FuTURe watch at TUR
Hotel king Petter Stordalen will never ever give up. Airline billionaire Per G Braathen believes that Asia will dominate the travel industry in the future. Hotel and pizza entrepreneur Rabbe Grönholm analyses and considers his options before moving all-in, and legendary former SAS head Jan Carlzon will always base his actions on customer benefit.
It was clear that the panel members at FuTURe enjoyed themselves in a well-attended seminar that turned out just about as entertaining as could be expected, with the past, the future, laughter and the occasional friendly dig between competitors.
As expected Petter Stordalen was the one of the quartet to provide the attacks, the blatant opinions and slightly controversial elements, though always with a twinkle in his eye.
"Per Braathen, you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. I had to sell sad little strawberries in my father's grocery shop in Porsgrund to raise some cash."
Per G Braathen, heir of the Braathen empire, was quick to retort:
"I used to be a Club 33 guide in Ibiza, and every morning I would have to pick up guests who had passed out at a disco or ended up at the local police station, so I think it's fair to say I've had my share of hard work too."
The two Norwegians however agreed that the future is to work hard and always look at what the customers want. An opinion that was shared by Jan Carlzon:
"The meeting between the seller and the buyer – that is the company! We have to meet all expectations and give the customers what they want. In the future, customers will handle an increasing amount of work themselves, on the net. But personal service will always have to be available."
Rabbe Grönblom's advice to the industry is to take steps to prepare for the future now.
"In 20 years the airline industry will have doubled and the hotel industry will be booming. Start building today and focus on basic needs. Everyone has to sleep, that's why I chose to focus on hotels."