Following Best Western Roundtable Debate, Rob Ledson lays down his vision for the future of mid-market hotels.
OUR Group Director of Sales, Rob Ledson, has debated that investment and personality are the key ingredients in defining and promoting the mid-market hotel industry to prospective customers and employees.
Rob joined a host of hoteliers from across the UK at a recent Best Western Roundtable debate, held at Westminster Kingsway College in association with Caterer and Hotelkeeper magazine, to consider 'the future for mid-market hotels'.
As Caterer and Hotelkeeper challenged business leaders to confront the mid-market hotel's dowdy reputation, the authority on sales at RBH stressed the importance of creativity and innovation within the people, fabric and branding of so-called mid-market hotels.
Rob Ledson said:
"Charting the waters of the mid-market hotel industry is not an easy task in today's marketplace.
"These properties sit wedged between the deep-rooted brands of Travelodge and Premier Inn, and the luxurious offerings of upper 4 star and 5 star establishments, in a space where their character is confused in the minds of the consumer."
"In the age of austerity, mid-market hotels form a fundamental position in the industry spectrum, and it is up to us as a driving-force in this market to revolutionise their potential."
RBH believes the weapon with which to combat vagueness surrounding the mid-market is investment: in both people and product.
Echoing Managing Director Stewart Campbell's recent call for "hotel owners to look at where investment is needed", Rob continued:
"Ongoing investment in quality hotels which combine personable customer service, a sense of personality and community, will help attract creative and passionate people to our firm.
"Their energetic and imaginative mind-set will help our hotels generate an innovative culture which not only ensures we move with the times, but encourages us to invent a recognisable identity for hotels and to keep improving on this.
"As well as investing in our brand to attract such minds to Redefine|BDL, we must also cultivate the potential of our employees by championing cutting-edge staff training schemes.
"It is this forward-thinking approach will allow us to re-define mid-market hotels' humdrum reputation."
Rob went on to argue that the UK's leading hotel management company must look to the sphere of social media in order to monitor and further heighten their status in the industry.
"Social media has the power to win the minds of prospective customers and employees, and the ability to give us genuine insight into our successes and failures.
"As more consumers use social media and online review sites like TripAdvisor as a benchmark to determine a hotel's authenticity, traditional star rating systems will begin to lose clout.
"More than ever we must engage with these platforms in order to inspire confidence in the service we provide and act upon any weakness.
"The investment we make in product and people will help ensure we continue to impress discerning customers who will undoubtedly commit their views to today's social arena.
"If we can continue to work with strong partners and franchisees to grow a portfolio of hotels which emphasise our personality and engage with what the customer wants, Redefine|BDL will ensure the mid-market hotel carves out a new and inspired reputation."