«In the near future, people will travel more and more, and will have new demands and expectations from hotels. Hotels will need to be able to overcome new market challenges, cope with change, and focus on their guests. There are no shortcuts. And if any general managers have difficulties adjusting to market developments, they will simply no longer be fit to belong to this industry».
These were the words of Giovanni Angelini, Italian hospitality professional, for many years CEO and managing director of the Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Group, and this is the introduction to Job in Tourism’s new Almanac ‘Guida al futuro’, to be published in the coming days.
Apparently, the world has changed. There is no doubt about this. Some people, however, still delude themselves that they can go on behaving like they did in the past, in the conviction that good old manners will always prevail. They are wrong: it is no longer so.
Of course the basic principles of hospitality, the ‘basics’ of the trade, will remain the same: kindness, service, passion and a smile for every occasion. Everything else has changed, however: not only the market, but also the surroundings, the geography, which now is also virtual and digital, as well as the customers’ needs and ways of approaching travels, whether for leisure or business. This is true at all levels: from luxury, which is now made of authenticity, experience and small attentions, rather than ostentation and shine, to low-cost holidays, where adequate standards and quality basic services are now, in my opinion, quite correctly demanded.
“Almanacco di Job in Tourism” is a sort of journey in this evolving world, where each chapter is like the window of a moving train, looking onto a landscape rolling towards new horizons. Learning the tracks’ direction is the only way to be able, some day, to say the same as the general manager of Principe di Savoia, Enzo Indiani, who is the protagonist of the opening interview: «I regard myself as a very lucky person, because I’ve had the opportunity to always have a job I love, and I cannot thing of any other profession that could have afforded me so much satisfaction».
It is not always so, there is not only Shangri-La a Principe di Savoia, but we need to face reality for what it is, and try to lay the basis to aim for the best: learning from the examples of experienced and capable people is no doubt a good method and a useful start.
Let me wish a happy holiday to those who are enjoying a well-deserved rest, and a fruitful work to those who are at the height of activity.