The tourism industry is one of the hardest hit sectors by the pandemic, as travel and tourism activities during the early months of the quarantine were limited. Moreso, this coincided with the peak summer season where tourists usually flock to destinations to cool off and unwind with their friends and families, resulting in tourism businesses including SMEs to struggle and bow to the loss of income and revenue.
Fortunately, more and more places in the country are now gradually opening to accept tourists and many SMEs are preparing to start their operations again. In support of the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) efforts to boost local travel, Globe myBusiness celebrates tourism businesses that are hard at work in preparing their establishments for safe, leveled-up and recreated tourism experiences with the launch of Business Diaries.
Business Diaries features pioneering Filipino boutique hotel brand, The Henry Hotel, and its owner and “inn-keeper” Hanky Lee as he shares his inspirations and approach in running his properties, and how technology plays a role in every successful business. Through this, SMEs can be inspired by how The Henry Hotel strives to keep up with the times to ensure a safe and like-no-other experience for their guests.
“The Henry is more than a hotel. It stands for certain values: Filipino values, a Western mind, a Latin heart, and an Asian soul. We are innovative, passionate, and honest in doing our part in making local travel safe and responsible. Through Business Diaries, I hope to impart valuable insights that other business owners can also apply on their own ventures as they strive to rebuild,” said Hanky Lee.
Other tourism business owners will also get the chance to share their own versions of their Business Diaries via Facebook and Instagram story templates, which will be available soon on Globe myBusiness’ social media accounts.
“Globe myBusiness has launched the Business Diaries to educate tourism business owners on the best practices to adapt in the new normal and inspire them to thrive in these changing times,” said Maridol Ylanan, Strategy and Marketing Head for Globe myBusiness. “Together with our products and services, we aim to help them recreate travel experiences by providing best-in-class connectivity and digital solutions to address the evolving traveler needs.”
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While it is easy to get lost in all these, hoteliers adapt by turning their own accommodations into destinations themselves. It takes a lot to add one feature after another while pleasing target markets and earning a steady flow of patrons. However, it’s not impossible.
This is what The Henry Hotel has done in the course of its expansion from Cebu to Manila. Within a humble compound in Pasay City, Mr. Hanky Lee, the hotel’s owner and chief executive, created a boutique hotel from restored heritage homes.
Check out these five tips on how to transform your hotel into a perfect destination from Hanky himself, and learn how you can achieve success:
Ambiance plays a key role in attracting guests, because they often consider hotels as their homes for the interim of their stay. This is why investing in that home-like ambiance through design, service and amenities is crucial for hoteliers.
In the case of The Henry Hotel, Hanky revealed that giving attention to detail turned out especially well for them. He says that their mantra is to make sure that every room always looks brand new.
On top of that, The Henry Hotel is also in a strategic location that accentuates its home-like vibe. Even with the addition of a restaurant, garden, pool, and gift shop, the hotel was able to maintain an ambiance that screams home thanks to its environment.
“The Henry Hotel Manila is what I consider a jewel. It is a magical place. You’re right in the city, but you find birds chirping and mature trees. It’s like an oasis that’s like no other. You do not see this kind of ambiance in Metro Manila anymore,” Hanky says.
Change is the only thing that’s constant in the world, and this statement applies greatly to hotels. Adapting to the current market demands and creating something new out of what you already have is important for your establishment to survive and prosper.
Reinvention should be welcomed because it is a way to positively develop as a business. For hotels, it can be done in simple ways like adding new facilities, changing up interiors, or using technology to improve overall service.
For The Henry Hotel, reinvention came in a unique way. In its Manila hub, it mixed vintage glamour with modern luxury through its restored heritage homes — something that not every competitor can offer.
“If you want to get into hotels [and] you have a certain location in mind, I suggest you take a good look around and check your competition. After that, you have to determine what type of lodging facility and guests they have, and see what you can bring to the table,” Hanky says.
Filipinos are known around the world for their hospitality and their great way of welcoming guests to the country. Even big names in the international hotel industry recognize this, opening jobs for Filipinos in top-notch tourist destinations.
Mastering hospitality is essential for every hotel, and it can be done by training your service crew adequately. With the right approach and use, Filipino hospitality can go a long way, especially for local hoteliers.
According to Hanky, playing to your strengths is important when running a hotel. This was clearly shown in how The Henry Hotel’s crew conduct themselves in the presence of guests. They are approachable, knowledgeable, helpful, and optimistic.
“One notable feature we have is leveraging on the Filipino. As we all know, [we] Filipinos have this innate talent or knack for hospitality. We do not have foreigners who work for us. It’s all Filipinos,” Hanky says.
Doing business is more than just earning profit; it’s about fulfilling a mission that’s beyond any monetary gain. With a purpose in mind, entrepreneurs have more reason to keep going not only for themselves, but also for their teams.
Hanky built The Henry Hotel out of his love for the Philippines. Among the things that keep him going is the fact that the world has not yet seen how beautiful the Philippines is.
“I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the Philippines. Our country is really beautiful. Wherever you go, it is blessed with natural resources and sights. Our people’s hospitality is authentic and the way we take care of our guests is second to none. One feature of our hotel is that it celebrates the Philippines,” Hanky says.
In addition, Hanky reveals that they tap local artists when developing the designs for their hotels, making sure that their interiors are authentically Filipino. They also work with social enterprises that extend a helping hand to marginalized communities.
Take these tips to heart and transform your hotel into a perfect destination! Steer your way to success with help from leading experts in the field of tourism. Sign up to Globe myBusiness Academy Online and receive exclusive content that will help your business succeed.
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