May 31st – June 1st, 2012, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 31st May – 1st June 2012 – With the ever growing number of tourist arrivals to the country, particularly from its neighbors in South-East Asia, demand for a more diversified tourism product will continue to grow. It is important, however, that the government continues to guide the industry to sustain tourism and improve infrastructure throughout the country. Such improvements will continue to attract investment from international hotel companies, opening up new markets and destinations. The Vietnam hospitality industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Vietnamese economy. Riding on the economic growth and rising income levels that Vietnam has witnessed in recent years, the sector has emerged as one of the key sectors driving the country’s economy. Vietnam’s tourism industry will continue to grow rapidly in coming years on the back of its favorable demographic profile and increasing promotional activities by the government. With tremendous pull of opportunity, Vietnam is a destination for hotel chains looking for growth.
The South East Asia Hotel Expansion Summit, organized by Noppen and co-organized by Vietnam National Administration of Tourism took place on 31st May – 1st June 2012 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. With over 150 attendees the event brought together government representatives, industry experts and members of the international community to discuss the pressing question of how to expand South East Asia’s hotel industry.
Opening the event on day one was Madam Hoang Thi Diep, Co-Chairwoman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism who gave us the honor of inaugurating the event and gave a fine opening speech into the hospitality sector. This was followed by a speech given by key speaker Mr. Vu Van Thanh, Deputy Director – Hotel Department, VNAT. He gave an insightful speech into the Vietnam hotel industry and state’s policy on hotel development. Another key speaker, Mr. John Blanco, Director – Hospitality, Indochina Capital Corporation explained the central coast of Vietnam case study in private sector destination marketing explaining the trends in South East Asia and explaining in detail about DMO. He concluded his speech with Central Coast Destination Marketing Organization – What’s next, current status and priorities. Another key speaker, Mr. Neil MacGregor, Deputy Managing Director, Savills Vietnam, touched on Hotel Investment in Vietnam, key considerations and how to approach the risk; his presentation was well received by the audience. Another key speaker, Mr. Michel van der Hoeven, Senior Vice President Development, Minor International CPL (MINT) spoke about how to become a hospitality giant and how to expand the market share in the hospitality sector in the growing markets, he summed up his presentation in 6 simple steps, Understand the business, Learn “Best Practices”, Define the brand - Invest in properties, Build infrastructure, Grow through hotel management agreements, Introduce new brands & complimentary business, Start again with step 1. Madam Le Thi Thu ha, another key speaker on day 1, and Board member, Ninh Van Bay, spoke on the very interesting topic of Role of Property Owners in Co-operating with Hotel Owners, Situations and Solutions, she explained the current hotel and resort management practices in Vietnam and what property owners can expect while co-operating with hotel operators. She concluded by emphasizing that a win – win situation in the relationship between the property owners and property operators is a must.
Day 2 started with Mr. Kai Marcus Schroter, General Director, HTM Management Consultancy co., Ltd giving an opening speech. Ms. Mini Surendran, Deputy CEO, Ocean Hospitality then talked about Assigning a New Management Company to Operating Hotels & Resorts: Expectations and Considerations; she focused on management contracts (boon or a bane) perspective of both partied involved. Another key speaker, Mr. Nigel Harris, Executive VP, Chief Technical Officer, Projects & Product Development, Onyx Hospitality, who touched on a very important topic of Hotel Development from Concept to Construction, he mentioned why are hotels different and emphasized upon the 7 bad habits of unsuccessful hotel developers and concluded his presentation by giving 10 very effective tips for hotel developers. Mr. Andrew Langdon, Senior VP -Thailand & Indochina, Jones Lang Lasalle Hotels spoke on The Hotel Management Contract, Key Terms and Operator Selection and Negotiation - Best Practice; his presentation content included: hotel management agreements – an overview, operator selection & hotel management agreement negotiation – methodology. Another key speaker, Mr. Rustom Vickers, Group Director of Development, Dusit International spoke on The Rise of Asian Hotel Brands – Localised Offering with International Standards; the talk focused on key issues, industry standards, hotel market context and with strong focus on key drivers for success. Another notable key speaker for day 2 was Mr. Kevin Wallace, President and CEO, Jebel Ali International Hotels who focused on demand that drives the hospitality sector in South East Asia and was well received by the audience. Day 2 ended with a discussion panel on Strategies to Expand Market Share in the Hotel Sector with each panelist Mr. Kenneth Atkinson, Managing Partner, Grant Thornton, Mr. Louk Lennaerts, Chief Visionary Officer, Serenity holding and Mr. Kevin Wallace, President and CEO Jebel Ali International Hotels sharing their expert insight; the panel was chaired by Mr. Kai Marcus Schroter, General Director, HTM Management Consultancy Co., Ltd.