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HMI Next Issue Autumn 2018Top

EHMA: Industry comment from the president of the European Hotel Managers Association, Hans Koch.

STR Global: The latest stats on European hotel performance from our associate partners.

Big Interview: José Silva has long been one of the most recognisable faces in European hospitality, having spent 25 years at Four Seasons, most recently as GM of the iconic Hotel George V and regional VP for France, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal. Now, he has transferred those skills to the Middle East as the newly minted CEO of Jumeirah. In an exclusive interview, he discusses his vision for the luxury operator, the launching of new brands, and drawing on the skills acquired from a lifetime on hospitality’s front lines.

Business management & Development: A new brand identity, corporate restructuring, and marked changes in developmental strategy mean that Elie Younes, EVP and CDO of Radisson Hotel Group, is an incredibly busy man. We sit down with the hotel exec to talk about a shift in focus back onto Europe, a renewed willingness to consider leases, what he is looking for in new development partners, and the importance of brand purity.

In what has been another boom year for the European hospitality market, we travel to Hotel Investment Conference Europe to hear from a number of the industry’s leading figures, including former IHG CEO Richard Solomons, Firmdale Hotels founders Tim and Kit Kemp, and Hyatt Hotels’ global head of development Jim Chu. We ask them how the industry builds upon this success.

Regional focus:In PwC’s European Cities Hotel Forecast 2018 & 2019, analysts have placed Lisbon and Porto in first and second place for anticipated RevPAR growth for both this year and next. Portugal has long been a market synonymous with resort holidays, so why the increased success of its cities as business and leisure destinations? Furthermore, how is this impacting hotel development in a country enjoying its best performance levels for two decades? We speak to regional leaders to find out.

Special report:Female representation in the boardrooms of global hospitality’s biggest players remains depressingly low, despite longstanding efforts to promote diversity among a number of operators and a relatively even gender split further down ladder. To what extent is this a symptom of the industry’s failure to promote women from within and, from general managers to chief executives? And what steps are being put in place to correct the balance? Amy McPherson, president and managing director for Europe at Marriott International, Alison Brittain, CEO of Whitbread, and Tea Colaianni, chair of Women in Hospitality, Travel, and Leisure 2020, join the debate.

Operations:There was a time when the airport hotel was a straightforward concept: utilitarian, reliable, unmemorable; a property focused on short stay business guests looking for nothing more than the basics. But over the last few years, a number of operators have tried to reboot the segment, implementing concepts that draw travellers into a comfort level designed to surpass mere convenience. What should a 21st century airport hotel look to achieve and how feasible is it to make such properties destinations in their own right? We ask David Marr, SVP and global head of full service brands at Hilton, CitizenM COO Michael Levie, and Yotel CEO Hubert Viriot.

Design:The demand for wellness-designed hotels, which aim to make their occupants healthier and happier, is growing according to hospitality-focused architecture firm WATG. Wellness design encompasses everything from lighting to air quality, materials, colours, textures and the inclusion of biophilia. We sit down with the firm’s director of spa and wellness design Jean Dusek Klueter; as well as Harvard University’s Dr Joseph Allen, an expert on the impact of buildings on human health; and Hilton’s global brand director for wellness Melissa Walker, to find out why wellness should be considered in every hotel design.

Guest amenities:In May of this year, in an effort to tackle maritime pollution, the EU announced new laws to significantly restrict the use of specific single-use plastics. One of the major polluters in this area has been the hospitality industry. But now a number of hotel operators have begun to take note, introducing ambitious strategies to outlaw the use of single-use plastics across their property lines in very short spaces of time. We speak to Hyatt’s SVP for global operations, Frank Lavey; Arnaud Herrmann, VP sustainable Development at AccorHotels; and Kate Gibson, IHG’s VP for global corporate responsibility, about how important the eradication of plastics is in sustainability strategies.

Food & Beverage:Multi-Michelin starred chef Michael Caines has lived an eventful and storied career. Now chef-patron of luxury hotel Lympstone Manor, he previously launched the ABode Hotels brand, became the official chef for the Williams F1 team, and received an MBE from the Queen for services to the hospitality industry. We sit down with Caines to discuss his remarkable rise through the culinary ranks and whether his days of building hotel empires are truly behind him.

Security:Failure to comply with GDPR requirements is a major security risk and reports are coming through of companies, inundated with correspondence about their use of personal information, having difficulty keeping up with the volume of requests. Marriott, for example, has already asked for extensions to the one-month response period. How big an issue is this? Are resources being channelled in the right direction? And how likely are we to see requests simmer down to a more manageable rate? We speak to industry experts to find out.

Technology:Augmented and virtual reality platforms have emerged as new marketing and operational tools over recent years, allowing hotels to preview and enhance the physical environment they are selling, as well as offer greater options and services to guests upon their stay. But to what extent do these tools still lean towards gimmickry rather than utility, and what might the next generation of AR and VR solutions provide in terms of added value? We speak to Maud Bailly, AccorHotels’ chief digital officer, and Noelle Eder, CIO and chief digital officer at Hilton, about the potentials and pitfalls of “Augmented Hospitality”.

The Insider:EHMA member and Meliá’s area director for Italy, Palmiro Noschese, discusses the latest developments in creating a Europe-wide GM certification.

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