Hospitality Industry

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We’ve just seen the back-end of the trade show season in the hospitality industry. Current conversation concerns the present value of participating in industry trade shows. Should we attend? Should we not?

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Networking has not been one of my priorities. I confess it is something I shy away from - I prefer to connect with people one-on-one. While this is perhaps not the right attitude to have being in the hospitality industry, for what it’s worth, I have acknowledged this as a weakness that requires work. To that end, I have made an intentional effort to attend industry events, and once I am in the swing of things, it’s not really that bad and I actually find myself relaxing and connecting – networking!

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Hotel, catering and tourism is an ever-changing landscape and is the largest, fastest-growing service sector, with an average female contingent of over 55% at global level. The progress women have made in recent years in the male-weighted hospitality industry is impressive but the continued recruitment, retention and promotion of women is crucial to their long-term success in this industry. 

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Hotel owners are often extraordinary business people, but hotel management requires skills that are not typical to managing a business. BON Hotels are making a name for themselves in the hotel rescue field and there’s nothing like watching the process of the team take-over of a failing hotel. Moving into a distressed property is a mass team effort: a successful emergency team can turn a property around in as little as 72 hours....

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Many business and entrepreneur experts pound into our heads the idea that a new business or a start-up needs to establish its company culture from the outset, entrenching vision and mission statements and company culture into any new team member who joins. According to some, organisational culture is a set of shared mental assumptions that guide interpretation and action by defining appropriate behaviour for various situations. Easier said than done!

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Hospitality industry hype at the moment is centred on the arrival of international brands into Africa and South Africa. The Protea and Marriott deal is a huge vote of confidence for Africa as an emerging tourism market. Not only is Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa in particular, on the radar of many large international groups, but it is also a rapidly increasing tourist trend market both in the corporate and leisure markets. South Africa was recently voted as one of the top five travel destinations for 2014.

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It is encouraging, to say the least, that over the last few weeks our core values are coming to the fore and the industry will be buying into them - Good people. Good thinking. Good feeling.  Whilst I think I have reasonably good ability for spotting talent, and have surrounded myself with a team of brilliant people, recently we have seen that talent come flocking to knock on our doors, which is a positive sign that we are doing things right at this early stage of our evolution.

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