How will you be a global catalyst for change? - Carlson Rezidor| By Ramsay Rankoussi
By Ramsay Rankoussi, Senior Director Business Development Middle East & Africa for the Rezidor Hotel Group
The ongoing digital revolution, emerging internet of things and advent of the sharing economy are having a profound effect on the way people do business across the world. It's high time they were seen as enablers, not disruptors, and hospitality investors, developers, owners and operators alike have the chance in 2017 to capitalise on these for future growth, profitability and success. In the lead up to the 2017 Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC), we asked a number of industry partners how they will be a global catalyst for change.
One way innovative corporations have succeeded is "to think globally and act locally" but one could now wonder if our global impact is de facto achieved given our social and often virtual exposure to the digital world at every instant.
Technology has always been the instrument of progress, evolution or even revolution. Every era has witnessed an accelerated and exponential growth caused by the introduction of a new way of doing things, a philosophy of trying differently and a nature of taking risks. The industrial revolution was probably one of the biggest to impact globally in the 19th century, as we fundamentally changed the way we produced and manufactured goods with the help of machinery. In today's time, we are victims of the information revolution with internet soon a physiological need on the pyramid of Maslow.
Hospitality has been an industry of limited changes as the true essence of the business remains a people business where ladies and gentlemen care about ladies and gentlemen. The use of technology is helping in learning more about our guests, their needs, their preferences but has also optimized our operations in becoming more efficient, monitoring productivity and controlling costs.
Paradigm shifts are often caused by either challenges or opportunities ahead. Online distributions channels were the first disruptors and now new shared economies platforms have increased their competitive presence in the market. Asking how we could as an industry become catalyst of change might ideally force us to ask the question on how differently maybe the definition of service and hospitality needs to be reflected.
Convenience has become the living rule of the new generation and leading change would be leading the path to a new way of experiencing hospitality. Living through an enjoyable moment is now the result of every moment of truth being met with simple perfection. Maybe the response to our industry is in mindfulness – allowing the guest to complete his journey smoothly and having the ability to live in his moment, at every moment.
While we could look and debate on ways of reducing the investment cost of a hotel or how to increase our reach in sourcing new markets, maybe we should take that moment of living presently influenced by convenience, simplicity and perfection.
Becoming the catalyst of change doesn't necessitate innovations or a technological revolution but rather accepting to face a new reality and translating it in an uninterrupted experience. The progress our industry can achieve would start from the moment a decision is taken and would never end.
Imagine the journey of the individual deciding to travel from A to B who would have no complaints to share publicly because his booking was correctly processed, the taxi driver had respected the road code, the flight was on time, a friendly smile on arrival, the luggage on the belt and the room was ready – in essence, a simple and legitimate journey but yet never fully satisfied.
Our industry is still too scattered with clear separation between airlines, hotels, transportation, public services and yet we are all under the same duty of service and all relevant to the world of tourism. Maybe we should then all agree to stop looking at ourselves in isolation and selfishly but rather focus on the consumer and ensure that one day their entire journey is taken care of, where every moment matters and where we all succeeded collectively and defended the cause of humanity.
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