We spoke with Zafiris Lampadaridis, General Manager at Mercure Belgrade Excelsior, AccorHotels, our speaker at Best Stay 2018.

This year’s Best Stay conference will be focused on the hospitality trends. Which, in your opinion, are the current trends making the biggest changes in the hotel industry?

The hotel industry is under transformation with merge & acquisition of hotel groups, newcomers on the market, increasing pace of private rental market and of course with digitalization which is disrupting the hotel industry in several ways. With the fast development of digital technology, guest behaviours and expectations have been fundamentally changing. Gaining experience is key for our guests who are looking for a memorable trip with personalized services, we as operators are focusing on to deliver every day. But hotels can’t be just a place for accommodation, they have a bigger role to fill as a community hub. Hotels have to interact not only with travellers but also with people living in the neighbourhood. We can offer all additional services linked with travel, accommodation, catering and become real “life companions” delivering a range of daily services to local communities and this is what we call at AccorHotels augmented hospitality.

As a general manager, what’s the most important thing in team management, how do you choose your co-workers, and what results are you looking for?

Talking about team management, diversity & inclusion is key. Diverse teams always perform better. All type of aspects of diversity, such as gender equality, origin, age or background have the potential to improve the team’s skills. In a team is very important to establish a cooperative atmosphere to achieve our common goals. We encourage initiatives, welcome innovations and empower our employees. Employees are the most valuable resources of a hotel, we call them talents at AccorHotels. We focus on hiring open-minded, motivated and talented people, integrating and keeping them in our evolving company culture by offering them learning and career opportunities. Our motto at AccorHotels for the employees is “Feel Valued”, which means that we want our employees to feel that their personality, talent and work are appreciated. Happy employees will make our guests happy who will turn back to the hotel…

What would you share with our participants if you would have only one minute?

Do not be afraid to try new things in order to please the guest, do not be afraid to fail. Hospitality is evolving and we need to explore new paths to make a guest’s stay at our properties and have a memorable experience. There is nothing carved in stone in order to achieve that. Respect the individuality, spend time with guests and spend time with your own associates. They both will show you the way to succeed in whatever you plan.

Want to meet or catch up with Zafiris at Best Stay 2018? Register now.