Loyalty is not a given, if you want your guests to be loyal, you have to give them a reason to be.
HOW Festival is the only hotel operations Festival in Europe and the third edition will be held on Oct 16th-18th in Valamar Collection Isabella Island Resort in Porec. The main goal is to present global operations trends and best practices, to facilitate implementation of new products and services and to ensure to participants great entertainment and networking. Every year Festival gathers more than 500 participants: mostly General Managers, Operations Directors and Hotel Department Managers and it is recognised as the biggest regional hospitality gathering.
Luc Gesvert is HOW 2019 keynote speaker. He is a Chief Top Line Officer of Accor Eastern Europe responsible for all levers of maximization of hotel revenues as well as Hotel Operations. He is also leading some key projects for Accor on European level focusing on Guest Experience and its personalization, digital transformation and reinvention of customer journey.
In this interview find out how technology influence hospitality, are the guests loyal, what is the most important to them and more.
Don`t forget! Early bird registrations for HOW Festival are available until July 7th.
Accor Group is one of the world’s largest hotel chains. Couple of years ago, you started with investing in complementary hospitality industries. What are you plans for the future?
Accor has shared its vision in becoming a privilege hospitality companion to hotel guests. Expectations and needs of hotel guests are rapidly changing and Accor has set itself to have the agility to be present and offer solutions at each stage of their journey. This makes our augmented hospitality scope. We have a range of offers and services to suits their needs at any time.
Which Accor`s brand has the greatest development potential?
Our advantage is that we have such a wide brand portfolio including full spectrum of hotels and business profiles from eco to Luxury, from Business to resort. We have brands offer to cater for all business models and needs. What makes the right match is having a brand offer that matches both the market, the client needs and the owner’s idea.
Which brand you`re currently developing the most in EE?
Our portfolio is currently close to 40 brands covering all market segments from budget to upper luxury. Last years showed huge interest in our Midscale and Upscale brands like Mercure or Mgallery. Investors are also interested in more lifestyle brands like Jo&Joe and Tribe to answer the needs of guests who expect more lifestyle experience.
How technology influences hospitality? What technology changes are you facing in your everyday work?
Hospitality business has changed massively with the development of technology and it will only continue. It affects the way people book hotels, which mostly happens online, but also the way we communicate with our guests. Technology allows us to work on personalization of their stay and experience and to be close to them not only during their stay, but also in their everyday life. We are aiming to be a lifestyle companion to our guests.
Guest loyalty is changing…Are the guests really loyal today?
Loyalty is not a given, if you want your guests to be loyal, you have to give them a reason to be. Loyal guests are expecting to be recognized, match their needs and desires. This is exactly what we aim to bring to them with our new loyalty ecosystem ALL. We designed to give them an opportunity to live the way they imagine and even beyond.
What is the most important to your guests? Price, brand or something else?
Once again, the strength of Accor is the diversity of our brands. We have brands and hotels to suits all needs and moments of our clients. What really matters to them is the experience they will have with us and this is why we are developing our customer journey around their desires, both in hotel, and also very importantly on their digital journey.
Are the guests today more demanding? How do you try to please them, or provide them with satisfactory content?
Guests are demanding much more than just a place to stay and we are aiming to satisfy their needs by developing Augmented Hospitality and focusing on their lifestyle experience.
Do you use retail marketing and how exactly does it work in the hotel segment?
Today for clients looking for hotels, the purchase journey can be overwhelming as they have to navigate between oversupply of choice and sites that all pretend to have the offer you need. It is important to be visible and to have the right message across the client booking. The only way for this is direct contact. We make sure we are visible there in order for the clients to find their way in this digital environment and we do this prior to their stay, but even more so post stay, as all our clients are definitely a future repeater.
This year you will participate at HOW Festival. What will you present and share with the participants?
We will be there to first of all share. Share our views, ideas and experience, but also to get feedback, and hear what other experts and professionals have to say. The hospitality experience has been built throughout the years and by many great people. We are mainly a team working towards the same goals.