Walther also cherishes this credo within his two hotels: long-term employees are one of the factors for success as well as Thomas’ personal contact with guests. Both create customer retention. He should know as the third generation of a hotelier’s family. As he puts it: "The world is becoming more and more anonymous and unstable, but at our hotels, guests can be sure that we will meet, and long-standing friendships, often over generations, have grown this way." Family values are more important than ever.
But back to the Pontresina hotel industry – how has it evolved over the years? Building a modern cultural and congress centre at the hefty price tag of nearly 30 million Swiss francs was a clear commitment to tourism. This landmark decision by the municipality in the 90s has triggered good competition. Not in the sense of outdoing others, but in generally improving the quality. "I became president of the Pontresina Hoteliers in my early 40s, and I was the third-oldest hotelier at the time", says Thomas. In other words, the Pontresina hotel industry has gone through a generational change very early. Walther considers the Pontresina hotel zone another reason for the success: "This saved us from the temptation of simply selling our hotels during the pied-à-terre boom. Otherwise some of the best located hotels in Pontresina wouldn’t be there anymore today." Thomas is now looking confidently into the future.