It’s not without reason that the German capital is one of the top three destinations in Europe; Berlin always has been and continues to be popular with tourists. But what does this boom mean for the hotel and tourism industries?
Taking a city break to Berlin is the fashionable thing to do. Whether you go as a couple, with your best friend or with your whole gang – everyone wants to go to Berlin at least once and experience everything the city has to offer. This is clearly demonstrated by the number of overnight stays from the past decade. While there were 11 million overnight stays in 2011, the capital had recorded 28.7 million by 2014. In 2018, the 30 million mark is likely to be cracked. And 2019 is set to see further growth, with 35 million overnight stays being forecast.
These figures sound particularly promising for Berlin hoteliers. However, because the city has become such a tourist magnet, new hotels are constantly appearing, which creates additional competition. In 2018 alone, 12 new hotels with a total of 3000 rooms are due to be opened and a further 21 with a total of 9000 rooms are currently either under construction or are in the concrete planning stage for the next two years. ‘Due to the amount of new hotels opening, the market share will not automatically increase per hotel despite the growing number of overnight stays,’ explains Sascha Hampe, Area Vice President Region Berlin. This makes the GCH Hotel Group’s success over the last two years even more impressive.
A wide range of products and many years of expertise is the secret of success
‘Despite the growing competition from brand-new hotels, we have managed to outpace the market with our portfolio,’ explains Sascha. In 2016, GCH achieved record-breaking figures in the Berlin region and, thanks to great teamwork, this success was actually improved upon in 2017. So what is GCH’s recipe for success? ‘GCH is perfectly in tune with customer requirements. With our 13 fundamentally different hotels we cover a very wide spectrum, and that sets us apart from the competition.’ From the ibis Berlin Airport Tegel to the prime-located Wyndham Berlin Excelsior Hotel, the GCH Hotel Group is very well positioned in the Berlin hotel market. Customers can also benefit from a wide range of conference hotels in the MICE sector. GCH is always able to gain new Corporate and MICE customers thanks to its diverse portfolio, ranging from the Holiday Inn Berlin City West with its large conference rooms and close proximity to the airport, to the Wyndham Garden Berlin Mitte with its industrial charm, through to the Hotel Müggelsee, which is located in the countryside and offers a large selection of team-building activities. A crucial success factor is therefore the GCH Hotel Group’s franchise concept. ‘What makes us so successful as a management group is the brand diversity and the ability to decide which brand best fits each hotel,’ explains Sascha, before adding: ‘Thanks to our many years of experience, we know which brand will best fulfil the requirements of the target group and will record the most overnight stays.’
GCH recognized and reacted to the fast pace of life
The Berlin hotel market has faced many challenges in the past year; not only the rapid market growth, but also the loss of large customers had to be addressed. Hotels located close to the airport, such as the Holiday Inn Berlin City West, were particularly affected when Air Berlin went out of business. However, the GCH Hotel Group can already look back on this time as a period of success thanks to the great teamwork within the company. The Region Berlin team were able to compensate for the loss of Air Berlin as a customer and sustain turnover by proactively approaching potential new customers, thereby responding quickly to the changing market situation. ‘We were able to acquire EasyJet as a partner, and they give us even more overnight stays than Air Berlin did. Thanks to the proactiveness of the entire team, we managed to secure the business and stabilize it in the long term,’ says Sascha. This success makes the many advantages of the GCH Hotel Group clear: excellent market knowledge, forward thinking and rapid response.
Editor: Caroline Wacker