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For the New Year: Growing with the trees

A tree's rings tell the year's story – was it rainy, dry, mild, cold, stormy? Did spring come late, winter too soon? The trees around us, whether spruce, fir, beech, oak, ash, or alder may have different sorts of wood, but they all have a common ring pattern. That's just how things are when you share the same location, soil and climate.

What will our "annual rings 2021" look like one day? Will they be the imprint of all-encompassing climate change? Of the political climate, the economic climate, the climate of opinion, the world climate per se ...? Doesn't all this leave impressions deep within each tree, within each one of us? Somewhere a laboratory door wasn't closed property or a bat got eaten – and a few weeks later we're all working at our kitchen tables. No more work commute.

It's quite all right to be startled by that. Things like this leave their mark. But it's not only your little grove that's taken a beating, whole forests are dying, whole species, cities, industries on top of that. Everything has consequences. We felt it coming. "The world has become small enough that each act results directly back to the perpetrator". Now we understand what [the German philosopher] Peter Sloterdijk meant by that in 2010. But what conclusions have we drawn from this? Are we becoming action-less, heart-less, head-less?

Let's focus on the difficult tasks ahead, let's "venture progress" are the sounds coming out of Berlin! "Whether that will work out?" ... is the lingering doubt we hear from the German forest. If you shout out "flexibility, digitisation and adaptation,” the words "stability, solidity, reliability" echo back.

Does this have to be a contradiction? Or is it our NEW way of bringing seemingly incompatible things together? Trees stand where they stand and have to hope, for sun, for rain, for better times. We can change our standpoints, find new perspectives, even change climates.

Moving instead of putting down roots does not mean losing our roots. A piece of wood in the hand is like life: It has substance, warmth, structure. You can make many things: from it, with it, on it... And it becomes more interesting the longer you "use" it.

We wish you a strong 2022. In which we dare to venture something, to move and grow solidly. But without haste, without the rush, no running. Because strong trees do not grow faster for it.

Words for the turn of the year 2021/2022 from Gerhard Fuchs,
Managing Director of "die fuechse", a consulting company
for marketing, loyalty and change from Eschenlohe in Bavaria.

[ more … ]

Success Hotel Management: Restructuring in self-administration

Stuttgart (January 14, 2022). In December, all was still right with the world. Last Monday though, on 10 January, the district court approved the application of Success Hotel Management GmbH for insolvency under the self-administration procedure with the objective of restructuring. Managing Director Michael Friedrich on the background.

[ more … ]

Editorial: Grow like the trees

Dear Insiders,

Welcome to the new old year! Another great equaliser for European hoteliers. Confusion continues to reign everywhere and bank accounts become emptier and emptier, though at least Omicron doesn't seem to cause as much suffering as its predecessors. And so the first days of January make me feel quite optimistic, also because more and more people are saying that they no longer want to stay at home "because of a cold", but would rather work. Once again, people are faster than politics, which continues to trail after the virus everywhere.

How Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, France and Benelux have fared since Christmas is summarised by our correspondents today - under headlines such as "2021 was worse than 2020", "Disappointing everywhere", "Give and take", "The call to reopen", "Not enough to compensate"... Everyone is experiencing similar things, only with a time lag. And once again, despite all the limitations, resort hotels are still doing better than the struggling city hotel industry.

The Success Hotel Group from Stuttgart filed for insolvency this week - under the self-administration procedure. Managing Director Michael Friedrich explains the background to us exclusively: As he told us, the most recently requested €5.3 million in state support fell victim to bureaucracy, with disbursement delayed enormously.

All requirements were met, yet Success was classified as being at risk of insolvency. Because the company belongs to the hotel industry. Only a rascal would have such cynical thoughts, or see any pattern to these events... Therefore, read for yourself: The article is freely available to all on our page 1.

The pandemic also affects suppliers. Rolf Slickers, former hotelier and now Managing Director of Servitex laundry, realised bitterly: "Our concept is not suited to the pandemic". The more hotels closed, the less laundry was done. Now he is changing his business model - and is also fighting on completely different fronts: against higher wages, horror prices for cotton and containers, and last but not least against Amazon. There's more than one supply chain breaking.

Things sound more optimistic from the world of transactions: With luck, Q4 saved the whole of 2021, but investors are regaining medium-term confidence in the industry. However, the increasing wave of conversions of hotel properties is particularly visible in Berlin.

In our other news we talk about the new all-inclusive approach at Accor, the new classification of vacation apartments, the new "eco-friendly dish" of the Austrians and a recent Federal Supreme Court ruling on the subject of rent payments under corona. And finally, since Christmas there has been a lot of personnel and market news.

We look forward to the new year with you, which will be more positive, if only because our soul is better equipped to face the virus now than before. Do as the trees do: defy every storm and grow solidly, "without haste or rush". You can read what old trees have to do with today from a Christmas card that I was delighted to receive. On our Page 1.

A good start into the new year!

Yours, Maria Pütz-Willems

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