Jakarta (Indonesia) – December 16, 2014 – The recent Hotel Management and Technology Indonesia Conference, organized by Questex Hospitality + Travel, welcomed 150 hotel management, operation and technology professionals, who explored hospitality directions in this booming country.
A hotel leaders panel addressed how hotels can consistently exceed guest expectations and how to differentiate hotels from competitors. Led by Patrick Sibourg, general manager of Ibis Bandung Trans Studio, the panel featured Richard Baker, Mandarin Oriental executive vice president and operations director – Asia; Wayne Buckingham, senior vice president Asia Pacific operations, FRHI Hotels & Resorts; Frank Trampert, Tune Hotels chief operating officer; David Topolewski, Qooco chief executive officer; and Allan Taylor, Nor1 senior vice president, Asia Pacific.
The panelists agreed that standard operating procedures are essential to achieving consistency. Buckingham, who oversees the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel brands in Asia, said his company’s procedures are modified according to local demographics, and training programs are developed in English and adapted to local destinations. Trampert commented that Tune Hotels take a different approach to achieving operational excellence by selecting the right people as well as identifying customers who prefer Tune Hotels. Regarding guest feedback, Baker said social media empowers hoteliers to control and manage guest experiences, the key being to engage guests and participate in the dialogue. Buckingham said his company works with third parties to monitor capture data on TripAdvisor and actively tracks and measures responses to comments. Trampert said his company teaches managers to handle complaints onsite, with urgency, adding it is all about the ability to set things right.
Information technology executives gathered for a panel discussion about in-room technology. Raymond Dumanuaw, vice president hotel technology and systems, HPL Properties, commented that his hotels focus on accommodating guest devices and content. Matthew Faull, vice president, information technology & e-commerce, Swiss-Belhotel International, added that four- and five-star properties tend to deploy advanced entertainment systems that support streaming of guest content. Silvio Reale, Interel Asia Pacific chief executive officer, pointed out that infrastructure is needed to support advance technology, noting that some guests have more technology in their homes than hotels offer. Dumanuaw responded that investments for advanced technology might not be easily justified. The panelists agreed that bandwidth is the single most important technology needed to “wow” guests.
Mark Kendall, Cisco Consulting Service practice lead of IT PMO in construction and hospitality, set the stage with a speech on the latest demand for bandwidth. Exponential traffic growth from video streaming is a contributing factor, he said, adding that it is essential for hoteliers to understand how to attack “soft issues” surrounding the internet, including privacy and PCI issues. In the discussions that followed, Budi Mulya, Hyatt Hotels Corp. Indonesia area information systems manager, contended that hotels really cannot “sell” internet service, adding the challenge for hoteliers is to convince management and owners to invest in greater bandwidth. Hans Hadityo, corporate IT director for Parador Hotels & Resorts, said hoteliers must realize that internet costs will not go down but that providers must improve stability and quality for the same price. Budi Santoso, Cisco Systems managing director, ASEAN Enterprise and Commercial Sale, suggested that hoteliers look into costs of infrastructure, guest internet usage behavior and vendor flexibility, among other factors.
Rosmalia Hardman, PT Lippo Karawaci Tbk chief marketing officer, hospitality and leisure group, gave a presentation about establishing a pre-opening marketing plan to ensure the financial success of new hotels. She proposed that all new hotels create a 90-second video to highlight personalities, brand identity, unique selling points and “passion points”. The videos should be shared with travel agents, corporate buyers and potential guests. The videos should complement marketing campaigns, websites, search engine optimization and social media. Hardman also recommended hosting journalists, distributors and buyers on familiarization trips.
Other senior hoteliers who shared their points of view on e-commerce, distribution strategies, brand awareness and talent management included Gavin Faull, president and chairman, Swiss-Belhotel International; Wahyu Agus Setiawan, corporate IT manager, Singgasana Hotels & Resorts; Andreas Lalenoh, general manager, Grand Jatra Hotel Pekanbaru; Martono Tikjanto, managing director, KAGUM Hotels; Trisna Widia, corporate e-commerce manager, Prime Plaza Hotels & Resorts; Ivana Novida, corporate digital marketing manager, Singgasana Hotels & Resorts; Andhy Irawan, managing director, Dafam Hotels; Christophe Glass, brand director – HARRIS Hotels, for TAUZIA Hotel Management; Vivi Herlambang, director of sales, marketing & business Development, Sahid International Hotel Management & Consultant; Ricky Theodore, chief operating officer, Parador Hotels & Resorts; Jasen Lew, entrepreneur in residence, Medallia Inc.; Robert Hogenstijn, general manager, Le Méridien Jakarta.
Taylor offered this impression of the conference: “HMTIC allowed Nor1, as a new company to the South East Asian region and specifically the Indonesian market, to successful launch itself into this highly demanding and rapidly growing market. Attendance numbers were good as was the industry knowledge of the delegates. Levels of interaction were high throughout the entire day. Nor1 will be back in 2015.”
HMTIC will return to Jakarta on 3 Sept. 2015. For more information, visit www.questexevents.net/hmisummit.
Questex LLC, the largest multimedia organization in the world dedicated to travel and lodging, drives revenue, productivity and value-creation for these related industries through strategic investment and deal-making forums, powerful lead-generation tools, interactive online business solutions, world-class events and industry-leading publications. The company is headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, with offices throughout the world.
Questex Hospitality + Travel, a division of Questex LLC, provides business development, marketing and training services to national tourism organizations, destination marketing associations, hotel, gaming, resort and cruise companies, online travel agencies and travel advisors worldwide.