HPI model  innovates real estate approach

“In the tourist real estate market, there is increasing interest towards Italy as a destination. Events and conferences addressing the topic in a professional and thorough manner are multiplying. However, there is not enough discussion around where supply and demand meet around real projects.” So says Paolo Bertagni, president of Guida Viaggi – AboutHotel, describing the scenario from which Hospitality Projects Investment (HPI) originated, an event conceived and organised by AboutHotel and Giorgio Bianchi to fill this gap. “It is the first and only event dedicated to the presentation of tourist real estate projects within and across the Italian territory, targeted towards Italian and foreign investors,” emphasises the manager. “It’s an integrated project that can present investors with opportunities the whole of Italy can offer, not just the well-known areas but also the less exposed and easily identifiable ones.”

An innovative format

HPI is “an innovative format,” stresses Giorgio Bianchi, partner and business development manager of Hospitality Project Investment, “both for the presentation of projects and because it talks about the destination.” Bianchi points out that to present a project “in an international context to meet operators, events such as MIPIM are attended, which is the first calendar event in terms of dates, before Berlin and 196+, for instance. It’s an important international showcase for investments and real estate (related article on p. 8), to connect and strengthen networking.” The innovation that makes HPI stand out is that it brings interested international operators “directly to the country to discover what they do not yet know about the area – besides the big cities – giving them the opportunity to learn about alternative situations.”

The début

The first edition of HPI was hosted within the previous edition of BTO – Be Travel Onlife, held at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence. Hospitality Project Investment in Tuscany – as it was called – allowed participants to become acquainted with a selection of tourist real estate projects in Tuscany, from cities to the seaside, through the countryside to the smaller towns and villages. The event’s format also includes mini-conference sessions “which are useful for understanding what the area can offer in terms of incentives, tax bonuses, tenders and general facilities, and what it can guarantee in regulatory terms,” emphasises Bertagni. The event targets investors, institutions, public entities, developers, constructors, managers of hotel chains or individual accommodation facilities, consultants and suppliers of products and services for hospitality.

The partnership with BTO

“The high approval rating we received confirmed that the combination of BTO and HPI has worked,” comments Francesco Tapinassi, scientific director of BTO, on the previous edition of HPI Tuscany. “There is a high level of interest,” he affirms. “The inclusion of the event within BTO seemed useful because it has focused attention on hospitality since the start.” The connecting element is precisely the innovation of the model, which does not consist only of “presenting data and scenarios but also highlights real investments with data on attractiveness. This makes the connection with BTO pragmatic because it also includes the presentation of practical cases, which are valuable toolkits.” Regarding the new edition, Tapinassi states that “efforts are being made to confirm the event’s participation in the BTO 2024 line up.”

Tuscan projects

The projects presented during HPI Tuscany are in line with demand and growth trends, with “art cities returning to be a focal point and part of the coast (high-end), between the redevelopment of properties and the increase in quality standards. These investments confirm the rise in demand requirements.” Above all, they are prestigious properties “not only because they are large, but they are also charming and historical, combining beauty, culture and landscape,” emphasises Tapinassi. As for investments in the region, there is a constant search for opportunities “in hotels to be taken over, high-end buildings to be renovated, important buildings quality-wise.” There is confirmation of new openings and the repositioning of existing structures. There are no signs of weakening and in fact, there is investment interest from foreign funds. “For 2024, forecasts for tourist flows are positive, in terms of attractiveness and interest in such structures.” Tapinassi emphasises the region’s commitment to promotion, through Tuscany Promotion and thanks to the presence of Invest in Tuscany, Investment Attraction service, which “accompanies foreign investors in facilitating decision-making and execution processes. The region has an office dedicated to investments, including the tourism sector.”

Stefania Vicini

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