Karen Stephens: Whats up everybody and welcome to the Resort Second podcast. I’m your host, Karen Stephens, the Chief Income Officer of Revinate, and at present I’m delighted to be joined by Amanda Du, who’s the Head of Ecommerce at Penta Lodges. Welcome, Amanda.
Amanda Du Jing: Hello Karen. Thanks a lot for having me at present.
Karen Stephens: Oh, it’s a pleasure.
You understand, we’ve achieved quite a lot of these podcasts over the past, name it 8 or 9 months, and also you’re solely the second lady that I’ve had on the present. So I’m very excited. I like all of the dudes. I’m glad in regards to the dudes, nevertheless it positive is good to have a powerhouse like your self be a part of us at present. So that you’ve acquired quite a lot of cool expertise and I can’t wait to dive into that.
However earlier than we try this, I needed to start out with some questions that we ask all of our friends simply to get us warmed up.
Amanda Du Jing: Cool.
Karen Stephens: So should you’ll indulge me. Yeah, I’ll go together with query number one. So first query, when did you first begin working within the business and do you keep in mind your first day on the job?
Amanda Du Jing: I began working within the business I believe 10 years in the past, and it was by no means my plan. As a result of not like different accommodations, I by no means began in tourism administration or hospitality. I began English and accounting as a bachelor’s diploma. So all of my uni classmates, they went both to the banks or huge companies, and I used to be sort of the one one who ended up within the lodge and really glad about my resolution till at present. And my first job was the social media government throughout that point when social media simply begin rising and no one actually knew the way it works and no one holds a grasp’s diploma on digital advertising, for instance.
And I nonetheless keep in mind my first day on the job, I used to be so amazed by how huge the again finish of the lodge is as a result of as a buyer I all the time noticed how huge, how it’s entrance, entrance home of the lodge.
However on the primary day I used to be like, I virtually acquired misplaced. I used to be like, “oh, wow. There’s a lot happening behind the scenes.”
Karen Stephens: Yeah, that’s nice. Can I ask you, the place’d you go to school?
Amanda Du Jing: I used to be in, I used to be in China.
Karen Stephens: Oh wow. Okay, cool. Yeah, that may be very cool. So that you realized English as a second language in China. Wow, that’s nice.
And now, wow, that’s enormous. Wonderful. Okay, so second query. What’s the most uplifting second thus far in your profession?
Amanda Du Jing: Effectively, it’s a, it’s a tricky one. And I believe there have been so many however I might, if I’ve to choose one, I might say that after I first had my very own group after I was working in Malaysia for, for IHG Group. So I constructed the entire group from the scratch and likewise launched the digital advertising experience idea to the, to the area, to Southeast Asia area, and employed all the non-hotel layer digital gigs at the moment within the group.
And I believe I do not forget that after we had our first assembly collectively, that was a second I really feel, “Oh wow. I’ve already achieved one thing and I, and I imagine with the group and there can be extra to return.” And it after all turned out to be a really profitable story. So I nonetheless keep in mind the day when I’ve everyone sitting there and we had, after we had the primary group assembly.
Karen Stephens: Oh, isn’t that cool?
That’s an ideal, that’s an ideal second to look again on. Okay, this 1, quantity 3 is a bit more private. So what’s the most hanging expertise you’ve had thus far by way of a private vacation or keep or meals expertise, some journey or journey that has been essentially the most hanging thus far?
Amanda Du Jing: I’ve to say it’s my journey to India, New Delhi.
It was such a hanging expertise that I, I nonetheless can see these colours vividly when, after I give it some thought and all these spices, proper? I like spicy meals. However all these various kinds of spices, the Indian meals compose, it’s, it’s actually wonderful. However I believe an important factor, or most factor that I keep in mind, is that the individuals who working there, who work within the hospitality business there. You may really feel that they’re so proud and so obsessed with their job and about what they do, and naturally if it’s coming from their coronary heart.
So the service stage, it’s actually completely different, and you are feeling very warmly welcome there.
Karen Stephens: Oh, that’s actually cool. I’ve by no means been to India and I might like to go. I definitely have quite a lot of colleagues who’re Indian and it’s such a ravishing, colourful tradition. Such as you stated, it’s, it’s nice. Okay, fourth one. Have you ever met any celebrities when you’ve been within the trenches?
Amanda Du Jing: Surprisingly none.
Karen Stephens: None?
Amanda Du Jing: Sure!
Karen Stephens: All proper!
Amanda Du Jing: Often in all probability the primary one!
Karen Stephens: Yeah! Often somebody’s acquired some story. All proper. Effectively, and I do know you’ve been working in all probability, it’s been some time because you’ve been within the lodge itself. You…
Amanda Du Jing: Yeah. And I suppose as a result of I used to be more often than not within the workplace, not like colleagues working within the operations, so I’m extra at the back of the lodge.
Yeah. However I, I met quite a lot of regular individuals I believe, who impressed me. Yeah. And I, I all the time very shocked to listen to these tales. I might by no means guess after I, after I first met them. So yeah, probably not celebrities, however many implausible people I might say.
Karen Stephens: Okay. Effectively that, that could be a nice dovetail into the fifth query, which is, who’re the ladies at work you’ve gotten been most impressed by?
Amanda Du Jing: Effectively, there I used to be very fortunate. Effectively, after I first moved to Singapore from China and I had a gaggle of girls after I was working with the Radisson Resort Group. And in our industrial group, we had a really worldwide group, with nationalities like me from China, Canada, Turkey, and Finland, and naturally Singaporeans, native individuals there.
So for all of these worldwide group members inside the industrial group, we arrived in Singapore, kind of related time, and we supported one another tremendously and, and developed an ideal friendship till at present. So I believe we’re position fashions to ourselves, to one another, and we encourage one another rather a lot.
So we nonetheless be in contact, hold one another up to date on our profession advances and, and simply life basically.
Karen Stephens: Yeah. That’s so cool. You understand, we now have an workplace in Singapore and I, I simply love Singapore a lot cuz it’s such a melting pot. It’s so various by way of individuals coming from all around the world, and all completely different backgrounds and, and I believe you’re proper that, that makes, that makes for actually superior learnings. And you recognize, you’ll be able to simply study a lot from the individuals coming from all these completely different locations. So, very cool. All proper, effectively thanks for that. That is superior. See, I’ve already realized one thing. So, why don’t we begin by, would you inform me somewhat bit about who Penta Lodges are? What does the portfolio seem like?
What do you concentrate on? All of that good things.
Amanda Du Jing: Yeah. Penta, Penta, we now have in throughout Europe, 20 plus accommodations and Penta as a model, it’s all about social interactions, basic service, and chilled vibes. So we worth the communication, group, and luxury. We provide the energetic neighborhood accommodations in these interesting areas in Europe, and at coronary heart of every Panta lodge is our Penta lounge, which is an idea we pioneered years in the past the place we provide a candy spot for our prospects between our vibrant and laid-back life-style. So for, for the shoppers to loosen up play, and recharge.
Karen Stephens: Oh, that’s actually cool. So, you recognize, you talked about somewhat bit about, you recognize, the visitor expertise at Penta Lodges, and I’ve a quote from you truly that reads, “with the supportive expertise, we nonetheless want to make use of the client information in emotionally clever methods. Having a customer-centric mindset is essential and success.” So it sounds such as you create these chilled vibes, that’s what’s occurring on the floor, however what’s happening behind the scenes and might you gimme somewhat extra colour on that quote,?
Amanda Du Jing: Yeah, after all. We discuss rather a lot about digital visitor journey expertise, how we might revolutionize the best way we function accommodations, however I believe the best way it’s, it’s actually not the core. It’s, it’s not how we revolutionize the best way we function the lodge, nevertheless it’s actually how we’re utilizing expertise in a extra emotionally clever methods to grasp the client finest. So for us, I believe to, to get the client information proper and higher serve, serve our friends is the important thing.
The evaluation of customer-related information, which is captured by way of the entire digital, by way of the entire journey earlier than they even work together with the lodge.
Karen Stephens: Proper.
Amanda Du Jing: So proper. On the similar time, we additionally wanna perceive to how we optimize these customer-related processes and to each from the client aspect and from the worker aspect.
More often than not we overlook how the worker, how the entrance desk operates, and we now have this nice huge thought on how we need to ship that buyer success. However I believe it’s crucial for us to actually additionally take a look at, from the worker aspect, how, whether or not it’s possible, how we make it occur. And naturally, along with our personal information, we, we additionally take a look at what are the client tendencies and, and analysis information within the buyer habits to make it possible for we make the customer-centric selections, particularly after Covid, proper?
The, the entire want is, is completely different. So providing a seamless journey expertise shouldn’t be an “add-on” service anymore. It’s, it’s, it’s must-have. So from this, I believe, you recognize, to, to actually perceive what buyer desires, what they want is crucial for us to, to succeed.
Karen Stephens: Yeah. It’s sort of the place imaginative and prescient meets operations, proper?
Amanda Du Jing: I like that.
Karen Stephens: It’s like, yeah, that’s an ideal thought. How can we make that truly work? You understand? So, you recognize, it was superior understanding somewhat bit extra about your background and the way you began within the digital house, and also you’ve had a lot affect in that house. I wanna dive into your ABCD framework. So, I’ve heard you talk about this, however our listeners may not find out about it.
Are you able to inform us what that’s and, and the way you utilize that in personalizing the visitor journey?
Amanda Du Jing: So the ABCD framework is extra on how we did the entire digital transformation within the Penta Lodges. So okay. ABCD. The a is extra on the evaluation half. Analytics dimension, which incorporates what I simply clarify earlier the evaluation of customer-related information captured, captured by way of the entire journey.
And the b is a enterprise half. So to grasp what’s essential for, for the, for the accommodations itself and. The entire enterprise, the modifications of the enterprise circumstances to enhance the client expertise. So the interior enterprise circumstances are associated to modifications in administration selections. For instance group’s, missions, for instance.
And c is an important half, and which I, I all the time put it as a core is our prospects. Yeah. So the core and the whole buyer interplay journey.
And the d is the digital, some of the essential enablers, I might say, the expertise half to make all of these transformations occur.
Karen Stephens: Wow. That’s so cool. That’s so cool. So now we’re gonna shift gears somewhat bit as a result of I, I discussed, you recognize, that I believe you have been actually on the forefront, effectively, you, you sort of stated it your self as effectively, if you first acquired into the digital house, that was actually very new. It was sort of the, it was simply beginning, which was not that way back, nevertheless it’s simply beginning to evolve. So I observed that you just’re additionally actually concerned in Web3 and the metaverse and all these items. So, are you able to simply, there’s rather a lot, in all probability quite a lot of listeners on the market like me, I’ve heard somewhat bit about this, possibly don’t know as a lot as we must always. Are you able to simply sort of give us an summary of what the, what your curiosity is there and the way you assume it applies to hospitality or the way it may sooner or later?
Amanda Du Jing: Yeah, so I believe effectively let, let’s get some ideas straight possibly. And after we, yeah, after we leap into that, Web3 is, is, is the title that’s given to what some individuals name the subsequent part of the, of the web. Proper? Okay. Which runs on the blockchain expertise and is decentralized. So if we are saying Web1 was all about studying info and we are actually in sort of a Web2 and Web3 transition.
Web2 was about co-creation, particularly these user-generated content material. We are able to publish all these on social media. After which Web3 is in regards to the possession and all of these is, relies on the blockchain and metaverse. And Metaverse is extra of the, the web the place it creates a brand new approach we expertise the digital world.
I might say think about the entire web site and also you simply elevate it up as a 3D and also you discover it round you. So, I, I, say it’s, it’s an interconnected digital actuality the place we turn into marketed to speak expertise, work, play, and do issues we by no means, which can by no means attainable earlier than. And what, what does it relate to, to the lodge, to the journey?
And, and I believe we, we discuss rather a lot, you recognize what, what occurs earlier than they even come to the lodge? Earlier than they even begin touring? Proper? I believe that Web3 space, or the metaverse half would improve, or its extension of this complete journey expertise. So the place the shoppers can actually like go into your lodge, expertise, the lodge, and to choose the room, they need to make certain they, they know what they, they’re shopping for for I might say, and to, to, to actually have a very good, good first impression and a, and anticipate, expectations earlier than they, they arrive to expertise the lodge.
However, and I, I, I do know lots of people additionally say like, would, would individuals then simply keep at dwelling with their goggles and never touring? No.
Karen Stephens: Yeah, I agree with you.
Amanda Du Jing: After Covid, we additionally say, “okay, ought to, would dwelling workplace change human interplay, in-person interplay?” No, it won’t. However, it, it simply provides one other dimension to the entire journey expertise and to our personal expertise. I believe will, will add positively extra advantages to, to accommodations sooner or later. To prospects for positive.
Karen Stephens: Completely, and I agree with you 100%. To start with, it’s actually thrilling to consider that sort of expertise the place you can truly stroll right into a lodge and perceive how all the pieces is laid out and get an thought of issues earlier than you go. However I agree with you 100% that individuals shouldn’t be nervous that rapidly individuals will try this as an alternative of touring as a result of all of us must get, get transferring once more. In order that, that’s, that’s actually fascinating. And I do know, so we’re recording this proper earlier than ITB, it’ll in all probability come out after ITB, however you’re primarily based in Munich, in Germany, and we’ve acquired ITB arising in Berlin subsequent week, I imagine.
Is it subsequent week?
Amanda Du Jing: Yeah. Sure, subsequent week.
Karen Stephens: Thrilling as a result of it has like, it’s been, you recognize, gone for 3 years. So are you able to give us some highlights of what you’re trying ahead to? We’ll verify again in with you afterward, however I do know you’ve acquired some, a talking panel, and another issues, however what are you seeking to ahead to principally about ITB and coming again this 12 months?
Amanda Du Jing: I believe positively is the interplay with the, with, with completely different individuals. To see, “okay, what are the, what are the brand new issues on the market?” And I’m, I’m additionally talking at 1 panel about loyalty in journey business and a keynote on how accommodations enter Web3 period.
Karen Stephens: Oh!
Amanda Du Jing: So by trying on the content material and likewise different completely different tracks, I’m very excited to see there are quite a lot of technology-focused future focus subjects are going to be mentioned there, and I believe that’s essentially the most thrilling half for me.
Karen Stephens: Effectively, that’s nice. Effectively, once more, it will in all probability come out after ITB however should you’re listening and also you wanna study extra about Web3 and the metaverse, then discover, discover them out from ITB to get extra info.
Yeah. So one final thing I needed to speak to you about was somewhat bit extra, and that is sort of all tied collectively, however about AI and lodge tech. So synthetic intelligence, and do you assume that hoteliers are doing a very good job of leveraging that expertise at present? How do you see it? How do you see it evolving?
Amanda Du Jing: I believe from the advertising perspective, we, we began utilizing it fairly, fairly early house already, or fairly early stage already. Like after we, after we are taking a look at all these buyer information, how we personalize their, their, their, their supply, and likewise like how we do these focused ads. It was all powered by AI.
Didn’t actually discuss it up to now and, and possibly everyone come throughout the ChatGPT now and it’s all of a sudden an enormous subject once more, this 12 months and, and. and I, and I believe for the lodge aspect, there’s some misconceptions from our aspect that’s saying, “effectively, that’s the largest worry, proper?” Each time after we see a brand new expertise, we all the time sort of acquired scared. Like, “would that change the lodge employees? Like, would, would that change all of the individuals working within the lodge with all these robots delivering the room?” Or whether or not these AI instruments can solely be run by these extremely specialised information scientists, for instance, scientists. Which I believe shouldn’t be, see it that approach.
And, and I believe AI is, is, is like expertise shouldn’t be all the pieces, proper? It’s simply an enabler. And we needs to be higher using it and never assume that we now have to have an enormous amount of cash to take a position to, to it. And as I discussed, it could possibly begin very small to raised perceive your buyer first, and, and the entire journey, the client journey.
Make it possible for’s clean and to assist their instruments may help you optimize your, your, like income forecast, demand, and higher plan your, your manpower and your labor power within the lodge. And, and we’re additionally, we have been additionally piloting some instruments that would predict meals wastage, for instance. So there are a lot of methods to make the most of this expertise,
and I believe accommodations now begin taking a look at it from a, a extra holistic angle, like completely different angles. And never solely from the advertising aspect, however, but in addition from income aspect, and advertising and income, how we work collectively to raised make the most of AI, proper? They’ve nice instruments to do forecasting. We now have useful gizmo to focus on prospects and the way we mix these to present, to supply prospects the, the, the supply that they’re in search of.
And likewise from operational aspect, I believe there’s an enormous potential the place they will actually make use of the expertise and on the similar time to be extra environment friendly. So not solely increase the visitor satisfaction, but in addition the workers at work.
Karen Stephens: Yeah. Yeah. Form of get rid of among the monotony or among the, the roles that, the, the a part of the roles that aren’t as, as partaking as, as others.
I’s a great way to consider it. Yeah. So what, what recommendation would you give to possibly a lodge on the market who doesn’t have, isn’t part of a gaggle that’s superior considering like this, and the place would you recommend that any individual go simply to begin to educate themselves on these sorts of issues?
I don’t know if there’s something that involves thoughts?
Amanda Du Jing: I believe ITB is a superb alternative.
Karen Stephens: Yeah, that’s proper. Hopefully, you have been there. Yeah. Sure. Go to exhibits. Go to commerce exhibits.
Amanda Du Jing: Precisely. Go to these conferences. There are such a lot of conferences after Covid and so many who 12 months that I, I couldn’t even attend most of them. And, I believe actually, to search for that info on-line to see what different subjects you have an interest in. There are these conferences, simply specializing in buyer journey. There’s conferences simply specializing in lodge expertise. I believe, to, to get your self on the market. Be open. Yeah, I believe that’s an important angle.
Simply, you recognize, to, to get to know what you don’t know earlier than. In order that can be my recommendation.
Karen Stephens: Yeah. That’s implausible recommendation. Effectively, thanks a lot, Amanda. This has been a tremendous dialog. So simply so our listeners know, the place can they discover extra info on Penta Lodges?
Amanda Du Jing: So our URL is at pentahotels.com. Additionally LinkedIn and Instagram.
Karen Stephens: Sure, and Instagram. Okay. Superior. Thanks a lot for the dialog at present, Amanda. I actually admire it. Thanks.
Amanda Du Jing: Thanks a lot.
Karen Stephens: Take care.