Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. van Santen

Riko van Santen

Vice President Electronic Distribution, Louvre Hotels Group

Riko van Santen graduated with an honours degree in Hospitality Management from Middlesex University, London, and also holds a degree in Japanese business studies and various software administration qualifications. Following experience in various rooms division and revenue management functions at luxury properties, Mr. van Santen joined Pegasus Solutions/Utell in 2000 as Group Revenue Manager. In 2003 he was appointed Director of Electronic Distribution and by 2007 V.P. of Electronic Distribution & ICT for the Golden Tulip TOP Hospitality Group. Currently based at Louvre Hotels Group‘s headquarters in Paris, Mr. van Santen architects the group’s distribution and e-commerce across 6 brands, ranging from 1 star to 5 star properties. The group’s Central Reservations System Goldres was among the first hotel reservations system worldwide to achieve full NGS Connectivity, Total Pricing and BAR functionalities. Golden Tulip’s award winning website was the first hotel brand website to use RSS technology, Mobile-Device distribution, Facebook API, online guest reviews (UGC) and multi lingual Online Distribution Database usage worldwide. Mr. van Santen specializes in delivering evolving competitive hospitality distribution solutions with fast-to-market, cost effective deployment. Experience also includes the RFP, procuring and deployment of 3rd party cloud based systems such as Revenue Management Systems, Rate Trackers, Commission Processing Systems, multi-chain electronic RFP solutions, POS, ERP and Property Management Systems. Property systems consolidated towards “cloud” solutions include mail Server, payroll Server, POS server, PMS server consolidation as well as cross border VOIP and complex IPVPN rollouts internationally. Mr. van Santen lectures at various hotel schools and global industry events on Distribution trends and Revenue Management, and holds seats on: HTNG Board of Directors (current Vice Presidency), HFTP EHTEC Advisory Council, Pegasus Solutions Customer Advisory Board. A Dutch national, Mr. van Santen was born in Tokyo and having lived over 20 years abroad, currently resides in Paris, France with wife Christel and their two sons.

Mr. van Santen can be contacted at 33-1-42.91-4740 or rvansanten@louvre-hotels.com

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.