I attended the 2017 edition of the ILTM Conference in Cannes. Over the course of the program, I sought out numerous hoteliers and hospitality experts to discover the latest emerging themes and challenges in the luxury hotel industry.

One theme that has fascinated me over the years is the subject of digital technology. It is a controversial term in the luxury hotel universe, which has traditionally centered around human touch and would thus ostensibly resist the digitalization of the unique service that defines luxury hospitality.

During the conference, I was eager to discover how different brands chose to approach the issue of digital technology. Below you will find my conversation on the subject with Michael Hobson, Chief Marketing Officer at the Mandarin Oriental.

What is your vision in terms of digital technology and guest experience in your rooms?

I think all the hotel groups struggle with this issue of a seamless connected guest experience from beginning to end. It sounds very simple to get it done—you create a guest app, etc…but it’s the connectivity of all the ecosystems that every hotel then has to deploy for guest services. When you are managing other people’s hotels, you then have to convince others to invest behind that technology in order to create a brand standard across all hotels. The hotels that are under our control or that we own, since we own 40% of what we operate, it’s relatively easy because these are our investments. When it becomes other people’s investments, it takes a little bit longer.

We’ve got a good digital team. We’ve completely operated, refurbished and regenerated our website experience. We’re seeing bookings coming directly to us. Our goal is to have a seamless guest experience from a guest app all the way through to complete the best journey from beginning to end. It’s an iterative process, and we’re still working through it.

#ILTM #luxuryHotel #delportehospitality

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Mandarin Oriental – Taipei – Room

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