French Hotels Preparing For A Post-COVID World

July 1, 2021 | Sarah McCay Tams, Director of Content, EMEA

Romain Bentejac joined Duetto as Sales Director France and the Middle East in mid-May. Having worked for many years in the hotel tech and wider technology field, he is very well placed to introduce clients in France to the benefits of Duetto.

Romain is based near Toulouse, France but in his spare time (and when restrictions permit) he is a keen traveler and diver, loving the underwater life, especially swimming with sharks. On the surface he is passionate about American motorcycles.

Prior to Duetto he worked as Business Development Manager for France and the French speaking regions for hotel tech company  Stardekk, whose solutions include the channel manager Cubilis, which is connected to Duetto, so he already knows a lot about us!

Here, we catch up with him to find out how he has settled into his new role, what his experience was prior to joining Duetto, and how the French hotels industry has used the pandemic as time to get ahead on its technology adoption.

What have been your career highlights so far?

I think the best choice I made was to leave France in 2013 and move to Ireland to gain international experience, especially working in tech with big companies like Amazon, Apple and PGi.

I really appreciated the very strong company culture and the fact that I could work with international clients and colleagues from all over the world.

Back in France, I had the chance to take my first steps with hoteliers with Stardekk, a leading hotel software company in the Benelux. I had never known a sector with so many tools to facilitate the life of customers, whether in management, analysis, distribution, loyalty, etc.

What can you tell us about how the French market is faring right now? And what is the market’s approach to tech adoption?

The French market is a very dynamic market and there are many technology providers and also many start-ups offering innovative tools. In my opinion, the key to success lies in partnerships, because today it is essential for hotels to have an ecosystem with perfect communication.

For hotels, it can be a real challenge to rethink their strategy and replace the tools already in place. The Covid-19 pandemic was disastrous for the tourism industry, but it also allowed hoteliers to take the time to rethink their strategy, but also to forge new partnerships with innovative players in order to be better prepared for the post-Covid world.

In addition to software, hoteliers were also able to rethink their online distribution by emphasizing direct distribution via their website rather than via OTAs to limit commissions, or by choosing more appropriate OTAs.

What first interested you in working for Duetto?

I found the position directly on your Duetto website. What prompted me to apply was Duetto's reputation in the market as an extremely innovative RMS. For me, Duetto is the only forward-looking RMS.

The ability to innovate is at the service of hotel chains, and the groups you work with are clearly modern and dynamic.

During the recruitment process, I was seduced by the enthusiasm and friendliness of my future colleagues. I met international employees, but all were linked by the strong company culture. I immediately felt comfortable and knew that I would not pass up the opportunity to work for Duetto.

Starting a new job during this pandemic is somewhat of a challenge. How have your first few weeks with Duetto been?

It is true that it can be difficult to take on a new role during this pandemic, as you will be away from your colleagues and the company.

I have been used to working remotely for the past five years, but we have always been able to rely on different technologies to collaborate.

Fortunately, my job as a salesperson brings me a lot of interaction with my customers and thanks to them I am never alone!

My first few weeks at Duetto went very well. I was very well supported by my team and, as with any new role, I learned a lot and am still learning every day. 

What would be your advice to anyone looking at a career in hotel tech right now?

To start without hesitation. Pandemic or not, it is important (in my opinion) to take on new challenges, so if the right opportunity arises, do not hesitate to seize it. The hotel tech sector is very dynamic and the offers are varied whether in sales, IT, customer service... The hospitality tech sector is moving fast and there are lots of new opportunities.

You are a keen traveler. How have you coped during COVID?

I tend to spend my vacations abroad and visit new countries and experience new cultures. But for now, it seems obvious to me to support our local industry and our local hotels. So in 2020, we spent time on the Atlantic coast and in the mountains, which are less than two hours from our home. On the Atlantic side, hoteliers had a busy summer season following the lifting of restrictions. There was an air of lightness and a taste of regaining what we had lost for so many weeks. Unfortunately, a few months later, mountain hotels were hit hard by the closure of all ski resorts, so it was important for us to do our part and we will continue to do so this year.

 

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