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The Future Of Travel: “Resort-camping hybrids” with Nash Abdrabo CEO of Huttopia

Nothing revolutionary but more like evolutionary, however, I strongly believe it’s the only way our organization will disrupt the status quo. I encourage other organizations to follow in order to survive the world digitalization. As part of my series about “exciting developments in the travel industry over the next five years,” I had the pleasure […]

Nothing revolutionary but more like evolutionary, however, I strongly believe it’s the only way our organization will disrupt the status quo. I encourage other organizations to follow in order to survive the world digitalization.

As part of my series about “exciting developments in the travel industry over the next five years,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Nash Abdrabo, CEO Huttopia North America. Nash has a successful track record over the last 20 years spearheading strategy and operations at high-profile companies such as Starbucks, Ikea and The Ritz-Carlton. He is a visionary largely recognized for transforming business needs and opportunities into long-lasting successes and results. In his current role, Nash is at the forefront of Huttopia’s North American expansion, bringing resort-camping hybrids with a French-inspired experience to Canada and the USA.


Thank you so much for joining us, Nash! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

In my life I place an enormous value on loyalty and trust. It’s essential to my personal relationships and to the integrity of our company culture. Essential to how we conduct business with one another and with our customers. While Huttopia is not perfect nor am I, and people may disagree with some of our choices, we make it our business to uphold that trust and we make it right if we fail.

Huttopia was not built on through marketing and traditional advertising. We succeed by creating experiences that come to life because how we treat our customers, our people, how we treat our lands, and how we give back to communities.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

The most interesting story I can share with you was back in my earlier career at the Ritz Carlton orientation training days. That experience was that the Ritz Moto was “We are ladies and gentlemen’s serving Ladies and Gentlemen’s.” The experience formalized for me what it meant to be in the service of others. During my days since then I have been looking for that magic. It’s not unusual for me no matter where I go in the world to be in an Uber or visiting other outdoor hospitality resorts. I love to experience different Glamping sites. Individual properties or large chains and to see how they present their products and communicate with customers. I look for first contacts, Layouts of customer journey and employees’ behaviors.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I have many funny moments throughout my career and I’m sure I will have many more to come. The important part is to be able to laugh at yourself and show that you are human. It taught me to be vulnerable, humble, and thoughtful. A funny story that I would like to share in this aspect: a customer came up to me with a problem and I assigned one of our team members to solve the issue. I followed up with the customer few days later to check whether he was satisfied with the solution we have offered. And to my surprise the customer was never contacted by my us. I felt a bit awkward and I had to put myself vulnerable right away in front of the customer. I apologized once again but I was very disappointed in myself as well, but I was the only one to blame. From that moment on I learnt that before trust comes verification.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

The story I would share with you that Philippe and Celine Bossanne have shared with me up on my early meetings with them before joining about Huttopia core values.

We believe that Huttopia most important asset is its state of mind — its pathway to growth without losing its soul, which develops over time

and is based on shared values, and which no competitor can replicate. Underlying Huttopia’s actions and growth is a well-defined set of values.

Confidence

Acting with confidence helps us maintain more direct and effective relationships — both internally and externally. Having confidence in others makes our lives easier and ensures our professional relationships run more smoothly. A feeling of confidence spurs us to take the initiative — and risks — without fear of mistakes. This is the basis of the entrepreneurial spirit.

Sincerity

Sincerity in what we do and say, in our work and in our relationships gives Huttopia an overall consistency that is immediately perceived by our workers, clients and partners, and helps everyone understand our philosophy. It’s simply a matter of honesty.

Solidarity

The company is a chain, no stronger than its weakest link. Solidarity means helping a co-worker in difficulty and being fully involved, doing all we can to ensure the team as a whole accomplishes its mission. It also means knowing how to eagerly share intense moments and embark on a group adventure. That’s how a team is built.

Imagination

This quality helps us forge new paths and be different. Whatever the challenge — be it finding solutions to minor day-to-day problems or inventing a revolutionary product — daring to use one’s imagination is key. Imagination is what makes the impossible happen — it allows innovation.

Simplicity

Our core business is camping — a simple activity, by its very nature. Our culture is centred on the essential, not the superfluous. An ongoing search for the utmost simplicity, to make life easier for our customers, partners and teams, is what characterizes both our relationships and our products. Simplicity is never achieved by taking the easy route. It calls for effort and work.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out?” Can you share a story about that?

Have clear goals and vision and make sure everyone is aware of them in your organization.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person whom you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Most of my career I have been blessed and grateful for being surrounded with great leaders that impacted my professional and personal growth. The one that truly was an inspiration leader and was a mentor is Rossann Williams executive vice president U.S. Retail at Starbucks. She always reminded me when we were growing the business, improving store’s layout and launching new initiatives. Roseann looks at me in the eye and taps both her hands on my shoulders “We got this.” It meant s great deal to me. It meant I got your back. It’s the best feeling when your team knows that you have their back and they have yours. I encourage every leader to lead with their head and heart.

Let’s jump to the core of our discussion. Can you share with our readers about the innovations that you are bringing to the travel and hospitality industries?

As the world continue to digitalize. We at Huttopia will continue to innovate our lodging with our products.

Simplicity, durability and comfort while protecting our Nature’s beauty. It is part of our commitment to make Huttopia a leader in ecotourism.

Make it quick, lean and simple to access our digital platforms and enjoy our magnificent planet but, above all we want to win every day with our customers. We will ignite the emotional experiences with our customers and our peoples every time. I strongly believe in the human connection, and we will to continue to put our customers at the forefront of business by anticipating and looking after their needs throughout their journeys. Huttopia personalization program, wood cabins& canvas, Huttopia.com, social media, operational excellence.

Which “pain point” are you trying to address by introducing this innovation?

Leading change. How do we ensure we’re all aligned on our work that’s ahead of us at Huttopia? Our challenges are not to convince our board of directors of our innovations and our way forward. Our real challenge is bringing every single person of our Huttopia family to know of our initiatives as fast as we can to make an impact. It all comes down to our talented leaders to inspire and engage our people to deliver our commitment.

How do you envision that this might disrupt the status quo?

Nothing revolutionary but more like evolutionary, however, I strongly believe it’s the only way our organization will disrupt the status quo. I encourage other organizations to follow in order to survive the world digitalization.

Can you share 5 examples of how travel and hospitality companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers like to travel?

There are many examples but the one we strongly believe is proximities. How we try to elevate our customer experiences experience’s in every step during their journeys.

You are a “travel insider.” How would you describe your “perfect vacation experience?”

It might vary to everyone’s expectations but for me it needs to be calm, hassle free, and simple. Spending it with the people you love and building great memories that would last a lifetime.

It’s easier said than done but stay the course and never lose focus on your customers.

Can you share with our readers how have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Pay it forward and be part of inspiring guide to get others to improve the world we live in. It must be more than just a business idea. It must reflect social responsibilities to our planet. We need to reduce our footprint on our planet and leave a great future for generations to come.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

You must swim against the tide sometimes. I want them to be tempted to do so. I want to pass to younger generations, the taste of hard work continuous learning, improvement, and investments. It is just not about making money. It is as well about the innovations, creativity and proactivity.

I strongly believe that people have the best intentions in all what they do. You must guide them to reach their true potentials. Empower them and unleash their true potentials in order to do great things.

Everything you do have to be meaningful and make sure you’re passionate about what you do.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

https://canada-usa.huttopia.com/

https://www.instagram.com/huttopiacanadausa/?hl=en

https://www.linkedin.com/company/18765788/admin/

Thank you for all of these great insights!

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