This forum, of global lodging and hospitality industry professionals, connects various stakeholders for active discussions. Our mission is to foster conversations on issues facing the industry and identify ways to work together for the greater benefit.
Customer Expectations & Brand Delivery
Hotel customer experience has never been more important as connected and empowered, customer’s expectations are rising. We all know that travel and hospitality is the second most customer centric sector, 2nd only to healthcare. Knowing customers’ expectations is critical to all businesses and brand positioning impacts customer expectations, which in turn have an impact on customer satisfaction. A brand is a network of associations between your customers, employees, and other stakeholders and the feelings and emotions it evokes when interacting with it. For most companies brand is one of the most important intellectual assets. What is the role of brand in customer experience and how has the pandemic changed customer expectations? Are hospitality brands really customer centric? What are the customer motivations beyond price and quality? Will the customers abandon the brands that don’t support their values?
Africa’s Hotel Industry – Growth & Development
Africa is the second fastest growing tourism market in the world now and its immense tourism potential is just starting to be unlocked. The Africa’s hotel industry, relative to the rest of the world, is still at is infancy, is being transformed with not only more local investors developing the hospitality sector, but also foreign investments are also keen to have presence in this market. Africa enjoyed some respite as one of the last regions to see an outbreak of COVID-19, but the region and the sector has faced the full impact of the pandemic since the beginning of the year. The continent has managed the pandemic well from a public health perspective, possibly drawing on lessons learned from other health crises. Travel and tourism sector, one of the key growth drivers and contributing more than 8% to the continents GDP, continues to face typical challenges as a result of closed border. We must also emphasize that Africa is gigantic, vast and diverse land mass; 54 nations, surrounded by two oceans – the Atlantic and Indian and the Mediterranean Sea to the North, world’s second largest and second most-populous continent. It’s not one country. While there are some common patterns, it’s difficult to overlook local and regional nuances.
New Age Hospitality
A hotel concept integrates various elements of hotel services and facilities into a compelling offering for their targeted customers and a unique story is created through what a hotel looks like, how it presents and markets itself. It wasn’t all that long ago that we all were still wondering if we needed to invest further in internet infrastructure. In a period where online guest reviews and social media define the magnitude of success, the traditional rooms selling, and breakfast might not accurately reflect travelers’ expectations. The questions now involve; if the hotels should be retailers, neighborhood gathering places, co-working and co-living spaces or galleries. As a result, the next decade will bring with it a number of disrupting trends and events that will change the “hotel” definition. This discussion will help us understand these trends and gain a better understanding of what goes into a hotel concept, and how different elements come together so that these innovations and concepts stand out from the crowd.
Industry Ups & Downs – Asia Pacific
Though Asia generally kept the infection rates low throughout 2020, arrival of delta variant forced many Southeast Asian countries to contend with big outbreaks. In 2019 the tourism sector contributed more than $390 billion in the regional economies, and it is no surprise that many of these nations are keen to open the borders to travelers. Almost every day, in October, countries across Asia have revealed plans to loosen pandemic-induced restrictions on inbound tourism. India, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Fiji and Australia are only a few of the markets announcing their plans to welcome mostly vaccinated visitors. Maldives and Sri Lanka were early in opening their borders. With ever changing requirements and lack of clarity on the local conditions to gain consumer confidence, restarting tourism might prove to be harder than shutting it down was.