Industry Update
Opinion Article29 May 2017

IHIF Conference 2017 - Going Beyond Traditional Hospitality

By Lina Temelli, Bachelor Student at École hôtelière de Lausanne

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The 20th edition of the largest gathering of hospitality investors, International Hotel Investment Forum, IHIF, had a recurring discussion of going beyond the traditional hospitality service approach and using hotels as a hub.

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The social scene existed within hostels and membership clubs such as Soho House for some time. Nevertheless, there has been an undeniable shift towards a community feel in the industry in the recent years. The success and popularity among the potential customers of new players like Zoku has caught the attention of the industry leaders.

Accor's new brand JO&JOE and Marriott's Moxy is evidence that the leaders are determined to ride this trend. Sébastien Bazin, CEO of Accor, dedicated his keynote speech to discussing the future of the brand and how he aims to integrate hotels into the local community. Striving to create a connection in the community by building trust; Bazin believes if the local dry cleaner has a urgent delivery and the client cannot pick up the cleaning in time, the dry cleaner should be able to leave the package to be picked up at the Accor hotel in its neighborhood. Bazin also claimed that properties are not being used to their full potential, that exploiting the available space with a community approach is the future for Accor.

IHIF's dedicated breakout session to the subject, aptly named New Hospitality Models, housed the creative innovators of the industry. JO&JOE's lead man Christian Giraud was accompanied by Fredrik Korallus, CEO of Generator Hostels, Eric Van Dijk, COO of Meininger Hotels, and smaller yet inspiring concepts such as Roam and Green Rooms.

Although the ideology and background of the speakers all differed substantially, there was a consensus towards focusing on creating social centers out of the properties and driving customer experience through it. The priority seems to be on providing an intense local community exposure, engaging people through social space and allowing properties to 'be the stage'. The concepts follow different routes to achieve this collaborative environment; Roam's co-living concept allows for business collaboration, Green Rooms sets the scene so artists interact and create together while the hostels are setup to drive the social synergy.

IHIF is unequivocally the most important event for the hospitality industry. It is the meeting space for the leaders; where the deals are signed and significant strategic decisions are made. In an event that has such a big impact on the industry, one of the focus points was to move away from what the industry excels at. The businessmen and women we consider the leaders are embracing the moving consumer needs and exploring ways to meet them.

The new generation going into the changing industry, including EHL students, should be equipped with an innovative and creative mindset. They should be ready to explore the newly shaped trends that dictates the modern hospitality models and possibly abandon the traditional hotel room.

"IHIF is perhaps the biggest opportunity a prospective hotelier could get. Beyond listening to the ideas and predictions of the leaders of the industry, one has the chance to scrape shoulders with them in intimate workshops and networking events. I attended the conference right before graduating, in a time where I needed guidance, and was lucky enough to receive it from the great names of the industry."

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Related Event

2018 International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF)

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Hotel InterContinental — Berlin, Germany
event information
Related Brands

Moxy

Moxy Hotels is Marriott International's new millennial-focused brand that debuted in September 2014 with the opening of the Moxy Milan. A boutique-hotel concept for the next-Gen traveler, Moxy is a fresh and innovative brand combining stylish design and approachable service at an affordable price point.
brand information

Zoku

Facilitating global living and working for the travelling professional, Zoku, which is Japanese for family, tribe, or clan, will disrupt and create a new category in the hotel industry - a home-office hybrid, also suitable for long stays, with the services of a hotel and the social buzz of a thriving neighbourhood.
brand information

JO&JOE

Launched in September 2016 and designed to meet the expectations of Millennials and anyone who embraces their attitude to sharing, spontaneity and experience, JO&JOE is the latest Lifestyle addition to AccorHotels’ Economy brand portfolio.
brand information

Lina Temelli

Lina Temelli is a Bachelor Studentat École hôtelière de Lausanne. Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) is an ambassador for traditional Swiss hospitality and has been a pioneer in hospitality education since 1893. It has created and inspired a unique professional community of 25,000 hospitality managers, united by the values and the legacy of EHL.

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