Recently the team at Odysys celebrated a milestone. Just three short (and incredibly busy) years ago we launched our first customer. I couldn’t be more proud of what we have accomplished since then. As I look toward the future, I can’t help but feel fortunate. We have an amazing team, unending support of friends and family, and of course our customers. But most of all, I feel fortunate to work in such a vibrant, diverse, and exciting industry. One that is always changing and regularly presents new problems to solve.
Odysys was born out of a love of travel. In particular, staying at places with character. Inns, bed & breakfasts, small resorts, boutique hotels, eco lodges… They all fit the bill. These types of properties, along with the personalities surrounding them, really make each day rewarding. That may sound cliché, but it’s true. So I decided to write out some of the things that inspire me daily about our amazing industry.
1. The People
We are fortunate to be part of the travel industry. Inevitably we will interact with people from different walks of life, cultures, and parts of the world. It’s built into the very DNA of our industry. Whether it’s a bed & breakfast offering a respite to an adventurous world traveler or a boutique hotel serving passionate foodies for the weekend. Our industry gives us the chance to meet new people. I for one love it.
2. Small Businesses
Innkeepers are, without a doubt, some of the hardest working people I have met. With very few breaks, managing operations, and tackling marketing, they are always “on.” Offering an “indie” or “boutique” hospitality experience is hard work. Offering a personalized experience and developing relationships with guests is even more difficult.
3. The Camaraderie
When Odysys first launched, I was surprised by the level of camaraderie among Innkeepers. Sharing knowledge, providing advice, and lending a helping hand are par for the course in our industry. This spirit of goodwill and openness certainly makes our industry unique.
4. The Size of Our Industry
Travel truly is the largest industry in the world. It impacts almost, if not every, sector in the world. From job creation to politics and social issues to education, travel really does impact us all.
I believe experiencing different cultures and meeting new people is always a good thing. It leads to inclusion and a better understanding of humanity. Because of this, I am confident that travelers really do change the world.
I’m sure a few people reading this will grumble, but technology really is good for our industry. Consumer behavior and expectations are changing. As an industry we must adapt. Change brings opportunity and it’s our task to uncover opportunities that help our industry flourish.
I doubt any of us thinks we need more stuff! But I bet all of us would like have to more positive experiences. Travel allows people to focus on experiences rather than possessions and it encourages people to live in the moment. Isn’t making memories more important than acquiring more things?
8. The Food
One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to go out to eat. I love experiencing the local cuisine of a new destination. Travel is the best way to try new food because you get to experience it in its true context.
9. The Personalities
Just like the properties they manage, innkeepers have unique personalities. Business owners and managers. Corporate refugees and family business owners. Bakers and wine aficionados. City lovers and nature lovers. Activity guides and artists. Innkeepers seem to come from all walks of life. And for me, that just might be the most inspiring thing of all.