Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) is taking place in Ras Al Khaimah in April. Hotel News Middle East spoke to one of the key players who will be part of the line-up at the event…
Amar Lalvani, CEO and managing partner, Standard International, the parent company of Standard Hotels, CEO of Bunkhouse Group and CEO of One Night gives Hotel News Middle East an exclusive insight into what to expect from Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC).
Lalvani is speaking at AHIC which is being held on 17-19 April 2018 at the AHIC Village, Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah. He is speaking on the topic “Tapping into the Millennial Mindset and Why investors need to broaden their thinking” http://www.arabianconference.com/
What do you forecast will be the biggest disruptor to the hospitality industry in 2018, and why?
The continued rise of AirBNB and alternate accommodations. The hotel business needs to wake up to the fact that the next generation’s default option is AirBNB. As they become the demographic with spending power this will have a profound effect. Hotel companies need to differentiate their offerings further and think more deeply about creativity and community to ensure relevance in the new landscape.
What should hotel investors be doing to get ahead of these new trends and technologies to ensure they invest in the right areas? Make sure they understand distribution and have real strategies relative to channel management. Where and how they are getting customers and the cost of acquisition. The shortening of booking windows and the move to mobile.
Are hotel operators doing enough to challenge the status quo / refresh their business models?
Not even close.
What skills will a hotel industry CEO need to succeed in 2018?
Stop thinking like a hotel company CEO. It’s a very insular industry with insular thinking. Think more creatively and move more quickly. Watch other sectors. Alternative accommodations, shared office, ride sharing. Understand how the next generation lives, stays and plays in order not to become a dinosaur.
What can AHIC delegates expect to learn from you during your session at AHIC 2018?
The importance of culture and community paired with technology innovation.
What are the key trends/issues/challenges impacting the hospitality investment industry that you expect to be debated at AHIC 2018?
We are going to be talking about:
- Geopolitical impact on travel – The Trump effect
- Alternative accommodations – The AirBNB effect
- Impacts of OTAs – The Expedia effect
- The impact of technology and mobiles – The Uber effect
- Changes in customer desires and wants – The millennial effect