GET TO KNOW: Calvin Boia, Head of Marketing, Verde Hotels
Calvin Boia is the Head of Group Marketing for Verde Hotels, Verde Hotels, which offers a turn-key hotel management model with a holistic approach offering luxury and sustainability.
He is a panelist on the first day of The Hospitality Leadership Forum 2018 in the morning session titled Tourism and leisure: Why the destination is all about the experience. Travellers no longer accept just the destination – they want to know ‘what they can do there’. It’s all about the experience, from rustic accommodation to tasting new foods and cultural experiences. This session looks at the opportunities of the ‘experience economy’ and how you can benefit.
H&R Magazine: Calvin, what do you believe has been the key change in the hospitality sector over the past five years?
CB: Technologies continues to alter the hospitality sector, by changes in online behaviour, data explosion, as well as mobility. Another contributing factor, I would say, is the generational divide when it comes to the use of new technology. For example, there are 1.7 billion millennials and 62 per cent use peer social sites to make restaurant and hotel bookings.
H&R Magazine: Where do you see the three key challenges in the industry over the next five years?
CB: Consumers have come to expect more services and amenities at lower costs, and these offerings can often make the difference. The demands have led to the prevalence of services such as high- speed Wi-Fi, complimentary hot breakfast, expanded in-room technology and entertainment options, and fitness centres. Another challenge we are facing is real time distaste management due to social and public platforms. The sharing economy has cast consumers as service providers, enabling under-utilised assets to be operated for financial gain, for example, connecting travellers with home or apartment owners (Airbnb)
H&R Magazine: You are a panelist at this year’s Hospitality Leadership Forum, what are you most looking forward to discussing?
CB: I am truly looking forward to discussing the topics of personalisation and improving the guest experience.
H&R Magazine: The hospitality sector is undergoing huge change. What are the three tips you would give for success in the coming five years.
CB: Be flexible with your business plan.
Never follow a trend, you should be creating the trend.
Its all about the unique guest experience.
H&R Magazine: And are there any specific areas in the (sub-Saharan) African hospitality market that you believe are unique?
CB: Africa has a whole is unique due the fact that there is a great deal of room for growth and unique opportunities.
H&R Magazine: Which type of people do you believe would gain the most form attending your session this year?
CB: Hoteliers and hotel owners.
The Hospitality Leadership Forum runs from June 24-26 2018 at The Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg.
12.45pm Day 1 Tourism and leisure: Why the destination is all about the experience. Travellers no longer accept just the destination – they want to know ‘what they can do there’. It’s all about the experience, from rustic accommodation to tasting new foods and cultural experiences. This session looks at the opportunities of the ‘experience economy’ and how you can benefit.