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April, 2018
Influencers in Hospitality with David Harper
April, 2018

RLA's ’Influencers in Hospitality’ this month is David Harper, Head of Property Services of Hotel Partners Africa. ’Influencers in Hospitality’ looks to gain a keen understanding of renowned hospitality personalities’ vision of the future of our industry, their success traits, and to learn more about these remarkable people through RLA’s short Q&A.

During the course of his twenty plus years in the hospitality industry, David has worked in over 169 countries and is also the author of the books ‘Hotels & Resorts: An Investor’s Guide’ and ‘Valuation of Hotels for Investors’.   

Influencers in Hospitality Interview with David Harper 

April, 2018
The Risks, Opportunities of Wellness Trends in Hotels
April, 2018

Profitability from investments focused on wellness require the same scrutiny as in any other real estate transaction writes RLA’s Group CEO, Roger Allen in a new article published in Hotel News Now.  

Everyone is on the hotel wellness bandwagon, which is driving hotels to offer more health-orientated amenities and activities. For the most part it all sounds and looks good, but are owners seeing a healthy return on such investments? For the most part, the short answer is no.     

To gain access to the whole article please visit Hotel News Now

April 2018
RLA’s Alex Slors Leading an Asset Management Class at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne
April 2018

RLA’s Alex Slors recently led a class at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne as part of the Snapshot Demand Management Boot-camp. This is an integrated five-day program and live case study, where industry experts challenge students to break down the often conflicting commercial silos of a hotel organisation and identify opportunities to increase long term asset value and short term profit optimisation via effective planning, generation and optimisation of demand.

Alex regularly teaches at schools including Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne and ESSEC Business School in Paris as part of the Snapshot Demand Management Boot-camp.

For more information visit École hôtelière de Lausanne and SnapShot

March 2018
Why ‘wellness’ is a tired terminology?
March 2018

RLA’s László Puczkó RLA’s Director for Industry Intelligence was invited for the third time to address the attendees at ITB’s Expert Forum in Berlin on the subject of ‘how lifestyle changes affect demand for wellness while on vacation’.

ITB is the world’s largest tourism fair where destinations, hospitality companies, governments and other market players discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in the industry.

László argued that the ‘free from’ guests are the ones that can give an insight to future business opportunities. This type of guests can be attracted by services that have natural properties and represent cultural value. Evidence is the key that can turn such novel approaches such as ‘prancercising’ (yoga+crossfit+Japanese horseback archery) to something more mainstream. Old terminologies and concepts enjoy a revival. Heritage is no longer a dusty old term. Contemporary is no longer the opposite of traditional (consider contemporary traditional lifestyle as an option). Operators and developers, however, need to look for new skill sets and funding strategies given as an example a thermal resource based hotel should be managed significantly different to that of a standard ‘wellness hotel’.

For more information visit ITB 

March 2018
Influencers in Hospitality with Cornelia Kausch
March 2018

RLA launches its new ’Influencers in Hospitality’ series with Cornalia Kausch, VP of Development at Pandox AG and RLA Advisory Board Member. ’Influencers in Hospitality’ looks to gain a keen understanding of renowned hospitality personalities’ vision of the future of our industry, their success traits, and to learn more about these remarkable people through RLA’s short Q&A.

Cornelia Kausch has worked for over three decades in the hospitality industry, across Finance, Sales, Business Development, Asset Management and GM disciplines, and in increasingly senior roles within leading international hotel brands. She is currently writing her thesis for her Executive Masters in Consulting and Coaching for Change at INSEAD with topic People/human resource transition during an organisational change”. 

Influencers in Hospitality Interview with Cornelia Kausch 

February 2018
RLA’s Alex Slors Chairs Panel Session at the Revenue by Design Opportunity Conference
February 2018

RLA’s Alex Slors chaired a panel session aimed at providing the Asset Manager's perspective, which included the need for Revenue Managers to be Executive Committee members with an independent voice away from marketing and sales and with a clear eye on profit and return on investment. The importance of transparent communication was a key part of the discussion and the fact that owners, management companies and operational teams may have different agenda’s that need to be aligned in order to maximise on the returns of a project, a healthy income stream for a management company and bonuses and career opportunities for the team on the ground.

The panel’s final topic was the role of the large brands and their adaptation to changes in the market and the needs of owners and investors. What delivers the best value for an investor and why is it that the more disruptive smaller brands are taking material market share in certain locations through a more nimble approach to revenue management. 

Revenue by Design’s Opportunity 2018 Conference was held 13th February 2018 in London at the Radisson Blu Portman with the event being a one day forum examining the future of the revenue management role in the wider hospitality environment: the impact of AI, emerging technologies and predictive analysis were hot topics of key note speeches and panels from all angles of the business. Will the Revenue Manager evolve into a Profit Engineer, a Data Scientist or an Inventory Manager. Now in its second year the event gave a great overview on the future trends in the rapidly evolving world of revenue management. With a highly engaged audience, consisting of key hoteliers, brands and owners all with an interest in future trends and how this will evolve and impact their business. The day provided invaluable insights from thought leaders on where to focus in the year ahead.

For more information visit Revenue by Design

January 2018
RLA & Termatalia Create a Strategic Partnership to Increase industry insights in Thermal Tourism
January 2018

The strategic partnership between Termatalia, renowned for the International Fair of Thermal Tourism, Health and Welfare and RLA is important because it will enhance the industry’s knowledge about the role of travel and hospitality in thermal business”, said Termatalia representative Emma Gonzalez, International Relations Director. Laszlo Puczko, RLA's Director of Industry Intelligence stated how pleased he was about the agreement and stressed “I very much enjoyed speaking at last year’s, Termatalia, (held in September 2017 in Ourense, Galicia-Spain), where Termalatia colleagues including Emma Gonzalez, Mr President Alejandro Rubin discussed the importance of understanding key trends in the use of thermal resources and the relationships between tourism and more specifically health tourism and thermal resources” ;

The benefit to the industry and beyond is to gain more understanding of the varying nature of demand and development alternatives. There are significant differences in how industry, society and government look at thermal resources. We are very happy to share this global knowledge and industry intelligence with the Termatalia community. By analysing the key trends and relationships between wellness, spa services and tourism and travel, it helps developers as well as operators to create and provide products and services that meet the expectations of guests and at the same time deliver financial results. As a consequence, Tourism for Health, Wellness and Spa (TOHWS) in collaboration with RLA enjoys the support of national and international organisations. Its latest edition, that of 2017, presents data related to three main demand segments: local customers, national tourists and international tourists, and most of the data presented comes from hotels, resorts and thermal baths in more than 50 countries. 

RLA is part of the strategic network of public and private agencies from all over the world that support the Termatalia event. Laszlo Puczko will share his considerable experience in thermal and health tourism at next year’s Termatalia - International Fair of Thermal Tourism, Health and Welfare, in September 2018 in Foz do Iguaçu, in Brazil.

For more information visit Termatalia

December 2017
Hotel Developments Need to Measure Wellbeing Investment - RLA Group CEO’s speech at the Inspire Summit in Four Seasons Miami
December 2017

Roger Allen, RLA Group CEO presented at the 6th Annual Inspire Summit - Luxury Hospitality Conference, held at Four Seasons Hotel Miami 4-5th December 2017. The presentation was titled “Wellbeing Hospitality®, The Mega-Trend Hotels & Resorts Cannot Afford to Ignore” and addressed the effect of strategically planned broad-based wellbeing activities on the success of a resort hotel and how they can influence the value of real estate. However, it is of vital importance that hotel stakeholders ‘look at actual measurable returns on wellbeing investments as opposed to providing a product without any expectation!’ 

Roger provided some case study examples to illustrate the financial impact on hotel performance but warned that there is no cookie cutter approach and hotels need to up their game and move beyond brand given guests now have new expectations and expect differentiated and specialised experiences. 

The Inspire Summit was a well-attended event with delegates from throughout the hospitality and tourism industry and provided a rich source of information on the latest developments and future trends on the market and tomorrows luxury traveler.

For more information visit the ILHA Conference website.

December 2017
Leisure Hotels Should be Considered as Own Asset Class
December 2017

’Leisure hotels as own asset class’ was the topic of the panel discussion led by Roger Allen, RLA Group CEO at the 10th International Hotel Investment & Design Club Forum, at the Palais Hansen Kempinski in Vienna 9th November 2017. The leading industry conference for hotel investors, developers and operators in CEE and SEE inspired this year's delegates of hotel and tourism industry experts.

Leisure hotels for the purpose of the discussion were defined as hotels that have TRevPAR as the major contributor to the financial performance of the asset as opposed to the traditional RevPAR approach. Some of the key 'Leisure hotels as own asset class' discussion points included: 
- Leisure hotels are very different propositions to city hotels. Much more complex and challenging to operate. 
- They have many more moving parts and are much more difficult finance. 
- Traditional hotel financial management styles are restrictive and require a different approach compared to that of a city hotel property where performance is largely driven by rooms performance. 
- Applying a traditional financial management approach to a leisure hotel is like ‘trying to put square pegs in round holes’ and does not provide the most accurate way of evaluating performance. 

A vote was cast at the end of the debate by the panel on the question of ‘should leisure hotels be considered their own asset class’? The panel voted 4-1 in favor of Leisure Hotels being their own asset class! This debate will surely continue given differentiating perspectives depending on if you are an owner, investor or operator.

Pictured from the Left: The panel moderator Roger Allen, Group CEO - RLA and the expert panel featuring Dr. Richard von Kalmar, RLA - Director Hospitality Investment, Silvija Lovreta, Director South Eastern Europe - Marriott, Ulf Pleschiutschnig, Managing Director - Morgan Stanley, Otmar Michaeler, CEO - Falkensteiner Michaeler Tourism Group, Kenneth Hatton, Senior VP Global Development, Belmond.
For more information visit International Hotel Investment & Design Club Forum. 

November 2017
An innovative approach to how wellbeing investments should add value to a development
November 2017

Roger Allen, RLA Group CEO is to hold a session about “Wellbeing Hospitality®, The Mega-Trend Hotels & Resorts Cannot Afford to Ignore” at the 6th Annual Luxury Hospitality Conference, in Miami on 5 December 2017. This event is a real game changer, a lavishing source of information on the latest developments and future trends on the market.  

Among others, Roger will talk about that it has become inconceivable for any hospitality asset not to tailor the planning and operations according to its future guests’ wellbeing. Holistic approach, interconnected wellbeing attractions and services are vital to a unique hospitality experience which is now an expectation.

Join Roger in Miami to obtain a trend setting experience, and to stay relevant to today's luxury traveler.

For more information, please visit the ILHA conference website

November 2017
Millennial Mindset: Gearing Your Wellness Program to Attract the Young at Heart
November 2017

Lynn Curry, President and Co-Owner, RLA USA LLC participated in the panel discussion about how properties are courting those guests who prefer choices with no limits at HX, the largest hospitality show in North America, on 12 November.

What does wellness mean to a Millenial? How is that different from GenX and Boomers? Do Millenial guests care about brands? Among many others these questions were discussed in a lively conversation at the event. Two of the key findings of the conversation were that flexible wellness solutions, innovative and creative initiatives are key to meet the expectations of those “young at heart”. Furthermore, they want the location, and if a brand is in that location, they may have a good perception about the brand, but they will talk about the experience.

HX was held in New York City, gave attendees a 360° impression of the guest experience, and was catered to hotel owners, GMs, and hospitality property executives from resorts, through independent and branded hotels, to management and purchasing companies and more. 

For more information, please visit the 
HX event website.

November 2017
What investors want – an interview with Roger Allen in the 60th edition of European Spa Magazine
November 2017

“Investors want absolute transparency about how spa activities will bring value to the real estate and that is what drips down to the bottom line performance. All of the data that is available at the moment in terms of spa is top-line related and driven. Investors are looking at what value is brought to the asset, which is, essentially, profit and cash – whether that is the land, the bricks and mortar or the hotel itself. It is also really important for owners and investors to have a clear understanding of what they consider to be wellbeing and hospitality activities and avoid making emotion-led decisions. 

For me, the future is providing greater clarity for investors so that any data on spa and wellbeing provides meaningful input for how these activities will ultimately impact a developer’s return." - says Roger Allen, ISHC, RLA Group CEO in the interview.

For further details, please visit the European Spa Magazine website.

October 2017
How wellbeing hospitality® impacts real estate development - RLA Group CEO’s speech at the Mediterranean Resort & Hotel Investment Forum (MR&H)
October 2017

Today Roger Allen presented the impact of wellbeing hospitality® on real estate development at the Mediterranean Resort & Hotel Investment Forum, in Tarragona, Spain. MR&H Forum is a meeting place for international audience of senior professionals involved in real estate, mixed-use, infrastructure, investment and hotel transactions in the Mediterranean region.

Other strategic areas such as “The Keys to Successful Destination Development”, "Developing or Re-Positioning Mixed-Use Resorts: Ensuring Projects Make Financial Sense", and "Operational Strategies" were also covered by various key influencers on the market. In his presentation Roger talked about how wellbeing hospitality as an overarching approach can help investors, developers and operators to successfully position projects for current and emerging real estate development opportunities.

For more information, please visit the
MR&H website.

October 2017
RLA Group CEO speaks at École Hôtelière de Lausanne
October 2017

„Scaling-up success” was the title of the lively panel discussion in which RLA Group CEO, Roger Allen participated today at the École Hôtelière de Lausanne Career Fair. Together with Asim Hussein, Co-founder, Blacksheep Restaurants, Chloé Chapuis, Marketing Analyst, Abionic, and Matthias Vanoni, CEO and Co-founder Biowatch. The moderation was facilitated by Lois Siggen Lopez of the Swiss National Television.

Topics addressed included the complexities of scaling-up a business and the differentiating entrepreneurial mindset.

EHL is widely renowned as the best hotel management school in the world and event included Four Seasons Hotels, The Peninsula Hotels, Accor Hotels with over 160 company participating in the event. Over 900 students in hospitality management had the chance to meet the representatives of these companies and discuss the future with them and the industry experts in the panel discussion.

Pictured from the left: Roger Allen, CEO, RLA Group, Asim Hussein, Co-founder, Blacksheep Restaurants, Matthias Vanoni, CEO and Co-founder Biowatch, and Chloé Chapuis, Marketing Analyst, Abionic.

For more information visit École Hôtelière de Lausanne.

October 2017
Alex Slors Joins RLA's Senior Management Team
October 2017
RLA is delighted to announce Alex Slors as a new member to the company’s Senior Management.
"I look forward to working with RLA’s leadership and global team. I truly believe that the combination of RLA’s wellbeing hospitality expertise and my international hospitality experience particularly in asset management will be hugely beneficial to RLA’s business and clientele of hotel owners, developers and investors."
"I am privileged that Alex has joined our management and board since he is a proven expert and perfectly complements RLA’s global business by strategizing hospitality assets and serving our clients with decades of hotel experience at the highest level.” – said Roger Allen, RLA Group CEO.

Learn more about Alex Slors