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Press Release

06 Mar 2012

International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) opens to 1,707 delegates from across the world

Press Release: 6th March 2012


For Immediate Release


International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) opens to 1,707 delegates from across the world

Berlin, Germany- The International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) was opened by Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events, who welcomed delegates to the 15th annual conference. In 1998 at the inaugural IHIF, 250 delegates attended. This year, we welcome 1,707 members of the hospitality industry from 57 countries. Worsley commented: “Over the last 15 years lots has changed but our beliefs haven’t. The reasons to attend are, as they always have been, to do deals, do business, network and have fun”.

Worsley then introduced David Scowsill, President & CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Scowsill discussed the relatively short amount of time the travel and tourism industry requires to recover from global disasters, citing the signs of recovery being demonstrated following the global recession as an example. He also highlighted the significant growth from both China and India and how this is set to represent a third of global travel and tourism GDP by 2022. The global travel and tourism industry is predicted to account for 328 million jobs (1 in 10) by 2022. A key point was the reliance so many sectors within the hospitality industry have on each other and cited the hospitality industry’s relationship with that of aviation, cruise and hire cars. The WTTC is working with educational institutions to raise the profile of careers in the travel and tourism industry. Scowsill concluded by emphasizing the importance of reducing the level of VAT applied to hotel and making access to travel easier through the use of online visa applications.

Professor Ian Goldin, Director, Oxford Martin School and Professor of Globalisation and Development at Oxford University was then introduced to the stage and gave a fascinating and enlightening insight into globalization in the 21st century. Goldin spoke of the benefits the hyper connectivity present throughout the world today brings including a wealth of opportunities, innovation on a scale that has never been seen before and the ability to move people out of poverty. He explained that as people come together both physically and virtually, they get wealthier as urbanisation increases incomes. He also talked of the increase in life expectancy and the impacts this will have on society in the future. Looking to Asia, he cited predicated that by 2025 there will be over 700 million over 60’s in China. He called on hotels to take this into consideration when planning the future development of their portfolios. Although globalization is to thank for many positive elements that exist in our society today, Goldin also warned that a more connected society means that dangers, such as disease, spread much faster than previously. He also warned that the advancement of individuals, groups and countries often has a negative cumulative effect and identified the appalling state of the global fish resources as an example.

Turning to the impacts of globalization on the hospitality industry, Goldin stressed that jobs in our industry are good jobs for bad times and therefore ideal for the economic climate of today. This is because they involve training on the job, low barriers to entry, opportunities for employment from other countries and ease of movement within the industry. He also warned that social media and the connectivity it brings will mean that the reputation of hotels and brands can be built and damaged very quickly due to the speed we are uploading data. The experience of individual guests is meaningful and forms the basis of potential guest’s opinions. He said that virtual will replace a lot of elements of society but not business travel as long as the quality is exceptional. The delegate numbers at this year’s IHIF are testament to this statement.

Goldin’s final remarks concerned climate change and the need for a global solution. “Multiple local strategies are good but we have a responsibility to seek a global solution to this issue”.

Day 2 of the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) starts tomorrow, Tuesday 6th March, at 8.30am with opening remarks from Kerry Gumas, Chief Executive Officer of Questex Media Group.


Editors notes:

Hosts of the IHIF Questex Hospitality + Travel

In Association with Bench Events


About Questex Hospitality + Travel

Questex Hospitality + Travel drives demand for travel and hospitality organizations as the largest multimedia organization in the world dedicated to these related industries. It includes a dynamic collection of strategic investment and deal-making forums as well as tactical services such as powerful lead generation tools, interactive online business solutions, world-class events and industry-leading publications to help hospitality and travel organizations drive revenue, productivity and value creation. 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 & Tourism Investment Conference, International Hotel Investment Forum Asia Pacific


About Bench Events

Bench Events has a long track record of delivering, with its partners, the premier hotel investment events in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Bench Events’ Chairman, Jonathan Worsley, is one of the organisers and founders of the highly successful International Hotel Investment Forum now in its fifteenth year ( In 2005, he was responsible for launching the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai ( and in 2008 launched the Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference ( In 2011 Bench Events added two events to the portfolio, co-hosting the Central Asia and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference ( and launching Hotel Investment Conference Africa, in Morocco (


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