David Jenkins, Vice President, Development, Russia, CIS, Baltics & Israel, Radisson Hotel Group talks about the hospitality market and development opportunities in Israel. Meet David at IHIS as he speaks on the Operational Panel: What are the Optimal Models for Running Hotels Successfully in Israel? joined by Ronit Copeland, Managing Director, Ronit Copeland and Michael Hay, Founder & Managing Partner, Vision Hospitality.
Q: How would you characterize the overall state of hotel investment and development in Israel?
A: It is an extremely exciting time for investment and development in the Israeli hotel market – there is so much new activity in all hotel segments from local and global operators as well as a continuation of excellent local small operators opening great products.
Q: In what cities or destination are you seeing the most amount of investment activity and why? Is it likely to change in the coming years?
A: I clearly see that Tel Aviv is the entry to the Israeli market – with Jerusalem close behind. I like very much the activity in Herzliya with IT companies opening there. I think going forward we could also see brands moving into the resort market.
Q: What is your company’s position in Israel’s market and objectives for the years to come?
A: We have been looking to enter the market – initially through Tel Aviv – for a number of years and the time really is right for us to do so now. We would like to have strong representation with our main brands in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and then would certainly be open to investigate the resort market also.
Q: What hotel brands or properties do you think are most interesting to watch in Israel at the moment?
A: I have been excited to see new lifestyle hotels opening in Tel Aviv, Jaffa and Herzliya – capturing the buzz and the life of this most vibrant of cities and its surroundings. The food, music, nightlife, culture and history are all in a mix and this is being reflected by exciting new hotels that are breaking away from the more traditional – and also very much tied into the young, IT, co-sharing/ co-working style in the city.
Q: What are you most looking forward to at IHIS?
A: I had been looking for a couple of years for an Israeli focused event and am delighted that we have one this year! I am looking forward to continue to learn about the market, meet some old and new contacts and at the same time enjoy myself!