News & numbers
A roundup of the most recent happenings across the international hospitality sector.
The latest stats on European hotel performance from our associate partners.
Industry comment from the president of the European Hotel Managers Association, Ezio Indiani.
The future, we're often told, is in China. When it comes to hospitality, that's hard to dispute: there are now 2.5m hotel rooms across the People's Republic, with 6.1m expected by 2025. But what does this looming future look like from the inside, especially given most leading hoteliers are still Europeans or Americans (and most of them are men)? Sonia Cheng probably knows better than most. The CEO of Rosewood Hotel Group since 2011, when she was only 30, Cheng led the Hong Kong giant through the political and medical ringer. Nor is the Hong Kong native stopping there: Rosewood is swiftly expanding across China and Southeast Asia. Hotel Management International talks to Cheng to learn more about how her background and gender have influenced her career so far – and what she sees as the driving factors behind the rise of East Asian hospitality in the 21st century.
Boasting elegant towns and wild landscapes, Central America is a place of rugged beauty – and more recently – a sophisticated hospitality industry. Even despite the pandemic, for instance, 20 million tourists visited Mexico in the first half of 2021. To satiate demand operators are investing heavily in the region for when the world finally returns to normal, yet amid poor infrastructure and gangland violence – can the good times last? We talk to Uriel Burak, senior director of development for the Caribbean and Latin America at Marriott, and Mario Carbone, managing director for development in Mexico and Central America at Hilton, about the draw of Latin America, the challenges of infrastructural development, and how, despite the instability, the region's hospitality has a bright future.
Business management & development
Leaders from HOSPA, the not for profit educationally focused association helping al hospitality professionals develop their careers and network, as well as keep up-to-date with industry trends and developments, discuss the latest developments in hotel management.
In a world full of glaring inequality and social injustice, hotels have long allied themselves with just causes. Often these actions have been in the local communities in which these businesses are situated, or they have been a reaction to extreme events such as the homelessness crisis caused by Covid-19. Increasingly, however, certain hotel brands have become charities or foundations in their own right, making valuable contributions and forcing structural changes to benefit those in need. What are the driving forces behind these philanthropic missions and can a hotel really make a positive difference in a relentlessly business-focused world? We put these questions to Daniele Kihlgren, philanthropist and owner of Sextantio Rwanda, The Capanne Project, and Mark Weingard, founder of Iniala group.
Hotels in the world's busiest airports have to solve a knotty dilemma: how do you create the perfect atmosphere for people running on different timezones? From manipulating artificial and natural light to suit every need, to efficient sound-proofing whilst maintaining ambience, airport hotels face myriad challenges from a design perspective. We speak to renowned architects including Stephen Williams, designer of Sofitel Heathrow, and its interior designer Khuan Chew, about the elements that make a great airport hotel.
Food & Beverage
It's no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the cutthroat nature of the food and beverage sector as pubs, restaurants and hotels have struggled to stay afloat during a series of mandatory lockdowns, financial insecurity and chronic staff shortages. These crises have led hoteliers and culinary specialists, including Michelin-star chefs, to question the structure of hospitality support in the UK. Of particular note, have been calls for a specialist minister for Hospitality to aid the sector as it struggles on in the most challenging environment it has witnessed since the post-war period. Afterall, given the colossal revenue generated by the industry – it contributed an estimated £59.3 billion to the UK economy in 2019 – doesn't it deserve a dedicated representative in Whitehall? We speak to Kate Nicholls CEO UKHospitality and Audrey Ferrie, Legal Director and licensing and litigation specialist at Pinsent Masons to investigate the case for a specialist minister of hospitality.
Spa and Wellness
Arguably the first tropical destination spa, Chiva-Som opened in Thailand in 1995, setting the standard for a kind of immersive fitness experience that is now a ubiquitous lifestyle trend. Despite its pioneering foray into the wellness sphere, the group has since stayed patiently within South East Asia. This year, however, Chiva-Som will establish a "full-immersion" spa in the Middle East by the name of Zulal Wellness Resort. Nestled on the northern tip of the Qatari peninsula 100km north of Doha, Chiva-Som's latest offering promises an idiosyncratic update on its namesake with traditional Arabian healing methods accompanying its signature holistic health and wellbeing philosophy. We speak to Krip Rojanastien, Chairman and CEO of Chiva-Som about the challenges and opportunities of bringing this wellness giant to the Gulf.
To help safeguard guests from Covid-19 and improve contactless interactions hoteliers are embracing technology like never before, but whether these short-term fixes will modernise the industry across the board remains to be seen. Tech Leaders from across the hospitality sphere, from global brands to smaller boutique names tell us how Covid-19 has affected the adoption of cloud technologies and how these changes will be manifested long-term.
Leaders from Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG), a global non-profit trade association serving hotel companies and technology providers, provide their exclusive thoughts on current trends and developments set to impact the hospitality sector in the immediate future.
Leaders from Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), a global body representing the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry, talk us through the priorities and challenges currently faced by members at a time without modern precedent.