IHIF Take-Away: “2013 is the year of opportunities”
Frits van Paasschen, Starwood Hotels & Resorts President & Chief Executive Officer, summed up the mood when he said "There is as much risk, if not more, in inaction than action." Majid Mangalji, Westmont Hospitality Group President, said "Difficulties and downturn provide opportunities." Richard Solomons, InterContinental Hotels Group Chief Executive Officer, said "The pendulum of global activities is swinging East."
Another indication of optimism was attendance. More than 1,900 hotel, real estate and financial executives attended the global event, the most senior gathering for the Global hotel industry, including over 200 Owners and Investors.
Several major players took advantage of IHIF to make announcements. Aecom launched its interactive hotel investment viability tool called HINT. Marriott announced the launch of its three-star Moxy Hotels product. Hilton announced that it would open 10 new hotels in central Europe. Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels announced the sale of the Hotel Ibis Hague City Centre. IHG announced the introduction of the Holiday Inn Express brand to Russia. Leonardo Hotels announced the acquisition of Queens Moat Houses (Germany) Holding GmbH.
Kerry Gumas, Questex Media Group LLC Chief Executive Officer, and Jonathan Worsley, Bench Events Chairman and STR Global Board Director, presided over this year's IHIF, which was themed The Art of Innovation. More than 190 speakers conducted sessions on investment, funding, technology, contracts, development, social media and innovation, among other topics. A highlight was the presentation of the IHIF Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013 to Majid Mangalji, Westmont Hospitality Group President.
Attendees took networking to a new level, as witnessed by informal gatherings late into the night at the Marlene Bar, participation in the event's popular Networking xPress and attendance at receptions throughout the three days, provided by the conference host hotel, InterContinental Berlin, and the Kempinski Adlon Hotel, hosted by The Leading Hotels of the World.
"We were delighted with the success of this year's event," said Tess Pearson, Questex Media Group Event Director. "It was wonderful to see in excess of 1,900 delegates, over 200 investors and representatives from the executive levels of nearly every global hotel chain attending. Conference attendance is a vital part of business allowing education and networking amongst peers. It's refreshing to see there remains a strong demand for face to face environments like ours despite advancements in technology which facilitate 24 hour global communication."
Full summaries from day each of the conference are available on the IHIF website, www.berlinconference.com, in the Media Centre section. The IHIF 2014 will take place from the 3-5th March 2014.
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