Organized by international conference producer Questex Hospitality Group, the Hotel Management Thailand Summit (HMT) welcomed over 30 international speakers and 150 delegates at the Banyan Tree Bangkok.
High caliber senior hoteliers gathered for the executive discussion on “Hotel Group Consolidations are Beneficial to Healthy Growth of the Industry” moderated by Bruno Huber, vice president operations Asia of Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts.
On the challenge of whether hoteliers are losing in the distribution game, Jonathan Wigley, founder and CEO of Absolute Hotel Services said, “If brand.com is going to battle against the OTAs, then we are going to lose. I would not advocate anyone to invest in or purchase distribution systems. Use licensed ones,” he continued.
Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor Hotel Group concurred: “You can buy technology, built it or partner with someone. Buying is expensive. Building is risky and a never-ending process,” he said to the attentive audience. But for Nicholas Clayton, hospitality advisor of Pontiac Land Group, the core business of hotels is managing channels rather distribution.” It’s about managing the profit,” he claimed.
Huber raised the issue of the mergers between Marriott and Starwood as well as between Accor and Fairmont Raffles. According to Huber, 35% of the hotel room inventory in Bangkok will be under the management of the combined Marriott and Starwood, for instance, which could provide significant pricing power. But for Rajakarier, deals are all about profit and return on assets of the hotel groups. “The room inventory is owned by different owners who will pressure the combined Marriott-Starwood. It will be a brand stretch and giving owners the facetime and making everyone happy will be the issue.”
But for Clayton, it’s a wait-and-see moment. “We shall see what value will be created. Success depends on the team at the hotel. The corporate helps group companies, flags, locations and building brands.”
The issue at heart, according to Symon Bridle, Roosewood Hotel Group’s chief operating officer is on how much a fair deal customers will get out of the mergers because pricing will work itself out. “Guests will get a much more genuine perception from smaller hotel groups because of the perception of big hotel groups being together [when pricing hotel rooms],” he declared.
“More mergers; better for small hotel groups,” agreed Wigley. “Mergers were done as business decisions for shareholders, not for customers or staff. Look at what big companies don’t do well and make that your strength.”
Other topics covered in the conference included “Seeking Business Growth to Boost Operational Performance,” “Boosting Revenue Streams Amidst Shifting Demographics and Disruptions,” and “Successfully Managing Yields Under the New Norm of Rate Imparity.”
“Spending time at the conference gives you ideas and different thinking so you can open your mind to possibilities that you might not see every day,” said Wayne Buckingham, senior vice president, Asia Pacific of FRHI Hotels and Resorts.
The next Hotel Management Asia Summit Series conference will be on 8 September 2016. The Hotel Management Asia Summit will be co-located with the Hotel Technology Conference, serving a total of 300 senior hoteliers covering topics from productivity to value proposition, from finance to food and beverages, and from existing technologies to pioneering systems. For more information, please visit: http:www.questevents.net/hmassummit