On 27 March 2019, the Anniversary Edition of the Young Hoteliers Summit (YHS) concluded with high spirits as speakers, partners, and delegates alike commemorated the end of yet another successful summit. Through three days of powerful keynote speeches and inspiring panel discussions, the 10th Edition brought forth, among other key topics, the future of hospitality in the increasingly technology-focused world of today, and the need for hospitality to constantly adapt to these changing needs and expectations.
Data-analytic trends in the industry were undeniably one of the most important topics of discussion at the summit, as Lyle Worthington, Immediate Past President of HFTP and CIO of The Student Hotel, kicked off the summit emphasizing the need to use data, but also the need to protect data privacy, especially as more hotels seek to offer services as personalized as possible. In the Seizing Top Tech Opportunities panel, Steve Hood, Director of Research of STR, similarly highlighted that data mining and data utilisation is crucial as the vitality in the value of data is set to dramatically shape and change the future of hospitality. The ‘High-Touch and High-Tech balance’ described how data can be proactively used to improve hospitality services in order to appeal to customers and data could be successfully monetised eventually. Even in the distribution landscape, the Disrupting Distribution panel brought up the role intermediaries like OTAs could have in minimising the gap between independent hotels and chain hotels, by effectively using data and technology on their channels to better reach each individual hotel’s target market.
Bringing the summit back to the core of hospitality – people, the Hotel Quality Lab panel emphasized the need for hotels to have a strong culture within to foster good teamwork and communication in order to provide the best service. Heleri Rande, F&B Strategist and Consulting Editor at Supper Magazine added that flexibility in ‘standards’ and ‘guidelines’ would allow employees to deliver better service by creating their own magic space.
In such a people-based industry as hospitality, the need for proper people management was further emphasized not only in the 21st Century Management and Leadership panel, but also the Global Brand Strategy panel, thereby stressing how employees are key to a company’s success. Both panels talked about the need for attracting and retaining the right talent in the hospitality labour market. For example, the 21st Century Management and Leadership panel mentioned how critical it is to provide meaningful work to retain talent, to drive their motivation for growth in their career paths. As the hotel market becomes increasingly saturated with numerous hotel brands, Kenneth Hatton, Senior Vice President of Global Development at Belmond also said – to differentiate oneself in a world of sameness, it is essential to offer personalized services that speak to the guests’ hearts – and that comes down to every single employee who contributes to this experience. Therefore, in the true spirit of hospitality, taking care of your employees is the first step to exceeding the expectations of your guests.
The 10th Edition of YHS was truly an eye-opening one, fuelling food for thought through debating both current and emerging trends of the industry. The summit earned praise from its attendees for its stimulating discussions, insightful speeches, and for simply bringing together like-minded individuals from young aspiring hoteliers to established industry professionals. The YHS team for the 10th Edition is incredibly grateful for all the support the summit has received, and looks forward to continuing this hospitality journey to bring you an exciting 11th Edition in 2020.
The 10th Edition of the Young Hoteliers Summit took place at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland from the 25th to 27th of March 2019.
For more information on the panels, schedule, and YHS in general, please visit us at www.yhsglobal.com.
For interest in becoming a partner or speaker of the 11th Edition, and for all YHS-related matters, please contact us at [email protected].