The 2015 conference brought together close to 150 decision makers from 13 different countries with the same goal of understanding what opportunities in the hospitality sector the Indian Ocean (IO) markets have to offer. We had the honour of having Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance of Sri Lanka; and Hon. Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Gafoor, Minister of Tourism of the Maldives deliver the opening ministerial addresses.

The opening panel on the IO hotel investment landscape featured prominent investors in the region – the likes of Banyan Tree Group, Centara, China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd. and SC Capital Partners. Moderated by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), the panel touched on prevailing issues like the growing Chinese demand, the draw of the Maldives as an investment destination, expectations on returns, legal perspectives, politics, leases, financing and more.   

The conference also saw spontaneous networking and meaningful round table discussions surrounding destination topics.

Organisations present at the event included Accor; Best Western International; Blink Design Group; Board of Investment, Sri Lanka; Crown Co. Pvt. Ltd; IDeaS – A SAS Company; InterContinental Hotels Group; JA Hotels & Resorts; Jetwing Hotels Ltd.; Langham Hospitality Group; Melia Hotels International; Minor Hotel Group; Mount Lavinia Hotel; Movenpick Hotels & Resorts; Plateno Hotels Group; Starwood Hotels & Resorts; Sun Hotels & Resorts and more.

The second day of the conference featured an opening panel on operator selection. Industry veterans from ONYX Hospitality Group, Regent Hotels & Resorts and Ryan Lawyers engaged in a friendly banter on the topic, moderated by JLL. 9 other speakers shared their expert insights and invaluable experience on the investment climate in Sri Lanka vis-à-vis the Maldives, as well as responsible development towards sustainable hospitality.

As you download the post event report, we urge you to use this as a measure of our effectiveness in helping you reach your target audience in this regional sector. Referring to the attendee analysis, media coverage and pictures of the event, we hope you would be convinced that we are your ideal partner in your continual expansion into the Indian Ocean in the 2016 edition of HICIO. We would like to thank our sponsors and partners for your support in making this event a success and look forward to being the mainstay event in the Indian Ocean’s hospitality landscape.

Thank you, and see you next year!