The future of the resort hotel business: AHGZ Salon Talk

Resort hotels are experiencing a new surge in popularity. Acclaimed hotel experts discussed concepts and challenges in this segment at the pre-INTERNORGA AHGZ Salon Talk.

The resort hotel business will continue to grow. New concepts promise higher rates than in the cities. What is the market setup? And what do the banks and investors think about resort hotels? These are the issues discussed at the AHGZ’s Salon Talk powered by INTERNORGA and Hamburg-based design office, Joi-Design. Corinna Kretschmar-Joehnk, Managing Director of Joi-Design, talked to the acclaimed hotel experts Thomas Pietzka (TUI AG Hotels & Resorts), Jens Sroka (Heimathafen Hotels), Jan-Oliver Meding (MPP Architects, Hamburg), Uwe Niemann, (Deutsche Hypothekenbank), Alexander Winter (Arcona Hotels) and Carsten K. Rath, (12.18. Group). They all believe “Investments in the resort hotel business are a good idea. The cities are full. Competition is extreme. And the rates that a resort can charge are disproportionately high compared with city rates.” This particularly applies to leisure hotel chains and it is standard practice in other countries. According to the experts, a similar development is taking place in Germany. However, stand-alone, original concepts are not advisable. Instead, the hotel operators should team up with other partners to offer a combination of hotel and restaurant or hotel and spa concepts.

But how bankable are resort hotels? Uwe Niemann from Deutscher Hypothekenbank expressed himself cautiously: “Only 100 million euros of the bank’s current portfolio is accounted for by resort hotels.” Thomas Pietzka from TUI put that into perspective by pointing out that resort hotels can deliver a high return on investment. A lively and heated debate ensued. The issue of whether the ‘Fridays for Future’ movement is encouraging people to holiday in their own countries and promoting the German hotel business was also energetically discussed, as was the corporate responsibility of all market players. “The first chain that genuinely commits to sustainability will go through the roof,” predicted Carsten K. Rath