What changes do you think about China's high-end hotel market in 2017? How did your hotel group respond to these changes?Mr.Roberto Simone：与过去相比，中国的客人在预订五星级酒店的时候，已经更加成熟了。事实上，定制化的设施和个性化服务的需求正在增长，今天的消费者对产品，设施和趋势有更多的了解，并且非常关注在线反馈。如今富裕人群虽然对国际品牌仍然充满热情和要求，却倾向于采取更长时间的做决定，并最终确定其选择。忠诚度是不稳定的，要创造竞争优势，酒店需要在所有服务细节和核心产品上关注客户体验。客房设计及舒适度、水疗SPA、美食、葡萄酒和调制鸡尾酒需要为人们的感觉器官提供独特的、有推动力的体验。消费者需要的是回忆; 每一个有利于最终客户体验的细节，都是一个提升客户体验的机会，记载特别的时分，当然也会鼓励人们在社交上表现自我。
The customer decision process while booking a five-star hotel is more sophisticated now than in previous years. In fact, we are experiencing an increasing demand for tailor-made amenities, and personalized services, consumers today are more informed about the products, facilities, trends and are very attentive to online feedback. Nowadays affluent people, although still enthusiastic and demanding toward international brands, tend to embrace a much longer decision-making process and finalize their choice. Loyalty is volatile, to craft competitive advantage hotels need to look at the experience customer journey along all various service touch points and core product offer. Rooms design/comfort equation, Spa inner experience, Food, wine, and mixology momentum need to provide a unique combined motivational learning experience for the five senses. Consumers needs and are looking for memories; every single details at beneficial of final guest experience is an opportunity to mark the specific moment and of course, inspire social exposure ego.
TLHR as a guest-centric boutique hotel brand, focus its value proposition toward one to one tailor-made experience, we value as the most critical company asset the time and efforts our ambassadors dedicate for the benefits of our guests making sure in exceeding the expectations. The final ratings and guest feedback are very good with a many returning guest positioning the brand on top 10th percentile of guest rating in TA in the referred market.
More and more high-end hotel brands are entering t the Chinese market, leading more and more fierce competition. What measures will you take to deal with the fiercely competitive environment?
Being China the most significant domestic market in the world and the highest regarding global consumptions, it is normal that all brands have plans to enter in the area and get their slice of cake. However the consumer’s behavior is changing rapidly, today Chinese travelers evaluate with attention the sacrifice had to do to enjoy the selected brand. He/she looks into location, amenities if the FB is vibrant and finally the pricing. We can say that in 1 and 1.5 tier cities the consumers reached a maturity stage and are much more selective, raising the bar of their expectations. However, the newer domestic market frontiers represent opportunities for room supply growth, lower entry barriers, lower switching costs and more competitive operational margins looks attractive for aggressive development campaign although challenged by low market ADR. The future health of hotel development in 2nd and 3rd ties markets have a direct correlation with the room rate trend. We stress the importance to manage the pricing and capture the benefits of constraint demand as a driver to leverage the average rate.
JHM key strategy is to innovate its point of differentiation continuously with constant ongoing teamwork by the operational and support functions; data analysis, guest comments, and interactions during the guest’s stay enhance our ability to expand the in hotel service experience and keep untouched our guest-centric philosophy.
What noteworthy cases of service innovation, management innovation, scientific and technological innovation within hotel industry in the past year?
Hospitality business model is a BTC process, even with the participation of third parties or intermediaries, the technology shift tends to verticalize, speed up, linking the hotels directly to the final consumer. The customer behavior, while booking or performing a hotel search, is in continuous evolution and is strongly correlated to the way technology advance and what kind of tools are available to the final user. Example, when a hotel uses social media platform integrated with the method of payment to sell rooms inventory, in fact, is merely delivering an experience. As consequences of these changes, it is needed a significant focus from all e-commerce, marcom and information units to deliver the right online contents and manage the web interaction as an opportunity to engage the final consumer and influence the willingness to book process. I see a future where the hotels brand will act more as influencers than pure room sellers. What best of a hotel brand to influence a defined gro-demographic base when it comes travel, dine and wine etc.
What’s the most memorable event or accomplishment of your hotel group in 2017?
JHM as Operator and Owner of TLHR license for Greater China and other regions has been able to be resilient as boutique hotel group and compete in the market, gaining the customers trust as a brand of honoring the guest experience proposition. The online qualitative comments and quantitative rating show as significant strengths the design and the guest’s memories. The latter is the result of delivered guest experience.
What will be the focus of your hotel group in 2018? Do you have any particular plans or ideas?
For 2018 JHM focus will be product, people, and growth centric. We will continue to work on the upgrade of the customer experience in our currently managed hotels which need an accurate People’s strategy. The maximization of our human capital, it is a key to leverage the pool skill talents and delivers a competitive outcome; training programmes, coaching and practical succession plan are some of the critical focus. JHM trust in the hidden value of the value chain and in this senses soon we will open a Hospitality Campus hopefully in partnership with some International Renowned High Ranked Hospitality School.
Does your hotel group have a plan of opening new hotels in 2018? Which one are the most expecting for you?
Currently, we have a pipeline of signed 10/15 agreements located in Mainland China, Macau and Asean Region, and we expect to open 60% of these properties within next four years starting from the end of 2018.
What’s your personal travel plan in 2018? What’s your personal standard to choose a hotel?
Well, I foresee much travel within China and Asean region to pursue our expansion plans, on the personal side I’ll travel in US in summer and in South East Africa and Europe in Q 4.
My personal standard when I choose a hotel I in the order:
Filter 1: What is new concept or trend in town；
Filter 2: Indulge in top personalized service to embrace a learning experience as well;
Filter 3: if multiple days stays change hotel every two days.