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Hospitality Talks

Hospitality Talks

By Abid Butt & Sam-Erik Ruttmann
Discussion with industry professionals regarding issues facing lodging and hospitality business.
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Innovation & Strategy in Customer Journey

Hospitality Talks

Food trends and fads
Dining trends have evolved, but at a slower pace until the pandemic. The industry finds itself in a new era of foodservice and hospitality adapting to new demands and challenges. Technology has facilitated these changes at hyper speed and introduced new business models. We are thrilled to have TJ Delle Donne - Assistant Dean, College of Food Innovation and Technology Johnson & Wales University; Michael Whiteman – President Baum & Whiteman International; and Daniel Green – Chef and Author to share their perspective.
February 12, 2022
What are the hotel operating challenges in the new normal
Over the past few months, hospitality and lodging businesses have slowly reopened as the industry starts to recover. During this process, several items must be considered, including the health and safety of guests, staff, and the community along with local regulations that govern these operations. Hospitality Talks is thrilled to have three professionals; Stefan Thumigar - General Manager, Rotana Hotels & Resorts; Jamal Hussain – General Manager, Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa; and Daniel Twerenbold – Regional Director, Radisson Hotels to share their thoughts.
February 03, 2022
What are the Lodging Investment Opportunities in Europe.
Hotels have become a prominent part of the real estate alongside the usual trio of commercial real estate asset classes: retail, office, and industrial. European hotel transaction volume had reached 27.1billion Euros in 2019 surpassing all previous records. Please join Hospitality Talks for a conversation with David Kellet – Senior Director Hotel Transactions, Invesco; Daniel Kos – Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director, PPHE Hotel Group and Rami Badr – Managing Director & Partner, Orion Capital Managers regarding hotel investment opportunities, and valuations in Europe. #hotelinvestments #Europe
January 20, 2022
What is the role of Lifestyle Hotel Brands in delivering experiences
Traveler preferences evolve and so do their perceptions. In the last few years, the hospitality industry has responded to these changes by developing new accommodation products and the growth in hotel brands has mainly been driven by the so-called lifestyle category. Please join Hospitality Talks for a conversation with Guarav Bhushan - CEO, Lifestyle & Entertainment Brands, Accor.
January 13, 2022
What are the changing Preferences of Hospitality Stakeholders? Discussion with an Educator, Consumer advocate, and Owner view,
Stakeholder engagement is more important now than ever and all of us are trying to keep up with the changes. Please join Hospitality Talks for a conversation with Leora Lanz – Assistant Dean, School of Hospitality Administration Boston University; Richard Adam – Founder Trend Transfer Asia and Marco Nijhof – Group Director of Hospitality, Value Retail Management to understand the changes sweeping through the hospitality industry.
December 17, 2021
What are the new cost structures and operating models for hotels?
The industry has always relied on occupancy percentage, RevPar, margin percentage etc to evaluate hotel performance. Are these measures still valid? What needs to be done to measure the complete picture of performance. Please join a conversation with David Eisen – Director Hotel Intelligence, HotStats Americas and James Cole – Partner and Head of Asset Management, Ohana Real Estate Investors to look at the trends and what changes are sustainable.
December 10, 2021
How have Customer Expectations changed & do hotel brands deliver on promise?
Customer expectations are rising, and marketers are frantically trying to keep up in a world where connected and real-time experiences are considered the norm when interacting with brands.  Knowing your customer expectations is imperative and brand positioning impacts customer expectations which in turn have an impact on customer satisfaction.  Join the  conversation hosted by Sam-Erik Ruttmann and Abid Butt, with Piers Schmidt – Founder, Luxury Branding; Andrea Stokes – Practice Lead, JD Power and Liliana Petrova – Founder & CEO, The Petrova Experience to understand how hospitality brands can better deliver to customer expectations.
November 18, 2021
Growth & Development - Africa's Hotel Industry
Growth & Development - Africa's Hotel Industry Travel & Tourism contributes more than 8% of the continent’s GDP and has been one of the fastest growing tourism markets in the world. Hospitality Talks is thrilled to have Wayne Goodwin – Sr Vice President, JLL Hotel & Hospitality Group; Bernard Micallef – Senior Industry Specialist International Finance Corporation and Oum-Hani Saaf – Regional Director of Sales Iberostar Group for a conversation that will focus on the challenges and growth in the hospitality sector. #travelafrica #hotelindustry ##africapotenti
November 11, 2021
New Age Hospitality
Innovation has always been core to the hospitality business, coupled with the changing demands and expectations of the travels, several new concepts are being introduced around the world. These concepts consider, cutting-edge designs while providing local experiences. Please join Hospitality Talks for a conversation with Zachary Schwartz – CEO, YAYS; Saurabh Chawla – CEO PropCo, Selina and Jessica Sager – Design Director, Page Southerland Page about new accommodations. #ListenTo  #hospitality  #NewAgeHospitality
November 10, 2021
Industry Ups & Downs – Asia Pacific
Hotels around the world continue to recover from the worst downturn in history, but which market recovers faster depend on several factors. As we prepare to welcome guests back to our hotels there are new efforts and initiatives to stay relevant and profitable in the transformed landscape. What has been done to innovate and make businesses more resilient? Please join Hiran Cooray – Chairman, Jetwing Hotels; Anuraag Bhatnagar – Chief Operating Officer, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts and Jesper Palmqvist – Area Director Asia Pacific, STR for a discussion regarding the ups and downs of the industry.
October 28, 2021
Luxury Cruising - Recovery and Trends
Cruise lines are setting their sails once again, but with some caveats and changes. The industry faces a long road back to normal and the operators still must contend with a patchwork of domestic and international rules along with heightened environmental requirements, port infrastructure development, and the sourcing of skilled crew? We are thrilled to have Roberto Martinoli – President and CEO, Silversea Cruises join us to discuss trends in luxury cruising.
October 23, 2021
Social Responsibility & Travel Business Success
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the idea that a business has a responsibility to the society that exists around it. Until recently, most businesses were driven almost exclusively with a single goal in mind: profit. Most firms are driven to embrace corporate social responsibility due to moral convictions and doing so can bring several benefits. Hospitality Talks is thrilled to have industry leaders to help us understand the successes through conducting business responsibly. Please join Jared Meyers – Co-Founder & Chairman, Legacy Vacation Resorts; Portia Hart – Founder Blue Apple Beach House, and Jake Haupert – Co-Founder, Transformational Travel Council.
October 17, 2021
Transformational Leadership in Tumultuous Times
Business executives have varying perspectives on the approach and qualities necessary for effective leadership. Great leaders adapt to their surrounding environments and empower the team to succeed together. Leading in turbulence requires keeping up an active presence. Leaders need to demonstrate internally and externally that uncertainty creates opportunities and that a well-led organization pursues value creation in good times and bad. Please join Hospitality Talks for a discussion regarding this very important topic with Rick Smith – Vice Dean Corporate and Global Partnerships, Johns Hopkins University; Alma Seidel – Vice President Human Resources, Real Hospitality Group and Samantha Crowe – Founder and CEO, Evalia Consulting.
October 13, 2021
Global Food & Dining Trends
Widespread changes in food preferences and dining experiences are being experienced globally. Some such trends prove to be long-lasting while others tend to be more of a fad. Please join us for a discussion regarding the crucial connection between consumer trends, behavior, and values, to provide context for the sectors, demographics and global themes that can help us prepare for the future. Hospitality Talks is thrilled to bring a global panel together. We are joined by Deepak Ohri – Chief Executive Officer, Lebua Hotels & Resorts; Ziad El Kerdany – Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Revel Hospitality and Matthew Jaffe – Managing Partner, Capital Burger.
September 18, 2021
Destination Positioning for a Diverse Audience
The importance of destination positioning, and the image is critical since it can affect an individual’s perception and resulting behavior regarding selection and visit. How do attributes like exciting nightlife, restaurant variety, friendly local communities, etc help destination positioning? Please join Hospitality Talks for a discussion with Peter Greenberg – Travel Editor, CBS News; Dan Fenton – EVP & Global Tourism Director, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group and John Perrottet – Global Tourism Specialist, The World Bank, to understand the positioning process. Listen to the end for the surprise finish.
July 09, 2021
Demand Recovery & Travel Trends in Europe
With rapid vaccine distribution, some countries in Europe are now turning their sights on reopening travel, tourism and hospitality sectors in time for the summer holidays - though, perhaps the focus will include local tourism. What are the issues facing the hospitality industry as we recover from the pandemic? What does the recovery look like? We are grateful to have Nikola Reid – Senior Director Hospitality & Leisure, Alvarez & Marsal; Dermot Crowley – Chief Executive Designate, Dalata Hotel Group and Lionel Benjamin – Co-Founder, AGO Hotels for this important conversation.
July 02, 2021
Turbulence & Opportunities
As the public health restrictions are being lifted, we start to recover from the shock of lockdown. However, the recovery process will be challenging, and we might find ourselves in a different business environment. Please join Hospitality Talks in a conversation with Rahul Chaudhry – CEO, CG Holdings, and Dillip Rajakarier Group CEO, Minor International to learn about the difficulties during the current environment and the opportunities it presents.
June 16, 2021
Innovation & Strategy in Customer Journey
Today’s competitive environment requires innovation and creativity. Hospitality organizations have known for a long time that physical assets are not enough and strategy around intangible assets to manage the customer journey is critical. Please join Sam-Erik Ruttmann and me for a conversation with Annette Franz – Founder & CEO, CX Journey; Ed Morrison – Director Agile Strategy Lab, University of North Alabama and Peter Ricci – Clinical Associate Professor & Director of Hospitality Management, Florida Atlantic University to find out how to optimize the customer journey and resources required for delivering exceptional experiences.
June 11, 2021
Pandemic & Private Clubs Recovery
Please join Sam-Erik Ruttmann and Abid Butt along with Jim Lopolito – President, Lopolito Hospitality Consultants; Ian D. N. Fetigan, CCM, CAM - General Manager, Boca Royale Golf & Country Club; Billy Panagiotopoulos - Assistant General Manager, Sleepy Hollow Country Club, for a discussion about issues facing private clubs. While restaurants and hotels across the country saw record low revenues, country clubs saw record-high interest in memberships. How are private clubs accommodating the desire for exclusivity during a pandemic and how will the business model change as we start to recover. #hospitalitytalks #thoughtleadership #privateclub #socal #residencyclub #membersonly #fun #club #luxury #group #countryclub #golf #golfcourse #country #golfclub #golflife #golfing #canning #instagolf #pga #countryclublife #bhfyp
June 03, 2021
Industry Sentiment & Recovery - Middle East
Hotels in the Middle East have long had a reputation of providing the highest quality service for guests who seek five-star luxury treatment. With the pandemic, the region’s hospitality landscape has been experiencing an exponential change, the follow-on effects of which are likely to be felt for some time. Please join our panelists Amit Nayak – Vice President & Board Member, Hospitality Asset Managers Association MEA; Michael Zager – Chief Operating Officer, Hospitality Management Holdings and Mark Dunford – Partner & Head of Investments, Cavendish Maxwell in this discussion regarding industry sentiment in the Middle East. #hospitalitytalks #thoughtleadership #middleeast #turkey #saudiarabia #egypt #beach #dubai #luxury #investing #lebanon #hotel #emirates #workonline #bhfyp
May 28, 2021
Best Strategies to deal with Financial Crisis in light of Poor Industry Performance.
After a pandemic year, historical data does not necessarily help in predicting the future. As we look at the long and winding road of recovery, Sam-Erik Ruttmann and Abid Butt  are joined by a fabulous panel of professionals to discuss hotel performance and the resulting financial crisis. Please join Jan Freitag – National Director, Hospitality Market Analysis CoStar Group; Kevin M. Davis – Senior Managing Director, JLL Hotel & Hospitality Group and Jonathan Falik – Founder & CEO, JF Capital Advisors. What can the borrowers do to better prepare for the immediate future? How are lenders working with the borrowers and what financial products might be available to borrowers?
May 19, 2021
What is the future of Meetings & Events Post Pandemic. Part 1
Will meetings and events ever be the same? What are the concerns of meeting planners and attendees? What are hotels doing to prepare and adapt to the new requirements? In this two-part series “Future of Meetings & Events - Part I”, Hospitality Talks will host a discussion with a panel that includes Angele DuPassage, CMP – Partner, Cypress Planning Group, Dominique Stumpf – Chief Executive Officer, National Pest Management Association, and Stephanie Turner – Senior Vice President, Sales & Strategies, New Orleans & Company. Sam-Erik Ruttmann and Abid Butt will engage with these professionals to highlight the trends impacting this segment of the business.
May 19, 2021
What is the future of Hospitality Investment Landscape in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Hospitality Talks is thrilled to organize a discussion around “Investment Landscape – Sub Saharan Africa” with Trevor Ward – Founder W Hospitality Group and Olivier Granet – Chief Executive Officer KSADA Capital Management. Sam-Erik Ruttmann and Abid Butt will facilitate the discussion to better understand the availability of capital, investment criteria and challenges, and the future of investments in lodging assets in this diverse region.
May 13, 2021
What are the Global Tourism Recovery Trends & Challenges
Projecting the future for tourism and hospitality is a challenge under the current circumstances. There are many paths to success but there are several challenges along the way. How will this sector change as the recovery begins? Hospitality Talks is thrilled to bring three professionals together that have a global vantage point. We are joined by Alex Dichter – Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company; Aradhana Khowala – Chief Executive Officer, Aptamind Partners, and Virginia Messina – Senior Vice President Advocacy, World Tourism & Travel Council.
May 13, 2021
Hotel Investments & Development - Asia
The largest and most populous continent, Asia, has been enjoying strong growth in international tourism. Coronavirus outbreak may have slowed down the growth plans, but the long-term outlook is still promising. Sam-Erik Ruttmann and Abid Butt are glad to have Bill Barnett – Managing Director, C9 Hotelworks; Michael Piro – Chief Operating Officer, Indochina Land, and Manoj Mehta – Chief Executive Officer Naked Group to discuss tourism trends for this diverse continent.
May 06, 2021
What is the Role of Hospitality in Sustainability.
The sustainability topic has been debated in the hospitality sector for decades. Hospitality organizations' success depends on preserving the natural and cultural attractions that compel tourists to visit their destinations. We are grateful to have together a panel consisting of Ufi Ibrahim – Chief Executive Officer, Energy & Environment Alliance; Dr. Jonathon Day – Associate Professor Purdue School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and Xenia Zu Hohenlohe – Partner & Founder, Considerate Group. Please join Sam-Erik Ruttmann and Abid Butt in this very timely discussion with a continued global focus on sustainability.
April 29, 2021
What are the Hospitality Recovery Trends in Europe
Following the first lockdown, and with most hotels across Europe being put into hibernation, the hospitality sector has paid a huge price as a result of the pandemic. Sam-Erik Ruttmann and Abid Butt are joined by Alex Pritchard - CEO & Co-Founder Axiom Hospitality; Michelle Weiss - Head of Hotel Properties, Aareal Bank and Dominic Seyrling – Director Investments, Archer Hotel Capital for their valuable insights on how to proactively prepare for and roll out the business recovery plans in 2021 and beyond.   Follow us on: LinkedIn (​) FaceBook (​)  Podcast (​)
April 22, 2021
How can hotel companies curb losses after the toughest year 2020?
2020 has been possibly the worst year of operating performance in the last five decades. A year-over-year GOP decline of over 70%, placed the GOP margin at the lowest levels in recent history. All hotel companies put forth initiatives to curb the losses. J. Robison Hays lll – President & CEO, Ashford Hospitality Trust; Robert Mandelbaum – Dir. of Research Information Services, CBRE Hotels Research; and Daniel del Olmo – President & COO, Sage Hotel Management joined Sam-Erik Ruttmann and Abid Butt to discuss the cost optimization strategies.
April 17, 2021
State of U.S. Lodging Industry & Outlook!
State of U.S. Lodging Industry & Outlook Pandemic has been devastating to the hospitality industry. With vaccine rollout, 2021 shows a slow rebound with leisure markets performing well. Please join Sam-Erik Ruttmann and Abid Butt to discuss the “State of U.S. Lodging Industry and Outlook. Our panelists include Rich Hightower – Managing Director, Evercore ISA; Ryan Meliker – President & Co-Founder, Lodging Analytics Research & Consulting; and Chad Cooley – Co-Founder and Managing Director, AWH Partners.
April 17, 2021
What is the impact of Digital Transformation on Hospitality?
Today hospitality is being transformed into a digital technology-enabled industry, making its way into every aspect of the customer journey. This week Hospitality Talks is discussing “Digital Transformation & Impact on Hospitality”.  Sam-Erik Ruttmann and Abid Butt is joined by Jordan Hollander – Chief Executive Officer; Shane O’Flaherty – Global Director, Travel & Hospitality Microsoft; and Stuart Greif – EVP Innovation & Strategy Forbes Travel Guide to discuss how the industry will evolve with technological innovations.
April 10, 2021
How to strengthen resilience capability across your organisation to turn adversity into advantage.
Sam-Erik Ruttmann and Abid Butt are thrilled to have Alison Eyring Ph.D. - Chief Executive Officer, Organization Solutions and Corinne Williams - Senior Vice President, Organization Solutions join us for a particularly relevant discussion in the current crisis, about Resilient Leadership. When times are tough, leaders and their teams handle adversity in different ways. Some break under pressure, others flex, regroup and survive. Great leaders and organizations emerge stronger. They bounce back and thrive, creating environments that stand the test of time. This session will explore strategies for leaders to build capacity for resilience. We’ll be discussing what leaders can do to build personal and team resilience and how to strengthen resilience capability across your organization to turn adversity into an advantage.
April 09, 2021
Boutique Hotel Brands Strategies and Opportunities
Hospitality Talks is delighted to bring together three unique boutique brands together in our next episode “Boutique Hotel Brands – Strategies & Opportunities”. Sam-Erik Ruttmann and Abid Butt will be joined by three remarkable professionals, Roland Fasel - Chief Operating Officer, AMAN; Christoph Hoffman - CEO & Partner, 25hours Hotels; and Alexander Schneider – President, Nikki Beach Hotels & Resorts for this discussion.
April 01, 2021
How hotels can improve their sustainability practices.
Hospitality Talks is delighted to coordinate discussions surrounding sustainability in the two-part series. What are the key issues with sustainability and what can the tourism and travel industry particularly hotels do to implement best practices? Please join Sam-Erik Ruttmann and Abid Butt for a conversation with Stewart Moore – Chief Executive Officer and Founder Earth Check, Michael Kwee – Managing Director YKnot Sustainability and Jeff Smith – Vice President Sustainability Six Senses Hotels, Resorts, and Spas. We will hear about the systems currently in place and the corresponding results.  Latest trends particularly during the COVID pandemic. We will discuss what can the industry do to help implement sustainable practices? #sustainability, #hotels, #resorts,  #susrainablepractises
March 25, 2021
How to build an innovative culture and cope with changing circumstances
The hospitality industry has been evolving and has had a significant change propelled by the pandemic. Leadership skills have been tested in handling crises and leading scattered teams in remote working environments. New technologies have been developed and adopted at lightning speeds to cope with changing circumstances. Both Sam-Erik Ruttmann and Abid Butt are thrilled to have maestros; Alasdair Trotter – Partner & Managing Director, Innosight and Dan Cockerell – Principal, Cockerell Consulting Group to discuss Innovation Culture.
March 25, 2021
How does the hospitality industry shift from surviving to thriving?
After a very challenging 2020, small recovery signs are encouraging. We have all been in survival mode. How do we shift from surviving to thriving? Sam-Erik Ruttmann and I are grateful to be joined by Puneet Chhatwal - Managing Director & CEO, The Indian Hotel Company Ltd; Stefan Leser - Chief Executive Officer, Langham Hospitality Group and Peng Sum Choe - Chief Executive Officer, Pan Pacific Hotel Group to discuss “Strategies to Thrive”. This amazing panel of professionals will share their insights on, how the hotel organizations might operate differently in 2021 and the plans for this transition year. We will also discuss the growing business segments and the markets that are strengthening.
March 20, 2021
What are European Hotel Industry Concerns & Opportunities
The hospitality industry has been decimated by Covid-19 and the resulting lockdowns. The sector as such faces many significant challenges both near and longer term. Sam-Erik Ruttmann and I are thrilled to bring together a panel with Frank Croston – Partner, Hamilton hotel Partners; Luc Boschmans – Managing Director, Hospitality Tristan Capital Partners; Dario Filippone – Senior Asset manager, Schroders to discuss concerns and opportunities in the European hotel market.
March 17, 2021
Best Strategies to deal with Financial Crisis in light of Poor Industry Performance.
After a pandemic year, historical data does not necessarily help in predicting the future. As we look at the long and winding road of recovery, Sam-Erik Ruttmann and I are joined by a fabulous panel of professionals to discuss hotel performance and the resulting financial crisis. Please join Jan Freitag – National Director, Hospitality Market Analysis CoStar Group; Kevin M. Davis – Senior Managing Director, JLL Hotel & Hospitality Group and Jonathan Falik – Founder & CEO, JF Capital Advisors. What can the borrowers do to better prepare for the immediate future? How are lenders working with the borrowers and what financial products might be available to borrowers?
March 14, 2021