First Dolce Dialogue: Focus on financing, contract design and B locations
Host Michel Prokop, Dolce Vice President Development Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and General Manager of the Dolce Bad Nauheim, invited the guests to this the first round table. In the course of his own hotel group’s efforts to grow, and continually confronted by these questions, he and his colleague, Jan-Willem den Ridder, Dolce Vice President EMEA, went looking for answers and at the same time began looking deeper into trends and forecasts. The hope is that the Dolce Dialogue will contribute to this and be held on an annual basis, each time with a new panel of experts and different themes treating the prevailing market situation.
MICE was also a key topic. At the start, Matthias Schulze, General Manager of the German Convention Bureau, stressed Germany’s outstanding position in the global market for conferences and congresses. With 2.7 million events a year, Germany comes second only to the US in the world rankings, he said. Since the recessions of recent years had only impacted individual segments, this was proof of a continually positive trend for the business hotel market. The market thus remained attractive for investors, particularly since the opening of Asian promised further growth.
Other participants at the 1st Dolce Dialogue: Dr. Roeland van Gool (Vice President, Aareal Bank AG), Gitta Rometsch (Managing Director, Heuer Dialog), Heiner Hartmann (Hartmann Consulting), Hans Jürgen Heinrich (Chief Editor, events), Martin Gräber (Chief Editor, hotelbau), Peter Maurer (Editor, Immobilien Zeitung) and lawyer Dirk Buhlmann.
Besides the topics of hotel financing and contracts, the round table dealt intensively with German A and emerging B locations – for example those on the periphery of large cities with good infrastructure. The experts also believed that existing hotels with positive track records and room for expansion were also on the up because, unlike new building projects, the time required to start operations was shorter, in spite of refurbishment and conversions.
At the close of the event, Hans Jürgen Heinrich, chief editor of events magazine, called for more investments with farsightedness: “Intelligent acquisitions, solid expansions, and long-term thinking.” The decisive factor should not, he said, always be a high, short-term profit philosophy to the exclusion of all else. He regretted that not all investments were being analyzed in greater detail for subsequent customers, since thoughts should be directed more to “style groups” than to target groups, both now and in the future. In the same timeframe, the market here will be decided in particular by corporate buzzwords such as compliance and sustainability.
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