The 17th Edition of the Hotel Investment Conference – South Asia (HICSA)
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Presenting HICSA 2022: Hosted by Hotelivate Friday, 8th April 2022: Hotelivate hosted the 17th Edition of its Hotel Investment Conference - South Asia (HICSA) at the Grand Hyatt, Mumbai on 06-07 April 2022.
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
Presenting HICSA 2022: Hosted by Hotelivate
Friday, 8th April 2022: Hotelivate hosted the 17th Edition of its Hotel Investment Conference – South Asia (HICSA) at the Grand Hyatt, Mumbai on 06-07 April 2022. This annual event is India’s largest hospitality investment conference and this year it saw well over 400 delegates in attendance representing various businesses across the hospitality spectrum which indicated a turning point in the industry’s recovery.
After a hiatus because of a global pandemic, a completely in-person conference was a much-needed welcome change. A collection of presentations, keynotes, interviews and panel discussions covered a plethora of themes and topics as industry stalwarts addressed the challenges hospitality has faced in the past two years and highlighted the growth potential and investment opportunities going forward. The two-day hospitality focused conference was indeed a success as it provided a much-needed boost to one of the worst-affected industries in the country with some of its most prominent thought-leaders and trend-setters uniting under one roof. This year was also unique as it saw an amazing gender representation with more than 20% women speakers as well as new perspectives being shared with 55% speakers as first time speakers.
“The feedback received has been over-whelming and heartening. The hospitality industry was in dire need of some positivity and we do hope that HICSA has been able to be that platform. All the sessions were extremely well received in terms of attendance as well as content. We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from our delegates, patrons, speakers and sponsors. None of this would have been possible without them”.Manav Thadani, Founder Chairman of Hotelivate
Day 1 of the conference started with a Power Networking session which was something unique this year. It allowed the delegates to exchange business cards and get acquainted before the sessions began. The keynote sessions, interviews and plenary panels were all content-rich and provided valuable insights to the changing hospitality landscape. Delegates were seeing taking down copious notes as notable speakers such as Jesper Palmqvist, Area Director Asia Pacific STR, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and Group CEO, OYO, Aaditya Thackeray, Hon. Minister of Tourism and Environment & Protocol, Government of Maharashtra, Aditya Ghosh, Co-Founder Akasa, Board Member – Fabindia, OYO and Homage were speaking. Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC Limited was felicitated with a lifetime achievement award, celebrating a professional journey like no other. He was seen attending the event with his family.
The day closed with the ‘HICSA Hotels of the Year Awards’ presented by MakeMyTrip, that recognizes the most remarkable new hotel developments in the South Asian region. The winner of the Critics’ Choice Award was Six Senses Fort Banwara, Rajasthan and the winners across the other six categories were: Taj Lakefront, Bhopal – Madhya Pradesh in the Luxury/Upper Upscale Hotel – Urban Segment; Raffles Resort, Udaipur – Rajasthan in the Luxury/Upper Upscale Hotel – Leisure Segment; Vivanta Pakyong – Sikkim in the Upscale
Hotel Segment; Fairfield By Marriott, Benaulim – Goa in the Upper Mid-Market Segment; Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Sonamarg – Jammu &Kashmir in the Mid-Market Segment and Ginger Gajuwaka, Visakhapatnam – Andhra Pradesh in the Budget/Economy Segment.
Consistent with the HICSA tradition, Day 2 of the conference featured many relevant panel and group discussions as well as a few keynote sessions with industry leaders. All the sessions saw a fantastic response and some thought-provoking Q&A from the audience. Sessions like Island Hospitality discussed burning current issues while sessions like India Tourism Unleashed – Picture Abhi Baaki Hai and Trial by Fire: Travel & Tourism were centered around changing traveler sentiments. While the session on Real Estate: The Best Asset Class for Returns was extremely insightful, the session titled How Will Management Contract Evolve – Post Pandemic left delegates wanting for more.
The conference ultimately concluded with the famous “Hot Seat Debate” moderated by Manav Thadani, which put the spotlight on its panelists, bringing it all out in the open. The panel had Kapil Chopra, Founder and CEO, The Postcard Hotel, Priya Paul, Chairperson, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels, JB Singh, President & CEO, InterGlobe Hotels, Snehdeep Aggarwal, Founder-Chairman, Bhartiya Group and Zubin Saxena, Managing Director and VP Operations – South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group, and with this, it brought an end to the most exciting two days.
Hotelivate is a new-age hospitality consulting firm offering specialized services to clients across the Asia Pacific region. Founded by the erstwhile team of HVS India, Hotelivate, offers a comprehensive consulting environment through a diverse team of consultants that have a combined professional experience of 250 years across varied hospitality verticals. The firm presently has offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, and Dubai.
The founding partners of Hotelivate are reputed hospitality business consultants, who have advised, assisted, and nurtured thousands of clients for more than two decades in South Asia.
Through its focused, empathetic, and innovative approach, Hotelivate serves a wide range of industry stakeholders across all phases of hospitality lifecycle consulting, thereby eliminating the need for several different advisors. Specifically, Hotelivate will assist clients right from inception to divestment of their hospitality ventures, by offering an entire spectrum of services that are practical and tangible value-adds for clients.
In addition, Hotelivate hosts some of Asia Pacific’s most successful conferences, namely Hotel Investment Conference – South Asia (HICSA), Hotel Operations Summit India (HOSI), and Tourism Hotel Investment & Networking Conference (THINC) Indonesia & Sri Lanka.
To address the growing need for a uniform platform for industry participants to exchange ideas and discuss the future of the hospitality industry, the annual Hotel Investment Conference − South Asia (HICSA) was launched in 2005. Today, the conference is globally recognized as the most impressive and unique platform to explore growth and investment opportunities both within and outside India.
Valued for its networking opportunities and high-level contacts as much as for its content-rich sessions, HICSA, over the last 16 years, has witnessed unprecedented support and appreciation from the hospitality industry. It attracts overwhelming participation from hotel owners, investors, operators, bankers, and industry specialists who come together to share their best practices, new ideas and latest market trends.
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