Tourism has made its way back as the Russian economy recovers gradually but strongly. For the same reason, investors are eyeing new and undiscovered cities besides Moscow and St. Petersburg. This is backed by the upcoming projects for the major events such as FIFA World Cup 2018 and many more that Russia will be in-charge of.
Russia has caught the attention of major international hotel chains which are expanding their brands in the country. While some are opening their first hotel, others are focusing on the other big cities to open their umpteenth hotel. It is estimated that by 2018, the number of international brand hotels will increase from 87 to 220 making Russia, a very lucrative market for the hotel operators.
Noppen`s 2nd Annual Russia Hotel Expansion Summit will bring together high-level executives, government officials, hotel operators, hospitality industry experts and market leading solution providers in a focused two-day program designed to enhance
business, discuss future strategies and to learn more about the updated technologies required for guaranteeing customer satisfaction and success. An opening word was given to Ms. Lucy Mityaeva, CEO at CHC International, who was the Chairperson of day one. She made a short welcome speech with a positive attitude towards the attractive hotel industry in Russia and introduced the first speaker of the day.
Mr. Sergey Shpilko, Chairperson of Moscow Committee for Tourism and Hotel Industry was happy to start the summit by speaking about the development of hotel industry and tourism in Moscow. Mr. Shpilko showed figures about trends and prospects of the sector such as the international players, how many new hotels were opened last year and so on. His speech was followed by the presentation of Mr. Sven Osmers, Director and Head of Real Estate Practice Russia & CIS at KPMG. He gave an overview of existing hotel supply in Russia and of the projects which are in the pipeline. The hotel projects are clearly increasing with an active role of major hotel brands. Mr. Osmers also explained the investments situation in the Russian hotel industry.
The next speaker was Ms. Irina Sheshero, President of National Investment Association. She pointed out the current challenges which are constraining the development of hotel business in Russia, but also mentioned the perspective directions in the market. Ms. Sheshero continued her speech by speaking about ways to find the best location for the hotel projects and how to attract the investors.
After the networking break, Mr. Alexey Musakin, Member of the Board at Cronwell Hotels & Resorts and CEO at Cronwell Management came on stage to speak from the point of view of a local brand. He summed up the criteria of success for a local brand and explained how to benefit from local knowledge to expand beyond the borders. In conclusion Mr. Musakin mentioned challenges and benefits of becoming an international brand.
Mr. Raban von Studnitz, Senior Consultant for hotel business at ComplexBar showed their turnkey solutions for the horeca segment in the hotel industry and the brands they represent. One of their partners, Mr. Philippe Grousset, Export Area Manager at Groupe Matfer Bourgeat gave a short speech about providing quality and service with the most modern kitchen and buffet equipment.
The following session was a panel discussion moderated by Ms. Tatiana Veller, Owner of RTV Hospitality Services and joined by Mr. Igor Romanov, Member of the Board of Directors at AZIMUT Hotels, Mr. Alexis Delaroff, COO HotelServices Russia, Georgia
& CIS, Mr. Darren Blanchard, Senior Director Business Development at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Mr. Alexey Musakin, Member of the Board at Cronwell Hotels & Resorts and CEO at Cronwell Management. From the point of view of local and international brands, they've discussed Russia’s hotel industry potential, mentioning subjects as VISA situation, investment funds, upcoming WC FIFA 2018 and other interesting topics.
Before going to lunch, Mr. Vladimir Tokaev, NRB Division Leader at Ideal Standard gave a presentation on how to modernize your hotel bathroom by using the innovative solutions for the enhanced contemporary design.
Mr. Jurgen Willen, General Manager at Willen Associates Architekten, continued the second half of the day. He illustrated his experience in different Russian and international hotel projects and informed about the interior design possibilities.
Mr. Enis Oncuoglu, Owner of Oncuoglu / ACP Architecture, showcased the upcoming architecture trends in the hotel construction and gave examples of how they can be applied in the Russian market. It’s important that the Russian market players are aware of what it is to come in matters of design and architecture for the future projects.
The presentation that followed was given by the experts in the F&B industry, Mr. Francois Bonneville, CEO Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe region and Ms. Ekaterina Davydova, Sales Manager Food Services CIS area from ARC International. The company provides quality tableware products which are resistant, attractive and functional.
Hereafter, the participants could enjoy an interesting presentation of Mr. Roland Paar, Vice President Development Europe & Middle East at Capella Hotel Group and Mr. Dirk Spindeldreher, General Manager at Solis Hotels and Suites Sochi. They spoke about the importance of talent development, as it empowers to deliver service excellence and increases sales productivity in the hospitality.
Post last networking break, Mr. Alexey Evchenko, Managing Director at ArtBuild Hotel Group, gave insight on the extended stay hotels and compared it to classic hotels and private apartments. Furthermore, he spoke about new concepts and developments
for Russia and CIS markets.
Day one of the summit ended with a panel discussion. The participants were Mr. Mikhail Mandrigin, General Director at Aukett Fitzroy Vostok, who moderated the session, Mr. Michal Kus, Director International Operations at Aedas, Ms. Maria Sonne- Frederiksen, General Manager at Art4All International and Ms. Nina Novikova, Director of Economics at Aecom. The industry professionals discussed how to use design and technology to deliver the next generation of hospitality experience, and how to enhance comfort and luxury without losing authenticity and cultural identity.
Ms. Marina Smirnova, Partner, Head of Hospitality and Tourism Department at Cushman & Wakefield, opened the second part of the hotel conference as Chairperson of day two. She highlighted that Russia is in the top 15 of the fastest growth rate in the
world and in the top 5 in Europe.
The first presenter of that day was Ms. Ludmila Koudryavtseva, CEO at The Baltic Travel Company. She was able to analyze the role of airlines, business travel and MICE in the Russia’s hotel and tourism development, and compared Moscow with St-Petersburg. It is important to accentuate MICE as driver in the hospitality sector.
The topic on hotel sustainable development was given by Mr. Kai-Uwe Reitmann, Project Partner at Drees & Sommer. He summarized sustainable solutions for lean operation, mentioned cost effectiveness as core driver and provided international and
local best practice examples.
Mr. Denis Astrakhantsev, Regional Business Development Director at RATIONAL, informed the attending delegates about advanced and multifunctional kitchen equipment which is very easy to operate in a modern catering and makes it possible to
cook different dishes simultaneously. The risks, challenges and opportunities of expanding in emerging markets were what we could hear from Mr. Arild Hovland, Senior Vice-President Business Development Russia & CIS at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. He also listed the key success factors of operating in Russia.
After the break and networking meetings, the participants gathered to listen to the presentation of Reikartz Hospitality Group representatives, Mr. Magnus Wetterholm, CEO and Ms. Anna Nerozina, Director of Sales & Marketing and Advisor to CEO for
regional development. They presented a Case Study of the group, which is a national hotel chain in Ukraine and spoke about how to manage a hotel chain in a crisis situation and what operational actions need to be taken to reduce the costs. Ms. Nerozina also shed light on the actions from the sales department.
Mr. Karl de Lacy, International Development Manager at Best Western, gave a speech which concerns the decision of to brand or not to, while taking into account the end user expectations. He went over the options, the benefits and the costs.
Hereafter Mr. de Lacy joined a panel discussion together with Mr. Bastien Blanc, Vice President, Business Development Russia & CIS at Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Mr. Philippe Brisbois, CEO at MAINDOR Hotel Management, Mr. Scott Antel, Partner, Head of Hospitality and Leisure for Russia, CIS and Turkey at DLA Piper and Ms. Lucy Mityaeva, CEO at CHC International, who acted as the moderator. They discussed the right management agreements and contracts, the proper balance in management
between owners and operators, the look on the future and growth, the challenges and opportunities.
The next subject was presented by Mr. Anton Basin, Partner and Executive Director at Fantalis. He captivated the audience with his explanation on how to turn a first booker into a loyal rebooker and how to calculate return on investment of a loyal customer.
Mr. Derek Burke, EMEA Sales Director at Precor, drew attention of participants to the networked fitness solutions and went more into detail by telling about its benefits to the hospitality operators.
When everyone returned from lunch, Mr. Vadim Prasov, Managing Director at Allicance Hotel Management and Vice-President at Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers came on stage. He gave his insight on developing successful luxury resorts in Russia.
The final session of the day was a panel discussion moderated by Ms. Maria Tyurina, Director at Horwath HTL. The panelists were Mr. Mikhail Kolesnik, Senior Director Development for the Russia, CIS & Eastern Europe area, Mr. Roland Paar, Vice President Development Europe & Middle East at Capella Hotel Group, Mr. Sergey Kolesnikov, General Director at GOST Hotel Management and Mr. Pavel Elnikov, Senior Associate at DLA Piper. The panel participants had an interesting conversation
regarding the outlook and perspective of operators and investors. The most updated topics like Sochi and Krim were also touched.
Noppen would like to express special thanks to the sponsors of 2nd Annual Russia Hotel Expansion Summit Rational, ComplexBar, ARC International, Kaba, Technogym, Metos, Precor, Ideal Standard, White Sphere, Hamam, Neotren, Honeywell, AlgoStar, Resterra, Samsung, Hoshizaki, Radius and Hikvision and to the partner Russian Association of Business Travel for their contributions to the event.