HICP 2017 has brought together more than 160 decision makers from 12 different countries with the same goal of understanding what opportunities in the hospitality sector the Philippine market has to offer. We had the honour of having Undersecretary Alma Rita D. Jimenez of the Department of Tourism deliver the opening ministerial address.
The conference began on a note of optimism as Usec. Jimenez shared the good news that tourism in the Philippines has grown by 11.31% to almost 5.97 million by December 2016. She also let the conference in on her insights into what’s exciting and new – the sharing economy; the desire to get “unplugged’ in an increasingly connected world; the world of augmented reality; the possibility of space travel in the not-so-distant future; the desire to travel to “forbidden zones” and “last-chance tourism” as we witness the rising popularity of Africa and the Middle East as the new go-to tourist attractions where people rush to see the last of a breed on the brink of extinction.
Day 1 of the program featured engaging panels such as the on featuring the Big Guns; How to Remain Competitive to Stay Profitable; Global Hotel Residences Brands Hitting the Philippines; the Rise of Boutique Hotels in the Region; Beach Clubs and their place in the Philippines. Conference Chairperson – Cyndy Jarabata of Tajara Leisure & Hospitality – opened the conference citing, in her opinion, What’s Hot in 2017. First on her list is the emergence of new money – from various sectors like construction, FMCG, power companies, petroleum, F&B, the media – that it is no longer just about the top 10 families anymore. This certainly bodes well as new money suggests new opportunities in the sector.
Organisations present at the event included AccorHotels, Aidea Inc., AyalaLand Hotels & Resorts Corp., Alenter Resort Hotels Corporation, Altus Capital Partners, ARIC – Japan, Azur Property Investments Corporation, Best Western La Corona, Centara International Management, Chroma Hospitality, Diamond Hotel Manila, Dusit International, Exchange Properties Resources Corp., Far East Hospitality, Filinvest Hospitality, Frasers Hospitality, Google Philippines, Langham Hospitality Group, LBL Prime Properties Inc., Interworld Properties Corporation, Investment & Capital Corporation of the Philippines, Lubd Hostel Group, Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts, New World Makati, Oak Drive Capital, One-of Collection, Potato Head, Quantuvis Resources Corporation, Robinsons Land Corp., Roxaco Land Corporation, SM Hotels & Conventions Corp., STR, Ten Knots Development Corp., The Discovery Leisure Company, Tourism Infrastructure & Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), Vanguard Hotels, Whiterock Waterpark & Beach Hotel and more. The conference saw abundant networking activities during stints such as the speed networking and cocktail sessions, as well as spontaneous moments during the refreshment and luncheon breaks.
President Trump’s doppelganger arrived on Conference Day 2 to open the day’s program and promptly handed over to Chairperson – Bill Barnett of C9 Hotelworks. Day 2 featured yet another exciting line-up of panels covering topics like Destinations, Hospitality to Accommodate the Millennial Traveler and Hotel Design Trends. Delivering the closing was Undersecretary Roberto C.O. Lim of the Department of Transportation who addressed the pertinent issue of access challenges amidst vibrant hotel and tourism development in the Philippines. He shared the government’s plans for the development of the New Manila International Airport, amongst others in several key destinations in the archipelago.
This year, we had the inaugural Hospitality Technology in the Philippines snap sessions which started off with an engaging panel on how owners and operators stay ahead of the times, digitise operations and stay in the black.
We look forward to being the mainstay event in the Philippine hospitality landscape.