Hotel industry - quo vadis?

The crisis facing the global hotel industry has sparked leaders and experts to meet on 12 March 2009 for a special day of discussions during the forthcoming ITB Berlin 2009.

International experts at the ITB Hospitality Day will discuss current tendencies and future trends. Under the slogan “Hotel industry - quo vadis?”, the global CEO panel will include Andrew Ed Fuller, Marriott International; Gerald Lawless, Jumeirah Group; Ted Teng, the new CEO of the Leading Hotels of the World; and Andrew Cosslett, InterContinental Hotels Group.
(Pictured above: Francesco Frangialli, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) at last year’s ITB)

ITB Berlin argues that as a result of the current crisis, global changes in travel and investment behaviour are once again challenging the hotel sector at the same levels as in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and they must take a clear stand, in order for them to survive on the markets at home and abroad.

This year’s Hospitality Day HOTSPOT will involve high-level participants taking a 90- minute look at the hotel industry.

This is the first time at an ITB Hospitality Day that an interactive discussion round will be taking place, with human resource specialists answering questions from the audience. Along with Ruud R. Reuland, General Director of the famous Ecole Hoteliére de Lausanne, Katrin Melle, Area Director Human Resources with Hyatt Int. and spokeswoman for Human Resources Circles in Germany, will tackle issues such as what qualifications workers must have in order to contribute to a hotel’s success in the future.

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Participants of equally high calibre will be taking part in a discussion round entitled “Residences”. Particularly in times of crisis, financing hotels through residences is becoming more and more important, as this kind of financing can also increase the value of the properties of international hotel chains. But will this allow them to survive the current crisis? Among those responding to questions will be Peng Sum Choe of CEO Frasers Hospitality, Asia’s largest residence association, and Scott Woroch, Executive Vice President Worldwide Development of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, based in Toronto.

One topic that particularly polarises opinion is integrated resorts. Through their involvement with a region and local population they play an especially important role in economically weaker areas, in Asia and Europe alike. One example is the luxury golfing paradise operated by the Egyptian investor Samih Sawaris and currently being built in Andermatt, Switzerland.

At the ITB Hospitality Day he will be discussing the economic advantages and risks for investors, along with Eric Bello, of the Venetian Resort Hotel Las Vegas and the Marina Bay Sands project in Singapore, and Achilles V. Constantakopoulos, managing director of the mega resort Costa Navarino in Greece currently under construction, and Karl Pojer, of TUI Hotels & Resorts.

ITB Berlin 2009 will be taking place from 11-15 March 2009. Parallel with the trade fair, the ITB Berlin Convention will be taking place from 11-14 March 2009.
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