Interview with Robi Veltroni, coordinator of HOSPITALITY

1) In just a few lines, introduce yourself, telling us what kind of man you are. We will read your professional CV in the biography on the website. Here, we want to know about the human aspect – what you are like in life.

For forty years I have been living in other people’s trips. I always try to minimise situations both at work and in everyday life. The recreational aspect is always important to me. Sometimes I am very serious, but I tend to get bored quickly. In short, if I don’t have fun, I find no meaning to what I’m doing.

2) In the working group that you coordinate, what are you dealing with specifically? What are the themes and goals of the topic of “HOSPITALITY”?

The topics we are trying to address are, as always, those linked to the changes that new technologies bring to hotel work. Payments, distribution, online platforms, start-up companies in the world of tourism. A series of dynamics exist and persist in our industry and we will undoubtedly not be able to govern these in full, but knowing which way the wind is blowing is fundamental for all those who must follow the right path. According to Phocuswright, in 2018, over 60% of Italian tourism revenue was still offline. In 2022, it will be 50%. Every year, for the next the 10 years, approximately 3% of offline tourism revenue will end up online, where everything is brokered: hotel reservations, air tickets, restaurant bookings and soon even the smallest experience or the shortest bus trip. How much will this transition cost operators?

3) Can you give us a little preview or tell us about anything new?

We are working meticulously, scrutinising the hospitality sector with particular attention. As in most BTO editions, we will talk about trends, revenue, payments and new concepts of hotel with some variations never addressed before at the BTO, specifically linked to Onlife.

4) How will the “Onlife” theme be organised under the topics you are dealing with?

We are creating a panel in order to understand what the tasks of reception will be in the future, such as those processes that can to be automated and which ones will always be handled by people towards people, that hospitality, without looking people in the eye and feeling a beating heart, will never be able to do.

5) A quote, a phrase, a book or a concept that inspires your work in the world of tourism. In short, a thought that you want to share with all of us.

I come from sales and I always hope to manage abundance rather than a crisis, but it isn’t always so. Over the last few years, tourism and hotellerie have changed substantially. The relationship with guests needs to be rebuilt and enriched with renewed mutual trust.

I always say that if a tourist is happier placing his trust in a platform rather than in a hotelier, then we must have done something wrong in the past. So, our mission could be to succeed in fixing that something, and perhaps BTO could produce an onlife tourism manifesto that sketches out the path towards a more human future for all.

6) To conclude, we ask the public the following question: in your opinion, why is BTO 2020 an event not to be missed?

Because, despite the changes, BTO is always there, in the know. For all of us, continuing to live through the experience of the BTO community, with its sharing, passions and visions, is important like in the early days. The BTO community is always open and hospitable by definition: for this reason alone, it is worthwhile returning or coming for the first time. Then there are the contents: two days that will wear you out but that are pure energy for 365 days of work, until the next edition.