InterContinental Berlin has welcomed delegates to the 15th annual International Hotel Investment Forum.
Organised by Questex Media, in association with Bench Events, IHIF is the leading meeting place for senior-level executives and is recognised as a destination for deals to get done and where attendees can go expand and develop their business.
Over 1,700 delegates from over 50 countries are expected to attend over three days.
Opening the conference Bench Events chairman, Jonathan Worsley, said: “We are here to do business, network and do deals. There has never been a better time to do business in the hotel industry.
“We are getting back to our peak, like many cities around the world.”
Patrons this year include industry leading Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Wyndham Hotel Group.
“With encouraging market changes in the industry, we’re cautious but optimistic about the year ahead,” said Tess Pearson, IHIF event director.
“We have all seen the good progress since the recession and more deals are being done.
“It is of the utmost importance right now to create new business relationships as well as juggle existing ones and that’s where IHIF can help by providing a forum to network and connect real-time.”
World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) president David Scowsill offered conclusions from the organisation’s latest research, revealing global tourism GDP increased by three per cent in 2011.
However, in a slightly downbeat address, he explained this figure was expected to fall to 2.8 per cent this year.
Tourism in Europe is expected to shrink by 0.3 per cent this year, Scowsill added.
However, longer term forecasts offered more cheer, with Scowsill highlighting the development of tourism in India and China as a key to the future of the sector.
“Emerging markers are beginning to grow,” Scowsill told delegates, “with China and India expected to account for a third of all tourism spending in just ten years time.”
At present the two Asian giants account for one eighth of spending.
“We also expected to see average growth in tourism spending of four per cent over the next ten years around the world,” added Scowsill.