This past September 19 – 20, 2013, 110 attendees from more than 10 countries within the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) and beyond, gathered in the luxurious Opera Hotel in Kiev, Ukraine to discuss the strategies and bottlenecks of hotel development in this part of the world. The HVS-organized event proved yet again that the firm is regarded as an industry thought leader in the region.
“HVS appreciates the continued support of key players in the CIS hotel market,” said Tatiana Veller, Managing Director of HVS’s office in Moscow. “Important speakers and partners united at our Conference once again, and we also welcomed new players and insightful partners to keep the Conference relevant and progressive.”
HVS iCON 2013 featured noteworthy speakers and presenters from across the hotel and tourism industries, including:
- Abid Butt, CEO, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts
- Dejan Djordjevic, Managing Director, ESTA Holding
- Scott Antel, Partner, DLA Piper
- Oleg Bolotov, President, Premier International
- Sergey Gluschenko, First Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport, Ukraine
- Alexis Delaroff, COO, Accor Russia & CIS
- Elie Younes, SVP & Head of Group Development, the Rezidor Hotel Group
Igor Romanov, Member of Board of Directors, AZIMUT Hotels
Among the other speakers, iCON also welcomed development directors of Marriott, Louvre Hotels, Starwood, IHG, Hilton; Representatives of EBRD and UniCredit Bank, and numerous hotel owners.
Conference partners included Jacuzzi, DLA Piper, Ronnefeldt Tea, Opera Hotel, Ukraine International Airlines, Euromonitor, Foundation for Environmental Education, Hotel News Now and many local media and associations.
iCON 2013 continues to generate positive feedback:
- “A very informative event about the region; a great place to get deals moving and meet the who’s who in the CIS” – Elie Younes, the Rezidor Hotel Group
- “This was a high profile hospitality event, covering most major aspects of the hospitality business and attended by top professionals in our field” – Dejan Djordjevic, ESTA Holding
- “Great Conference! I wish events like this happened more often in our region!” – Marina Chernova, GERC
- “… iCON was excellent because of the caliber of the attendees and the opportunities for networking ” – Igor Mazur, Global Estate
The general sentiment at the event was of cautious optimism for investment into the region, with post-major international events patches like Ukraine (hosted Euro Football Cup in 2012) and Azerbaijan (welcomed Eurovision Song Contest in 2012), where only budget and economy hotel development is encouraged. In other places, like Georgia and Kazakhstan, a more diverse set of hotel categories could be profitably constructed.
Location and date for iCON 2014 will be announced shortly.