Interview with our Human Resources Director, Pedro Hidalgo
Our Human Resources expert talks to us about his participation in the 1st Strategic Conference on Pioneering Tourist Destinations (I Jornada Estratégica para Destinos Turísticos Pioneros).
“Powerful and very productive” was how Pedro Hidalgo described the event, in which he participated as the expert in Human Resources and Training in the hotel industry.
Specifically, Hidalgo participated in a round table discussion on innovation in pioneering destinations entitled “Oferta Turística e Innovación en los Destinos Pioneros: Reinventarse y Vivir”. Alongside him were Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, Executive Vice President and CEO of Melia Hotels International; Juan Carlos Sanjuan Hernández, CEO of Casual Hoteles; Ian Livesey, Head of Mainland Spain at TUI Destination Services, and Tatiana Martínez Ramos e Iruela, General Sub Director for Development and Sustainability for the Secretary of State for Tourism. The moderator was Pilar Martínez Maldonado, Tourism Editor for the area’s largest newspaper, the Diario Sur.
The event took place on the 14th of September in Torremolinos and was supported by the Mayors of eight Spanish municipalities which form the AMT (the Municipal Alliance for Sun and Beach). A few days after the event, Hidalgo spoke to us about his participation and what he defines as the keys for the consolidation and evolution of pioneering destinations and the multi-experiential tourist model.
He highlighted the importance of taking “the concept of corporate image and applying it to a tourist destination, understanding that its image and reputation relies on a range of public and private services. Private companies, institutions, organizations and individuals all have a responsibility to work together to improve and develop these destinations.”
He also confers a lot of importance on the care for and the constant improvement of the location in which a hotel sits, in terms of infrastructure, green areas, restaurants, services, culture and sports, to optimise the visitor experience, as the hotel cannot be considered in isolation.
Mr. Hidalgo also stated that, “in the hospitality industry, our staff play an essential role in making sure that our product is more focussed on visitor experience. Tourists are putting more value on human contact, emotional connections and intangible factors than before, and only our staff can deliver this”…. “In the end our final product is the feeling that our guests have about their experience and this is based on special moments they have enjoyed and the sensations they have felt over their stay, more than the operational excellence of the hotel.”
The conclusion that he made after years of experience of training in the hotel sector and he was able to share during the event was that “in general you can do things in three ways; bad, good or excellent”. Of course, you need to work hard to do things well, but to move into the realm of excellence Pedro says that in his experience “you only need a few small actions which are based on emotional intelligence, positive attitude, education in terms of values and taking care of the small details to make a really powerful impression on others.”
In this way, he vehemently feels that “we must strive for excellence in order to optimise our reputation as tourist destinations and effectively develop and improve the quality standards and services we have to offer.” In order to do this, “motivating and encouraging our team, providing a positive work environment, incentivising and correctly communicating our messages and passion for excellence throughout the team are key to the development of our tourist destinations and particularly the hotel sector.”
Finally, Hidalgo expressed his gratitude and pride in being invited to take part in this event and his hope that he would collaborate with many more initiatives such as this which could improve and consolidate the reputation of our tourist destinations.