A very Good Friday

This religious holiday is an excellent time for ruminating about the future and what it holds. For the hotel industry, 2015 is shaping up to be decent, with a large swath of healthy acquisitions, brand improvements and numerous new property announcements across the globe. We continue to embrace technology in interesting and progressive ways, and we are becoming the community leaders in sustainable design that we were always meant to be. In short, things are looking good.

But just as Jesus enjoyed a decadent meal on this day some two millennia ago before he was snatched from his home by Roman soldiers, one sumptuous dinner is hardly a sign that the good times will last forever. Be thankful for what you have at the moment, and be aware that your business scenario may deteriorate if you aren’t watchful of the numerous interlopers creeping up on our industry. For instance, I continue to be a staunch advocate opposing such current trends like the over-usage of OTAs, the impact of a rapidly expanding Airbnb and increasingly dilutive brand introductions. These are all real developments, and they can have dire consequences on our business affairs in the long run if we aren’t mindful of changing consumer behavior and staying one step ahead of the game.

The solutions to these problems aren’t easy, either. Without going into any specifics, each will require an integrated, top-down effort to ensure your hotel brand constantly over-delivers relative to the competition. The key here is to take it one day at a time and keep fighting while also developing a long-term strategy to guide your tactical efforts. For one, those of you who are voracious readers of industry news and op-eds are already one step ahead of the pack, as you are continuously refreshing your hospitality wherewithal.

On another note, Good Friday is also a marker for the commencement of spring — the season indicating new growth and rebirth — so reconsider how you intend to grow this year. Moreover, what new projects are you going to help shepherd in for your company? These are profound questions, but they are definitely worth the time and effort.

And in closing, let’s leave the religion out of it for a second and look at what an Easter dinner or Passover Seder means from a social perspective. The whole idea behind these big dinner gatherings is to bring people together, which helps build stronger relationships with family members, friends and the community at large. However, a more subtle bond is also formed with the host venue. Hence, cultivating an environment suitable for group occasions will have a healthy impact on your revenues. This can take the form of developing a better platform for incoming business groups, upgrading your F&B offerings to better cater to group dining or any social events you organize to strengthen your team — always look for ways to build a community within your hotel.

Aside from that, enjoy the long Easter weekend and hopefully you return to work with fresh insights to inspire you to be at your best.