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Hotel assets offer big return rates but can also attract greedy newcomers. Photo: Hadrian / Shutterstock. Hotel assets offer big return rates but can also attract greedy newcomers. Photo: Hadrian / Shutterstock.

Hotel properties: full of life, but volatile

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Maria Pütz-Willems
Founder and editor-in-chief of HospitalityInside

Today more than ever, hotels are “everybody’s darling”. The rates of return are more stable and in some cases higher than those of residential, commercial or retail properties. Even so, the industry is (again) treading a narrow path: properties in good locations are scarce, prices are exploding, and the rates of return are attracting greedy newcomers from other lines of investment. Of course, this description also applies to other asset classes, but the hotel business is far more volatile than those others because international crises can also ruin any profit margin in local markets from one day to the next. That is why this year’s EXPO REAL will again subject current trends to close scrutiny. Since the entire hotel segment has been moved to Hall A2, the hotel conference – the “Hospitality Industry Dialogue” (HID) – will be held in the “Planning & Partnerships Forum”.

Phenomenon of brand flooding

The HID will examine the phenomenon of brand flooding: exclusively for EXPO REAL, the British data-analysis firm STR will scrutinize selected boutique and lifestyle brands and compare them to “traditional” hotel brands. This will be a perfect introduction to the great brand chaos currently prevailing in the market, where both major and minor chains have released a veritable flood of brands – and thus also given rise to “fake brands” that stoke the fires of owner frustration.

In search of stable rates of return

“Who is getting the deal?” This question pervades hotel development throughout the year and is therefore the title of a discussion regarding the altered role of project developers, rare assets, exaggerated prices, exploding construction costs, investors coming from other sectors and “hyperdynamic” market players. One consequence of these factors is the search for more stable rates of return: is it possible to increase property values and, if so, how? This panel introduces new concepts and segments that may enable you to survive a crisis better.

Further topics: “speaking stones” and “overtourism”

For the second time, Expo Real is addressing digitalization in its own Real Estate Innovation Forum (REIN). The HID will also take up “emerging technologies”, i.e. their trends, potential and opportunities: “If stones learn to speak …” is intended to show how extensively the barriers between the realms of hotel ownership and hotel operations are crumbling. And, last but not least, the last half-hour of the day will be devoted to “overtourism” – taking Amsterdam as an example. Considering that the city has one million inhabitants, but 18 million tourists, it is now stepping on the brakes and preparing alternatives.

The conference program conducted in the “Planning & Partnerships Forum” in Hall A2 will focus not only on the hotel segment, but also on nursing and health-care properties, while the “Urban Innovation Seminars” will consider new avenues in urban development.

For years now, the hotel segment has had a powerful presence at EXPO REAL ( and established two joint stands: the “World of Hospitality” and the “hotel lounge by PKF”. There are also numerous individual exhibitors from this segment.

For a precise overview of exhibitors, please see our Online Catalog:

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