lunes, 28 de octubre de 2013

Designing the Next Decade of Hospitality Industry - Christian Henning (3rd Semester Bachelor´s Degree in Hotel Management)

Christian Henning (on the right)
3rd Semester Bachelor´s Degree in Hotel Management

My name is Christian Henning, im a current student here at CESSA Universidad completing my third semester. I am here to talk a little about how a student in visions the hospitality industry 10 years from now, but before going into the main topic I would like you to know where and why I started.

A couple of years ago I was a high school graduate with no idea of what I wanted to study for a career. I took on a temporary summer job which ended up extending for six months as a helper at the banqueting area in the food and beverage department at the Four Seasons Mexico city. I had no idea of what I was getting into at the beginning, although in a short time I had a vague idea of what this was all about: providing a service while demonstrating consistency in excellence and quality. I enjoyed what I was doing and realized it was a different job from any other, as the hotel for me was the place where i could extend my personality and my qualities. I was fascinated by this idea and decided to enroll in a University which better suited my needs and future comings.

Where do I as a student see the hospitality industry in 10 years? In order to answer this general question, we have to see the big picture. The direction the fastest growing industry in the world is taking can be identified with current trends:


The tourism and hospitality industry is among the most diverse of all industries in terms of employees and guests. Hospitality and tourism present a unique opportunity to understand new cultural experiences for both employees and the tourists.

Diversity in the hospitality and tourism industry is enhanced through visions that promote equal employment opportunities to cater for the different nationalities in the market. The industry gets to appreciate the world's socio-cultural and economic differences through the recruitment of people of diverse backgrounds. Due to the multiple options for new employment seekers and the need for a wider diversity of races and cultural backgrounds in the organizational structure of hospitality establishments, people will begin to travel even more, attracting different markets and workforce. In a way hotels will increasingly attack the global market in the next few years. Hospitality establishments are also a great tool to enable work abroad, as legislations protecting employment have been implemented in many countries around the globe.

• Focus to service, make service better


In the last few years there has been a global competition in the service area, quality in service is playing an essential role in attracting costumers. Some of the most differentiating factors in every hospitality environment is the costumer experience, this increasing competitions has made hoteliers search for the competitive advantage.

Excellence in service doesn’t just come from one day to the next, we will be looking at hotels making investments to train there personnel in order to increase the value of what the customer is paying for. This is a key factor for competitiveness as nowadays we are living in times where brand loyalty is no longer a main factor in the costumers choice.


Technology has not only become a key factor for competitiveness in customer satisfaction, it is also an advantage for the establishment as it improves operational activities. Advanced software and communication tools allow developing operational efficiency. In addition, decision-making through decision support tools, databases and modeling tools assist the manager’s job. Thanks to these tools managers and other employees can take better decisions that ultimately contribute positively to the establishment.

Wireless communication offers a competitive edge: Increases staff productivity and reduces response time to satisfy guest requests, improves overall guest satisfaction and service, increases efficiency by saving time and reduces human errors and provides higher quality customer service.

Technology is a huge part of the hospitality industry and is growing at a relentless pace. There are a few trends hotels must be able to keep up with in order for them to not be flying blind. The first one is mobility, new devices such as tablets or smartphones have revolutionized the way people interact with technology. This enables hotel team members to 'meet and greet' their guests at any location, improving the personalization of the check-in experience and reducing the costs associated with static reception desks and all their technology at each location. Another important trend is the social media, trip advisor, Facebook and twitter are beginning to have a profound impact on the industry. Hotels must be aware of their reputation and actions can be taken to correct what is necessary. Finally, personalized service experience has been on the rise as people are increasingly demanding a unique touch accommodating their needs and preferences. In order to facilitate this, hotels must create a database with the guest preferences enabling higher quality service.


Sustainable tourism will never be completely sustainable, the industry will always have an impact on the environment, but it can begin to work towards making it more sustainable. As many are aware, more and more countries are developing their tourism industry, and as a direct effect we are diminishing our natural resources, consumption patterns are changing and we are polluting. There must be a response by the industry to survive, if we continue the way we are going there might not be anything left for future generations.

The solution being approached by many now-a-days does not only consist on planting trees and hanging plants off their walls, but becoming friendly with the environment. This means taking care of the indigenous people in the area, looking after the community and its natural resources. Economically speaking, the implementation of green technology may look like a big investment at the beginning but the real benefits come in 10 or even 20 years from now, new ways of spending energy instead of using electricity and combusting materials will not only benefit the world we live in, but will also reduce operational costs in the long run.

With these initiatives people will begin to change their consumption patterns and will become more aware of the environment. With around a billion people travelling every year with an average spending of 700 USD becoming more “green”, we will see hotels investing big money in sustainability even before 10 years. What do we really want to leave behind for future hospitality entrepreneurs?


Traditional marketing is becoming obsolete; we are failing to deliver the same effective message to all segments of a market. Why is this?? Because of the way we are transmitting the message. Consumers today are technology-enabled; the internet is a powerful tool which has allowed for the marketing landscape to change. Nowadays the power has shifted to the consumer, through social networking and blogs, consumers have been able to express opinions and share information around the globe for millions of people to see and share. Consumers trust more consumers than they trust the actual organizations, online content must be handled very delicately as it may change their perception of the hotel, resort or destination. Hospitality establishments must be spot-on, they must begin to invest in digital marketing, this will allow them to get an edge on the competition.

As an end result, guests will experience better attention, for example: commenting on twitter about something gone wrong may sometimes be more effective than calling the front desk, everything becomes magnified. There are no more secrets, now if things go wrong 1000 people will know about it, if things go right 1000 will know about it.

All in all, the hospitality industry needs to keep adapting and innovating to ensure their survivability. In the next 10 years I believe we will see more people travelling all over the globe, that is for tourism and employment, service will be a cutting edge in competition for those who invest on it as consumers crave a more personalized service. Hospitality establishments will also begin to invest in sustainability for economic and social causes as the world is becoming more aware that we are deteriorating the environment, we grow 5% annually as an industry, if we don´t take care of it our chances to survive become slim. I believe there is a new era in marketing, digital marketing, everyone’s attention is channeled through social networking and investments are imperative in order to effectively utilize, manage and adapt to better understand the market. Finally, technology, this pretty much links all the mentioned before together. Without the right technology you will most probably be falling behind, as you will be insensitive to societies changing dynamics.
Thank you very much for your time.