Sustainability needed throughout the lifecycle of a hospitality project: John Gabriel Martin [Video]

by | Aug 25, 2019 | People

Breaking down silos in hospitality is a first step to fully integrating sustainability in the industry, says John Gabriel Martin, Co-Founder of Cervo Hospitality

While many still grapple with web 2.0 & 3.0, John Gabriel Martin offers to the industry “hospitality management 4.0”.

Born into hospitality in his native Belgium, the young maverick co-founded Cervo Hospitality which specializes in the “hospitality of tomorrow” by mastering commercial awareness and the “design & build” concept.

On the sidelines of TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Barcelona, Martin spoke to TOPHOTELNEWS about the many-pronged challenges of breaking industry silos to fully integrate sustainability in hospitality.

“Hospitality a big part of who I am”

Martin: I was born into hospitality. My parents founded Martin’s Hotels – which is a 14-hotel group now – back in 1983. From there, I went to Lausanne in Switzerland to study hospitality. I traveled around the world also during my internships: Hong Kong, Bangkok, New York. So hospitality is really part of who I am.

Sustainability needed throughout project lifecycle

Martin: We all feel the need for eco-responsibility. Sustainability: it’s been around for many years. Eco-responsibility, like the spas 10 years ago, was a necessity — it was a must-have. However, spas were very poorly applied in most of the cases and not commercially viable. It was a drain of energy and a drain of resources.

Sustainability is also seen a bit like that, and it should not. Guests will request and will need their hotel to be sustainable. The demand is growing, the need is growing; and it cannot be ignored. But it has to be consistently applied throughout the lifecycle of a project.

How Cervo Hospitality aids the industry

Martin: Cervo Hospitality can help with integrating the know-how, integrating people around a project, and gaining momentum to make things more efficient. Hospitality right now is working in silos with experts working in their corners. So it’s about really creating a bridge between every actor of a project.

On Cervo’s recent Pairi Daiza resort project

Martin: The Pairi Daiza resort project is the first part of a huge picture of a $300 million investment. It was a challenge to develop a hotel resort within an animal park, surrounded by wildlife and visitors. It was quite challenging to find the equilibrium between operations, design, technological aspects, and how everything has to work together.

Just as an example: check-in in a normal hotel is in the afternoon. Here, people come very early. The first check-in starts at 8 a.m. but at 8 a.m., the rooms are still occupied by the former residents. So, how do you deal with that? How do you deploy systems? How to “custom-make” systems? And then how can you keep track of the guest experience as well as the staff experience? How do you manage staff when the peak hour of housekeeping corresponds with the peak hour of visitor arrivals?


Martin: TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR is definitely breaking down barriers. It puts together experts such as interior designers, who even speak with one another. No other event would actually have this happen as well as it does here.

This is where exchange takes place; barriers go down. It makes a lot of sense for the future of hospitality, especially when we’re trying to integrate these major industry players around a table.

John Gabriel Martin was a delegate at TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Barcelona 2019. To attend, address or sponsor our boutique hospitality networking events around the world, contact TOPHOTELPROJECTS Head of Global Events & Conferences Kayley van der Velde.


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