WTTC 2013: Solomons offers insight to Global Summit

WTTC 2013: Solomons offers insight to Global Summit Richard Solomons was speaking at WTTC Global Summit in Abu Dhabi

Understanding your customers goes far beyond having a strong brand; while safety, cleanliness and a good night’s sleep remain the top three priorities for hotel guests, according to Richard Solomons, chief executive, Intercontinental Hotel Group.

“We need to understand the customer better and make sure our brands describe and deliver what they want,” he explained.

“We announced two new brands last year and had huge interest around those, because it’s clear that it’s not more of the same – the brands are targeting well,” he said during a session entitled ‘Hotels: where next for the world’s biggest hotel brands?’ on the second and final day of the 13th Global Summit, organised by the World Travel and Tourism Council.

The top three requirements in hotels – forget about the brand and its message – are safety, cleanliness and good night’s sleep.

But the question is how do we deliver a targeted, more personalised service?” Solomons asked.

“I think what have to have is a clear corporate strategy, and determine where we’re going as a company; as well as decide how, where and why we deliver value.

“The brand is about definition; again as an industry we’re trying to appeal to everybody all the time.

“This creates commoditisation in the industry and brands aren’t clear. What a brand stands for, who your consumers are and how you relate to them are the most important factors in the industry today,” he continued.

The Global Summit is being hosted by Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi.