'The “Swissness” stands for quality around the world' says Henri W.R. Kennedie, President & CEO at Swiss International Hotels & Resorts.

Media 7 | July 12, 2022 | Read Time : 0220 min

Henri W.R. Kennedie
Swiss International Hotels & Resorts President & CEO Henri W.R. Kennedie discusses the company's iOS and Android apps, as well as its operations, licensing, revenue, quality, and other relevant topics. Read along for additional information on Swissness, Swiss-Select, and more.

Engage, engage, and engage with all stakeholders.

MEDIA 7: Can you give us a rundown of the new Swiss International Hotels & Resorts app that just debuted in the Google Play store?
Henri W.R. Kennedie:
The main purpose of launching the Swiss International Hotels & Resorts app was so that our guests, our loyal members, and all of our stakeholders have another platform to engage with us. As you would have seen, the Swiss International Hotels & Resorts is not your typical hotel app to make bookings only. This is because we have learned that our friends of Swiss International Hotels & Resorts also want to be kept informed and to be able to engage with us on the go. First and foremost, the app has been developed in its native format, meaning that our apps are developed for a single mobile operating system exclusively. So we have two native apps, one for iOS and one for Android devices. It is simple and easy to download and is free for everyone. The UI of the app is customized based on the operating system, so the user experience is unique based on the device they use.

Our app underwent extensive usability testing. Some of the key elements are:

  • The loyalty members, Swiss-Select and Swiss-Darling, can easily access their accounts and checkpoints, access their rewards, transfer their points, view their stay history, as well as access the loyalty members’ exclusive offers.
  • Those who would like to stay in any of our hotels; can easily search and book all our hotels.
  • Potential partners, including hotel owners and developers, can find the information required to collaborate with Swiss International, easily reaching us and our development representatives.
  • Our stakeholders can easily chat or write to us via our live chat.
  • News and updates will be notified to all users, and they can easily read the latest Swiss International Hotels & Resorts news.
  • People seeking a career with Swiss International Hotels & Resorts, can apply or share their documents with us.

We are not stopping here. During the year 2022, we plan to enhance this valuable product with hotel check-in with ease features, mobile key access for our hotel guests, restaurant menus and real-time reservations, virtual tours of the hotel and facilities, etc. With the constantly changing landscape of the digital world, we want our app to be a place where one can be part of the Swiss International Hotels & Resorts family!


MEDIA 7: What are the most reliable signs that a potential customer is interested in your brand? When keeping tabs on this, what method of strategy are you employing?
HK:
Occupancy, revenue, and repeat bookings. Guests are automatically enrolled in our frequency program “Swiss-Select”. From there we have monthly digital marketing campaigns horizontally to the “Swiss-Select” database and vertically from every hotel.

Read more: “The guest experience has never been more important,” says Matthew Cameron-Smith, CEO at Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.


Owners and hoteliers like to be associated with quality.



MEDIA 7: What are the most significant "climatic" shifts in the hospitality industry, given the current state of the market?
HK:
Climate change is already affecting the hospitality sector. Extreme weather is increasing the cost of operations and reducing the number of tourists visiting certain destinations, while local and national environmental policies and penalties are being introduced in cities and countries around the world.


MEDIA 7: What does Swiss International offer hotels that are affiliated with them?
HK:
A brand, an operating system, and a support system. This is all wrapped up within the so-called license formula that hotel management teams must roll out in their day-to-day management of the hotel. The hotels receive a set of different software included in the license, and the MTs get a Monthly License Services Report (MLSR), which shows the production of the SWISS-REZ CRS, the loyalty program production, the Brand Index Indicator and SWISS-REP, the reputation management. The social media report completes the MLSR. Every month, the hotel MT will receive a 2-hour Commercial Business Support session where the MLSR is discussed and where commercial and training initiatives are agreed upon. Training courses are given by the Company’s Swiss International Academy

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Climate change is already affecting the hospitality sector.



MEDIA 7: What sets Swiss International apart from other hotels?
HK:
The “Swissness”, stands synonymous with quality around the world. Owners and Hoteliers like to be associated with Quality.


MEDIA 7: With over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, what words of advice would you like to share with our readers?
HK:
Engage, engage and engage with all stakeholders.

ABOUT SWISS INTERNATIONAL HOTELS & RESORTS

Founded in 1980, Swiss International Hotels & Resorts is established in Switzerland. Swiss International Hotels & Resorts is currently associated with 35 hotels in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The company is registered in Baar, Switzerland, and is operating from the UAE (Ras Al Khaimah). Swiss International is operating and licensing its hotels under the following brands: Royal Swiss (Luxury), Swiss International Hotels & Resorts (Upscale), Swiss Spirit Hotels & Suites (Mid-market), and YESINN by Swiss International (Economy). Please visit www.swissinternationalhotels.com for more information or connect with Swiss International on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.

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Alipay+ Partners with Leading Asian E-Wallets to Promote Cashless Travel in South Korea

Alipay+ | September 27, 2022

Leading mobile payment providers across Asia announced today an integration of Alipay+ cross-border digital payment solutions in South Korea in an effort to jointly promote cashless travel in the country.Users of e-wallets including AlipayHK, GCash (the Philippines), Touch ‘n Go eWallet (Malaysia), and TrueMoney (Thailand) are able to pay at over 120,000 merchants using their local mobile payment apps when traveling in South Korea. The collaboration marks the first time for leading mobile payment providers from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong to extend the availability of their services in South Korea through Alipay+. The initial phase of the merchant roll-out covers major tourist activities including payments for taxi, duty free shops, convenience stores, and food and beverage chains. Introduced by Ant Group, Alipay+ is a suite of global cross-border digital payments and marketing solutions designed to enable businesses to process a wide range of mobile payment methods and better serve regional and global consumers through simple technical adaption. Commenting on the collaboration, Danny Chung, General Manager of Ant Group Korea, Australia and New Zealand, said: “It is our pleasure to connect merchants in Korea with a variety of mobile payment methods, enabling Asian tourists to pay with convenience and simplicity in Korea using their preferred home e-wallets.” As the theme of this year’s World Tourism Day is Rethinking Tourism, Alipay+ has been striving to achieve the same goal by supporting a cashless and smart travel experience. Through innovation and digitalization, we hope Alipay+ can play its role in the transformation of tourism towards a crucial pillar of development.” The partnership between Alipay+ and Asia’s e-wallet leaders comes as international travel across Asia continues to rebound. In early September, South Korea lifted the requirement for pre-travel Covid-19 tests for inbound travelers, following a decision to remove all quarantine requirements for foreign arrivals regardless of vaccination status. “With South Korea being one of the most popular destinations of Filipinos, we are delighted that our customers will be able to maximize their GCash app during their travels. This collaboration with Alipay+ provides our users the convenience they need to easily transact and manage their expenses with GCash, This innovative partnership aligns with our vision of financial inclusion and is a huge step towards building a cashless ecosystem, worldwide.” -Martha Sazon, President and CEO Mynt, which operates GCash, Venetia Lee, General Manager, AlipayHK and Alipay Greater China International Business, Ant Group, said, "It is our pleasure to announce the connection to South Korea, a popular tourist destination for Hong Kong people. AlipayHK aims to provide our users with one-stop lifestyle services, including not only local but also cross-border payments for those who love traveling. With AlipayHK already being accepted by the vast majority of merchants in Japan, Chinese mainland and Macao through Alipay+, we expect our service to expand to more destinations, enabling AlipayHK users to travel everywhere with one app using their own e-wallet." Mr. Koravut Pavitpok, Head of Commercial of TrueMoney Co., Ltd. said, South Korea has long been one of the top tourist destinations among Thais for its fascinating history, a wonderful culture and amazing food. Before the pandemic, more than half of a million of Thais travel to the country each year. And since the borders re-opened, Thai tourists have become the second highest visitors to South Korea. As international travel is on the up again, our partnership with Alipay+ has allowed TrueMoney Wallet to expand our service territory and provide more convenient and safer cross-border cashless payment to our users. South Korea’s long-term popularity as a destination for travel, shopping, and k-pop makes it a top choice for international tourists as travel in Asia revitalizes. According to statistics by Korea Tourism Organization, over 800,000 foreign tourists visited South Korea during the first half of this year, representing an increase of 92.8% compared to the same period last year. Tourists from ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia, topped the inbound arrivals to South Korea, accounting for 30.3% of the total. As the usage of mobile payments by international travelers and the number of travelers from Southeast Asia continues to rise, the retail industry in Korea is adopting various mobile payment methods particularly through partnership with Alipay+. For instance, Lotte Duty Free and convenient store brand GS25 have signed partnership agreements with Alipay+ to make shopping experience more convenient for international consumers. About Alipay+ Alipay+ offers unified global mobile payment and marketing solutions that connect merchants with multiple e-wallets and payment methods from different countries and regions by collaborating with global partners. Consumers can conveniently use their preferred local payment methods while transacting seamlessly in a different market and be able to enjoy marketing offers by the merchants through Alipay+. Alipay+ is developed by Ant Group, the owner and operator of Alipay, one of the world’s leading digital open platforms.

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