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EHMA

We travel to Paris, where some of Europe’s most influential hoteliers are gathering for EHMA’s 46th Annual General Meeting

Big Interview

Having been the operator of just two brands as recently as recently as 2015, Deutsche Hospitality has undergone significant changes over the last few years, the latest of which is the announcement of a fifth brand, following the group’s acquisition of a majority stake in Zleep Hotels in January 2019. We sit down with Deutsche Hospitality CEO Thomas Willms to discuss the motivations behind this move, the challenges of juggling a multi-brand portfolio, and where he sees growth opportunities within Europe and beyond.

Business management & Development

The global hospitality market remains buoyant despite economic and geopolitical uncertainty, but questions are increasingly being asked about where we sit in the cycle and whether new development strategies are necessary in order to sustain performance, particularly in Europe. We gauge the current state of the market and forecast investment trends for the year ahead with STR’s Robin Rossmann, Deloitte’s Andreas Scriven and Tim Lloyd-Hughes of Deutsche Bank.

The IHIF 2019 conference promises to look at new growth strategies for all stakeholders, whether they are to be found in traditional markets, emerging destinations, improved asset management or operational strategies, or alternative lodging concepts. We hear what the experts out in Berlin have to say, including Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton, and AccorHotels chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin.

Regional focus

The UAE is one of the great success stories of the 21st century globalised hotel industry, with international operators opening properties at an incredible rate. However, as certain segments become increasingly saturated and economic growth reaches more sedate levels, where do the opportunities still lie, how dynamic a market remains, and are developers and operators beginning to cast their gazes elsewhere in the region? Jumeirah’s Roy Paul, Marriott International’s Alex Kyriakidis, and Pascal Gauvin of IHG discuss.

Special report

The hostel space has long been an area that traditional operators steered away from, but that attitude is beginning to change as new concepts emerge exploring its possibilities, and the industry seeks innovative new means of capturing the generation “Y” and “Z” demographics. We investigate this shift and ask how far legacy brands will be willing to delve into the communal living space with Generator CEO Alastair Thomann and Steven Taylor, global chief brand officer of AccorHotels.

Operations

Perhaps the biggest issue facing the European hospitality industry is a war for talent, both between direct competitors, and against other industries often seen as offering more attractive career prospects. Setting a clear career path and establishing ongoing learning and training programmes are pre-requisites for any operator, which often involves a mixture of proprietary schemes and partnerships with external centres of learning. We discuss the challenge of getting this balance right with Ben Di Benedetto, vice-president of European HR for Marriott International, Björn Olthof, senior manager graduate recruitment Europe, Middle East & Africa for Hilton, and Annemieke Wachter, HR director of CitizenM.

Design

A multimillion-dollar rebrand will see The Millennium Hotel London Mayfair convert into The Biltmore this spring, the first European property with Hilton’s new luxury brand, LXR Hotels & Resorts. The multimillion pound design overhaul is being overseen by local firm Goddard Littlefair, whose previous hotel projects include Gleneagles, the InterContinental Berlin and the Corinthia in Budapest. We speak to directors and co-founders Martin Goddard and Jo Littlefair about the genesis of their studio, meanings of modern luxury and how they have learned to collaborate with some of the biggest high end operators on the hospitality scene.

Guest amenities

In 2017, AccorHotels and Bouygues Immobiliser created a 50/50 joint venture with the aim of accelerating the growth of co-working brand Nextdoor across Europe. This venture was interpreted as an act of further diversification beyond hotels from the European giant, but, when it comes to the fast developing co-working space, to what extent should operators be looking to harness its potential within their own portfolios? We discuss with Zoku co-founder Hans Meyer, Tim Anctil, managing director of Ace Hotel Group, and WeWork European SVP Ronen Journo.

Food & Beverage

As the new international director of the Michelin Guides, Gwendal Poullennec 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

There has been a lot of talk surrounding blockchain technology’s potential to revolutionise the hospitality industry, from payments to loyalty programmes to supply chain management. Some have even gone so far as to christen it "a new internet for the travel industry" and the potential end of over-the-air (OTA) ascendancy. To what extent are operators taking these promises seriously, how far are we from the mainstream implementation of blockchain within the sector, and what remain the main barriers of entry? We speak to Brian King, global digital and sales officer at Marriott International, David Amsellem, founder of the Accor-owned concierge system John Paul, and renowned futurist Ron Galloway.

The Insider

The newly elected president of the European Hotel Managers Association outlines his vision for the historic group.



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