Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Houdre

Herve Houdre

Regional Director of Operations & General Manager, Intercontinental New York Barclay

One of Europe and America's most respected hoteliers, Herve Houdre began his tenure as Regional Director of Operations and General Manager of the InterContinental New York Barclay in October of 2009. Prior to this, he held the position of General Manager of the Willard InterContinental Washington D.C. since 2004. Before coming to the United States Mr.Houdre was Chief Operating Officer of Kempinski Hotels & resorts and General Manager of famed Parisian hotels, the Plaza Athenee and the Hotel de Crillon. Mr. Houdre was named "2006 Independent Hotelier of the World" by HOTELS magazine. He serves on the Boards and Executive Committees of the NYC Hotel Association and NYC & Company (Convention & Visitors Bureau) as well as on the Board of GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council). A leader in Sustainable Hospitality. Mr. Houdre published Sustainable Hospitality©, a white paper utilized by Cornell University's Center for Hospitality Research. He has co-edited a book named Hotel Sustainable Development: Principles and Best Practices, published in 2011 by American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, together with Prof AJ Singh from Michigan State University. Mr. Houdre recently joined the Environment and Engineering Committee of AH&LA (American Hotel & Lodging Association). Mr. Houdre's efforts have been highlighted in a broad array of media in the US and abroad. His leadership achieved the 2009 Conde Nast Traveler World Savers Award, 2009 DC Mayor's Award for Environmental Excellence and DC Chamber of Commerce 2009 Business of the Year. He received the New York chapter Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International 2012 General Manager of the year award.

Mr. Houdre can be contacted at 212-906-3100 or herve.houdre@ihg.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.