Scandic Hotels’ Fiskers honoured with HSMAI Region Europe’s Outstanding Leadership Award

Scandic Hotel’s long-standing President and CEO Frank Fiskers is the first European travel and hospitality executive to be awarded HSMAI Region Europe’s Outstanding Leadership Award.

Friday 16 June saw the celebration of Scandic Hotel’s withdrawing Frank Fiskers, after more than seven years as the hotel chain’s President and CEO – and a quarter of a century in leading positions in travel and hospitality.

Mr. Fiskers invited friends and colleagues to an after work gathering at the Scandic No 53 in Stockholm last Friday evening, including HSMAI Region Europe’s President and CEO Ingunn Hofseth, who surprised the industry champion with HSMAI Region Europe’s newly launched Outstanding Leadership Award.

The HSMAI Region Europe jury states the following reason for awarding Mr. Fisker the recently introduced prize:

HSMAI Region Europe is honoring Frank Fiskers as a visionary leader with great passion for the hospitality industry. His amazing achievements, positive energy and special gift for speaking publicly has made him well respected in the hotel and travel industry globally. He has held leadership roles in the hotel industry for 25 years across multiple countries throughout Europe and Africa. Frank Fiskers has held a number of top executive positions, in reputable hotel corporations such as Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Hilton Hotels Worldwide.

For more than 7 years he has been the President and CEO of Scandic Hotels and led Scandic to world-wide recognition and multiple awards for its outstanding work within Sustainability. Scandic has almost doubled from 130 to 230 hotels under his leadership and he has raised the group to the strongest share price in the world among all listed hotel companies. He has also been a driver behind getting “accessibility” on the agenda of the hotel industry.

His ability to develop his leaders and empower them is exemplary and makes him a role model in the industry. He also understands the importance of helping out and giving back to industry associations, like our own HSMAI, in order for the industry as a whole to progress and thrive. Congratulations!

“I am profoundly honoured by this award from HSMAI. My journey with leading Scandic has been an amazing experience and I am of course delighted over it being recognised in this way,” Mr. Fiskers says, in response to the surprise.

“We are very thankful for Frank Fiskers’ commitment, both to the industry and to HSMAI over the years, and hope to see many years of continued cooperation, where ever he may land in the wake of his Scandic era,” says HSMAI Region Europe President and CEO Ingunn Hofseth, who caught Mr. Fiskers by surprise, as she presented the award in Stockholm last Friday night.

Photo: Scandic Hotels’ departing president & CEO Frank Fiskers. Photograph from Scandic Hotels.

10,000 customers will be inspired to have better meetings: Scandic now launching new meeting concept

The value of a more effective meeting culture has long been known, but it is only this year that the industry is seeing a long-awaited change to make meetings better and more productive. Through certified meeting advisors, technical solutions, creative exercises and healthy food, Scandic’s new meeting concept aims to change the way 10,000 customers plan and conduct meetings, according to a press release issued by the hotel chain.

The concept will be launched between 8 and 12 May, as 2,000 Scandic employees will meet close to 10,000 customers to inspire them to have better meetings. The companies have been invited to Scandic to test the new concept that has been created to meet the needs of Scandic’s corporate customers.

In the hotel chain’s work to develop its meeting concept, more than 2,000 customers and arrangers of meetings were asked what is important to them. More than half think that their meetings are ineffective today and nine out of ten managers consider meetings to be an important success factor for their organisations. There is also a demand for receiving support based on their meeting needs, achieving the right energy level in the meeting and making implementation easy. With this as a starting point, Scandic is now offering tailored solutions and advice from the planning phase, through execution and evaluation to improve customers’ meeting culture.

“A meeting can create a big change – or be a waste of time. With our new concept and meeting advisors, we now have the opportunity to create the best conditions for effective, efficient and inspiring meetings. This big initiative has been developed together with our customers which is why it’s great to now be launching it in the Nordic region and Europe,” says Thomas Engelhart, Chief Commercial Officer at Scandic Hotels.

In cooperation with Hyper Island Scandic is also now training meeting advisors on how to organise successful meetings. The ambition is to have a total of 500 meeting advisors at Scandic’s hotels in the Nordic region and Europe by 2020. Meeting advisors will help companies have better meetings based on their purpose and goals: training, inspiration and innovation, among others.

In addition to advisors, the meeting concept includes a number of other new features and services designed to meet the needs of the future. A new food and beverage concept has been developed to suit everyone, regardless of allergies or preferences. There is also a Magic Box in each conference room for exercises to boost participation during meetings. Scandic has also implemented a variety of different technical solutions to communicate with participants already before the start of the meeting. The concept also allows customers to choose from various ancillary services such as broadcasting and gamification.

Rollout of the new meeting concept began in the spring and will continue throughout 2017. By the end of the year, the majority of Scandic hotels will offer the new concept.

Photo: A Scandic Hotels meeting advisor in action. Photograph from Scandic Hotels.

Scandic Hotels Introduces IDeaS G3 RMS Across its Estate of European Hotels

IDeaS Revenue Solutions just announced that it has expanded its long-standing partnership with Scandic Hotels with the planned implementation of IDeaS flagship G3 Revenue Management System (IDeaS G3 RMS) across its estate of more than 200 properties, according to a freshly issued press release.

IDeaS’ technology will help Scandic futurecast demand for more than 40,000 rooms across seven European countries, creating tangible business results with advanced revenue management tools and expert resources.

“The hospitality sector is becoming increasingly sophisticated, so it’s important that we invest in technology like IDeaS that delivers a competitive advantage and business results. Maximising revenue remains one of our key strategies to drive growth and deliver even better shareholder returns,” says Jan Lundborg, Vice President of Revenue Management and Distribution for Scandic Hotels, adding: “Using IDeaS G3 RMS allows us to leverage its sophisticated futurecasting analytics, interactive dashboards and reporting tools to capture and analyse transactional data – and we can use those insights to make informed decisions for the future.”

Powered by advanced SAS Analytics and IDeaS’ nearly three decades of industry innovation, Scandic Hotels’ entire portfolio will utilise IDeaS automated revenue management tools to make more strategic decisions for its properties. IDeaS G3 RMS offers the industry’s most comprehensive pricing and inventory decisions, intuitive dashboards and reporting tools that deliver maximum revenue and occupancy impacts.

“Our partnership with Scandic exemplifies IDeaS’ commitment to revenue management excellence and innovation, and we are eager to see how our premier revenue management system will drive their business forward,” says Fabian Specht, EMEA managing director for IDeaS. “Hoteliers today are faced with a multitude of business challenges, and we believe our tools and industry expertise will serve up the actionable insights hotels need to make fully informed business decisions with confidence.”

Photo: Jan Lundborg, Vice President Revenue Management. Photo from Scandic Hotels.

First Hire to NHR Hotel Project in Copenhagen

Nordic Hotels & Resorts have just announced the appointment of Susanne Barfoed, Director of Marketing & PR, as the first person to lead their upscale hotel project in Copenhagen, the conversion of the old Central Post Office to become a luxury hotel, according to a press release.

After a long international career in hospitality she brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of brand management, latest from Starwood Hotels & Resorts, where she oversaw the brand management in EAME, of brands like Sheraton and Westin.

“After many years abroad, I am thrilled and very excited to return to my home city, Copenhagen, and to be part of transforming the old Central Post Office, an iconic building, to become a luxury hotel. With a holistic approach to branding, I believe in creating unique and differentiated guest experiences through all touch points with our customers, and I look forward to working with my talented colleagues at Nordic Hotels & Resorts in doing so,” says Barfoed.

The new hotel project, “the Post Office”, was launched in October 2016 and is scheduled to open in 2020. The hotel will consist of more than 400 rooms, several F&B outlets and spa, aiming to cater to the highest expectations. Since 1912 the building was the headquarter of the Danish Postal Service and will now go through an extensive renovation before opening as a brand new Independent Hotel as part of Nordic Hotels & Resorts.

“The ‘Post Office’ represents one of our biggest current projects, and we’re at the beginning of what will be a comprehensive concept development process. The goal is to build a hotel that will create magic in our Danish capital when the doors open in a few years. Susanne has the perfect background to lead this project, with international experience in branding and concept development for some of the world’s premier hotel companies. We look forward to working with her and create this exciting project,” says Trond Bastiansen, COO of Nordic Hotels & Resorts.

Photo: Susanne Barfoed, Director of Marketing & PR at Copenhagen’s “The Post Office”. Photo from Nordic Hotels & Resorts.

H.E.A.D. GmbH supports Centro Hotel Management GmbH

H.E.A.D. GmbH supports Centro Hotel Management GmbH with the digitalisation of procurement, according to a press release issued by Deutsche Hospitality.

The procurement company, Hotel Equipment and Design GmbH (H.E.A.D.) has acquired yet another customer for its services, in the form of the Hamburg-based Centro Hotel Group. Centro has decided to digitalise its procurement processes and, having conducted extensive market research, is introducing the electronic system “H.E.A.D.@web”.

Following a brief introductory phase of two to three months, the tool is fully implemented. It then provides holistic, digital and intuitive mapping of each component of the procurement process, from sourcing to audit, and thus replaces all manual procedures.

The e-procurement tool offered by H.E.A.D. has been designed to cover every aspect of purchasing and is aligned to the requirements of hotel chains. Users can achieve autonomy by integrating the products of their existing suppliers into the system. The platform also gives access to products and prices made available centrally to all H.E.A.D. clients, thus enabling all H.E.A.D.@web users to benefit from quantity discounts and particularly favourable conditions. One function, which remains unique on the market, is the option of carrying out joint invitations to tender. This “collaborative sourcing” allows further savings to be achieved.

“H.E.A.D.@web assists us in our endeavours to digitalise the company,” declares Homeira Amiri, CEO of the der Centro Hotel Group, adding “In order to secure future sustainability, it is essential that we simplify processes. This ultimately also includes the bundling of procurement procedures.” The Centro Hotel Group currently operates 55 hotels right across Germany and Austria, from its headquarters in Hamburg. These hotels now contain around 5,600 rooms.

“Having recently acquired Vienna House as a customer, we are delighted that a second hotel group has quickly opted for our intelligent procurement model,” says H.E.A.D.’s Managing Director Lars Schmid. “We are proud to have developed a digital procurement solution that serves the needs of prominent and rapidly expanding hotel chains.”

Hotel Equipment and Design GmbH (H.E.A.D.) is a subsidiary of Steigenberger Hotels AG. It bundles all the procurement processes of Deutsche Hospitality into a single purchasing platform. Cooperation agreements concluded with the two hotel groups Vienna International Hotelmanagement AG and Centro Hotel Management GmbH have firmly secured the market success of its e-procurement tool. 150 hotels, restaurants and catering companies are now using the H.E.A.D. GmbH. procurement platform.

Photo: H.E.A.D.@web on-screen. Photo from Deutsche Hospitality.

Finland’s first Clarion hotels are now open

Clarion Hotel Helsinki opened on October 17 in Jätkäsaari and Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport on October 22 in Aviapolis. The first days in the hotels have been busy with overnight and conference guests as well as locals, who have welcomed the restaurants and bars in their neighborhoods, according to a Nordic Choice Hotels press release.

The first Clarion hotels in Finland opened last week and increased the hotel capacity in the capital region by almost 700 rooms. In addition, the hotels provide employment for almost 250 people. To recruit the best talents, Clarion organised a new kind of recruitment event, Talent Hunt, in the beginning of May. At Talent Hunt each participant could showcase their skills to a jury in any way they wished for two minutes.

“Introducing a new brand in a new market has been an exciting ride from the start. Opening two hotels within one week isn’t something we have done before, but obviously, it went great and shows what Clarion is all about. We are changing the perception of an ordinary hotel and proving, once again, that we are spot on,” says Henrik Berghult, Senior Vice President at Clarion Hotels.

Clarion Hotel is more than just an ordinary hotel chain. The hotels are vibrant meeting spots, with the most passionate staff, attracting hotel guests as well as locals. Both hotels include the popular restaurant concept, Kitchen & Table by the Swedish top chef Marcus Samuelsson. Sky Room, located on top of the Jätkäsaari hotel, provides beautiful views over Helsinki. The cocktail menu is inspired by the city sights visible from the bar, with dedicated drinks named after sights.

“It’s been great to notice that locals have already during the first week found their way to our Jätkäsaari hotel. Kitchen & Table received a good number of reservations before our opening, and locals have also discovered our lunch. There’s also been bustle around our Sky Room. Based on a few first days, we’ve had positive experiences also at Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport, and the first big event will be organised there this week,” reports Inari Lehtinen, Area General Manager at Clarion Hotels Finland.

Cooperation with local businesses and organisations in all areas is important to Clarion. Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport has a close partnership with Artsi, the art museum of Vantaa, and the Finnish Aviation Museum. Clarion Hotels have also organised an Easter egg hunt in Jätkäsaari and cooperated with the Kustaankartano nursing home. The food & beverage sector also cooperates with local producers. In addition, Clarion is the main partner for next year’s Helsinki Design Week.

The event venues have already had their first events.

Also the hotels’ event facilities have raised interested already before the opening of the hotels. Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport has 12 adaptable and differing meeting rooms: it is possible to draw on the table in one of them, get carried away by music in another, and end up in the middle of an art exhibition in third. The old warehouse building, designed by Lars Sonck in 1935, was transformed into Clarion Hotel Helsinki’s event venue for up to 1,000 people. The venue has already hosted several events during its first week of operation.

Facts about Clarion Hotel Helsinki:

425 hotel rooms
15 meeting rooms
1 restaurant, 3 bars
2 saunas with a view, 1 gym 1 pool with a view

Facts about Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport:

258 hotel rooms
12 meeting rooms
1 restaurant
1 bar
2 saunas
1 gym

Clarion Hotels are vibrant meeting places, centrally-located hotels suitable for conferences, events and business, driven by passion. Clarion Hotel has been voted Sweden’s best hotel chain seven times in a row by 1,200 sales representatives at the Grand Travel Awards. Clarion Hotel is part of the Nordic Choice Hotels hotel group. For more information on Clarion Hotel, go to

Nordic Choice Hotels is one of the leading hotel groups in the Nordic and the Baltic countries with a total of 190 hotels and 13,000 employees. Nordic Choice Hotel has the brands Comfort, Quality Hotel, Clarion Collection, Clarion Hotel as well as 20 independent hotels. All of the company’s hotels are certified with ISO 14001.

Photo: Clarion Hotel Helsinki, in the heart of Helsinki. Photo from Nordic Choice Hotels.

Haymarket nominated for Best Urban Hotel 2016

Every year, the prestigious lifestyle magazine Wallpaper Magazine elects the best hotel in the world in their award Best Urban Hotel. This year, Haymarket by Scandic is the only hotel in the Nordics that is nominated and the winner will be announced in November. The jury consist of chosen globetrotters from all over the world.

Haymarket opened May 10th this year and it has already become a classic hotel in Stockholm. Inspired by the art deco of the 20ies and the history as a department store where Greta Garbo started her career, the hotel gathers both the local crowds and guests from all of the world. In competition with 36 other hotels is Haymarket nominated as the Best Urban Hotel 2016. The hotels have been selected based on their ability to create a destination and a personal residential hotel experience, which is important in today’s global and connected society.

”Wallpaper is one of the most esteemed magazines in the world and just to be nominated feels like a win. At Haymarket, we want to broaden the concept of a hotel experience, both in the aspect of design and the events and happenings at the hotel”, says Lars Sandberg, General Manager, Haymarket.

The winner will be announced in Wallpaper’s December issue on November 10th.
See the whole list of nominees and the jury on

The Steigenberger Hotel Group is now Deutsche Hospitality

As of 4 October 2016 the Steigenberger Hotel Group’s name is Deutsche Hospitality. The company with long-standing tradition is strengthening its international expansion with the new umbrella brand, according to a press release issued by the hotel group.

Steigenberger Hotels AG is a traditional company set for international growth. The company intends to tap into new markets. To do this, it is changing its brand architecture and consolidating its three hotel brands into one umbrella brand: Deutsche Hospitality.

“These two words combine our German roots and our international vision. The new umbrella brand is a vital lever that will unleash dynamism, help us to expand internationally, and drive innovation,” says Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of Steigenberger Hotels AG.

Deutsche Hospitality unites three hotel brands under one name: Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts represent luxury and ultimate hospitality; Jaz in the City, with its pioneering concept, is young, urban, and close to the pulsating life of the city; and IntercityHotels are at the heart of the most beautiful cities in Germany with the best connections to important transport hubs. This makes Deutsche Hospitality a strong umbrella brand which can be home to additional hotel brands in the future. The international sound of its name lays the perfect foundations for expanding into new locations. Text to be continued under video clip.

The new umbrella brand is a clear acknowledgment of the hotel group’s brand values:

Deutsche Hospitality is an international and dynamic brand family that is characterized by attributes such as passion, perfection, caring, tradition, and vision. Deutsche Hospitality positions itself as an excellent host and an attractive employer that wows its staff across the globe.

A total of 116 hotels in twelve countries and on three continents are part of the Deutsche Hospitality umbrella brand. 20 of these hotels are under construction or in the planning stage.

Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts’ portfolio comprises 56 fascinating locations around the world. The brand represents luxury and ultimate hospitality. From historic buildings with a long-standing tradition to lively city residences right through to spa oases with amazing natural surroundings – there is an extensive range of hotels with distinctive Steigenberger flair. The Steigenberger Hotel Köln in Cologne and the Steigenberger Airport Hotel Istanbul (Turkey) are the latest hotels to have opened. Two hotels outside of Europe – the Steigenberger El Tahrir in Cairo and the Steigenberger Alcazar in Sharm el-Sheikh (both in Egypt) – are set to follow this year.

The first Jaz in the City hotel opened at the end of 2015 in Amsterdam and offers its guests lifestyle at its best. The exciting new concept has a young and urban vibe, and the hotel is close to the pulsating life of the city. The brand combines design, music, and indulgence for a thrilling experience. Spontaneous music performances in the lobby turn the hotel into a stage and make the guests’ stay an event in itself. And Jaz in the City has even more to offer: A cool and modern room design, perfect service, and the latest trends from the local food and drinks scene. Guests will also be greeted with the latest technology: they can check in and out and open the room doors with a smartphone app. The second Jaz hotel will open in Stuttgart in spring 2017.

The 39 IntercityHotels are situated at the heart of the most beautiful cities in Germany and other international destinations. The modern city hotels provide superior midrange comfort and are all just a few minutes’ walk from central transport hubs such as train stations or airports. As an extra special treat, hotel guests can use local public transport for free with the FreeCityTicket, offering them all-round mobility. In July 2016, the first IntercityHotel outside of Europe opened in Salalah in Oman. New hotels in Qingdao (China), Brunswick, and Duisburg (both in Germany) are set to open in the coming months.

The changes will only affect the external appearance of the hotel group. All of its companies, such as Steigenberger Hotels AG, IntercityHotel GmbH, and Jaz Hotel GmbH, will keep their registered names and the shareholder structure will not change.

Photograph: Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of the former Steigenberger Hotels AG, now Deutsche Hospitality. Photograph from the Steigenberger Hotel Group/Deutsche Hospitality.

HSMAI Region Europe Profile: Olav Lie-Nilsen

Olav Lie-Nilsen
Hotel owner and Director, Farmer and Entrepreneur
Thorbjørnrud hotel

Olav Lie-Nilsen is a visionary and active entrepreneur who took over the Thorbjørnrud hotel at Jevnaker outside Oslo in Norway in 2008. He has since developed the hotel to an establishment widely renowned for its food and beverage profile, demonstrating a tireless go-ahead spirit for Norwegian agriculture and food production, among other things through the purchase of the worn-out smallholding Øvre Kjekshus, a few kilometres from the hotel. The smallholding has been transformed into a well-run farm, supplying the hotel with meat and cheese. Earlier this month the Norwegian organisation for rural tourism, farm food and inland fishing, HANEN, selected him as This Year’s Local Food Entrepreneur 2016. This week he shared his thoughts and experiences with HSMAI members and others attending the second annual HSMAI Region Europe event in Dublin, Ireland.

Q: What does a day at work consist of for you?

A: It is varied, starting at 05:30 am, some coffee, emails I didn’t catch the previous day. Work in the cowshed from 06:00 to 11:00. If I can, I take a trip to Thorbjørnrud, pop into the office, check the mail, bills, reports and figures, then a few rounds around the house to see if everything’s in order, an immense amount of lightbulbs to change and chairs to put in place, talk to the employees, or external or internal meetings.

Then a quick visit to the cheese factory to check on things, take stock of the storage and discuss production with the cheese maker. If I’m next in line to present the menu and serve as host, I’m usually in the hotel at night, depending on farm duties. It is an all-too rare activity, as I find it something of a favourite. I travel a lot in order to promote Thorbjørnrud, networking or acquiring qualifications. Also, I spend a lot of time passing on food and meal culture, to groups on the house and in other forums.

Q: What’s the best part of your job?

A: That I’m free to be my own master, influencing 100 percent on my own workday. There’s always a challenge at hand, so I feel that I get to use my skills and qualities.

Q: Do you have any nice traditions at your office?

A: Coffee and fibbing with Kjetil and the rest of the lot.

Q: How long have you been a member of HSMAI?

A: I got to know HSMAI back in 1998, when I started working at Thorbjørnrud Hotel.

Q: What do you think is the best thing about HSMAI?

A: Networking and professional updating.

Q: Are there any activities or projects you think HSMAI should start up?

A: The passing on of qualifications, the hosting role and meal culture. As skilled workers within experience, qualifications and sensitivity are crucial for success.

Q: Describe your perfect weekend.

A: Sailing in the summer, or strolling through the streets of a larger city, with no aim or purpose. Always nice to have the kids visiting, enjoying the company of good friends and good food.

Q: If you were Norway’s Prime Minister, what would be your highest priorities?

A: 100 percent protection of cultivable soil, a non-renewable resource, emphasis and focus on status and content in craftsmanship. We can’t all be economists or academics. Make the mutually dependent agriculture and hospitality a joint business area. Improve the focus on quality, and making sure my cabinet ministers don’t fuzz about food having to be so cheap all the time.

Q: How would someone who knows you describe you?

A: Slightly absent-minded, industrious, kind and spirited.

Q: What is your next travel destination?

A: An autumn vacation in Paris with the kids.

Q: Do you have any special hobbies?

A: My life is a great hobby, no, how should I put it? Has to be something related to food and food culture, at home and abroad.

Q: If you were trapped on a desert island, what would you take with you, if you could choose one thing?

A: A cow, providing food and good company.

Q: Thank you for your time. Do you have any personal comments?

A: I’d like to gather a group of people and make Thorbjørnrud a venue for those interested in learning and sharing knowledge and competence within the fields of food and meal culture.

Photo: Olav Lie Nilsen, owner and founder of the Thorbjørnrud hotel in Jevnaker, Norway. Photograph from Thorbjørnrud hotel.


29th June: Join free TripAdvisor webinar

One of HSMAI Region Europe’s partners and supporters TripAdvisor is organising a free webinar on ‘Total Reputation Management for Lodging Operators’ at 5pm CET on Wednesday, 29th June. Register through registration link below in this article.

TripBarometer research has identified online reputation management as the top investment priority for hoteliers in 2016. The goal of this webinar is to provide valuable guidance, best practices and subject matter experts’ perspectives to help with those efforts.

Register now for this free TripAdvisor webinar, and you’ll learn from industry leaders about:

  • Why online reputation management is a top priority for hospitality businesses
  • Focusing your efforts with goals, strategies and checklists
  • Tracking, acting on and responding to feedback
  • Leveraging your good reputation to attract more business



Daniel CraigFounder, Reknown

Sue BurrellCo-Owner, Millgate Bed & Breakfast, Masham UK

Bill LewisGeneral Manager, Magnolia Hotel & Spa, Victoria BC

Brian PayeaHead of Industry Relations, TripAdvisor


Register for the free webinar by clicking here