CTH Connections Newsletter – September 2016

21st September 2016

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More than 1,000 colleagues are adding an externally recognised Diploma in Hospitality Leadership to their CV!

We spoke to IHG about their Leadership programme and the impact and growth this has had on the company. This is what they had to say:

"At IHG, development of our people is a key factor in our success – and Leading Others plays a big part in that.

Leading Others is a global leadership programme for supervisors and managers. The 6-month development journey helps to develop the skills and knowledge of colleagues across our managed and owned estate, our Central Reservation Offices, Service Centres and our Americas Franchise community. And today, we’re celebrating some key milestones.

We’ve seen over 11,000 colleagues take part in Leading Others. That’s an incredible development story, and many participants have taken their success a step further: on top of their internal qualification, we’ve seen over 1,000 external accreditations as well!

Delivering on our Room to grow promise

Every colleague who completes Leading Others has the opportunity to gain an externally recognised accreditation from our partner, the Confederation of Tourism & Hospitality (CTH). CTH is an internationally-renowned, professional awarding body for qualifications in the hospitality and tourism sector worldwide. Colleagues who are successful in their Leading Others studies can obtain either a Level 3 or Level 4 Diploma in Hospitality Leadership, depending on which programme stream they’ve completed. And over 1,000 of our colleagues across the globe have taken up this offer, gaining a qualification for life!

Our hotels and offices have been busy supporting their learners – we dropped by our CRO in Brierley Hill, UK, to join the celebrations at their graduation ceremony".

UK Central Reservation Office cutting cake
“Leading Others has given me the chance to connect with my colleagues”

Leading Others allowed me to get together with colleagues I would normally not work with on a day-to-day basis; One of the biggest benefits for me and my team where the “Share It” sessions, when we all got together as a team, shared our experiences, learnings and discussed the challenges we were facing when leading a team in a safe environment”

says Alec Orange, Operations Manager –Service UKCRO

“Everyone has something to contribute, someone’s development opportunity is someone else’s strength; It has been great to support each other throughout our journey”;

Jane Haines, who is heading up our UK CRO concludes

It is beautiful to see the change in behaviour, the leadership team working closer together, collaboratively, and making very deliberate choices when it comes to managing their teams. The programme supported in creating an awareness of the impact their behaviour has on their teams as well as ultimately on the results they achieve through them

This feedback is echoed by colleagues around the globe! Let’s hear from some of them:
Driving results at the InterContinental Frankfurt

Patrick Mathe, Training Manager confirms

We have been actively driving Leading Others and as a result of it were not only able to promote a number of team members internally but indeed increase performance in key revenue generating areas at the same time; one of our delegates took her skills acquired via the Leading Others programme to put a new upselling project into place. The results: the team smashed their own stretching target by more than 20%!

Anne Bernadette Cruz-Cansino, HR Co-ordinator Holiday Abu Dhabi reflects on her learning journey:

One of the key learnings for me is how to adapt my leadership style in accordance to the needs of our other team members, working out how I can best help them so that they can be able to do their job well, using the tools I have learned. I understand my role in leading, developing and motivating the team to accomplish great things by creating the right environment and level of challenge. It shows a personal commitment to on-going learning for self and others.

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HOW GEOGRAPHY DETERMINES CULINARY EXPERIENCES Proud mature head chef posing in a modern kitchen with his colle Here at CTH we’re all about tourism, hospitality and culinary, so of course we have to keep our eye on the industry. Therefore, when we found this survey we were pretty intrigued about the results. The study was run in order to find out what exactly travellers wanted from their culinary experiences. The results were shared with SKIFTX.

It was found that China and Delhi value ‘unique food’ much higher than ‘friendly wait staff’, whereas the other countries surveyed selected the opposite.

Of the dining preferences, a ‘little surprise from time to time’ and being recognised by staff came out on top.

Now then, seeing as we have accredited centres and students in different parts of the world why don’t we take advantage of this. So below is a short questionnaire for you to participate in and give your views on:

1. The restaurants I go to most regularly tend to... (select one)
- Have friendly wait staff
- Have unique food
- Have a great signature dish
2. Which of the following statements best describes your attitude towards eating in restaurants (select one)
- They greet you warmly by name every time you enter
- You get little surprises (such as a free desert) from time to time
- They prepare unique dishes to match the occasion
- You’re guaranteed to get your favourite table
- Remember your favourite food and wine choices
- The staff remember your favourite dishes
- They keep you informed about upcoming events and dining opportunities

Email your answers to [email protected] and tell us what part of the world you live in and we’ll publish the results online.

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It has certainly been a year full of milestones and it’s not just from the Leading Others programme. In January, IHG opened its 5,000th hotel! But is there a bigger picture to all of this?

The Lower East Side Manhattan building is a worthy contributor to toast reaching the 5,000 mark. With its 293 room, 360-degree views of Manhattan it truly ties the ribbon on all of IHG’s achievements up to this point. The hotel is set to increase IHG’s grip on the boutique hotel market, and increase IHG’s market share in the hospitality industry overall.

With competitors such as Accor acquiring Fairmont, Swissotel and Raffles and Marriott merging with Starwood, the big players in the industry are shaking things up. Often you may see the narrative of Online Travel Agents Vs. Hotels, however, that isn’t the case according to IHG CEO Richard Solomons.


Solomons feels that “the hotel business and the travel business have always had intermediaries” (ihg.com). In this way, he feels hotels and online travel agents have always worked alongside each other. His stance is one of cohabitation amongst the two parties. However, this is probably due to how big hotel brands and the OTAs share the selection of customers in the market. Big hotel brands and OTAs have established lanes within the market. OTAs have been making strides over the last decade with companies such as Expedia and Priceline outspending hotels two-to-one in marketing (Morgan Stanley Research, 2015). They target customers who are looking for deals and offers. Hotels know they can’t compete on this front and so big brands bulk up their loyalty schemes. By increasing brand loyalty, they target repeat customers rather than customers who are likely to switch depending on the best deal. In this way big hotel brands and OTAs share the spoils within the market.


The same cannot be said for the smaller, more local brands. These brands that maybe want to make the step up or increase their reach, face a problem. For them it may have to be a competition, if they can even mount one. They cannot spend on loyalty schemes like the big boys can and they don’t have a marketing budget like the OTAs. This leaves them floating in the wind with very few options. It can be argued that without OTAs their brands would not receive the exposure it does. However, what if commission fees are too steep for these hotels or costs go up? They’re other option is to align with a bigger brand if a deal is presented. In this way they’ll receive the dividends of economies of scale and be able to use the communication streams of the bigger brand.


While it may not be the war that is often depicted, it’s certainly not a rosy affair depending on what side of the coin you fall on. OTAs have done well to bridge gaps in the market and explore communication channels that were previously untapped through the internet. They don’t seem to be going anywhere, so it would seem that all the players just need to find they’re place in the market.

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10 AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN BALI bali-waterfall-yummy-love-journey


With so much to see, do and learn in Bali, two weeks was definitely not enough. I recently came back from a trip here feeling very refreshed and re-energised, but best of all I learnt so much. I have compiled my 10 amazing things to do whilst in Bali. This by no means is a complete list, but if you are taking a trip here soon then hopefully this will help you get planning.

  1. Take a dip in a waterfall.

    • There are lots of gorgeous waterfalls in Bali, some quite easy to get to and others really off the beaten track that the journey there is an adventure in itself. With the recommendation of our driver, we went to Git Git. A short walk from the main road and you arrive at the beautiful, crystal clear natural spring waters of the fall. It is shaded by the trees and the water is a little cold when you first get in, but it’s really refreshing. There is also a large rock on the side for you to take a jump into the water which is about 3m deep. Once you get in you won’t want to get out.
  2. Watch a sunset

    • There are many places to watch a sunset from and if you are staying in a hotel on the west side of the island then you will probably be able to see one every evening. But to make a special occasion of it head to Rock Bar Bali, Potato Head Beach Club or Jimbaran Bay. At the Rock Bar, you can have a drink or dinner while watching the sunset. At Potato Head try and get there early to get a day bed close to the beach or jump in the infinity pool for the best view. At Jimbaran Bay, there is no other way than to grab a table on the beach and eat some of the freshest seafood on the island.
  3. Visit a temple

    • Religion is an important part of Balinese life and the majority of the population are Hindu. You will, therefore, find a temple in most homes and outside most businesses. However, to get a real feel of it all visit one of the many temples on the island. We went along to the temple on Bedugal lake and even though there were many people there it just felt so peaceful. The setting for the temple is stunning and the architecture gorgeous.
  4. Learn how rice, coffee, cocoa, cloves (and much more) grows

    • I learnt so much about food during this trip. From how rice grows at Tegalalang rice terraces to tasting a freshly picked cocoa bean and drinking Luwak coffee. Farming is the livelihood for many families on the island and you will find many plantations to visit along the way. Most grow coffee and cocoa as well as other spices like cloves. Sit back and relax while you sample the coffee and chocolate they produce.
  5. Be a big (or little) kid at a Waterpark

    • Voted by Tripadvisor as the second best waterpark in the world, Waterbom Bali is definitely a must visit. There are rides and activities (including massages) to keep everyone entertained. It is kept exceptionally clean by the staff and to top it off the food is delicious.
  6. Interact with some amazing animals

    • Whether this is at the Bali Safari and Marine Park, the Elephant Safari Lodge and Park or at Ubud Monkey Forest you will definitely learn so much about the various animals. However, you cannot get any more interactive than at the Monkey Forest. Watch out for the cheeky monkeys who can definitely sniff out a banana from a mile away.
  7. Spoil yourself with a massage

    • You could easily do this on a daily basis. The massages are great and as mentioned above they are even available at the waterpark. I made a couple of trips to the fabulous Spring Spa located within Seminyak Village mall or they also have a branch opposite the W hotel. The service is impeccable and the treatments sublime. The hardest decision is deciding when to leave.
  8. Take to the water, you choose – on it, under it or above it

    • Parasailing, jet skiing, flying fish, sea walker, you name it you can do it. Water sport activities are widely available all over the island, but for some of the best activities head to Nusa Dua where most of the water sport companies are located. However, for something a little more private with a personal service head to Jet Set Bali located in Benoa on the west side. They only do private tours and activities take place in some of the best waters around.
  9. Sample the culinary delights

    • There wasn't a single place where the meal was not great. The choices are fantastic and there is something for everyone. But of course, the local cuisine is fantastic. Bumbu Bali takes the local cuisine and serves it in a traditional way – in the middle of the table for all to share. A great experience and even more amazing food. Try the fruit Salak, only found in Bali. Its skin looks like a snake’s skin and is known as ‘snake fruit’.
  10. Take a stroll through the bamboo forest and learn about the Balinese culture

    • You have to stop yourself or wait until you run out of battery when taking pictures as you travel through the island. Nothing was more mesmerising though as driving through the bamboo forest. And you take this journey as you make your way to the traditional village of Penglipuran. The people are so welcoming and are more than happy for you take a look around their home as you learn about the food, culture and the reason for the identical layout of each home on the east side compared to the west. Take some money along to purchase souvenirs handcrafted by the locals.
That's all from Yummy Love Journey but check out some amazing content at: W: www.yummylovejourney.com T: @yumluvjourney F: www.facebook.com/yummylovejourney

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Robert Melis in the kitchen Tamas Zoltai posing

The team at the InterContinental Budapest is making the most of the learning opportunities available to them via IHG to develop their people.

Front Desk Manager Tamas Zoltai and Sous Chef Robert Melis participated in the Great Teams stream and opted to complete their programme with the external accreditation via CTH. After the completion of Leading Others, both were enrolled into the IHG Business School that allowed them to further work on their action plan – focussing on how to apply their learnings gained through Leading Others on-the-job. Viktoria Kloss, Training Manager InterContinental Budapest, had this to say: “It was an intensive development journey they went through that required time, energy and commitment; they’ve both worked hard and were committed towards their own development.”

So, what’s next?

"We have some really exciting landmarks and developments coming in the near future. Our first cohorts in Europe will graduate soon – as they do, we will catch-up with them and find out their thoughts on how Leading Others has helped them so far.

We are also in the process of extending Leading Others to our Franchise Community in Europe, with AMEA and Greater China to follow next year – so watch the space for more information on how we continue to grow and support our Leading Others community very soon!

This is all part of our Room to grow promise, and helps us to create Great Hotels Guests Love."

And the hard work has certainly paid off – Robert has since been promoted to Executive Sous Chef and Tamas is now leading his team as Front Office Manager. Congratulations!

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The culinary capitals, the perceived food meccas of the world. These capital cities are known for their Michelin starred restaurants, cutting edge dishes and sought after cuisines. We’re talking about the Tokyo’s, Paris’ and New York’s of the world. So what do we expect from these cities?

From New York, The City That Never Sleeps, we can expect a beehive full of culture. Being a truly cosmopolitan metropolis, it’s restaurants go from French to Italian to Asian. It’s a city full of diversity. From the City of Love, Paris, you would expect us to fall in love with the food. Paris is a city of culinary heritage, with generations of chefs who have perfected their craft. From the capital of The Land of the Rising Sun, Japan, this electric city is full of Asian cuisine and not just sushi. Unagi, Kaiseki and Shabu-shabu are also popular dishes, their preparation truly resonates with the art of cooking. So where does Lisbon fit amongst these juggernauts, you might wonder.

Not a metropolis, in the way we associate the word with cities like Tokyo, New York or Paris, Lisbon, Portugal is considered a humbler, more charming city. A city proud of its heritage and known for its array of seafood, cheeses and wine. The city serves some of its delicacies in tascas (taverns). In these establishments they offer hearty meals and beverages, however, some take note at the lack of variety within these snug eat-outs. So in comes Jose Avillez, the man many say is single handily changing Portuguese food culture. When he took centre stage, you could say a food revolution occurred.

Who is Jose Avillez? The first man to earn two Michelin stars for a Lisbon restaurant, owner of six restaurants and a popular TV series. The man spearheading this revolution. His “molecular” cuisine is transforming traditional dishes and adding a unique taste and presentation to them. His modern cabidela, considered a “peasant dish” has transcended that association. His xerem, a tradition corn porridge has become an herbal sauce, garnished with clams and fish tripe. He deserves much credit; however other young chefs have also been leaving their mark.


With these young chefs you can sense a foreign but all together Portuguese manifestation in their cuisines. These chefs are the ones that may have honed their skills abroad but longed to give back to their native Portugal. Chefs like João Rodrigues, who is said to mix the oriental with tradition. Or Manuel Lino, who is experimenting with blending a casual setting with serious food. These are the chefs who are also breathing a new life into Lisbon and making it somewhere to watch.

Lisbon is becoming the haven of a culinary revolution, but only time will tell if it can make the step up to the big leagues. I know one person at the CTH offices who will be happy if it can. Our Sales and Marketing Manager, who of course is of Portuguese descent. Along with her, we’ll be sure to keep an eye on Lisbon to see what the future holds.

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GLOBAL BUSINESS: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY bigstock-best-internet-concept-of-globa-15990878

Last year saw IHG successfully complete several brand conversions in India, but the hotel group doesn’t want to stop there. IHG has set its sights on acquiring 100-150 hotels in 11 cities in India over the next 10 years. To do this, they have:

  1. Adjusted their strategy in order to promote their midscale hotel brands, such as Holiday Inn Express and Crowne Plaza.
  2. and
  3. Will aim to provide superior personalisation and a localised feel to their services in order to improve customer relations.

By adjusting their approach and having a long-term goal mapped out, things are looking up for IHG in India. However, things did not always go as predicted. Often a principle in international expansion and entrepreneurship is to not get bogged down in planning. Instead, planning, together with taking decisive steps to be the first to make a move are considered key. So when IHG became the first foreign hotel operator to set up shop in India (1960) one would have thought IHG would have received significant dividends from such a move. Pascal Gauvin, COO, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG, points to ‘some mistakes’ that led to a difficult time. Nonetheless, through adjusting their strategy, IHG are hot on the heels of their competitors.