Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Pfister

Hans Pfister

Owner, Cayuga Collection

In 1994, Hans Pfister and Andrea Bonilla created Cayuga Hospitality with the goal to blend true luxury travel with practices that are both environmentally friendly and beneficial to the local communities. A graduate of the Cornell University Hotel School and dedicated ecotourism professional, Mr. Pfister manages eight award-winning, sustainable luxury hotels in Costa Rica, Panama & Nicaragua.

They are all tucked away in the most incredible corners, committed to protect and preserve the communities and ecosystems that surround them. What really makes them unique is their mission to achieve the ultimate symbiosis of sustainability and luxury. Many companies across the world do luxury hospitality well. Some are great at sustainability. But Cayuga Hospitality pulls off the perfect synergy between the two. At all of Cayuga's properties, a complimentary back of the house tour is offered to give guests a true behind-the-scenes look at their sustainable operations.

Their teams of over 450 staff, including top management, are entirely local and they always offer career paths for line-level employees to work their way up the ranks. All Cayuga properties have a strong focus on local and collectively protect over 1500 acres of rainforest. 

Under Mr. Pfister's direction, the luxury hospitality group has earned various awards and recognition including a National Geographic World Legacy Award in 2017, a Travel + Leisure Global Vision Award, two Conde Nast Traveler World Saver Awards for Small Hotel Chains and also for Poverty Relief Efforts and was also winner in the Americas in the 2019 Green Hotelier Awards. In addition to the many awards, one of the Collection's esteemed properties is also a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, and another has been accepted into Virtuoso®'s exclusive portfolio of luxury travel partners.  

Please visit http://www.cayugacollection.com for more information.

Mr. Pfister can be contacted at +506 40400430 or hans@cayugaonline.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.