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From Vatel Switzerland to HotelTonight : Meeting with Clément Robert - Vatel

From Vatel Switzerland to HotelTonight : Meeting with Clément Robert

Graduating Class of 2015, let’s meet Clément Robert, Market Manager at HotelTonight.

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When did your passion for the hospitality industry begin?

 

My hospitality interest comes from my family's passion for the restaurant industry. At the time, my father was a Chef in Paris, and my brother, director of a famous restaurant in the capital. After obtaining my Baccalaureate, I wanted to follow in the same steps of my brother who studied at Vatel Paris. However I chose to apply to Vatel Switzerland for its international dimension and its application hotel.

During my Bachelor I had the chance to do two internships, both in the Food & Beverages department:

-          Le Mirador Resort & Spa – Chardonne, Switzerland (formerly known as the Mirador Kempinski)

-          Park-Hyatt Paris-Vendôme – Paris, France

Vatel has been fundamental to my development; I acquired all the essentials skills to operate in a hotel.

Before starting my professional career I wanted to continue my studies with a Master's in the same industry. I came back to France and joined the IMHI program at ESSEC Business School. 

 

You are now working for HotelTonight. Could you tell us more about this company and your position?

 

HotelTonight is a hotel-booking service focused on making last-minute trips easy and fun, offering travelers seamless, on-demand booking for boutique and independent hotels. When I joined HotelTonight I was focused on the last-minute segment; bookings were non-refundable and the booking window was limited to 12 days in advance. I joined as a business developer in a team of 10 people in Paris. We were operating from France, Belgium, and Middle East Africa. I was in charge of developing our markets outside Paris in France. As a business developer, you have to develop markets where the market penetration is still low. Thus you have to sign, and onboard new hotels on the platform (sales), and then you have to manage the relationship with existing hotels and new partners to generate more revenue for the hotel (account management).

On top of that, the company pushes you to think outside of the box, and to try new things. If it works at a local level, it’s easy to bring your idea at a country level, then at a regional level, and finally company wide. 

After being Market Coordinator, I am now Market Manager for the Parisian market. 

 

How does Airbnb, a so called « hotel competitor » platform, diversify by working with hoteliers?

 

Airbnb started as a peer to peer platform. As the platform grew and became famous worldwide, some hoteliers started to list some of their rooms on the platform. In April 2019, Airbnb acquired HotelTonight. The goal is to offer guests more choices and make it easier for the world’s best boutique and independent hotels to connect with Airbnb’s global network of guests.

Now hoteliers worldwide can create a profile on Airbnb and list their rooms, connect them to their channel manager, and receive bookings from Airbnb guests. Airbnb is now a go-to platform when you want to distribute your hotel and diversify your distribution channels.

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