Hotel Online  Special Report

Recap: The 9th annual Hotel Decision
Makers' Forum, Paris


Paris, March 14th 2005 - The 9th annual Hotel Decision Makers' Forum, held on March 7th by the MKG Group, was a true success. This forum, which took place in the Press Club de France rooms at the Sofitel Champs-Élysées Hotel, was an occasion to have a look at the results from 2004, and to envision the future via its more strategic aspects.
  • Léon Bertrand, Minister for Tourism, "The restructuring of the hotel supply is not yet finished, and much remains to be done, notably in hotel rating system, which needs to be reconsidered in order to make the supply more clear".
  • Jürgen Fischer, President of Hilton International Europe and Africa, and President of Scandic Hotels, evokes an operation of disinvestment in real estate, "we are not sellers at any price, but it is a good time to do so".
  • Serge Ragozin, Chief Executive Officer of Supports Internationaux of the Accor Group, "One must be reactive and flexible, and balance out development means (consumers of capital)"
  • Georges Panayotis announces the MKG Group's 2005 forecasts: a RevPAR on the rise from 3% to 5% in France, up by 4% to 6% in Europe.
The Minister for Tourism, Léon Bertrand opened the Forum with a speech in which he confirmed his desire to promote a renewal of the French tourism supply. "A renewal which at the foremost naturally concerns our hotel supply", he affirmed. "The restructuring of the hotel supply is not yet finished, and much remains to be done, notably in hotel classification system, which needs to be adjusted in order to make the supply more clear. A few points of consensus have been brought out: 
  • adaptation of criteria, 
  • creation of a 5th star, 
  • harmonisation of inspection procedures to avoid regional disparities". 
The minister concluded his speech, which coincided with the twentieth anniversary of the creation of MKG Group by praising, "the expertise that this group has been able to develop over the past 20 years, and its forecast reports", while reminding all that it should be for the Minister of Tourism and its associated organs, Maison de la France and ODIT France, "a partner, a support, and a relay in the establishment of a strategy of economic 'intelligence". He also added, "We have already had the opportunity to collaborate with MKG Qualiting in the establishment of the Plan Qualité France. I express my wish that 2005 will permit us to strengthen our ties".

The President of the MKG Group, Georges Panayotis, then delivered a presentation of the hotel activity in France in 2004. This presentation, rich in information, notably highlighted the very strong reduction of the independent and hard-budget supply. It concluded with a RevPAR growth forecast by MKG Consulting which should "be in the +3% to +5% bracket for 2005".

The first roundtable of the day had the theme of "the new hotel marketing scene". The opportunity to exchange viewpoints and analyses concerning the internet and GDS in the presence of eminent representatives, both from the hotel industry and new online distribution channels: 

  • Charles Bourdin, DG Exclusive Hotels, 
  • Stéphane Gauthier, DG Best Western France, 
  • Erick Morazin, DG Galileo France, 
  • Pierre Paperon, DG, 
  • Séverine Philardeau, Directrice Business Development & Country Manager France d’Active Hotels, 
  • Isabelle Rochelandet, Vice President Choice Hotels Europe and 
  • Denys Sappey, Director of Hotel Sales Accor EMOA. 
It resulted from the real desire to "regain control", already well underway, on the part of the large groups of the hotel world, in addition to the growing desire for "win-win" cooperation schemes between these latter, and the key web and GDS actors. The impact of these channels on rates and brands was also largely debated, as was the phenomenon of concentration observes in the online reservation sector.

The afternoon began with a new presentation of Georges Panayotis, which this time presented the assessment of the hotel activity in the European Union and in the world. The problems of over capacity, which the Spanish hotel industry underwent, were at the centre of the analysis; as was the return to growth in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. For 2005 and in the European Union zone, "the forecasts from the MKG econometric models show a rise in RevPAR of between 4% and 6% for 2005". 

The second roundtable was centred on "new rules of hotel development", thanks to the insight of 

  • Raymond Chigot, Senior Vice President Corporate Development – Hilton International EMEA, 
  • Jacques Dano, Director of Development – Groupe Galaxie –B&B, 
  • Jean-Charles Donnat, Rezidor SAS Hospitality, 
  • Dominique Dudan, Director of Hotel Development France – Accor Group, 
  • Xavier Grange, Director of Development France and Benelux – InterContinental Hotels Group, 
  • Mike Haemmerli, Vice President of Development – Kempinski Hotels & Resorts and 
  • Bernard Rousseaux, Development and Technical Director – Louvre Hotels. 
An ideal configuration to decode the present and the future via the study of the role of CDECs, the evocation of the necessity of new hotel rating schemes, the search for real estate (qualified as "battle field") and of course: the state of development possibility on French territory.

Finally, this year, the highly awaited strategic hotel decision makers' forum included such prominent figures as 

  • Dominique Desseigne, President of Groupe Lucien Barrière SAS's Supervisory Board, 
  • Jürgen Fischer, President of Hilton International Europe and Africa, and President of Scandic Hotels, 
  • Serge Ragozin, Chief Executive Officer of Supports Internationaux of the Accor Group, and 
  • Georges Sampeur, President of the Board of Directors - Groupe Galaxie SA Hotels B&B. 
The Forum, launched by an introduction by Christian Mantei, Chief Executive Officer of ODIT France, saw its participants enunciate the current major difficulties for the sector, whether they be in the domain of human resources, sustainable development, or the lobbying of European authorities. Additionally at the heart of the debates, two themes that merit as many comments as questions: the separation of assets ("we are not sellers at any price, but it is a good time to do so", stated Jürgen Fischer), and a reduction of taxation issues ("I am for a lowering of taxes. However, one must not change the rules of the game during the match. It is difficult to gain 10 to 12 points over ten years. In the Resort sector, it is increasingly difficult to invest without having a medium to long-term view of taxation issues", said Dominique Desseigne. For his part, Serge Ragozin encourages all to "not give in to panic", before adding, "we know the crises and we know how to manage them. It is necessary to be reactive and flexible, and also to rebalance the means of development (consumers of capital), thus demonstrating a greater commercial reactivity".

Once again, the Hotel Decision Makers' Forum will have been the theatre of intense discussions, rich in information, which are currently the mark of these major meetings, which have become events not to be missed for the sector.


Georges Panayotis
+ 33 (0)1 56 56 87 90

Also See: Thailand Preparing Implementation of a National Hotel Star Rating System / September 2003
France Hotel Supply Drops Slightly for Second Consecutive Year; The Market Share of Corporate Hotel Brands Gaining on Independent Hotels Supply / March 2005

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