AHICE South East Asia ends on a high with plans underway for return to Singapore in 2025

Prominent hotel investors, owners, and operators, representing hundreds of billions of dollars in assets, were in attendance at the Southeast Asia debut of the Asian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE) at the Pan Pacific Orchard in Singapore this week.

Among the major hoteliers to take to the stage was Wyndham Hotels and Resorts President, Asia Pacific, Joon Aun Ooi, who spoke about the unsolicited buyout offer from Choice, and EVT’s Director of Hotels and Resorts, Norman Arundel, who announced that the business has signed a Rydges property in Fiji.

Travel and Leisure Co President and Managing Director of International Operations, Barry Robinson discussed the acquisition of Accor Vacation Club, with vacation ownership also discussed in depth as part of a dedicated panel session.

Pan Pacific Hotels Group CEO Choe Peng Sum discussed the company’s recent entry into Jakarta and demand for serviced apartments; Hilton President of Asia Pacific spoke about opportunities for growth in the region, while The Ascott Limited and CapitaLand CEO, Kevin Goh, talked about expansion into resorts, and the launch of The Crest Collection in Asia Pacific.

Taylor Swift was topic on everyone’s lips as data analysts, hoteliers and tourism experts unpacked the phenomenal impact of The Eras Tour on Singapore and other major cities throughout Asia Pacific.

The investment landscape and real estate trends in Southeast Asia were discussed, with speakers emphasising the importance of supply and demand dynamics, investor sentiment, and efficient operations.

Among the big challenges for South East Asia that executives discussed were the pressures of high interest rates, labour challenges and ongoing construction costs, with experts saying this is likely to continue into the future.

Changes to the outbound China traveller demographic and a resulting lower spend was another area of concern for hoteliers.

The future of tourism in the region was discussed, with a focus on sustainability, authenticity, and local community involvement. Speakers emphasised the need to manage expectations, create tailored experiences, and prioritise authenticity to remain competitive in the industry.

Technology and AI was another recurring theme with speakers discussing the need for a more agile approach to talent cultivation and loyalty.

Delegates enjoyed networking events at The Singapore Edition, Pan Pacific Orchard and Pan Pacific Singapore, over the course of the three days.

Plans are already underway for the return of AHICE South East Asia to Singapore in February 2025.

View more photos from the event here.

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