Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gunewardane

Ranjit Gunewardane

Vice President, Hotel Solutions Partnership

Ranjit Gunewardane Vice President of Hotel Solutions Partnership.  He brings unique cross border experience and a broad range of multi-disciplinary skills to play in advising clients on all aspects of Hotel Systems Automation and Digital Transformation.

With over 35 years of experience as an hotelier, Mr. Gunewardane has worked with luxury hotel brands InterContinental Hotels Group and Kempinski developing designs for luxury hotels and Royal Guest Palaces in Asia, Middle East and Africa, through innovation, creativity and change. He has worked with passion and flare throughout his 35 years' experience in the hotel industry, whether as Area Director of Engineering, Middle East and Africa with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) or Executive Director of Engineering with Kempinski. While responsible for the Facility Management activities of 64 IHG-managed hotels and eight Royal Guest Palaces in the Middle East and Africa region, he ensured the efficient operation and maintenance of the assets by applying state-of-the art Planned Preventive Maintenance programs and providing exceptional guidance on standards of Fire and Life Safety. The benefits of a detailed, comprehensive Energy Management and Conservation program implemented in all properties were many and included commendable savings, reduced capital costs from economies of scale, and increased environmental benefits.

He was registered a Chartered Engineer by The Engineering Council, United Kingdom in July 1989, and thereafter made a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, United Kingdom in October 1999 (C.Eng.F.I.Mech.E). He is an active member of the Construction Specification Institute, USA, American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, USA, National Fire Protection Association, USA, and the Association of Energy Engineers, USA.

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

Mr. Gunewardane can be contacted at +1 617-595-3114 or ranjitgunewardane@hotelsolutionspartnership.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.