Hotel industry relies on innovation and ideas

Wednesday 3, February 2010


Hotel industry relies on innovation and ideas


Target groups and guest loyalty reassessed, along with climate change and new technologies, the main themes of the ITB Hospitality Day on 11 March 2010 - International experts to discuss current trends and future concepts - Concentrated knowledge free of charge



The current crisis has resulted in worldwide changes in travel behaviour, which in turn has led to a rethink in the hotel industry. The focus is on a reassessment of target groups and guest loyalty. Far-reaching adjustments have also been required in the wake of social developments and discussions about such areas as the environment and technology. At the 5th ITB Hospitality Day, on Thursday, 11 March 2010, six rounds of discussions involving prominent figures from the industry will provide trade visitors with concentrated knowledge, at no expense - participation in these sessions is included in the admission ticket. The subject matter at this leading forum at the ITB Berlin Convention has been compiled by Maria Pütz-Willems, editor in chief of the online trade magazine, and it explores the backgrounds to current trends, as well as providing an important impetus for the future of the hotel industry.


Solutions for boring hotels and survival strategies for the future


How should tour operators adapt to the changing requirements of hotel guests? TUI, Thomas Cook and Öger Tours will face some probing questions from the well-known tourism professor Karl Born during the "Tour Operators' Discussions". The topic of "Innovation" will feature in the discussions for the first time this year. The slogan: Solutions for boring hotels. As Prof. Geoff Marée from the Dutch tourism university NHTV has observed: "when there is no longer any pressure on costs, that is when creativity is needed". The chairman will be calling upon two innovative hoteliers, Michael Levie, Chief Executive Officer of the luxury-budget group citizenM and Christoph Hoffmann, Chief Executive of the hotel group The 25hours Hotels Company, and the public to investigate this topic.


The CEO panel consists of two senior managers from leading hotel groups, David Fattal, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Israeli Fattal Group, and Wolfgang M. Neumann, CEO of the Arabella Hospitality Group, who will speak about their own "survival" strategies and developments on the market as a whole. The focus by Arabella Hospitality Group on the German-speaking market and the rapid expansion of Leonardo Hotels indicate the evident continuing appeal of Central Europe, although margins tend to be smaller.


The session on Mobile Devices is more topical than ever. The introduction of Web 2.0 and social media means that mobile phones are now being used to examine the offers by many hotels, and in some of them it is already possible to check in using one's mobile. Martin Thyssen from Blackberry, Tobias Ragge from HRS and Marco Nussbaum, Chief Executive of prizeotel will discuss the ways in which internet-enabled mobiles are changing the hotel world, and how useful online applications can be. In the chair will be Carolin Brauer, Chief Executive of Quality Reservations. Climate change is an equally pressing topic. Will hotels have to adapt their offers or even completely reorganise them if the weather becomes warmer and drier, or if there are more storms and more unpredictable conditions? The Vienna futurologist Andreas Reiter will present some future scenarios for hotels in various higher altitude regions and will provide the fuel for the subsequent discussions with Philipp Ehmer, a tourism analyst with Deutsche Bank Research, and Thomas Reisenzahn, Secretary General of ÖHV (Austrian Hoteliers' Association). This session will be chaired by the British environmental tourism lecturer Dr. Andreas Walmsley.


Good value and fashionable is how the new generation of budget hotels could be described. However, the topical subject covered by the final round of discussions also raises many questions. For example, what are the features of budget hotels in Asia, the USA and Europe? What do they have in common, and how do they differ? Senior management from international hotel groups will be discussing these aspects, with Macy Marvel, professor of economics at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in the chair. Those who have agreed to participate are Prabhat Pani, CEO of the Indian Ginger Hotels, Pierre-Frédéric Roulot, President of Louvre Hotels, France, Michael Mücke, Chief Executive and Director General of Economy Brands for Accor Hotels Germany, and Sascha Gechter, General Manager of Meininger Hotels, which has successfully achieved the transition from a hostel to a hotel group.




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