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Mobile Learning Boosting Indonesia's Hotels

Technology is ever-present wherever we look today and one piece of tech that many of us cannot be without is the smartphone. While we may be used to messaging our friends and colleagues, checking e-mails and social media, how many of us have learnt a new language through our mobile phones?

That is exactly what the employees at one Indonesian hotel are doing. Hotelier Indonesia spoke to the General Manager of HARRIS-POP! Hotels & Conventions Solo, Mr. Yudi Alamsyah, to find out more about how they use mobile learning at the hotel.

Why have you decided to implement mobile learning within your hotel?

The HARRIS-POP! Hotels & Conventions Solo uses the Boost Voice mobile learning solution to teach our frontline service employees English language skills. There are a number of reasons why we do this. Firstly, mobile learning is both easier to implement and more effective than traditional classroom-based forms of training. Our teams are able to learn anytime, anywhere including in their lunch break or on the way to work. This is important as the more chances they have to learn the better they get. If you try and teach them via classroom-based learning, then they would only learn once a week which is not enough.

Secondly, the language skills that they acquire through using the Boost Voice mobile app provides them with more than just the ability to communicate with their guests, it gives them confidence. This confidence translates into better service as our employees can now understand exactly what their guests want and are able to engage in conversation. This has the added benefit of improving their own career prospects too.

Do you think technology can replace service?

I do not believe that technology will ever replace service employees, certainly not in the hospitality industry. The HARRIS-POP! Hotels & Conventions Solo uses technology to help our employees and support them in their day-to-day work. However, our guests still want to interact with other humans especially if they have a special request. Interestingly, mobile learning actually promotes more human-to-human interaction by providing our service employees with the skills to engage in a more meaningful way with our guests.

How do you implement the mobile learning courses within the hotel?

We use Boost Voice for our F&B and Front Office teams. We find that these are the most guest-facing departments in the hotel and it is vitally important that our employees are able to communicate properly and clearly. Added to that, English is still the international language of business that is used by both Indonesians and non- Indonesians, so as well as Bahasa Indonesia, we need to be able to speak and understand the English language.

Furthermore, we have 144 rooms on 15 floors, five meeting rooms, and 1 ballroom with a capacity of up to 1000 people. We also have the HARRIS Cafe with a capacity of 100 persons plus a number of facilities from swimming pools, a gym and spa and reflection area. So, we have a number of different departments that our employees need to be able to understand inside out, and be able to communicate to the guest in any language.

Can you give us an example of an employee who has benefited from the Boost mobile learning solution?

We have many employees who have benefitted from Boost. One in particular is Mr. Willy Prasetyo from the F&B department. Born and raised in Solo, Willy has been in the hotel industry since 2010 when he joined our On The Job training program as a waiter. After finishing Vocational High School, he worked in several hotels, as well as in one restaurant in Solo, before joining back with HARRIS-POP! Hotels & Conventions Solo.

Willy was always quite shy and lacked confidence, but after one month using Boost Voice it was clear that his English language ability had improved. Willy saw this improvement himself and the more competent he got the more he wanted to practice and learn. Of particular note is his pronunciation of words, especially those that are specific to the F&B department. Boost Voice has been developed with guidance from hoteliers and we have seen Willy be able to pronounce common restaurant terms much more clearly and accurately.

He enjoys the fact that Boost Voice incorporates games and animation and has told me that as soon as he arrives home he opens the app. He has clearly become more confident when there are foreign guests in the restaurant, his shyness has definitely subsided.

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March 6, 2019 – PORTSMOUTH, NH
Lodging Econometrics (LE) has released its year-end Global Construction Pipeline Trend Report, which compiles the construction pipeline counts for every country and market around the world. At the close of 2018, LE analysts state that the total global construction pipeline hit record highs with 13,573 projects/2,265,792 rooms, a 7% increase in projects and a 6% increase in rooms year-over-year (YOY).

The global pipeline has been ascending for eight consecutive years after reaching its cyclical low in 2010. All regional pipelines, with the exception of South America, continued their upward trend YOY. It is notable considering economic growth rates started to decline in 2018 and are forecast to slow further in 2019 and 2020. Four of the seven global regions reached all-time highs in 2018: Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific.
There are a record high 6,352 projects/1,172,591 rooms currently under construction worldwide. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months are at 3,860 projects/572,483 rooms. Projects in the early planning stage stand at 3,361rooms/520,718 projects, also at an all-time high.

The top countries by project count are the United States with 5,530 projects/669,456 rooms, still short of its all-time high of 5,883 projects/785,547 rooms set in the second quarter of 2008, and China with 2,761 projects/580,635 rooms whose pipeline reached a new all-time high. The U.S. accounts for 41% of projects in the total global construction pipeline while China accounts for 20%, resulting in 61% of all global projects being focused in just these two countries. Distantly following are Indonesia with 387 projects/65,405 rooms, Germany with 283 projects/52,569 rooms, and the United Kingdom with 266 projects/38,590 rooms.

Around the world, the cities with the largest pipeline counts are New York City with 171 projects/29,457 rooms, Dubai with 168 projects/49,943 rooms, and Dallas with 163 projects/19,476 rooms. Los Angeles follows with 147 projects/23,404 rooms, and Guangzhou, China with 132 projects/28,694 rooms.
The leading franchise companies in the global construction pipeline by project count are Marriott International with 2,544 projects/420,405 rooms, Hilton Worldwide with 2,252 projects/333,209 rooms, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 1,716 projects/249,379 rooms, and AccorHotels with 966 projects/177,052 rooms. These four companies account for 55% of all projects in the global pipeline.

Brands leading in the pipeline for each of these companies are Marriott’s Fairfield Inn with 397 projects/43,089 rooms, Hampton by Hilton with 619 projects/79,591 rooms, IHG’s Holiday Inn Express with 731 projects/91,691 rooms, and AccorHotel’s Ibis Brands with 321 projects/48,368 rooms.

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Karma Kandara’s Executive Chef, Joseph Antonishek is extremely excited to be bringing his international experience to the menus at DiMare and Karma Beach Club. Chef Joseph’s dedication to local ingredients and traditional Balinese cooking delivers hotel and restaurant guests extraordinary culinary experiences. Joseph has revamped the resort’s dining offerings, drawing upon their culinary influences to create bold flavours highlighted by the best in local produce.

With a career behind the stoves at some of LA’s hottest hotel restaurants including at the Mondrian Hotel and Raffles L’Ermitage, Joseph has found his calling in Bali, and Karma Kandara in particular

“I draw inspiration first and foremost from my team,” said Chef Joseph. “I work with an amazing group who are always teaching me about local ingredients, traditions and obscure dishes most people wouldn’t be aware of when traveling to Bali. I also find inspiration in travel, not only on the local street food level, but also throughout Asia. I find that most Asian cuisines are based on either seeds, roots or leaves and the cuisine of Indonesia is a complex balance of all three. I just love creating dishes that stay true to their Indonesian roots.”

A large part of that love is founded in the resort’s superb dining culture, both at the signature restaurant diMare and the Karma Beach Club. Joseph has created food experiences that raise the bar even higher and have guests returning time and again to try something fresh, new and exciting.

Guests enjoying the relaxed atmosphere at Karma Beach Club, the private beach at the bottom of the imposing cliffs at Karma Kandara, enjoy simple, light and fresh Mediterranean-style fare such as Grilled Octopus & Potato Salad; Salt Baked Whole Snapper to share; Wood Fired Oven Pizzas and Rolled Baklava with Coconut Gelato.

Karma Kandara’s magnificent DiMare restaurant delivers a European-Asian style, heavily influenced by local ingredients. Guests can feast on the incredible views as well as dishes such as Fermented Java Green Tea Salad; Roasted Duck Breast with Ubi Gratin and Dragonfruit Gastrique; Rack of Lamb with Ghee Carrot Puree, Petai and Fermented Black Garlic Jus; and Strawberries & Cream: compressed Bedugul Strawberries, Kemangi Ice Cream, Coconut Mousse with Strawberry Firecracker Sorbet.

Chef Joseph includes the usual suspects that that guests might expect whilst holidaying in Indonesia, such as nasi goreng and urab, but what sets these dishes apart is the unusual preparation his team has devised using local ingredients. Cuka is a handmade vinegar prepared by the family of one of Karma’s cooks and is used in making Scallop Ceviche with Torch Ginger Flower and Pomelo. Petai, also known as ‘stinky bean” is braised for hours in extra virgin olive oil with red bumbu and citrus before being served with grilled octopus. Almond, anise flavoured Kluwak is used as the base for Rawan - a famous Javanese soup and occasionally as an ice cream flavour. All of diMare’s ice cream is made from scratch in house.

At both Karma Beach and diMare, the Bar Manager/ Mixologist works closely with Chef Joseph in to inspire each other with ingredients and techniques for matching the flavours of drinks and food. Once a month the team expresses their creativity through either cuisine & wine or cuisine & cocktail dinners, pairing flavours expertly to create gastronomic experiences to savour and remember.


BACKGROUND ON KARMA KANDARAKarma Kandara is a multi-award winning 5-star resort of outstanding natural beauty with the most breathtaking view and enviable location in Bali. Situated atop a spectacular limestone cliff top overlooking the Indian Ocean, Karma Group’s flagship retreat features 54 private-pool villas, each blending traditional Balinese architecture with luxury amenities and offering exquisite views of tropical green and sea blue. Curving around the rooftop, our iconic, lantern-lit infinity pool appears to flow into the Indian Ocean.

To complement its luxury accommodations, Karma Kandara features a highly eclectic portfolio of public amenities and venues, each with its own distinct character. Our Bali spa resort destination boasts the Di Mare Restaurant with its gourmet fare and exceptional seafood, the Temple Lounge Rooftop Bar, which serves signature drinks with an intoxicating view and atmosphere, and our prize-winning Karma Spa & Wellness, a sanctuary for mind and body, all dramatically perched on rocky outcrops 85 meters high.

Karma has an inclinator to take guests down to Karma Beach Club Bali – listed as one of the world’s 50 best beach bars by CNN Traveler – where delectable canapes, signature cocktails, live music and white sands lapped by cobalt waters all await the visitor on their Bali vacation.

Karma Group is an award-winning international travel and lifestyle brand offering extraordinary experiences in the world’s most beautiful locations and is headed by Chairman and Founder, John Spence, former Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and member of the judging panel for the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year. John has been honored by being awarded the Edward P. Bass Honorary Fellowship at Yale in the Fall Semester of 2019 in the School of Architecture, marking the first time Yale has extended this to the same person more than once. He has also been awarded a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship at UCLA as well as working with students from the University of Pennsylvania to design a chateau development in Carcassonne. The Karma Group is comprised of Karma Resorts, Karma Retreats, Karma Royal, Karma Estates, Karma Beach, Karma Spa and Karma Boutique. The Group is currently operating 33 resorts in more than 10 countries, including Australia, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the United Kingdom. There are currently five properties in development and the Group is negotiating three separate acquisitions in Scotland (a golf resort), Cyprus, and Bulgaria. In 2016, Karma group and Sanctum Hotel Group announced a joint venture to develop a series of authentic rock ‘n’ roll styled and orientated hotels in strategic locations around the world, accompanied by an exclusive private membership club, now with over 85,000 members. In 2017, Karma were awarded the contract to manage and develop the golf course on Rottnest Island in Western Australia and in Greece, RCI, the worldwide leader in vacation exchange, selected Karma Group to manage its operations in the Greek market whilst redevelopment began on Karma Minoan in Crete. Karma Group is a sponsor of the England Rugby 7’s team through the 2017/18 season, the Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Rugby World Cup 7’s in San Francisco as well as the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens, the world's largest school rugby tournament. Karma Group recently invested in its first racehorse with a view to future expansion of its stable.


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