One-Minute HICAP 2016 Update
Asia’s premier hospitality event in Hong Kong has just concluded and I wanted to bring you an update from HICAP 2016 (Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific)
Attendance was high, with numbers rising from 2015; strong market sentiment is clearly in the air.
Consolidation, take-overs and growing brand stables took the headlines. The Marriott Starwood marriage and ACCOR’s Fairmont Raffles deal were key subjects.
Though underpinning the discussions were practical talks about is bigger better? How to maintain identity of the volume of brands and is the move an improvement for owners?
ACCOR’s Sebastian Bazin wowed the audience over his disruptive shift into the tech world and goal to move a substantial portion of group revenue from the shared economy. Bold and impressive talk.
Thailand’s Bill Heinecke of the Minor Hotel Group took center stage and received a lifetime achievement award.
David Keen’s rebels panel which included trendsetting Ace, Potato Head and Ovalo leaders took an alternative view of the universe. One of the most interesting comments came from Keen who said “these evolving brands give oxygen to the institutional players in terms of new ideas, concepts and getting out of the box.
Another key session was on poshtels, and the rapid development of this sector. Hybrid management group Meininger from Europe was present as talk turned to rising investment from private equity and how the segment was not coming onto the radar of the big brands.
While a typhoon shut down many of the social elements, the reality of Asia’s strong hospitality sector and optimistic sentiment bodes well for 2017.