Goran Radisavljević, Cluster IT Manager for Crowne Plaza Belgrade and Intercontinental Ljubljana

Innovations Follow Traditional Service

New technologies have optimised and automated certain processes within the hotel, thereby simplifying the fulfilling of customers' wishes

Goran Radisavljević, Cluster It Manager for Crowne Plaza Belgrade and Intercontinental Ljubljana

Employees simultaneously gained the opportunity to focus additionally on the guest and provide them with more than they expect.

How does digitalisation shape the operations of tourist facilities today?

Goran Radisavljević, Crowne Plaza Belgrade Logo– Modern trends in hotel operations dictate the essential need to be visible on all online sales channels, but also on social networks. It is then also important to invest constantly in services that will save time for the guest – from creating a reservation via mobile, via checking in to the hotel, to entering the room and enjoy the comforts within it, selecting additional contents etc. In order to perfect your digital service, it’s essential that you monitor and adopt guests’ preferences – they very happily accept if you offer them a service they’ve already used.

Is the hotel market in Serbia lagging behind global trends when it comes to digital transformation?

– The offer of individual hotels in Serbia doesn’t lag behind Europe. Of course, worldwide – especially in the U.S. and highly technologically developed countries of Asia – the offer is better, as more is invested in new digitalisation programmes and they are freer to test and launch new solutions … As such, it is natural that some solutions first appear and are tested on these markets, after which their implementation begins in Europe. What’s good is that not a lot of time is needed to progress from a pilot programme to wider, with advanced programmes very quickly available to all.

When it comes to the InterContinental Hotels Group, we don’t have such barriers, because we operate on all continents through 14 brands and a development system, so digital innovations are also developed equally and are available to everyone at the same time.

It is important to invest constantly in services that will save time for the guest – for reservations, checking in and entering the room…

How much does Crowne Plaza rely on utilising the benefits provided by information technology?

– Crowne Plaza is committed to following trends and investing in new systems, primarily as part of a serious international chain, and then because of the profile of our guests – 80% are foreigners and almost 100% are business guests.

Moreover, when you’re part of a large hotel group you have the freedom to suggest innovations for an existing or new hotel. If the idea is shown to be of high quality, it will be supported by the group and applied to hotels where it is possible for it to be sustained. Given that our parent company, Delta Holding, has several hotels in its portfolio and it building new ones in parallel, we have the opportunity to take a technological step further with each one and to offer something different. As a result of such an approach to technological solutions and digitalisation, one of our hotels has been declared the hotel with the best internet service in Europe.

How does the fact that millennials are becoming the dominant consumer group worldwide impact on innovations in the hotel industry?

– This is the challenge confronting us in today’s operations. On the one hand are the young people who rely on devices and are massively “connected”, online and following trends, and if they’ve had a nice experience in another hotel due to some innovation, they expect that with us too. On the other hand are guests who still want a more traditional service, primarily personal contact with staff. It is necessary to reconcile these two tendencies and create a high-quality service for all.

Among our employees, there are also members of the millennial generation, which makes us very competitive and contemporary. We follow trends while simultaneously working on increasing the quality of our traditional service.