The President of the Management Board of Aminess Hotels and Camps from Novigrad, Zrinka Bokulić, was the moderator of the panel, which is still a burning topic in Croatia – how to attract and retain labor, especially professionals, and whether employers are able to say “thank you” to employees. The shortage of manpower in the future will be even more pronounced, and it was discussed by colleagues dealing with human resources, Gordana Frgačić from Pevec, Gordana Kolenko from BHV Consulting and Marija Lekić from the Belgrade hotelier Mona Hospitality. The goal of the HOW Festival is to bring together representatives of tourism and hotel management from the entire region, present international trends in hotel operations and examples of good practice, facilitate the implementation of new products and services and ensure entertainment and networking of participants. The main debate was about lowering prices when demand fell. Morin said that they do not lower prices and do not give discounts, because they reduce the value of their products. Sahin also agreed with him, talking about his resort in Antalya. However, there are situations when they have no other choice, so Morin mentioned the example of their hotel in Glasgow which worked well until other hotels opened. A large number of new rooms were “killed” by the market, so they had to lower prices by as much as 50 percent, which was a “slap in the face”, said Morin. Two important topics were the focus of the first day and the panel as part of the HOW Festival Kolenko presented the research that her company did with seasonal workers – receptionists in a large Croatian hotel that have been working in it for two and a half to three and a half years. It turned out that the most important thing for employees is advancement, to enable them a permanent career and development (which they cannot have if they are seasonal) and that their opinion is valued. Only after that was a good salary on the priority list. The first was revenue management and the risk of lower prices, and the second was the importance of investing in human resources, that is, do we know how to say “thank you” to employees. Simple, and so important and neglected. Mirella Premeru from Valamar Riviera, Regis Morin from Point A Hotels by Queensway Group and Cahit Sahin from the Turkish Montgomery Maxx Royal Golf Club discovered how they manage revenues in their companies and what technologies they use. She pointed out to the Prime Minister that the role of the revenue manager in Valamar is quite traditional by definition and is actually a kind of compass for marketing and sales and the development of their strategy. Morin emphasized that they have more hotels in the United Kingdom, and the manager has the role of a revenue generator for them. In the conversation, they mentioned the trend from the last two to three years, according to which guests book more and more later, there are more and more last minute reservations, especially in Britain, where Brexit has changed everything. They have to adapt to that, they pointed out. Investing in people is many times more profitable and just as important as investing in hardware. Frgačić presented all the changes that have taken place in Pevec in the last three years – from bankruptcy to changes in the entire Management and top management, and, at the same time, different policies towards employees, which ultimately resulted in a huge reduction in employee turnover. The future and role of revenue managers, as the panelists pointed out, hope to be more market-focused than mathematical analysis. She added to the example that this will happen in Croatia maybe only in five to ten years. Other panelists added that there is no need to be afraid of new technologies in revenue management. On the island of Poreč, Sv. Nikola opened yesterday the conference Hotel Operations Weekend – the first festival in Europe on the topic of hotel operations. This year, the festival gathered more than 570 participants and over 50 speakers in 20 panel discussions and presentations at which the participants were introduced to the latest world trends in hotel operations. Education is important to them because they are opening new shopping malls and they need a loyal workforce. Therefore, the entire Management Board visits the shopping centers, talks quite openly with the workers in all the centers who are in direct contact with customers, asks them what they need and what problems they have, and in the end it is solved. They give people security, they thank them for their efforts, which together brought positive results. They concluded that any recruitment competition is actually a promotion of the company, and that today’s human resources departments are most concerned with how to attract and retain workers. During the panel, Turkey was constantly mentioned as a competitor, and all participants together concluded that in the long run, lowering prices is not good. Lekić explained that they are adapting to the workers because they are opening new hotels and the need for employees is constantly growing. They have managed to reduce the turnover of workers in various ways, primarily by treating those who have worked for them for a long time differently and those who are very young. They noticed that young people today say very directly what they want and their basic motive for employment is security, that the salary is regular, that they have a hot meal and that they know exactly when they will have a vacation. They watch how they are treated starting from the interview, and in order to work with guests in hotels, they have to stay in it themselves, in rooms and restaurants so that they can know what service they offer. Today, Friday, the conference will address social media topics and their importance in sales and marketing, then the quality of wi-fi in hotels, new trends in hotel households, and will be about communication with guests and creative concepts in the food and beverage departments.
Natalie Yee | Daily TrojanMen’s swimming, ranked No. 13 in the nation, will head to the Pac-12 Championships, which will run from Wednesday through Saturday in Federal Way, Wash. The conference championships will offer some of the toughest competition in the country, as USC will have to take down No. 1 Cal and No. 5 Stanford to bring the title back to Los Angeles.The diving team already competed during the men’s diving championships last weekend, which were held alongside the women’s Pac-12 Championships. Junior Dashiell Enos took home the 3-meter springboard title for the second year in a row, with freshman Henry Fusaro finishing close behind in second place. Enos won with a 428.35 score, and Fusaro followed him up with a score of 408.15. Both performances were personal bests, firmly outpacing Arizona State’s Heikki Makikallio, who finished in third with 372.50 points.Enos also reached his first 1-meter final and took fourth on the platform, while freshman Nick Mamola finished eighth in his first conference final competition. Enos took home fourth place with a final score of 335.95, and Mamola finished with 291.20 points.The Trojans finished second in last year’s conference championship after taking home the title in 2015 for the first time since 1979. USC has not had three consecutive top-two finishes in the Pac-12 since the mid-’70s, but it’s an accomplishment the Trojans could achieve with all of their 2016 Pac-12 swim champions still on the squad.Senior co-captain Reed Malone will return in his final Pac-12 championship to defend his conference titles in the 200y and 500y freestyle, and fellow senior co-captain Steven Stumph will look to repeat in the 200y breaststroke and become the first Trojan to win the event three years in a row. Junior Ralf Tribunstov will also look to protect his 100y backstroke title, while sophomore Patrick Mulcare will race again in the 200y backstroke.Sophomores Alex Valente and Carsten Vissering will also return to the pool after finishing second overall in the 100y butterfly and the 100y breaststroke, respectively, at last season’s championships. Vissering will enter this week’s competition as the top seed in the conference in the 100y breaststroke.Redshirt junior Dylan Carter is also the top seed in the 200y freestyle, and the Trojans will enter the pool as top seeds in the 200y freestyle relay. The team will look to continue its dominance in the 100y freestyle event, which it has won three times in the past five years.The Trojans boast a balanced team of seasoned upperclassmen including All-Americans such as Malone, Mulcare and Tribuntsov and 2016 Olympians such as Carter (Trinidad and Tobago) and redshirt juniorSanto Condorelli (Canada).The championships will kick off at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center on Wednesday with the 200y medley and 800y freestyle relays. Thursday will feature the 500y freestyle, 200y individual medley, 50y freestyle sprint and 200y freestyle relay. Friday will be the longest day for the Trojans, with races in the 400y individual medley, 100y fly, 200y freestyle, 100y breaststroke, 100y backstroke and 400y medley relay.The tournament will conclude on Saturday with the 1650y freestyle, 200y backstroke, 100y freestyle, 200y breaststroke, 200y butterfly and 400y freestyle relay.These four days will be a test to see if the Trojans can compete among the best of the best in both the Pac-12 and the NCAA, setting the stage for the national championships in March.