GET TO KNOW: Rishabh Thapar, associate director, HVS
Rishabh Thapar is a hospitality professional with experience in hotel operations, projects, development and construction of hotel realty. Rishabh Thapar is a panelist at The Hospitality Leadership Forum 2018, on Day 2, the morning session: Development and investment: The new look properties entering Africa, which will examine the expansion opportunities and the increase in multiple use developments already seen in Europe the US and UAE.
H&R Magazine: What do you believe has been the key change in the hospitality sector over the past five years?
RT: The African hospitality sector is still in its evolving stages and we are witnessing more interest from global as well as regional brands in Africa, to invest and expand operations. A number of innovative hotel concepts and mixed-used projects are coming to the fore. There is emphasis on evaluating conversion opportunities which is a great sign. Overall, the travel industry is expanding rapidly and there is a great focus on Africa now.
H&R Magazine: Where do you see the three key challenges in the industry over the next five years?
RT: I feel the following are the three key challenges for the sector: Risk assessment/forecasts for the economies on the development side of projects, manpower/training on the operational side, international awareness/changing the perception (for the African continent and the sector as a whole) on the marketing side.
H&R Magazine: You are a panelist at this year’s Hospitality Leadership Forum, what are you most looking forward to discussing?
RT: How different brands and investors are addressing the challenges of new hotel developments/scaling up in emerging markets.
H&R Magazine: The hospitality sector is undergoing huge change. What are the three tips you would give for success in the coming five years.
RT: Take your time planning your investment to the highest and best use, so execution is smooth; invest in continuous training and don’t lose ‘hospitality’ and ‘sustainability’ from the core of the company.
H&R Magazine: Are there any specific areas in the (sub-Saharan) African hospitality market that you believe are unique?
RT: Yes, so many of them!… To name a few…..firstly, the national parks and wild life experiences spread across various countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. And then Nairobi is a major city with a national park adjacent to it. The beach destinations of Mombasa, Zanzibar and various islands with their history and beautiful setting. Cape Town with all its natural geographic setting is very unique and the scenic Garden Route Tourist Circuit, is in my opinion, a world class travel circuit. I am sure areas that we haven’t explored or evolved to the status of sustainable tourism destinations yet.
H&R Magazine: Which type of people do you believe would gain the most from attending your session this year?
RT: Hotel Owners, Investors, Real Estate companies, Brands, Private Equity firms.
The Hospitality Leadership Forum runs from June 24-26 2018 at The Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg
10.45am DAY 2 Development and investment: The new look properties entering Africa.Super builds are coming to Africa – the large, mixed-use multiple accommodation complexes usually seen in Dubai, USA and Europe have arrived and this is your chance to hear from the management team of the newest development. And it doesn’t stop here, leading hotel brands are building or planning expansion across the continent. Discover why Africa is hot property for hospitality development and investment?