di Paola G. Lunghini
Ne parlo con Martina Maly-Gärtner, Managing Director della Società.
Viennese, Martina vanta una articolata esperienza nell’ industria dei servizi alberghieri. Dopo il diploma a indirizzo economico conseguito nel 1994, ha frequentato numerosi corsi di specializzazione in turismo e hotellerie, in USA , Francia e Germania.
I primi passi li ha fatti nel ristorante di famiglia, a Vienna, mentre ancora studiava. Poi quasi subito il balzo oltre Oceano : dal 1996 e per due anni la troviamo impiegata al Four Season di New York, 5 stelle, e poi per tre anni al St Regis ( 5 stelle, sempre nella Grande Mela) . Nel 2001 decide di andare in Oman ( all’ allora Hotel InterContinental , oggi si chiama “ Al Bustan Palace”, ovviamente 5 stelle ) , da cui torna nel 2004.
Da allora , specializzatasi anche in valuation, entra nel sistema della consulenza di management alberghiero, ricoprendo incarichi in alcune società sia in Germania che nella città natale. Nel maggio 2010 assume il ruolo che ricopre attualmente. Tra le sue responsabilità, anche il “monitoraggio” del nostro Paese.
(Nota : L’ intervista è condotta in inglese).
Q. A short description of your Survey.
A. Within a Survey which was send to 500 bank contacts in nine different countries in Central- and Southeast Europe, our company -Michaeler & Partner – examined challenges of hotel investments. Three main reasons were discovered: missing experience of project team, too optimistic and superficial business plans and over-leveraged financing.
Q. What was the aim of your Survey ?
A. With this Survey we took a closer look at challenges during investments in the hotel and lodging industry. The aim was to stress again awareness of risks and success factors of touristic developments and their operation. The answers were not very surprising, but they vary from project to project.
Q. Which were the main-reasons for failure ?
A. Around 2/3 of the bankers stated that missing experience of the project team is the most crucial and decisive point causing failure of a development. I can confirm that having an experienced project team on board and focusing on a realistic business plan are the key success factors for a hotel development.
Q. Can you give me some figures?
A. Due to the fact that 70% of the consulted people were sure that most of the submitted business plans were too optimistic, they started to sharpen the requirements of documentation. Meanwhile 2 out of 3 enterprises even ask for a 2nd opinion and let external consultants check the area space program. Over-leveraging projects in their financing structure is very risky. At this point 81,9% claimed that over leveraging the financial structure often led to bankruptcy. Causing that equity requirements can go up to 60 % in the leisure industry.
Q.What the consequencies?
A. When instalments and interest rates are too high and at the same time the assumptions were too optimistic or even worse, when the hotel generates a negative cash flow, it is impossible to pay off the loan. This is a tremendous risk for touristic development . That is why hotel projects have to be thought through in a holistic way before they are executed.
Q. What do you mean for “holistic way” ?
A. All steps whether it is the concept and product positioning, the business plan including the investment calculation up to the organization of the project execution, all steps should be evaluated by an experienced team of experts. And the project development is not finished until you have considered the operating structure (whether local or international brand, lease or management contract) and have the operator on board that is able to generate your return!
Q. A few words about your Company.
A. Based in Vienna, Michaeler & Partner is one of the leading tourism services providers in the field of management consultancy, project development and project management. We are active particularly in the Alpe-Adria region. Within the last 20 years, we were able to successfully consult over 300 customers and were responsible for an investment volume of over 500 billion Euros. It does not matter from the conception to the finalisation or from the strategic consulting to the monthly performance management, we offer comprehensive Knowledge and Know How for banks, investors or touristy enterprises.
Pictured : Martina Maly-Gärtner