Led by CEO Filip Boyen, Forbes Travel Guide FTG hosted an industry-leading webinar on April 16th, 2020, to launch Hospitality Strong www.forbestravelguide.com/strong. This initiativeconsists of pre-announced, sign-up, free 45-minute modules on such subjects as emotional engagement, going beyond please and thank you, leading through luxury, a timeless service philosophy for uncertain times. These modules, created inhouse, are to re-energize luxury hotels’ leadership and line staff, reminding everyone of key elements, bringing back-to-basics to the forefront
Oh that webinar. It is amazing to think that over 10,000 hoteliers, many of whom – say in Asia and Australasia – had got up mid-night, were in on the call. ‘What is hospitality’s new normal?’, it was called. It was brilliantly chaired by FTG Chairman Jeff Arnold, in Atlanta.
We saw Roger Dow, CEO of the US Travel Association, announce that the USA’s annual National Travel and Tourism Week, May 3-9, 2020, will this year celebrate ‘spirit of travel’. Having shared some pretty depressing facts and figures about current state of travel in the USA, one cheery note was that 51% of responses to a recent poll showed people could not wait to travel when the time is right.
Also appearing by video was that major media-medic, Dr Mehmet Oz, generally simply called ‘Dr Oz’ – he is shown below Jeff Arnold in the screen at the top of this story. As always, Dr Oz spoke with maximum charisma as he put forward one simple message. Keep fit – 90% of virus hospitalisations have underlying conditions.
Another keynote speaker, Jerry Inzerillo, Vice-Chairman FTG and Riyadh-based CEO Diriyah Gate Development Authority, telephoned in from Saudi Arabia. His characteristically upbeat motivation included the fact that yes, we will come through this, and people will definitely want to travel (they know life is fragile, but there will be a different value proposition, standards and training must be even higher, and welcomes will be more important than ever, and a single bad experience will not only be a waste of money but of so-valuable time). Saudi Arabia hosts a global leaders’ G20 meeting 21-22 November 2020 and, he said, tourism has a major slot.
Jeff Arnold chaired, and wrapped up the webinar. As well as chairing FTG, Arnold is CEO of several global healthcare companies, including ShareCare.