Updated: Feb 12
ID HOTELIER - This is really a great opportunity to be able to have Mr. Patrick Sibourg on our exclusive interview where he share his vision and opinion on hospitality industry trends based on his experience being an hotelier since 1978. Pak Patrick as we use to call him has been here in Indonesia since 1994 and since 15 February 2022 he become a happy grand father.
Please tell us a little more about yourself and your business?
I am in Indonesia since 1994 including 2 jobs outside of Indonesia, one in Cuba 1998 till 2000 and one in Malaysia 2007-2011. I am hotelier since 1978 and worked for 23 years for Accor hotels as well 5 years with Hilton and 4 years with Louvre hotels. I am based in Bali and control all my business from Bali. My wife is Indonesian from South Sulawesi in Tanah Toraja, we have three kids, 1 studying in Melbourne, 1 studying in London and 1 doing business here in Bali.
What make tourism such a great industry for Indonesia?
Tourism industry is a key for economy to grow. So many people work in tourism everywhere, we have to show new destinations, new islands, discover new cultures and show to any village that tourism industry is suitable for education and more. When I was at Novotel Toraja (1995-1997) we gave some education to people, how to approach customers, what customer’s needs, how to explain in English, express yourself eyes to eyes and be proud of what you become.
The customer is everything, the customer has all rights, and we need to serve the customers the best way and we all know the Indonesian way could be the best in the world.
If you could change two things how hotel should do the business, what would they be?
Educate more the students, more focus on languages at hotel school, more training in agencies and hotels, all department. Be open for new destinations again, I trust there will be new again and again before the 17000 will be visited. Tourism doesn’t bring bad things, tourism brings to Indonesia some good points, good matters.
Please describe major changes you have seen in the hospitality industry in Indonesia and what is your suggestion to others about it?
It is a new world, even the food, now in bali or even in Jakarta you could find stars hotels with excellent restaurants, you can purchase good food, you can rent a good car or a clean taxi. When I started here everything was different, no shops, poor activities and security was not so good as today. Now people enjoy to come and travel in any city of Indonesia, criminality is down and all Indonesian are so pleased to welcome tourist and even new investment from abroad to build new business.
We could talk about inbound business, China was number one before Pandemic, now the business from China is almost 0. Soon, the Chinese will be back and I hope operators, hotels, taxis, airlines people, immigration etc will be able to talk a bit in Mandarin. To know the people, you can welcome them in their own language. There is pro and anti-Chinese tourism. I like to welcome them; I just need to be sure the local agents will describe the island of Bali with proper way and will try to give an acceptable rate for the rooms on the island. We cannot expect to sell a room US$ 20 in 2022, we must argue with agencies and find the right touch to have proper room rate with the local flavors and good Chinese food. When Chinese will be back, they may arrive 1000 guests a day…are we ready? I am not sure.
Please describe major challenges in the hospitality industry which need to be addressed ?
Well, the number of hotel has double, the airports now are very well managed, more clean as well. The airlines are doing everything they can to be on-time, the airlines are much better, more clean and it looks that maintenance is also done properly. The budget airlines (lion, air asia, citilink) are very suitable, and comfortable. During the pandemic it was hard to find time schedule due to many flights has been cancelled, now it become a pleasure even f the rate is increasing too much today.
All international chains hotels are now here, good independent properties as well.. the promotion via online travel agents has facilitated small resort and individuals hotel to be on top. This is great.
What are you excited about the future of hospitality industry in Indonesia?
Future is BRIGHT, we need some commitments between authorities, local and central government, agencies, hotels to provide always a good service and keep the Indonesian hospitality on his own way. To be different.