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Global, social, hip

ITB Hospitality Day 2017 about hostels, food design, challenging countries

  ITB 2016 Hospitality Day Full House
  The annual Get-Together: Hospitality trends are discussed in Hall 7.1b/
Auditorium London.

Berlin (February 17, 2017). Although technology topics are flooding the conference program this year, there are still topics at the "ITB Hospitality Day" that focus more on markets and people. Young, traveling enthusiastic people drove the hostel segment forward and made it so hip with their demand that now even hotel chains are interested in the 'lowest'segment. Whoever travels needs to eat. This is why F&B concepts are now thriving again – from food design to no food. And finally, new destinations like Iran open their doors, outsiders like Georgia are booming, Greece and Russia are catching up.
As media partner and organizer of the ITB Hospitality Day, introduces today three of the six panel discussions.

The conference day (March 9) begins at 10:30 a.m. with the discussion "Hostels – refreshed". The travel and hotel journalist Sara Douag likes to know from new names like The Student Hotels from the Netherlands why they are interested in the segment and how they succeed with the balancing act between student hostel and hotel under one roof. Frank Uffen, Director Marketing & Partnership, has however ambitious plans and looks forward to the mix of travelers in his hotels.

Uffen Frank  

Frank Uffen,
The Student Hotels.


Hostels have turned into social hubs which is why AccorHotels came up with Jo&Joe – a hostel brand, created in the in-house innovation lab. Frédéric Fontaine, Senior Vice President Global Marketing and responsible for the innovation lab, will soon offer a colorful mix of bedrooms, entertainment and prices. What motivates AccorHotels, who just bought together a huge luxury hotel portfolio, to establish themselves in the world of price-conscious globetrotters?

Meininger Hotels have already made a name for themselves in the low budget world, but removed the word "hostel" in their brand name. And the group is aiming for a fast expansion around the globe. Chief Operations Officer Eric van Dijk is going to explain. The segment, newly discovered by creative minds and chains, can by now also be booked via specialized OTAs, e.g. via Hostelworld. Paul Halpenny, Director of Group Supply, reports about the special requirements in the business between FIT and groups.

Sleep hip, eat hip

  Hoffmann Christoph
  Christoph Hoffmann,
The 25hours Hotels.

The panel "From foodies via food design to no food" will start (from 1:30 p.m. onwards) with a hip video about the latest food design trend from Spain. How do hotels deal with the challenge F&B? Is there a new culinary art on the rise, inspired by technology?

For this discussion, hospitalityInside Editor-In-Chief Maria Puetz-Willems is bringing Jean Georges Ploner, world-traveling gastronomy consultant and founder of the network Global F&B Heroes, onto the state, together with a hotelier and a culinary manager. Christoph Hoffmann, CEO of the lifestyle group 25hours Hotels, turned the hotel restaurant with his "NENI” concept into the meeting place of the city: Lining up at the Berlin 25hours Hotel Bikini has become normal by now – just like in New York… Will the globetrotter also adapt in the F&B sector? Urban Denk, Director Culinary Innovation and Development of Deutsche Hospitality (Steigenberger Hotels) says: Yes! Over 20 years abroad have shaped his opinion on food, beverages, brand concepts, service and pricing. Some trends are simply nonsense to him.

Kaddouri Z Omer  
Omer Kaddouri,
Rotana Hotels.


Exciting countries

Hotel groups usual work side by side with the destination managers. Only together, guests can be lured into the country. Especially when a destination like Iran opens overnight: The first hotel group that signed a contract there were the Arabic Rotana Hotels. CEO Omer Z. Kaddouri talks about challenges on the side of hoteliers and the charm of the country. Georgia is already in the midst of a boom. The country for all seasons is carefully stepping strategically and is still good for surprises. George Chogovadze, Head of Georgian National Tourism Adminstration, sits on stage – just like Dr. Aris Ikkos from Greece. The Research Director of the tourism association (INSETE) has also positive news, despite all images of refugees. Nonetheless, the hotel industry stays challenged, depending on the location.

Also Greece needs to be evaluated tactfully in the same way as Russia. Walter C. Neumann, CEO of the biggest national chain Azimut Hotels, explains how to survive in the face of political and economic changes. The panel discussion "The fortunate and the unfortunate. Hoteliers and tourist experts on the hotel performance in good and in bad times." Starts at 4 p.m. The presenter is Sinisa Topalovic, partner of the consulting company Horwarth HTL in Zagreb, who are specialized in tourism. / map

Reporting on

For the 12th time, ( with editor-in-chief Maria Puetz-Willems is the exclusive media partner and organizer of the ITB Hospitality Day. will introduce the individual session in its next issues until ITB and sum up the panels after ITB, every Friday on this website.

For the updated online progamme click here.

A live streaming of the ITB Hospitality Day is available on the internet. On March 9th, click this link.


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