Shaping Hospitality’s Future with Dimitri Manikis of Wyndham Hotels

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Dimitri Manikis is the President of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts for Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa. Wyndham is the world’s largest franchise with 25 manufacturers throughout 9,200 motels in 95 international locations. Dimitri’s area consists of round 650 motels in 45 international locations.

Dimitri and Matt Welle, Mews CEO, first met in individual at Mews Unfold 2023, the place, in Matt’s phrases, it was “love at first sight”. Dimitri can be showing on stage once more at Unfold 2024, the place he’ll be sharing his invaluable insights and unfiltered opinions round Shaping Hospitality’s Future.

Ahead of the principle occasion on May twenty ninth, Dimitri and Matt caught up once more over a digital espresso to discover a few of hospitality’s most fascinating subjects, together with the steadiness between know-how and people and whether or not traveler habits are actually altering.

If you’d wish to see Dimitri (and an entire host of different hospitality leaders) in individual, you possibly can nonetheless e book your tickets for Mews Unfold 2024.

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What ought to hoteliers be investing in proper now?

It’s an enormous dialog. Everybody talks about know-how and AI, and I believe what we must be investing in is a mixture of know-how and other people. We have to search out the suitable steadiness as an trade to nonetheless rely on folks however on the similar time make an enormous funding sooner or later in know-how.

Look at Mews, for instance. I bear in mind you telling me a few months in the past how you will have progressed from being a small startup to a billion-dollar firm, not simply since you make investments quite a lot of know-how, however since you’ve invested in folks on the similar time.

As an trade that’s predominantly people-driven, we realized that with out folks we can’t be the place we need to be sooner or later. But on the similar time, we realized that know-how goes to be the automobile, the instrument and the funnel that may get us there.

How do we discover that steadiness between folks and know-how?

We should be very cautious as a result of if we emphasize that the way forward for hospitality is all about know-how, why would a teenager work in an trade that’s going to switch her or his job with a robotic?

We should make it possible for know-how is there as an enabler to provide folks the chance to take action many different issues and add to the expertise. When your receptionist turns into an experiences officer – when there isn’t any receptionist anymore however somebody who welcomes company and offers them details about the issues they’ll do – that’s how know-how goes to make it possible for it turns into complimentary and never a risk.

So how can we steadiness that message?

We use know-how to supply higher experiences for company, however on the similar time make it possible for our employees members truly get empowered to ship a greater expertise. That is what we must be investing in.

What can we do to assist lodge employees to actually join with company once more?

The pre-arrival expertise is important. Talk to company earlier than they arrive and just be sure you know quite a bit about your company earlier than they stroll by means of the door.

Use know-how to see what their preferences are. Send them a message or an e-mail or a TikTok video about your lodge, so earlier than they arrive, they’ve already obtained a 30-second video of the 5 issues you are able to do inside 200 meters of the lodge, of the restaurant and bar, or an occasion that’s taking place within the lodge the evening that you’ll be there.

If we all know who’s coming, why do not we make it possible for the pre-arrival is as vital because the arrival? Why do not we use that know-how to make that visitor really feel comfy earlier than they even stroll into the foyer?

Also, let’s be trustworthy: there can be individuals who do not need to work together with anyone whereas on the lodge. They need to order room service and thanks very a lot. But for those who give them the chance to have a significant dialog with someone, one thing like: I’m right here for those who want me; if you have not acquired any dinner appointments, that is the place I might recommend for the night. They may not take that suggestion, nevertheless it’s good to have it.

Do you assume vacationers have truly modified?

I’ll take the instance from my family. We have not essentially modified the way in which we journey. I’ve acquired two millennials at residence, 26 and 24. Apart from the truth that they count on me to pay for all the things, I do not assume they’ve actually modified the way in which the way in which they journey.

What has modified although, is that do you bear in mind once we used to place vacationers into tribes and segments and we’d say Dimitri and his household travels solely this manner or Matt solely travels this manner. Now we’re all cross borders.

The similar man who goes on a trekking vacation with EasyJet can fly enterprise class to Cape Town six months later. The similar man who goes right into a Michelin restaurant in Copenhagen might be on vacation six months later and get a Big Mac someplace within the metropolis middle. We used to place them in tribes and segments and now they work together throughout the board.

Have you seen any lodge manufacturers or motels diversifying their provide for hybrid journey?

There are some wonderful manufacturers on the market which are attempting, however the actuality is that almost all of motels are owned by 5 or 6 hospitality firms. There are extra manufacturers coming in and someone would possibly say: can we really need all these manufacturers?

One of the explanations we have now all these manufacturers is the fixed want of vacationers to get one thing new, which pushes the hospitality firms to create new manufacturers continually. That’s why you see so many manufacturers popping out of the woodwork within the final six months to a 12 months, as a result of journey is altering continually.

Our enterprise is just not totally different from the automotive trade, for instance. Look at firms like Mercedes or BMW and what number of totally different automobiles they’ve. Suddenly, electrical automobiles turn out to be very talked-about, after which there are 10 totally different manufacturers of electrical automobiles, as a result of that is going to be the long run.

Everybody is on the search for the Holy Grail: discovering manufacturers, services that may attraction to the brand new traveler or to the way in which folks need to journey sooner or later.

Are there too many manufacturers now?

We must be very cautious as a result of our trade is attending to be a playground. It’s getting commoditized. For instance, you will have prolonged keep versus serviced residences versus branded residences.

Consumers are going to get confused in some unspecified time in the future, and the that means of hospitality could possibly be misplaced someplace in translation. Because how do you select? It’s an fascinating debate, significantly with how co-living, co-working and different areas are going to work together with one another.

What recommendation would you give to hoteliers?

Lots of people ask me what it takes to achieve success on this trade, and the one factor I’ve to say is love. Love folks. Not love what you do, as a result of I do imagine that everyone who works in any trade loves what they do. In our trade, you have to love folks.

If you do not love folks, you are within the flawed enterprise. No matter what occurs, we present up each single day. We placed on a welcoming face for the company. You can construct the perfect lodge on the earth but when it’s stuffed with grumpy folks, no one’s going to remain.

Once you’ve booked your ticket to see Dimitri at Unfold, you should definitely try the Mews Coffee Corner. It’s stuffed with quick, insightful conversations (together with this one) with hoteliers and hospitality tech companions about what makes exceptional hospitality.

Visit Mews Coffee Corners

About Mews

Mews is the main platform for the brand new period of hospitality. Powering over 5,000 clients throughout greater than 85 international locations, Mews Hospitality Cloud is designed to streamline operations for contemporary hoteliers, rework the visitor expertise and create extra worthwhile companies. Customers embrace Generator-Freehand, The Strawberry Group, The Social Hub, and Airelles. Mews was named Best PMS (2024) and listed among the many Best Place to Work in Hotel Tech (2021, 2022, 2024) by Hotel Tech Report, in addition to World’s Best Hotel PMS Provider (2023) and World’s Best Independent Hotel PMS Provider (2022, 2023) by World Travel Tech Awards. The firm has places of work in Europe, the United States and Australia.

www.mews.com/en

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