Business Travel Show Europe Kick Off, 23 February,
Global Travel Risk Summit Europe, May 2023,
3rd Annual Sustainable Business Travel Summit
Hyatt Hotels, with 22 new properties due to open over the next two years, is in the middle of its biggest ever expansion. Ten of the new openings are in China but other locations include Kiev, Beirut and Kabul.
They will bring the Hyatt portfolio to more than one hundred properties.
At the same time, the group is out to raise its profile in Europe. Andrew Ashmore who re-joined the company last year as its new director of sales for the UK and Ireland, said: "We have been punching below our weight, for a number of years in the EMEA region, we have been pretty stagnant."
This is likely to change. Mr Ashmore, who describes himself as "pure sales", said his own brief was to "expand the portfolio which has not been happening."
The reason for the slump was, as for many hotels, the damage wrought to the industry by 9/11 and the subsequent problems over rates many hotel companies endured with the hotel booking agencies.
This was now the past and demand us currently "incredible," he said. "There are not enough rooms in New York and this is likely to last at least for two years. Paris has turned the corner and you also can't get a room in Moscow," he said.
He sees increasing the corporate sue of his hotel as very much part of the current boom and unlike some hotel groups, Hyatt fully committed to the corporate deal.
"We always work on that system. If a major company has so many room nights in a city, you can reduce the rate by $20-$30. If you look at the type of person who is coming in, they are going to spend on food and beverage and they will hold their meetings in your hotel. Corporate deals will be around for a long time."
But while Mr Ashmore deals directly with many clients, hew is still prepared to work through agencies, like BSI.
"You can't get to everyone there is a need, a necessary evil for someone to get to those people we do not get to. Things will consolidate, things will change but you will never ever be able to takeout people doing a direct deal.
"At the end of the day we will work with anyone as long as there is rate respect and parity is achieved."
Mr Ashmore said that even though markets were strong, hotels were still not incomplete control of their rates. "Control is not the way to describe it. I would say 60-40 in our favour. We have to work with them as partners and as partners we have to communicate and show why the rates are as they are."
But he stressed that negotiations were still key between corporates and hotel companies. "And it has to be win-win. You can't have short term wins or it will take you five years to get that account back," he said.