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26 & 27 NOV 2019


Innovation, Tradition and Training; is this the Golden Triangle?

Innovation has become a considerable focal point for the hotel industry, yet there may be argument that it is receiving too much attention? While adapting to changes, inventing new offers and offering a new vision of things are essential acts in the life of a corporations, they must not forget that the hospitality sector (service sector) has traditions that have more to gain by being passed down than by being revolutionized.

It is understandable that the irruption of new-players that upset, or even destroy traditional economic models, encourages profound self-examination, and questioning new practices and new expectations. Because of this, it is easy to conclude that erasing the past will thrust the company, its employees, and its products into modernity. But that would confuse the means with the end. The goal is not so much to appear to be the most revolutionary company, but rather to succeed in being the one that is the most in Tune with its clients.

Innovation is no longer an end but a means to an end while maintaining such simple, vital notions as work well done, quality of service, permanence and coherence of services. As my grandfather said, it is not by putting the cart before the horse that we'll get there any sooner. Innovation, in terms of both products and the way they are brought to life, would only have meaning and be effective if it receives full support from personnel. Before anything else, it is thus necessary to insist on the importance of training this personnel in the basics of the trade to guarantee that new practices will be well integrated. Breaking away from old attitudes, taking down codes and barriers between clients and staff will only produce confusion and misunderstanding if the very concept of service is not assimilated.

Transmission remains a key word in Hospitality. It is neither old-fashioned nor obsolete: rather, it constitutes a basis for connecting the generations. "Millennials" do not grow above ground. They too need roots to develop and hold their position, like actors in the transformation of our industry and clients of newly developing concepts.

In the end, innovation produces a competitive advantage, and surprises in a good way. It thus helps guarantee a hotel experience that can only succeed if all the senses are stimulated and satisfied. "Disruption" alone is not to blame when you can't sleep, when digestion is difficult, when a smell is off and nerves are on edge. Tradition, training and innovation form a golden triangle that is indispensable to the evolution of the hotel industry, a process that has worked fairly well for nearly two thousand years. Without tradition, the hotel industry would get lost like an aimless flock of sheep, but without innovation it would quickly decompose.