PANAJI: HOPE 2023 by HVS ANAROCK, India’s most exclusive Hospitality Summit, got underway today at the Taj Resort & Convention Centre, Goa. Showcasing India’s global stature as a hospitality industry powerhouse, HOPE (Hospitality Overview Presentation & Exchange) brings together Indian and international hospitality players for two days of high-octane knowledge exchange, networking, and also celebration. Moreover, this is the first time that such an event is happening in Goa, the leisure capital of the country.
The select gathering consisted of 300-350 hospitality and travel eminences and the senior leadership of domestic and international hotel chain operators, owners, investors, travel gurus, thought leaders and influencers from across the globe. This annual event promises to redefine how hospitality confers, networks, and celebrates success.
Among the key dignitaries present was the Honourable Chief Minister of Goa, Dr Pramod Sawant, who said in his address, I am delighted that HVS ANAROCK has the HOPE conference at Goa- India’s tourism Capital and this very exclusive travel and tourism conclave will be held every year in Goa, starting this year.
The proceedings on Day One started with HVS ANAROCK President Mandeep Lamba’s Beachside Chat with one of the world’s most celebrated hospitality leaders, Christopher J. Nassetta, President & CEO of Hilton, which is amongst the top 3 largest hospitality companies in the world, with 20 brands across more than 7,000 properties in 123 countries & territories. Christopher concluded the session by emphasizing how covid has changed the way we travel and the impact on the hotel industry
Day One featured four-panel discussions, including a Global Leaders Panel (Global Hospitality Outlook: Have we emerged stronger and more optimistic than ever before?) featuring Christopher Hartley, CEO, Global Hospitality Alliance; Dimitris Manikis, President, Europe, Middle East, Eurasia & Africa, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts; KB Kachru, Chairman Emeritus & Principal Advisor South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group; Stephen Rushmore, Jr., President & CEO, HVS; and Tommy Lai, Chief Executive Officer, General Hotel Management Pte. Ltd. The session was moderated by Mandeep Lamba, President, South Asia, HVS ANAROCK.
Featuring in the Luxury Travel Panel (Post the pandemic, is luxury travel likely to witness a significant leap? Is the rapidly changing customer behaviour and outlook going to redefine luxury travel in some ways?) were Laure Morvan, Chief Development Officer, India, Middle East, Africa & Turkey, Accor; Mary Gostelow*, Global Ambassador, Travel Writer & Influencer, Gostelow Report; Rohit Khosla, Executive Vice President – Operations, North & West India, IHCL; Salil Deshpande, Head of Editorial Content, Condé Nast Traveller India; and Sameer Nayar, Executive Vice President, Strategic Development, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts. Rattan Keswani, an Industry Stalwart and Former Deputy Managing Director, at Lemon Tree Hotels, moderated the session.
This was followed by a Beachside Chat on How India Travels, in which Kapil Kaul—CEO & Director, CAPA Advisory—was joined by Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder & Group CEO MakeMyTrip, for a freewheeling conversation, which was moderated by Ajay Mehtani, Senior Vice President, Asset Management, HVS ANAROCK.
The F&B Panel (Do hotels—the original pioneers of F&B in the country—need to rethink and reimagine F&B offerings given the rapid strides in innovation and customer acquisition made by standalone restaurants?) brought together AD Singh, Founder & Managing Director Olive Bar & Kitchen; Anil Chadha, Divisional Chief Executive, ITC Hotels; Gaurav Singh, Market Vice President South & East India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Marriott International; and Rohit Khattar, Founder & Chairman, Old World Hospitality, with Diwan Gautam Anand, Industry Stalwart & Former Executive Vice President, ITC Hotels, moderating the session.
And taking part in the HR Panel (The Manpower Conundrum: How will hotels deal with attracting and retaining future talent?) were Ashutosh (Ash) Khanna, Partner, Heidrick & Struggles; Brijesh Paleri, Founder, GigsNearMe; Gaurav Pokhariyal, Executive Vice President – Human Resources, IHCL; Natwar Nagar, Founder & CEO, The People Network & The Job Plus; and Sanjay Bose, Executive Vice President & Head – Human Resource, ITC’s Hotel Group. This session was moderated by Prahlad Puri, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Indian School of Hospitality.
Commenting on the proceedings on the first day, Mr Mandeep Lamba, President (South Asia), HVS ANAROCK, said, “It is with great expectation that we have been organising this summit, and it has been a delight to see such a turnout comprising of the crème de la crème of the global and international hospitality industry. There have been so many takeaways from the sessions on Day One, as I’m sure there will be on Day Two. With the role of India and Asia growing in the hospitality space, I believe the HOPE Summit can become influential enough to drive policy and make a positive impact in this space the world over. I’m confident we will all return intellectually enriched, willing to contribute extra to further transform the prospects of the industry.”