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Interpreting new models

Di Antonio Caneva English translation Paola Pr, 14 Settembre 2001

John Bell, C.E.O. of the Caribbean Hotel Association, stated that “any hotel or hotel group which does not recognise the dynamic nature of this industry and the phenomenal change affecting it, will have little chance to be competitive in the XXI century”.

This statement seems to me to be a suitable starting point for a reflection on tourist activity in our Country, also in view of the current attention Italy enjoys from qualified foreign operators.

The fact that hotels need to offer far more than a bedroom to sleep in, and rather have to turn into product, service and experience integrators; technologies – above all the Internet, – education, communication, and the various forms of cooperation with external parties offering various solutions – ranging from franchising to management – are just a few facets of the current need to adapt one’s approach to a dramatically changing environment.

E-commerce will be the future of buying, and will cause substantial changes to traditional procedures. Because of automation, hotel managers will save time and money, and will acquire greater experiences in the purchase of goods and services for their businesses.Technology, technology and technology will substitute for the traditional definition of location, location, and location as a key to success and competitive advantage. Technology, however, is not the only challenge, particularly in an individualistic country such as ours. The challenge is accepting a new business model, where access to information will replace the traditional asset of ownership.

The many assets of our Country, ranging from natural resources to the invaluable artistic heritage, and from a wonderful climate and good cooking to the pleasant nature of its population, have so far relieved us of the need to revise our approach; but such fast changes are occurring in this field that we can definitely no longer delay alerting ourselves to this challenge, under penalty – for those who do not – of being forced out of the market.

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