The European hospitality industry is on the rebound, according to Thomas Jberg, a vice president with the Atlanta-based research firm, Customer Service Marketing Inc., who recently returned from a 10-city tour of Europe and Turkey.
Although “travelers seem to have adjusted to the levels of security we have now,” he told GlobalAtlanta last week, hotels are faced with the challenge of raising their room rates to the levels that they were before Sept. 11, 2001.
Mr. Jberg met with the managers of luxury and upscale Raffles Hotels & Resorts and Swissotel Hotels & Resorts for whom CSM conducts monthly guest-satisfaction surveys, one of the firm’s areas of expertise.
He visited Raffles and Swissotels in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Basle, Geneva, Montreux and Zurich, Switzerland; Berlin, Dusseldorf and Hamburg, Germany; Istanbul, Turkey and London where CSM collects guest satisfaction data in multiple languages.
According to Mr. Jberg, the deluxe hotels for which CSM conducts the surveys all suffered in the wake of both the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the SARS epidemic in Asia, which were responsible for the cancellation of trade shows and generally dampened traveling for both business and leisure.
“Most hotels did lower their rates and now are facing the challenge of raising the rates back up,” he said. “One of the greatest challenges for them is to do this in their local markets where they compete with many other hotels.”
He said that even in Istanbul, which has experienced several terrorist incidents in recent months, the hotel occupancy rates were up.
Raffles International Ltd. manages the Raffles and Swissotel units.
To learn more about CSM, go to www.csmresearch.com. Call (770) 250-1623 or send an e-mail email@example.com to reach Mr. Jberg.