Questex R&R Forum Brings Top Executives To Discuss Recovery Of Leisure Hospitality Industry
R&R is the only resort focused investment conference in Europe
LONDON, November 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Questex’s Resort and Residential Hospitality Forum (R&R) hosted 250 senior delegates at the Tivoli Marina Vilamoura Resort in Portugal from October 25-27, 2021 to negotiate deals, network and discuss trends impacting the resort and recreation industry.
R&R is part of the highly regarded International Hospitality Investment Forum (IHIF) and attracts a high profile audience of leading investors, developers and operators in the leisure hospitality industry. Over 70 expert industry speakers took to the stage during the three-day event, including senior executives from the world’s leading resort brands; Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor Hotel Group, Ramón Aragonés CEO of NH Hotel Group and Christian Michel, European vice president of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. The full range of speakers can be viewed here.
The theme of this year’s conference “Leisure leads the return”, focused on both the current and future landscape, as well as new ways of thinking and innovations born from the impact of the global health crisis.
Rita Marques, Secretary of State for Tourism of the Government of Portugal opened the conference and warmly welcomed the audience “We have been separated for 20 months and it is so nice to show that we can reconnect at events like R&R” .
The CEO’s long-awaited interview with Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor Hotels, began with him by stating that “the recovery is happening”. There are encouraging green shoots in European operations. The company typically took around 4-5 million euros in revenue per day before the crisis and now recorded bookings in the lower end of that range. “We are now catching up to about four,” he said. “Each month our bookings improve.”
Rajakarier shared his views on the transformation of the resort and residential market in the wake of the pandemic, changing travel markets and changing consumer demand. “Customers have new expectations, driven in the short term by concerns about health and safety, travel restrictions and the lockdown. “
He ended with a look to the future, sharing the news that they were planning to launch eight new Anantara hotels in Europe in 2022. “We always say that the crisis brings opportunity.”
Financial relations in the hospitality industry have undergone fundamental changes during the pandemic. Jorge Ruiz, responsible for hotels in Spain and Portugal for CBRE, hosted the panel which discussed the expected recovery of the leisure hotel industry, opportunities in hotel resorts and the potential availability of distressed assets that attract the attention of investors.
The shift in business activity from downtown hotels to resorts has revealed a knowledge gap among many of the large institutions that have traditionally invested heavily in hotels. Tina Yu, Director of KSL Capital Partners, said: “Investing in hotels is not all about square rooms in large city centers.
Data and stats were the name of the game when STR’s Thomas Emanuel shared his latest ideas. There is a definite sense of positivity in the market with a distinct summer peak in ADR rates reaching higher rates than in 2019. There is also an exceptional opening of new rooms in 2022 due to delayed openings in 2020 / 21.
Resort operators increasingly align themselves directly with owners, says Miguel Casas Albandor, Managing Director of Stoneweg Hospitality, the Geneva-based investment company.
Citing the changes precipitated by Covid and in particular working from home, he said it was now common for hotel guests to combine vacation and work, boldly saying that “city breaks should be renamed stays in complex”.
The emergence of changes in work from home patterns and behaviors poses its own unique challenges. Resorts that allow vacationers to work and play have enormous growth opportunities.
Christian Michel, European Vice President of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, asked about which companies would be best positioned to adopt the innovations required, advise financiers on the details of budgeting and bring together the many parties necessary for the success of the resorts new style residential.
The second of two successful CEO panels created a spirited start on day two, this time discussing rebuilding the leisure hospitality experience. Session host Roger Allen, CEO of RLA Global, said: “The industry has faced some major challenges.
Ramón Braña Cobas, CEO of Oca Hotels, which owns coastal properties in Spain, Portugal and Brazil, said: “Lack of manpower is one of the main problems in our business.
They were joined by Ramón Aragonés, CEO of NH Hotel Group, the Spanish subsidiary of Minor International (MINT). NH, Aragonés employs 12,000 people and, as a larger operator, can offer career development. “As I often say,” he added, “if you take care of your staff, your staff will take care of your customers.”
When prompted to share their views on growth areas within the leisure hospitality industry, all agreed that resort urbanization, extended stays and soft brands were key areas to watch out for. , while the MICE trip is yet to return, Jordi Ferrer, CEO of Hesperia World, added: “These properties with larger spaces for MICE will fare better than others” as he believes the Social distancing may continue for a bit longer than expected.
The central message emerging around ESG is that it is no longer acceptable for the hospitality industry to simply talk about environmental, social and governance priorities. Homeowners, governments, customers, suppliers and consumers want to act. Several panelists spoke convincingly of the relatively modest steps taken towards more ambitious goals during the session on Conscious Hospitality.
Ioannis Orfanos, founding partner of Arbitrage Real Estate Advisors, said many investors will only provide the capital required by residential complexes if they receive demonstrable evidence of their commitment to ESG priorities.
He also said progress to date had been slow in part because of the difficulty in measuring compliance with ESG targets. He said progress has been delayed in the past due to the belief that, “You can’t monetize what you can’t measure. “
A change of gears for inspiring and motivating speaker Eulanda Shead Osagiede, who left the audience with an inspiring thought to take home: “Our current reality means that we have the opportunity to reimagine what the journey might be like …” It is truly an exciting time for the resort and leisure hospitality industry as it sits at the peak of a seismic shift.
Looking ahead, R&R 2022 will take place October 18-20 at the Tivoli Marina Vilamoura Resort. Visit randrforum.com for more information as registrations will open in the coming weeks.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Questex helps people live better and longer lives. Questex brings people together in the markets that help people live better: travel, hospitality and well-being; industries that help people live longer: life sciences and health care; and the technologies that enable and fuel these new experiences. We live in the experience economy – connecting our ecosystem through live events, surrounded by data insights and digital communities. We offer experience and concrete results. It is happening here.
Marketing Director, Hotel Investment
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