Hotels must deal with digitalization while also considering human factor: David Etmenan

by | 14 Feb 2018 | Experts

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Hotels have to get authentic and provide guests with local experiences, says David Etmenan, CEO and Owner of NOVUM Hospitality, one of Germany’s largest family-run hotel groups.

While walking past one of Hamburg’s most historical memorial hotel buildings with his father Nader Etmenan one day, David Etmenan pointed at the hotel and told him: “Daddy, one day I will be the operator of this hotel, and I will create a chain.” 

This dream came true. 

Speaking exclusively to TOPHOTELNEWS at TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Zurich 2017, David Etmenan, CEO and Owner of NOVUM Hospitality, addressed the challenges of running one of Germany’s largest family-run hotel groups and shares the trends he perceives in the hotel industry.

An overview of NOVUM Hospitality

Etmenan: NOVUM Hospitality is one of Germany’s largest family-run hotel groups, currently boasting more than 180 hotels with over 24,000 rooms in 65 locations across Europe. Our hotel portfolio comprises three and four-star hotels in central locations run under the brands of Novum Hotels, Select Hotels, the niu and Yggotel. 

Additionally, NOVUM Hospitality acts as a franchisee of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Accor, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, and Choice Hotels.

Your hotel development plans for the future?

Etmenan: Since 2014 alone, the number of our hotels has quadrupled. Being very passionate about dynamic growth and innovative business solutions, it is my goal to further drive expansion on an international scale. Not only as a hotel operator, but also as a property developer. Together with our partners and employees, we are striving to put forth inspiring services and sustainable advancement. As part of this, we have established our very own NOVUM Hospitality School in 2019, offering our employees opportunities for internal training and education.

What are your greatest challenges in the hotel industry?

Etmenan: Our challenges in the industry are dealing with digitalization while taking care of the human factor. Taking care of traveler demands is as important as our employees’ own satisfaction and training. We invest in our employees to share with them our passion for hospitality and determination to foster the right kind of guest relationship — which is expected by our travelers. 

We do believe that millennials, and gen Y and Z, are focusing more on authentic products. So that’s why we launched and rolled out new hotel brands that are native, inspiring and unique. We want to demonstrate to the hotel and lodging industry that we have to get authentic and provide guests with local experiences. That will be one of our challenges in the next 4 to 5 years.

David Etmenan was a delegate at TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Zurich 2017. To attend, address or sponsor our boutique hospitality networking events around the world, contact TOPHOTELPROJECTS Head of Global Events & Conferences Kayley van der Velde.

To attend, address or sponsor TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR events where you can connect with key professionals from the global hotel industry, please get in touch with TOPHOTELPROJECTS’ Head of Global Events & Conferences Kayley van der Velde.

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