RHIC 2012 Conference programme announced

RHIC 2012 Conference programme announced

Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference (RHIC) will take place on October 15-17, 2012, at the Radisson Royal Hotel Moscow. Now in its eighth year, RHIC has become the region’s largest hotel industry gathering. The conference will bring together top-level executives from all areas of the industry including investors, developers, brands, operators, financiers, advisors and government officials – all with one common purpose: to do business in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Attendees will gain insights from Russian and global leaders as to where the real opportunities lie in the region, discover successful strategies from those already operating in the market and hear from government officials and top economists on the latest forecasts and trends. More than 70 of the industry’s key players will speak at RHIC this year, sharing their knowledge and experience to help conference participants succeed and grow in their regions.

In comparison with other global markets, business in Russia and the CIS is holding up well, as evidenced by Russia’s annual GDP growth of nearly 4 percent*. The region continues to attract investors with Moscow of particular interest with a further 7,000 hotel rooms planned during the next five years**.

“This year’s programme has a focus on real estate investors, with discussions centered on the growing interest to invest in the sector and returns,” stated Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events, co-organiser of RHIC. “We are delighted to have the involvement of the Mayor’s office from Moscow, and also leading officials from St. Petersburg participating on conference sessions throughout this three-day event.”

Conference highlights include:

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*  Insight into Russia’s economic and political outlook and an industry roundup covering the last 12 months by Chris Weafer, Chief Analyst, Troicka Bank, and Daniel Thorniley, President, DT-Global Business Consulting.
*  Russian real estate leaders Sergey Riabokobylko, CEO & Managing Partner, Cushman & Wakefield, and Artem Kuznetsov, General Director, Guta Development, will share their experience to date and plans for the future.
*  Mark Wynne Smith, Global CEO, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, will host The Finance Forum, a panel Q&A session with representatives from Bank of Moscow, Raiffeisenbank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and JSC Hotel Development. The session will examine what it takes to secure affordable finance and lender requirements in the region.
*  Leading executives from the region’s luxury hotel sector will discuss historic and iconic property development. Robert Gaymer-Jones, CEO, Sofitel Luxury Hotels; Simon Naudi, CEO, Corinthia Hotels; and Roeland Vos, President - EAME, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. will join Jeremy Heyes, Senior VP at WATG in this discussion.
*  Back in 2012! The ever-popular “investment den” returns this year, showcasing four projects that need funding.

There also will be sessions covering franchising, regional resorts, midmarket brands and mega events.

A selection of confirmed speakers include: Scott Antel, Partner, DLA Piper; Petr Chitipakhovyan, President, CH-Group; Remco Gerritsen, Chief Executive Officer, AZIMUT Hotels; Marty Kandrac, Managing Director, The Blackstone Group; Kenneth McLaren, Executive Vice President, Interstate Management Services Inc.; Michael O’Hare, Managing Director, Horwath HTL Hungary & Russia; Kurt Ritter, President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group; Sergey Shpilko, Chairman, Committee of Tourism and Hotel Industry Moscow; Artem Vasyutin, Partner, THL Global Tax Leader, Deloitte & Touche CIS; Smirnov Vladislav, Chief Executive Officer, Regional Hotel Chain LLC; Andrey Yakunin, Partner & CFO, VIY Management LLP; and many others.