Expansion, new market entry and more hotel projects in the pipeline - MEININGER Hotels is pushing ahead with growth plans. Investments in digitalisation and sustainability, and priorities in creating a leaner organisation as the group moves forward are also high on the priority list of items being moved forward during lockdown.
Despite Europe-wide travel restrictions and a room occupancy rate of only 30 percent in European hotels, MEININGER still sold 1.3 million beds last year. "Clearly, as a result of the pandemic our industry is facing many challenges," says Doros Theodorou, CCO of MEININGER Hotels. "But looking at the positive aspects of the last year, we have been able to shift priorities relatively quickly, and with the downtime found the time to work on many internal pending projects of digitalisation and other. Additionally, we have also maintained momentum with our opening programme, as well as creating a more streamlined business. We're pleased to report that as a result MEININGER hotels will open in Zurich, Geneva, Bordeaux, Marseille and Innsbruck this year."
A MEININGER hotel for the Austrian Alpine metropolis Innsbruck
After the renovation of the building opposite the Innsbruck University Library, the fifth MEININGER Hotel in Austria after locations in Vienna and Salzburg, will open this summer. It will include 74 rooms with a total of 259 beds, as well as its own ski and bike room, attracting guests with sporting ambitions to this new Alpine city hotel.
Market entry in Switzerland with openings in Zurich and Geneva
With new hotels in Zurich and Geneva, MEININGER is entering the competitive Swiss market. Both hotels are expected to open this summer.
Its Zurich hotel, with 174 rooms and 582 beds, is being built in the new sustainable Greencity district in the south of the city, not far from the popular recreation areas on the River Sihl. By public transport guests can reach the city centre from the MEININGER Hotel Zurich quickly and in an environmentally friendly way, and there are also two car sharing services in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. Greencity is 100 percent powered by renewable energy sources.
In the French-speaking part of Switzerland, in Geneva, 104 new rooms with a total of 368 beds are being built under the direction of MEININGER Hotels. The location in Switzerland's second largest city occupies an important place in the MEININGER portfolio. After all, Geneva is not only a diplomatic centre but also an international showcase for science. Lake Geneva, the museums and other cultural attractions as well as the hotel's proximity to the Swiss and French Alps should all attract additional visitors.
Two new MEININGER hotels in France: Bordeaux and Marseille
The new hotel building in Bordeaux will be the third MEININGER hotel to open in France within just one and a half years (Lyon and Paris opened at the end of 2019). Planned to open in May 2021, it is located near the main train station, Saint Jean, and offers guests 173 rooms with 526 beds. The building was designed by French architect Patrick Arotcharen, who integrated parts of the old façade of a former building into the new design. A further location is planned for France in 2021 too, with the doors of the MEININGER Hotel in Marseille set to open for the first time at the end of the year.
Doros Theodorou, CCO of MEININGER Hotels, said: "MEININGER Hotels' hybrid concept differs from other hotel brands on the national and international market. We appeal to leisure and business travellers, backpackers, groups and families. The flexible room structure, combined with the option of renting just one bed in a dormitory, allows MEININGER to respond to requirements from a range of guests each season. We continue to see enormous growth potential in all markets, especially those for price-sensitive guests, including Switzerland."
Investments and expansions determine the future
MEININGER Hotels also intends to invest in other markets in the future. Doros Theodorou: "We are very excited with our openings this year and plan to continue our expansion across Europe post-pandemic knowing that MEININGER's hybrid concept provides plenty of opportunities."