Change management is a hot topic among hotels in today’s fast-changing world where we have to keep up with client and stakeholder demands, public safety policies, ever-increasing competition, technological changes and new cultural understandings.

While hotel organisations need change management, it can often be a point of frustration for leaders who try to implement a traditional change management approach. They do not have time for extra training, people fall back on old habits and executives, managers and employees get distracted by urgency.

EHMA embraces change and proudly supports, promotes and makes every effort to educate its members by bringing together prominent hotel figures. The association’s aim is to offer its members a unique opportunity to discuss business strategies, tackle challenges and source solutions for their current and future properties – shaping the future of the industry.

With new technology becoming available that disrupts businesses and redefines efficient practices, guests consistently re-evaluate what they expect from hotels. Subsequently, ongoing education for our members is our ‘flag’ in a continuous effort to disseminate our expertise to the next generation of top hospitality managers.

The path forward

As we transition into the new, post-pandemic normal, it is safe to say that hospitality will never be the same. But with disruption comes opportunity and the path forward marks new beginnings for the industry and a future powered by technology and innovation.

Still, travel will likely be one of the last consumer sectors to see demand return to full strength. Pandemic concerns continue to curtail some plans, especially for international and corporate trips. That said, luxury resorts and leisure travel seem to be recovering at a more rapid rate than urban destinations and group travel. However, changing consumer expectations present a great challenge going into 2022. In fact, guest tolerance of disruption was stable in 2021 but, going forward, their patience will decline. To keep guests happy, hotels need to invest revenue into staffing, which will allow them to bring back pre-pandemic service standards. Many hotels have made pandemic-related innovations that guests expect going forward. These include QR codes to access food and beverage, contactless check-ins and check-outs and increased level of cleanliness. Lack of experienced personnel is a reality, while fewer young people have been joining the workforce making employee retention a top priority. A core component to keep staff happy is to create a culture that encourages the development, improvement and refinement of the people’s originality, individuality, identity and personality.

Expanding partnerships

Strategic and diverse partnerships with hotel affiliations and organisations are vital to EMHA’s goals and initiatives. Such synergies will showcase our potential to communities and to help our members advocate the association’s goals, contributing their own contacts, skills, talents and assets – allowing us to broaden impact and attract new members.

A hotelier must find ways to lead by respecting strategies and operations established in the past and, at the same time, find a new way to create transformational strategy, innovation and processes. This is what stimulated us to reveal at our recent AGM in Lugano our new vision of “being the preferred association of hotel managers, representing the most prestigious and unique hotels in Europe”.

EHMA’s DNA is a multifaceted blend of friendship and amicable spirit combined with networking, trust, integrity and loyalty – all fundamental to a fascinating career in hotels. We see a great opportunity and urge to convey these to the new generation and to facilitate ongoing education, with the support of leading international hotel schools. This great legacy supports our engagement towards ensuring that our beloved community remains strong and shapes its future based on a long-term competitive environment.