Haaga-Helia Estonia held the first Hospitality Insiders Club Estonia of the 2016/17 season, on September the 15th, at the Kalev Spa Hotel Tallinn.
Timo Moilanen (Senior Lecturer of Marketing at Haaga-Helia Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Unit, Haaga-Helia UAS) addressed the topic of Sales Management in Hospitality.
He is, by education, a restaurateur and a Master of Science (Tourism Marketing), and also has acquired a diploma of Certified Hospitality Educator by AHLEI. Timo has worked as a as a hotel manager and sales and marketing manager for a hotel chain, but also as an entrepreneur and managing director of an advertising agency. He has been training sales and marketing staff for a decade.
Timo pointed out that understanding the eminent role of sales oriented culture is a key focus of this course. Today, developing sales is not only question of providing training for your sales force. The task requires a far more comprehensive approach. In a hospitality organization, every member of the staff must have a positive sales attitude. Thus, improving sales should start with establishing a sales oriented culture.
The hosting case - Kalev Spa Hotel Tallinn - was (re)presented by Piret Betlem, the Hotel Manager. She explained, that the case in question is a lot more than just another spa hotel, both in its historical context and present day supply.
The predecessor of the Kalev Spa was Kalevi Ujula (Kalev swimming pool), built in the ’60s. The 50-metre pool, spectacular for its time, was designed in the 1950s by Uno Tölpus, a leading architect of the era. The pool was completed in 1965, and several international swimming competitions took place here.
In 2005, the reconstruction of the pool began, with the goal of turning it into a contemporary holiday and leisure centre. It was reopened in the beginning of 2006. The new building complex was designed by the architect Emil Urbel and the author of its interior design is Taavi Aunre. A hotel with 100 rooms, a restaurant, cafes, beauty and health and fitness facilities were built. The reconstructed pool is, to this day, one of the main training venues for Estonian swimmers. The 50-metre pool became the largest water park in North Estonia, complete with exciting rides, relaxing saunas and pools offering underwater massage.
After the Kalev Spa was opened in the beginning of 2006, they have continuously improved and overhauled the usability of the Water Park, saunas, rooms, lobby and the Beauty Centre; and their goal is to keep all the facilities fresh and attractive.
The event was finalized with a round of discussion facilitated by Ain Hinsberg, in order to find out what the participants consider their strengths and weaknesses in sales and sales management are. It turned out, that the main strengths are: (social) reputation, existing sales staff and network, and the USP of the provider. As the key weaknesses, pointed out were: the unstable demand/insufficient market awareness, the channels being insufficient or not functioning, and the staff not willing or able to do proper sales work, or just not having enough required staff.
Also pointed out were the insufficient destination accessibility and limited market penetration, as the threats related to sales in tourism and hospitality.