At the upcoming Israel Hotel Investment Summit, Nov. 19-20 in Tel Aviv, Michael Hay, founder and managing partner of Vision Hospitality, will participate on a panel focused on operations: What are the Optimal Models for Running Hotels Successfully in Israel? The panel will assess the hospitality models (leases, franchises, management contracts); and discuss how international brands can work with local owners to combine both stakeholder’s expertise effectively. The panel also will examine major operational challenges—regulation, staffing and security—and how to overcome them.
Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Hay helped transform the city into a major boutique hotel destination, with more than 40 percent of the hotels open in the city qualifying as boutique, many of which were developed by Hay himself.
Hay gained his professional experience as a senior associate at HVS International, where he executed numerous hotel valuation and feasibility studies across the U.S.
Ahead of the Summit, Hay talked about Tel Aviv's investment future and Vision's role in the city's hospitality sector.
1. How would you describe the hotel investment market in Israel right now?
After years of slow development pace and low investor appetite, the market enjoys [increasing interest and recognition internationally and from local developers].
2. Where are the most attractive cities/destinations for hotel investors?
No doubt Tel Aviv is the strongest and most-dynamic market in Israel due to a strong leisure and business demand base. Jerusalem is also attracting much interest as it is (and will always be) one of the most interesting and important destinations around the world.
3. What are your company’s plans in Israel for the years to come?
As a major force in the transformation of the local market into a boutique and lifestyle destination, Vision Hospitality, in partnership with Atlas Hotels, is looking to expand its hotel portfolio in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other emerging markets within Israel.
4. What hotel brands or properties do you think are most interesting to watch in Israel at the moment?
With the growing interest of international investors and hotel companies in the local market, I will be particularly interested to see global upper market as well as the lifestyle brands establishing presence in Israel
5. What is the biggest obstacle for a foreign investor searching for a project to invest in?
Finding the right location/price/size of assets will always be the biggest challenge for international developers in Israel as the local market is still not efficient enough and pricing of potential assets not always logical.
6. What is keeping you busy at the moment?
Continuing the development and growth of our pan-Israeli portfolio in unique and special locations and assets.