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Dispatch from IHIF: 5 Key Takeaways + Going Towards GOPAR

The mood was optimistic at the International Hospitality Investment Forum in Berlin recently, after all the theme this year was “Fortune Favours the Bold.” We share reports from female leaders in attendance, Gilda Perez-Alvarado, CEO, JLL Hotels & Hospitality, and Judith Cartwright, CEO, Black Coral Consulting.

JLL's Gilda Perez-Alvarado and Jumeirah Group's Katerina Giannouka speak at the 2023 International Hospitality Investment Forum
JLL's Gilda Perez-Alvarado and Jumeirah Group's Katerina Giannouka on stage at IHIF

Top 5 Takeaways from JLL Hotels & Hospitality

JLL's Hotels & Hospitality held 165 meetings with clients across private equity, institutional investors, UHNW/Family Office, Sovereign Wealth Funds, brands, and operators, reports Gilda Perez-Alvarado, plus JLL executives participated in key panels. JLL's top 5 takeaways:

  1. Multiple stress points to spur transactions, but no meaningful distress assets are expected

  2. A commitment to sustainability is no longer a nice-to-have; it's a requirement

  3. Experienced-based, authentic travel to drive growth

  4. Tremendous innovation is on the horizon for the hospitality industry

  5. Conversion and adaptive reuse are increasingly popular amid new-construction challenges

Overall, the best is yet to come. Hotel fundamental performance is accelerating, with urban gateway markets across Europe surging from the re-emergence of international travel and strong leisure demand. Investor sentiment remains optimistic despite ongoing capital market dislocation, with an expectation of increased transaction activity in the back half of 2023.

💎 Luxury hotels in safe-haven markets like London, Paris, and Rome as well as those in iconic resort destinations continue to attract the most investor interest.

📈 Investors across Europe as well as those from Asia and the Middle East are expected to be the most acquisitive in the coming months.

💷 Look for increased activity from HNWIs, family offices, and select private equity. Those who are well-capitalized and less reliant on leverage will have an opportunity to acquire quality assets.

📅 Expect impending loan maturities and fund-life expirations to catalyze transaction activity over the next six-to-twelve months.

Going to GOPAR!

Beyond RevPAR," with panelists Bani Haddad, Jens Munch, Lennert De Jong, and Neil Kirk
Judith Cartwright with panelists Bani Haddad, Jens Munch, Lennert De Jong, and Neil Kirk

Judith Cartwright, CEO, Black Coral Consulting, moderated the panel "Beyond RevPAR," with panelists Bani Haddad, Jens Munch, Lennert De Jong, and Neil Kirk, who share invaluable insights. While hotels historically have relied on optimizing rooms revenue (RevPAR) and paid little attention to restaurants, spas attractions, and live music or nightclubs. Now, this is changing, and the revenue that leads to GOPAR (Gross Operating Profit Per Available Room) is gaining importance.

"Overall total revenue optimization is a much talked about topic and it goes beyond looking at revenues. The optimization is in its infancy and has much more potential than what is being realized," notes Judith.

Some existing roadblocks to GOPAR:

  • The fear of data, and not understanding how to interpret the data.

  • Revenue management is not visible in operational departments, often they do not understand the flow and impact of data collection.

  • Departments working in silos.

  • Sales and marketing budget spending is often concentrated on rooms revenue.

Solutions to get to GOPAR:

  • Build the revenue management culture across all departments and have revenue management as your gatekeeper.

  • Systems, processes, and procedures, if the core is not set up right from procurement all the way up to business intelligence tools, it is garbage in and garbage out.

  • Convert data into storytelling, so the entire audience understands where opportunities exist.

  • Get an external expert who can do a workshop to build a GOPAR culture

Women at IHIF

IHIF Berlin
Check-in at IHIF looks light on the ladies

General observations from women we spoke with, noted more women present both at the conference and on the stages. However, women remain very much a minority at IHIF.

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