More than three hundred delegates from fifteen countries across the Globe took part in last weeks Hotel & Tourism trends conference, being held for the second year at the Sofitel Victoria in Poland’s’ capital city. There were nineteen themed sessions with seventy-four panellists taking to the stage and the event attracted more than thirty sponsors, showing that the Hotel & Tourism Trends conference has already become one of the most important events for the hospitality industry in Central & Eastern Europe. In addition, more than two hundred people attended the ceremonial gala where the winners of the seven categories of the Hotelier of the Year contest 2014 were announced.
During her opening speech, Katarzyna Sobierajska, Undersecretary of the State in the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, highlighted the increasing dynamic of tourism and its economic importance for Polish GDP. Bartłomiej Walas, Vice President of the Polish Tourist Organization presented and discussed the latest trends in world tourism and its influence on the hotel industry in Poland.
The first day of the conference was an inspiring discussion between leaders of the hospitality and tourism, MICE, health and medical tourism and culinary tourism industries, who discussed the most important issues facing the industry during five themed panels. The panels looked at the major challenges for todays’ hoteliers, the best markets for hotel investment in the region, which market segments are the most interesting for investment, what role hotel brands play in whether an investment will be successful, the demands of the modern hotel guest, and the way Poland should be promoted abroad.
‘The Very high turnout and record number of sponsors prove that the hospitality industry needs a high class event to encourage opinion exchange and ideas’ observed Krzysztof Gonciarek, Member of the Board of the Polish Special Publishing ProMedia, co-organizer of the event.
The first day of the event concluded with a glamorous banquet for the ‘Hotelier of the Year 2014’ contest where the winners were announced in the seven categories. Over two hundred people attended the networking cocktail event, which was a great opportunity for networking and extensive discussions regarding the industry.
The second day of the conference consisted of more specific themed panel sessions. Janusz Mitulski from Horwath HTL Poland moderated the investment panel, the operational session was led by Andrzej Przeniosło, the procurement in the Warszawianka Hotel and E-commerce session was moderated by Miłosz Stanisławski, General Manager in the Sound Garden Hotel in Warsaw.
‘The Second day of the conference was purposely organized as a series of workshops for hoteliers and investors. This was in response to feedback from the first Hotel & Tourism Trends event last year. Delegates are not only expecting to hear high level information, but they also want to understand the nuts and bolts of specific areas that will help them expand their knowledge in a practical way.’ said Janusz Mitulski, Partner at Horwath HTL, the worlds most experienced hospitality consulting network, and co-organizer of the event. ‘Our greatest satisfaction is derived from hearing such positive feedback from the attendees. It perfectly confirms that we are on the right track and are giving the industry the information it needs.’
For the second year in a row, the Strategic Partner for the event was Orbis SA, which provided excellent food and a beautifully renovated interior of the flagship Accor hotel in Poland – Sofitel Warsaw Victoria in Warsaw.
Hotel & Tourism Trends 2014 received the highest marks from the participants not only for the professional level of the event, but also for the technical set up that was provided by Samsung, the second Strategic Partner. ‘All of the attendees were able to ask questions to the panellists through the specially prepared Samsung tablets and that caused the positive impact on interaction between experts and conference participants’ said Rafał Szubstarski, Hotelarz Editor-in-chief.
Gold Sponsors of the event were Life Fitness, Marell, Precor, Profitroom, Staffer, InterContinental Hotels Group, Matmarco, Availpro, Choice Hotels, Zdrojowa Invest and Agnella.
Silver Sponsors of the event were Carlson Residor, Desa, Dobry Hotel, Hilton Worldwide, ITP SA, LSI Software, Numatic, Vinis, Paged, Piwowar, Pravda, Satoria Group, Sambella, Stock, Techno Gym, TPA Horwath, YieldPlanet and PureConcept.
Patrons of the event were the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, HOTREC, Polish Tourist Organisation, and the Chamber of Commerce of Polish Hospitality.