HSMAI Region Europe partners new initiative: The Hospitable Cities

In London on Friday 7 April 2017 EP (Entrepreneurs Innovation Centre (EP-IC) and eHotelier are welcoming leaders to share their experiences and thoughts on the factors that create an hospitable destination.

The aim of the day is to create an interactive forum to debate and discuss how cities can change and the role that hospitality can play in that change.

More and more people are traveling globally and cities are facing challenges. Therefore the way cities address these challenges evolve, and how they welcome their visitors is becoming increasingly important.

Hospitality has a central role to play in the economies and success of cities – so how can we work together to offer the best levels of service against this difficult backdrop.

There is real change in the air and there are many cities and countries working on new methods and ways of improving both tourism and the way they interact with visitors.

The summit is for real change in hospitality and to explore what we need to do for the future.

The event will be hosted at Nomura Bank in the City of London and broadcasted live to over 20 hotel schools around the world. HSMAI Region Europe now becomes a partner for the new initiative, The Hospitable Cities. At this same event HSMAI will for the first time hand out the European Service Awards.

The event is limited to 250 senior industry stakeholders from the four key sectors of destinations, operators, suppliers and educators.

The event format will be highly interactive through engaging international keynote speakers, facilitated leadership workshops, networking sessions and leadership panel sessions, to create genuine areas of discussion and material, actionable insights.

Speakers have been selected specifically, based on their leadership influence on destination management around the world, including Africa, London itself, Europe, Dubai, Canada and Australia.

We are delighted to welcome students from International Hotel Schools to present their thoughts and ideas on the day as well as students from 20 invited schools via a live video feed.

The updated programme will be uploaded soon.

Photo: The Hospitable Cities 2017, to be held i London on 7 April. Digital photo processing: Jarle Petterson/HSMAI.

SAS and Apollo sign SEK 900 mill agreement

SAS and Apollo are extending their cooperation on charter flights and have signed an agreement for the 2016 summer season worth around MSEK 900. As a result, SAS will be flying Apollo’s customers from 18 locations in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark to 28 destinations across Europe, according to a press release issued by the SAS Group.

SAS and Apollo have been in partnership for about 15 years and once again Apollo has chosen SAS as its partner for a large proportion of its charter flights from Scandinavia during the 2016 summer season.

“We are very pleased that Apollo has once again chosen SAS as its flight partner. With our large fleet, we offer a good, reliable product that our nearly 30 million customers benefit from each year. We look forward to continuing to welcome Apollo’s customers on board our aircraft next year,” says Annelie Nässén, Vice President Global Sales, SAS.

Apollo has chosen SAS as their main external flight partner to complement their own airline, Novair. Thanks to SAS’s flexible fleet, Apollo is able to offer direct flights both from major cities and from regional airports in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

“We have enjoyed a long and successful cooperation with SAS and we know that they deliver a high-quality product with good punctuality, which is important in our offer to Apollo’s customers. Our partnership with SAS also gives us a great deal of flexibility, which is something we value highly,” says Leif Vase Larsen, CEO of Apollo Travel Group.

The agreement between SAS and Apollo covers flights from 18 cities in Scandinavia to 28 destinations in Europe.

Photo: A Boeing 737 SAS aircraft (photograph from the SAS Group).

eHotelier VP Matthew Stephens: Hospitality industry safely back on track

Only last month HSMAI Europe entered into a partnership with the world-renowned travel and hospitality news outlet eHotelier, in order to support professional development within the industry.

“We are delighted to work with eHotelier, one of the leading web portals for hoteliers, hospitality, catering and culinary professionals, for the benefits for our members,” Ingunn Hofseth, CEO and President of HSMAI Europe, said at the time – and with good reason.

eHotelier is the “Global Portal for Hospitality Professionals” serving over 70,000 members from 196 countries. In addition to the daily newsletter, the eHotelier Academy provides online education including over 130 courses, 15 professional certifications as well as an extensive library of professional reference books, white papers and digital publications. The eHotelier Jobs channel, Event, Education, Supplier and Association directories provide a valuable B2B platform connecting buyers and sellers globally. Remain ahead of industry trends, collaborate with fellow professionals from around the world and gain access to a vast array of online learning materials.

Headquartered in Australia’s New South Wales, our below interview with eHotelier’s VP Matthew Stephens has been carried out via email.

Q: Launched in the middle of a time usually referred to as the dot-com era, eHotelier’s continued existence wasn’t a given, once the bubble burst, only a year after its launch. Yet eHotelier has since managed to amass more than 70,000 members in nearly 200 countries across the world. What, in your opinion, is the key to the success?

A: eHotelier has published a free daily industry newsletter since 1999. Our editorial team focus on publishing articles of value to our members, in particular through the Insights channel. Our editorial associates provide unique views from around the globe, covering all aspects of hospitality ownership, management and operations.

Last year we began a new journey reinventing eHotelier from a valued source of industry news, to the global portal for hospitality professionals. News and insights remain a valued channel of the eHotelier portal, however eHotelier now also provides professional career development through online learning including over 130 courses, a library of professional resources including Books, eBooks and white papers. We will soon be adding video and webinar content as well as executive development opportunities.

For some time social media has provided a new and valuable way of connecting and remaining in touch with industry trends. We believe that business is conducted between people, requiring trust, respect and communication. While making the initial connection is possible through technology, we feel that personal contact is becoming increasingly important in building strong business relationships. eHotelier are committed to supporting hospitality industry events globally and now providing a central locations for online registration for members.

Q: Most of the world’s hospitality industry was severely hit by last decade’s international credit crunch, but somehow managed to pull through. How would you assess the current financial situation’s impact on the industry?

A: From our perspective many geographic regions have now fully recovered to equal if not more profitable economic environments than prior to the GFC. It would appear that the unsettled conditions forced a rationalisation within many sectors, and required many business to reassess the efficiencies of their operations in order to remain profitable. Those businesses that have retained the operational efficiencies will be most resilient to any current and future economic pressures.

Q: In what way may institutions such as your own contribute to further and develop the industry’s viability?

A: eHotelier provides a portal for collaboration between industry professionals as well as delivering professional development. In our opinion professional development is key at all levels of industry. We support hotel schools and their engagement with industry through our partnership with EUHOFA, ensuring our young professionals are retained in the industry and continue their career development.

We support the development of aspiring leaders through online continued eduction and collaboration, as well as bringing together industry experts to discuss the challenges. Our partnerships with industry events around the world supports the ongoing educating and collaboration of professionals on innovations, trends and insights.

We value our partnerships with expert organisations including HSMAI, Le Clefs d’Or, SKAL and HOSPA, bringing the experts in these specialist areas together to share their wisdom for the betterment of the industry.

Q: Could you please share some information on the bumpy road’s impact on eHotelier’s own development, and how you have met the challenges, as they arose?

A: In business we constantly face changes through the economy, technology innovations, changes in legislation and social changes. eHotelier has remained faithful to delivering valuable insights to the industry’s professionals and now entering a new phase aimed at providing professional career development at all levels in the industry, through partnerships and collaboration.

Q: Where do you see the hospitality industry — and eHotelier — in ten year’s time?

A: There is no doubt over the next 10 years we will see change in global and local economies, technology, political environments and social changes. We believe that collaboration and cooperation with those who we may once have considered competitors will be important to success. We see hotel companies cooperating to maximise efficiencies and leverage economies of scale as well as in providing additional services to customers. Disruptive innovations may continue to provide new offers to customers and those who can navigate these changing environments while remaining true to their values will continue to succeed.

Photo: Matthew Stephens, Vice President, eHotelier.com (photograph from eHotelier).

Cape Town named best destination

TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site, announced the winners of its 2011 Travelers’ Choice® Destinations awards this week.  In its third year of the awards, TripAdvisor has honoured 337 outstanding destinations across the globe. In addition to the top 25 in the world overall, top 25 lists have been named for the United States, Europe, the Caribbean & Mexico, Central & South America, Asia, India, South Pacific, Canada, Africa, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

Travelers’ Choice Destinations awards honour top travel spots worldwide based on millions of real and unbiased opinions from TripAdvisor travelers.  Award winners were determined based on a combination of travelers’ favourite places and overall destination popularity.

“Millions of TripAdvisor travelers around the globe have helped identify the world’s top travel spots,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “The Travelers’ Choice Destinations awards not only recognise some of the most beloved travel destinations worldwide, but serve as inspiration for millions of travelers looking to plan their next trip.”

2011 Travelers’ Choice World Destinations:

  1. Cape Town, South Africa
  2. Sydney, Australia
  3. Machu Picchu, Peru
  4. Paris, France
  5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  6. New York City, United States
  7. Rome, Italy
  8. London, United Kingdom
  9. Barcelona, Spain
  10. Hong Kong, China

For the complete 2011 Travelers’ Choice Destinations lists, sponsored by Audi, go to www.tripadvisor.com/TCDestinations.

Photo: Cape Town. Photographer: PRNewsFoto/TripAdvisor

Barceló chief sees dismal summer

MADRID — Spain’s tourist outlook for the summer is dismal with sales dropping between five and ten percent as vacationers cut back on spending and the length of hotel stays, predicted Simón Pedro Barceló, president of Barceló Corporación Empresarial hotel and travel group.

“This year is going to be very difficult as we’ve already seen from the 20-percent fall in industry sales during the first four months of the year, which was the low season,” Barceló said at an economic conference in the Spanish capital.

Read more at HotelNewsNow.com