Klaus Sennik, General Manager of Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside answered questions of ftnNEWS.
ftnNEWS: Could you pls. introduce us your background in Tourism and Hotel industry?
Klaus Sennik: My background is in Food & Beverages and my first position was a Junior Chef at the Holiday Inn Augsburg in Germany. In my teens I dreamed about becoming an airline pilot and, in many ways, the role of a hotel General Manager is rather like controlling the joystick of a large airliner full of passengers. The major difference is that a hotel General Manager is never able to switch on the auto pilot! Since that first role in Germany I have been fortunate to work in many countries, gaining valuable experience about different cultures. This has paid dividends in more recent years as Hotel GM.
ftnNEWS: What are your thoughts about the future of hotel industry in Thailand, Asia and in the world? Also new trends in hospitality sector in Asia?
Klaus Sennik: The future is, undoubtedly, extremely bright for the hotel and hospitality sector in Thailand. Year after year this amazing country attracts record numbers of international visitors. The Asia Pacific region is the engine room of global tourism – attracting ever increasing numbers of visitors from source markets around the world.
The unprecedented expansion of the China outbound market continues to play an influential role and it is important for hoteliers to know how best to accommodate Chinese tour groups and individual travellers (some of them very high spenders) that travel independently from cities across China.
I would expect more and more resort properties to consider the all-inclusive financial package model for tourists model in the years to come. All-inclusive holidays embracing accommodation, F&B and even airport transfers are very attractive for visitors from Europe.
ftnNEWS: Could you pls. tell us Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside (as generally, 30th anniversary celebrations, renovations as Executive floor.etc.)?
Klaus Sennik: Our philosophy is to produce constant improvements in standards of service and amenities and our 30th anniversary has coincided with refurbishment of 20 rooms on our Executive floors.
We have introduced new menus to our fine dining Eurasian Grill where guests enjoy outstanding cuisine accompanied by excellent new and old world wines.
ftnNEWS: Why do guests prefer to stay at the Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside. What are your important markets? How is the Turkish market?
Klaus Sennik: Based upon our average levels of room occupancy this year we are most certainly maintaining our competitive advantage. Travellers enjoy the unprecedented choice of hotels in Bangkok and we are fortunate that many choose to stay by the Chao Phraya river.
The high numbers of repeat guests staying at the Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside suggests that we have the right formula to create guest satisfaction. Our location within easy walking distance of the Asiatique night market is an added advantage.
There is something about a busy river in a major city that captures the imagination of visitors and our guests enjoy the opportunity to watch life go by on the Chao Phraya river.
Every source market is important to us but we are certainly maintaining our popularity with visitors from countries in western, central and eastern Europe. Our popularity with Scandinavian visitors seems to increase every year and we have this year attracted very large numbers of visitors from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The excellent service provided by Turkish Airlines between Turkey and Thailand, coupled with the many options for connections via hubs in the Middle East, has helped to boost the numbers of Turkish visitors to Bangkok and I am confident that this encouraging trend will continue through the coming high season.
ftnNEWS: What is the percentage of online bookings via internet for your hotel comparing to the traditional distribution channels?
Klaus Sennik: This number is increasing year on year as more and more travellers realise that the best deals are often obtained by making a reservation via the hotel’s own website. Of course, we also allocate a varying percentage of rooms to the best performing OTAs such as Booking.com.
ftnNEWS: As I know, you live in hotel. So how is the one working day of GM Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside?
Klaus Sennik: No two days are the same – and that’s what makes the role so interesting, so challenging and so rewarding. The most important asset of any hotel is the people working there. Without loyal, dedicated staff we would have no guests and so it is vitally important that a hotel GM pays special attention to people development.
Of course, guest satisfaction is also vitally important – but a happy in-house team makes for happy guests. Maintaining guest satisfaction is absolutely crucial, not just for me as General Manager but for every member of our team.
Our daily mission is to ensure that every guest, local and international, enjoys the very best service and hospitality in keeping with the well-deserved reputation of our hotel.
Managing a hotel requires a broad range of personal and professional skills. It is important to have the ability to guide, to encourage, to listen, to praise and, occasionally, to discipline team members. Most of all, I like to encourage teamwork across all departments.
ftnNEWS: When you take a break from work for your holiday, what do you like to do?
Klaus Sennik: I look forward to returning to my home in Germany to visit my family and friends.