Gothia Towers, one of the biggest hotels in Europe, was one of Atomize first customers. They have always been very forward-thinking and a very important customer for us.
Gothia Towers together with The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre is one of the Nordic region’s most attractive meeting places. With 41,000 m² of experience areas, 1,200 first-class hotel rooms and suites, and five popular bars and restaurants, they form Europe’s largest fully integrated hotel and events venue and attract more than 1.8 million international visitors every year.
Are you wondering what the secret behind Gothia Towers’ success is?
We recently got the chance to sit down with members of Gothia Towers’ team to learn about their progress and what areas they are focusing on to enhance the guest experience and continue their success story. Lisette Norberg, Director Front Office and Spa, Johan Forsberg, Director of Revenue Management and Veronica Nyblom, PR & Communication Manager together have close to 50 years of experience from the hotel industry and shared some of the tricks of the trade the picked up along the way.
Developing Gothia Towers – a story of success and growth
Today, Gothia Towers consists of three towers and is a unique venue with everything under one roof and Gothenburg’s bustling city center at its doorstep. Its complete package, which includes everything from hotel accommodation, shops, a theatre, a spa and restaurants to exhibition halls, meeting rooms and auditoriums of various sizes, attracts all guest segments, including private leisure, business and “bleisure” travelers. Both Johan and Lisette have seen the hotel grow a lot since they joined in the early 2000s. From being a one-building hotel, Gothia Towers has grown to three towers with 1,200 rooms, making it the largest hotel in the Nordic states and one of the biggest hotels in Europe.
*Images Copyright Owner: Gothia Towers
“It was a big step to go from 750 to 1,200 rooms. Adding another 500 rooms when the third tower was built meant we needed a very different operation to manage that kind of volume,” says Lisette Norberg.
“It has been a very exciting journey to be part of and going from only a hotel business to adding value through new concepts. Enhancing the guest experience with a spa, more restaurants and a theatre has let us reach broader guest segments,” Johan Forsberg added.
A versatile offer with something for everyone
One of Gothia Towers’ key success factors is their dynamic offering which can accommodate different types of events, experiences and guests, and change from one day to another. For example, a medical conference and industry exhibition attracts 10,000 visitors. They are all there for different reasons and have various objectives. Fulfilling their diverse needs, often on short notice, sets Gothia Towers apart.
Of course, the venue’s location is another success factor. With downtown Gothenburg just around the corner and Landvetter Airport only a 20-minute drive away, Gothia Towers is ideally positioned. Adding the Upper House, Gothia’s 5-star luxury hotel concept, further broadened the range of experiences the hotel could offer guests. By featuring both 4- and 5-star options and a variety of restaurants, more different customer segments find the hotel attractive.
“Widening our offer and having everything under one roof has also led to an increase in staycation guests from within Sweden. I believe people enjoy the convenience of having a diverse destination nearby and they prefer to travel here rather than go abroad, both to save time and for environmental reasons,” Lisette says.
An insight-driven approach to understanding the guest journey
As the property grew, Gothia Towers also had to develop the tech stack to support the increasing number of customers and the new service concepts.
“We tried many different systems and made some bad choices in the past, but we have learned a lot along the way. I believe this journey has been very important for us, and we are not afraid of trying new tech if it promises better results and smoother operations,” Johan adds.
Digitization is a priority for Gothia Towers and has been for several years. Apart from testing new tech, this also means understanding macro developments and knowing what customers and guests want.
“A challenge for us, and I believe for many hoteliers in general, is fragmented data. We want to understand what type of customers we have at our venue at any time. Is it an exhibition visitor, a private hotel guest or both? If we can’t merge the data, it’s hard for us to know the purpose of their visit. This is why we are working on an internal project to get an overview and better understand and follow the customer journey,” Johan explains.
Understanding demand and optimizing cost
The wide offering means a lot of different revenue streams and cost control functions to optimize the total revenue for the hotel and convention center.
“Our revenue management team and the business controllers work closely together to keep track of our KPIs and look at total revenue in all parts of the organization. In terms of streamlining these efforts, Atomize Revenue Management System has greatly helped us automate and optimize our pricing,” says Johan.
“Our ambition is to provide the best solutions and offers to our customers and guests. Atomize has proven themselves to be able to output price recommendations that we highly trust. We are very impressed with what Atomize offers in terms of technical competence, agility, responsiveness, and overall delivery,” Johan continues.
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After starting this process, the next natural step is for Johan’s team to explore Total Profit Management together with Atomize and learn how to optimize both their pricing and costs in relation to supply and demand in all parts of their organization in real time.
“When it comes to following KPIs that matter, we’ve come a long way last year. We’ve learned how to quickly react to current demand to maintain a smart, accurate sales forecast and control cost. Variable costs like man-hours are important for us to continuously monitor and adapt according to demand and occupation,” Lisette outlines.
Putting convenience and guest satisfaction first
To keep increasing their occupancy and return rate, Gothia Towers continuously works to make everything from the booking process to check-in and check-out easy and convenient.
“In our ideal world, guests who have stayed here once don’t have to enter their data again. During the stay everything must be simple and convenient for our customers. For example, we are currently installing Chrome Cast on all in-room TVs, so guests can easily stream their choice of entertainment,” says Lisette.
The perfect future image is that guests can do everything from their mobile phones, but this also decreases the opportunities for direct interaction with guests.
“Customer feedback shows that personal interactions with our staff are an important part of the overall guest experience. That means we always have to stay on our toes and make sure we are there for our customers in every situation and provide personal service,” Lisette explains.
*Images Copyright Owner: Gothia Towers
The future for Gothia Towers
Gothia Towers and the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre are owned by The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre Foundation, which is financially independent. This means they have no external owners or investors. Any surplus is reinvested in the business to retain and improve the venues’ attractive position. Post the Corona-crisis, Gothia Towers will resume the plans to start building their 4th tower with up to 400 rooms.
“Adding a couple of hundred rooms more will not be a problem for us since we are used to handling volume. We feel secure in being a big operation and managing large flows of visitors,” Veronica says confidently.
We at Atomize share Veronica’s positive stance and look forward to working on revenue and pricing optimization with the team at Gothia Towers for many years to come.
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