Young hoteliers seize the future

The Young Hoteliers panelists see some noticeable changes occurring in the hospitality industry, including a re-imagination of the traditional lobby space as a sort of great room with gathering-working-networking areas. Other trends are attention to creating a more authentic local experience, whether that means a unique art installation or a selection of craft beer at the bar.

The session was a part of the 29th Hunter Hotel Conference in Atlanta held during March 22 – 24, 2017.  The a dynamic line of panelists including Sonia Egyhazy, Director of Development, Cambria Hotels & Suites, Choice Hotels International, Jenna Hackett Senior Director of Full Service Brand Management, Hilton, Shamir Kanji, Vice President – Investments, Xenia Hotels & Resorts, Inc., David Perrin, Vice President, Hunter Hotel Advisors and the session was moderated by Lynne Roberts, SVP, Development & Capital Markets, Aimbridge Hospitality.

There is also a two-pronged focus on Millennials within their properties: how to attract and keep Millennial guests, and how to attract and keep Millennial employees. Kanji says his friends want free Wi-Fi and apps, and also rooms that reflect the comfort and warmth of home rather than the sterile modernity of the office. Perrin’s business travel friends are looking for rewards, but the leisure travelers make choices based on location and price.

Egyhazy says that to attract next-generation employees her headquarters relocated nearer the metro and revisited the corporate culture. And Hackett says great benefits, including a team member travel program and five weeks’ vacation to start, attracts everyone—not just Millennials.