Resort specialists on staffing points, AI and “promoting happiness”

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A subject of lodge management in advanced instances might flip a dialog in any variety of instructions: local weather change, inflation, technological modifications.

But for the specialists gathered at Phocuswright Europe 2023 in Barcelona final month, reaching a consensus on issues dealing with hospitality proved straightforward.

“For me, the most important problem we’re having is on expertise,” mentioned Javier Águila, group president for Europe, Africa and the Center East at Hyatt Hotels. “We see a really robust demand. … We are able to cope on the inflation. However on the expertise scarcity, I believe it’s one of the vital challenges.

“For us, the way in which to work on that’s to attempt to promote – what I consider is true – that it is a very particular trade,” he added. “I believe we as an trade have a problem to persuade [new employees] that it is a long-term trade, a improbable trade – for me, the perfect trade on this planet – and we ship experiences to our clients.”

Fellow panelist Raúl González, CEO for Europe, Africa and the Center East at Barceló Hotel Group, mentioned that whereas he sees a few of the similar challenges, he stays optimistic.

“We’re in a sector that the individuals wish to journey greater than ever earlier than. I believe the traits for the longer term are fairly optimistic,” he mentioned. “I believe the tougher level would be the expertise, the individuals. With the appropriate individuals, we now have all of the instruments [to do the job well].”

Led by moderator Giancarlo Carniani, market analyst for Italy at Phocuswright, the dialogue additionally coated the results of actual property costs and better rates of interest on hospitality and the urge for food for funding in inns.

When the dialog turned to overtourism, each males pointed to locations the place short-term leases don’t face the identical strict rules positioned on inns.

“It’s been very clear that various lodging has introduced a number of the amount that isn’t correctly regulated,” Águila mentioned. “One of many issues we’ve been loving as an trade is that the identical stage of management and regulation and well being and security that we do as hoteliers that additionally must be equal [in rentals].”

“What we’re doing as an trade is transferring in direction of high-end expertise, luxurious – not amount however high quality,” he added. “On the finish of the day, I believe that is the place … we wish to drive the trade. It’s not about amount, it’s about high quality.”

González mentioned various lodging could be good for the market when it really works inside the similar guidelines as inns.

“I believe the market is rising for everyone. The long run for the trade is to create a selected expertise,” he mentioned, contrasting that with merely promoting rooms like a commodity.

“I wish to promote happiness,” he mentioned in elaborating on his experiences-first strategy. “Happiness is far more formidable, far more excessive stage, and it’s utterly totally different from various lodging.”

After all, the dialog finally turned to artificial intelligence and how it would affect hospitality in Europe.

“We’re already doing it,” Águila mentioned, mentioning a latest web site integration to tug in information quicker and digital campaigns to optimize working hours. “The truth is, as with every technological breakthrough, we embrace that, we see how we are able to combine it and maximize it, particularly if it has to do with bettering processes, bettering our data of the client and principally permitting us to ship the expertise in a greater method.”

González spoke of the potential for AI, particularly when paired with information that would improve ranges of personalization for vacationers. He in contrast his views on AI to how he felt when he first heard of the potential for smartphones.

“I bear in mind a few years in the past after I was in an occasion and the individuals had been speaking about cell. I believed, cell, I believe it’s vital. You’ll be able to speak. It doesn’t matter the place you’re,” he recalled. “However I by no means anticipated what number of issues we’re doing with the cell now. Our life is within the cell. Now, I believe the AI will probably be a extra drastic change in our lives. I believe that every thing will change.”

To see the total dialogue, watch the video under.

Government Panel: Management in Complicated Occasions – Phocuswright Europe 2023

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