The Hotels Network, customized technology for hotels
Laura Martínez Celada, VP Growth & Client Success en The Hotels Network.
What is The Hotels Network?
The Hotels Network is a platform that uses benchmarking and customization tools to help hotel brands increase their direct sales.
When was the company founded and when did you start working there?
The Hotels Network was founded in 2015 by Juanjo Rodríguez, a pioneer who has always had a very clear vision of the company’s potential. I am part of the original team that developed and began to market the technology. As one can imagine, in the first year I worked in all areas: client success, product experience, sales, content, and so on.
What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy designing products and processes that have a real impact on hotels around the world and helping hoteliers solve problems in an industry in which there is still much to do. I also love traveling and working in extraordinary locations. Barcelona is an international tourist center, so it is a joy to help our favorite city.
And the least?
Not having reached 100% of the hotels in the world yet, although that would be difficult in just 7 years. We know that our products can be a huge help to hotels, so it can be frustrating not to go faster.
What do you think your company excels at?
Innovating in a sector that has changed little in many years. We have created a series of direct channel tools that were previously not part of hotels’ sales strategy and our intention is to continue offering new products to hoteliers.
What is your main challenge?
Maintaining the current pace of product development and customer acquisition over the next few years. Growing when you only have a few customers is much easier than when you already have a lot. It is now time for us to approach the major hotel chains. This will mean longer sales processes and more complex teams, although it is also a more interesting challenge.
Where is your company located? Do you know why this location was chosen?
The Hotels Network started in San Francisco, but a few years ago we decided to relocate to Barcelona. We chose Muntaner with Diagonal for its central location and the fact that it is easy to access by public transport and on foot. It also has a range of medium-sized offices which were ideal for our purposes at the time.
What do you like the most about the neighborhood where you work?
I really like the fact that so many of the staff can walk to work in less than 30 minutes. That’s great quality of life! It also has numerous public transport options and being on Diagonal makes it very easy to get to the airport, which is really handy for those who don’t work here in Spain and need to come to Barcelona.
How important is Barcelona for your company?
Barcelona is one of the best cities in the world in which to create a travel startup that focuses on the hotel industry. It is a major European tourist center that has it all, both customers and talent. Although we started the company in the USA, after 3 years we decided to move the headquarters to Barcelona, since Spain is a leader in world tourism and many of the international hotel groups are Spanish or have Spanish talent in top management.
Which city would you compare Barcelona with?
It’s hard to compare. In fact, of all the cities in which I have lived, Barcelona is the city I like the most, so we decided to return after spending a few years abroad.
What city model do you think Barcelona should look like?
In my opinion, the ideal city has a range of different qualities: open spaces, proximity to nature, frequent, well-connected public transport, a good range of cultural facilities and events, excellent gastronomy, access to housing, and schools and universities for all.
What good practices from other cities would you like Barcelona to adopt?
Greater efficiency when it comes to managing traffic flows, and frequent public transport that reaches all areas of the city. For example, travel time could be reduced if there were more reasonably-priced parking options in key locations around the city and at its entry points. I would also like there to be more bilingual schools and universities in English and Spanish to make it easier for international talent and their families to settle in Barcelona.
What do you ask of the Barcelona of the future?
I would like it to continue to attract and retain international professionals. By working with the people who already live here, international talent plays a key role in making Barcelona more diverse and better able to face the challenges of the future. Barcelona Global contributes to this goal, which is why I joined. I hope we will continue to attract new members and achieve the Barcelona we all want.
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