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April's Hospitality Review: Challenges in service & delivery, IHTF 2024 and Booking.com's cancelled sustainability programme

Updated: Apr 4


Hospitality April Review - Booking.com's sustainability programme cancelled, Service & Delivery challenges, IHTF preview

Navigating the Future of Hospitality: Insights from Industry Leaders


In our April 2024 edition, we had the pleasure of hosting a panel of experts who shared their invaluable insights on the pressing issues facing our industry today. From sustainability to marketing strategies and the digital transformation of hotels, we covered it all. Let's dive into the key takeaways from this enlightening discussion.


Embracing Sustainability: More Than Just a Buzzword


Sustainability is no longer a concept; it's a critical component of modern hospitality. Jonny Siberry from Sarova Hotel Group shed light on their "green key" initiative, which is revolutionizing their operations to meet sustainability goals. But it's not just about the environment; it's also about the bottom line. Daniel Simmons, CCO of HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts, highlighted how sustainability certifications can lead to better rates and a larger market share, particularly from eco-conscious corporate clients.


Thibault Catala, CEO of Catala Consulting, pointed out the direct impact of sustainability accreditation on pricing and guest decision-making. In today's market, guests are more informed and selective, often choosing accommodations that align with their values. This is where the marketing prowess of online travel agents can be turned to a hotel's advantage, leveraging their reach to highlight sustainable practices and attract a broader audience.


The Online Travel Agent Conundrum: Competing with Giants


The marketing muscle of online travel agents (OTAs) like Expedia Group, Booking Holdings, Airbnb, and Trip.com is formidable. Our panel discussed the challenges hoteliers face in competing with these global entities. The key is to optimize our own marketing channels while also making the most of our presence on meta search platforms. The acquisition of CW by Amex GBT was also a hot topic, as it has significant implications for corporate and business travel.


Service & Delivery: Rebranding Hospitality


Harpreet Singh Saluja from AG Hotels shared his experience of the ongoing evolution of hospitality service and delivery among changing expectations and staff recruitment. Looking at some of the key aspects to retain talent and find the right skills.


We explored the evolving guest expectations and the necessity for rebranding the hospitality sector. Our goal is to promote it as a rewarding career choice, attracting fresh talent and retaining seasoned professionals. Leadership, training, and development programs are crucial in addressing these challenges, ensuring that our workforce is equipped to deliver exceptional service.


The Digital Leap: Technology Transforming Hotels


At IHTF, of which we at Travel Market Life are media partners, we’ll hear from some of the sponsors including Carlos Calvo of Proposales, Carsten Wernet of SIHOT, and Philip von Ditfurth from Apaleo, emphasizing the efficiency gains from new tools. They also stressed the importance of industry events like the International Hotel Technology Forum (IHTF) for networking and learning from peers.


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Programme Notes


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


Ryan Haynes (00:00:21) - Hello and welcome to the new Hospitality Monthly Review Show April 2024 edition with our panel Johnny Siberry, group revenue manager at Sarova Hotel Group. Daniel Simmons, co-CEO of HotelREZ Hotels and Resorts and Thibault Catala, CEO at Katara Consulting. In our review shows, we look at the pressing issues in the industry as well as the landscape in front of us, getting insider knowledge from expert panel and guest interviewees. This is a pretty packed episode full of additional contributors. We'll be tackling the latest developments and news of the sector, changes in service and delivery of guest expectations with Harpreet Singh Saluja's AG Hotel's ETF of which Travel Market Life, our media partners and we'll hear from some of the sponsors and a look at hosted buyer events. Then I'll put my panellists through their paces as we dive into the quick quiz. Disclaimer all opinions are their own. Before we get started, I'd like to thank you for tuning in.


Ryan Haynes (00:01:24) - April marks our fourth year and this podcast is entirely produced and funded by myself. It's fantastic to see listener figures are up. If I can ask, should you enjoy the episode? I encourage you to give it a rating. Share it with your colleagues and teams and repost it on LinkedIn. It really does help to continually grow and hopefully in time, I can invest further to make this a real industry community platform and take it out on the road for in-person events. And if you feel you have a story to share, want to be a guest and have something to say? Email us at. Team at Travel Market Dot life. So for now, thank you for joining us. I'm your host, Ryan Haynes. Let's get on with the show.


Ryan Haynes (00:02:18) - Well. Hello guys. Thank you very much. Welcome back to our episode for April. Starting off with Johnny, how are things going? What have you been up to?


Johnny Siberry (00:02:28) - Good afternoon Ryan. Hi, guys, yeah, things are going okay.


Johnny Siberry (00:02:32) - Looking forward to the long weekend coming up, on a personal note. On a business note, we've been, working hard the last few weeks trying to get our strategies in order and our ducks in a row for the rest of the year planning for all sorts of eventualities. Really don't know what the market's going to do for the summer and the winter season coming up. So we're putting a few plans, A, B and C in place depending on on how it starts to pan out and what the demand is like. Hopefully we'll be able to run it. Plan A, that's the first option. If we get to plan C, something's gone very wrong but you know, we're they're prepared. We don't know what's going to happen. So we can only just, be ready for it. That's what we've been up to. But it's, it's great to be back and to see you guys. 


Ryan Haynes (00:03:18) - Thank you. And Daniel now, HotelRez, there is a big milestone this month that you're going to be kicking off celebrations for this year. We are?


Daniel Simmons (00:03:28) - Yeah. Hi, Ryan. Hi, everyone. Yes. I mean, it's a really exciting time for us. I mean, it's our 20th anniversary, yeah. We're delighted. We're gonna have a big party at some stage and it's a really good time to reflect. I mean, we're so lucky we've got fantastic clients some of them, like Hastings Hotels exclusive. So, of course, John, you know, been with us for so long so it's a really good time to look at our clients, really value their business but also look at our team. I mean, it's all about the people. And we've got such a great team in all different departments and we've all got the same goal, which is obviously to deliver good service and business to our clients. So yeah, exciting times ahead.


Ryan Haynes (00:04:10) - Cool. Congratulations. 20 years is certainly no easy feat in this industry particularly seems to need to evolve and adapt so quickly to so much that's changing.


Ryan Haynes (00:04:19) - So looking forward to celebrating that. More with you Daniel, as the year unfolds over to Thibault then welcome back again so how are things been?, what has, what did March have in store and what's coming up?


Thibault Catala (00:04:32) - Hey, Ryan. Hi, everyone very happy to be here as well March has been quite busy I've been on the road for back in March which is good news for the event and the industry. I feel like there are a lot of things going on right now, on my side as well. I've been working a lot on, research I'm I'm not. I'm very curious. Let's put it this way about the future of rugby management and what's going to happen to revenue managers in the phase of AI and generative AI. So, I've been working on a disease to see what's going to happen I'm trying to launch it by the end of.


Thibault Catala (00:05:07) - Yeah. April let's let's put it this way. So I'm really looking forward to sharing it with you and everyone as well.


Ryan Haynes (00:05:13) - Absolutely. As soon as it's out, we'll make sure it's got a link here to Travel Market Life so people can check out, that new whitepaper. So look forward to receiving and reading that table. So we've got a very packed show ahead of us today and so we're going to try and reel through it as quickly as possible. Coming up next the in the news section.


Ryan Haynes (00:05:35) - So I've been looking at some of the developments that have been happening in the industry over the last few weeks there has been a particular article from Skift that I've plotted out. Booking.com ends possibly misleading sustainability programs. So a program that was only initiated in 2021 highlights properties that are standouts in their sustainability practices. Well, they've been removing the badges from the listings because of a response from regulators in the Netherlands regarding the travel sustainable program, as it was named scores of properties and left green leaves badges but the Netherlands Authority for Consumers Markets said the program was a possibly misleading sustainability claim.


Ryan Haynes (00:06:23) - now that's that's particularly damaging particularly especially not perhaps just for Booking.com, but for sustainability programs throughout the travel and hospitality industry here. And, you know, there's a big push, isn't there, around sustainability. We've seen it high on the agenda at a lot of events and conferences within media publications I know that you know, there are so many discussions and presentations, particularly coming up at the Independent at the International Hotel Technology Forum around sustainability. Johnny, if I come with you, come to you first, how do you reflect on sustainability practices within the hotel group and how sort of, easily achievable is it to actually get these credentials and, and feel like you're doing something transparent and you can put, you know, something like this, a badge and a claim I thought for the properties.


Johnny Siberry (00:07:18) - It's. Thanks, Ryan. It's a it's a. Big priority for us, has been for a couple of years now. We launched our internal initiative, just over a year ago, which we call the Green Key.


Johnny Siberry (00:07:31) - and we've made a lot of. Conscientious changes about how we run the business. Suppliers that we use, products that we buy all of these sorts of areas. Laundry. Linen cutting down mileage for deliveries and all of these sorts of things is one of the great initiatives that we've done, which I haven't seen in other hotels, I know they exist, but I've never come across them, was I've travelled around, but we've changed things like, you know, the paper door hangers that you say, do not disturb. We've changed them to wooden ones. Our key cards and two of our hotels have RFID locks. We've now got wooden key cards. They're not plastic anymore. And the reusable as well. They're not disposable we've removed all single-use mini toiletries from the bathrooms we've put in it's a pump unit, but it's a very elegant unit. It looks good. It's not the tacky ones that you used to get ten years ago so it's everything that we do.


Johnny Siberry (00:08:32) - There's always the second question. How does this fit with our Green Key initiative? And if it doesn't, then it's likely it's not something that we're going to follow up with for Booking.com coming to them yes. They launched this initiative a few years ago and it's great when it's all over the place. You're quite right. HF and World Travel Market, it's it's a top agenda. RFPs that have been coming through for corporate accounts in the last couple of years. The sustainability questions are on the RFP. That section is growing and growing every year 5 or 6 years ago there was one question about do you partake in sustainability practices, yes or no? And you just go, yes. And that was it. But now they want you to list your accreditations and what procedures you do, and what's your kilowatt usage and your boilers and all of these sorts of, you know, questions. So it's really important. And the Booking.com one was very involved. There were a lot of questions in there.


Johnny Siberry (00:09:32) - Extra net per property that you had to answer and they were all relevant to be fair to the hotels. Actually, they and you could easily lie if you wanted to too, but they were reviewing or comparing your answers to guest reviews. And one of the questions that they would ask, in a guest review after they say it is, you know, did the hotel have single-use shampoo bottles? If you'd said on your questionnaire that you don't use them anymore, but guests were saying, yes, they did, then Booking.com would have some system that would pick this up and they'd come back to you and go, oh, we've had a couple of reviews that say you're using single-use plastic, but you said you're not. Can you clarify? So they were checking what you were doing. And I think this whole fuss around. Their sustainability travel badge. The wording. The wording is only misleading when one person reads it differently from everybody else. And I think, you know, prior to that, it was fairly obvious to most people what it was.


Johnny Siberry (00:10:37) - Some people obviously read it differently and challenged it, and it goes before a board or a court and they decide it is misleading or not, and they have to change it. So they have changed it. But they do still have a tag on the hotel that says sustainability certification.


Ryan Haynes (00:10:52) - I mean, it's very it's very confusing, a lot of it. There's so much to it. I mean, in particular with this, our Booking.com, it's that the program gave a distorted view of hotels because Booking.com didn't necessarily provide green Leaves program green leaves designations. After all, some properties might be doing other sustainable practices that weren't recognized, which, you know, it just makes it a whole can of worms and so difficult to to, I guess, for the industry to come to some sort of standard at the moment. Now, Daniel, within across your properties, I mean, it's an area as well that I believe that you guys are looking at and providing some support with, you know, how important is it from a marketing standpoint point?


Daniel Simmons (00:11:35) - You know, it is so important, I think, with the new, travellers, the new generation, also with the corporates, you have to be seen, to be sustainable, friendly.


Daniel Simmons (00:11:47) - but you have to do it. Right so at hotel rates, when it comes to business travel, we're a member of the BTA, which is like the Business Travel Association so all hotels can join an organization. It's called green gauge with green gauge. That's kind of like an eco-smart, certification that you can carry out. And it's the most reasonable way, to do it. Once you've got that, you are allowed to display your award and your accreditation. And that showed on all the business travel agency screens. And I think it's important because once we've got a lot of clients, who are who have got that certification and you can actually put your rates up. So it's not a case of just the marketing and the exposure and also doing something back obviously, to the planet, but it's also a good way to increase your ADR and they went out to the corporates and this one client and they actually said if we spend this much to get this award and put all of the funds into it, will you pay an extra £1,020 per room night? And the corporates actually agreed and said it was.


Daniel Simmons (00:12:50) - Yeah, they would absolutely support it. And I think they're actually getting more market share because of it from those corporates the other thing as well is everyone wants to be cool, but we're actually going for B Corp at the moment and it's just so confusing and it takes ages. If you're thinking about going B Corp start the process now because it takes a long time. It does. But yeah, so important. And if you do it you have to do it right. So Booking.com obviously. Yeah, I think they've done it quite right.


Ryan Haynes (00:13:21) - I mean it's interesting because I've spoken to a number of different hoteliers now over the last couple of years looking at sustainability programmes. And we speak to eco-hotels as well. You know, there are specific channels and, and online travel agents or booking portals where you can specifically book sustainable hotels that have these sustainability programs. And it's great to obviously hear that that investment that hotels are making is perhaps turning into revenue at the same timetable.


Ryan Haynes (00:13:48) - You know, when you're looking at some of this sort of pricing, metrics of how you can really optimise that and the credentials of the hotel, how much are you seeing that impact? opportunity in the same way that Daniel has just spoken about?


Thibault Catala (00:14:03) - Well, my, myself, in terms of ROI, it's very hard to say exactly how much revenue we, we added because we added some certification on ESG but I was looking at some reports, in preparation for, for this call and I've seen some, some, some research based on simulation where they compare hotels with certification and hotels without certification and the way they marketed and they found out, an increase on, on the price where people are actually, showing the accreditation when it comes to ESG. They were showing a plus 14% increase in price just by displaying the ESG certification and actually a drop in price if you don't show it. So in a way, there is a clear ROI, on displaying your accreditation, on displaying what you do on ESG.


Thibault Catala (00:14:53) - And that's why I believe it's very important on your website to display what you do to communicate and to educate your guests in-house. But as well before the bookings and even after, at any touchpoint and is well very important for Booking.com or other OTA to find a way to display those kinds of metrics and accreditation because customers are looking for it. And if you look again back on the on those research, they are selling like, okay, price is the number one factor where people are looking when deciding different hotels. The second one is a cancellation policy, but the third, fourth and fifth ones are linked to ESG. We are talking about how between 11 to 12 to 13% influence the decision of the hotel when it comes to sustainability accreditation when it comes to sustainability resources and resource management, all of these are new criteria for guests. When they look, when they look for new bookings, it's just a matter of Booking.com to make sure that the KYC is done properly.


Thibault Catala (00:15:48) - And it's not just hotel owners or hotel managers to select a yes, I'm ESG certified, I'm doing great. And currently, that was the case. So it was hard to re-understand if they were really, sustainable or if we were just, a greenwashing marketing thing, you know what I mean? So that's why there's some work to be done here.


Ryan Haynes (00:16:08) - Excellent. Okay, so moving from an online travel agent to the world of online travel agents, a new record for marketing has spent, has been reached in 2023, a staggering $16.8 billion on sales and marketing last year by Expedia Group, Booking Holdings, Airbnb and Trip.com. Collectively, that's up in 2022. This is an incredible amount, really, of money that's being pumped in here this is just for the benefit of the brand. Is this for them trying to obviously win back the customers that they lost from the direct bookings that have been made during the pandemic? and what are the opportunities available for hoteliers? If I throw the question over to you Thibault.


Ryan Haynes (00:17:00) - you know, how much further, more, deeper pockets have they got and how much is that going to affect our hotels?


Thibault Catala (00:17:06) - I think it's, it's also a matter of, you know, they just assign a percentage of the revenue so it's not like that increasing or decreasing. It's just like, based on the forecast and based on the revenue, then they will convert that amount on marketing and same like again, we are going back to this conversation about OTA as a big bad boy. And we need to make sure we convert indirectly. But those guys actually making the work for us when it comes to marketing. So my recommendation when it comes to some hotels is to actually piggyback on this, piggyback on those guys spending billions on marketing for you, which is including into your, your 12, 13, 14, 15% commissions if you look at brands and you look at your net worth by channel, and if you add all the management fees, marketing fees and so on your net bar, on direct bookings, on website, direct bookings, website, is actually maybe lower than what you get from those guys because everything is including to your commissions.


Thibault Catala (00:18:02) - So I would say like, the rate for them is a continue investing on marketing. That's what their main strength is. And for the hotels. I believe we should piggyback on this.


Ryan Haynes (00:18:11) - I mean, you know when it comes to like these online portals, you know, they do spend a significant portion of their revenue, on marketing, Trip.com, for example, the spending was 26% of revenue in 2019, 21% in 22, and down to 20% in 2023. So they've actually decreased the amount. But obviously, as you say, their revenue has been going up Daniel, you know, you work with a number of soft brands as well. And there is that opportunity, to work with hoteliers to improve their visibility online. When you look at sort of that expenditure and how much revenue or, or percentage of revenue, how do you sort of provide that level of advice as to what is the right level of investment hotels should be making in their marketing channels?


Daniel Simmons (00:18:57) - I mean, I think all hotels want as much business as possible from their booking engines.


Daniel Simmons (00:19:02) - I mean, they want that to be the number one, channel. But it is I mean, it is difficult, especially when you read about how much these global brands are spending on marketing. And I think what's more worrying is these brands, these global experiences of Booking.com, it's so difficult to compete with them. So all the hotels have to make sure they have some meta, presence, whether it's with Trivago or Kayak or even TripAdvisor but you're always competing against all these big players, which is really hard. I mean, you can't go for the acquisition or the click scenario, but getting it all adds up. And then when it comes to your SEO and your web presence, I mean, so it's not just the cost of the actual booking through the websites, everything else you're doing on a digital basis when you look at the marketing spend that all these big players are spending. It's not just on their exposure getting first on the list when you go on the web, I think a lot of it is also the commissions that they're paying to their new B2B partners.


Daniel Simmons (00:20:05) - So of course, they started. It was all consumer business. But you know, now it's all, you know, all the partnerships they've got, with all the B2B players and that includes travel agents, corporations, self-booking tools so they're just getting bigger and bigger and a lot of that is to do with the amount they're spending.


Ryan Haynes (00:20:27) - Now, Johnny. I mean, how do you view it as a hotelier?


Johnny Siberry (00:20:34) - it used to be frustrating, but now we accept it as a nature of the beast, and it's just a part of doing business. But and I mean, these guys Tebow is absolutely right. They have a percentage of the revenue that they allocate to these marketing, activities. And if they weren't making the revenue then the spend would be less. But let's be honest, if there was no return on it, they wouldn't spend it. So clearly they're getting the return and therefore they're spending it and it just, snowballs from there.


Johnny Siberry (00:21:03) - They spend a bit more, they make more revenue. So they've got a bit more to spend. But I think it's also we got to look at. Where they're spending the money. And let's be honest, the biggest channel by far is Google. Google is cashing in on it as well. They know full well that the more they develop their marketing tools capabilities and algorithms, the more they can entice the channels to spend with them and they'll come up with new ideas. Let's go back years ago and the old-fashioned pay-per-click model that Google ads, and that was it. But now you've got a plethora of advertising mediums on Google with the pricing ads and all of these sorts of avenues. And of course, Google are developing these all the time, to get more money in the channels are spending it. And so we just think, you know, if you've got the budget, let you do it, you better at it than you'll ever be. So Nike sells out and we pay them enough commission.


Johnny Siberry (00:22:02) - So they need to spend it somewhere.


Ryan Haynes (00:22:04) - That's true. That's very true. Yes. Right. Okay. So, in February's edition, we looked at corporate and business travel and there have been some developments in that part of the industry. Amex GPT buys rival CW for $570 million. Absolutely incredible deal that's been made here. Daniel, I know this actually. I saw this pop up on one of your LinkedIn posts. So, obviously, it's an important development here for you in the industry. How are you viewing this?


Daniel Simmons (00:22:40) - I mean, we've got fantastic relationships with both TMCs and we kind of went through this before because I remember when I bought HRA and it was the case, the same kind of talk in the industry, and all the hoteliers and all the people that were in the program. So like, gathered together and the transition took years. So I think any transition with merging the two companies is going to take a while these big empty big these big TMCs, though, I mean, it's all to do with economies of scale.


Daniel Simmons (00:23:10) - They just want more and more clients. And I think this part, this, purchase is going to get them 4000 new clients. And then, of course, the more you get new clients, the more the cost is like scaled down, so you get higher levels of profitability. My only concern with the clients is just the buying power they're going to have, because it's just going to be I mean, they're just going to be the biggest TMC out there so when it comes to the RFP side of it, I think they can be a bit more demanding than they are already but we'll just have to watch this space. But I can understand why they've done it.


Johnny Siberry (00:23:46) - Daniel mentioned exactly that they bought Hog's back in 2018, and three years later in 2021, the Border agency and three years later, they've now bought out. You know, if they're not careful, they're going to become a monopoly and get told off by somebody. But you know who is left? There's BCD or Flight Center.


Johnny Siberry (00:24:03) - You know, they're much smaller players and they'll get swallowed up if they take their eye off the ball. So yeah, it's it's it's a big deal. I'm not as close to them as Daniel is. We deal more with the client who deals with the TMC than we do with the TMC ourselves. But yeah, it's becoming a big monster.


Thibault Catala (00:24:24) - I can confirm what you are saying, Daniel, and we are already seeing this kind of trend. Some companies during the RFP process are becoming much more demanding, and they impose their rules and this is non-negotiable. So everything is less available. And the first year ever. Maybe I mentioned this last time, but first year ever when I received some RFP for a bid of six years. So it was like, take it or leave it, that's for the next six years. All right. I don't know what's going to happen in six months. So six years I have no. It's even less. But now those companies are so big and so important that they dictate the rules and the dictate the market.


Daniel Simmons (00:25:00) - I'm just going to say those big tanks, they're very much like the top Nasdaq, the FTSE 100 companies. And they're actually, I think, travelling less, or staying less. So all these SME, small to medium-sized businesses are going more with like the travel parks and the Nathan's. And that's I think, where these big-term CEOs are a bit nervous with all these new players. So to increase their business and get these higher levels of profitability, I think they have to do it by taking over the other teams but yeah, it's it's a changing landscape all the time, as John says. Yeah. Who are they going to buy next?


Ryan Haynes (00:25:40) - this is why I have my expert panels come in here and give us the insider information, particularly on what's going on in the news. Thank you. You three, on that. We are going to be moving over to our lead topic today, Service and Delivery, where first we will have an interview with Harpreet Singh Saluja, the Director of Central Operations at AG Hotels just after this.


Ryan Haynes (00:26:06) - Travel Market Life is backed by Haynes MarComs, a B2B marketing communications PR consultancy specializing in the technology, travel, hospitality and property sectors. Create meaningful connections and visibility to grow Haynes MarComs' cuts through the noise to resonate with target buyers, decision-makers and influencers. From contextualizing your mission to positioning your value proposition, Haynes MarComs helps you address the issues that matter. Marketing, PR and social, build a profile, gain momentum, and shape strategy with Haynes MarComs.


Ryan Haynes (00:26:49) - Okay. Joining me now is Harpreet Singh Saluja, the Director of Central Operations at AG Hotels. Harpreet, thanks so much for sharing your insights here with us today as we discuss service and delivery I'd really like to tackle sort of what you're seeing and seeing happening, within the hotels and operations over the last few years and perhaps how that looks back on, maybe 10 or 20 years ago. What are the biggest challenges you're seeing in operations today?


Harpreet Singh Saluja (00:27:17) - I think the biggest challenge, compared to what, 10 to 20 years ago, more so now is, is the cost of living crisis where I think, it's impacting every single business and not just hospitality, but hospitality also because it's the people's industry.


Harpreet Singh Saluja (00:27:33) - and the biggest challenge, you see is to deliver the profit or bottom line and where you start cutting corners. I wouldn't say cutting corners, but operational efficiency is the right word you look at how you can, deliver the operations, i.e. your food delivery to your reception, delivery with less number of people. And then that's where it comes by multitasking your people. And I think multi-tasking is the word which been used quite often now in the industry and we see more so, with operations, you see challenges with people as well like the people aren't there after Brexit and Covid, the talent isn't there in the industry i.e your chefs are missing. So people are looking at how we cut down on, go down to a chef kitchens with, delivering food from frozen to cooked, which is a good quality food but without chefs. So these are some of the efficiencies driven. Whereas you see, a front office person now to, serve, checking in people serving on the bar and then after that, cooking, this frozen food as well.


Harpreet Singh Saluja (00:28:40) - So it's all all those things I've seen changing over the period.


Ryan Haynes (00:28:43) - Now that's absolutely fascinating. I mean, obviously to to see that people's roles have really become incredibly varied and really quite packed within a day that they have so many responsibilities to fulfil but now looking at guests' expectations, is that becoming more difficult to meet? how are you seeing those evolve?


Harpreet Singh Saluja (00:29:03) - Again, I'll give you an example and this is a very recent example. I was in Turkey and I could see, a resort full of so many employees serving so less people. Whereas if you were to, reverse that UK, you see a lot of guests with one single employee, serving, trying to serve all these people. So the expectation is there because people are paying, they want that service because hotels are meant to be a better space than your home. And if you're paying for the service and if you're not getting the service, the expected somewhere, people feel disappointed. So it's it's I would say it's kind of a necessity to stay in a hotel.


Harpreet Singh Saluja (00:29:44) - That's what people are staying and they're accepting the changes, because it is a limited service, food, limited service or limited service, or even if you were to stay in a four-star hotel, you are still getting a, you are you're not still getting that same level of service which you used to use to get. 10, 12, 20 years ago, which was still limited at that time, but now it's more limited, I think the guests have adapted to the changes in the market space they know it's expensive to stay in a hotel, but, they go with the expectation. Look, I, you can see from the review scores as well, they are not so bad these days. So, yeah, I think, guests have adapted to the market conditions. I would say.


Ryan Haynes (00:30:27) - Wow, that's what's really interesting that you actually see that play out in your guest reviews. Now when it comes to staffing, you mentioned this just to challenge that you've got around finding the right talent and having a big enough pool.


Ryan Haynes (00:30:38) - But when you do get new staff coming into the hospitality environment, how does their understanding of service and delivery sort of match or potentially jar with what guest expectations have?


Harpreet Singh Saluja (00:30:49) - So I think it again, boils down to the people you have in the leaders you have in your business, how they portray the business, how passionate they are nine over ten times. What happens is it's a knee-jerk reaction. If somebody is looking to leave, if they have this, you need to promote them. But are they ready to be leaders yet? It's the question you ask so, depends on what leadership team you create within the business, how passionate they are for the industry, and how passionate they are for delivering a good job. I think it's the culture within the business you create and that's how you see the recruits following the culture through, we have got multiple sites. We see a site which has a great leader, an employee who joins in at a very basic level, who has no knowledge, can who can become a great, asset to the business.


Harpreet Singh Saluja (00:31:39) - And whereas if you see a wrong leader and you even if you were to give them a right candidate who has got all the right attitude to learn but is not able is not being trained properly, you lose that asset as well. So it's pretty much dependent on the business leaders you have in your business.


Ryan Haynes (00:31:57) - I mean, I was just reading an article the other day that we're seeing a lot more people entering into leadership roles who are too junior for those roles, but they've got no one else to turn to. What would you see as the best way, if you are in that situation, that you can train staff most effectively or identify the right people who perhaps have the leadership capabilities, but don't necessarily have the level of experience to execute that well?


Harpreet Singh Saluja (00:32:24) - I think there is a lot of support available, which as a business, we are, we are, we are turning to as well, the government is doing this apprenticeship scheme level in levels. So we have, I think, signed up a lot of our junior leaders into those leadership management courses, which I learned personally in my earlier career.


Harpreet Singh Saluja (00:32:43) - those courses do help, offsite training to help, giving them the right support. Plus, we are building up our own LMS platform as well, which is, a backup tool. So if somebody wants to learn how to check in a guest, we have a video available for someone to go and check it understand that video? Because the younger generation does tend to, be more digital these days. So I think adapting to market changes as well. We are developing an online platform now.


Ryan Haynes (00:33:12) - what about your wish list then, to make operations easier?, what would it be to, to, to really sort of like bring and deliver that change you need in guest services and, providing efficient operations within the hotel?


Harpreet Singh Saluja (00:33:25) - I think the ultimate wish list for any operator would be the stigma, which is that hospitality is not the greatest career. So I think promoting hospitality in a much brighter light, within I think the UK would be, would be our Europe would be a greater thing.


Harpreet Singh Saluja (00:33:43) - that would be my first thing. And the second thing is, is I think the owners who are buying hotels and, looking at purchasing hotels as a business, I think they should think hospitality is still the core of hotels, not just an asset where they just buy it and, squeeze every, every single penny out of it. Because hospitality was meant to be a great, service industry rather than just a moneymaking business. And, I think, looking at, some leaders in the business, like what you are doing as well is promoting hospitality via your platforms, having some more people, coming in and promoting hospitality in a greater light. I think that would help the industry immensely.


Ryan Haynes (00:34:26) - If I can just go back to what you were saying about apprenticeships. I've been speaking to quite a few people across the travel and hospitality industry over the last few months, and there is a lot more focus on apprenticeships obviously we've seen an explosion in the number of people going to university, but is that actually delivering the level of experience and knowledge that's required to work in hotels? Apprenticeships are giving that sort of very practical, on-the-ground experience at the same time that's supported by the government.


Ryan Haynes (00:34:56) - are you seeing that there's more acceptance and understanding that, that apprenticeships now are part of, of the industry? Was that something that was lost for a while?


Harpreet Singh Saluja (00:35:06) - I 100% agree. I think it's becoming more and more part of the industry now because of the way it's been funded, and B, the government is trying to support the industry one way or the other. So I think it's becoming more and more part of the, hospitality as we go along.


Ryan Haynes (00:35:24) - Excellent. Harpreet, thank you so much for joining us today.


Harpreet Singh Saluja (00:35:28) - Lovely. Thank you very much.


Ryan Haynes (00:35:29) - So that was Harpreet Singh Saluja, the director of central operations at AG Hotels I mean, he gave some great insight as to, as a portfolio prop company, you know, some of the challenges that they're facing there Jonny, I know that this was a particular topic of interest to you to to want to sort of explore that little bit further, you know, how does that sort of resonate with some of the experiences that you're having there at hotel Group and how you're addressing, those challenges?


Johnny Siberry (00:35:58) - Yeah.


Johnny Siberry (00:35:59) - Thanks, Ryan. Harpreet definitely hit the nail on the head on a few of the keywords you mentioned there, such as talent. Finding the right talent for the right roles is incredibly difficult. Multi-skilling is becoming a necessity now where people are able to move from one area, one department to another and just diversify the roles and lead by example as well. You need management who can do the job not sitting in the office and bark at other people and telling them to do the job. You need to show them how to do it and demonstrate what is the level of service expected for the, you know, the style of property that you're running. But recruitment at the moment is still a big problem. It's it's better than it was 18 months ago, but it's still very different. Google to recruit people even getting applications in when you post job ads now is it's just heartbreaking. And the kind of responses you get are just so unsuitable for the roles that you're advertising. So, getting people who are.


Johnny Siberry (00:37:05) - Actually interested in doing the job is, you know, priority number one, not necessarily experience because you can get experience and still be rubbish at the job. Yeah. We want people who can actually demonstrate that they can do the job are interested in doing the job and enjoy delivering the service. So yeah talent skilling and just leading by example. I think that's the key. The three key areas to become successful.


Ryan Haynes (00:37:30) - I mean what I'm getting on getting through all these conversations that I'm having and the challenges in recruitment and finding the right people and having the right structures, is this culture that hospitality needs a complete rebrand. There needs to be a lot more sort of drive around, sort of exciting people to see the opportunities available within hospitality because of the way that it was squashed during the pandemic. It was almost like that was just a full stop for so much of the industry and so many people. I mean, you're struggling to get chefs in restaurants, you know, where's the pride gone? And do you feel jolly that that potentially comes down, that there are too many investors in the industry now and not enough, independent owners who are actually taking, you know, who are highly regarded the profession of the industry?


Johnny Siberry (00:38:21) - I don't know, Ryan. I've never really considered that angle of it. But whether it's, you know, an independently owned or it's, corporation owned or investor-owned or however, at the end of the day, there's still a GM in the hotel who has to run that business, and he has to recruit, or she, sorry, he or she has to recruit, his chefs and so on and if the chefs aren't there to apply for the jobs and not there to apply for the jobs, it doesn't matter who owns the building. At the end of the day, they just all vanished in lockdown. I don't know where they went. They just everybody vanished. I think they're all doing Amazon deliveries now or something like that, I don't know, but.


Thibault Catala (00:39:00) - I believe the issue we are talking about right now, it's something we as an industry, created in the first place. You know, it's the same it's the same situation when people were complaining about Uber, disrupting the taxi industry.


Thibault Catala (00:39:15) - but people say, yes, they are stealing jobs in, for taxi drivers and so on. But you should see, like taxi drivers or they were treating people in the first place in Paris or London. They were like, they were dictating everything, and they were kind of, asking to be disrupted in the first place. And I believe the auto industry was the same as we didn't come, some industry like, has a whole again, I'm not pointing fingers at anyone but they didn't care much about exactly what you mentioned. Chefs being barked at or like, saying like, okay, you, you, you don't know how to handle like a plate and so on. And you go out. So people have started to be it was an industry that needs to be disrupted and now we're seeing oh yeah, but where are they gone?, they don't want to waste the pride. Where, when? So on. But we created this kind of situation in the first place, you know what I mean? And now we are back at it saying, like we should have cared about, maybe work life balance in the first place to make the industry actually as attractive as possible, in the first place.


Thibault Catala (00:40:10) - And I believe this kind of trend or only focusing on investment, only focusing on making money and reducing the cost, then we have asked to be we have been, we have been asking the industry to be disrupted. So now we are back and we should find the right balance between ROI, data driven tech and so on, but as well human to human connection and taking care of your employees and making the industry great. Again, I sounds like Trump, but making sure we we need to to find some exciting ways to motivate new students and employees to go back in the industry.


Ryan Haynes (00:40:43) - Excellent. Now I mean I can McKinsey article very interestingly. I don't think they've quite got the gist of the problem but their solution is assume the role of chief culture officer hire for personalities, not resumes. If you've got actually people who are, applying for these roles, invest in celebrating and rewarding employees. Enable distinctive customer experience. Empower staff to gain knowledge of customer preferences if they have the time for the learning and development programs for that trust.


Ryan Haynes (00:41:10) - Staff with budget, especially with rectifying missteps. If again, you know, you have your time to to to to train them regularly and reinvent the customer experience, go to extra lengths to create unique memories. Again, you know, huge amount of investment in training and development and and having the right people on site and manage performance without skimping on quality. You know, a great blueprint. Thank you. McKinsey. But, I think until you're actually working in a hotel, a lot of those things seem nearly impossible. Right? Coming up next, we're going to be, having conversations with the sponsors of IHTF, the International Hotel Technology Forum.


Ryan Haynes (00:41:53) - Joining me now is Philip von divert, the co-founder of Apple CEO. Philip, thanks so much for joining us you just announced the rollout of Apple as a mass migration and deployment within citizen M. What was so unique about this news? I think it.


Philip von Ditfurth (00:42:08) - Was one of our biggest rollouts. It spanned over 34 hotels, which had to be migrated across three continents, more than ten countries and and more than 20 cities.


Philip von Ditfurth (00:42:21) - Citizen M is well known for its advanced use of technology, coming from various suppliers and comprising many components that were built in-house. So it was also quite a quite a good and complex project. It was also the intention to to run it as a perfectly orchestrated migration of a full technology stack, which should happen at an incredible pace. So, it led to a program which. Was running at an incredible speed. We switched the whole portfolio in less than ten weeks, so at the speed the industry had not seen before, and at the same time it was as intended and a structured exercise, pretty risk free. It went very smooth. And yeah, some might even call it a dull exercise at the end. So it really went very well. And that what made this whole program very unique.


Ryan Haynes (00:43:23) - Fantastic. That's great to hear. Now you're also going to be a sponsor for the International Hotel Technology Forum this year, and you're going to be doing a fireside with citizen M. Why is this going to be such an important conversation for the hoteliers attending?


Philip von Ditfurth (00:43:39) - You know, there's still such an anxiety when it comes to to the change of important pieces in the hotel chains.


Philip von Ditfurth (00:43:45) - Tech stack. Many larger chains still claim that they are almost not able to change their property management, and we want to show that it is possible and that it can be a well-managed and well-executed exercise. And this is why we will explain what are the most important pieces in the setup and the preparation of such a program, and how it can be run very smoothly. So we will we will touch on all those important aspects of a large program, mainly to show larger hotel chains that such a program is doable and that it can be successful and very fast at the same time.


Ryan Haynes (00:44:31) - So a first-hand user account experience account, or someone who's been through that before, how should hoteliers be thinking differently about their tech stack today?


Philip von Ditfurth (00:44:40) - I think the main mind shift is to move away from closed systems to real open platform approaches. Like Apple with its API-first platform architecture, it allows us to be way more flexible in the setup and the maintenance of breadcrumbs. Tech stack. On the other side, property management should be focused on transactions, reservations, and payments, and maybe not so much on other domains like sales and catering and profile management.


Philip von Ditfurth (00:45:10) - So in essence, sometimes to do less is better. But then assemble the tech stack with a platform and best-of-breed applications. And this is also a story we will touch on during our fireside chat.


Ryan Haynes (00:45:25) - Now, this isn't your first time at ICF the Apple team have attended before. What value does your business get from being at the event and sponsoring?


Philip von Ditfurth (00:45:37) - What we highly appreciate, first of all, is the very strict focus on hotel tech. So it's it's not a generic hospitality talk. It's all about hospitality tech and the way it is organized with pre-selected and organized meetings. So you know exactly whom you can talk to, what the parties are a little bit. Also, get an idea of their main areas of interest. And this is where we get the most value out of ICF. And finally, the panels which are organized and the sessions in between all the content which is presented are again very focused and typically highlight some new developments in hotel tech. And so every ETF is also a good learning event for the participants.


Philip von Ditfurth (00:46:36) - As well as those who kind of engage in the event.


Ryan Haynes (00:46:43) - Excellent, Philip, thank you very much. I look forward to meeting you and spending some time with you in person in Barcelona at the HDF this year.


Philip von Ditfurth (00:46:51) - Looking forward to it. Thank you very much for having me here.


Ryan Haynes (00:46:54) - Joining me on the line now is another one of our sponsors for IGF, Carlos Calvo, the head of sales at Proposales. Carlos, thanks ever so much for joining us today. So when it comes to the topic that you're going to be presenting at IGF, you're going to be looking at modernizing bookings for groups and Mice business. Tell us a little bit more about that.


Carlos Calvo (00:47:15) - Well. Hi Ryan, thank you for sharing this time with me and letting me explain more about it. So yes, what we do at proposals is that we modernize, the booking experience for groups and mice I can tell you that this tool is really interesting. I started three weeks ago in this company before. I've also worked in the hotel side, especially in the sales and mice department.


Carlos Calvo (00:47:40) - So I can only say one thing. I would have loved to have this tool when I was working in hotels because it would optimize so much time and it would leave me time to do other things that are really interesting also in the department, so I can win a lot of time with this tool.


Ryan Haynes (00:47:57) - Excellent. Wonderful. I mean, coming from that hotelier experience, you really get a good understanding of some of the challenges of digitalizing many aspects within the hotel why is it that Proper Sales is attending and sponsoring IGF?


Carlos Calvo (00:48:11) - Well, we think that it's a great forum to meet with hoteliers. In the end, we believe that what we have right now is not the feeling that we're receiving right now is a lot of requests and leads, and our clients are coming mainly from top accounts. So I think it's the time also to meet with the C-level people from the top accounts, so we can also introduce them to what their hotels are doing right now. It's working with proposals, and we want to have the chance to also meet with them.


Ryan Haynes (00:48:44) - I mean, it's a hosted buyer event and you actually have time, 30 minutes or so to spend with buyers 1 to 1 meeting. What is the value you get from these types of events compared to Tradeshows and other types of conferences?


Carlos Calvo (00:49:00) - I mean, I think that is something amazing to have the chance to speak to those hoteliers and get to explain a bit more. And also, as I said, know those C-level people, who are working at a top account that is our main target at this moment, as we do have integration with Opera Cloud in this sense, in two-way integration. We know that many of the top accounts also are working with the upper cloud. So we want to have the chance to meet them. As I said before, you know, many of those hotels of those main accounts are requesting leave from us. And I think it's really interesting that we that they get to know us also a bit more from the headquarters and explain them about us.


Ryan Haynes (00:49:48) - I mean, we've been fortunate enough to interview your colleague Joost in the past about proper sales and its position in the market, and particularly about the growth in group and mice bookings. And when it comes to hoteliers looking at their digitalisation strategies and their tech stack and incorporating something like proper sales, what is it that they should be thinking about in that journey?


Carlos Calvo (00:50:12) - Really should be thinking first of all and optimizing time, not what we know and what we've seen. And also, again, based on my experience when I was a hotel here, is that you optimize a lot of time. I mean, right now we know that hotels are really struggling with a people know that they have in their team. So we need to help them know. And I think that we've been many years sending PDF, and I think it's time to modernize the way that we send proposals now and with proposals, we are helping them a lot to optimize that time.


Ryan Haynes (00:50:48) - Excellent, Carlos, I look forward to meet you in person and having a proper conversation in Barcelona.


Carlos Calvo (00:50:53) - Oh me too Ryan, it will be great to meet you there.


Ryan Haynes (00:50:56) - Joining me now is Carsten Wernet, the Chief Executive of SIHOT, which is also sponsoring the IHTF. Hi, this is Carsten. Thanks ever so much for joining me today. So the subject of your presentation is digitalization. Why is it such an important topic for hotels still?


Carsten Wernet (00:51:14) - So basically, even while during the pandemic, the industry has got a big push into digitalization. So a lot of our customers, like struggling with that digitalization strategy because it still seems to be complex. And then they don't have a lot of IT skills in general. And while big players in the industry, use consulting firms or basically have a master of it stuff internal, to define their strategy, I argue that smaller players and even individual hotels should not feel the digitalization or a digitalization project. And this is really what I will explain and why and how they can thrive in this direction.


Ryan Haynes (00:51:59) - No, I mean, it's not an overnight success.


Ryan Haynes (00:52:01) - You're not just going to switch and you're going to be there, arriving at, the world new world of digital, digital, digital hotel. So, what is a journey like for hotels and how have they successfully gone about achieving, that digitalization, strategy within their properties?


Carsten Wernet (00:52:18) - Look, I guess basically digitalization can be at various levels and you can look into all aspects of a hotel where you can use digitalization. And we have a lot long history and work with a lot of customers and also with the big players and implemented a lot of strategies in terms of back office automation, and others. And that's really what we take to the next level and help even the smaller customers to participate on that.


Ryan Haynes (00:52:52) - It's been in the market for over 35 years as a property management system, how do you differ from some of the new players that are coming into the marketplace?


Carsten Wernet (00:53:02) - and a lot of faces I think we are like one of the most complete suites.


Carsten Wernet (00:53:12) - if it comes to like, capabilities, function sets so we have a very functional, rich, product. Being really. Coming through a long evolution. I'd say we served markets from, city properties to leisure properties in a lot of countries. Big and small I think that is really the thing we are, we have a wide range of capabilities. And adaptability, I think.


Ryan Haynes (00:53:53) - And when it comes to hotels looking at streamlining their IT, what are the opportunities to drive those greater efficiencies?


Carsten Wernet (00:54:02) - So can you say that again?


Ryan Haynes (00:54:04) - For hotels looking to streamline their it? Where are the opportunities for them to drive greater efficiencies?


Carsten Wernet (00:54:13) - Yeah. Like I was saying there, there are a lot of areas that that they can, can thrive. And. Like I was mentioning the the automation of back office systems already, and, maybe I should give that more of an example take an example of the booking engine of model one that's not a sealed product.


Carsten Wernet (00:54:33) - it's a third-party product that is, integrated using our APIs and there is a payment capability inside of the booking engine. And some of the aspects that I think about digitalization is like a lot of, taking off the repetitive tasks from the customers. And one of the things that you can do to really drive your efficiency is like, make your back office and accounting operations more efficient. And coming back to my example. We basically received the payments. We automate the invoice process so that the the customer gets this invoice immediately from the PMS where the invoice should come from but we're also receiving all of the references from the payments into the PMS. That in turn, is then provided in the accounting data feeds that go into the accounting software, and that is then automatically matched with the extracts that are coming from the PSP, like the payment service provider. And there is a lot of repetitive, boring tasks you can automate and reduce to so that you can actually really value, your guests more and be a good host.


Ryan Haynes (00:55:57) - Excellent. Thank you very much. Now, you're attending IHTF. You are a regular attendee there and a sponsor. What value do you get from the event?


Carsten Wernet (00:56:07) - look, I think we're not alone in the industry. We're not alone in the world and so I like going to him because it's a great possibility to talk to our partners, connect with new ones but of course, also talk to hoteliers interested in it and find new trends and capabilities innovation comes never from the internal. So therefore conferences like IGF, I create value to get new ideas and inspiration.


Ryan Haynes (00:56:41) - Excellent. Carsten, thank you so much for joining me today.


Carsten Wernet (00:56:45) - Not a problem. Thank you for having me.


Ryan Haynes (00:56:51) - So, Johnny, we've just heard from our sponsors that, for the ITF, you're going to be there again. And obviously, we see each other every year at these events. What are you particularly looking forward to?


Johnny Siberry (00:57:05) - Same thing every year. Really?


Johnny Siberry (00:57:07) - It's my ninth time of the year. Would it be my 11th? but something got in the way for a couple of years the things I really look forward to are catching up with acquaintances and colleagues and friends from around the industry, around the world you don't get to see very often and also catching up with what's changed, what's developed, what's new, what's the buzz word in, you know, technology for our industry and moving forward. Where should we be focusing our energies and our efforts and our investment on that side of the equation? So it's it's yeah, it's a great it's a social event, but it's also a business event. And, it's a good couple of days out and you need a little holiday when you get back. But, I'm really looking forward to it. It's going to be a good event this year, I think.


Ryan Haynes (00:57:52) - Yeah. I mean, let's put people in a picture just to give people an idea of what we're actually talking about here.


Ryan Haynes (00:57:57) - So, the IHF is held in different cities this year. It's in Barcelona. It's a two and a half day programme, of which it's full of presentations from hoteliers and sponsors, looking at developments and case studies and success stories of the way they've used technology and digitalized parts of their operations, marketing and distribution. And then in between there's about an hour and a half, about 3 or 4 times 3 or 4 hour and a half sessions throughout the day with business meetings, which lasts 30 minutes and a hotelier is matched with a sponsor. And now, Gianni, you know, whatever you get from sitting down for 30 minutes or with some of these sponsors.


Johnny Siberry (00:58:35) - Had quite a few eye-opening moments, with these, these, sponsors at the events where they tell you about the products that they're developing and they're offering, and you sit there and go, oh my God, why have I never heard of this before? Or have you got to, you know, I don't want to buy what I want to, but I can go to this event and I've got a room with, I don't know how many are there, 50 or 60 tables at least.


Johnny Siberry (00:59:02) - And for sure, you're going to meet somebody at that event who's got a product and probably a couple of people who've got a product or a solution that is right for your business and, and you develop a relationship from there.


Ryan Haynes (00:59:12) - Right then we have come to the end of our feature focuses now, and we're going to be moving on to the quick quiz. Gentlemen, do you have your buzzers at the ready?


Ryan Haynes (00:59:30) - Okay, so we are back for the quick quiz. Best of five, where our panellists are challenged on their industry knowledge. A must-have in any hotel room. This is. This in-room feature was only first installed in 1974. What is it? Yes, Thibault?


Thibault Catala (00:59:47) - A phone?


Ryan Haynes (00:59:49) - Phone? No. Johnny.


Johnny Siberry (00:59:52) - Remote control color TV.


Ryan Haynes (00:59:54) - 1974. No. Daniel?


Daniel Simmons (00:59:59) - Was that a trouser press?


Ryan Haynes (01:00:01) - Oh, you guys are absolute rubbish, aren't you? The hotel minibar.


Ryan Haynes (01:00:08) - Okay, moving on to the next question. Now there are some of these questions that are a bit leftfield today.


Ryan Haynes (01:00:13) - I was obviously in a funny mood when I was coming up with them. Right. Are we ready? Number two. What famous line did Greta Garbo utter in the 1932 MGM film Grand Hotel?


Johnny Siberry (01:00:30) - Oh.


Johnny Siberry (01:00:34) - Have him washed and sent to my room.


Daniel Simmons (01:00:38) - Sorry, I haven't got a clue.


Ryan Haynes (01:00:44) - I want to be alone.


Johnny Siberry (01:00:49) - Oh, complete opposite.


Ryan Haynes (01:00:50) - Yeah. Yeah, yeah next question.


Ryan Haynes (01:00:53) - Consisting of 5005 rooms. Which Las Vegas hotel was the world's largest when it opened in November 1993?


Daniel Simmons (01:01:06) - It's that?


Ryan Haynes (01:01:07) - Oh, yes. Daniel.


Daniel Simmons (01:01:10) - Was it Caesars Palace?


Ryan Haynes (01:01:13) - No.


Ryan Haynes (01:01:16) - Who? Johnny.


Johnny Siberry (01:01:17) - Bellagio. Bellagio.


Ryan Haynes (01:01:20) - No, no.


Thibault Catala (01:01:23) - MGM. You just mentioned.


Ryan Haynes (01:01:25) - MGM. Oh, MGM. Well done.


Ryan Haynes (01:01:31) - Thibault on 1.0 to the others. Right. Next one. Okay, let's see if you get this one. How many houses do you need to build a property before you may buy a hotel? In the UK and US versions of the board game monopoly.


Ryan Haynes (01:01:50) - How many? 


Thibault Catala (01:01:52) - Four.


Ryan Haynes (01:01:54) - Yes. Four. Two to Thibault. Oh, done. Go on. Is he gonna storm through now?.


Ryan Haynes (01:02:01) - Right. Next. And last question. Which group had a massive late 1976 hit with their release of Hotel California? Daniel?


Daniel Simmons (01:02:13) - Was it the Beach Boys?


Ryan Haynes (01:02:21) - No.


Daniel Simmons (01:02:22) - No, no. I'm terrible at this. Sorry.


Ryan Haynes (01:02:27) - Johnny. Okay.


Johnny Siberry (01:02:29) - I don't think it's coming from his hotel California.


Daniel Simmons (01:02:32) - No.


Ryan Haynes (01:02:38) - No, it was the Eagles.


Ryan Haynes (01:02:45) - Classic tune. All right, so industry questions don't really get you any points. And nor do these random cultural questions to do with hotels either. So, I hope you guys at home have been listening in and won many more points than our three experts who have perhaps just proven they're not quite as expert as I'd hoped but Johnny, Thibault, and Daniel, thank you ever so much for joining us today for the April edition of the Hospitality Review Show.


Johnny Siberry (01:03:14) - Thank you guys. Great to see you again and look forward to next time.


Ryan Haynes (01:03:18) - Thanks ever so much for listening in to the Hospitality Review Show here on Travel Market Life. Please check out more of our episodes that are coming soon, as well as our Hoteliers' Voice season four thanks. Listening. I'm your host, Ryan Haynes.

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