and uncertain of just when we can fully regain our lost freedoms and revenue streams, pause and look closely at those who say very little, remain calm and intent on staying calm and carrying on.


Finding Optimism in Novel Discourse and Better Choices by Heleri Rande Hospitality Strategist, Writer, speaker & Presenter HoteliersGuild LeadingHôtelières Member


With Earth Day around the corner, it has been absolutely delightful to see how many virtual events, discussions, initiatives, articles, podcasts and the likes have been scheduled for the day to draw attention to one of the most important factors affecting our future. There has been a lot of debate around the authenticity and real impact of the conversation, whether companies and governments are doing it for a “tick in the box”-type exercise, whether brands who have subscribed to eco-friendly and nature-first practices are actually making a real effort to change the way they do things and adhere to the promises. But I believe that even a small step is a step in the right direction to raise the difficult questions and start a conversation. And like with everything – those who have dug deep and committed will be rewarded in the long run. Making a conscious choice now is really what should be the aim, even if it feels insignificant at first. In past months I have hosted multiple virtual discussions on the topic of sustainability or some form or name-bend of the greatest buzzword of the pandemic times. What has struck me is that every chef, hotelier, restaurateur, designer, development director and hospitality professional I talk to wants to advocate for a change and is looking for ways to be part of the solution even when their own company leadership fails at times. This narrative has changed considerably from a year and a half – two years ago when the discussions were generic, predictable and lacking any sort of strategic thought. And to me, this shift is a very optimistic one and an extremely hopeful one. Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing the owner Teresa Unterthiner and head chef Roland Lamprecht of Forestis, a newly opened serene hideaway nestled in the Dolomites in South Tyrol. Using the surrounding forest as their main supplier, the kitchen team produces beautifully balanced meals reflecting the terroir, water, sun and air that make up the unique DNA of the place. As our conversation went on, something that the chef said really struck a chord with me: “I think the pandemic will bring guests back to their original values. It has shown us how small and clumsy humans are in the face of nature's whims. In the future, we will certainly pay even more attention to regionality than before, because what would we have done without local producers last year when borders were closed, and supermarket shelves were getting emptier and emptier?” I could not agree more. It is just incredible that we needed a world-wide crisis to appreciate our own back yard. It was always there, maybe not always visible but definitely within reach but at times our laziness, other times perhaps our curiosity for the exotic got the best of us. However, I do feel that all the mess and hardship that has been created has also planted some seeds of considerate consumption, mindful creation and inward reflection – all aspects that will serve us in the future as we reconfigure and make choices that are not just about our own wellbeing but affect the entire ecosystem around us. I am currently working on a fascinating project in the North of Europe, a one-of-a-kind hospitality development that will set the pace for healthy spaces and sustainable practices for generations to come. Together with a devoted team we are using WELL Building Standards, B Corp framework, the Long Run criteria and Regenerative Travel guidelines to put together an environmentally friendly pathway that considers all aspects of the concept, from air and water quality to staff wellbeing. To my great surprise I have discovered that most of the serious certifications or frameworks only apply to existing projects whilst now is really the time to adapt and re-configure the guidelines to set all new developments on a path of sustainable practices right from the beginning. Client-facing construction specifications aside, it is never too early to start thinking how you want to treat the people that will be delivering your brand, how many mind-spas in the non-client facing areas do they need? What is the optimal light, sound and scent in the areas that the guests do not frequent and how do all these aspects contribute to the holistic culture that nurtures your greatest ambassadors – your people? I am absolutely thrilled to be working with owners who have put this at the centre of the project and are willing to go the extra mile to scrutinise the concept around their own team as much as they do around the guest facing aspects. This makes me incredibly optimistic that in a couple of years time when all these projects start opening, we will finally abolish the back-of-house nomenclature and make the industry a lot more collaborative so that all kinds of talent can shine and come to the forefront.


The Challenges and Opportunities from Xenia zu Hohenlohe Managing Director, Considerate Group HoteliersGuild LeadingHôtelières | Chairlady


It would be difficult to have missed the buzz around ESG strategies which has been heating up the financial markets worldwide. No company that answers to shareholders is able to escape this aspect of business management and reporting any longer – but it is also important to recognise that there is no quick fix to ESG reporting. It cannot be simply developed and applied within a few months, and then be ticked off the list to move on to other things. A hasty and imperfect approach to ESG will end up being detrimental to both the companies concerned, and the planet. And as importantly, will almost certainly come back to bite management, taking up incremental time and resources, within a few years. For those funds focused on Hotel Real Estate, which is where our expertise at Considerate Group lies, we would like to lay out some opportunities when addressing ESG at both fund and ultimately at operational level. This newsletter aims to give an overview of the market and includes reports and articles highlighting the direction of travel, as well as examples of what effective ESG leadership looks like. Some key recent highlights include: 1. Demand from guests and travellers 58% of consumers say they are thinking more about sustainability now than before COVID-19 (source: Financial Times) 70% of global travellers say they would be more likely to book accommodation knowing it was eco-friendly, whether they were looking for a sustainable stay or not. (source: 2. Market and Investment trends Global ESG assets are on track to exceed US$53tn by 2025, representing more than a third of the US$140.5tn in projected total assets under management, driven by a perfect storm created by the pandemic and the green recovery in the US, the EU and China (source: Bloomberg 2021) Sustainable funds accounted for almost a third of overall European fund inflows in the second quarter of 2020. Flows into sustainable funds climbed 72% to US$71.1bn in Q220, while AUM reached record levels of over US$1tn (Morningstar, Global Sustainable Fund Flows) 3. ESG accounting and reporting standards moving towards more alignment and integration Good news for those who lament that efforts to measure ESG have created an alphabet soup. The World Economic Forum’s International Business Council agreed last January to work with the Big Four accounting firms, to create 21 metrics by which to chart progress towards a more stakeholder-driven form of capitalism. Given the current “fragmented, chaotic and confusing” landscape of standards, which “Good news for makes it impossible to compare companies’ sustainability profiles, standards for measuring those who lament sustainability performance is much needed. Hotel Certifications are also increasingly being aligned to global reporting frameworks – such that efforts to as GRESB recognising Green Key.

measure ESG have created an alphabet soup… ”

4. EU Green Taxonomy The EU Green Taxonomy came in to force last Summer. Designed to be the world’s first classification system for green financial products, it establishes science-based criteria on how companies define what counts as truly sustainable economic activity. Disclosing companies who operate within the criteria receive increased tax benefits and enhance their sustainable reputation. 5. BIDEN Administration’s focus on Climate Policies and building a Green Economy On top of his US$1.9tn Corona relief package, President Biden is determined to have a Climate Bill passed by Congress – as well as approving a US$1.2bn in funding for the Green Climate Fund, a multilateral institution that provides grants and loans to climate projects in developing countries, partially fulfilling the US’s original US$3bn pledge to the GCF. Climate is not just back on the US agenda but at the forefront of many of the new bills being proposed. 6. Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative Launched in December 2020, the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative is a group of international asset managers committed to supporting the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner. 73 signatories have so far publicly agreed to the Net Zero Asset Managers Commitment, to help deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement. 7. COP26 Postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic, COP26 is now scheduled to take place in Glasgow in November 2021 under the presidency of the UK. There are five priority areas for discussion at the event this year: 1) adaptation and resilience, 2) nature, 3) transition to renewable energy, 4) accelerating the move to zero-carbon road transport, and underpinning all of these is 5) finance. The objective is for every professional financial decision to take climate change into account. The right framework for reporting, risk management and returns will embed these considerations and help finance a whole economy transition. To achieve net zero, every company, bank, insurer and investor will need to adjust their business models for a low carbon world.

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Heart centred leadership is redefining resilience from Anni Hood Chief Executive | WELL Intelligence Member of LeadingHôtelières


Heart centred leadership is redefining resilience In a shifting and increasingly complex world, connectedness is key. If there is one group least likely to attract public sympathy for the challenges of the last 12 months it’s probably corporate leaders. But it has been a tough pandemic for those at the top. Many have had to make and implement very difficult decisions, as well as displaying extraordinary versatility in responding to changing circumstances at rapid pace. For a few, the pandemic has represented an unprecedented opportunity; for far more, it has posed an existential threat to their organisation. The stresses of leadership were intensifying even before the pandemic. The growing requirement for inclusion, diversity and equality in the workplace, coupled with Environmental Social and Governance focus from investors, and need to demonstrate purpose, all heap more pressure on top of the multiple challenges corporate leaders already face – from increasing profits to developing winning strategies. And the signs are that many leaders are struggling to cope. Many tell me that they feel as though they are walking on eggshells, managing from a fear of doing the wrong thing, worried about provoking litigation, and they say that balancing all the conflicting demands upon their time and attention can leave them feeling shattered. Leaders, in other words, need coping strategies to build their own resilience (adapting well in the face of adversity and recovering quickly from difficulties) but it is more than that, it is connecting at a deeper level within themselves and with others. Covid has accelerated and also provoked greater self-reflection in everyone. Leaders need a toolkit designed for this new era, and they need the support of their board to do so. One aspect of this is simply said but not always so easily embraced, ‘self-care’. Finding time for oneself, to decompress, nourish and grow within our own selves can be more difficult than one thinks. It is an entirely false economy not to carve out that time, man or woman, young or old, to know, honour and grow in one’s own presence, consciousness and personal truth. Another observation that clarified in my mind recently is the significance of a limiting mindset, one that may be indifferent to spiritual values or dismissive of a shift in the ‘feel’ of things. An unwillingness to be open to a power greater than ourselves, whether that be universal energy, god or something else, a unwillingness to consider something different to the ‘old’ way of doing things can hold us back, in leadership and in life. It all lands on connectedness and it starts with each one of us. It begins with you. Awareness of the issues could be the first step towards securing coaching or other support that would help build additional skills and develop new tools that support a more agile, dynamic and constantly modernising world. A re-framing is also required. The old mechanistic, process-driven Newtonian approach to leadership that is taught at Business School – with its emphasis on the levers that control the organisation – doesn’t equip you to deal with the chaos and complexity that characterise today’s environment. Quantum leadership – drawing its inspiration from the Quantum Theory of Physics – recognises this changing paradigm and nurtures leaders who can thrive on chaos and uncertainty. As management thinker Danah Zohar points out, quantum leaders “thrive on the potential latent in uncertainty and are adept at unleashing the creativity of self-organization. More important, they are vision -and value- led; they adapt quickly, are unafraid to play with the boundaries and reinvent the rules and celebrate diversity.” Tangible services exist in the form of transformational tools such as Quantum Energy Coaching that aims to change self-limiting beliefs at the subconscious level. Claudia Roth is such a coach and says “the level of self-awareness of any leader, dictates the future success of their business or organisation”. It’s being widely acknowledged that a different set of leadership skills is required going forward, attributes that play to the less certain outlook as well as the broadening social agenda. There’s a shift from ‘communication’ to ‘empathy’, for example. And, explained by University of Texas professor Brené Brown, that’s because empathy “drives connection” – it enables you to feel the pain others are going through and to learn through that connectivity. Research by CEMS – the global alliance of business schools – bears out the conclusion that leadership characteristics such as empathy and compassion have become more important as a result of the pandemic, at the expense of more traditional attributes like communication and strategic vision. Resilience remains vital but the staying power needed in today’s society has a tenderness and humility that deepens roots and reaches more people. Ultimately, organisations need leaders who are prepared to lead in a transforming landscape and capable of taking others along. To do that you have to develop confidence in what you believe in, to lead from the heart and from your own values. The more connected you are, to yourself and others, the stronger your foundation for leading the charge.

About the author; Anni Hood is the Founder and Chief Executive of the Well Tech Intelligence Holdings portfolio. The portfolio includes three brands that have developed organically over the past ten years and now operate together as an agile powerhouse of business intelligence, analysis, visionary solution and leadership programming. All brands anchor to the optimisation of human wellbeing in every guise. the collective brands are evolving in response to a more acute need for knowledge and infrastructure that will inspire a more embedded culture of illness prevention and pro-active health.



Climate Change - Why personal responsibility matters from Raquel Naboa Founder and CEO Fifty Shades Greener | Member of LeadingHôtelières


Last week I saw the amazing Clover Hogan, a young climate activist from Australia give a TEDTalk The link to her talk is on this weeks written blog in our website I encourage you to watch it, is amazing. “Climate change is not your responsibility, because it is outside your control, but what is your responsibility, is the things inside your control.” So what does Personally Responsibility for Climate means? For me, it all comes down to the things I have been speaking about on my weekly blogs for the past 2 years. You can choose to; 1. Continue to live your life as you are.. OR 2. Continue to live your life with an added commitment to reducing your impact on the planet. Two clear choices and no wrong answer. YOU are in charge of your life and what do you with it is completely up to you. I would not chastise anyone for choosing Option 1, however know that I am choosing Option 2 because I want to look back on my life in 10 years time and know that I did everything I possibly could within my control. But the question that comes to mind for me now is How do we empower people to choose option 2? There might be many answers to this question, I can only tell you what provoked this mind-set change for me personally. Up until 2012 I used to live my life within the realms of Option 1. It’s not that I did not care about Climate Change, I just did not know enough about it and my view was the problem was far too colossal and so, there was nothing I personally could do about it. This was despair more than denial. It took me a couple of years to educate myself - reading blogs, attending workshops and webinars, reading books and implementing my new found knowledge at my workplace. To my surprise, the things I applied at work started to have a positive impact. I could see that our carbon emissions were reducing month by month and year by year. I was absolutely hooked. I realised that I did have a place in the fight against Climate Change. And so I decided my life’s mission would be to become a key player within that fight. At the end of the day, we have the choice to define our own path, and what we do with our life is up to us, Raquel


SUCCESS-model of the private hotel industry from Prof. Dr. Burkhard von Freyberg Munich University of Applied Sciences

HoteliersGuild Supporting Partner


In 2015, the text book “Being successful in the private hotel industry” (German: ErfolgReich in der Privathotellerie) was published. The goal of this book was to create a practical guide for individually owned and managed hotel businesses. The included recommendations were underpinned by scientific primary and secondary research. In Germany, the majority of hotels are privately owned. In 2019 only around 13 % of businesses could be classified as brand hotels – because of their higher capacity, they accounted for 44 % of the offered rooms (previous year: 42 %). Due to this rising quota and the resulting increase in competitive pressure, the intention was to investigate the top aspects of success and break them down into an easy-to-understand model. A survey with a sample size of 980 German hoteliers was carried out from January to April 2014, using a questionnaire with quantitative and qualitative inquiries. The result of this study was a 7-factor-model, which can be depicted as a star with seven points. This form of presentation was chosen to show that each of the seven aspects should be represented and be as distinctive as possible within the concept of the company, in order to be successful. The model was an adaptation from the “McKinsey 7S framework” by Waterman, Peters and Phillips. The first and most important success factor turned out to be the hotels’ staff. Finding, retaining, and training of qualified personnel is and always was the defining characteristic of the quality of a hotel product. As part of the tertiary sector, the hospitality industry depends on the people who are in constant contact with the paying customers. Their acts, service level and social skills will determine if a guest is satisfied with their stay. This in turn affects their decision to revisit in the future or recommend the hotel to their friends and family. As the second element of success, the unique positioning can be enumerated. This state can be achieved by implementing a suitable market orientation of the hotel business, which includes the definition of the target groups, the intended standard, special unique selling propositions, as well as the associated core values. In this context, the understanding and consideration of travel trends constitutes a highly relevant facet. Furthermore, every private hotel should maintain a proactive management of customer relationships. This element has two sides: Firstly, the guests’ needs and feedback has to be taken into account when formulating the company strategy or planning new products and services. Secondly, a strong loyalty bond should be accomplished through personal contact, loyalty programs and the identification with the name, respectively, the brand. By definition brand hotels are ahead of the game in this regard – but especially in the peculiarity and authenticity of individually managed hotels lies a great success potential for customer retention and recurring visits. The next pivotal part of the model is financial controlling / accounting. In case studies, which focus on smaller private hotels, a lack of understanding of the companies’ figures and key performance indicators can often be observed. However, when looking at the results of empiric investigation, the constant planning, regulating, and monitoring of every department emerge as being highly necessary. Next, every hotel should exhibit a certain grade of entrepreneurship. In addition to the standard meaning of the term, in this context this also means: “Be courageous in your decisions, use your firms’ resources to your advantage and be a great host.” Against the backdrop of the increasing competitive pressure of the hospitality market, the hotelier should display an innovative and creative management style. A very important factor of success consists in the boosting of sales, in particular via automated channels like the hotel website or online travel agencies (OTAs). The mega trend digitization and the technological progress of the last decade come with a wide array of possibilities, but also challenges for the tourism and hotel industry. The requirements for a well designed and selling hotel website have never been higher, to a degree that the hotelier must carefully design the customer journey of the digital booking experience in addition to the stay in the hotel itself. Lastly, every hotel business – big or small – should have a good grip on their set of values and quality. This includes a genuine system of company values as a guideline for day-to-day decisions as well as an aspiration for a highquality standard of their products and services. This system of principles has a bearing on employees as well as guests and lays the foundation for the hotel becoming an attractive site for primary and secondary stakeholders. This comprehensive 7-factor-modell can be used by the hotel operator itself or by an external consultant to analyse and optimize the parameters of success. In practice, most hotels already show decent basic skills regarding between three to five aspects of the SUCCESS-star. In detecting ways to improve the remaining, lacking elements, usually fast and effective means of tackling difficulties and expanding the hotels’ performance can be determined. Dr. Burkhard von Freyberg started his career in hotel management at the 5 star superior Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich. Afterwards he studied business administration at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, at Harvard University in Boston and the University of Regensburg. After various hospitality related professional activities in Germany and abroad, he worked for several years at Treugast Solutions Group, a consulting company for the hotel industry, as senior consultant and director of the International Institute of Applied Hospitality Sciences. In January 2008 he established Zarges von Freyberg Hotel Consulting, a consulting company focusing global hotel developments and operations mainly in the leisure segment. In March 2009 he was appointed professor of Hospitality Management at the Faculty of Tourism at Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany´s largest tourism educational institution. His research fields are hotel project development, strategic hotel management and hospitality experience management. Burkhard von Freyberg is guest lecturer at various institutions such as Royal Roads University / Canada, Durban University of Technology / South Africa, University of Zagreb / Croatia (International Tourism and Hospitality Academy at Sea) and German University of Technology / Oman, editor and author of various professional hospitality publications and member of the jury of the "European Hotel of the Year Award". Moreover, he is founding partner of different startups in the hospitality industry and in the advisory board of hotel companies.



We’re united by optimism because… from Herbert Laubichler-Pichler Managing Director | Alma Resort Cam Ranh Vietnam HoteliersGuild Member


We’re united by optimism because we’re dyed-in-the-wool hoteliers in a resilient industry The pandemic may have turned everything completely upside-down worldwide, with millions of hospitality jobs lost and billions of dollars in revenue wiped out, but all is far from lost. The hotel industry has survived many a tragic and devastating era, such as previous pandemics and wars including both world wars. Our industry will undoubtedly overcome COVID-19; indeed there’s already a light at the end of the tunnel with major vaccination roll-outs underway globally. The hotel industry would have to be one of the most resilient industries because everyone, sooner or later, needs it. Whether you visit a city to do business, you want to get away from it all with your partner, or you wish to catch up with family or friends but they don’t have a big house, there will always be a demand for hotels. When something like COVID-19 happens, it all boils down to one thing – what have you done differently during these challenging times? Have you sat around, complained, mourned and cried? Or did you say to yourself you would put up a fight and come out stronger? I understand this is a philosophical approach in a business context yet, for me at least, no one can take this industry away from me. I can’t even begin to think of doing anything else. No matter what comes along and tries to take this industry away from me, it is my everything and I would never allow it. The quality I am talking about here isn’t something that can be studied and accumulated, nor measured or quantified. It is innate and can only be understood by dyed-in-the-wool hoteliers. Unlike investors who may avoid investing in hotels in the current climate, instead pursuing other options such as hygiene tools, artificial intelligence, Bitcoin, gold or other real estate projects, for us hoteliers there is no other choice. For us, we don’t want to do anything else and people who aren’t so deep into hotels cannot truly understand. Hoteliers are special creatures. We always have to work when there’s something happening, when other people are celebrating and when our family is at home. We work evenings, weekends and during all of the big events on the calendar such as Christmas and the new year period. If we didn’t love what we do, it would never work. We thrive in a hotel environment. For some of us, born into the hotel industry, there really is no other environment in which for us to thrive. I started out working at my parents’ guesthouse in my native Austria as a bellboy at 10 years of age. I always worked during the summer season when other kids went on holiday, first greeting the guests, then washing dishes, cleaning the floor and, when I was 16, helping with the heavy dishes. Born into a hotelier family, I had no choice and couldn’t run away from the field. However, I also didn’t want to, as I’m really happy doing what I’m doing. It’s not like my father was a doctor and I couldn’t stand the sight of blood. I wanted to do this and I still do decades later and always will. Even for hoteliers who weren’t born into the industry, sooner or later they have stepped into the hotel environment and have fallen for it. Perhaps their parents could afford to take them to a nice hotel when they were young, and they loved the feeling of arriving at the hotel, and the atmosphere of being in, for example, the hotel’s restaurant or ballroom for a special occasion. Hotels are such fascinating places where everything happens. People meet at hotels, people kiss at hotels, people propose at hotels and people get married at hotels. People also argue at hotels and sometimes things happen at hotels that result in divorces too. When I was a young man, some of my colleagues left the hotel industry for other professions that were more lucrative in their early stages. They have since admitted to me that they regret leaving and that they want to come back but that the money has spoiled them and they can’t afford to come back to the hotel industry and start over. However, for us dyed-in-the-wool hoteliers our passion for what we do, helping other people to have a great stay at our hotel, is just too strong, no matter what challenges come our way. A hotel environment is at its best when a united team is behind it. If any parts of the whole are weak, the entire operation is affected as everyone from the general manager to the cleaners and gardeners each have important roles to play in the overall guest experience. The key department heads have such an impact on their staff and need to work together to help and support one another, underscoring a strong and united work culture. Happy staff result in happy guests. You need a sixth sense when it comes to recruiting talent. We don’t really hire for skill, we hire for attitude. Without the right attitude, you’re wrong for this business. If you aren’t prepared to put the emotional labour into this work, it doesn’t work. A classic hotel is not a machine as everything comes from the heart, it comes with an emotional attachment. For us hoteliers, working in a hotel is like a drug. It’s what gives us a buzz and is very addictive. We’re united by optimism because we are resilient and work amid a resilient industry. We’re united by optimism because we’re dyed-in-the-wool hoteliers who cannot do anything but what we do; we love this industry and thrive in a hotel environment. We are united by optimism because we work in united workplaces, underscored by the right attitude, that make for a united industry. We have grit, determination, courage and resolve that helps define the strength of the hotel industry’s character. We’re all in this together.

C re! i




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