It is always good to go to Conferences and treat them as a day of taking refresher courses, doing the same what you did when you took your 101 classes in college, getting surprised by little nuances and the knowledge of the people who share things.
At the @BW Hotelier Conference in New Delhi on 17 December, I did the same. Listened to practitioners sharing perspectives and especially talking about the new challenges that they face each day. For instance, hotel guests are getting more sophisticated. They use the smartphone to determine everything even before they step into the hotel but they are confronted with the digital divide. The staff generally and the one who are there to assist you for little things, have little access to devices and know what they do. Literacy levels again are uneven therefore making communication difficult.
The demands of the guests are changing. They want more than one device connected to the internet, they want to be able to figure out ways, where in they can use their smartphone to order a dinner from room service and without getting up see who is outside the door and then open the door. The warmth of the quilt and the shoddy t-shirt and shorts are of course not be seen.
The challenge then as I spoke today at the orientation session of students of Silver Mountain Hotel Management school is that the skill sets that are required among hospitality graduates will be more to understand changing technology along with the changing human behavior that is always responding to technology. However, when technology becomes the table-stakes, it is only the person skill that will differentiate one person from another.
The face of the hospitality industry is changing, the face of the people behind will also.