Economy & Politics

PodcastHotelier Althoff: “We are preparing for a long-term crisis”

The Hotel Schloss Bensberg is one of the most famous Althoff Hotelsimago images / Blickwinkel

Even after the lockdown, hotelier Thomas Althoff does not expect normalization to be so rapid: “The closer the guests from Germany come, the sooner business will come back. The farther away they live, the more difficult it becomes, ”he said on the podcast“ The Zero Hour ”. “We see intercontinental travel for the next year at least at a very low level. That will only come back when the danger has been averted worldwide. We are preparing for a long-term crisis. “

Thomas Althoff and his group operate 18 hotels under three brands in several European countries – primarily in the luxury and premium segment, including houses at the foot of Neuschwanstein, on Tegernsee, in Davos and Lucerne, but also in cities such as London, Berlin, Cologne and Celle. The hotelier, who leased his first hotel at the age of 21, has been one of the medium-sized companies since the outbreak of the crisis. Because its hotels are not viewed individually, but as one company – which in Germany makes 90 million euros and a total of 130 million euros in sales. “We didn’t receive a cent,” said Althoff.

“We are still waiting for help and above all do not even know whether it will take place at all”

Thomas Althoff

Althoff also had to wait for the so-called “November aid”, which is supposed to reimburse up to 75 percent of the lost sales. Because first it had to be clarified whether this aid violated the EU’s state aid law. On Monday there were positive signals from Brussels that the grants would be approved. The support is valid up to an upper limit of 1 million euros per company. Althoff, who is also known as the “Lord of the Stars” because of the numerous Michelin stars in his hotel restaurants, vacillated between waiting and hoping: “We are still waiting for help and, above all, do not even know whether it will take place at all. “

Althoff suggested helping small and medium-sized enterprises to get on their feet in a more targeted manner with tax incentives – and to extend the instrument of tax loss carry-back to include trade tax. And not just for one year, but for up to ten years. “What would the effect be? The companies that have paid taxes in the last ten years and that, due to the crisis, make a high loss in 2020 and perhaps 2021, could carry it back and would get the taxes they paid back, “said Althoff. “As soon as we earn the first euro, taxes would arise on it again, instead of having to postpone a large loss carryforward.” It would be “a form of financing that would be shifted from companies to government.”

Now listen in the “zero hour”,

  • why Thomas Althoff launched his new brand “Urban Loft” in October despite everything,
  • how Althoff has built up his hotel group since the 1980s,
  • which of his hotels he recommends for the first trip after the lockdown.

You can find all episodes directly at Audio Now, Apple or Spotify or via Google.

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