In 2008, I felt honored to be asked to create and deliver a focused program on the experience economy for one of the major international hospitality companies that offers a number of brands in its portfolio. This series of ten programs held across North America offered practical ideas on ways to capitalize on guest understanding and the program was added to their corporate university web site as a resource.
There was a time not too long ago that the prospect of a ‘green’ hotel stay conjured up visceral images of toilet paper with the consistency of burlap and ambient lighting provided via the torch of indigenous tribesmen. As the quality of green supplies has improved and the understanding of sustainable practices has widened, clearly a ‘green’ hotel stay is no longer synonymous with sacrifice.
Because hotels run on the promise of comfort and rest, an onsite construction project can be particularly challenging to manage. Rather than risk sending guests fleeing to competitors, hotels often choose to keep silent about construction activity, hoping guests won’t notice the jack-hammering in the lobby.
Leadership is brutally tested by economic challenge. If you aren’t prepared, if you have no plan, things can become extremely difficult. Planning carefully prevents knee jerk decisions. The point is this, if you haven’t done any planning beyond what you are going to do for lunch – Now is the time to start.
What is the difference between a manager and a coach? There is a big difference. Wikipedia says that a ‘manager’ is anyone who uses management skills or holds the organizational title of ‘manager’. Of course a manager is so much more than that. My aim is to share Pacifica’s simple but very effective approach to coaching, as opposed to managing.
If you were to poll a sampling of both the general public and frequent travelers and ask them what they thought was the largest car rental company, the answer would likely be the same in 2009 as it was in 1966: Hertz. The question was not which was the best, but the perceived largest. Identifying the ‘best’ is often too subjective a question and is very hard to qualify, as many companies rent the same brands of vehicle from similar locations.
In a word, VERY! A recent and extremely gratifying experience reiterates this point. Our client, a large and recently renovated hotel and conference center had twice failed to earn the AAA Four Diamond rating. On both occasions, the inspector had lauded the property’s outstanding physical facilities. On both occasions, inconsistent service delivery had denied the higher rating.
With all the press coverage surrounding social media it’s hard to imagine any hospitality marketing professional who isn’t thinking of adding some sort of social media initiative to their marketing efforts.
No significant changes were introduced in the way business was conducted within the Hospitality industry during the 60s, 70s and 80s, i.e., operations remained quite homogeneous, from the way services were offered to the manner in which guests’ needs were satisfied. However, major social changes affected the industry during the 90s -globalization and the development of new technologies, for example-, modifying traveler’s needs, behavior and characteristics. Guests became more demanding and developed a taste for quality services.
For companies planning to launch new initiatives during uncertain times, it’s important ‘to know from the start that the plan is wrong,’ according to Ian MacMillan, Wharton professor of innovation and entrepreneurship and co-leader of Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs.