Industry experts look ahead to IHIF 2023
With less than a week to go until the annual International Hospitality Investment Forum, experts from across the hospitality industry have given their thoughts on the key topics, which are to be discussed at this year’s conference.
Thousands of delegates are set to attend IHIF 2023, including hundreds of investors from key industry businesses, with conference hosts Questex challenging hospitality investors to be bold in their moves over the next 12 months.
Commenting on the theme for this year’s conference ‘Fortune favours the bold’ Daniel Johansson, director of development & acquisitions, Cheval Collection, said: “The past year has seen us expand internationally with the launch of Cheval Maison, The Palm Dubai, a luxury property featuring 131 apartments. The opening is in line with our strategy of becoming a global industry leader in the short and long-stay apartment industry, targeting several signings a year.
“We have very promising projects in discussion, featuring further countries new to Cheval Collection, which we hope to announce imminently, underscoring not only the growing enthusiasm for serviced apartments, but also our experience and reputation in the segment.”
Also commenting on bold movements within the industry Steve Quan, Vice President, Lodging Strategic Partners, Expedia Group said “The continued integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across every aspect of the sector knows no bounds and has the potential to completely transform the travel industry. Travel providers that are able to adopt this technology for their customers' benefit by improving the experience and creating a more personalised journey will make great progress in 2023.
“At Expedia Group, we have already made significant strides through the introduction of open AI products to help enhance our travellers’ experience across planning, shopping and booking. This year we launched the beta version of a new in-app conversational trip planning experience powered by ChatGPT. Expedia members can now start an open-ended conversation in the Expedia app and get recommendations on places to go, where to stay, how to get around, and what to see and do based on the chat.”
Another key topic that will be discussed and debated in Berlin next week, will be that of the role of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) within the hospitality industry, as investors look to apply non-financial factors as part of their analysis of growth opportunities.
Speaking on how they will approach ESG going forwards, Karin Sheppard, SVP managing director Europe, IHG Hotels & Resorts said “We are passionate about making a positive difference to the world around us and driving a wider change throughout the hospitality industry. We recognise that building a sustainable future is not a goal – it’s an imperative.
“Our actions are driven by Journey to Tomorrow – our 10-year action plan of clear commitments that’s bringing change to our people, communities and planet, aligned to our purpose of True Hospitality for Good and to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Through this we’re taking active steps to help our hotels measure and manage their environmental impact within their communities, working hand-in-hand with owners to tackle climate change through reducing carbon emissions, waste and water in our properties, and protecting biodiversity.”
Also commenting on ESG as we head into Q2 of 2023, JoAnna Abrams, CEO of MindClick said “We’re actively expanding our technology and capabilities to accelerate access to product data from industry suppliers. Through this data, we’re making it possible for brands, owners, and operators to reduce their carbon footprint and demonstrate leadership in sustainability.”
Future growth of the hospitality industry
As the industry looks to strive on following a turbulent few years after the pandemic, leaders are seemingly positive as to what the future looks like.
Speaking on the future of the industry Daniel Johansson, director of development & acquisitions, Cheval Collection added “We believe that flexibility and experience are the keys to future growth and as we expand we are drawing on our 40 years’ owning and operating serviced apartments to offer our brands and services through management contracts. Being owners means that we have learned to be flexible and treat each site as unique. We bring this to our management contracts - we know that one size never fits all, whether that is in the detail of the contract or when operating the property.”
Steve Quan, Vice President, Lodging Strategic Partners, Expedia Group added “Our growth ambition is simple: deliver great experiences across the entire traveller journey. We’re using the billions of traveller signals created across our platform, from guest reviews to in-stay feedback to call propensity and relocations, to build an accurate picture of the experience we are delivering together. Ultimately, great experiences create repeat customers; and treating our travellers well could mean our partners gain a customer for life.”
Read more about the topics that will be discussed at IHIF 2023 by reading the full programme here or by visiting IHIF.com