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Norbert Vas : Adaptability Has Become The Most Critical : Sought-After Soft Skill

Archipelago International is the largest privately owned and independent hotel operator in Southeast Asia, one of the most dynamic and fastest growing regions for both domestic and outbound tourism.

Mr. Norbert Vas - Chief Operation Officer  Archipelago Indochina
Mr. Norbert Vas - Chief Operation Officer Archipelago Indochina

About Archipelago International

Archipelago International is SE Asia's largest privately owned and independent hotel operator. We started in Jakarta precisely 25 years ago and now have an underlying portfolio of more than 200 hotels in Indonesia, Malaysia, The Caribbean, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, The Philippines, and most recently, Vietnam, where we just opened a new hotel management company called Archipelago Indochina.

Value proposition of Archipelago International to grow really fast in Indonesia

Our core brands have grown to be the country's most popular and trusted hotel brands. Everybody knows and trusts ASTON and fave hotel while niche-oriented brands such as Alana, Hotel NEO, Harper, Quest, and Kamuela Villas grow in popularity. In fact, YouGov, a leading global public opinion and data company based in the UK, recently named ASTON as Indonesia's most recognized and valued hotel brand, well above all its competitors.

The fact that we are transparent and owner-centric and have no hidden fees and system charges, fees that large operators charge but we see as being unfair, helps a lot, too. Hotel developers who do their due diligence quickly figure out that global operators take up to 22 % of their hotel's revenue. At the same time, we deliver higher revenues at a fraction of the cost. The result is that our hotels are, simply put, more profitable.

How hospitality technology could contribute positively to hotel business

The digital transformation in the hotel business is in full swing. But unfortunately, many hotels are being left behind for various reasons. We, therefore, have set up our own tech company and are providing hotels with a one-stop-shop plug-in solution for their online distribution, connectivity, and yield management. The new service is called "Powered by Archipelago". As a result, hotels that joined it have, in extreme cases, seen a 300 % increase in their online revenue and do so at a lower distribution cost.

If you could change two things how hotel should do the business, what would they be?

Our industry needs to become more sustainable, and hotel staff needs to be trained, paid, and appreciated more, the latter being an area where we do well. However, I know of hotel owners who still, mentally speaking, are stuck in the past. It is challenging for any operator in Indonesia to install an "all stakeholders must benefit" culture.

Describe major changes you have seen on the hospitality industry and what is your suggestion to the hotelier. ?

Again, I can point to the digital transformation being in full swing as we speak. As a result, adaptability has become the most critical; sought-after soft skill hoteliers need to have.

Describe major challenges in the hospitality industry which need to be addressed?

Human resources development, PTEB costs outgrowing productivity gains and a lack of creativity, and out-of-the-box thinking, plague our industry and need to be addressed with a sense of urgency.

Other things that you need to say to the hotelier?

Stay curious, never stop to learn, and educate yourself. Read, read, and then when down reading, read more.



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Feb 23, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you for sharing Mr. Norbert Vas.


Ajeg Kuham
Ajeg Kuham
Oct 23, 2022

It's not Alana any more..

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