Collaborate for good

Gel Gomez, general mananger of Hotel101 Group, sheds light on how the hospitality industry can work together to drive sustainable initiatives that enable innovation and business advantage

How can industry players identify the right partners to collaborate on sustainable programmes?
One way is to seek out industry leaders and see who they work with. Another way is to attend industry events, such as conferences, seminars, and trade shows that specifically focus on sustainability and innovation, and meet with potential partners.

It is also important to consider the needs of your business and the goals of your partners when making decisions about collaboration. Consider also starting with smaller pilot projects to test the compatibility and effectiveness of collaboration with potential partners.

When collaborating with partners, it is important to set clear goals and expectations, as well as establish a communication plan and to regularly review the progress. By working together, industry players can develop and implement sustainable initiatives that will benefit not just their properties, but also the entire industry.

What are the challenges in finding such suitable collaborators and how to overcome them?
The first challenge lies in getting connected with suitable collaborators. One way to address this is by venturing outside of your industry and expanding your network.

This broader approach increases the chances of finding like-minded partners who bring fresh perspectives and diverse expertise to the collaboration.

The second challenge involves finding the right rhythm to work together effectively. Overcoming this requires creativity in finding solutions and establishing collaborative processes. Encourage open and transparent communication from the beginning, allowing all parties to share their expectations, goals, and challenges. This helps in aligning efforts and finding common ground.

Additionally, be open to exploring different collaboration models and methodologies, adapting to the specific needs and dynamics of the partnership. Experiment with agile approaches, flexible workflows, and shared decision-making processes to foster collaboration and maximise the collective impact.

How can industry players capitalise on sustainable practices to boost cost-efficiency and open new pockets of innovation with their business?
Switching to renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, can save hotels money on their energy bills. Implementing energy-efficient measures, such as LED lighting, smart thermostats, and occupancy sensors, can also significantly reduce energy consumption and operational costs.

At Hotel101-Manila, we have transitioned to use all LED lights. We also use solar lamps in our perimeters.

Sustainable food sourcing can also help hotels reduce their food costs and support local farmers and communities too. Collaborating with suppliers who prioritise sustainability can lead to cost savings and innovation opportunities. Partnering with suppliers that use eco-friendly packaging and materials, reducing waste, can enhance their brand’s sustainability image.

Engaging guests in sustainable practices not only enhances their experience but also opens up new opportunities for innovation. For example, hotels can introduce guest reward programmes for eco-friendly behaviour, such as opting for towel and linen reuse, promoting sustainable transportation options, and offering unique experiences that highlight local culture and environmental conservation.

How can hospitality players determine technologies and partners who can support them on carbon data transparency?
Identify the key metrics you need to track. Hotels can explore technology solutions that specialise in carbon footprint measurement and reporting.

Look for companies that provide comprehensive carbon accounting tools, data analytics capabilities, and integration with existing systems. Research their track record, client testimonials, and their commitment to data privacy and security.

With Hotel101 Group, we have partnered with the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT), who have trained and given us the RE Tool to measure our carbon footprint and our sustainability programmes in relation to energy conservation, water conservation and waste reduction.

Some other examples include the use of carbon footprint calculators, which can help hotels estimate their carbon emissions.

Sustainability management software can help them to track their sustainability performance and to identify areas where they can improve. Sustainability consultants can also assist hotels develop and implement sustainability initiatives.

What will you be speaking about at the upcoming Digital Travel APAC?
I will be speaking about the importance of sustainability in the hospitality industry, from the point of a mid-class, three-star local Filipino hotel chain, as well as how we restarted right when borders reopened after the pandemic with Hotel101 Group’s 101 STAY GREEN programme.

I will also discuss the challenges that the industry is facing and the opportunities that sustainability presents in our sector.

Hotel101 Group will soon be recognised as one of the most technologically advanced hotel chains across all parts of its value chain. We will also launch our Hotel101 App that is set to integrate the fully automated self-check-in system with IOT (Internet Of Things) capability soon.

This year’s Digital Travel APAC, in particular, is significant as we are seeing rapid advancement in deep tech, characterised by breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and other cutting-edge fields, which are reshaping the travel industry.

Catch Gomez and other progressive business leaders sharing their insights at the upcoming Digital Travel APAC 2023 from August 15 to 16, 2023.

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