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By Georges Panayotis

Enthusiasm lies at the foundation of all progress. Henry Ford, a spearhead of the Industrial Revolution, showed the way to progress more than a century ago with this maxim. Society evolves more and more rapidly; we cannot predict the evolutions that will upset the hotel industry of tomorrow, we can, however, be certain they will happen.

We know that new products will be developed, and new procedures and new organizations will come to the fore. Artificial intelligence and automatization will change the role humans play and how they work. They will lighten the cost of operations. Accommodations will be more ecological, more economic, more ergonomic, more playful, friendlier and more competitive. This new era that is about to begin is exciting and inspiring. After the settlement of man, and then the industrial revolution, today we have reached the threshold of the digital and societal revolution of tomorrow that will undoubtedly have a strong impact on the commercial accommodations sector in every aspect of the industry that we know.

But where will the rupture come from? Will hoteliers be the actors of their own revolution or will it come from without? No one knows, but no one can say they weren’t aware of it, at most it will be possible to draw on the violence of the impact. Whatever happens, a revolution is underway. It is led by digital technology and by increasingly well informed clientele, who are fast becoming experts and expect a product that precisely meets their expectations.

All sectors related to accommodations will feel a strong impact: transportation, dining, entertainment, activities, ancillary services … in the end the entire travel ecosystem will be affected.

Some hotel groups withdrew their assets, hoping to be able to escape from CAPEX and the investments needed to reposition their hotels. But the sword of Damocles may not have been lifted yet, just raised a little higher, out of sight. Driven by excessively short-term vision, some have not sufficiently taken into account trends that are sought after by new generations of clientele. Others are beginning to catch up, but rare are those that actually keep up with the trend. What will happen if external actors also take control over accommodations, after first taking control over digital technology and distribution? What will the value of hotel groups be when their brands have been outpaced by new unicorns?

By gradually building a coherent, thought-out offer, on solid foundations with a touch of something local while integrating automatization and artificial intelligence, it is possible to prepare the hotel industry of tomorrow better. It is absolutely indispensable since productivity and competitiveness will be born out of these future little nuggets.

The concepts of tomorrow must be considered and experimented with without forgetting to reposition and transform existing products.

The dinosaur that is the traditional hotel industry will take some time to make progress in a world where everything is moving so quickly. It serves no purpose to take off at a run; it is time to start moving, however, so let’s get going so we don’t get pipped at the post.

About Georges Panayotis

Georges Panayotis is President of MKG Consulting. Born in a family of hoteliers for three generations, Georges Panayotis, left Greece at the age of 18 to pursue his studies in Political Sciences and to obtain his Master in Management at the French University of Paris Dauphine. He then joined the Novotel chain, which will become the Accor Group, to manage the International Marketing Division. After developing specific marketing tools for the hotel industry, he left the group in 1986 to start his own company, MKG Conseil, now MKG Group. In twenty years, the group has become the European leader in studies and consulting for the Hospitality industry. The company employs over 70 people in four departments: marketing studies, database, quality control and trade press, with two publications HTR Magazine and Hotel Restaurant Weekly.

The company helped the development of over 2,000 hotels in France and in Europe, with offices in Paris, Cyprus and London. Georges Panyotis is the founder of the Worldwide Hospitality Awards and the Hotel Makers Forum, and the author of several publications on Marketing and Operations in the hotel business, He is a regular consultant for several television channels, among which Bloomberg Television, and radio networks.

Contact: Georges Panayotis

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