Hospitality Innovation Summit 2016

19 October, 2016
  • 6 min read
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From 10-13 October 2016 Hotelschool The Hague organised the Hospitality Innovation Summit at the Amsterdam Campus, for the third consecutive year. During this event, students from 11 international hotel schools were invited to work on a case for Schiphol and present it to group of international CEOs.

The final day was initiated on October 13 by keynote speaker Peter O'Connor, Professor and Chair Digtal Disruption at ESSEC Business School in France. His speech was entitled "The challenge with hotels and distribution”, and discussed the challenges facing the hotel industry today in this digital age.

One of the biggest challenges the hotel industry is facing, is to get a larger share of their bookings through online channels. Currently, hotel chains are trying to entice their visitors to book directly through their corporate websites, by offering them a discount on the room rate.

In addition, Peter indicates that there is too much dependence on brands. If you look at the 10 largest hotel chains in the world, together they have 113 different brands in their portfolio. Brands thus lose meaning and therefore hotel chains these days build on 'collections' of different brands. Peter also talked about how many hotel chains are fighting against Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) such as booking.com, because of the high costs. While they can actually learn a lot from these OTA's, especially in the field of sales.

Besides this, bookings via OTA's are a lot more beneficial than expected. His presentation also addressed how metasearch channels such as TripAdvisor, Google and Trivago become increasingly important. And how promoting direct bookings by offering discounts and working with loyalty programmes are conflicting. The benefits of these loyalty programmes are often very unclear, and guests want to have clear advantages; "Collect 10 nights and get one free". The conclusion according to Peter is; hotel chains should not be afraid of innovations in distribution channels, they should embrace them.

After this inspiring presentation, it was time for the five finalists to present their pitch to the CEOs. The hotel management schools who made it to the finals: Les Roches, National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Institut de Tourisme et D'Hotellerie du Quebec and Hotelschool The Hague.

The present CEOs and (Senior) Vice Presidents are:

  • Daniel Ruff, President and Managing Director EMEA, Wyndham Hotel Group
  • Wolfgang M. Neumann, President & Chief Executive Officer, The Rezidor Hotel Group
  • Roeland Vos, President and Chief Executive Officer, Belmond
  • Guy Pasley-Tyler, Vice President, Business Strategy & Feasibility, Host Hotels & Resorts
  • Peter Norman, Senior Vice President Acquisitions & Development Europe, Africa, Middle East for Hyatt Hotels Corporation
  • Ingrid Eras, Senior Vice President Global HR, Belmond

“The Hospitality Innovation Summit was a great event. The structure was great, the external speaker inspirational, the presentation from the 5 finalists were of high quality and certainly out of the box.  I only heard great comments, especially also from the participants of the many other international schools”.
Wolfgang M. Neumann, President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group

The case in brief: At Schiphol Airport, a plot is available, where one last hotel will be build. This hotel should be complementing the existing hotels (such as Hilton, Sheraton and citizenM), and the focus with this hotel should be on innovation and feasibility.

The pitches of the finalists in brief:

  • Institut de Tourisme et D'Hotellerie du Quebec (Canada): Hotel Vlinder, with several options to book a room; per night, for 6 hours or 12 hours, with fixed room rates. With a feminine touch and iconic butterfly on the roof of the hotel.
  • National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism (Taiwan): Dutch Flyer, with the traditional Dutch wooden shoe as a symbol. The different floors have different themes focused on ‘flying’ characters like Aladdin, Harry Potter and Peter Pan. F&B plays an important role with a food market and supermarket, which will also attract many visitors from outside.
  • Les Roches (Switzerland): Hive2, with modular rooms that can be placed inside Schiphol in various places.
  • Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong): Nestel, with focus on: doing absolutely nothing.
  • Hotelschool The Hague: X, a place to come together, focused on creating a community consisting of locals, business people and tourists. X does not look at the demographic details of its guests, but at their personality.

After a round in which the students could ask the CEOs all kinds of questions, the winner was announced: Hong Kong Polytechnic University!

The day ended with a networking reception, where all students and industry professionals could get to know each other better.

“The whole process was very stimulating and exciting. This event is for us a once in a lifetime opportunity. It has been great to come here and see what others are doing, to learn from each other and meet so many great people. And the opportunity to meet some of the best Industry Leaders makes this a truly fantastic experience.”
Students of National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism

“What a great opportunity to be able to come to Amsterdam! We’ve have gotten to experience a different culture and a different environment. We will centainly grow from this, and this event will enhance our personalities. We are so thankful for Hotelschool The Hague, giving us this opportunity”
Students of AIMS University, India

About the author

Hotelschool The Hague

Hotelschool The Hague was founded and funded in 1929 by the hospitality industry to create a central place where industry partners could gain and share new insight, skills and knowledge. Since its foundation, the Hotelschool has become an international school specialised in hospitality management offering a 4-year Bachelor's degree in Hotel and Hospitality Management. This degree course is also available as the accelerated International Fast Track programme. Our 13 month Master Hospitality Management programme is designed to deliver the next generation of hospitality innovators.

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