We recently caught up with the ever busy Albert Polo from Rodamon Hostels for part one of our GuestCentrix Global Hostel Experts Series   Here is part two of that interview.
1. GuestCentrix: What are the top 3 most important factors when finishing work on the new hostel?
Albert Polo: That is a difficult question…Every new hostel has its own characteristics and therefore different factors you have to focus on. However, generally speaking, I pay great attention to details. A bad finishing can ruin months of good work.
So, you should focus on delivering a Good Design, Usability and Comfort in all the elements of the hostel and of course make sure that they all work well together, as one.
2. GC: What is the perfect age group for your hostels and the main target market?
AP: Our age group target is form 18 to 35.
3. GC: What is the perfect hostel to you?
AP: I do not think that such a place exists. Every single traveller has its own perfect hostel or location. What’s good for me might not even be acceptable for others.
It will also depends on every location. A hostel in the woods in Finland can not be the same as on in Barcelona city center.
4. GC: Will we perhaps see fusions of the major hostel operator groups in a near future to consolidate the market? Like Banks and supermarkets have done recently?
AP: Yes, this is actually happening already. I’m aware of several fusions and share acquisitions.
Hostels are like everything else part of the market. And they will evolve not different like any other brand of product out there. They are going to be subjected to fusions, sales, purchases, etc.
5: GC: What is your view on the ever more popular do it yourself “Glamping” trend in Europe? Could that trend threat the market? Self-drive holidays!!
AP: I do not think it is a threat. I think that Camping has been around for many years. As I have explained, I used to work for that industry. Now, it just have evolved into “Glamping” DIY but it is still camping.
6. GC: What is your view on travel technology? Are the tools that you like to work with easy to manoeuvre, easy to purchase and easy when installing these tools?
AP: Technology plays a key role in travel and accommodation industry. A key part of this technology for us comes from GuestCentrix with its cloud hosted PMS. However, we also work with other partners to keep track of reviews and online reputation, Revenue Management, etc.
We also like to engage our customers, and we could not do that without technology. Using mailing, social media interactions, publications in our blog, etc.
Technology is nowadays primordial in our industry and it will be even more key in the near future.
7. GC: What in your opinion is missing in the travel technology market.
AP: Integration. Today you can find a good PMS from one provider, a good Revenue Management System from another or a good Reputation Management System from another. However, you can not find a good Accommodation Management System that includes everything you need.
In my opinion, there is still a lot to do in the travel technology market.
8. GC: You and your hostels work with the GuestCentrix PMS system. How has the journey been for you and the team as a partnership with us?
We started with GuestCentrix PMS because we wanted a powerful cloud solution and at the same time, it had to be adaptable to our needs and our plans for growth.
So far, we are very happy with GuestCentrix, not only for the PMS itself, but the also customer service and support has been great!
Periodically updates have been released and the system has improved a lot for us over the years as well.
GCH on PC 2
9.  GC: Do you believe in time saved/ money earned from a staff perspective?
AP: Absolutely. One of the sales point of many PMS that are on the market is reception staff time saving.
I believe that less is more. A good PMS has to be powerful but simple at the same time. So that you convert time consuming and complicated tasks into simple ones thanks to automation and simplification.
Those days of Excel files and hundreds of printed papers have passed thankfully!!