Steven Rubin is our Founder, Principal, Chief Distribution Expert and Resident Idealist. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the New York University Tisch Center Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management. He came to TRI with decades of experience in hospitality revenue management and distribution and a passion for bridging the gap between rapidly evolving technology and the tried and true hotelier experience. His desire to teach, as an educator, partner and frequent mentor is much of what drives him and much of what we most enjoy about him. We asked him to share a bit about how he got here and how where he sees our industry going next.
How did you find your way into Hospitality?
No idea! Ever since I was twelve I knew I was going to be in the restaurant or hotel industry. When I was 16 my family took a trip to Hawaii and toured the glamorous resorts. Looking back I’m not sure if it was the hotels I fell in love with or the tropical lifestyle in Hawaii. Regardless, seeing everyone enjoying themselves at the pool, in the restaurants, the shops, etc reassured me that I wanted to work in the hotel industry.
Why did you start TRI Hospitality?
Simple; to inspire travel innovation and intuitive guest experiences. The travel industry is a three trillion dollar industry with an overwhelming amount of new entrants into the industry; especially technology company entrants. Most of these technology companies did not have any hotel or travel experience; most still don’t. Inclusive the hotel industry has historically trailed technology and is not a technology savvy industry. I wanted help hotels and travel companies’ stay on top of technology trends and find the ideal technology stack while assisting technology companies understand the travel industry, consumer trends, and more. Its about blending three disciplines; hospitality, technology, and education; balancing academic theory with real life practice to create innovative consulting strategies and intuitive technology solutions.
What about Hospitality makes you most passionate?
I have always been someone who goes out of their way to make others happy. My most memorable moments in life are watching others’ joy, success and happiness- especially if I played a role. The definition of Hospitality is “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” The Golden Rule of Service is to, anticipate customers needs, know what they want before they do. Hospitality is in my blood it is part of my DNA, I try to embrace and celebrate it.
What is your favorite part of working at TRI Hospitality?
The innovation and potential are endless! The team is amazing and all of our clients are fantastic. I wake up every day excited to start working and have to force myself to shut down at night to go to sleep.
What do you believe will be the biggest issue facing hoteliers in 2016?
Profitability will be the biggest issue in 2016. Hotels continue to see a reduction in ancillary and other revenues in conjunction with increased acquisition costs. On top of that, the increase of room supply (both hotel and home sharing) in conjunction with continued popularity growth and marketing of Airbnb will create an imbalance between supply and demand in major markets driving down average daily rates and/or occupancy. It will be critical for hotels to truly understand their customer retention and acquisition costs with the associated metrics to have a stronger understanding of consumer buying habits.
When you’re not thinking about disruption what are you thinking about?
My daughter or sports. My wife and I are extremely fortunate to have shared ten years together before starting a family. Our life was focused around food, wine, and sporting events (mostly triathlons). We now have a goofy, spirited, smart, beautiful little girl that we get to watch grow much faster than we’d like.
Connect with Steve on LinkedIn to hear his ongoing opinions and experiences.