Annual Golden Tulip Worldwide Conference took part in Golden Tulip Farah Casablanca Hotel in Morocco on 13-15th October 2010. Russia was presented by Marsel Izmaylov (Area Director Russian Federation) and Philippe Brisbois (Regional Operating Director).
The Conference allowed participants - Golden Tulip executives and hotel owners from around the world - opportunities to network, acquire knowlege of standards improvements, business development plans as well as latest corporate news and appointments.
Addressing the participants Mr Pierre-Frederic Roulot (President of Louvre Hotels & Golden Tulip) labeled Russia and CIS as prospective regions for development.

For photos please refer to IFK Hotel Management Corporate blog (in Russian).

IFK Hotel Management and Golden Tulip Hospitality Group will participate in Russia and CIS Hotel Investment Conference (RHIC) – annual conference devoted to investment in hotel business of Russia and CIS. Special status of participation in the conference – “Gold Sponsor” – once again emphasizes the company’s interest in Russia and CIS market and the regions’ perspective from the point of view of development of Golden Tulip hotel brands. The conference will be held in Moscow 25 to 27 October 2010 in “Renaissance Moscow Monarch Centre Hotel”.
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As 4hoteliers.com recently reported Golden Tulip Hospitality Group announced that it has signed a franchise agreement for a new Tulip Inn hotel in Amsterdam.
The former Hotel Terminus is being renovated and transformed into the three-star, 110-room Tulip Inn Amsterdam Centre and is due to open its doors on 1 September 2010.
The Tulip Inn brand was created in 1993 and currently comprises more than 70 hotels.

IFK Hotel Management announced the appointment of Philippe Brisbois to the position of General Director. In addition to that Mr. Brisbois continues to perform the duties of the Golden Tulip Hospitality Group Regional Director of Operations in Russia.

At his new position Philippe Brisbois has replaced his predecessor Maxim Krymskiy, who co-founded IFK Hotel Management together with Marsel Izmaylov and Polina Frolova. Mr. Krymskiy will be performing his work at IFK Hotel Management as a Member of the Board of Directors.

Reaching the aim of strengthening the positions of IFK Hotel Management as an independent management company will be continued according to the approved strategy as well as development of the Brands we represent, - Philippe Brisbois comments on his appointment. – Our priorities stay the same: bring the Golden Tulip Brands to the leading positions on the Russian hospitality market. My main goal is the further development of the Company along with the following realization of the already signed and to be agreed projects”.

"Vedomosti", Russian authoritative business newspaper, reports: Rosa Khutor has assigned operators to manage 8 from its 10 hotels. The alpine ski resort Rosa Khutor located in the neighbourhood of the village Krasnaya Polyana not far from the city of Sochi (Russia), the host city of the Olympics 2014. Among the operators "Vedomosti" names: Rezidor Hotel Group (2 properties — Park Inn and Radisson SAS), Golden Tulip Hospitality Group (two properties — Golden Tulip and Tulip Inn), Accor (two properties under "Mercure" brand), Swissotel (one property) and Russian hotel operator Heliopark (one property).


Rosa Khutor has assigned operators to manage 8 from its 10 hotels...

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В гости к «Интерросу»

Golden Tulip Hospitality Group has acquired its ninth hotel in the UAE - Tulip Inn Royal Suites Ajman. The Tulip Inn Royal Suites Ajman boasts 259 apartments and various facilities, ranging from food and beverage outlets to fitness centre, beach access and business centre. The hotel is located on the Cornish Road in Ajman, 30 minutes drive from Dubai International Airport and a few minutes from Sharjah city.

Pierre Frederic Roulot, president of Golden Tulip Hospitality Group said it was a great opportunity for the company.
With this step we reinforce our presence in the United Arab Emirates and the MENA region in General,” he said. “The addition of Tulip Inn Ajman demonstrate the strength of the Golden Tulip Hospitality Group for the Tulip Inn brand as a leading 3 stars – budget hotel brand. We have 50 hotels in the Middle East and want to be top five in every market.”

Golden Tulip, which recently opened three hotels in the region, has big expansion plans for the next three years. It will open 14 hotels in the region including two in the UAE this year — recently opened Tulip Inn Royal Suites Ajman and Golden Tulip Hotel & Suites RAK. In Saudi Arabia it will open seven hotels including two — Golden Tulip Hotel & Suits Breda Al Qasir and Golden Tulip Jeddah — this year.

Chandra Sekaran K, owner representative of the Tulip Inn Royal Suites Ajman added: “Bringing in a well known brand to our property will certainly support us in securing our client’s satisfaction. With Golden Tulip Brand’s experience and good knowledge of the market and the industry as a whole, we strongly believe that achieving our goals is within reach”.

Golden Tulip Hospitality Group - with its head office in Amersfoort, Netherlands, is a worldwide hospitality company with more than 230 hotels and 27.000 rooms in more than 40 countries. In 2009 Golden Tulip enters the Russian Market by signing Development and Representative Agreement with IFK Hotel Management.

Khaleej Times and Hotelier Middle East.com

Even as the domestic hospitality sector is back on recovery, global players such as Golden Tulip and Premier Inn are betting big on the budget hotel segment, that boomed during the economic downturn. France-based Louvre Hotels, that operates Golden Tulip brand, and UK's Premier Inn plans to expand their foot prints in India in the next 2-3 years.
"There is a huge scope for us in the budget segment as the moderate-priced hotels is increasingly addressing need of people who want to travel but have cheaper accommodation," Louvre Hotels' President Pierre Frederic Roulot told PTI here.
"We are planning 50 hotels in the next five years. By end of 2010 we plan to open 10 Golden Tulip and Tulip Hotels with 1,200 rooms..." Roulot said, adding that currently, it has three Golden Tulip hotels in Lucknow, Jaipur and Gurgaon. (Watch video)

The recent positive news for investors (including hotel investments) came from the World Bank (WB). The WB has reconsidered its earlier made forecast for Russia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2010 and raised it slightly. Assessing the work of the Russian authorities to overcome the crisis as very successful, the WB experts have made their forecasts about its steady recovery. They believe that the main macroeconomic index - the GDP - is expected to grow by 5-5.5 per cent next year.

Several months ago the World Bank did not expect Russia to demonstrate good indices - as shown today. Its former forecast of Russia's GDP growth was 3 per cent maximum. However, a package of anti-crisis measures, taken by the government, has made it possible to avoid serious social disturbances in the country. After the Russian authorities raised the wages and benefits and started reforming the banking system, including, first of all the crediting mechanisms, it became clear that they had done what seemed impossible to do: it was not simply an economic stabilization - Russia's economic growth jump-started, and this proved a steady and confirmed process. And this served as a reason for the World Bank to raise its forecast.

Moreover, the WB experts proved to be more optimistic not only than their colleagues from the other international financial agencies, but also far more optimistic than the Russian authorities. We should not forget here that last year proved worse for Russia than the experts expected it to be. Therefore, even the current favourable development will not return the situation overnight to its before-crisis level, an economic professor and scientific leader at the Institute of Scientific Strategy Nikita Krichevsky warns:

"According to preliminary forecasts, Russia's GDP has gone down by 7.9 per cent on last year's results. And we should understand that 7.9 per cent minus 5.5 per cent, all the same, produce the negative result of 2.4 per cent. This means that even should the WB forecast be justified and should Russia's economy demonstrate a 5.5 per cent growth this year, this will not cover the gap, which occurred last year".

On the whole, experts expect the country to cope with the budget deficit in 2011. And what will promote this will mainly be rather high prices on fuels the biggest exporter of which Russia is today. Another positive factor - consumption growth - is linked to the increase of the people's incomes. True, this may trigger inflation but analysts do not show serious concern on that score for the time being.

The main thing here is that Russia's leadership has learned a lesson from the former crisis and has taken a course on the modernization of the national economy. And the first positive results are visible today, economist Nikita Krichevsky says:

"What I want to stress here first of all is a sharp warming of the investment and entrepreneurship climate in Russia. That warming that is entirely under the control of the current government. We should also stress here that both the President and the government are doing much in this direction. There's no doubt that the growth of the entrepreneurship activity will become visible later this year, which will lead to an increase in the Gross Domestic Product and, which is the main thing here, to the growth of revenues of the federal budget".

Should we not succeed in solving all economic problems this year, the way we have chosen is correct. And the WB forecasts offer proof.

Source: Voice of Russia

Golden Tulip Apple Park Maastricht, the Group Xelat Benoit Wesly and Ballast Nedam have signed an agreement for the construction of the Preventive Health and Wellness Center in Maastricht.
The wellness center is immediately adjacent to and partly associated with the Golden Tulip hotel planned. The wellness center will consist of two layers of low rise and a tower height of seventy meters.
The center will include fitness and sports, medical and paramedical preventive care, alternative therapies, saunas, swimming and thermal baths, beauty and health services, health care hotel and apartments, hotel rooms (expansion of the Golden Tulip Apple Park Maastricht), meeting rooms and restaurant and catering facilities.

Here in our Hotel Investment Blog we mentioned the report on hotel development in regional Russia implemented by HVS in October 2009. Due to the experts regional Russia has several advantages for hotel developers.
In particular one of the important prerequisites for regional hotel market development is transport accessibility of a region. The fact that Russian regions with their considerable remoteness from Moscow and St.Peterburg are hardly accessible for both international and local tourists and business people is well known.
The signs for the turn for the better appeared in 2007 when the first Russian low-cost airline SkyExpress took off from Vnukovo Airport in Moscow. With the cost of air travel coming down slowly along with evident time saving more and more travelers are becoming more mobile and visit regional towns with business or leisure purposes choosing this mood of transport.
The second low-budget air carrier appeared in Russia in August 2009. AviaNova airplanes fly from Moscow to Sochi, Krasnodar , Astrakhan’, Rostov-on-Don, Kazan, Samara and Naberezhnye Chelny (all the flights of the carrier will be switched from Vnukovo airport to Sheremetievo on March 28, 2010). These days AviaNova are launching two new destinations - Perm and Ufa.
So it is obviously that Russian regions become more and more accessible for travelers who by-turn generate the demand for quality accommodation and services of hotels managed by responsible hotel management company.

NAVTEQ Signs Golden Tulip Hospitality Group as Direct Access Customer
The Netherlands-based hotelier joins the NAVTEQ Direct Access™ program so that its 230 properties worldwide get premium positioning treatment on the NAVTEQ® map

Chicago, IL – February 15, 2010 – NAVTEQ, the leading global provider of digital map, traffic and location data for in-vehicle, portable, wireless and enterprise solutions announced that Golden Tulip Hospitality Group has signed to become a NAVTEQ Direct Access customer.

The deal provides that Golden Tulip Hospitality Group’s 230 properties in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and North America receive pinpoint positioning on the NAVTEQ map, which is viewed approximately 100 million times each day.

Because they change at a rapid pace, points of interest (POIs) are among the most volatile data elements in a map database. NAVTEQ Direct Access allows merchant locations to be included and properly positioned in the NAVTEQ map, even if those locations should grow in number or change. Direct Access POIs, represented by the merchants’ logos, are then distributed to NAVTEQ’s customers for use on navigation devices or other mapping applications. More than 80% of people using navigation systems say they prefer branded logos to generic icons, according to an internal NAVTEQ Study (2008).*

“As NAVTEQ releases updated maps regularly, we can enable up-to-date access to our network of hotels, optimizing exposure to our guests,” comments Riko van Santen, senior vice president Distribution & ICT for Golden Tulip Hospitality Group.

“Given that many consumers looking for a hotel are usually driving in an unfamiliar area, the NAVTEQ Direct Access programme can be of enormous potential benefit to both hotel chains and their guests,” said David Barker, sales director for EMEA, NAVTEQ.

*Source: NAVTEQ POI & Rich Content Study 2008

NAVTEQ Press Release

Hotels in Moscow have been revealed as the world’s most expensive for a fifth consecutive year.

The world's most expensive hotels

2009 Arr (GBP)
2008 Arr (GBP)
Abu Dhabi
New York City

However , in our opinion as IFK Hotel Management Team, Although the ARR is quite high in Moscow, however, as not for Moscow for all Russia, the total hotel supply is quite low compared to the other cities on the list. Not to mention the proportion of branded hotels in comparison with the non-branded ones. For the investors who might like to take advantage of this situation and define their Russia strategy, we already posted number of opportunities in the very same blog, hotels that can be managed under IFK HM and branded as Tulip Inn (3* Stars) and Golden Tulip (4* Stars).

Lately, as being repeatedly reported by most of the national and international governmental and non-governmental media channels, at the last months of the 2009, significant increase noted in the amount of incoming tourists to Russia.

Just to cite few examples;

Although Russian air passenger numbers fell 9.4 percent in 2009 as the global downturn in air travel took its toll, a figure nearly three times as severe as the global average. That should be noted in the agenda of hospitality investors especially by the hotel investors.

According to state air transport agency 45.1 million business and holiday travelers had flown in RF last year, down 9.4 percent on 2008, though December had recorded an 18.7 percent jump.

When we look at the numbers for the capital, almost 10 percent fewer foreign tourists visited Moscow last year but the capital expects more traffic in 2010 as the economy improves.

The city numbered 3.7 million in 2009, a drop of 9.7 percent compared with a year earlier. The data comes from the border service numbers.

In the first months of 2009, the tourist drop was about 12 percent, but the numbers improved by the year's end and even reversed the effect of early negative numbers.

As Grigory Antyufeyev, chairman of Moscow's tourism committee, uttered "I can say with certainty that 2010 will give us, at a minimum, a restoration of 2008's levels, and given a successful outcome, we expect growth of 2 to 3 percent compared with 2008, the pre-crisis year,".

Most of the experts from state organizations and private sectors crucially points out that the number of foreign visitors to Moscow to reach 10 million by 2020.

But also when we look at the current supply, we notice that it will be quite challenging for the city accommodate her guests with the international standards.

It seems that the state is also in agreement with our opinion as hospitality experts.
Therefore, the Moscow region has released a strategy on tourism in the country for both Russians and foreigners which yet to be fully disclosed.

Our suggestion to investors as IFK Hotel Management is that while there are lot of projects with very good prospective returns and sell-side is quite active nowadays, picking up the potential projects and being investors in those would guarantee fruitful yields to their portfolio and diversify and protect them from the risks that were encountered in the crisis.

The hotel investment volume in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) fell to €2.9 billion in 2009, reflecting the lowest volume of transactions since the late 1990s and a drop of 63% compared to 2008.
While 2010 is expected to remain challenging, by the year-end investment volumes could increase by almost 40% on the 2009 volume and reach €4.1 billion, driven by improving economic conditions, gradually strengthening investor confidence and an increase in stock on the market.

As lending capacity reached record lows in 2009, single asset transactions became the prominent type of deal in the hotel market accounting for 72% of total volumes, and portfolio activity falling by almost 80% compared to 2008. This trend is not forecast to change in the near future. Portfolio activity will remain limited as deals continue to require a high level of equity.

The number of distressed hotel assets on the market is expected to slightly increase in 2010. Although many owners have faced refinancing challenges in 2009, distressed hotel sales have not been widespread. During 2010 investment activity will be driven by the banks and their willingness to lend.

However as it might be the general case in Central Europe, in Eastern Europe the trend to increase will start slowly due to the financing difficulties and investors tend to feel invest their money in more secure markets. However one would quickly notice that in terms of REVPAR and payback period and the figure of exit scenario, Russian Market has been the best performer in last three years and Moscow by taking the lead in the world in terms of REVPAR.

We believe as IFK Hotel Management team, due to the unsatisfying supply of international brand supply in Russian Federation, the market seems quite promising. With a right local partner on board and reliable hotel operator like Golden Tulip Hospitality Group it is highly probable that investors will enjoy high yields from their hotel investments in Russian Market which can still named as lowly penetrated market in terms of hospitality investments.

Special Economic Zones:

Foreign direct investment expected to significantly increase for Russia in 2010
As of 2009, FDI into the Russian economy is expected to be finalized around $20bn appx. Given the general economic downturn, this big number is likely to increase in 2010 as more investment is attracted to Special Economic Zones.

The Russian government has set its sights on economic diversification in order to switch from a resource-to an innovation-based economy. To assist the transition, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) have been created with preferential taxation and pre-existing infrastructure on production sites.

When we look at the who are benefiting from the SEZ, it is quite clear that investors for hospitality sector are the main players. Out of 33 new resident companies registered in Russian SEZs since the beginning of 2009, 19 represent the tourist industry entries as new players.
Therefore as IFK Russia Team, we believe that with the current state strategy, hospitality sector investors are heavily encouraged to enter into Russian Market. As we also notice that non-branded hotels and lack of international standardized hotels are scarce in Russia compared to western markets, and as the effects of crisis in 2009 showed that international money circles are more tend to have stable and profitable return numbers, it is our opinion that Russian Hospitality Market will greatly benefit from it in 2010.

Benefits from investments in special economic zones

Tax concessions

• Exemption from property tax for the first five years (standard rate: 2.2pc)

• Exemption from land tax for the first five years (standard rate: 1.5pc)

• Exemption from all local fiscal charges in some SEZs (Lipetsk, Tomsk, Alabuga)

• Unlimited time for using outstand-ing tax losses

• Social tax reduced from 26pc to 14pc

• Low annual lease rate equal to 2pc of cadastral land value

Customs privileges

• Exemption from import duties on Russian and international goods entering SEZs

• Exemption from import turnover tax on Russian and international goods entering SEZs

• VAT is charged on goods exported from SEZs

• Import duty is collected on imported goods exported from SEZs to the rest of Russia

Types of SEZs

Industrial Production Zones

Required investment of 10m euros at least (including 1m euros in the first year). There are no similar requirements forother SEZs. Area not more than 20 sq km.

Technical Research and Implementation zones

Created on not more than two territory plots, with a total area of not more than 3 sq km. Life not more than 20 years.

Tourism-recreation zones

Created on one or several territory plots, determined by the government. May include the whole territory of any administrative territorial entity. Rendering of tourist and health-improving services.

Source for privileges : PWC

New Delhi (India), 4 January 2010.

Golden Tulip Hospitality Group is proud to announce the latest addition to its Indian hotel portfolio: the Tulip Inn Lucknow. Golden Tulip Hospitality Group and Avadh Projects (Pvt.) Ltd. will strengthen their cooperation by signing the management franchise agreement.

Ideally located in the heart of the commercial centre and business district, the Tulip Inn Lucknow is located only a few minutes from the Vidhan Sabha and the railway station. The hotel offers 3 star accommodation with 50 well appointed, spacious design rooms in superior, deluxe & suite categories. All rooms have a 32" LCD television, a tea & coffee maker, a mini bar, an electronic safe and an iron & ironing board. All bathrooms are equipped with shower and deluxe toilet amenities.

The food & beverage facilities include: "Lucknow 6", an all day dining restaurant serving traditional Avadi & Mughlai cuisine, and "Just Baked", the warm, relaxing lounge serving light bites, oven baked patisseries and savories along with soothing blends of tea & coffee. For conferences & weddings the hotel offers the Imperial Ball room and Imperial garden, seating 200-500 guest or up to a 1000 guest in reception style.

Vimal J Singh, Managing Director, Golden Tulip Hotels India (Pvt.) Ltd.: “I am pleased that our second hotel in India opens in Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, the largest state in India, keeping in mind our strategy to implement international standard hotels in all state capitals in India”.

Rajesh Ladhanee, Director, Avadh Projects (Pvt.) Ltd, adds: “The opening of the Tulip Inn Lucknow is the start of keeping our commitment to open international class malls and hotels in Uttar Pradesh”.