The hotel business is very complex, comprising many different fields of work that must be integrated. Consulting companies are there to help in reducing costs, more quickly resolve challenges and prevent problems before they arise, and we have the expertise and experience to do that, says Radomir Samčević.
Is it easier for employees working in hotels belonging to major global chains than for management and workers in hotels operating independently? Is that where your company enters the scene?
Yes, it could be said like that at first glance. Large hotel chains have clearly defined standards of work, rules and procedures, which ease work greatly, especially for newcomers to teams, facilitating work processes, defining training courses and thus easing socialisation. On the other hand, the control and monitoring process is easier for managers.
Small, independent hotels need to create their own standards that should make it easier for them to work and enable them to stand out from others in such a way that they are recognisable and unique on the market. In contrast, hotel chains can hire in-house experts in various areas of the hotel business with the aim of correcting or improving the performances of individual segments or hotels as a whole. There’s also integrated branding, market recognition, networking or cooperation with airlines aimed at realising additional benefits for loyal guests…
It is essential for independent hoteliers to have professional help, both in the design phase of a hotel and in the pre-opening phase, but also later, when adjustments, improvements, additional education and staff training are being conducted. Such expert assistance is provided by various consulting companies, one of which is the HT agency, of which I am the founder and director.
If investors turned up who were willing to invest in and re-open all those hotels that used to operate in Serbia’s spas, what would you advise they do?
The only question is how willing investors are to listen to advice. Serbian spas are pearls of our tourist offer, because – alongside mountain centres and major cities – they attract the largest numbers of guests, though they’re not what they used to be. Young people avoid them because the prevailing opinion is that they are places for the sick, but then our people are happy to visit Slovenian spas, precisely in the pursuit of rest and relaxation.
Our spas lack higher category hotels, hotels intended for young people – millennials, in terms of themed hotels of those with a different concept and offer that will attract a larger number of urban guests, both from within the country and from abroad. Hotels need to distance themselves from health tourism whilst relying on contemporary spa and wellness facilities.
You are the author of the book “Šta je to recepcija” [What is that reception], which you wrote – among other things – on the basis of your own experience. What represents the personal I.D. card of each hotel?
Apart from the book ‘What is that reception’, I’m also the author of the book Triglav Interes [Triglav Concern], which deals with the hotel management business. Within it, I deal a lot with the topics of service, top-notch service and the question of why guests identify with a particular hotel. The personal I.D. card of every hotel is on the level and recognisability of the services it provides to its guests. It is much easier for management and employees of hotels that belong to some of the chains to position themselves on the market, because they already have an I.D. card created for them, which is a major challenge for independent hoteliers who have to create their own I.D. in order to become unique and inimitable, and in order to exceed the expectations of guests.