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The triple somersault: HospitalityInside turns 15!

Das HospitalityInside Team 2020
The HospitalityInside team 2020: (from left) Malin Flamm (Editor), Anne Greisel (Administration, Fairs & Events), Editor-in-Chief Maria Puetz-Willems, Managing Director Michael Willems, Anne-Laure Duval (Sales & Marketing). / Photo: HI

Augsburg (March 13, 2020). 15 years ago, on 11 March 2005 during the ITB Berlin, the first edition of appeared advertisement-free as "paid content" model in both German and English. The triple somersault has paid off.

Many hoteliers asked at the time: Why another new magazine? Who's going to read it? Newspapers and magazines already stand in heaps on our desks... Yet 15 years later, the digital world has our everyday lives firmly in its grip and digital media are standard. If does not now appear promptly on a Friday morning – at around 8 o'clock - the first readers begin to ask: Where’s the current issue?

On the day of the launch in 2005, I met with Wolf Hengst, then CEO of Four Seasons Hotels, for our annual background talk at the Grand Hyatt Berlin. Suddenly, I found myself in a situation where I was no longer interviewing him, but rather he was interviewing me! Of course, he wanted to know more about the project we had just started. At the time, he was a huge source encouragement for us – as many others have also been since then.

Choose words, remain sensitive

  Screenshot editorial first issue

Meanwhile, the general media landscape has changed considerably, and not always for the better. The word "content" is today used by many, often in a very ego-driven fashion, though with scant feeling for the power and impact of words. The result: raw communication, unverified information and messages and in some cases even manipulated content. Today, the internet and social media allows anyone to be a publisher, author, expert and commentator. Incidentally, there are still no criteria for measuring quality journalism on the part of the relevant monitoring services.

The Power of the Pen: We are very aware of the impact of what we write. Freedom of opinion and freedom of the press enable us today to provide an unprecedented variety of information. To maintain this diversity, we must be both conscientious and careful in our communication. Professional journalists act in line with these principles.

Our readers, mainly executives from the hotel industry and related sectors, look very closely at what we say, sometimes parsing our reports carefully. I welcome telephone conversations with readers to discuss the odd formulation or other. Every conversation helps to keep us sensitive to the issues – on both sides.

Publishing online increases the interaction between author and readership; this is a positive experience. And online allows us to adapt the length of our reports in line with current needs and the complexity of the topic – as little as possible, as much as necessary. In doing so, we remain cautious, and seek to avoid offence in our formulations, questioning the rumours and including much less comment than would be possible. Our focus is the facts. This "World of Hospitality Information" will remain the basis for all our projects in the future. 

Move with the times with new projects

The credibility and trust that we have earned continue through many projects. From 2006 to 2017, we shaped the contents of the ITB hotel conference, and since 2008 have been responsible for the hotel conference at the Expo Real Munich. Of all times, it was the era of the Lehman crash, when stock markets took a huge tumble – but also the beginning of a new development at HospitalityInside.

The mood at the time back in 2008 felt as it does now, in the face of the coronavirus. We decided to launch the networking event BRICKS & BRAINS at Expo Real 2009 to restore trust between the business parties and promote new partnerships. The event counted 200 guests last year.

In the world of real estate, the hotel has become a serious asset class. Since 2011, the joint "World of Hospitality" (WoH) stand at the Expo Real has also made a significant contribution to this. It was our first appearance as stand organiser: Eight exhibitors placed their trust in our idea and thus provided the crucial momentum for the developing "Hotel Marketplace" at Expo Real, which in 2019 counted around 60 exhibitors in Hall A2, half of them at WoH.  

Between 2006 and 2014 alone we have launched eight new projects (see also our timeline below). And even our most recent baby is the result of the positive interaction with our readers: In June 2018, it was time to cast off for the first HospitalityInside Think Tank (HITT) on digitisation – again in a new format with non-hoteliers as initiators, on a solar-powered event ship in Berlin, in a small and exclusive group of about 60 participants (current programme for 2020 on And this think tank project too involves renowned companies that support forward-looking ideas, work actively on finding answers to current developments and that seek direct dialogue at the top level.

Good content is teamwork, subscribers included 

We will also continue to work on being an up-to-date and reliable platform, both online and offline, for an industry that has learned to become stronger together as one of the economy's "small" sectors. 

Good content is always also a result of communicative, competent readers and multi-faceted contacts. For this, we would like to say a heartfelt thank you! And we expressly thank our subscribers, who – spread over 20 countries – help us to finance the editorial work with their subscriptions.

That we are there for you each week with our high-quality content is thanks to our flexible, dedicated staff, our keen editors, prolific authors and meticulous translators.

We are happy to work with and for people who share and support our passion for the hotel industry. And hopefully continue to do so.

Thank you, dear Insiders!

Maria Pütz-Willems & Michael Willems
Editor-in-Chief & Managing Director HospitalityInside

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T I M E L I N E   2005 - 2020

HI Timeline 2005-2020


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