Bucharest as weekend destination, interview with manager of Intercontinental hotel

Jonathan Soper, general manager of the 5-star hotel Intercontinental Bucharest, one of the biggest players on the relevant market told daily Business Standard that the organization of conferences with international participants would place the capital on the map of important business destinations and would bring more profit to the other traders, besides the hotels which host the participants.
Soper believes that Bucharest as weekend destination can compete with cities such as Budapest, Prague or Warsaw, being necessary the improvement of the city’s infrastructure and image, mainly the restoration of Lipscani Street and of the entire center of the capital. Soper said Bucharest has started to become an interesting city for the organization of various concerts, but the number of international conferences, unfortunately, is still scant because the conferences which are organized at present belong to the local players or to international companies which have branches in Romania.

Soper said we have to organize more international conferences because the city image improves in this way as well as the profit. It is known that one participant spends at least 1,000 euros except the expenditures for the conferences. People come, eat in the city, go shopping this is an entire domino effect. People are not staying only in the hotel’s room.
Soper added that the modernization process of Intercontinental hotel is set to start in January 2009 and is expected to cost more than 20 million euros. Without modernization, he said the building will deteriorate a lot.
Intercontinental Hotel Company (RCHI) stakes on an occupancy rate of 50-60% next year, the share in the business segment being of 80%. RCHI reported losses worth some one million lei (0.27 million euros) in H1, after having reported profit worth 2.42 million lei (0.7 million euros) in the same period of last year, according to information sent to Rasdaq market. In the first six months, the switch to losses occurred because of the rise in the company’s expenditures with a double rate compared to the rate reported for revenues, daily Ziarul Financiar reports.
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