When 800 leaders from the most recognized names in travel came together for the Skift Global Forum in Brooklyn this week, the conversation covered everything from economy hotels to private $145,000 safaris. The conference was a two-day deep-dive into what the future of travel will look like. Will business travelers and conference attendees jump onboard the Airbnb bandwagon? Can an airport actually be a fun place to spend time? How will disruption impact the food and beverage industry? The Skift program tackled all these questions and more, and in the process, speakers offered some quotes that deserve to be framed and hung on the wall in your office break room.
1) “Authenticity is everything in brand building.”
Ivanka Trump, Executive Vice President, The Trump Organization
Donald Trump has yet to prove if he can build a winning Presidential campaign, but there’s no question that Trump is building quite the hospitality empire. His daughter, Ivanka, believes that the family name is one of the main reasons that hotel guests are flocking to Trump properties. “People appreciate personality-driven brands,” Trump told Skift attendees. “Many of the great legacy hotel companies started as family businesses.” Think about this in your organization. Do you have a compelling leader who can be the face of the brand? If so, how are you leveraging that power to inspire loyalty among your audience?
2) “Innovation is about having the right people, and more importantly, asking the right questions.”
Craig Kreeger, CEO, Virgin Atlantic
Every company wants to be innovative, but what’s the secret? New technologies? Lots of money and resources? Kreeger believes fueling innovation doesn’t necessarily rely on the next great mobile feature or a million-dollar investment. Instead, he highlights that companies need to be smarter about framing up the problems they want to solve.
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3) “Learning is the new luxury.”
Craig Greenberg, President, 21c Museum Hotels
Remember when luxury meant expensive and elite? Those days are over. As business travelers, leisure guests and conference attendees make journeys to places all over the world, Greenberg believes they are looking to satisfy their appetites for new knowledge. That’s why guests at 21c Museum properties will find themselves on “fertile ground for sharing new ideas.” The properties are hybrids between hotels and art museums.
4) “It’s no longer the big beating the small. It’s the fast beating the slow.”
Eric Pearson, Chief Information Officer, InterContinental Hotels Group
Consumer behavior is constantly changing. As travelers download new digital tools and embrace alternative business models, Pearson believes the most important piece of success is understanding the need for immediacy. No matter what your organization does, you need to be fast and be able to respond in real-time to the continuing evolution of your customers.
5) “If you take care of your people, then they’ll take care of your customers.
Kevin Shinkle, Chief Communications Officer, Delta
There may be no better comeback story in the travel business than Delta. After filing for bankruptcy, Delta just managed to turn the third quarter of 2015 into the most profitable period in the company’s history. Shinkle says it all starts with the internal approach to making the airline’s employees feel valued and empowered.
Interested in more takeaways from the top names in travel? Click here for more coverage from the Skift Global Forum.