Featured in HM Magazine, June 2022 issue.
Swisstrade has had close relationships with the hotel industry since its inception in 1997 and continues to offer tailored solutions for hotel operating equipment and supplies today. Swisstrade Director and former hotelier, Peter Weingartner, spoke to Ruth Hogan about the evolution of the business.
How has Swisstrade's collection evolved in recent times?
One of the most significant developments at Swisstrade, has been the addition of JVD France to our portfolio in 2013. We were the first to bring an international and hotel-specific equipment brand to our shores, which to this day is proving the backbone of our success in hotel projects and developments across a wide range of stakeholders. Developments like these keep us front-and-centre with corporate chains and local independent operators alike. We are always listening to the challenges of today's operating environment to bring new and innovative solutions to market.
In what ways have hotel guests' needs changed in 2022 from your experience?
It's not so much the needs, but the expectations of today's hotel guest that we have seen changing over the past years. With a regional travel boom created by the recent pandemic and a constant flow of new hotel brands entering the market, travellers are getting used to newer products, nicer interior design, and better technology.
This creates an opportunity for us as a partner to the industry, to deliver new points of difference and brands that create better guest experiences. More than ever, it is the touchpoints that capture the guest’s attention at each step of their journey. We are very aware, that today our products and brands need to be not only functional and aesthetic, but also ‘Instagrammable’ for a growing social media savvy client base.
How is Swisstrade adapting to demand for eco-friendly and sustainable products?
With our strong business DNA in sustainable guest toiletries, we represent or create products and brands that meet hoteliers ESG objectives and commitments. These range from how environmentally we conduct our business to our portfolio of sustainable products and brands. For instance, we are now in the process of launching our third generation, sealed amenity dispenser system, Shape, which incorporates a revolutionary new pump system and an invisible wall holder that reduces the labour cost of the replenishment process down to three seconds.
Another highlight in this space has been the launch of our compostable hotel slippers Seedling Sole – an idea that was born and then developed during COVID lockdowns and has enjoyed great success since the launch. Environmental sustainability is at the core of everything we do, and we incorporate our customers own requirements into our product planning for the future.
Any other key trends that you’re seeing in hotel supplies?
A clear tendency is the need for hoteliers to lean on businesses like Swisstrade for expertise and assistance. The skill and labour shortage brought about by the pandemic has created a knowledge gap within our industry which is made worse by the exceptional movement within the labour market. In addition, OS&E is a vast category that is generally underestimated in terms of its extent and complexity. At Swisstrade, we draw from 25 years of business experience as well as our own careers in hotel management and operations. This allows us to assist our customer base with advice and support where needed.