Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. van Santen

Riko van Santen

Vice President Electronic Distribution, Louvre Hotels Group

Riko van Santen graduated with an honours degree in Hospitality Management from Middlesex University, London, and also holds a degree in Japanese business studies and various software administration qualifications. Following experience in various rooms division and revenue management functions at luxury properties, Mr. van Santen joined Pegasus Solutions/Utell in 2000 as Group Revenue Manager. In 2003 he was appointed Director of Electronic Distribution and by 2007 V.P. of Electronic Distribution & ICT for the Golden Tulip TOP Hospitality Group. Currently based at Louvre Hotels Group's headquarters in Paris, Mr. van Santen architects the group's distribution and e-commerce across 6 brands, ranging from 1 star to 5 star properties. The group's Central Reservations System Goldres was among the first hotel reservations system worldwide to achieve full NGS Connectivity, Total Pricing and BAR functionalities. Golden Tulip's award winning website was the first hotel brand website to use RSS technology, Mobile-Device distribution, Facebook API, online guest reviews (UGC) and multi lingual Online Distribution Database usage worldwide. Mr. van Santen specializes in delivering evolving competitive hospitality distribution solutions with fast-to-market, cost effective deployment. Experience also includes the RFP, procuring and deployment of 3rd party cloud based systems such as Revenue Management Systems, Rate Trackers, Commission Processing Systems, multi-chain electronic RFP solutions, POS, ERP and Property Management Systems. Property systems consolidated towards “cloud” solutions include mail Server, payroll Server, POS server, PMS server consolidation as well as cross border VOIP and complex IPVPN rollouts internationally. Mr. van Santen lectures at various hotel schools and global industry events on Distribution trends and Revenue Management, and holds seats on: HTNG Board of Directors (current Vice Presidency), HFTP EHTEC Advisory Council, Pegasus Solutions Customer Advisory Board. A Dutch national, Mr. van Santen was born in Tokyo and having lived over 20 years abroad, currently resides in Paris, France with wife Christel and their two sons.

Mr. van Santen can be contacted at 33-1-42.91-4740 or rvansanten@louvre-hotels.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.