We’re the Innovator. We’re the Disruptor.
Anyone who has followed our 40 years of consistently taking giant leaps to create forward progress within our industry understands our philosophy of breaking free of the status quo, disrupting things, and never ever uttering the phrase, “We’ve always done it this way.”
Here at The Refinishing Touch, we attend myriad conferences and trade show throughout the United States. But it’s not very often we have the time to attend events on the side of the ocean. Last week, we took some time to attend the Business Travel Show to see how other industry disruptors are shaking things up.
To stay experts at knowing what our hotel owner and operator customers want, it’s critical for us to keep abreast of the latest industry trends. Simply put, it inspires us with new ways we can serve our loyal customer base. In fact, over our 40-year history we’ve added many different specialties, such as decorative hardware, decorative fabric, and solid surfaces.
Here are some of the key takeaways from last week’s Business travel Show, which attracted thousands of people to London.
One major issue up for discussion during the entire event was the notion of disruption; how new technologies are upending everything previously understood about the travel industry.
Johnny Thorsen, senior director of SAP Mobile Services, said: “It’s hard to keep up with new technology. It’s important for buyers to think about, [because] it doesn’t work just to say ‘let’s look at it in two years’ time’ because you will miss out on so many opportunities,” he said.
Another disruption occurring for travel buyers is the need to deliver more personalized travel experiences for it employee customers. It’s a way to keep employees engaged and happy, said former Astra Zeneca travel buyer Caroline Strachan, which is now a managing partner with Festive Road, a consultancy.
“Those that step up and realize the opportunity will be the initial winners, the travel manager has to make that happen,” said Strachan.
Hotel Industry Disruption
Meanwhile, the serviced apartment industry is starting to galvanize in new ways. And it could lead to more pressure on traditional hotel product.
Looking to be the Expedia of the serviced apartment industry, BridgeStreet Global Hospitality (www.bridgestreet.com) launched a new online travel agency uniting more than 65,000 professionally managed serviced apartments and homes available in more than 60 countries. Suddenly, this segment, which was bubbling just below the surface of recognition, is now poised to burst into mainstream consciousness.
As the sharing economy continues to take hold in the traveler mindset, people are looking for options beyond Airbnb. Ones that offer timely delivery of keys, clean and comfortable rooms and reliable wireless internet on check-in.
“Our mission was to solve one of the industry’s most persistent problems; ‘simply offer wider choices—across a range of price points and hospitality accommodation experiences—with ease,'” Sean Worker, said president and CEO of BridgeStreet Global Hospitality. “We’ve not only succeeded, here, we are uplifting the extended-stay industry—and for the first time, giving travel managers—and business—exactly what they need: transparency, immediacy and unparalleled customization.”
Now is the time to ensure your hotel is in perfect condition. One way to do that is to refinish all your furnishings. It’ll make a great impression on the guest and give them the cues to return to your property, rather than seek an alternative accommodation.
On the offense for the first time in years, United Airlines had its new United Polaris business class on display. Crafted as individual, forward-facing, suite-like pods, each customer’s personal suite features a “Do Not Disturb” sign, mood lighting, one-touch lumbar support, several storage areas, multiple surfaces for simultaneous working and dining, a 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen and, for seats in the center of the cabin, electronic privacy dividers.
The goal was to totally rethink the international business class experience. United conducted more than 12,000 hours of research, and sleep emerged as the single most important priority for international business class travelers. United Polaris’ path-breaking design and sleep-enhancing focus was inspired and informed by insights from hundreds of customers and employees, inflight product simulations and more than 100 product evaluations.
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Glenn Haussman I President, Rouse Media & No Vacancy podcast host
Twitter and Instagram: @TravelingGlenn
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