Hotel & Tourism Investment Forum
9 June 2016, Hilton Sofia


8:00 – 9:00: Registration

9:00 – 9:10:  Official opening 

9:10 – 9:40: Best Hotels in Bulgaria 2015/16 Awards and presentations of awarded hotels:
– mOdus Hotel Varna
– Hotel Yastrebets Wellness & Spa Borovets
– Lucky Bansko Aparthotel
– Sense Hotel Sofia

9: 40 – 10:00:  Networking Coffee break

10:00 – 11:15: Hotel Investments In Southeast Europe: Still Room For Growth? 

• Hotel and tourism investments and developments: Current State, Major Trends, Driving Forces
• What are some of the major development challenges in the region?
• Which are the major operators in Southeast Europe and how to pick the best brand & affiliation for your hotel


ModeratorJeffrey Scott, Head of asset management services, PKF Hotelexperts

Paul Rosenberg, Director All Brands – Europe, Marriott International
Yalin Yaltirakli, Development Director, Turkey & Eastern Europe, InterContinental Hotels Group
Frank Reul, Area General Manager for Romania, Bulgaria and Macedonia of Accor Hotels  

Nelly Sandalska, Director, BT Development Services

11:20 – 11:50: Best Hotels in Bulgaria 2015/16 Awards and presentations of awarded hotels
– Premier Luxury Mountain Resort Bansko
– Grifid Hotels Club Hotel Bolero
– Regnum Apart Hotel Bansko
– Radisson Blu Grand Hotel Sofia

11:50 – 12:00: HTIF Exclusive: A major international hotel chain to announce its entry into Bulgaria

12:00 – 13:15: Sustainable Tourism Investment And Development: Fad Or Trend?

•  How the global sustainability movement affects the tourism industry today?
• From Green Buildings To Green Profits: How energy-efficient buildings lower operating costs and boost profits?
• Hot to mitigate the potential conflict between green building practices and hotel guests’ satisfaction and comfort?


Moderator: George Dutchev, Director, Hotel & Tourism Investment Forum

Mihaela Lashova, CEO, Forton | Cushman & Wakefield Alliance
Lachezar Todorov, CEO, Terra Tour Service (owner of RIU Hotels in Bulgaria)
Vessela Valtcheva – McGee, President, Bulgarian Green Building Council 
Henning Krippendorff, President, SKAL Bulgaria

13:15 – 14:15: Lunch break

14:15 – 15:30: From Just A Location To Top Destination: How Do Marketing, Branding And Product Diversity Influence Demand?

• Tourist marketing in a fast-changing world: how to foresee the trend and make it a friend?
• New generation, new business models: which and who are the game changers in tourism today?
• How to properly emphasize on the most distinctive regional characteristics when promoting internationally?


Moderator: Emily Taneva, Commercial Service, American Embassy, Sofia, Bulgaria
Takuya Aoyama, Vice President, Real Estate and Development, Russia and CIS, Hyatt International
Christian Michel, Vice President Development Central & Eastern Europe, Wyndham Hotel Group
Aristides Pavlidis, Membership Development, (Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Romania), Best Western Southeastern Europe
Nikola Petkov, CEO, FPI Hotels & Resorts

15:35 – 16:05: Best Hotels in Bulgaria 2015/16 Awards and
presentations of awarded hotels
– Novotel Sofia Hotel
– Olives City Hotel Sofia
– Arena di Serdica Residence Hotel Sofia
– International Hotel Casino & Tower Suites 

16:05 – 16:20: Networking Coffee break

16:20 – 17:35: Express Talks: tourism leaders and experts discuss the trends and opportunities during stage interviews:

16:20 – 16:35: Trends & Opportunities in MICE with Kaloyan Todorov, CEO, Special Events Group

16:40 – 16:55: Trends & Opportunities in Eco Tourism – a case study with Nikola Marinov, Investor and co-owner of Omaya and Leshten eco villages

17:00 – 17:15: Trends & Opportunities in Eco Tourism with Rumen Draganov, Director of the Bulgarian Institute for Analysis and Assessment in Tourism

17:20 – 17:35: Trends & Opportunities in Wine Tourism with Zina Sorensen, CEO, Bulgaria Wine Tours

17:35 + : Wine tasting and networking reception

Join the Forum from here >>

Note: The program is shown in EEST time (GMT+3). Program and speakers are subject to change.