Daniel During, principal and managing director, Thomas Klein International (TKI) has confirmed his participation as a judge for this year’s Leaders in Hospitality Awards 2016, taking place on 19 April, at St. Regis Dubai.
During was born in Argentina and moved to Europe as a teenager, he then went on to obtain his Hotel Bachelors degree in France in 1986. During has spent most of his life living and working across the globe and spent 10 years with Hyatt International Hotels in executive positions in luxury, urban and resort properties in the Middle East, Serbia, Spain and Kazakhstan.
What are you looking to find in a Hospitality Leaders Awards winner?
I would summarise what I will be looking for while judging in just two words: Innovation and responsibility.
Today it is not just about how well you do things. We at TKI always say: “You don’t want to merely be the best at what you do. You want to be the only one who does it”. True leaders create meaning and I hope that the Hospitality Leaders Awards will encourage some of the regional industry managers and CEO’s to become true, inspiring, innovative leaders.
As with George Eastman, John Pemberton, Asa Griggs Candler, and closer to us, Steve Jobs, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Elon Musk and other true innovators, I would like to see innovation and responsibility in our region and industry.
What category are you most excited about and why?
It is a breath of fresh air to see best CSR as one of the categories. It will be interesting to see what hotels come up with and whether there is real “juice” in what they do. I personally think that a key aspect of any award is not only to recognize the best, but to encourage the industry in general towards action on those specific areas/categories. As CSR and the environment gain stage in the awards, I hope to see hoteliers and restaurateurs investing extra efforts in giving back to the society and to the environment.
What is also extremely exciting on this awards is that any hotel can be nominated by anybody, and judged accordingly. Unlike many other industry awards there is no fee attached to the nomination, so there is no deterrent for anyone to participate.
Why are awards like these important for the industry?
New categories will hopefully encourage the industry towards looking at aspects beyond the superficial beauty of the spaces, but also how have they been built, how respectful are we of our world, and how responsible are we operationally, looking at operating with the minor possible carbon footprint impact. Also superb service, with superb service ethics and integrity. Today, the ethos and values of a label or a business are as important or more than the product they offer. I would like to see a Middle East as conscious about the environment as Scandinavian countries are.