BERLIN – As a result of the current crisis, global changes in travel and investment behavior are once again challenging the hotel sector in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to take a clear stand in order for them to survive on the markets at home and abroad. On March 12, 2009, the ITB Hospitality Day with six discussion rounds will provide important impulses for the future.
Prospects and visions for the future
He is on everyone’s lips, but no-one knows exactly who he is: the eco-guest of the future. Who the much-vaunted, eco-friendly, free-spending guest of tomorrow really is still remains unclear. Representatives of the eco-platforms of recently-founded design hotels, as well as socially-friendly and eco-compatible resorts, such as Frégate Island Private and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, will be discussing this issue at the first session of Hospitality Day.
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. What qualifications must workers have in order to contribute to a hotel’s success in the future? 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 be providing the answers.
This year’s Hospitality Day HOTSPOT will involve high-level participants taking a 90-minute look at the hotel industry. Under the slogan “Hotel industry – quo vadis?,” a global CEO panel will be taking place for the first time at this year’s ITB Hospitality Day. The event will be moderated by Maria Pütz-Willems, chief editor of hospitalityInside.com, the media partner of Hospitality Day, and the following CEOs will be presenting their views: Andrew Cosslett, InterContinental Hotels Group; Ed Fuller, Marriott International; Gerald Lawless, Jumeirah Group; Ted Teng, the new CEO of the Leading Hotels of the World; and Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, CEO & co-vice chairman of Sol Meliá Hotels & Resorts based in Majorca.
Participants of equally high caliber 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 for worldwide development of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts based in Toronto.
One topic that particularly polarizes 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, as well as Achilles V. Constantakopoulos, managing director of the mega resort Costa Navarino in Greece currently under construction, and Karl Pojer of TUI Hotels & Resorts.
The ITB Berlin Convention
ITB Berlin 2009 will be taking place from Wednesday, March 11 to Sunday, March 15 and will be open to trade visitors from Wednesday to Friday. Parallel with the trade fair, the ITB Berlin Convention will be taking place from Wednesday, March 11 to Saturday, March 14, 2009. For full program details, go to www.itb-convention.com .
Fachhochschule Worms and the US-based market research company PhoCusWright, Inc, are partners of the ITB Berlin Convention. Turkey is co-hosting this year’s ITB Berlin Convention. Other sponsors of the ITB Berlin Convention include Top Alliance, responsible for VIP service; hospitalityInside.com, the media partner of the ITB Hospitality Day; and Flug Revue, the media partner of the ITB Aviation Day. The Planeterra Foundation is the premium sponsor of the ITB Corporate Social Responsibility Day, and Gebeco is the premium sponsor of the ITB Tourism and Culture Day. TÜV International is the basic sponsor of the event entitled “Practical Aspects of CSR.” The following are partners collaborating with the ITB Business Travel Days: Air Berlin PLC & Co. Luftverkehrs KG, Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement e.V. (VDR), Vereinigung Deutscher Veranstaltungsorganisatoren e.V., HSMA Deutschland e.V., Deutsche Bahn AG, geschaeftsreise1.de, hotel.de, and Kerstin Schaefer e.K. – Mobility Services and Intergerma. Air Berlin is the premium sponsor of ITB Business Travel Days 2009.