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Key Areas of Investment for the Future of Hospitality

This year’s conference theme for the Future Hospitality Summit Saudi Arabia (FHS) is ‘Invest in Change’, highlighting the importance of the positive change that can be brought forward through the investment in time, intellect and expertise in the hospitality industry to keep up with changing times and trends to better shape the future of the industry. In the lead up to the event we asked a number of industry partners how they are investing in change.

The hospitality sector is a key player in the region, contributing significantly to tourism, employment, and economic growth. As the industry evolves rapidly with increasing competition and changing consumer behaviour, investing in the sector’s future has become more critical than ever.

Adopting Sustainability Practices

Green tourism is on the rise as travellers have become more aware of their impact on the planet and are focusing on making conscious choices, putting sustainability at the forefront of their daily habits, travel decisions and beyond.

Hotels have several opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint and ensure a positive and eco-conscious experience for guests. Implementing practices such as using energy-efficient lighting, use of renewable energy sources, and installing smart systems that control heating and cooling, can significantly reduce a property’s emissions. Water conservation and waste reduction through composting and recycling can minimise the hotel’s environmental impact and contribute to their local communities.

Other essential factors to be considered for sustainable hotel operations include replacing single-use plastic items, procuring products made from sustainable materials, and sourcing local ingredients across venues. Rotana recently implemented a new sustainable and locally sourced breakfast across its properties in the UAE that brings forward fresh produce from the farm to the table, including a new salad and vegetable corner, cage-free eggs sourced from the UAE, in addition to a wide selection of vegan items. This will have an immediate impact on the consumer’s daily practices and have the potential to create long-lasting behaviour changes.

Prioritising Advanced Technology

Technology has become an integral part of our lives, and the hospitality industry is no exception. From online bookings to mobile check-ins and in-room technology, technology has revolutionised the way guests travel.

Last year, Rotana partnered with Thynk.Cloud to simplify and automate sales, operations, decision-making, and data management for our hotels. This investment in technology streamlines operations and makes better data-driven decisions optimised for each hotel, leading to cost savings and increased efficiency.

Technology enables us to build stronger digital relationships with our guests, allowing us to offer them even more personalised experiences. With technology, hotels can collect and analyse data, providing valuable insights into consumer behaviour and preferences. With the right investment in technology, the hospitality industry can stay ahead of the curve to predict ever-changing customer needs and diversify its offerings accordingly.

The increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) has had a significant impact on the hospitality industry. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can provide 24/7 customer support, respond to frequently asked questions, and even make recommendations online based on customer preferences. In a few years, AI will also be able to help with logistic and operational issues, answer financial queries, as well as support, targeted marketing, leading to increased efficiency and productivity.

Developing Human Resources

Investing in Human Resources (HR) can have a significant impact on employee experience by enhancing confidence, motivation, job satisfaction, and engagement. A key example is our flagship TAROT (The Accelerated Refinement of Talent) programme which offers Rotana employees a fast-track development path to be trained for 12 months with progressive growth opportunities.

Additionally, an employee-centric work culture is essential to nurture learning and development opportunities, providing the team with mentorship programmes, training workshops and continuous feedback. When it comes to providing relevant training for employees, this can include on-the-job learning, e-learning courses, and coaching programs that help improve skills and knowledge, potentially equipping employees for leadership roles. This ensures that staff are knowledgeable, efficient, and engaged and in return leaves a more positive impact on customer service.

Investing in HR also means creating a workplace culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion. When employees feel valued and supported, they are more likely to provide exceptional service, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Hotels are always looking for new and improved ways to create and nurture lifelong relationships with their guests and employees. By investing in these areas, we enable hoteliers to deliver memorable moments and lead the way for the industry to adopt and pivot as needed.

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