On 6 September, Daniel and Samira Charbonnier (Daniel Rene Charbonnier & Samira Singhvi-Charbonnier) held an open seminar “Catch the trend: the hospitality industry”. Daniel and Samira have a lot of experience of working in different companies and projects of the industry. Daniel, for example, worked for many years at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles in Beverly Hills, before founding his own company with Samira in 2006 and actively engaging in consulting in the field of hospitality. At the event, they gave an account of hospitality industry trends and new projects in the restaurant and hospitality sphere, while also remembering such iconic and influential figures in the hospitality industry as Isadore Sharp (Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts) and JW “Bill” Marriott (Marriott International).
The main block of the lecture was titled “Top 10 trends in the hospitality industry”. Let us now look at the hospitality industry trends discussed by the experts.
1. Revenue Management
Revenue management is one of the most important aspects in the management of a company. Managers lower prices to increase sales when the services are in little demand and raise them when customers show greater interest. This tactic is known to everyone. Nowadays, hotels are not only able to divide the year into high, medium or low season, but also to control the prices literally every day. The latest software and systems allow you to do this quickly and efficiently. The only thing you should always bear in mind is the price parity. Your prices should be the same everywhere, whether at an agency, such as Expedia.com, for example, or at the official website of your hotel.
2. Distribution Channels
It is essential for hotel companies to use all modern distribution channels. While no one gave a serious thought to using mobile apps only a few years ago, they are increasingly used today, if mostly for informational purposes. If you were wondering about the future perspective of such applications, the answer probably awaits you in the near future, when hotels will not only be found, but also booked en masse with the help of your smartphone.
3. Emerging Destinations
According to the research done by tourist organisations, the industry is undergoing dynamic development, all the while increasing GDP. Tourist destinations are also on the rise, not only the popular, but also relatively new ones. As for Russia, it should, however, be noted that the high cost and complexity of obtaining a visa still complicate the journey for foreign tourists.
4. Additional Revenue Sources
If you are an investor wishing to open a hotel, you should always consider extra sources of income in addition to the revenue which comes from the rooms or the hotel restaurant. JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, for example, is located in the Pacific Place shopping and entertainment complex which offers visitors a variety of shops and boutiques.
5. Food & Beverage
Modern guests expect to be surprised, and the greater the number of restaurants, cafes and other food establishments around, the greater the challenge. As far as food and drinks are concerned, healthy food is definitely all the rage, which is proven by a large number of sports and health centres being opened. As people now have less time for cooking, they tend to eat out or have their meals delivered. This does not, however, lessen their appetite for homemade pirogi or dumplings, thereby creating a great demand for “homemade” dishes.
If your institution is lucky to be located in a region where quality fish is caught, famous dairy products are produced, or it is famous for other products and resources, you should highlight this feature to attract visitors.
6. Internet, Social Media and Mobile
Needless to say, the internet, social media and mobile devices are extremely popular nowadays. It is enough to mention that a third of total tourist bookings will have been made online by the end of this year, and TripAdvisor only shows us just the beginning of how to “plan and make the perfect trip” using the internet.
A relatively new concept for the Russian tourist industry, ecotourism has won wide recognition abroad. Untouched wildlife or observing animals in their natural environment cannot leave a modern urban dweller, tired from the bustle and noise, indifferent to such trips.
8. Eco Design
To be a “green” company is not only good for the environment, but also prestigious and profitable! A good example would be InterContinental Hotels Group company that launched the Green Engage program that focuses on caring about the environment. The video describes the essence of the program:
Hospitality industry is, of course, about people. The maxim that “The customer is always right” is unlikely to ever be abolished, as it is the guests that generate the income of any company in the service industry.
In addition to customers and clients, there are those who provide them with services – the staff. And this raises a whole set of questions to which the company should attach importance, taking into consideration all current realities: how to attract professionals, how to motivate them, how to organise training and skills development. Cross-training, for example, is very effective in hotels and consists of gaining work experience in various departments of the hotel, which gives the employee a clear idea of the mechanism of the functioning of the enterprise and makes him/her personally familiar with all units, which will make managing easier in case of future promotion.
10. Experiential Traveller
We have loved to experiment since our early childhood. Why not try the role of the experiential traveller? This is the reason why unusual, unconventional, peculiar and other kinds of strange hotels are created. A good example of this kind of concept would be citizenM hotels, whose motto is to create affordable luxury for the people.
On August 23, a welcome cocktail of ABT-ACTE Russia, the association of business travel, was held on the HI-SO terrace. Private event was organized for acquaintance of the 5th Saint Petersburg Business Travel Forum’s participants.
Representatives of the mixed-use complex Lakhta Centre in St. Petersburg, the construction of which is in progress, announced the launch of online broadcast from the height of 360 metres. Online camera is located at the level of Lakhta Centre tower’s future observation deck.
St. Petersburg hosted the festival of short fashion films “A Shaded View on Fashion Film”. We were attracted by the fact that the director's movie was shot at the hotel.
General managers, heads of human resources departments and other representatives of the hospitality industry shared ideas regarding hospitality business in Russia and how schools can help hotels to achieve its goals.