INTERNATIONAL REPORT—The inaugural Hotel Investment Conference Europe, or Hot.E, will feature unique content focused on regional hotel markets. Among them, Russia and Italy will be topics of discussion in the breakout sessions during the conference, which takes place 6-8 September at the Park Plaza Riverbank in London.
Michael O’Hare, managing director, Horwath HTL Hungary/Russia will be co-leading the Eastern European track session that will focus on Russia.
“The session at Hot.E will be angling towards an investors’ perspective,” he said via email.
Co-leader of the session Petr Chitipakhovyan, president of Polis Service Development, is one of Russia's most prominent investors in the hotel sector and owns a series of successful hotels managed by Marriott International with a further number under construction, O’Hare said.
“I will be asking Petr to qualify the success of his investment to date, where he sees the market for expansion in the future, what are the pitfalls that investors face in Russia and how to structure finance for hotel development in Russia,” he said.
Sochi, Russia, will host the 2014 Winter Games, which is just one of the growth drivers for the country.
A Focus on Italy
Running concurrently, the Mediterranean/Southern European track session will focus on the hotel market in Italy.
Co-leader of the session Roberto Galano, executive VP at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, said the session will include: a hotel market overview; a hotel investment overview; and a discussion of challenges and opportunities.
Among the market highlights, Venice is expecting 40% revenue-per-available-room growth in the medium term, Galano said via email.
The investment overview will summarize the past 10 years in Italy’s hotel development, including: “entrance of new players, introduction of new financial instruments, cross border investments thanks to increasing competitiveness and transparency and how the recent capital markets and overall economic uncertainty in Europe has affected investments in Italy, with a significant drop of hotel investment volume in 2008 and 2009, due to (i) limited availability of debt as well as (ii) declining hotel performances that swayed traditional investors away from the sector with institutional investors with more conservative debt requirements prevailing.”
The final discussion will address the many challenges and opportunities in the country. “Some international chains such as Accor, NH Hotels, (InterContinental Hotels Group) and Hilton (Worldwide) have recently increased their penetration of the Italian market and have all publicly stated their intention to continue their expansion plans over the next few years,” Galano said of the opportunities.