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Clink Hostels - Hoteliers' Voice S4E2 with Diogo Vaz Ferreira: Hostel market trends and developments

Updated: Apr 3

 S4E2 - Clink Hostels -  Diogo Vaz Ferreira - Hostel market trends and developments

In the latest episode of the Travel Market Life podcast, we had the pleasure of hosting an insightful interview with Diogo Vieira, the Head of Commercial at Clink Hostels. We explored the evolution of the hostel market and Vieira's personal journey within the travel and hospitality industry.

Clink Hostels has become a significant player in the European hostel scene, known for their innovative approach and community spirit. Their origins are in London, and they have since expanded across Europe, inspired by the vision of two sisters who sought to create the ultimate hostel experience based on their own travelling adventures.

As they grow to nearly 3000 beds, they are faced with the challenge of preserving their intimate, community-focused ethos while scaling up operations. This balance between maintaining authenticity and pursuing growth is a central concern for them.

During the podcast, we also discussed post-pandemic trends in the hostel industry, such as the rise in remote working and the emergence of digital nomads, which suggest that hostels might be influencing trends that could later be adopted by the wider hotel market.

We addressed sensitive issues like gender policies and staffing challenges, underlining Clink Hostels' commitment to guest safety and well-being in the hostel industry.

Vieira's career path, which saw him transition from established hotel brands to the hostel sector, reflects a broader narrative of embracing change and the importance of lifelong learning in the hospitality industry.

The interview shed light on the commercial strategies that have been successful for Clink Hostels, including the adoption of automated upselling tools and the maximisation of food and beverage revenues. Despite their focus on technology, they still recognise the importance of human interaction, with tools such as WhatsApp being used to enhance guest services while still valuing the essential role of human decision-making.

Selecting the right technology partners is crucial, and Vieira shared his criteria, which include integration, relevance, return on investment, and customer support. He encouraged those in revenue and commercial management to stay informed about market trends and to develop skills that will remain in demand.

The conversation concluded with Vieira expressing his passion for the hospitality industry and the need for perseverance and adaptability in a sector that is constantly changing.

We provided our listeners with a comprehensive look at the hostel market through Vieira's experiences and the strategic advancements of Clink Hostels, offering valuable insights for anyone interested in the travel and hospitality industry.

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Programme Notes

This episode has been automatically transcribed by AI, please excuse any typos or grammatical errors

Ryan Haynes (00:00:22) - Hello and welcome to Hoteliers Voice season four with Diogo Vieira from Clink Hostels. Diego Ferreira has been head of commercial at Clink Hostels since 2021. He previously worked for Accor and Hilton, having worked in guest experiences, revenue and general manager positions. He is also part of the Management Board, chairing the accommodation panel at the Wyse Travel Confederation, which is a global not-for-profit membership organisation dedicated to promoting and developing opportunities for the youth, student and educational travel industry. Today, we're going to explore the hostel market and how it's evolving trends within this traveller group. We're going to learn more about JoJo's career and specifically how he's developing the commercial performance of Clink Hostels.

Ryan Haynes (00:01:18) - Travel Market Life is backed by Heinz McCombs, a B2B marketing communications PR consultancy specialising in the technology, travel, hospitality and property sectors. Marketing, PR and social, build a profile, gain momentum, shape strategy with Haynes MarComs's.

Ryan Haynes (00:01:42) - Joining me now is Diogo Ferreira. Thank you ever so much for joining us today. I love to learn a lot more about Clink Hostels and the markets. What can you tell us about it?

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:01:52) - Thank you, Ryan, for the invitation., so. Yeah. Clink. Hostels is one of the oldest and at the moment, the biggest independently owned chain of European hostels. We have been in the market for for long. We started our operations in London, UK, first with one property. They went after a few years to a second property when the business was mature at 18 years old of age, 2015, we decided to expand the business to, to Amsterdam, building and actually convert a building that used to be part of the shell, company into a hostel. That was quite a nice conversion. And then just before Covid. So perfect timing, we decided to expand not only by acquiring two other properties in Amsterdam but also to start to build a hostel in Dublin that at the moment we just opened a few months ago and yeah, that's about it.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:02:40) - Clink. You know, it all started with two sisters that after travelling all over the world, decided to take, you know, the business with their own hands and try to create the perfect hostel. Of course, with the support of the family in London, you still have those vibes, because it's still owned by the family, by the Dolan family, and you still have a lot of that family type of business and family atmosphere in, in our company. And the second part of the question, what we have been busy about, basically, of course we are. We are in a very dynamic world. Hostels are very dynamic more than ever. And I think the type of hostels and the type of guests we have now, they are very different from ten, 20, 25 years ago., if before, I think the type of guests we have in hostels was mainly driven by price, by a question of budget sensitivity. I think in today's world, we have many more trends that you should consider.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:03:30) - And Klink has been very smart in adapting it. And I think we are also the perfect size. We are too small to be big and too big to be small, in the sense that we are big enough to be relevant. As I said, we have six properties, building the seventh one as we speak in Lisbon. But basically, we are the biggest independently owned chain in Europe, as I previously said. But we are not so big that it becomes kind of a corporate nightmare to change every time you want to implement something. So I think it's the perfect size.

Ryan Haynes (00:03:58) - I mean, it's absolutely fascinating of the hostel market at the moment because it has hugely evolved and I was a massive hostel form actually. I'm still a massive hostel fan., and it's somewhere that I always consider staying when I'm travelling, particularly when I'm slow solo. But with Klink, let's just go back to some numbers for a second. So how many? How many is it? Beds do you count? Beds.

Ryan Haynes (00:04:19) - How many beds do you have then? Approximately across.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:04:22) - 3000. Close to 3000 beds. 

Ryan Haynes (00:04:24) - Wow. That's a lot of people to be dealing with at any one time, isn't it? And when it comes to like keeping that ethos of a hostel, how does the company and culture sort of maintain that focus and delivery, that you are a hostel and and not being distracted by other sort of accommodation sectors, as so is easily the case in in our industry.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:04:45) - It is special for us is even more challenging because of the things first, not only our ethos of a company that we take very seriously, but also the fact that we are a family business and we want to remain authentic to our values and to our morale and our ethics, and not only like a corporate company that only focus on purely on profit. But the second part that I usually say that it becomes more difficult for hostels is because the hostels have the guests that hotels will have tomorrow. So the trends that you, for example, you mentioned one of them, like the solo traveller and especially the female solo traveller, that now is a big thing.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:05:16) - There are trends that we see earlier in hostels that in a few years are going to be motels, because now these clients have 18 years old, 20 years old, 25 years old, and then become like 30, 35, 40. They start going to hotels. But these trends have been identified before at hostels. So it seems that on one end we used to be much more old-style backpacker hostels, not accompanied by, let's say, the modernity and the different, facilities and the different options we have in the US and hotels. But then when the changes came, and especially with Covid, it kind of accelerated way more because we talk with Covid about remote working and people travelling more because of remote working, the digital nomads, all those concepts, they touch much more hostel than actual hotels. So we went from being very old style, like being considered like we only stay there because of price and now we are on top of the wave of the changes and transformations. But I do.

Ryan Haynes (00:06:09) - Remember when I was first staying in hostels about 10 or 12, you know, it's longer than that.

Ryan Haynes (00:06:14) - I have to like 15, 16 years ago, you know, they were the only places that had free Wi-Fi often, you know, hotels, you would either have the Wi-Fi or you'd have to pay for it., you'd have the little cafe shop around the corner. The internet cafe shop., but then there would be a couple of login points, and free Wi-Fi at the. And you would, you know, you would literally be logging in to the one and only Wi-Fi network that the hostel had. But it was that sort of community feel that you get within the hotel and, hostel. And I certainly was doing that both as a solo traveller, as a backpacker, but also when I was away on conferences, you know, as a contractor, as a freelancer. I don't know about, you know, I couldn't afford the hotels, and it was just wonderful that you, you had, you know, accommodation there that could actually meet a different budget. So when it comes to trends, post-pandemic, what are some of the things that you're seeing within the hostel markets and how has that changed your sort of consumer group that's just coming to stay with you?

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:07:11) - Yeah.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:07:11) - I think, after the, the, the pandemic we all faced, I think, again, we talked about one of the biggest trends, the remote travelling. And this basically is not only for a fact of the pandemic, people realized how important freedom was and what was taking away everything that for our entire lives, we got it for granted. Like travelling, going out to do all the rest of it friends out of a suddenly for two years it was like stolen away from us. So people all wanted to travel. I wanted to travel solo, even especially to females, which was maybe a cultural change. Also, the fact that with the low cost, of course, travel became more accessible to everyone, but also, culturally speaking, in a lot of different cultures became more acceptable for a woman to travel by herself. This is unfortunately not the case with some of the cultures in the world. So that became a real trend, the digital number that we also previously talk, the fact that we now have, of course, a much more flexible, policy when it comes to work, that you can work several weeks or even entirely remotely, that has an impact, but it's also become as an opportunity for us because then we can have different types of guests that we didn't have in the past.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:08:16) - But it also became a challenge in a way, because right now, if we know that hospitality was for many people already very difficult to hire, especially in operations, because of the low salaries, because of the high pressure, because of the long working hours, the fact that you have to work when others are having fun on top of it, you now have companies that you can be working on a simple entry-level job like customer support. You work full from home and you have a comfort that you cannot have that in operation. So Covid opened a few doors and closed a few ones. Hiring at the moment is extremely complicated, and we have a lot of discussions with colleagues that onsite staffing became way more challenging and other things that were discussed at some point that have been discussed for many years. And there's like a big word that everyone talks about green and sustainability. And it's funny because it has proven that attitude and behaviour are different. And there was a big study by Google on that sustainability and basically proved that when people say, oh, sustainability really, really matters a lot to me.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:09:17) - But then it comes actually to a booking decision or purchasing power decision that actually people don't follow. So it's one of those things that it looks nice for you to say it. But actually in reality, when you go to buy, to stand up, to go to the cheaper or the nicer location. And I think when it comes to hostels, because our guests are younger than hotels and, you know, different generations are a bit more reliable. You know, we're always been 18 months in our lives before, I think they are more outspoken. And I think sustainability and some of the policies, like for example, gender policies, I don't like to talk, talk in a while, becoming more relevant for hostels than, for example, for other hotels. And some brands, like especially Selena are a perfect example of a hostel brand, even if it's kind of a luxury hostel brand. If I might say they have, I think they work it very well. That mix between the digital nomad sustainability and the interaction between local communities and expats foreigners, I think they have done it very well.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:10:08) - Another key trend that I think is also we also starting this discussion in hostels more than hotels is about the gender policies. We all know that this is a big topic about gender identification, about gender identity for yourself, what should be the freedom you should have? Depending on the different cultures and depending on the different countries you are living in. And hostels, because we have the mixed dorms and sometimes the female-only dorms, it raises all types of questions. And for example, if I have someone who was born a man but identifies herself as a woman, should we allow her to stay in a female dorm? Yes or no? And it brings all sorts of discussions about security, safety, well-being for the other guests, open-mindedness, all that. So a lot of these trends have been discussed, again, because we have the hotel guests of tomorrow, I think they have been discussing today and hostels and very, very, very interesting. And the other trends, not with trends, but things that are worrying as, as an industry.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:11:02) - I think when there are some specific, of course, regional topics and for example, the Olympic Games in Paris, I think it's going to be a big hit because the prices are extremely high in Paris during the summer. That might generate extra demand from all the cities in Europe. But I'm a regional, national thing, but I think worldwide is really okay. After COVID, the digital nomad working remotely is going to show us how this is going to evolve with the working market, the female solo traveller and the female traveller, and trying to identify what is women looking for and trying to adapt the tourism more in that sense, but also the different gender policies and how can we be openly minded and respectfully without to everyone, without, hurting some, some opinions, let's say that way.

Ryan Haynes (00:11:49) - No, I can certainly understand.

Ryan Haynes (00:11:51) - And that is a real challenge that you've got to sort of like walking on a tight tightrope there, to make sure that, you know, you, you, you, you look after your customers, those that are going to be coming back and returning and spreading the word and also the reputation at the same time, as you say, security is absolutely key.

Ryan Haynes (00:12:08) - Now, what's particularly interesting about you, Diogo, is that. You don't come from a traditional background in hospitals, you have actually come from the hotel industry., I haven't worked at Accor and Hilton, within revenue roles. You've also worked within guest experience., tell me, how has your particular career evolved and adapted over the years? And, what's taking you to, take on this role at Clink Hostels?

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:12:35) - Yeah, it's funny you mentioned that because, of course, when I mentioned to people that I went from Hilton Accor to those like big brands to hostels, it looks like my father, when I told him for the first time, I said, what have you been drinking today? You know? it looks for a downgrade. And I can say maybe when you look at my LinkedIn profile in that sense might look like a downgrade, but it's not at all. So I joined hospitality because I was passionate about travelling and getting to know more people, different languages, and different cultures.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:12:59) - And then when I start working hospitality side, I try different departments. But very soon, very early in my career, I found that my place was in revenue management. I think I'm I see myself as a good communicator, but also I'm good with numbers. I think revenue management is the perfect balance between strategy and communication, you have to have kind of both because you can be the smartest guy with Excel. But if I'm not able to explain that to your colleagues, to make sure that we all move in the same direction we want to work, and in revenue management. I worked for the biggest brands, as you said, and little by little I got very attracted by the hybrid accommodation. So not only hostels but like, other brands that they have kind of a mix of products. For example, the previous Student Hotel is now called Social Lab, but a lot of co-working spaces. Once again, things that became with Covid because in hotels we are optimizing rooms. And of course, the ref part is the main KPI used for for evaluating performance in hostels.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:13:55) - We are not only performing or trying to increase the performance per bed, but we can go even further per square meter because in hostels I have a decision if I want either to have a private room, for example, double room and sell it pretty much at the same level of prices. For example, sometimes of A34 star hotel, depending on the market, or if I have a dorm, for example, six to eight beds, what is the one most profitable for us in terms of the guest experience in terms of fab expenditure, average spend, guest experience? So there are a lot of metrics that take into consideration and is way more difficult because they have much more variables to evaluate and to work in revenue management in hostels than hotels. Booking windows tend to be shorter. So you have to really make sure that your strategy is right. Distributor distribution channels need to be a bit more limited because most of the time you don't really have corporate accounts. You might have leisure groups and series, but corporate, the B2B is still quite, quite limited.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:14:51) - So it's mainly B2C and the B2B is only focused more on the leisure market. And also the work markets that we target are normally much more limited, either events, sports or educational. So at the end of the day, we have a much more limited, target market and more kind of a niche in the market, but with also, sometimes different distribution channels. So it's more challenging. You have to take a lot of different metrics in the equation. And I thought that was the right challenge. I think was very challenging to try something new. And even if I already started two years ago, there are over two years ago, it's all everyday things that I learned with hostels and the industry. I fell in love.

Ryan Haynes (00:15:31) - I mean, I don't think it was a downgrade, particularly in the way that the industry has sort of evolved massively over the last few years for Hostel Market and how, you know, you've got to be thinking about balancing the book so much more. And, and then, I guess, the amount of wear and tear, that you often get in a hostel compared to a hotel and just making sure that the upkeep is there.

Ryan Haynes (00:15:51) - And as you say, you know, 3000 rooms is not a short number of inventory that you're dealing with. And distribution is interesting. And just tell me, I mean, what is the average booking window?

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:16:03) - Yeah, it depends per market and hostel because of course our authors are quite different, but I would say on average is around 40 to 30 days., whereas in hotels tend to be, especially in, well resorts and to be even more but even corporate with some amount of business tend to be like 3 or 4 months in advance for, for the high season. And that's like 30 to 40 days. But our smaller property is even like 20 to 30 days. So even smaller than that.

Ryan Haynes (00:16:31) - I mean, you don't happen oh, maybe I'm showing my age now. You don't happen to get people just walking in with their Lonely Planet book, do you?

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:16:38) -, it still happens, but it's much more reduced these days because people can book so easily. Because before you have to contact the travel agency or call someone, right? So you don't wait to get to the city to go to the hotel so that you can be on the train or even the airport in five minutes.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:16:53) - With with application, you can easily book a bed. So we still have walk-ins, especially our hostel in London. Clink to six one that is close to Kings Cross. It still gets a nice amount of walk-ins considering the size, but it's still like it's a much smaller percentage. That used to be because it became so easy to book a. Now that most of the people actually get it with the booking, what happens quite often is people, for example, that they are travelling, and especially it happens a lot with hostels and backpackers. They aren't really sure what they're going to do tomorrow, right? In Amsterdam they are fun. They like it. They meet people. Actually. They extend their stay in end up staying 4 or 5 nights when the initial plan was to stay only one night. That happens a lot, but walking really entering the hostel without reservation happens less often than used to be.

Ryan Haynes (00:17:39) - Well, revenue. Traditionally it's rooms. You're dealing with beds and square footage footage.

Ryan Haynes (00:17:44) - And, we're obviously seeing companies now taking a more integrated revenue approach. So how would you describe the journey at Klink, and where's the opportunity for perhaps earning additional revenue through the stay?

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:17:57) - Excellent question is something that we made a lot of changes in the company, me and my team. But also we are still doing and before because for hostels, the FNB and everything that is ancillary revenue takes even more relevance. Right? Because if you're selling a hotel room for €200, then you might okay, upsell the breakfast, you might upsell the dinner. But percentage-wise, if you are not a resort, it's very difficult for you to have a strong percentage of FNB revenue of the hotel, especially if you are in the city centre. There are so many options around you that hotels and restaurants tend not to be very popular and unless they have a very strong concept in hostels, is different because you have so many young people, they go there to party, and if you buy a bed for €50 and then you spend like 20 at the bar in a few beers, is almost half of what you spend in a bed.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:18:45) - So percentage-wise, the percentage of FNB revenues ancillary tends to be between 20 and 30% in hostels. What is above the average of the hotels? If I'm not considering, of course, the resorts that tend to be 40 to 50%, and then the way we also have changed, because then the second part of your question is before the way we were doing upselling was pretty much old school, like we are sending emails with the confirmations with, and then when the guests were contacting us or at checking, we're trying to upsell. We installed, a tool called Okey that pushes automatic basic automated upselling. And with that, we generated compared to what we were doing before, an incremental €100,000 per year. what is amazing. But that was only the first part. So now the end is pretty much based on pre-arrival automated upselling. Now with another partner of ours that is called IGP that we have installed, automated and shared, but in our website and both because they can be integrated, what are you going to do? Is everyone able to contact our chat and make a reservation? They can immediately, have an upsell for breakfast, for a towel, for whatever they need for their state, but also in the state.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:20:01) - What are you going to do at the moment? Actually, we are launching next week with WhatsApp. Basically, the guests that are in-house, can ask everything via WhatsApp and they can write something simple like, I want a breakfast immediately. The AI generates an upselling option. You confirm them then and because it's connected to your system, is automatically charged. And also, what are you going to do? Something even cooler, because we think that's going to be a bigger trend tomorrow, is everything that is a voice command. So our guests can actually be WhatsApp. Hey clink, I want breakfast or I want a towel. I want a checkout tomorrow because not going to be a party where the AI will immediately detect what the guest answers. As requested, it will ask for either an invoice or by message. The guest can choose and immediately do the transactions. So we expect that actually with all those changes, that incremental revenue already went up by more than two times with that pre-arrival automated, that going up by 4 or 5 times what it was to three years ago.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:20:57) - So I think this is really the entire pre-arrival and in-state configuration and on the entire guest journey in a different way.

Ryan Haynes (00:21:05) - Fascinating. I mean, you stole the question right out of my mouth before I even had a chance to ask it, which was, how are you upping the game in revenue?, is there any other software or tools?, you mentioned OCI, any others that you're sort of using?

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:21:18) - Yeah. And of course some of them, I'm even mentioning them and we are about to close the deals. But so I'm spoiling some of the surprises for our loyal members. Another one is also a company called Book Line, that basically what happens is we have, of course, business hours in our reservations team and after 6 p.m. that normally the business hours are well, the office is closed, the calls are transferred to the hostels, but sometimes it might be too busy or even at night. Sometimes they have only one night auditor working and sometimes the calls are a bit lost and special because of the difference in the time zones and we have so and Australia that are in our top five of guests.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:21:56) - To give an example, what we're going to have is going to have a system that the guests will call us and immediately like they are talking with a robot that will make your reservation and basically send to your WhatsApp. So these are the dates and also required you want to confirm. Confirm is done. But even if the guest doesn't wish to confirm straightaway next morning when the reservations team starts, they will be having the details of all the guests. I try to book overnight with pending reservations and then my team will contact him. By the way, Ryan, my name is Pablo. I work for the reservations team at Clink. Would you like to proceed with the booking you tried to do last night? And this is a sort of sales selling even when you are sleeping, you know. So it's sort of sales that we were not trying. So I think that's really upping the game. But then of course what comes with it becomes a very tricky game. Right. Because when talking about efficiencies and the I, hospitality, is tricky because we are people, business people for people.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:22:51) - Right. And it's always a fine balance. Of course, you can find more efficiencies, more AI, more automation. But end of the day, some people are looking for people's touch. And when I say that I'm a well I'm now a Head of Commercial, but in my heart, I'm still a revenue manager, you know inside. And there's all these next questions will robots replace revenue managers in a couple of years? I don't know if that was one of your future questions. And the answer is I don't think so, because what the machines can help us to do is right now, today, a revenue manager can manage many more hotels than in the past because it's much more data. But you still need a human brain behind you to make those decisions. Because a machine can manage what is Expectable cannot manage what is unacceptable. You didn't have any tool in the world that knew how to react perfectly to the Covid. The prices were all over the place because the machines, well, this doesn't happen any of the years of the data we have, the historical data.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:23:44) - We still have the human to say, no, this is something different. So we still need the human brain. But of course, now we can manage many more hotels, many more data points and focus on many sources of revenue. Because you said something very interesting, a revenue manager in the past, they were only focused on pretty much room revenue. Now they are focusing and parking revenue. Sometimes I don't even care for parking for private parking of the hotels' spa revenue so they can focus on many more streams, many more hotels, and having much more complex. But I still think we need a human brain behind us.

Ryan Haynes (00:24:14) - Thank you. Now, you said you've got a number of systems that you've put in place over the last couple of years that are really helping you up your game and move forward, evolve the business and, and really connect much more on a deeper level with your guests on, on in a way that they are expecting. So how do you identify and select your technology partners?

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:24:34) - Well, the key thing is of course, we work with many, many software providers and in hotels of course, the main one is our property management software, our PMS.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:24:43) - We work with muse. We are actually the first hotel that decided to work with muse and now they are a market leader., not because of us just happened to be. We just chose wisely back then and it needs to be integrated with our PMS. Because if it's not integrated, if it will generate more manual work, it will open the space to mistakes, to open the space to more resources and more time being, being wasted. So the first question is kind of like a deal breaker. Is it possible to be integrated with our current system software, yes or no? That's really the first question. Then we, of course, know what you're looking for because as the Head of Commercial, I get maybe 5 to 10 emails on a daily average of people trying to sell me stuff. And of course, I need to to filter. I don't like to be the bad guy and say no, but I'm not going to have a call if I know that I've already something that provides me. If you cannot give me something that I don't have or something that I have, but either doing cheaper or better, I will not take it.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:25:35) - So I have to know exactly what I want and keep constantly reviewing our tech stack and then what we can do better. And then once I decided can you be integrated with our systems? Is it relevant for now? Is there a really serious return on investment keep always trying. What can I do better? And they are, also on top of it. For us, the human part is important in the sense that we have, and I don't give examples because they will be also my listening to this. We have great companies that have great software and great products, but for example, they have very poor customer support. So we also want to choose our partners, customer support and connection. The relationship in a relationship is very important because we have to make sure that they are in the same mood when it comes to evolving, trying new things and working together on partnerships, that are very relevant for us.

Ryan Haynes (00:26:23) - Fantastic. I mean, obviously, as you say, there are so many providers out there and they offer a range of functionality, features, and integrations being a big one that it needs to work with your existing systems.

Ryan Haynes (00:26:33) - so that's great to learn., now, as I say, you've worked your way up the ladder in this industry, and really come to the Head of Commercial at Clink Hostels. What advice do you give to someone who's building their career in revenue and commercial management?

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:26:49) - Well, the first advice and I hope people that are listening, these are like football because otherwise you might not get the metaphor. It's like to be a good forward in football or in soccer. Depends. Where are you listening? This right. You should not go running towards the ball. You should run in towards where the ball will be right. So you should anticipate the market trends. And if you try for example, when it comes. Technology. If you try to be the best or things that are current now, by the time you actually become very good at it, the system has already changed. So try to understand what are the future trends in the market. What is there for you and try to specialize in those.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:27:25) - And I give a very concrete example. I have someone in my team who is brilliant, if I would say in TikTok when it started saying like 1 or 2 years ago, they should focus on TikTok, no one was taking series. And now, when TikTok is invited to the Google and conferences and maybe the main social media for travel, we are taking series and luckily we took him series and he did a great job. So find what you are very good at and develop because in today's world is almost impossible for you to be excellent at every single thing. So try to identify a future trend and specialize in that, and make sure that you're very good at it because you're going to be taken. I think that's my first advice. And second is don't give up, because especially when you're coming from the industry like hospitality is very volatile, very difficult. And I think the pandemic showed us how volatile and how difficult things were. But if you are passionate and if are good at doing what you do, you're going to be taken back when things will improve.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:28:23) - And it doesn't matter how many pandemics are eating us in a way, how many wars, how many economic crises, how many inflation crises, people still like to travel. You know, Ryanair did last year the best year ever. And if people cannot stay in five-star hotels, maybe they will stay in camping or they will stay in one-star hotel. But people still want to travel. So I think travel always be a thing. So be passionate and be good. What you do, things will go out okay for you.

Ryan Haynes (00:28:49) - Awesome. Diogo, thank you very much for joining me today and I can't wait to look forward to seeing you in person at the Ittf., 2024, in a couple of months.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:29:01) - Exactly. In Barcelona and sunny Barcelona.

Ryan Haynes (00:29:04) - Look forward to seeing you there. Thank you ever so much again.

Diogo Vaz Ferreira (00:29:07) - Thank you so much, Ryan. Be in touch.

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