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  • Meet Minneapolis: Travel to the Twin Cities this Summer for HITEC 2019

    We all know that travel can be a real hassle. So, what about a trip makes it worth packing up your suitcase, saying goodbye to your family for the next few days, fighting the airport and staying in a.

  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • A Series of Must-Read Articles on Cybersecurity Produced by the HFTP Research Centers

    Data security remains a pressing concern and top priority for the hospitality industry. The HFTP Research Centers are dedicated to producing findings that can significantly aid hospitality businesses in their efforts to protect their guests’ privacy and personal information against potential cyber threats and attacks.

  • HITEC Special: Does EU GDPR Affect U.S. Hospitality Companies?

    By Alvaro Hidalgo. The EU General Data Protection Regulation has set a path towards protecting personal data which many other countries will follow. In a global industry such as hospitality, it should be a primary objective to take the steps towards compliance.

Listen To Our Webinar With Mike Leven

HSMAI Europe · 5 April 2019
Last week, HSMAI and Cendyn hosted a live webinar with Mike Leven. We got great feedback and we will do many webinars moving forward. Later we had a technical glitch that prevented the recording from capturing video from the webinar, but we do have solid audio to share. You can listen to it here.Here is more information about Mike Leven:Mike Leven is one of the most prominent US hotel icons, but it is his warmth, wisdom, humility and commitment to leadership and customer service which is quite unique. The way he works to improve and empower those around him really makes him stand out. Mike Leven has been working internationally throughout his entire career. He is a person who is up-to-date in most areas, including philosophy, psychology and politics, and has experienced a lot of challenges. He has always been motivated by achievements, by developing others. He says that in order to be a mentor you first have to be yourself and know yourself. As a mentor you have to be a simplifier, and be able to develop the confidence of a mentee to share their values. "Everybody" wants a piece of Mike Leven, and he loves to share his competence. Now he is helping HSMAI as a coach for potential mentors.The Mike Leven Mentor ProgramFor many it is good to have a mentor outside their company in addition to internal coaches and mentors. We believe in a culture for continuing learning. The program is aimed at all ages and levels in the Hospitality Industry.Are you looking for a mentor - or would you perhaps be interested in being one yourself? Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us: postbox@hsmai.euRegardless of whether you work on a national, European or global basis and have a lengthy experience in management, the demand for increased competence is on the rise. The industry is changing rapidly, the market is challenging, which is why it is more important now than ever to keep abreast of developments, and continuously improve our skills and learn from others.Are you interested in becoming a Mentor or a Mentee?Press here to apply for The Mike Leven Mentor ProgramNEW! Excelling in Customer CentricityHSMAI Region Europe as commissioned the development of a certification with the aim for participants to become enablers of a culture of customer centric excellence. One of HSMAI Region Europe's promises to its members is that "we pledge to drive personal and professional growth', says HSMAI Region Europe's CEO and President Ingunn Hofseth. HSMAI already has several global certification programs for its members, including Revenue Management Certification and Digital Marketing Certification.This new programme, Excelling in Customer Centricity (The ECC programme) is based on Mike Leven philosophy on leadership and customer service.We have developed a new cutting edge certification program, starting with a 2 or 3- day workshop, for senior managers who want to excel in the development of customer centric cultures in organisations, says Mia Touzin, a Senior academic, whose background includes corporate management positions in the hospitality industry. She is HSMAI's Education Adviser and also this programme's developer.The 'Excelling in Customer Centricity' Certification is the newest, and is endorsed by HSMAI Region Europe's People & Culture Advisory board, chaired by Gil Mulders, Head of Learning Europe at IHG - InterContinental Hotels Group.Peer reviews and ratings on social media influence customer choice, your reputation and brand. To be competitive and deliver promises, in a world where everyone can express their opinions online immediately, you must foster a healthy, resilient customer centric culture in your organisation, says Hofseth.Your company culture, how you manage your stakeholders and deliver on promises make the difference to the bottom line, and has never been more important than now, Mia Touzin adds.The new certification enable participants to coach teams in delivering promises that have a positive impact on the perception of the brand in social media. The seven areas covered are closely intertwined:Define: Develop and define your service cultureCare: Manage your stakeholdersBe proactive online: Let social media work for you by creating "instagramable guest experiences"Build cultural muscle: Use culture as a means of turning barriers into empowermentEngage stakeholders through thoughtful and strategic communicationRecover from complaints and turn them into advocacyMeasure: Make sure you are measuring what mattersPlease contact us at for more information.

HSMAI: Cornell University - Coming to Europe!

HSMAI Europe ·19 March 2019
A great idea, initiated by the HSMAI Region Europe Revenue Optimization Advisory Board and supported with a lot of enthusiasm by the other Advisory Boards, is now a reality! We are proud to present you the HSMAI Region Europe COMMERCIAL SUMMER CAMP 2019 - 4th - 9th of August 2019, AmsterdamThe kick off will be on Sunday and the program will last until Friday evening. The program includes a two day 'Executive Development' training focused on Leadership skills, by Cornell University!You will have access to industry peers across departments, countries and companies.Potential candidate profileThe Commercial Summer Camp focuses on developing cross-functional strategic thinking and leadership skills, to enable tomorrow's commercial leaders in the hospitality industry. The ideal candidate is already a sales, marketing, or revenue management expert or a property leader with the ambition and desire to understand all of the specific disciplines and what it takes to keep them all running smoothly together.Cornell University coming to Europe in AugustAs part of HSMAI Region Europe Commercial Summer Camp 2019 Professor Cathy Enz is confirmed for the Essentials Skills for Leadership program. That means you will get a certificate from Cornell for 2 of the days in addition to the certificate from HSMAI.About the two days Executive Development program by Cornell University:Essential Skills for Successful LeadershipExplore what defines leadership successFocus on your own leadership style, cultural intelligence, and motivational skillsUnderstand how to inspire high levels of performance from all types of individualsBeing a leader - Keys to successA framework for understanding others: Johari windowLeadership bias and thinking traps: Cognitive shortcuts, Attribution theory, Unconscious bias, self fulfilling prophecyEmotional intelligence and motivationLeadership process vs management processSkills required for success as a leaderYour cultural intelligence assessedCreating a culture of excellenceYour leadership brand and personal strategyDeveloping tomorrow's leadersAbout the 3 following days:You will be able to develop an overall Commercial Plan. This will expose you to certain elements that is very important for you to understand as a leader and that you do not come across often in other programs.Topics include:Distribution strategy - which channels and why? Cost implications, branding implications, marketing implications, revenue implications.Commercial Technology strategy - what choices to make to PMS, RMS, CRS, Channel Manager, cost implications, training implications, integration implications and more.Branding strategy - join a chain, stay independent, what type of chain and why? (global, regional or local).Building commercial teams - on-property, central, clustered, more sales people, less sales people, digital marketing person, revenue manager(s), training and education costs, outsourcing and more.Customer Centricity. About delivering the promises made, managing the perception and trust of the brand on social and digital media through the experiences delivered.Data and CRM strategy - GDPR, personalization, loyalty programs and guest recognition.Calculating ROI on marketing and sales activities / spend and how to communicate to the businessSales Theory, Sales Strategy, Sales Leadership and Hands-on tips.Breakfast, lunch and dinner sessions with the "experts" would allow you to fine-tune your plan and get more information on what you are missing or guidance and recommendation to strengthen your business plans.At the HSMAI Commercial Summer Camp you will be forced to think about all the pros and cons and why decisions are being made and the strategies behind this. This allows you after your return from the summer camp to have genuine discussions with your boss and Senior Management about these types of strategies and you can play a much larger and important role within your company.Already during the Spring, as soon as you have signed up for the Summer Camp, you will get access to some of the experts that will give you some homework so are well prepared in August.You will also get access to our digital platform where you can communicate with other attendees.Price for HSMAI Region Europe members per person:2900 Euro ex VAT including full day program, material, coffee, lunch and dinner.Price for Non members per person:5900 Euro ex VAT including full day program, material, coffee, lunch and dinner.Secure space for you and/or your best team members already now! Please contact us at postbox@hsmai.euTask force:It will be an inspiring and insightful week. The development of the content will be supported by a special task force representing the six HSMAI Region Europe Advisory Boards:Anant Vithlani - Vice President Sales - Nordic Choice Hotels & chair of the HSMAI Region Europe Sales Advisory BoardFrederic Toitot - Vice President Learning & Development - Accor Hotels & member of the HSMAI Region Europe People & Culture Advisory BoardGil Mulders - Head of Learning Europe - Intercontinental Hotel Group & Chair of the HSMAI Region Europe People & Culture Advisory BoardJosje van Dongen - Head of Innovation - Hotel Management School Maastricht & Chair of the HSMAI Region Europe Innovation Advisory BoardGeoff Maree - Sr. Lecturer - Breda University & member of the HSMAI Region Europe Innovation Advisory BoardJoanna Schroder - Vice President Revenue Management - Deutsche Hospitality & member of the HSMAI Region Europe Revenue Optimization Advisory BoardNiklas Schlappkohl - Global Senior Director - Digital Travel Solutions & member of the HSMAI Region Europe Marketing Advisory BoardNina Nieminen - Director of Revenue Management and Distribution, Sokos Hotels - SOK Travel and Hospitality Industry Chain Management & chair of the HSMAI Region Europe Distribution Advisory BoardScott Dahl - Senior Lecturer - Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne & member of the HSMAI Region Europe Revenue Optimization Advisory BoardThomas Reinsborg - Head of Sales Norway - Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) & member of the HSMAI Region Europe Sales Advisory Board

HSMAI ROC & DOC - Updated program

HSMAI Europe ·14 March 2019
ROC 'n Roll, Collaborate and Interact with thought-leadersWelcome to Europe's number one place for the latest trends and news in Revenue Optimization, Digital Marketing and Distribution for the travel and hospitality industry at Melia Palma Bay and Palau de Congressos de Palma, co-located with HITEC Europe 2019- and you are very welcome to attendYou'll want to ROC 'n Roll all day long when you meet our many speakers and delegates. We have a great venue and we will raise the energy level with the best speakers, great music and food.Press here to see our updated programDid you know?HSMAI will be in Palma de Mallorca hosting several events from April 9th to April 11th. Have a look by pressing here.Do you need accommodation?The HSMAI activities takes place next door to Hotel Melia Palma Bay. We have reserved many rooms there and also at other Melia Hotels.The rates for all hotels are 159 euro per night including breakfast and vat. For double rooms (2 persons) the rates are 174 euro. Press here to secure your room already today!A big thank you to our dear Partners

HSMAI Special Award to Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos

HSMAI Europe ·14 January 2019
Not many have avoided noticing the mark Norwegian Air Shuttle - Norwegian for short - CEO, founder and majority owner Bjorn Kjos has left on Norway's aviation, travel and hospitality industry in the years following the airline's launch 26 years ago, in a marketplace characterized by far more expensive flight fares. His importance for the industry is almost unrivaled, making international headlines for aviation "made in Norway". It should come as no surprises, then, that HSMAI decided to make some fuss, granting him the Special Award during the Norway HSMAI Awards in Oslo Tuesday night.Close to 500 professionals representing the travel, hospitality and event industry, as well as clients, attend the award ceremony Tuesday night, celebrating individuals and companies excelling within Norwegian hospitality, with awards for events and marketing, as well as to theYoung hotelier of the year, the Hotelier of the year and the Young leader of the year.In addition to these annual awards HSMAI sometimes rewards people who have left a particular mark, and Bjorn Kjos has indeed done so, to such a degree that it simply cannot go unnoticed, on a global scale.An international giantToday Norwegian is considered a global force to rely on, granted the following awards, during this last year alone: named the most fuel-efficient airline on transatlantic routes by The International Council of Clean Transportation (ICCT); World's Best Low-Cost, Long Haul Airline, Skytrax World Airline Awards; Europe's Best Low-Cost Airline, Skytrax World Airline Awards; The Ambassador's Award; Most Innovative Company in Norway, Innovasjonsmagasinet; Best Overall Passenger Experience Low Cost Carrier in Europe, Passenger Choice Awards; Four-star rating, Passenger Choice Awards; Best WiFi in Europe, Passenger Choice Awards; Four-star rating, Skytrax World Airline Awards; Airline Program of the Year, Europe & Africa, Freddie Awards; Best Campaign in Europe/Africa, Freddie Awards.Mr. Kjos himself has been the focal point of much attention, not least when the U.S. ambassador to Norway rewarded him The Ambassador's Award for his efforts to strengthen Norwegian-American relations, while securing the airline's foothold in country after country, all over the world.An ambassador for NorwaySpeaking of ambassadors, Norway couldn't possibly dream of a better one than Mr. Kjos, promoting Norwegian aviation, innovation, service, entrepreneurship and sustainability in aviation. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that he is now given the HSMAI Special Award, to standing ovations in Oslo Tuesday the 8th of January 2019.HSMAI salutes him in awe!The jury says:Bjorn Kjos has left an international mark as an ambassador for Norwegian aviation, innovation, service, entrepreneurship and aviation sustainability. For 26 years he has been working with relentless determination, to build a low-cost airline, brick by brick, until it has grown to the international giant it is today, placing Norway in the international aviation hall of fame, as it were. Norwegians abroad can take a glance at a random runway, in an almost 100 percent certainty that he or she will be able to point out an aircraft from back home, thanks to Mr. Norwegian himself. Bjorn Kjos.In addition to making the world more accessible for Norwegians, Norwegian Air Shuttle has made a substantial contribution to opening Norway for the international audience. Under his management the airline has collected awards world-wide, at a pace likely to take the breath away from even the most blase. Bjorn Kjos himself was rewarded The Ambassador's Award by the U.S. ambassador to Norway, for his efforts to strengthen Norwegian-American relations, while securing the airline's foothold in country after country, all over the world. With a background as a fighter pilot and lawyer, Mr. Kjos is the very definition of a self-made man, widely known for his warm laughter and a smile in store. HSMAI Region Europe awarded him an award already in 2011, for the exceptional development of Norwegian Air Shuttle. If there is such a thing as a deserving recipient of HSMAI's Special Award, that person would be Mr. Bjorn Kjos.HSMAI offers its heartfelt congratulations!

Welcome to HSMAI Europe's Digital Expert LAB, an eLearning program, available now

HSMAI Europe ·31 August 2018
Currently working in a management role within hotel distribution and/or marketing? Taught by leading industry figureheads, HSMAI Europe's Digital Expert LAB courses will help upskill and develop your digital knowledge, enabling you to draw out new digital insights and make strategy driven decisions that benefit your company.A big investmentHSMAI Region Europe has taken a big investment for the program and the new website ( and has also over a lengthy period been working with a passionate group of industry experts amongst our members, on our latest educational initiative: The Digital Expert LAB. Together we successfully created a series of videos in which hoteliers and technology providers share their experience, ideas and tips - all centered around a topic relating to "digital".HSMAI Region Europe's aim is to provide the industry with a source of information on Digital Distribution and Marketing, that will help to decrease the gap between inhouse knowledge and the fast changing developments in the digital world around us.Free for HSMAI membersFollowing the many positive reactions on the LAB initiative from our Advisory Board members given prior access to it, HSMAI Region Europe now decided to offer the content to its corporate members for free. We encourage you to learn, stay curious and share with each other internally. Maybe let the HSMAI members in your management team use it to prepare your business and marketing plan? We are sure that it will create great discussions.Why should you complete HSMAI Europe's Digital Expert LAB?Inspiration - Digital is big business, and it's only going to get bigger! We need the right skills to maximise all of the opportunities that digital offers todayTogether - HSMAI Region Europe wants to help bridge the gap between rapid digital developments and a need for in-house digital knowledgeLearn, Share & Create - Industry leaders and experts share their experience and provide hands-on advice to help you to identify and create new digital opportunitiesThank you!A special thank you to two of our Advisory Boards for their guidance; the HSMAI Region Europe Distribution Advisory Board and HSMAI Region Europe Marketing Advisory Board."We all know how to greet the guest warmly, provide a great experience and serve wonderful food. Unfortunately, for the modern Hotelier this is not enough. HSMAI Europe's Digital Expert LAB teaches how to professionally run, sell and market your hotel in the age of iPhones, Netflix and Uber"Nils Korsvoll, VP Distribution, Eberry by Nordic Choice Hotels"HSMAI Europe's Digital Expert LAB is a unique initiative that provides a one stop shop for our industry to access a wealth of knowledge, delivered by industry experts and thought leaders, with a multi-channel, customer focused and commercially minded approach"Suzie Thompson, VP - Marketing, Distribution & Revenue Management, Red Carnation HotelsA big thank you to our members and partners for their contributions:- AccorHotels- Avvio- Cendyn- eHotelier- Google- Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts- Sokos Hotels- TripAdvisor- 80 DaysTake advantage of your HSMAI Region Europe membership and download the Digital Expert LAB today: are hosting our courses.Not an HSMAI corporate member yet? Become a member today!

IHG's Gil Mulders joins HSMAI Region Europe People & Culture Advisory Board

HSMAI Europe ·31 August 2018
With a degree in international politics, InterContinental Hotel Group's Gil Mulders, now taking a seat on the new HSMAI Region Europe's Advisory Board for People & Culture, was on the fast track to a career in diplomacy. Luckily for the hospitality industry his plans took a different direction during a trip to America, ending in international hotel learning and development - and in the service of HSMAI's membership.IHG's Head of Learning in Europe, Gil Mulders sports a long and varied career in hospitality, as Front Desk Manager, then Training Manager at Crowne Plaza Brussels, Reception Manager at QMH UK Limited, Guest Relations Executive at Hilton Worldwide, and Assistant Night Manager at Europe InterContinental Brussels, as well as eco tourism in America - but more on that further down the road.He holds a Master in International Politics from l'Universite libre de Bruxelles, and have won several awards for his employer, such as Aon - Best Employer Global in 2017, the same year that he was appointed IHG's Chief Learning Officer - Learning Elite Organization. Add the JobCrowd Awards - Best Company in Training / Best Graduate Programme in Hospitality & Leisure to that, as well as the UK Top Employer 2018 award, and you get the idea."Collaborating is the future, so we are very pleased that Gil, with his extensive background from HR, learning and development is now joining our new Advisory Board for Culture & People. One of the future challenges will be how to attract enough talent in the hospitality and travel related organizations, so this new Advisory Board will be very important for all of us moving forward," says HSMAI Region Europe's CEO and President Ingunn Hofseth, adding:"In addition The Culture and People Advisory Board will be set up in relation with the two new initiatives that are now finalized for Europe: Winning for Customers - The Service Pledge program and the Mike Leven Mentor program."A global presenceFully aware that we needn't inform experienced hoteliers of the InterContinental Hotel Group's standing in international hospitality, with its 5341 hotels and 809,889 hotel rooms worldwide, employing a whopping 375,000 people across almost 100 countries. Among the group's brands we find hotels and chains such as Regent Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo, Even Hotels, Hualuxe Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Voco, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Holiday Inn Resort, Avid, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.Among these you will find 1003 hotels in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Asia), which is where Gil Mulders comes into the picture, heading the hotel group's European learning and development operations."So without further ado, Gil Mulders, if I were to ask you what you consider the current and future challenges in the travel and hospitality industry's field of culture and people, how would you respond?"Need to attract millennials"The greatest challenge, in terms of the hospitality industry's work with culture and people, lies in resourcing the right people, as the industry suffers under an image labelling it a transient industry, people look up for a couple of years' employment and then move on to something perceived as a little more 'exciting' or better paid. Changing the industry's image into that of young candidates' industry of choice is an obvious challenge and if we don't solve this we will soon experience problems finding the right people. Spending a great deal of my time in hotel schools, I meet a lot of hospitality students; although quite a few millennials harbor expectations that they'll be able to kick off a start-up of their own, at least half of them are very keen on launching a career in a large and stable company. And then there are those who originally planned to work in, say, the finance sector, and for one reason or the other end up studying hospitality. For the most part, however, they simply have a passion for such a lovely industry as our own, an industry dead set on making people happy when they're away from home, which in itself is quite an attractive trait," he replies."I've noticed that you label yourself more of an architect than an implementer or a problem solver. Would you care to expand a little on that?""Well, it hasn't always been like that. During the first half of my career I actually liked to be a problem solver, to put everything in its right place, right through to the execution itself, which is absolutely wonderful and most necessary, but now that I have a team of people, including great learning and development experts, my role is a different one. I just want to make sure that I make their lives as easy as possible, break any barriers and build processes and structures than enable them to add maximum value in the field of L&D in hospitality as such and in IHG. In turn, ensuring I have the right people at the right place and focusing on the right things helps me making sure that working with L&D in IHG is easy, straight forward and enjoyable.""It's all a question of making sure the company has all the required tools readily available, as well as the right delivery channels for learning and the right people, of course. With all these evolving and adaptable factors in place, my job is actually done" Mr Mulders adds."You have created early career programs to accelerate the development of an ever growing millennial generation of Future and Aspiring Leaders within IHG. Firstly, could you elaborate a little on the industry's need for recruitment and secondly, what did you learn from making these programs available to the up and coming generation of hospitality professionals?"An exclusive career program"First of all, over the years I have noticed that there are a lot of young and aspiring leaders in the hotel schools as well as in our own hotels, who haven't been given the opportunity to grow professionally, and I'm not playing the blame game here, the problem was that the structure simply wasn't there," Gil Mulders says, reaffirming his architectural disposition. "So what we needed was to put mechanisms in place that enabled us to help accelerating their development in a way that leverage their strengths, not only focusing on their development areas. So ten years ago we created a graduate program. At the time I was responsible for the BeNeLux countries only, so the program was restricted to them, and I took an immense joy in watching the candidates grow, but before long the program expanded to Europe, at which point we renamed the program IHG Future Leaders, in the wake of much internal lobbying, ensuring that the program provided added value for the partaking hotels. Admittedly the program is very elitist, in the sense that out of over 1000 applicants only around 15 qualify every year. We're talking la creme de la creme here, of candidates churned through a series of assessments and development centers that help us create a foundation for these 15 prospects as the general managers and functional leaders of tomorrow. They need to be internationally mobile, fluent in English and other languages and, of course experienced hospitality practitioners. We invest a lot of money and resources in these people, but the upside is that they're staying with us for long run."According to Gil Mulders IHG also provides a less ambitious program, called IHG Aspire which is an extremely flexible program not requiring international mobility. "It is accommodated for the just as great people among our employees who for different reasons, including some independent of their own choice, are less internationally mobile, but still want to advance to general manager, for instance. It is less intensive and includes a lot of coaching and on-the-job development," he explains.Informality unheard of 25 years ago"Subjects such as culture, people and HR have changed drastically since I graduated from university myself, especially over the last decade. When I first entered the hospitality industry it felt a bit like arriving at a military boot camp, in terms of how hotels were run on the ground, on which the general manager was quite the god, truth be told, as opposed to today, where we have a so much more democratic approach to employee management. Our co-workers are much more involved in operational management of the hotel, so we've moved away from the instructing, towards a more collaborative take on these things. Most employees - and managers - have survived this transition brilliantly, but you have to remember that not all of our co-workers are millennials. We have both Gen Y and X employees, and baby boomers, even, still active in the business, so we have to make sure that they all carry out their leadership in accordance with company lines, and there are ways to ensure that," says Mr Mulders, adding:"Our industry has moved in a much more democratic direction, even in the way we treat our guests. We are closer to them than we were when I first started out, and they really appreciate that. In some of our brands, for instance, we would address our guests by their first name, which is something that would have been unheard of only 25 years ago.""What does it take to become a successful executive in today's travel and hospitality sector?""Well, there's no magical recipe, no secret, but I'd say that staying focused, stubborn, in terms of what you want to achieve, and you have to show a good degree of flexibility in order to get there. Be inflexible when it comes to where you want to go, but flexible with respect to how to reach that goal," he says."From what I understand your workdays must be choc-a-bloc with responsibilities, so what made you accept as seat on the Advisory Board?"Happy for the opportunity to give back"You're right insofar that my days are very busy and time is indeed very precious, so of course I had to give the offer some serious thought, I already spend my time exactly where I want to be, and I am, after all, very passionate about people development and love meeting colleagues in different functions throughout the industry. Certainly I am an HR, learning and development specialist, but first and foremost I am a hotelier, curious about all goings on within the industry, eager to develop myself in that respect. And granted that is a highly selfish motivation, but I also love to give back. After all, I am 47 years old, with a 25-year-long experience in various positions, and I think this is a good time in my career to share the modest amount of experience that I've acquired, to feed the conversation and also to coach and be coached, which constitutes the proverbial win-win situation, if ever I saw one."When asked what a typical day at work looks like, Gil Mulders starts to laugh:"Fortunately there is no such thing," he replies, still laughing. "I consider myself very lucky in that respect. If it did, my work would have been a lot more boring than what is the case. Had you asked about a week, on the other hand, I probably spend two to three days traveling, which I love, by the way - either between Paris, where I am based, and our corporate office in Denham or to our hotels. Most of the time it is either to deliver training or to support my team's delivery and meet with general managers and other colleagues throughout Europe. Occasionally in other parts of the world, too. And then, of course, there's the emails, like for everyone else, but I try to make a habit out of sending as few as possible, which results in few replies, obviously. Also I try to make some time to be creative and contemplate the future. Being a conceptualizer and architect by nature I always try to take a closer look at where we can improve. Finally I have 14 colleagues in my team, which clearly takes a lot of my time, which includes coaching, but again: also being coached.Hospitality over diplomacyAs already mentioned Gil Mulders holds a degree in international politics, which normally wouldn't end in hospitality, but there's an explanation for that:"In younger days I harbored a strong desire to work in the field of international relations and imagined myself working in an embassy, which would offer lots of opportunities to travel, meeting people and experience other cultures. The international lifestyle, if you can call it that, appealed to me at the time and still does. So my first ever position was as a trainee in the European Commission in Belgium, and being born in Brussels that made a lot of sense. The work consisted of a lot of research relating to various directives and so forth, but I soon came to realize that it wasn't really for me. So after six months I flew to California to visit a friend about to establish a start-up called Eco Travel Services, which I found immensely interesting, so I accepted a position there, which involved going from hotel to hotel, assessing their eco-friendliness by way of number of leaves in stead of stars. Before long I realized that working in the hotel industry was exactly what I had had in mind all along, and the rest, as they say, is history. But I still devour news on international politics," he says."What do you consider to be your personal strengths?""That's an interesting question. I fancy myself a good listener, more than most, actually, which helps me understanding people and reading situations fairly well. Considering that I'm in the line of training, one would typically think that I'm an extrovert, but in fact I am quite the opposite, which is to say an introvert, which is something I consider to be a strength, because it enables me to relate to a person at a much more personal and deeper level. I prefer to think everything through, so a spontaneous interview, like the situation we're in now, is actually quite a challenge for me. But also I generally relate well to people, which is reflected in the feedback I get from people I coach, who tell me that they love being coached by me."No fan of the cult of personality"Mr Mulders, if I may be so bold as to ask, is there anyone in particular you've been looking up to?""I admire the Dalai Lama very much," is the immediate response, which is very interesting, as the chair of HSMAI Region Europe's Sales Executive Advisory Board, Nordic Choice Hotels' Anant Vithlani offered exactly that reply, no more than a week ago. "Well, what can I say," Mr Mulders responds, "Dalai Lama is such a strong personality, whose level of wisdom I can only dream of achieving. Of course there are a few people in the industry that I admire, too, but truth be told I'm no big fan of the cult of personality phenomenon, and I wouldn't automatically say Steve Jobs or Richard Branson. While they have indeed achieved a lot, we have to remember the teamwork behind their achievements, which is directly linked to what I try to instill in everyone I coach.""I have only one last question for you before we wrap this up. Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a bit of a spare-time pet project, as I understand it. Could you tell us what it's all about?""It is hard to define, but firstly NLP is a science based on empirical data on the impact that your neurology, i.e. your nervous system, has on your behavior and, ultimately, on your surroundings. So the principles of NLP are that you're very much in control of your mind and, therefore, in control of your results. The linguistic side of it is all to do with utilizing people's verbal and non-verbal language as a means to access their neurology and thereby assisting them in reprogramming themselves, Gil Mulders explains, which in turn explains his successes in personnel training. Needless to say, HSMAI Region Europe CEO and President Ingunn Hofseth is thrilled to be seeing him in the next Advisory Board meeting:"In fact we will already assemble in London in less than two weeks, including a cross-disciplinary Advisory Boards gathering during the HSMAI Region Europe Leadership Day on September the 12th," she says, with expectations held high.For more information about IHG, see here.

Here are the finalists for the HSMAI and Customer Alliance Guest Experience Award UK

HSMAI Europe ·31 August 2018
HSMAI Region Europe, in cooperation with the german based company Customer Alliance, will hand out national awards on the upcoming HSMAI Day UK in London on Friday 14th September, and the HSMAI Days to come in other countries this autumn.The awards are based on customer satisfaction data and reviews from different portals, such as TripAdvisor,,, Google, Facebook and more, divided into three categories; Hotels, Restaurants and Attractions. Customer Alliance has sourced an overview of the UK hospitality market that is as complete as possible.The winners will be announced at the HSMAI Day on September 14th at the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel in London.Here are the finalists in the United Kingdom:HotelsCitadines Trafalgar Square LondonFraser Suites Edinburgh, ScotlandFraser Suites Glasgow, ScotlandPark Plaza London Park RoyalPark Plaza Westminster Bridge LondonPlaza on the River, LondonRadisson Blu Hotel, EdinburghSt Martins Lane HotelThe Cavendish LondonThe Principal YorkRestaurantsAdam's RestaurantCafe CittaCherry Trees Coffee HouseMaison Bleue Modern French Restaurant - Bury St EdmundsOn The Hill RestaurantPaul Ainsworth at Number 6SalamanderThe Black Swan at OldsteadThe Clink CymruThe Old Stamp House RestaurantAttractions and experiencesCamera Obscura & World of IllusionsCavern ClubChurchill War RoomsHawk Conservancy TrustKelvingrove Art Gallery and MuseumNational Museum of ScotlandNational Railway Museum YorkRoyal Yacht BritanniaThe Minack TheatreThe Roman BathCriteriaCustomer Alliance utilised a range of criteria to evaluate the candidates and determine the shortlist of 10 candidates in each category. This included assessing not only the quantity or average score of the reviews over the past 12 months but also the responses to guest feedback by management alongside an internal, proprietary semantic analysis to understand the feedback left by guests at almost 200,000 hotels, restaurants and attractions across the United Kingdom.Customer Alliance has sourced an overview of the UK hospitality market that is as complete as possible, the same applies for the countries where we host the HSMAI Day; Germany, Holland, Norway, Spain and Sweden, to begin with (please see dates and program below).The Awards will be handed out annually, reflecting the past year, so the candidates cannot rely on great performances from previous years.See the program for the HSMAI Day UK on September 14th here.Please contact Project Manager Linda M. Ramberg for more information.Email:, Mobile: +47 928 03 694The HSMAI Day and national award to be presented in several European cities:The HSMAI Day UK, London, Friday September 14thThe HSMAI Day Norway, Oslo, Monday September 24thThe HSMAI Day Holland, Amsterdam, Thursday October 4thThe HSMAI Day Sweden, Stockholm, Thursday October 11thThe HSMAI Day Germany, Berlin, Tuesday October 16thThe HSMAI Day Spain, Madrid, Tuesday October 23rdAbout HSMAI Region EuropeHSMAI - Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) - is a global organization founded in the US in 1927. HSMAI Region Europe is the European arm of the organization.The mission is committed to growing business for the hotel, event and travel industry and their partners, and is the industry's leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable revenue growth on a local, national and European level. The association provides practical tools, insights, and cutting edge expertise to enable knowledge sharing and enhance professional development as well as fuel sales, inspire marketing, transform businesses digitally and optimise revenue.Our Service PledgeWe pledge to provide transparent and neutral environmentsWe pledge to drive personal and professional growthWe pledge to be your industry point of referenceWe pledge to provide you with cutting edge tools to grow your businessWe pledge to go above and beyond to engage youAbout Customer Alliance- By collecting, distributing and analyzing guest reviews, Customer Alliance helps independent and chain hotels take control of their reputation and increase revenue.Customer Alliance was founded in 2009 in Berlin, thousands of independent and chain hotels worldwide work with Customer Alliance's 90+ employees to manage and improve their online reputations and increase revenue. Within one industry-leading solution hotels collect, distribute, and analyze their guest reviews from across the web, giving them a competitive insight into their hotel's performance. Hotels can now better understand their guests and boost their revenue.For more information, please contact:Ingunn HofsethPresident & CEO, HSMAI Region EuropeEmail: ih@hsmai.noWeb: www.hsmai.euTorsten SabelCo-founder and COO, Customer AllianceEmail: ts@customer-alliance.comWeb:"Delivering first class service to all guests is the goal of any hospitality establishment, and we're excited to be able to recognise the best of the best with the HSMAI & Customer Alliance Guest Experience Award. Too often the great service that hoteliers, tour operators, and other hospitality companies deliver goes unnoticed or is taken for granted. It's a fantastic opportunity to give recognition where it's due and we feel that there is no better partner to achieve this with than HSMAI," stated co-founder and Chief Operation Office of Customer Alliance, Torsten Sabel, adding "We're excited to announce the national winner in the UK in September, at the HSMAI Day UK at the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel.""By restricting the survey to the previous twelve months, this can be done annually, reflecting the past year. That means that candidates cannot rely on great performances from years gone by, which could potentially inflate or deflate the lifetime average score," Torsten Sabel explains.

Nordic Choice Hotels' Anant Vithlani to chair HSMAI Region Europe's Sales Executive Advisory Board

HSMAI Europe ·31 August 2018
Marriott Hotels' Michael Simon recently stepped down as chair of HSMAI Region Europe's Sales Executive Advisory Board, passing the baton to Anant Vithlani, Vice President Sales in Nordic Choice Hotels, who is convinced that HSMAI has a lot to contribute in these times of technological development.The new chair, with an MBA in Business Administration and Management from Stockholm School of Economics, boasts a long and varied career in sales, including printer toner sales, marketing services, health care products, banking and finance, prior to his first Nordic Choice commitment as Director of Sales at Stockholm's Clarion Hotel Sign eleven years ago, after which he has remained in the hotel group, with the exception of a two-year break, which included serving same hotel group.While serving Nordic Choice Hotels as an independent consultant it became apparent that his services were so invaluable that he was persuaded to return as the corporation's VP for sales early last year."We are absolutely thrilled to see our Sales Executive Advisory Board chaired by such a knowledgeable resource as Anant," says HSMAI Region CEO and President Ingunn Hofseth. "From what we've seen of his achievements and his passioned participation in HSMAI events, we are convinced that he will contribute much to our efforts."Michael Simon's HSMAI commitment to continue"Also, I would like to take the opportunity to pay tribute to Michael Simon, who's been sharing from his wealth of competence at our many events, and we are grateful for everything he has done and will continue to do for us as a remaining member of the Advisory Board," she adds."With decades in sales in various lines of business, of which more than ten years in hospitality, how would you say the travel and hospitality differs from others?""I used to work for a group of companies more than 16 years ago, with operations in four different business sectors, from business development to air conditioning, healthcare equipment and occupational health service, so I had a very interesting time, as you may well imagine. In essence, however, if you look at the procedural side of sales, there's really no difference between that and the travel and hospitality industry. It all boils down to meeting the customer's need, and as a salesperson you are of course expected to identify that need and counter with a proposition, a price and details on what the customer may expect. That goes for any and all lines of business" Anant Vithlani says, elaborating:"So much for the procedural side of things. The complexity is somewhat different in travel and hospitality. I mean, if you sell 100 cars to an enterprise today, that is what you're selling. Should the purchase end at 98 vehicles, there's room for negotiation, of course - all very measurable, right? Not so in terms of airlines and hotels, where you immediately discover a different level of complexity. A price may have been negotiated prior to the booking, but if the customer books only one day in advance there may not be any availability, or at least not enough. Another factor is that if on any given day not all rooms are booked, the opportunity is missed, so in a sense hotel rooms can be compared to fresh produce, as can aircraft seats. In other words travel and hospitality sales are a little more complex and, perhaps, harder to understand for customers as well as for sales personnel."Same methods, technological challenge"Having worked with sales in other lines of business I can tell you that the sales methodology, on the other hand, is exactly the same," says Mr Vithlani, adding "Prior to my return to Nordic Choice Hotels almost two years ago I worked as a consultant for a couple of years, providing sales development and strategies for banks, construction companies and healthcare, but even there the sales procedures were exactly the same, although the commodities and the level of complexity were very different."Anant Vithlani is very reluctant when we inquire information on the Nordic Choice Hotels business and leisure ratio, and understandably so, as he wouldn't like to leak confidential data. "What I can tell you, though, without divulging any figures, is that it is approximately 50:50. In earlier years the ratio tended in the favor of business travelers, but we've seen an increase in the leisure segment in recent times, excluding the conference segment, of course," he replies."How are sales activities today different from the way they were organized in the early 1990s?""The development is very fast-paced, but to give you an example, I can tell you that back when I first started out in sales in the early 1990s the sales rep was king in any company. Not so today, to the same extent at any rate. The chief difference is that when I met a customer back then, I was in charge, and actually quite omnipotent, in possession of all information in demand, knew every detail and could provide the customer with all necessary information on a hotel's facilities. Today, on the other hand, the customer already knows all of that, forcing the sales rep much deeper into the sales procedure. The customer already knows what she is looking for. In fact she may very well be more informed than you are, in some cases. There's no denying that the Internet has brought about information transparency we didn't have back in the day."Speaking of which, where would you say we're going, in terms of AI and robotics, for instance?""Clearly, that is an inevitable development, assisting us in the identification of customer demands, predicting emerging demands, and I'm confident that the future sales rep will be able to knock on a customer's door, informing her that she will be in need of a conference for 40 attendants on the following day, with details on all facilities required, based on the account history, only to receive customer confirmation. We may laugh of the scenario today, but I'm convinced that we're heading in that direction," Mister Vithlani explains.AI and good intel imperative"We see this already now, how chatbots provide assistance and suggestions to your response, so yes, technology is destined to step in and aid us, as well as the customer, in our efforts to take control."While still in the present, we asked Anant Vithlani what it takes to succeed as a sales executive in today's travel and hospitality industry, and again tech-savviness seems to be the operative word:"Well, we've touched on several elements already, such as our ability to handle technology in the industry, but I'd say that we're on schedule, although at a very high speed. As an executive you will need good intel on the surrounding environment and the technological development, with a fine-tuned ability to adapt. The procedures may very well be as before, but we need to stay abreast of the development. The learning curve may be steep, but if we fail to tag along we may soon find ourselves among the not-so-attractive old-school operators.""With a demanding job like yours, what made you accept the position as chair in HSMAI Region Europe's Sales Executive Advisory Board?""That is closely connected with what I just explained, namely the need to keep up with the surrounding environment in an analytical way. Personally I joined HSMAI to stay up-to-date on industry developments. As part of a large corporation I'm sure that I could obtain some of it there. The problem with that approach is that it only provides an inside looking out perspective, but I decided to go for both angles, and HSMAI gave me that. I find the congregation of fellow hospital professionals most satisfactory, be it hotel or airline execs, lending an ear to their take on the industry's challenges. I find that highly rewarding, with ample opportunity to contribute to discussions on a wider scope of subjects than I would have, fraternizing with in-house colleagues alone," he says, adding:"So when I was asked to take the position as chair of HSMAI Region Europe's Advisory Board for Sales Executives, I though 'why not?'. After all, sales is my forte and to be honest with you, I'm actually quite good at facilitating meetings and dealing with various subjects - and I like it! Besides, the advisory board will be discussing topics that I'm passionate about."Important to retain the young"Any thoughts on the advisory board's immediate agenda?""It is early days yet, and I'm sure it will evolve as we go along, but we've already entered into thorough discussions. The current board members are very motivated to acquire a better understanding of today's sales personnel and their future demands, so we're in agreement that we need to develop a profile determining the requirements they're expected to meet. Once determined we can help the industry to develop in that direction, simply because we think it will benefit from it. But of course we would be amiss if we ignored sales as a craft, B2B sales and HR matters. As for the latter we are interested in retaining the excellent sales forces already onboard, but there's no getting around the fact that many of today's young candidates see themselves as fully trained after a year, at which point they feel themselves ready for advancement. Of course that isn't the case, which is where HSMAI stands to play a vital role. And there are several other areas in need of the advisory board's attention, which we will delve into as we advance, Anant Vithlani explains, adding:"But again, like the rest of the industry we need to keep an eye on trends and developments, so I'm sure a lot of topics will emerge as we go along.""What do you consider to be your personal strengths?""I am of a highly analytical persuasion, and unlike most I consider the sales trade as a branch of science in its own right. Everything is quantifiable and I think I have a lot to contribute to the advisory board in that respect, and maybe bring a holistic view on things to the table. That is, by the way, why Nordic Choice Hotels wanted me as VP for sales, I think, with my ability to act on facts, as it were, devoid of the happy-go-lucky approach, but rather a fact-based take on things. Which brings us back to big data and artificial intelligence, both of whom very applicable in our line of work, in my view."Long daysYou may be under the impression that jobs like Anant Vithlani's are all about the fun, but as he explains, there are those who wonder if the efforts are really worth his while:"Typically I get up at four in the morning, heading for the nearest airport to visit one of our destinations for a day filled with meetings, but I rarely sleep over, simply because I value family life, so I usually tend to take the four or five o' clock plane back, just in time for dinner with my family between six and seven. While I attend a lot of meetings I think it's safe to say that they are varied, depending on destination and topic. Today, for instance, I completed a two-day education program on negotiation techniques and tomorrow I'm off to Oslo at six in the morning, to attend a Nordic management team meeting, followed by the opening of the Quality Airport Gardermoen hotel, and then off again, for a flight back home, since I rarely stay overnight. But I always try to finish off as early as possible on Fridays, to secure a long weekend.""What I like the most about my job is the freedom and, above all, to be given the opportunity to make my own fantasies come true, if you will. Working for a large corporation, cost is much less of an issue than would have been the case in a small company. To be able to carry out large projects is very satisfactory, I can tell you. Along with the opportunity to see the company and my colleagues evolve on the way."When asked if there's anyone he's been looking up to, Anant Vithlani is quick to respond "Dalai Lama! I have made it a habit to study his writings, teachings and opinions, which is something I do as often as I possibly can," he concludes."I'm confident that HSMAI Region Europe and its membership will be pleasantly surprised by Anant Vithlani's contributions, and we're really looking forward to work with him and the rest of the Advisory Board in the immediate future," says Ingunn Hofseth, adding:"In fact we will do a pre meeting in Oslo on September the 4th, followed by a conference call with the whole Advisory Board the following morning in addition to a cross-disciplinary Advisory Boards gathering in London during HSMAI Region Europe Leadership Day on September 12th."See here for HSMAI Region Europe Advisory Boards

Highly praised general manager joins HSMAI's team of mentors and Advisory Board for Culture and People

HSMAI Europe ·18 July 2018
Jarle Moen, general manager of the luxury hotel THE THIEF in Oslo, first opening its doors back in January 2013, has been highly successful in establishing his hotel, owned by Nordic Choice Hotels, as one of the country's leading luxury retreats. Moen has an impressive track record, as general manager for several Nordic Choice Hotels and is ready to join HSMAI Region Europe's Mike Leven Mentor Program, as well as the Culture and People Advisory Board.Moen's huge success earned him the HSMAI Norway title Hotelier of the Year 2017 last winter, and just to give you an idea of the man's qualities, here's what the jury, made up by leading CEOs from Norway's travel and hospitality industry, had to say:The winner has been working at a high pace and been an efficient hotel leader for many years. He is in possession of much industry knowledge, which comes in handy both in day-to-day operations or extensive turnarounds. Team building is among his strong suits, which is crucial in problem-free and optimal hotel management. In everyday life he truly enjoys the company of guests and co-workers.For many years he has been a loyal and highly treasured chain employee. He has been handed many challenges, solved to the owners' great satisfaction. Today he leads a unique hotel for the fourth year in a row [this was last year, editor's remark] and has managed to place it on the map as one of the world's leading hotels. The hotel at Tjuvholmen has achieved excellent results and received a deluge of international awards.The winner bestows a lot of confidence and responsibilities on his co-workers, and excels in nurturing talents and offering people new opportunities. These managerial qualities were decisive when he was invited as a mentor in HSMAI's international mentor program. As chair of the Norwegian Hospitality Association's Oslo and Akershus branch he assumes an industry responsibility, champions favorable framework conditions for the industry and is a visible spokesman in the media.Highly acclaimedBut it doesn't stop there. Add the following to the list, and you get a more complete picture:2018: Conde Nast Gold List2017: Conde Nast Gold ListHSMAI Norway: Veiviseren (pathfinder) 2016VK 2017 (Nordic Choice Hotels' Winter Conference): Nominee for General Manager of the Year and Hotel of the Year 20162016: Conde Nast Readers' Choice Awards - #1 Hotel in Northern Europe2016: Nettavisen Best Hotel in Norway2015 and 2016: Grand Travel Awards Hotel of the Year2016: Conde Nast Gold List2014: Best Spa Boutique Hotel in Europe2014: Nordic Choice Hotels - New Hotel of the Year#1 hotel in Norway, Trip Advisor Travelers Choice Awards'I am, of course, proud of the many awards, won together with the great team at THE THIEF. It is hard to highlight awards on the list, but the Conde Nast Readers' Choice Awards as the number one Hotel in Northern Europe, as well as the Conde Nast Gold List won this year and last year, really stand out as special moments for the team,' Jarle Moen says, ahead of taking a seat on HSMAI Region Europe's Culture and People Advisory Board, as well as joining the ranks of HSMAI mentors in HSMAI Region Europe's Mike Leven Mentor Program.The HSMAI Culture & People Advisory Board, on which Jarle Moen is about to take a seat, consists of a select few general managers and professionals with leading European experts on marketing, management, learning and talent development.A top-notch hotel, eateries, spa and barTjuvholmen (the Thief Islet) used to be a haven for smugglers, thieves and scoundrels. Today it is home to THE THIEF, a modern hideaway - smack in the middle of downtown Oslo. If anything gets stolen there nowadays, it's usually Jarle Moen's hotel stealing its guests away from their everyday lives.THE THIEF is filled with top international art pieces, carefully selected designer furniture, global Nordic cuisine, a top quality spa and cosmopolitan bars. 'Escapees' are able to enjoy refreshing dips in the sea at the Tjuvholmen beach or stroll off the islet across the footbridge to the bustling Aker Brygge restaurant and business area. Most of its guests come here to get away from it all, and for the relaxing atmosphere of THE THIEF, according to the hotel's website, but we think it is safe to say that it's no exaggeration.'Complaints most welcome''In my opinion, we have managed to position THE THIEF as one of Norway's leading hotels in less than five years because we have followed our business plan, strategy and branding guidelines to the letter, and tried to tick every box as we went along. It has, however, been important to listen to our guests' feedback and make adjustments to the concept when needed. For example, when we established the roof top bar and restaurant,' says Jarle Moen.'You need to dare to be bold, to grab those international awards, be on your front feet and work hard. I have an absolutely astounding team of super-qualified colleagues, focused on one common goal: to deliver world-class service. Of course, we experience complaints, I would be lying if I told you differently, but poor feedback is feedback good as any! We use it to improve ourselves,' he adds.'You never hesitated to address yourself as the hotel's Thief Executive Officer. How is the hotel's apparently informal interaction with itself and its surroundings received by guests and the public at large?''That is exactly how we wish to be seen and experienced, delivering top class service while yielding profits for our owners, but seriously, I think the time we live in calls for just that. Each and every member of our team genuinely cares for our guests. You have to remember that even international celebrities want to be seen as people, so we treat our guests as rock stars and rock stars as guests. Simple as that, and yes, it does reflect on how we address ourselves,' Jarle Moen explains.Up close and personal'If you ask me, the qualities distinguishing a successful 21st century hotel manager are two things, primarily, depending on whether we're talking general manager or hotel manager: curiosity and the ability to love your guests and colleagues. It's all about being able to make your co-workers excel at what they're supposed to be good at, to extract the very best from each and every one of them. I practice management by walking around, partly based on previous experiences. I have worked in organizations where the general manager has been hiding behind an office door, but you know, that simply doesn't cut it anymore.''Also,' he says, 'I pride myself on only hiring people who are better than me in their respective fields, which is also why we have the best team. I'm rather good at that, if I may say so myself. I think, perhaps, that's where I really stand to contribute internationally, because that kind of thinking really isn't that common.''Another trait signifying a successful general manager is his or her willingness to actually meet the guests. There's nothing quite as nice as being greeted by the general manager or hotel manager in person, which is something I try to do as often as time allows,' says Jarle Moen.'You have had ample opportunity to get to know HSMAI's Mike Leven Mentor Program. In what way do you think such a program can contribute to the professional growth of travel and hospitality executives?''Being a top executive in the travel and hospitality industry means that you're under constant scrutiny, day after day. You're weighed, judged and measured on TripAdvisor and in the social media, so you cannot allow yourself to ever leave the stage, as it were. I live my work 24/7. I have guests just next to my office wall, so there is indeed a certain amount of pressure. That's where HSMAI's Mike Leven Mentor Program and the Culture and People Advisory Board serves, not only as a place to vent our concerns, but also as a place to be inspired. You see, I expect to be inspired every bit as much by my future mentee as he or she by me. Top executives need mentors, too, and considering what I just said about only hiring people who are better than me in certain respects ...'Need for a common ground'The mentor program is all about putting service and management on the agenda. Mike Leven speaks of simple, basic things, such as seeing people, and has done so with huge success, because he has allowed himself the time to do so. He is a man who has lived a long life in the industry, accumulating experiences and an impressive knowledge. It's not like I think this is going to revolutionize us in any way, but we could really need to pause and think every now and then. Being a leader is demanding. Being able to make your colleagues good is demanding. That's where I think the program has a mission,' Jarle Moen elaborates, adding:'Everything in our line of work is about bearing the brunt together. It is highly important to be committed and to be part of something. Each and every one of us needs to pull his or her weight. What HSMAI's Ingunn Hofseth does is to ensure that the industry sticks together, creating a common ground, which I find most admirable. We need that.''Have we seen any similar initiatives in recent years?''I think we can safely assume that most hotels or hotel chains of a certain stature have their own mentoring or trainee programs, but what I find intriguing with the Mike Leven Mentor Program is that you get a chance to work with the best people in the world, like Mike Leven himself. That is fantastic, no less!'Team builder par excellenceOf course we had to ask Jarle Moen to mention some of his strengths, which arguably is a different question to answer, as we all know, but we couldn't resist:'I'm probably not the one to ask, but I think the ability to attract the best people the industry has to offer ranks up there, and if you take a closer look at what we've achieved, I think it is safe to say that we've succeeded. Oh, and being named HSMAI's Hotelier of the Year, accompanied by the jury's praise, was a humbling, but very rewarding experience. Finally, perhaps I should mention my talent for building teams,' he says.Not a 9 to 5 jobJarle Moen is a 100 percent dedicated general manager, not very likely to leave his work at the office.'You have to be 'on the ball' at all times, so I find it hard to put the cell phone down and I read my last emails around midnight. The line between work and personal life inevitably gets blurred, but I'm good at taking a timeout every now and then. I love going down to my cottage in Drobak, not far from Oslo, doing absolutely nothing'.A super arenaOf course Jarle Moen has an expectation or two to his future life as a mentor:'I would be delighted to work with someone who is highly committed and also from the international scene, I think. A lot of THE THIEF's guests live in New York, for some reason or the other. Maybe someone from the Big Apple could be interesting? It is a destination that is very convenient for me since I visit the city quite often, but from what I hear there's already candidates waiting in London and Barcelona, so maybe one of those? I picture maybe a rookie hotel manager or general manager, eager to rise in the ranks.''Anything else, before we wrap this up?''Since you ask, I'd just like to say that I hope this program will result in a mutual arena for professionals who are keen to be part of the international travel and hospitality elite, mutually contributing to each other's professional growth - a super arena, if you will. That's what I'd like.''We are very proud to welcome Jarle Moen as mentor and advisory board member,' says HSMAI Region Europe President and CEO Ingunn Hofseth, adding 'His huge successes in facilitating a creative and energetic working environment is an inspiration to us all, and we hope to tap into his mind. Also we are delighted by the prospect of seeing aspiring mentees profiting from his vast knowledge.''HSMAI strongly believes in Mike Leven's leadership philosophy and is therefore introducing this program in his name for the mentors and mentees who share these values and the same passion to implement that philosophy,' she says.More on the program in this document.Details on the Culture and People Advisory Board can be found here.

Mike Leven Mentor Program

HSMAI Europe ·27 April 2018
Regardless of whether you work on a national, European og global basis and have a lengthy experience in management, the demand for increased competence is on the rise. The industry is changing rapidly, the market is challenging, which is why it is more important now than ever to keep abreast of developments, and continuously improve our skills and learn from others.Mentoring is a two-way process. Not all executives are good as mentors. The mentors who are committed to constantly developing and learning themselves are the best mentors. They appreciate that the work with mentees provides learning and development for themselves too. In addition to what ever assistance you may receive internally HSMAI wants to be there for you - throughout your whole career.The program is aimed at all age groups and levels in the industry. A pan-European mentor program working across different disciplines and companies within travel and hospitality can prove to be favorable for mentors and mentees, personally, professionally, but also for the respective companies and for the industry as a whole.If your company is an HSMAI member you may enter the program for free, with no other expenses than transport and accommodation.The program has been developed in close cooperation with Mike Leven, who will assist in selecting and coaching the mentors. In other words we here have a golden opportunity to learn from one of the absolute best in the field.This will take place in Florida this fall, and again in the spring of 2019. Twice in total, included dialogue over Skype or similar platforms.Few, if any, fascinate me more than Mike. He is one of the most prominent US hotel icons, but it is his warmth, wisdom, humility and commitment to leadership, customer service, which is quite unique, and the way he works to improve and empower those around him, that really makes him stand out.Mike has been working internationally all his life, and is up-to-date in most areas, including politics. I have had the distinct pleasure to have him as my mentor for more than three years, and counting, but now it's time to take it to the next stage, coaching future mentors for The Mike Leven Mentor program.Please read more here : are really looking forward to hearing from youWarm regards,Ingunn HofsethPresident & CEOHSMAI Region Europe

HSMAI: Call for Innovation Advisory Board members

HSMAI Europe ·27 April 2018
With European advisory boards within Revenue Management, Marketing, Sales, and Distribution already in place for several years, HSMAI Region Europe is now announcing the introduction of an advisory board focusing on innovation, calling for board members and a chair.'In addition to an Innovation Advisory Board we have decided to focus on Culture and People, in relation to our Winning for Customers - The Service Pledge program and the Mike Leven Mentor program. We will soon be calling for Advisory Board members even for these areas,' says HSMAI Region Europe President and CEO Ingunn Hofseth, now calling for the establishment of an Innovation advisory board, based on one of the six pillars HSMAI Region Europe will focus its efforts on.The initiative to an Innovation Advisory Board came last year, from Mr Morten Rynning, co-founder of Aispot.'His idea immediately resonated with us, so we invited him to the HSMAI Region Europe Leadership Day in Frankfurt last September, to present his ideas, and decided to follow up on them, and now I am very happy to announce that we will initiate this board with members from both outside and inside the hospitality industry' Ingunn Hofseth says.HSMAI is currently inviting a few very interesting people from outside the industry - to join together with the representatives from the hospitality industry. If you have candidates you think we should contact regarding the board - we would appreciate it. And this is the time to do so.A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOARD:With the increasing speed of changes within our industry as well as related industries such as travel&tourism, fintech and new technology - we see the function of this Advisory Board to bring the 'outside world' into our inside discussions about changes of our industry.Major changes to the hospitality industry has in the past and may even in the future come from outside the industry.As with most industries, many within the hospitality industry view innovation mainly based upon on operational challenges - while major innovation might regard a broader overview and method - in combination with early warning monitoring and analysis. This includes spotting and discussing impact and timing of new disruptive business models, new players or technology trends - such as: blockchain, Alibaba mobile, public-private partnerships, VR-AR etc.)The hospitality field should for this reason also be seen in a wider perspective, this would make participation for non-hotel related hospitality partners extra attractive.We are looking for an innovative Hospitality leader to chair this board.We are also looking for experts and representatives of other industries too.Participation in this AB should not be a 'sacrifice for the good cause' of innovation oriented HSMAI members, but we will offer a notion of being 'close to where it's happening'; some kind of network that offers direct spin-off advantages to the participants too. It will keep spirits high and makes continuation easier.How to improve the customer experience, offer new services and better communication will also be of interest for this group.WOULD YOU LIKE TO JOIN?Please contact Sylvia Kolk at for more information.The first face to face meeting will take place in London in September, in connection with the HSMAI event Curate and The HSMAI Day.Let's join forces!

The HSMAI Region Europe Awards 2017

HSMAI Europe ·12 April 2018
We have new criteria this year, recognizing the entire specter of commercial leaders from the whole industry, which will go hand in hand with our new initiatives - Winning for Customers - The Service Pledge and The HSMAI Day.The entertainment was provided by NeedMusic and the highly popular Norwegian singer/songwriter Alejandro Fuentes, clearly contributing to the high spirits throughout the night.The list will "live" the whole year through, and you will meet several of the Top 20 winners at The HSMAI Day, taking place in the city they are based in during the fall - or in London in September, at The HSMAI Day there. They will be invited to share some of their experiences as leaders. Both success stories and what has been less successful. They will also share experiences about how their leadership style developed over the years.Here are the criteria: The HSMAI Region Europe Awards 2017 will recognize the people deserving to be awarded for their great work in Hospitality, travel, and tourism this year. Join us to celebrate the Europe's Top 20 Extraordinary minds and contributors to the industry of Commercial & Revenue Optimization Leaders.The hospitality and travel industry requires creative thinkers, innovators and team players. The HSMAI Region Europe Top 20 honors these top achievers in leadership, sales, marketing, and revenue optimization of hospitality, travel and tourism organisations for their accomplishments. HSMAI Region Europe recognizes leaders that are high achievers who stand out through their creativity and innovation, cutting-edge programs, triumph in challenging situations that result in dramatic gains. The people nominated for this list have also made incredible contributions to the industry as a whole, not just the companies they are representing.-The hospitality and travel industry requires creative thinkers and innovators. The HSMAI Region Europe Top 20 honors these top achievers in hospitality, travel, and the tourism industry for their accomplishments. The people nominated for this list have also made incredible contributions to the industry as a whole, not just the companies they represent, says HSMAI Region Europe President and CEO Ingunn Hofseth.Press here to see all the winners!

European HSMAI initiative to go global with Mike Leven onboard

HSMAI Europe · 6 April 2018
-For many years HSMAI in Europe has nurtured plans for the Winning for Customers - The Service Pledge concept, an initiative made to improve the quality of service and to assist companies and organizations to develop their Service Pledge - internally and externally, to increase pride and satisfaction among employees and thereby contributing to increased profitability, says HSMAI Region Europe President and CEO Ingunn HofsethThe Mike Leven Mentor ProgramWinning for Customers - The Service Pledge based on Mike Leven's philosophy-For many years I have wondered what strategy is most important amongst the many. I now believe the Winning for Customers - The Service Pledge is the single best,' Mike Leven says in a recent remark.Most companies have a vision. Many also have a set of values. It is HSMAI Region Europe's conviction that it should be equally important to have a vision that relates to the company's service delivery, service recovery and service reputation. These are among the things the Service Pledge program will help create. The program is based on four pillars; Customer Service, Company Culture, Communication and Service Recovery, integrated, seamlessly and positively, to make a considerable difference in how the organization's customer service and the credibility of its Service Pledge are perceived.Coaching for execsIn addition to the Winning for Customers - The Service Pledge program, an international platform for mentoring travel and hospitality executives is underway, in the form of The Mike Leven Mentoring Program.'We see a need for coaching in order to reach our goal. General Managers and head office employees need coaching, too, which is why the mentor program has to go hand in hand with the Service Pledge initiative. For the HSMAI Region Europe Mentor Program we will start with the leaders who have the right passion and attitudes,' Hofseth explains.'We will reach out to those who show their passion for developing others and are willing to share insights and experience with other industry professionals. The mentor program will be held in Mike Leven's name. We believe in his leadership philosophy. We want to handpick the mentors who have the same values and the same passion to implement that philosophy,' she says.The planned initiatives include mentor coaching in Florida with Mike (for potential mentors), a 2019 summer camp in Europe, video and webinars, material og video clips for the knowledge bank and more.-For the last four years I have spent a lot of time with Mike and we like to work together,' Ingunn Hofseth says, adding: 'The two initiatives are closely related. Mike Leven will provide a donation of USD 100,000, divided on USD 50,000 each year for two years. In addition he will assist us in our coaching. We are now looking for persons and companies who share the same vision and passion, and will help us to fund and be part of this wonderful initiative'.The launch of the initiative will take place in London in September. Please contact Silvia Kolk at for more information.About Mike LevenMichael A. Leven, also known as Mike, has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Georgia Aquarium, Inc. since January 2015 in his sort-of-retirement years.Before that he was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp.A longtime industry leader and a "hotel icon", Michael is currently the Volunteer Chief Executive Officer of the Georgia Aquarium. He has an impressive career in hospitality with over 50 years of experience in top positions in hotels. Until 3 years ago Michael has been the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation where he leveraged his sales and leadership skills to turnaround the largest hotel gaming company in the world. His previous managerial positions also include the President and COO of Holiday Inn Worldwide and the President of Days Inn of America, as well as the Vice Chairman of the Marcus Foundation, a philanthropic organisation founded by Bernie Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot, Inc.Michael is a great supporter of HSMAI in the US. He has also been the past international Chair of HSMAI. In the US the HSMAI Leadership Day is named after him in honour of his extraordinary leadership skills and his lifelong commitment to developing the industry. Together with the Las Vegas Sands Corporation Michael made a generous donation totaling at $1.5 million to HSMAI in the US.Michael is a co-founder of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) which now has over 7,000 members. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University and a Master of Science from Boston University.Mike Leven quotesI measure success on what you have done to other people not what you have done for yourself .I developed an early sense of the customer and satisfying that customer. I always objected to some of the resistance from the financial side of the industry, which prevented the satisfaction of the customer.Lots of people can make financial turnarounds and grow businesses, which I've done. But when you have a chance to establish an idea and an organization that changes the course of history and changes the course of many lives, well that stands out as a very important accomplishment to me.(When speaking of his accomplishments in co-founding AAHOA)Status Quo is a Prescription for FailureMike Leven's principles for running a business include:-- The customer is not always right, but is always the customer-- Every employee is a human being who deserves dignity and care, and it is OK if they ask why, rather than simply accept an order because people often need an explanation for why they should do things. If you have to fire one, make sure you never take his or her dignity away-- Listen more than you talk-- Participation in industry activities is not only a giving experience to others, but is a learning experience for yourself-- Remember this is a human industry where you can touch thousands of people and build friendships. Competitors are not enemies-- No matter how much money you make, someone always makes more - and somebody else makes less-- You should enjoy every obligation because with obligations done, responsibility is earned and success follows. But despite what you hear, realize that 'don't sweat the small stuff' is a bad strategy. Your life is made up of small stuff so live with it-- The boss is not always right, but is always the bossPhoto: Mike Leven (stock photo).


HSMAI Europe · 6 April 2018
We are getting excited to welcome Steven Bartlett to the#HSMAIEuropeROCDOC2018! Steven is the 25-year-old CEO of The Social Chain Group and will be enlightening us on what is next for #socialmedia and how to stay ahead of the curve this year![?] Sign up today for the #HSMAIEuropeROCDOC2018:[?]Join our Linkedin Group for the 2018 conference to connect with others and start discussions:

Join HSMAI Region Europe in Amsterdam on 10 and 11 April!

HSMAI Europe ·23 March 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and HSMAI Region Europe, the Hospitality, Sales and Marketing Association International, are pleased to extend their partnership and co-locate their european activities again in April 2018. HSMAI Region Europe will co-locate its Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) and its Digital and Distribution Optimization Conference (DOC), as well as their other events with HFTP's HITEC Amsterdam - and we would very much like to see you there!HSMAI Region Europe ROC & DOC is the number one annual event offering the latest trends and news in revenue optimization, digital marketing, and distribution for the hospitality industry, bringing together more than 250 executives in Amsterdam. Thought leaders and inspirational speakers will share their insights on revenue management strategies and trends, digital marketing and distribution. In the evening you will enjoy great music, dinner, networking and our Awards Ceremony - The HSMAI Awards will take place on Tuesday evening 10 April 2018 at Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City while HITEC Amsterdam will take place from 11-13 April 2018 at the nearby RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre.11 April, HSMAI Region Europe, launches its new global concept called Curate - An HSMAI Executive Insights Forum. This event is by invitation only, and the attendees at Curate must be senior executives providing unique opportunities for strategic conversations across all disciplines of, sales, marketing, distribution, revenue management as well as culture and people in customer centric environments.11 April, HSMAI Region Europe also host an interactive Revenue Management workshop, after which the participants will complete the globally recognised CRME certification exam: to the above, on the 11 April, HSMAI will organise The MeetConnect for professionals involved in events and conferences. In addition to serving as a marketplace for buyers and providers of events, HSMAI will present their Event Trend Barometer followed by a debate about meetings and events and the future."We are looking forward to see HSMAI members and non-members alike at these content-packed events", says HSMAI Region Europe President & CEO Ingunn Hofseth.For more information about the above activities or membership and more, please contact us at postbox@hsmai.euPLEASE NOTE: As qualified registrants for HSMAI events , HITEC Amsterdam will provide you with one complimentary, non-transferable registration which entitles the recipient to two days access to the HITEC Amsterdam exhibit hall and general sessions. HITEC Amsterdam concurrent educational sessions are not included. Comp registrations are only available to qualified attendees directly from the hotel and travel industry and cannot be used by suppliers or vendors, consultants, nor personnel, dealers, distributors, subsidiaries, investors, partners/associates or family members of exhibiting companies. HSMAI Region Europe will automatically register all qualified registrants directly with HITEC Amsterdam. Your contact information will be provided to HFTP, the host of HITEC Amsterdam, for the purpose of communicating with you about your registration. If you prefer to NOT be registered for the complimentary exhibit hall pass, please email us at

Join HSMAI Region Europe Awards!

HSMAI Europe ·12 February 2018
HSMAI European Awards 2017 will recognise the people and companies that deserve to be awarded for their great work in Hospitality, travel and tourism in 2017.HSMAI Region Europe calls for entries for the 7th annual HSMAI European Awards.New categoriesWe have several new categories in line with the industry's rapid development and it works well with our new program Winning for Customer - The Service PledgeA big thank you to Diane Wennerland, Senior Manager Business Development EMEA at World Hotels, and Michael McCartan, Managing Director, EMEA, together with our own Mia Touzin Leffler, for their help to adjust the categories."The HSMAI European Awards is one of our most exciting events," says Ingunn Hofseth president and CEO of HSMAI Region Europe. "Each year, we're astounded by the way the industry is evolving and the work these incredible teams initiate to move their brands and clients forward."JuryThe jury of the HSMAI Region European Awards 2017 consists of experienced top leaders from diverse parts of the hospitality, travel and tourism industryVisit our landing page for the Awards here!You can sign up here for ROC & DOC and the Awards dinner and show April 10th 2018, at Novotel Amsterdam City.See the Awards categories hereSubmit for entries here

HSMAI Region Europe's first Curate events

HSMAI Europe ·30 January 2018
The first Curate will take place in Amsterdam on 11 April (The day after ROC & DOC) and in London on 13 September 2018, both under the direction of Scandic Hotels' former President and CEO Frank Fiskers, rewarded with HSMAI Region Europe's Outstanding Leadership Award last year."I am delighted to be associated with HSMAI in this way and am looking forward to contributing and sharing experience of key success factors for their important initiative by giving back to the hospitality industry, which over so many years gave me such a wonderful professional life", he says.An industry leaderFrank Fiskers' amazing achievements, positive energy and special gift for speaking publicly has made him well respected in the hotel and travel industry globally. He has held leadership roles in the hotel industry for 25 years across multiple countries throughout Europe and Africa, and has held a number of top executive positions in reputable hotel corporations such as Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Hilton Hotels Worldwide.For more than seven years he was the President and CEO of Scandic Hotels and led Scandic to world-wide recognition and multiple awards for its outstanding work within sustainability. Scandic almost doubled from 130 to 230 hotels under his leadership and he raised the group to the strongest share price in the world among all listed hotel companies. He has also been a driving force behind getting "accessibility" on the agenda of the hotel industry.A global conceptThe Curate concept is a global one, to be held twice a year in various regions, starting in America and Europe, in close cooperation and with mutual attendance between the regions.The subject for the first Curate events are yet to be decided, but according to the HSMAI leadership partakers are in for a treat."We are extremely pleased that Frank Fiskers agreed to take on this challenge," says HSMAI Region Europe's President and CEO Ingunn Hofseth, while explaining the Curate concept in some detail:"A standard Curate agenda will include a pre-event survey to all delegates in order to identify current and emerging trends which are top of the participants' mind, and that they would like to discuss with industry colleagues," she says. "Also, there will be an evening social function prior to the day of the meeting, and an opening general session with a recap of survey results or output."Breakouts focused on the top themes identified in the pre-event survey, each with a moderator who has a basic knowledge on the subject matter, will take place, too, accompanied by a Q & A.For senior executivesThe Curate events are to be held twice a year, to keep pace with the fast rate of change in the hospitality industry."The events will provide an inspirational forum to enable corporate executives and others to discuss, anticipate and deal with the most critical business issues that impact performance based on industry sentiment research done prior to each Curate," Ms. Hofseth continues, adding:"They will also provide 'meeting minutes' of these most critical issues along with curated problem-solving insights that participants can take back to their companies. We aim at prioritising and framing those issues in a way that will guide the association's programme of work and content development plan. One of the unique aspects of the event will be the mix of corporate attendees and conversation across all disciplines of sales, marketing, distribution, culture and people, revenue management and innovation, as well as company types represented in the HSMAI organisational membership."Attendees at Curate must be senior executives from the HSMAI organisational membership companies. They will identify emerging trends and issues and recommend actions.More on the HSMAI organisational memberships here.

HSMAI Region Europe welcomes TripAdvisor onto three new Advisory Boards

HSMAI Europe · 4 September 2017
HSMAI Region Europe today announced that TripAdvisor has joined three new advisory boards: Service Operation, focusing on HSMAI Region Europe's newly-developed "Winning for Customers - The Service Pledge" programme; the Customer Loyalty & Relationship Advisory Board; and the Destination Marketing Advisory Board. TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site, is already an active member of the Digital Advisory Board.TripAdvisor will be attending HSMAI Region Europe's leadership day in Frankfurt in early September, and the 2017 agreement also sees a number of TripAdvisor employees joining HSMAI Europe as corporate members."We are very happy to continue the partnership with TripAdvisor and to have them active on our Advisory Boards," says HSMAI Europe President and CEO Ingunn Hofseth," adding: "In business today it's all about the customer experience. Everything is getting more and more transparent, booking and search engines become more professional. Margins for errors are so small. Together with highly educated professionals HSMAI Region Europe has worked out a generic method and process to build a service quality strategy for change management and relation management and we are now hosting educational programmes for candidates who would like to become HSMAI-certified Executive Coaches for our new programme, Winning for Customers - The Service Pledge. TripAdvisor is the perfect partner for us."Helena Egan, TripAdvisor's Global Director of Industry Relations, adds "We are pleased to be expanding our cooperation with HSMAI Europe to engage with the hospitality industry and drive awareness of the benefits of working with TripAdvisor."About TripAdvisorTripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site*, enables travellers to unleash the full potential of every trip. With more than 535 million reviews and opinions covering the world's largest selection of travel listings worldwide -- over 7 million accommodations, airlines, attractions, and restaurants -- TripAdvisor provides travellers with the wisdom of the crowds to help them decide where to stay, how to fly, what to do and where to eat. TripAdvisor also compares prices from more than 200 hotel booking sites so travellers can find the lowest price on the hotel that's right for them. TripAdvisor-branded sites are available in 49 markets, and are home to the world's largest travel community of 415 million average unique monthly visitors,** all looking to get the most out of every trip. TripAdvisor: Know better. Book better. Go better.

Get certified as an HSMAI Executive Coach to facilitate Service Pledge workshops

HSMAI Europe ·27 April 2017
We will host two educational programmes for candidates who would like to become HSMAI-certified Executive Coaches:Oslo: 6 June through to 9 JuneorLondon: 17 July through to 20 JulyPlease contact Linda for more information at

The latest in hospitality Revenue Management, Distribution and Digital Marketing trends presented in Amsterdam 29-30 March

HSMAI Europe ·22 March 2017
Europe's number one leading annual events for Revenue Management, Digital Marketing and Distribution for the hospitality industry is taking place in Amsterdam on Wednesday and Thursday 29-30 March, co-located with HITEC Amsterdam 2017 - and you are very welcome to attend."This is HSMAI Region Europe's 7th Revenue Optimization Conference, with the added value of Digital and Distribution Optimization, held as a two-day event in Amsterdam's RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre," says HSMAI Region Europe President and CEO Ingunn Hofseth, who is pleased to welcome professionals of the entire industry, as they convene in Amsterdam on Wednesday 29 March.Please visit for further details."We hope to see as many of our esteemed colleagues as possible, for a day full of top experts and inspirational speakers, sharing their insights and tips on Revenue Optimization, Digital Marketing and Distribution. In the evening, find out who will get all the awards at the Awards Ceremony," she says, with an added reminder that the following day's schedule contains so-called think tanks on Digital Marketing, Revenue Management, Distribution, Customer Loyalty & Relationship Management, Sales, and an introduction to HSMAI Region Europe's Revenue Management, Digital Expert and Service Pledge training programmes.Day 1 programme: 2 programme: workshopA workshop, including exams for the CRME (Certified Revenue Management Executive) certification is also set to take place on the second day of the two-day conference, for which you may find detailed information on this AwardsBoth days will offer a host of leading experts within their respective fields, and then, of course, there's the HSMAI European Awards 2016, to be held in the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre in the evening of Day 1.The Awards 2016 will recognise the people and companies that deserve to be awarded for their great work in Hospitality this year.HITEC Amsterdam 2017HSMAI Region Europe's ROC and DOC conferences are co-located with HFTP's HITEC Amsterdam 2017, also taking place in the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre between 28 and 30 March. Please vitis their designated event website here.

HSMAI Region Europe to Co-locate Revenue Optimization Conference With Premiere HITEC Amsterdam in March 2017

HSMAI Europe ·27 June 2016
>Linda M. Ramberg, Project Manager at HSMAI Region Europe; Lucinda Hart, Chief Operations Officer at HFTP; Ingunn Hofseth, President & CEO at HSMAI Region Europe; Frank Wolfe, CEO at HFTP; Jennifer Lee, Chief Marketing Officer at HFTP; Carl Weldon, Chief Operations Officer - Europe at HFTP. New Orleans, Louisiana, 23rd June 2016.-->

Fantastic venue for HSMAI key events in Norway

HSMAI Europe ·22 June 2016
On the night of 25 January 2017 the Norwegian hospitality industry's "Oscars" will be held in the Oslo opera house in Bjorvika, following the equally magnificent event, the HSMAI Meeting and Event Exchange, taking place at the same venue earlier in the day."The hospitality 'Oscars', which is a widespread nickname for the Norwegian HSMAI Awards, offers mingling, aperitifs, a dinner and top-notch entertainment, in addition to the highlight of the evening, the award ceremony," says HSMAI Europe President and CEO Ingunn Hofseth, continuing, "And in January it is all going to be held in the Oslo opera for the first time."However, the day is a big one for Norwegian hospitality in more ways than one:"We will start the day during the early hours, as the annual Meeting and Event Exchange commences - a vital hub for buyers and providers of meeting, event and conference services, as well as for the various destinations, hotels, conference centres and other arenas," Hofseth explains.Both she and HSMAI are extremely pleased that The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet agreed to host the events, as the venue rarely is able to accommodate requests of the kind."We are very happy that we succeeded in finding an available day for the hospitality industry's most important event aimed at Norwegian clients, and are proud that the Opera has been named Oslo's primary tourist attraction, in addition to serving as the country's leading stage for opera and ballet," says Sigrid Tofte Roiri, head of the opera's commercial department, adding "Also we look forward to this opportunity to show off our great arena, in front of representatives from this great industry and its clients."Afternoon seminarAlso next year's HSMAI Meeting and Event Exchange will contain an invitation to an inspiring congress seminar during the afternoon, provideded by the Norway Convention Bureau."Among the thing we bring to the table you will find knowhow and tricks of the trade, as well as inspiration and motivation that can come in handy for any individual or organisation seeking to host a meeting or congress in Norway," says Norway Convention Bureau's Managing Director Frode Aasheim, adding "We will attend with several leading experts prepared to share useful experiences from their successes in bringing international congresses to Norway, and the importance the hosting of international events has had for the domestic circle of professionals."Exquisite food and drinks"During the evening hours we plan to use the opera lobby ahead of the awards ceremony, in which food and drinks will be served with the kind assistance of the renowned Fursetgruppen [Furset Group], with several buffets, upon which we withdraw to the auditorium, where the award ceremony itself will take place, although in a swifter fashion than earlier years, as the ceremony and the dinner sequences are now kept apart," Ingunn Hofseth assures us."And afterwards the networking resumes, with drinks and first-rate entertainment," she adds, reminding us to save the date; 25 January 2017."In the Fursetgruppen we really look forward to working with HSMAI and to make sure we do our share in making this a successful event for the industry and its clients," says the Fursetgruppen Head of Marketing & Communications Mariane Nygard-Hansen."Also we are thrilled to learn that HSMAI chose the opera as venue, and will of course provide lots of tasty experiences, in terms of food and beverage," she adds.For more information, please contact Linda M. Ramberg on +47 928 03 694 or

HSMAI Region Europe active in Stockholm

HSMAI Europe ·17 March 2016
Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Region Europe is organizing a breakfast meeting and a CRME certification on 5th April as well as a Distribution & Marketing Strategy Conference on 10th November 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden. On Thursday 10 November 2016 HSMAI Region Europe is holding their first European conference on Distribution and Marketing Strategy at the Operakallaren in Stockholm. The day will consist of presentations from many of the Hospitality Industry's top leaders and other inspirational thinkers as well as interactive discussions and networking.HSMAI Region Europe will also be in Stockholm on 5th April 2016 for a breakfast meeting to present HSMAI Region Europe and some of our partners. One key topic we will focus on will be disruption in our industry and how the industry needs to manage change. On the 5th April we will also have the global CRME (Certified Revenue Management Executive) workshop and certification in order to certify a few Revenue Management professionals, and will certify a bigger group on 11th November on both CRME as well as the global Digital Marketing certification CHDM (Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer). The events on 5th April will take place at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm."HSMAI has been very active in some parts of the Nordics for many years, and we are excited to expand on this by having our first Distribution & Marketing Strategy Conference in Stockholm this November. We are looking forward to an even stronger presence in Sweden and are thrilled to bring together our European members and the local industry in Sweden," says Ingunn Hofseth, President & CEO of HSMAI Region Europe."I am happy that HSMAI Region Europe has chosen Stockholm and the very nice Operakallaren venue for the first Distribution Conference. It is time to show Stockholm to the rest of Europe," says Per-Anders Pettersson, Owner of Benchmarking Alliance and a member of HSMAI Region Europe Revenue Management Advisory Board."With Distribution being such an important matter for the industry today, I am thrilled that HSMAI is organizing a Distribution& Marketing Strategy Conference, and I am so pleased that Stockholm will be the first city out. HSMAI is a well established organization with a lot of traction in Europe, and therefore I am also very happy to see that major chains in the Nordics now sign up for the CRME certification too," says Asa Murphy, Owner & CEO of BizStrat AB and a member of HSMAI Region Europe Revenue Management Advisory Board.See here for our preliminary event calendar

HSMAI Region Europe invites you to take part in a survey about Engagement with Future Talent

HSMAI Europe ·17 February 2016
See Steven Dow, VP Revenue Management Europe at Diamond Resorts International, and David Turnbull, Co-Founder and COO at Snapshot, introduce the initiative in a short video.Complete the brief survey here and enter a prize draw to win an iWatch - sponsored by HSMAI Region Europe sponsors and members Diamond Resorts International and SnapShot.

HSMAI European Best in Class Marketing laureates 2015 and "Top 20 Extraordinary Minds In Sales, Marketing & Technology across Europe 2015" named

HSMAI Europe ·15 February 2016
"The TOP 20 EXTRAORDINARY MINDS IN SALES, MARKETING & TECHNOLOGY across Europe" were appointed during a festive event in London Wednesday 10 February 2016, in which also Best in Class winners were named in several categories."The 2015 Top 20 laureates are judged for their recent work, based on the following criteria: creativity and innovation, cutting edge sales, marketing, revenue and technology campaigns, achievement in challenging situations, and sales efforts resulting in significant gains, by a panel of senior executives. We are deeply impressed by, and proud to presents this year's winners," says Ingunn Hofseth, President & CEO of HSMAI Region Europe.Winners were named in five categories (please scroll down for the complete list of winners).The Radisson Blu Portman Hotel served as scene for HSMAI Region Europe's 6th Annual Revenue Optimisation Conference, as well as the awards ceremony, taking place in the evening, charecterised by entertainment and high spirits, with world-class keynote speakers earlier on.The attendants were treated to an exquisite mix of food, drinks and entertainment."The TOP 20 EXTRAORDINARY MINDS IN SALES, MARKETING & TECHNOLOGY across Europe"Peter O'Connor - Dean of Academic Programs, ESSEC Business SchoolHedwig Wassing - Owner, annacomNikhil Gupta - Director of Hotels and Car Hire, SkyscannerStephen Williams - Director Group Sales & Marketing, Windward MRufino Perez Fernandez - Chief Commercial Officer, NH HotelsDaniel Skjeldam - Group CEO, HurtigrutenMarco Nussbaum - Co-Founder & CEO, prizeotel - THE Budget Design HotelsMichael Simon - General Manager - Distribution, EMEA & ASPAC, MarriottMargitte Verkruijsse - Vice President Business Development, Snapshot GmbHMichael Toedt - Managing Partner, CEO, Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbHHans Meyer - Co Founder & Managing Director, ZokuChristina Purnell - Director, Global eCommerce & Digital Services - Europe, MarriottAnabelle Beets - Director of Revenue Management, Kempinski HotelsEdward St.Onge - President Global Sales and Marketing, Flip.toCarmen Duecker - Deputy Managing Director, Best Western Central Europe GmbHChristoph Hoffmann - CEO, 25 hours HotelEtienne Faisandier - VP Revenue Management & Business Intelligence, Movenpick Hotels & ResortsMargaret Ady - Vice President, Marketing, TrustYouMark Lewsey - Director of Marketing, ME London HotelWietse Bijzeit - Commercial Director, Corendon Hotels & ResortsFor more details, with pictures, please see our video presentation. The Best in Class winnersThe Digital WinnerGold: Red Carnation Hotel CollectionHonourable mention: Carlson Rezidor Hotel GroupHonourable mention: Ve Interactive / The GreshamHonourable mention: MarriottHonourable mention: Star TourThe jury says:In 2014 The Red Carnation Hotel Marketing Team took over the digital marketing strategy for Ashford Castle and faced the challenge of an underperforming website and an overall immature digital strategy. To put it mildly. The objective was to implement a comprehensive, multi channel digital strategy to increase reach, engagement and conversion for Ashford Castle, while repositioning Ashford as one of the leading, resort hotels in the world. Goals: * Design,build, launch and optimise a fully responsive website * Build a multi channel and multi media content strategy * Redefine the search engine marketing strategy * Drive a consistent PR message The outcome has been astonishing. The addition of a fully responsive booking engine to the website ensured a seamless customer journey throughout. Social media played a huge role in telling 'the story' of Ashford. Referrals to the website via Facebook for example grew by 82%. Overall traffic 2015 vs. 2014 grew by +39% and Mobile traffic increased 163%. Need we say more about the winner in this category?Social MediaGold: SAIL Event Partners C.V.Honourable mention: Carlson Rezidor Hotel GroupThe jury says:Sail Amsterdam is one of the largest maritime manifestations in the world. In 2015 over 8000 ships participated in the event attracting 2.3 million visitors in 5 days. Goal for 2015: to become the biggest Social Media Event in the Netherlands. Challenge: to overcome 5 years of technology/social media development with limited funds.Staggering Results: #1 and biggest social media event ever(!) in the Netherlands. Trending topic in Netherlands during the whole event. Worldwide(!) the most tweeted subject on twitter (80.000 tweets) resulting in 210 million impressions and 16.000 followers on Twitter (in 5 days) More than 34.000 photo's were posted on Instagram by the public and on Facebook the event received 38.852 likes reaching about 5.8 million people.Public RelationsGold: Magdas HotelThe jury says:When refugees are granted asylum they are legally allowed to work, however, due to different reasons they often still have difficulties to find a job. At the same time there is a lack of qualified personnel in the tourism industry. In order to tackle both issues, magdas developed a concept for a social business hotel run by refugees and experienced staff.How? By turning disadvantages into advantages! For example:They had an old house and little budget. So they upcycled many things and made new design furniture out of it.They had no marketing budget, so they made people talk about them and started a crowdfunding campaign.They had no money for furniture so the asked people to help build it and donate it.Did it work? You bet! Worldwide media coverage (including CNN, BBC, Die Zeit, Radio Tokyo) with over hundred articles, TV and radio features, online blogs etc. etc. Over 21.000 guests that at Magdas since the opening in Feb.2015 and over 1.000 people visited their hotel to informed themselves about the project.Best in Class Technology - Revenue ManagementGold: Accor Hotels GermanyThe jury says:In order to strengthen the bookings via their own and brand websites, Accor created the "Only On" A web direct offer defined on a customer perspective: concise, succinct and to-the-point.According to the motto "the best trip starts with the best price", due to "Only On" Accors clients can save up to 10% extra discount exclusively on its websites. The campaign is turning out very succesful as, despite some additional discount on the whole existing pricing, the "Only On" strategy has resulted in a net positive revenue outcome with among others:A volume growth on of +18 pts in September 2015, whereas OTAS were slowing downAn Optimized Rate Mix: 55% standard offers (e.g. Rack Rate)A Volume effect of : +12ptsA Price effect of: +6ptswhile during the first two waves (lasting about 6 weeks) Accor Germany generated more than 130 Million ad impressions via the display campaign in Germany and Austria.Best in Class Technology - Innovation AwardGold: Check MateHonourable Mention: Shopping MindsThe Jury says:Many hotels have tried their own apps to enable messaging, but the difficulty of finding, downloading, and remembering to use an app means that few guests use these tools. Meanwhile aggregator apps like Kayak and TripAdvisor are commonplace, while hotels' apps suffer from limited usage.Checkmate's goal: To create a tool for hotels and their guests that enables them to communicate more effectively among eachother! By addressessing every stage of the guest's journey (from pre-arrival to post check-out) Checkmate provides the opportunity forMobile Check In, even before they leave home if they wantTwo-way messaging making it it easy for guests and hotels to communicate to eachother. For example: Guests no longer need to wait on hold to request room service or ask for towels. Instead, they can fire off an SMS to make these requests.Real-time Feedback Loops - Rather than waiting for a post-stay survey or TripAdvisor review to discover an issueDoes it work?71.2% of guests opt in to SMS communication during mobile check in.Over 40,000 guests texted with their hotel at some point during the customer journey.More than 1.2M messages have been exchanged.16.7% of guests use real time feedback tools to alert staff to their experience.84,457 guests have completed Checkmate's in-stay feedback survey, providing unprecedented real-time transparency into guest satisfaction.So yes it works! as it helps the hotel to create a more personalized & very effective service that guests will remember.The Radisson Blu Portman Hotel served as scene for HSMAI Region Europe's 6th Annual Revenue Optimisation Conference, as well as the awards ceremony, taking place in the evening, charecterised by entertainment and high spirits, with world-class keynote speakers earlier on.The attendants were treated to an exquisite mix of food, drinks and entertainment.The winners of the Best in Class categories:The Digital Winner: Red Carnation Hotel CollectionSocial Media: SAIL Event Partners C.V.Public Relations: Magdas HotelBest in Class Technology - Revenue Management: Accor Hotels GermanyBest in Class Technology - Innovation Award: Check Mate

Germany's Travel Industry Club and HSMAI Region Europe teaming up

HSMAI Europe ·11 February 2016
German business organisation Travel Industry Club (TIC) and Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Region Europe have agreed to join forces to offer top notch advantages to the industry's German professionals, with co-branded gatherings already in the pipeline."Launched in 2005, the Travel Industry Club serves as an independent business club, sporting in excess of 750 members, all of whom leaders of the travel industry in Germany and its affiliated companies in the value chain, and therefore a valuable partner for HSMAI Region Europe," says Ingunn Hofseth, President and CEO of HSMAI Region Europe, adding:"Germany is one of our key markets and we would like to reach out to all segments of the industry in Germany with our European and international network and competence. We can think of no better way to achieve that than by embarking on a closer partnership with our colleagues in TIC."HSMAI Region Europe primarily covers the entire region, including Germany, with workshops, general manager forums, webinars, awards, networking, seminars and conferences for the entire travel and hospitality, as well as the Europe's growing event industry. There are also two new, small and informal, activities taking place in some major cities across Europe in the near future: HSMAI Region Europe Connect for networking, and HSMAI Region Europe Special Interest Meetings on various topics.Both the Travel Industry Club and HSMAI Region Europe base much of their activities on networking, professional development, social gatherings, symposia and recognition of excellence, all of which strongly enhanced through this brand-new alliance. The first co-branded activity the "Hospitality Symposium" will take place at the Kempinski Hotel Frankfurt Gravenbruch on Tuesday July 12th."Reaching out with a more international approach in the near future HSMAI Region Europe is an ideal organisation to partner with. With their long-standing international experience they are enlarging the partnership with valuable insights that all of our members will profit from. We are very much looking forward to our first international cooperation," says Dirk Bremer, President of the Travel Industry Club.ABOUT TICThe Travel Industry Club connects decision makers from the entire leisure and business travel industry. The club of the "Travel Makers" was established in 2005 and soon the idea to create a networking platform for decision makers and leading managers from the travel industry has become a success story: Currently the club has over 750 members.The diversity of the travel industry reflects itself in our activities. The Travel Industry Club sees itself as the "Think-Tank" of the travel branch. We are innovative, like to look forward and challenge the norms of the industry.The topics offered by the Travel Industry Club not only cover a wide spectrum but are also future orientated. This is reflected in our events calendar, which now features over 50 events per year, which amongst others include: Member Lounges, Award Nights, Networking Events and Symposia, For further information please visit


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