Six Potential Challenges and Growth Opportunities in the Hotel Industry
By Stephen J. Renard President, Renard International Hospitality Search Consultants | September 24, 2017
A panel moderated by PwC's Scott D. Berman; Chris Cahill, CEO, Luxury Brands, AccorHotels; Steve Haggerty, Global Head of Capital Strategy, Franchising, Hyatt Hotels Corporation; Kevin J. Jacobs, EVP & CFO, Hilton; Elie Maalouf, CEO, The Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group, and Mit Shah, CEO, Noble Investment Group discussed the industry's growth potential as it related to geopolitical and economic shifts. Most have seen, and believe they will continue to see, moderate growth.
What do three hoteliers and the head of an OTA talk about over coffee? Plenty! Sebastien Bazin, Chairman & CEO of AccorHotels; Mark Hoplamazian, President & CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation; Jonathan Tisch, Chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels & Company; and Dara Khosrowshah, President and CEO of Expedia, took a break from the event's main boxing ring to sound off on the big issues affecting the hospitality and travel industries.
Here are six notable insights I took away from the CEOs.
Guests Have Changed
Today's travelers have to deal with ever-changing factors from online review
sites to fears of terrorist strikes in major cities. Bazin, whose
AccorHotels saw revenue fall after two attacks in France last year, noted
that safety concerns don't seem to affect people's' desire to travel, but
does affect where they go. "They go elsewhere," he said. "All the traffic we
didn't get in France for the past 12 months went to Spain, Northern Europe,
Amsterdam and London." And then there's the internet, with sites like Yelp
and Travelocity offering reviews of everything from restaurants to hotels.
"User-generated content is now like word-of-mouth on steroids," Khosrowshahi
said. This can sometimes be bad, he said, but transparency can also be
beneficial. "You have more choice than you ever had, and you have more
information." But, he acknowledged, with increased choice comes some pricing
pressure. "From an industry challenge perspective, there will be pricing
challenges," he said. "But usually, lower prices spur demand, and I think
you're seeing that happen.
So Has Their Spending