IHIF Preview: Destinations in focus

Between 15 and 17 April, more than 2,500 senior representatives from across the hospitality industry will head to Berlin for the International Hospitality Investment Forum (IHIF) EMEA 2024.

This year’s speakers include: the CEOs of IHG, Hilton and Accor as well as senior representatives from Starwood Capital, TUI Group, KSL Capital Partners, and more.

Not only will you hear from leading hotel investment executives, but the multiple networking opportunities mean you’ll be able to capitalise on the return to dealmaking we are seeing this year.

The following previewis part of a series aimed at bringing you a flavour of the conversations you can expect away from the main stage.

As global travel markets adapt and flourish and consumer behaviours evolve, the focus on strategic investment and development within diverse destinations has become paramount, and these sessions on 16 April will delve deeply into this. Europe's urban markets - particularly cities like London, Paris, and Barcelona - continue to attract significant investor interest, buoyed by events such as the upcoming Olympics. But there are even more destinations to be explored and more opportunities waiting to be seized across and beyond Europe.  

Asia focus: tapping into the potential 

The spotlight on Asia at IHIF 2024 acknowledges the region's remarkable rebound and future potential in the global hospitality market. While Asia Pacific is still working towards full recovery, positive performance trends indicate that RevPAR is expected to surpass 2019 levels by the first quarter of 2024. Urban hotels in Tokyo are anticipated to generate substantial investor interest during the course of 2024. 

Sessions will delve into the recovery trajectory of Asian markets, including the anticipated resurgence of Asian outbound travel and its implications for hotel investment and development across Europe. Hosted by Ed Fitch, head of Hospitality UK&I/head of Hospitality Capital Markets Benelux at Cushman & Wakefield, with panellists to include Pro-Invest managing partner Sabine Schaffer, Accor’s Camil Yazbeck and City Developments’ head of hospitality investment David Ling, discussions will explore strategies for capitalizing on the increasing flow of capital and tourists from Asia to the EMEA region.  


The session "Creating Investment and Development Opportunities in Italy's Tourism-Fuelled Market," scheduled for 14:00 – 14:45 will dive deep into and uncover the myriad opportunities lying within the Italian market. Investor interest and inbound travel into Italy shows no sign of slowing down, with a particularly strong luxury sector. As more investors seek to uncover opportunities in under-explored destinations, panellists will shine a light on emerging trends and investment opportunities across the country, discuss strategies to attract travellers and investors alike, and provide crucial insights into how investors and developers can navigate the market's complexities and capitalize on its opportunities. 

The Mediterranean and South-East Europe  

With luxury lifestyle hotel groups expanding in Southern Europe, and growing interest in markets like Albania and Montenegro, panel discussions will explore the opportunities and challenges of developing and investing in these regions. Hosted by Stelios Demetriou, partner/principal, strategy and transactions at EY, with insights from IHG, STR, Cedar Capital and Valamar Riviera, the 15:15 session Mediterranean Odyssey: Seizing Investment and Development Opportunities in South-East Europe will provide attendees with a comprehensive overview of the investment potential in these destinations. Speaking at the Resort & Residential (R&R) Hospitality Forum last year, David Goodger, EMEA managing director at Tourism Economics said Albania and Montenegro are set to be “the big leisure destinations now and for the next couple of years, with Lyublena Dimova, senior research manager at the European Travel Commission (ETC) also spotlighting Austria. Data from the ETC showed Montenegro was among the destinations leading Europe’s recovery, with a 12 per cent increase in demand and a 43% increase in arrivals from the US market, and analysis from travel intelligence provider Mabrian found hotel rates have continued to go up for almost all destinations in the region, with Bulgaria and Croatia seeing the highest price increases from 2022. According to New Deal Europe, tourism in southeast Europe is expected to boom, with the region seeing an increased interest in investments in hotels as tourists become more aware of the region as a new tourism destination. 

If you still haven’t registered for IHIF EMEA yet, you can do so here. You can also view the latest programme, here.