- So, effectively, everything lasted for four years. The project started in 2009 and we hosted guests in July this year. The capacity of Holiday Inn Express Belgrade – City is 123 rooms and we hired 22 people. I am very satisfied with the staff, these are all local staff – our collocutor says.
eKapija: What are your impressions like after almost three months of hotel operations?
- We have been operating for only the third month but we
have started receiving the first guests’ comments and they are mainly satisfied
with the hotel. They very much appreciate environment in the building, rooms
and staff which is extremely significant in our business and for Holiday Inn Express is a huge advantage. I
think 60 % of capacity would be good result for the hotel and we expect 50 and
60% for a start.
eKapija: What kind of guests do you expect? What are your main target groups for Holiday Inn Express?
- We expect business people, passengers who visit Belgrade for work as well as families.
Our position within IHG group is somewhere in the middle and
as for the competition I think we are closer to higher category ("up-scale").
eKapija: How do you estimate hotel industry in Belgrade?
- I think there are two groups of hotels, one old, well- known facilities which need renovation and interior fixing and on the other hand, there are many new hotels which are smaller but luxurious and developed with taste. Compared to other European cities, Belgrade has pretty good level as well as good ration of price and quality. I think capital of Serbia is even above average for standards of EU market.
eKapija: Having in mind a large number of new hotels
lately, do you think market is crowded or there is room for new capacities?
On the other hand, the city should develop infrastructure necessary
for conferences and congresses, large business meetings since Belgrade now has
reverse situation compared to let’s say Frankfurt or Barcelona. There is a lack of hotel capacities there while Belgrade at the moment has plenty of hotels but congress centers are not big enough. Most likely, it is necessary to work on development of airports and plane connections, introduce more direct flights.
eKapija: Are you satisfied with business environment in Belgrade?
- You have very trained and highly educated people. In Holiday Inn Express
Belgrade – City, we succeeded in hiring talented and quality staff which is why
we have good comments from guests. As for administration, I think administrative
procedures could develop and simplify, also import procedures. It would most
likely help in attracting foreign investors since it would facilitate business - Olivier Si Tahar concluded in his interview for