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News & stats – a roundup of the most recent happenings across the international hospitality sector.

EHMA - industry comment from the president of the European Hotel Managers Association, Hans Koch.

STR Global – the latest stats on European hotel performance from our associate partners.

Big Interview: Chris Nassetta has identified EMEA region as a major driver of growth for Hilton Worldwide over the coming years. We sit down with the group president and CEO to talk new brands, global trends and the increasingly competitive battle for dominance in the millennial market.

Business management & Development: With a number of large hotel groups still trying to sell assets and reduce exposure to a difficult European real estate market, are targets being hit, who's buying and are operators seeing a fair price? Mark Wynne Smith of Jones Lang LaSalle, Deloitte’s Nick van Marken and Tim Helliwell of Barclays provide their insights

Regional focus: Turkey has long been seen by international operators as a market ripe for significant growth of branded properties across all segments. However, factors such as an increasingly fraught relationship with Europe, creeping authoritarianism, and a number of security concerns have seen a significant drop off in international visitors and raised serious questions around long-term forecasting. We sit down with regional hospitality leaders to investigate whether operators, developers and investors retain their previous levels of optimism, what is being built and where.

Special report: Traditionally the forgotten end of the hotel market, where the overriding philosophy has prized expediency, scale and simplicity, the budget segment is undergoing something of a revolution, with design-led, select service, affordable brands making a number of the more established players look distinctly dated. Is this the future of the sector and are such concepts sustainable across the sorts of massive franchise rollouts that drive so much of the budget segment? Frederik Korallus, CEO of Generator Hostels, prizeotel founder Marco Nussbaum, and Cedric Gobilliard, head of AccorHotels' newly minted lifestyle division share their thoughts.

Operations: While it has long enjoyed great success in the US, the extended stay space is yet to really take off in Europe. However, this has not stopped operators making big bets on its future success. What accounts for the growing excitement surrounding this trickiest of segments, who are the brands looking to make the biggest impact and how might they differ in terms of experience and service to what has gone before? We meet Zoku founder Hans Meyer, Eric Jafari, managing director of SACO, and Lee Chee Koon, Ascott's CEO to find out more.

Design: Having closed for renovations in March 2013, Paris's legendary Hotel de Crillon will finally open this summer under the management of Rosewood following more than four years of exhaustive restoration work. We speak with Richard Martinet of the Affine Design architectural agency and Aline d'Amman, the project's artistic director, about the delicate act of preserving the historic while introducing all the elements expected of a 21st century luxury hotel.

Guest amenities: What are business travellers looking for in loyalty programmes and how does one best ensure repeat custom? The answer, it would seem, is variety; more choice of rewards within a redemption programme. We speak to the people looking to create new types of schemes, including Mark Weinstein, SVP and global head of loyalty and partnerships at Hilton Worldwide, and Susanna Freer Epstein, SVP customer loyalty marketing at IHG.

Food & Beverage: As international director of the Michelin Guides, Michael Ellis oversees a series of publications that have the potential to make or break both established and emerging chefs and restaurants. But what efforts is the little red book making to keep up to speed with shifting dining demands and, in the information age, how does one keep the guide relevant when there are so many other sources available? He answers these questions and more in an exclusive interview.

Technology: Hyatt Hotels has announced an in-room platform that allows guests to stream their favourite apps from their smartphone directly to their in-room television. It is the latest effort on behalf of operators to harness the technology at their customers' disposal, emphasising a need for integration, rather than innovation. Jeff Bzdawka, Hyatt's SVP of global hotel technology, discusses the challenges and benefits of such an approach and how best to offer a seamless in-room tech experience.

The Insider: EHMA member and Melia's area director for Italy Palmiro Noschese looks back upon an award-winning career in hospitality.

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