A campaign of ‘intense goodwill' between the hotel and travel trade sectors is being called for in 2009 as the essential basis for tackling an inevitable downturn in demand. Lifelong international hotelier, Niels Pedersen, managing director of the 1250-member Supranational Hotels consortium, believes that the answer to the economic crisis lies in ‘courtesy, co-operation and community spirit'.
He comments, ‘within a businesslike context the new focus must be on the survival of our industry. However, this will be put at risk if a minority of aggressive enterprises displays nasty or selfish behaviour in order to take advantage of smaller or niche players. The threat then would be for an even deeper and longer recession in our market,' adds Pedersen.
Pedersen suggests several all-industry goals for the coming years of turmoil:
an accent on loyalty and solidarity between hotels and agents that is not damaged by the potential saving of a few pounds, dollars, or euros
a return to ‘guests come first' policies in hotels that accentuate the sense of welcome, hospitality, and gratitude for the booking
a refusal to work with those hotel or travel companies that demonstrate greedy or arrogant attitudes towards weaker or newer participants
the promotion of generosity, fair play and shared interest as praiseworthy new values for executives to learn and endorse
the elimination of waste and extravagance in hotel and travel programmes
an end to thoughtless or confrontative policies towards the payment of commissions and bills,‘scam' practices like over-charging for upgrades, views, Wi-Fi or breakfasts, or the use of ‘from' prices that are barely attainable
Comments Pedersen, ‘tough times require a revolutionary new model of behaviour in which we all stick and work together. At a time of global turmoil that is the equivalent to the uncertainties of a war, the aim must be to ensure that the majority of our colleagues survive to build a robust, less selfish and more pleasant future'.
About Supranational Hotels
Supranational Hotels represent hotels in more than 70 countries and generate annual demand totalling over 1.1 million room nights.
The brand has achieved double digit growth in reservations both during 2007, and during the first nine months of 2008