1. What do you aim to achieve by bringing the stalwarts of the hospitality industry under one roof?
HVS ANAROCK HOPE (Hospitality Overview Presentation & Exchange) 2023 aims to showcase India's global stature as a hospitality industry powerhouse, by bringing Indian and international hospitality leaders, thought leaders, investors, hotel owners and new-age differentiators together for focused deliberation and interactive dialogues on various thought-provoking and forward-thinking topics impacting the hospitality industry.
2. What are some of the challenges of the hospitality industry that will be addressed during the 2-day hospitality summit?
One of the key goals of the conference is to give industry stalwarts and thought leaders a forum to deliberate and offer new perspectives on variety of industry challenges and trends, such as skill-shortage, sustainability, and technology, along with keynote addresses and presentations by experts. I am truly excited about the agenda and the speaker line-up that we have; so, stay tuned for more details on the agenda over the coming weeks.
3. What are some irreversible changes that can be seen in the hospitality industry and customer behaviour/preference in general post-covid?
COVID has changed the hospitality industry as we knew it, as travellers and hospitality players adapted to the evolving situation and found ways to keep moving forward. In the absence of inbound travel, hotel companies finally recognized the enormous potential of domestic tourism and the need to grow their presence in Indian leisure destinations. Focusing on cost efficiency, being more agile, thinking outside the box and accepting new ideas quickly are a few other changes that have strengthened the sector. Hoteliers are proactively focusing on alternative customer segments and diversifying into non-room ancillary revenue streams. Moreover, technology adoption has accelerated, and operations have become leaner.
The last two years have seen a significant change in traveller behaviour, with privacy, hygiene, and cleanliness taking precedence over all other considerations. Many travellers are now looking for greater flexibility and convenience, especially when traveling in small groups or with families and pets. Popularity of alternative accommodation products such as homestays and villa rentals has increased exponentially in India as a result of these changing preferences.
4. What are some future trends that you foresee in the hospitality industry?
Demand will continue to be strong driven by various factors. India’s G20 presidency will result in incremental demand for hotels in the cities where the meetings will be held. Leisure travel is expected to gain further momentum as international business travellers and high-profile MICE events return to the country. Medical tourism is also expected to increase because of the relaxation of international travel restrictions and the falling rupee.
Hoteliers will focus on efficient usage of technology as it helps in reducing both capital and operating costs, improving profitability, and streamlining processes, while enhancing guest experience and personalization. Most hotels will be developed with ‘smart’ guest rooms to enhance guest comfort and experience, giving hoteliers endless possibilities to differentiate themselves from the competition and exceed the expectations of the guests of tomorrow. Last but not the least, sustainability will become more than mere lip-service, as companies step-up their efforts.
5. Which key members of the Indian hospitality industry will be a part of H.O.P.E?
More than 250 distinguished invitees and delegates, including thought leaders and influencers, global and Indian hospitality leaders, hotel general managers, top asset owners, leaders in travel and travel technology, private equity & investment banks, real estate players, and architects, will attend the HOPE conference.
6. What can the attendees expect to take back from this mega hospitality summit?
The two-day conference will feature 80+ speakers, including industry thought leaders, gurus, and investors from around the world, who will analyse and discuss the current and future state of the global and domestic hospitality & travel sectors with a primary focus on future trends and new age opportunities. With the business environment and customer behaviour changing at a pace never experienced before, the collective wisdom emerging from these deliberations would provide meaningful insights to deal with the impending transformation. HOPE is two-days of high-octane knowledge exchange, networking, and celebration!