Europe's Hotel Owners Raise Their Banner By Founding Hoftel: Hotel Owners' and Franchisees Transatlantic and European League

Today, an industry association was launched by Europe's leading hotel real estate owners. Named HOFTEL (the Hotel Owners' and Franchisees Transatlantic and European League), the group aims to raise the profile of Europe's hotel ownership sector with governments, regulators and investors, and provide enhanced levels of information both to and about the hotel property ownership sector.

HOFTEL The group is being co-ordinated by Simon Allison, who has extensive experience in both hotel asset ownership and management. Membership is aimed at hotel owning groups which are not brands or major investors in branded operators.

"For decades, coverage of the European hotel industry has focused on the major brands, yet much of the capital has been provided by investors in the bricks and mortar. As the ownership side of the equation becomes increasingly professional and institutional, it's time it got a voice," said Mr. Allison.

HOFTEL includes among its Founder Members the owners of more than 60 hotels including groups such as Capital Hotels, investor in 10 Radisson SAS hotels across Europe; Lynton Hotels Investment Management which asset-manages the Airport Hotels Partnership; Kapiteeli, the second-largest hotel owner in Finland; Deustche Interhotel, a major German proprietor and CLAL Tourism, Accor's ownership partner in Israel. Smaller groups like start-up Barrington Hotels have also become members, believing that there is much to be gained from an exchange of views and expertise with larger ownership firms.

It is intended that, over time, HOFTEL will grow to encompass the majority of specialist hotel real estate investors in Europe and beyond.

HOFTEL is also being supported by several leading sponsors, each from one area of specialized services to the hotel ownership sector. 2005's sponsors to date are Barclays Bank, CMS Cameron McKenna, Molinaro Koger and Hotel Analyst magazine.

As one of its opening activities, HOFTEL has requested information from the major hotel brands represented in Europe relative to the brands' owners relations programmes. The results will be published in HOFTEL's members' newsletter, Hotel Owners Journal, later this year.

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