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INVESTMENT BAROMETER Autumn also shows: Digitalisation accepted - Public version

Willingness to take risk and caution in the balance

Augsburg/Hamburg (November 18, 2016). Opportunities and risks are spread broadly in the hotel industry. Whilst the digitalisation megatrend is clearly viewed as an opportunity, on the investment side, the sector currently shows itself to be quite ambivalent. The overall mood in the sector is meanwhile stuck around cautious optimism. These were the findings of the specialist magazine HospitalityInside and Union Investment in their current Hotel INVESTMENT BAROMETER Autumn 2016.

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The grandiose, the lifestyle, the annoying

Dear Insiders,
With the official opening of the Westin Hotel Elbphilharmonie Hamburg on Wednesday evening, the long wait of the Schoerghuber subsidiary Arabella Hospitality and of Starwood Hotels has finally come to an end. 13 years after the first design presentation was made, the hotel now benefits from a crazy storm of visitors to the new concert house: each day, 9,000 visitors head to the public "plaza" at the Elbphilharmonie, and some also find their way into Westin's "Bridge Bar" too. General Manager Dagmar Zechmann now markets "views with a room" instead of "rooms with a view" - thanks to this grandiose cultural monument, which is certainly one of the most stunning of Europe's landmarks. A first impression today, more next week.
"AccorHotels will pamper us," 25hours CEO Christoph Hoffmann and co-shareholder Prof Stephan Gerhard said of their new 30% liaison with AccorHotels: "We are already a lifestyle group". Just how these creatives will sit with the chain in future, and how the unique deal came into being – this is revealed in an interview today with the two of the original three shareholders, with their characteristic humour and with unshakeable confidence.
Whilst some silver-plate their brand, others cling just as hard to their original ideas. Susanne Stauss interviewed the operators Ruby Hotels, Rilana, prizeotel, Gambino Hotels (currently in the process of being established) and the resort brand Arborea - all German companies. And Germans are renowned for sticking to their brands. "I'm looking for a different type of return," they all say.
Macy Marvel returned from a finance conference in London with concrete statements from British hoteliers on the impact of Brexit: Already there are signs of considerably higher wage and food costs, and substantial price hikes for imported washing machines and fridges. All negative consequences of a weak pound. Worse though is the labour market: At Christmas, qualified chefs are lacking.
The Marriott brand package is now fixed: It will stay at 30 brands, though they are now sorted into four segments Luxury, Premium, Select and Longer Stays and then into sub-categories. Barcelona has finally reached the end of its tether with false promises and has slapped Airbnb and Homeway each with a €600,000 fine for listing unlicensed apartments. The two Asian rivals Shangri-La Hotels and Taj have now decided to pool their loyalty programs. And according to the World Travel Monitor, the strong US dollar has boosted demand for foreign travel among Americans.
This and more in today's edition which I edited yesterday from the top (19th) storey of the Westin Elbphilharmonie with a spectacular view of the harbour, complete with shipping horns and an impressive sea of light in the evening hours.

Yours, Maria Puetz-Willems, Editor in Chief
Your opinion? maria@hospitalityInside.com


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