No better person to kick off the 'Ahead of the Curve' series than my friend and a mentor of mine - Bashar Wali. If you're in the hotel industry, you know Bashar. He's unapologetically himself and criticizes the industry and brands because he truly cares.
We talk about his departure from Provenance Hotels, where he served as President until last month, and why the Hotel industry lost it's way by focusing on aesthetics instead of people. We also address how COVID has accelerated a much needed change in society, travel and why it's time for new innovative leaders. Thank you B!
Disclaimer: This is NOT a 'podcast' series. It just takes an infinite amount of time to transcribe interviews and I think you'd rather listen to Bashar anyways. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
Keep an eye on Bashar. He's about to make some serious noise.
Some choice quotes:
"We need more honesty in our society. Honesty with ourselves, first and foremost, and then with others."
"I don't want to sound righteous. Guys, we are not curing cancer. We are just checking people in, checking people out, and really, truly, at the end of the day we're giving them a bed and a shower. We kind of over aggrandize what we're doing at the end of the day. People say we're in the service industry and we're not in the service industry. We provide service but we're in the hospitality industry. Service is what you deliver, hospitality is how you make people feel.
"I hope that as a result of COVID, travel becomes more meaningful."
"In a post-COVID world, I think kindness will prevail."