How Pentahotels is embracing digital transformation, CSR and the modern ‘bleisure’ traveler
(Norwich, UK, 13/09/2019)
Heiko Rieder, VP of Revenue Management and Reservations at Pentahotels, discusses digital transformation, CSR and the changing nature of the hospitality space.
Hotel Group, Pentahotels is a global brand of neighbourhood lifestyle hotels serving upper-mid market business and leisure travellers at 29 locations, in eight countries, on two continents. The brand prides itself on innovative organisational strategies that provide its guests with a comfortable, stylish experience in a laidback atmosphere. The heart of each Pentahotel is the Pentalounge, a combination of lounge, bar, café and reception area designed to cultivate the lifestyle impression that the company believes is key to securing the loyalty of the ever-shifting preferences of travellers.
Pentahotels is harnessing innovative technologies, embracing a new ideology centred around corporate social responsibility and forging new collaborative partnerships with companies dedicated to digitally transforming the guest experience in response to changing demographics and customer priorities.
“We’re actually seeing talent choose their employer based on the flexibility of the company’s travel policy,” he says. “Also, it’s very important to them that, at the beginning or end of a business trip, they can add a night or two, which brings together the business and leisure components of their trip.” The rise in “bleisure” travel is well documented: global technology company Expedia found that, of the approximately 400mn Americans that travelled long-distance for business in 2018, approximately 60% of them extended their trip by at least a day. “It’s a good business opportunity for us, and one we need to be properly equipped for.”
One of the major trends in the hotel space (alongside almost every other space) that has emerged in recent years is the increased emphasis customers place on sustainability. Last year, The Shelton Group reported that, in the US workforce, 79% of millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work, a statistic with clear implications for a hotel brand looking to attract guests.
Mr Eugène Staal, new president of Pentahotels has “launched several very creative campaigns” focusing on contributing to the hotels’ “surrounding neighbourhoods and the environment as a whole,” says Rieder.
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