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Press Release

10 Mar 2014

Final Day Summary – IHIF 2014

BERLIN (March 6 2014): The final day of the 17th International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) opened with the results of the IHIF Student Challenge which was deservingly awarded to Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. Students took to the stage to summarise their project to the audience. Andrea Belfanti, Executive Director, International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC), then presented the IHIF Young Leader Award to Patricia Gallardo, Global Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. On presenting the award Belfanti said of Gallardo that she was “truly passionate and cares deeply about making the world a better place”. Gallardo accepted the award and urged everyone in the industry “to think about responsible business”. She stated that it was “time to start doing things differently”. The award is presented in partnership with the IHIF and recognises outstanding contribution to the industry by a young hospitality leader.

Kerry Gumas Chief Executive Officer, Questex Media Group LLC then presented a cheque to École hôtelière de Lausanne of USD$30,000 for the ongoing support of students in their learning and education at the pioneering centre for hospitality education.

The first panel session of the day was moderated by Anita Mendiratta, Founder & Managing Director, CACHET Consulting, in conversation with Hannah R. Messerli, Senior Private Sector Development Specialist/Tourism, Africa Region, The World Bank Group; Dr Sapta Nirwandar

Vice Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia and Hon. Lazaro Nyalandu, Minister for Tourism, United Republic of Tanzania. Mendiratta asked Nirwandar and Nyalandu how they respectively position themselves as desirable tourism destinations? Nyalandu pointed to the pristine nature tourists can experience in Tanzania, the wealth of nature resources available and it’s position as a leading safari destination. He also noted the enormous transformation the country has seen in recent years legally, politically and socially, all of which create an attractive proposition for hospitality investors. He noted the wide range of tax incentives currently available, and indentified Tanzania as one of the leading countries in Africa for direct foreign investment. Nirwandar stated that there was currently a significant amount of human capital investment taking place in Indonesia. Both Tanzania and Indonesia recognise the benefit of working closely with neighbouring countries to create a region that is attractive to tourism investment and therefore tourism. 

The formal sessions for the morning concluded with “Owners and Operators Talk Business”, which was lead by Christoph Härle, Chief Executive Officer Continental Europe - Hotels & Hospitality, Jones Lang LaSalle. Three pairs of Owners and Operators took to the stage to discuss their working partnerships and how best to structure communications with your owners and nurture relationships for sustainable growth. Amy McPherson, President & Managing Director, Europe, Marriott Hotels International and Petr Chitipakhovyan, President, CH-Group, stated that mutual respect and honesty were the key contributing elements to their success. Wolfgang M. Neumann, President & Chief Executive Officer, The Rezidor Hotel Group and Frederic de Brem, Managing Director, Algonquin France, discussed current projects and specifically the Radisson Blu Lyon, where both parties are working together on the current remodelling. Neumann said, “this project puts pay to the rumour that owner and operator can’t work together. It is on and time and under budget”. Finally Federico Gonzalez Tejera, Chief Executive Officer, NH Hotel Group and Riccardo Dallolio, Head of Alternatives and Special Situations, AXA Real Estate, summarised the general sentiment of the session saying that “trust, honesty and transparency between partners is vital”

International companies continued to announce news at the IHIF including InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) signing two further hotels in London with Hotel Indigo® London - Barbican and Holiday Inn® Watford Junction. As a result, during the last nine months, IHG signed all six of its current European brands into its Greater London pipeline, further reinforcing IHG’s presence in the UK’s capital. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) also announced the signing of Holiday Inn Express® Manchester Airport. Located nearby the UK’s third busiest airport, the 201 room hotel will operate under a franchise agreement with Manchester Airport PLC and is due to open in the next coming months. Also revealed at the IHIF was the news that Azmont Investments, the owner and developer of Portonovi, a €500 million luxury development in Montenegro with Europe’s first One&Only resort and ultra-luxury residences, announced a new partnership with world-renowned wellness brand, Chenot. Chenot and One&Only Portonovi have teamed up to offer a wellness and vitality centre. Upon its opening in 2016, it will be the first of its kind for the region, offering the Chenot Method range of treatments for complete revitalisation for health-conscious guests.

The IHIF 2015 will take place from the 2-4th March 2015. Keep the date and we hope you can join us for another spectacular event that promises to deliver productive networking, thought-provoking sessions and an environment where deals get done.



Editors notes:

About Questex Media Group

Questex Hospitality + Travel, the largest multimedia organization in the world dedicated to hospitality and travel, drives revenue, productivity and value creation for these related industries through strategic investment and deal-making forums, powerful lead-generation tools, interactive online business solutions, world-class events and industry-leading publications.

Questex Hospitality + Travel operates throughout the United States and Americas regions, EMEA and Asia/Pacific through a variety of market-leading properties and services including International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) Berlin, North America Hotel Investment Conference, Asia Pacific Hotel Investment Conference, Asia Pacific Tourism Destination Investment Conference, Brasil Hospitality Investment Conference, Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference, Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference, HOTEC Design North America and HOTEC Operations & Technology North America; lead generation portal; industry news delivery services in print, online and mobile worldwide via IHIF: Hotel Investment News along with Hotel Management and HA+D magazines. For more information please visit


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