Asia

ZEN Rooms: Safe, affordable travel is basic human right

Nathan Boublil

Nathan Boublil

Southeast Asian economy and mid-range hotel franchise ZEN Rooms has properties offer competitive rates and higher service standards to travelers. Technology plays a key role in that transformation.

“At ZEN, we believe that to travel safely and affordably is a basic human right,” ZEN Rooms co-founder Nathan Boublil stated. “ZEN Rooms empowers budget hotels to be productive, safe, and competitive, especially now that Southeast Asia’s international tourism is booming. We want to transform the fragmented budget and midscale hospitality in the region.”

This is timely as economy hotels struggle to keep up with the demands of travelers. According to Booking.com reviews, only 17 percent of travelers in Southeast Asia are satisfied with their hotel stay, as compared to the 35 percent of satisfied travelers in Europe.

Many hotels still use offline tools to manually record their reservations and guest arrivals. Dependency on manual practices may cause overbookings, an increase in security issues and unpleasant travel experiences.

Hoteliers get cloud-based software to manage the life of the property from rates and reservations to housekeeping and cashflow. The software is linked to ZEN Central Reservation and Distribution Systems, which provides 24/7 support for both travelers and hoteliers.

Automated processes give complete transparency to the owners and simplify the work of the team, allowing them to focus on the service. But hospitality is a people business, having the best technology without having a trained team will yield subpar results.

Knowing the importance of human capital, ZEN Rooms has built an in-house hospitality school in the Philippines. Employees and partners go through online and offline training to achieve consistency in the quality of their service and discuss the problems they may face.

The training covers everything, from customer service skills to maintenance and security procedures. The results are proven to be effective and are well reflected in high public customer reviews, according to booking.com, ZEN Rooms hotels have an average rating of 8.2, which is more than a point above the market average.

“We do an operational audit for all our properties to reveal their areas for improvement,” Boublil said. “Once we know the pain points, we’ll address them one by one. We believe that proper training, relevant and easy-to-use software, and continuous support will help hotels to achieve their full potential.”

In addition, ZEN Rooms recently announced a strategic alliance with its financial backers Yanolja, Korea’s number one travel group, and eZee, a global provider of end-to-end hospitality technology. The companies have disclosed the development of YFlux, the product that promises to create a fully integrated and automated environment in hotels.

ZEN Rooms will be the first to introduce YFlux in its properties in the first quarter of 2020, making it the leading full-stack hospitality group in Southeast Asia. Continuing its efforts in empowering hoteliers and providing travelers with accommodation that is accessible, affordable and safe, the company is hopeful that budget hotels will see the importance of keeping up with the needs and wants of tourists across the region.

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