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Attractions Industry Professionals from around the World Gathered in Singapore at Asian Attractions Expo 2017 to Exchange Ideas, Explore Innovations, and Network

19 June 2017- Successful Week Marked by Second Largest Trade Show Floor, Filled-to-Capacity Education Sessions, and Sold-Out Events

Preliminary estimates indicate the successful Asian Attractions Expo (AAE) 2017 in Singapore attracted more than 7,500 participants, including 5,100 qualified buyers and 375 exhibiting companies. The continued growth of the attractions industry within the Asia-Pacific region was evident at the Expo. More than 50 percent of buyers attended AAE for the first time. Participation in education sessions nearly doubled from 2016 and the event featured the second largest trade show floor in event history at 10,170 net square meters. Asian Attractions Expo, which is produced by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), took place at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at Marina Bay Sands, 13 – 16 June 2017.

The total number of owners, executives, managers, and leaders in attendance from theme parks, water parks, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, and resorts represents a 42 percent increase over AAE 2013 when the event was last held in Singapore. Asian Attractions Expo draws an international audience as it moves around Asia, and show participation is largely reflective of the strength and diversity of the regional industry. AAE 2018 will be held at the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Center in Hong Kong.

IAAPA was honored to host Ms. Low Yen Ling, Singapore's senior parliamentary secretary, ministry of trade and industry, and ministry of education at Asian Attractions Expo 2017. She addressed a full house during the Expo's Opening Ceremony and then attended two press events on the trade show floor, including an announcement related to Science Center Singapore, and talked with several other exhibiting companies during her visit.

"The excitement this week was felt throughout the show floor, the education sessions, and the events as participants gathered at Asian Attractions Expo – the premier place in the Asia-Pacific region where industry executives exchange ideas and experience innovations," said IAAPA President and CEO, Paul Noland.

Asian Attractions Expo 2017 by the Numbers

  • l 375 companies from 34 countries displayed new and innovative products across 10,170 net square meters of space on the trade show floor.
  • 5,100 qualified buyers met with industry suppliers, attended education sessions, and participated in networking events to find new ideas and learn about important trends in the industry.
  • Attendance for the education conference was approximately 1,700, including 50 participants for the sold-out IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers and 90 attendees at the sold-out IAAPA Safety Institute.
  • 600 people participated in the sold-out Opening Night Reception at Universal Studios Singapore.
  • 280 people attended the Leadership Breakfast, which featured a keynote address from Andrew Kam, vice president, Wanda Cultural Industry Group and president, Wanda Themed Entertainment.
  • Nearly 100 people attended the new Lunch and Learn event on using intellectual properties and maintaining show quality.
  • Approximately 90 people participated in the EDUTour to Singapore Zoo and 70 people participated in the EDUTour to Mega Adventure.

Asian Attractions Expo 2017 sponsors included: accesso, Huss Park Attractions, JRA, Kraftwerk Living Technologies, PGAV Destinations, Pictureworks, ProSlide Technology, Wartsila North America, and WhiteWater.

Asian Attractions Expo 2018 will be held in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre, 5-8 June, and advance exhibit sales are strong as more than 200 companies have already reserved over 7,500 net square meters of space. Exhibitor information on the 2018 event is available on the IAAPA website. More detailed information on AAE 2018 will be available in late 2017.

Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently located amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents nearly 5,300 facility, supplier, and individual members from 99 countries. Member facilities include amusement and theme parks, water parks, attractions, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, and resorts. IAAPA is a nonprofit organization. The association's global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States. The association maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, Hong Kong, and Orlando. @IAAPAHQ #IAAPA

Quotes from Asian Attractions Expo Participants

David Rosenberg, ICAE, Monterey Bay Aquarium, IAAPA Second Vice Chairman
"As the industry in Asia continues to grow, we see a lot of new faces coming to Asian Attractions Expo. These new attendees are very engaged and eager to learn from the industry and the association. Education has been fantastic and extremely popular. The desire for industry knowledge continues to grow in this area."

Keith James, ICAE, JRA
"We've had a great couple days. Traffic here has been exceptional. Our booth has been busy all the time. People are coming to speak to us about real projects, showing us photos of actual land with construction going on, they're not just kicking the tires."

Greg Hale, ICAE, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, 2017 IAAPA Chairman of the Board
"Asian Attractions Expo has been tremendous in Singapore this year. People from all over the Asia-Pacific region coming together, sharing their ideas with each other, and taking ideas back to make their businesses better, in a beautiful setting like Singapore—I've heard it's just been fantastic from everyone I've talked to."

John McReynolds, ICAE, Universal Parks and Resorts, IAAPA Immediate Past Chairman
"This show highlights the amazing growth and opportunities for our industry in Asia."

Todd Houghland, ICAE, Ocean Park Hong Kong
"It's been an exciting week. The education sessions have been quite exciting. The panel I saw just now about redefining attractions was full of powerhouses in the industry, especially here in Asia. It's great because it's really relevant to have people who have been in the business for many years from across the industry, but have very relevant experience here in Asia."

Michael Turner, ICAE, Neptune-Benson Inc.
"This year's Asian Attractions Expo was fantastic and the trade show floor was very busy. I expected to see more buyers from Southeast Asia and more Australians, but we've seen more Chinese buyers than expected. We brought our staff from Shanghai and Beijing. Both were busy all day. We were pleasantly surprised by that."

Javier Ramon-Murcia, Rocas & Design
"It has been a really good decision to come here, because of the amount of contacts and interest that our booth has generated with visitors to this exhibition."

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With distinctive designs, lifestyle amenities, and natural settings, Valencia Group hotels became destinations and gathering places aimed at being as unique as the guests they serve. However, their distribution landscape was fractured. Separate solutions were used for each business function, and their website wasn't attracting the direct bookings they wanted.

In this brand-new case study, learn how Valencia Group was able to bring all their operations into one solution, upgrade their booking engine, and gain control of their bottom line.

Fill out the form above to download the case study, now!

"We believe in a holistic approach to our guest experience, and that translates over to our expectations for our technology choices as well. SHR brings all the pieces together." Wendy Norris — Corp. Director of Revenue Management & eCommerce, Valencia Group
Copyright 2017 | SHR | All rights reserved.

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Bali Children Foundation (BCF) provides an educational pathway for disadvantaged Balinese children and Motel Mexicola is proudly involved by supporting a whole BCF community in a town just outside of Lovina in North Bali. Motel Mexicola sponsorship supports school fees, books, bags, shoes, socks and hygiene kits for 19 children, known as ‘Mexicola Kids’ and also helps to provide key skill sets within the community with computer and English classes. Year 12 students are mentored into a work-ready environment providing pathways into employment.

Since being founded by Margaret Barry in 2002, BCF has grown from delivering education opportunities to 45 students to over three thousand students in 45 communities.

In these communities BCF has directly lowered drop out rates after primary school from 60% to 3% which means communities in which 50% of the population were functionally illiterate now have educated, employed, well paid young people with great futures to look forward to.

Motel Mexicola is enormously proud of the impact their support is having on the futures of the ‘Mexicola Kids’ and is committed to continuing their support of Bali Children Foundation into the future.

For more about Bali Children Foundation please visit :

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 Anayara Resorts's First Thailand  Retreat Reveals

15 June 2017,

Chiang Mai International Convention and Exhibition Center, Thailand. Anayara Resorts, owned by Pacific Media Management Group Limited and Anayara Resorts Holding Limited , a Hong Kong based adult-only ultimate luxury retreats and luxury boutique resorts brand revealing its first property Anayara Luxury Retreat Panwa Resort, a beachfront retreat estate schedule for soft opening by December 2017 and follow by its second property Anayara Luxx Panwa, a luxury boutique resort by 1st Quarter 2019.

Anayara Luxury Retreat Panwa Resort is located on a quiet pristine beachfront of Ao Yon-Khao Kad Panwa, southern Phuket, Kingdom of Thailand overlooking the scenic Chalong Bay, overlooks a coral cove, giving the retreat estate uninterrupted sea views and quiet private beach access. The Retreat is an ultimate luxury beachfront retreat estate project under take by the East West Architect talented and most innovative Phuket’s own architect Ms. Padcha SAKULSUPITCH. Positioned in the most sought-after location on the island, Anayara Retreat Panwa offers complete privacy and attentions to details design.

The Anayara Panwa Retreat have been designed of the Boran Thai mixed with modern contemporary architecture concept and features 6 spacious suites bedrooms with more than 100m², as an adult-only property provide a range of luxury bespoke enhancement service such as return VIP MPV with private chauffeur welcome in a “Thainess” Hospitality ways of Life, branded amenities from the rejuvenating to the romantic which proves that luxury lifestyle can be completely sustainable. The intimate character, boutique style and award-winning architect design, eco-friendly innovations of this uniquely crafted combines the ultimate tranquillity of a holistic retreat with a uniquely luxury retreat vibe. With its infinity beachfront pool and unique plunge pool for it main pavilion suites.

All sea view spacious suites bedroom with its own abundant individual living space with finest wood flooring and antique local deco and walk thru cabinet, vast over-sized en-suite bedrooms, spacious en-suite bathroom with separate grand chromotheraphy rain showers, standing bath tub with sexy look design, free standard daily refill mini bar and daily exotic tropical seasonal fruit trays, branded linens, duvet from the finest Egyptian cotton 500 treads by Brooklinen, a complete Bang & Olufsen and Lutron Integration System - stylish, amenities - rich beachfront living has never been easier, or more pleasurable, to attain, including Netflix and Apple iPad’s Air Control for each suite.

Anayara Wellness Spa and open concept small Fitness Area for your wellbeing. Optional of Private Yoga and Tai-Chi Private Session and even Muay Thai Session can be arrange. Beachside Volcano Stone Grill, Sunset Bar by our mixologist is ideal for hosting a star-studded soiree or an intimate dinner party with friends. Serving the S'well bottle, Moet & Chandon , Grey Goose, the finest wine collection from both old and new world wines best production and brand, cigars serve by our sommelier trained butlers.

A Small Bespoke Beach Wedding Reception said to be as a bespoke weddings and glamorous events can be arrange from to small to as large as 100 person reception in Western or Thai, Indian, Muslim or Chinese Wedding Reception. Benefits of standard full board for max 12 adult person, ( A la-carte will be at an additional price. Name your own menu we try to make it for your at the highest quality taste), The Retreat Estate Benefits; Resort Manager, private villa hosts, local and international cuisine from top private chefs. All inclusive retreat differs from each others based on its packages, it can be as all inclusive and also capable to be tailor-made based on our elite traveller requirement.

Anayara Luxx Panwa Phuket perfectly perched on a hillside gentle slope surrounded by the pristine beauty of nature white-sand beaches and tropical forests only 100m adjoining from the Khao Kad Panwa Tower View Points and Reserve Forest yet having its own pristine beachfront while listening to the nature bird chippings and smooth sea breeze. Anayara Luxx Panwa will feature one and two-bedroom over water pool villas, each with its own terrace, private pool and garden. For the ultimate in luxury, the resort’s three-bedroom pool villa features a large living area, kitchen, master bedroom, three guest bedrooms and an expansive outdoor terrace and pool area.

The Luxury Boutique Resort will offer a wealth of in-house facilities including main reception building, Anayara own Boutique Collections signature with adjoining Spa Holistic Wellness village with treatments VIP Rooms, Meditation Sala’s, Yoga and Tai-Chi with gym , Detox Programs, a library, a meeting loft, cooking studios, herb organic garden, a beachfront five-star international and local cuisine, sky bar and cigar lounge adjoining with small beach club, wedding chapel. And spacious individual over water pool villas unique design of it kind size.

Our concierge thru Anayara Bespoke Touches Services also provide a floating jetty and pontoon exclusively for its guest, non motorise water sport facilities complimentary such as Hobie Cats, Hobie Kayak, Wind Surfing, Sails, Standing Paddle Boards, clear canoe, full mask and snorkelling set, and find and also optional of other bespoke service such our own custom made traditional Thailand long tail boats painted in black, jet boat and even charter private luxury yacht or catamaran to seclude private island beach area with picnic bags with our resort host butlers and also private diving class and courses at an additional cost.

Our Guests can also take advantage of exclusive charters with a choice of various luxury sailing and motorboats - ideal for water-skiing, surfing picnics on hidden beaches, snorkelling, sightseeing or for pure sailing pleasure. Anayara Retreat Panwa and Anayara Luxx Panwa ’s location is perfect to discover the island’s culture with our Social Activities Coordinators or even our Resort Managers thru our unique Anayara Touches Bespoke Team by visiting place of interest, historic temples or local markets, mall, night entertainment, culture show as well as embrace a wide range of adventure and outdoor pursuits including water sports, four wheeled ATV safaris, bungee jumping, waterfall hikes, Muay Thai box training and zip lining.

Announcing the new projects, the spokesman for the group on behalf of the CEO ,International Project Development and Operations EVP and Director, Azuan Noordin said the Group’s expansion is underpinned by a commitment to deliver superior guest experiences through distinctively branded properties in key markets globally and also to create distinctive brand experiences that appeal ever rising niche market elite and boutique travellers and even to the new millennia’s and next generation of travellers,” our Anayara Boutique Pool Villa Retreats and Anayara Boutique Luxury Resort combined with the provision of exemplary hospitality in such a beautiful setting creates an environment where owners and guests can discover a new state of mind.

We are truly delighted and confident to not only to be recognized as the best in Asia soon but also worldwide to grow our unique brand in the near future expansion.

Upcoming Project Development

Thailand is becoming world class exotic beach and island destination and we are also looking for expansion in Natai Beach, Phang Nga, Koh Samui, Koh Lanta and Koh Lipe, Thailand’s own Maldives. Anayara Resorts WORLDWIDE plans to expand its footprint to other high-growth markets as well as gateway exotic beachfront or private island destination such as Bora Bora in French Polynesia and other Pacific Oceanic Exotic destinations, Maldives, Mauritius, Dominican Republic and other Caribbean destinations, Ibiza in the Balearic Islands and Santorini, Greece and ASEAN’s own Paradise such as Palawan, Philippines and Raja Ampat, Indonesia in acquisition and management contracts.

About Anayara Resorts

Anayara Resorts is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pacific Media Management Group Limited and Anayara Resorts Holding Limited, the Hong Kong-based global property developer, and manages Anayara’s hospitality and leisure projects globally. Defining its competency in managing luxury property developments with strict eco credentials, Anayara Resorts owns and manages a diversified portfolio of assets and management contracts.

Anayara Resorts has defined its credentials in the hotel industry with the launch of two brands, each with a distinct niche – Anayara Retreats and Anayara LUXX. Anayara Retreats - A Timeless Retreat for the Discerning Traveller out of the ordinary beyond luxury ultimate concept Retreats less than 10 keys, positioned as a deluxe small luxury estate. Anayara Luxx – a luxury boutique resorts with less than 50 keys.

From couples to small niche group, our secluded retreats and boutique resorts offer a tailored beside its all inclusive package, unforgettable experience for parties, wedding events, beach parties of all sizes. Ultimate Couples or Small Group Escapes. There's no better way to start your new life together than in an elegant, romantic, tropical setting. Welcoming Elite and Boutique Travellers Into A World Of New Experiences of Anayara an ultimate luxury retreat and luxury boutique resort heaven to rejuvenate your soul and escape the sophisticated hectic working lifestyle.

Anayara Resorts has brought a fresh identity to the global hospitality and service sector by setting new benchmarks with its gracious hospitality and exceptional service standards. Anayara offers a more personal and engaging experience to guests in a premium lifestyle environment, enriching the lives of its guests with luxury, style and elegance. Anayara Resorts is set to operate ultimate luxury retreats and luxury boutique resorts in all major exotic beachfront and island destinations worldwide. | (launch in July 2017)

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Asian Attractions Expo 2017 Opens in Singapore TodayTrade Show Floor Showcases 350+ Exhibitors from 30 Countries across 10,000 Net Square Meters

Singapore, 14 June 2017) Organized by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the largest international trade association for the global attractions industry, Asian Attractions Expo (AAE) 2017 opens today at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The Expo – which runs until 16 June – is officiated by Mr. Greg Hale, 2017 IAAPA Chairman of the Board; Mr. Paul Noland, IAAPA President and CEO; and Ms. June Ko, Vice President, IAAPA Asia Pacific Operations.

This year’s show is again on a highly impressive scale. More than 350 exhibiting companies from 30 countries are taking up nearly 10,000 net square meters of show floor space – almost 50% more space than when the show was last held in Singapore in 2013.

Sixty three (63) new exhibitors join many well-known brands to make AAE 2017 the ideal marketplace for one-stop solutions for attractions industry professionals. As Asia’s premier international business event for the attractions industry, AAE 2017 expects more than 8,000 industry professionals from more than 50 countries to gather together to explore a world of new ideas – enabling them to grow their business with the innovations, solutions, knowledge, connections, and expertise.

In addition to the rich array of product and service offerings found on the show floor, AAE 2017’s education sessions and special events will provide industry players with valuable learning and networking opportunities:

Education sessions: 11 education sessions with in-depth programs led by international industry experts feature topics covering safety, what’s new in Asia, design innovation, transformational guest experiences, elevating special events, and more.
The IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers and IAAPA Safety Institute offer professional training to strengthen attendees’ expertise and prepare them for a successful career in the industry.

AAE 2017’s special events span a diverse range of formats, from a networking reception and learning opportunities during breakfast and lunch meetings, to exclusive education tours (EDUTours), allowing attractions industry professionals to make new connections and share ideas with like-minded colleagues.

Commenting on the Expo, IAAPA President and CEO Paul Noland said: “Our industry continues to thrive in Asia, attracting more visitors than in any other region of the world. New attractions continue to open across the continent, from theme parks and water parks to museums, resorts and more, with attendance booming and familiar global brands increasingly joined by new players with fresh ideas relevant to local markets and cultures. And, Asian Attractions Expo plays a key supporting role in the development, by bringing industry participants together to form strategic alliances and explore the latest innovative concepts and technology from leading suppliers around the world.”

Onsite registration for AAE is available throughout the Expo period. For more information,

Asian Attractions Expo 2017 Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors: Huss Park Attractions GmbH; Kraftwerk Living Technologies GmbH; PGAV Destinationa; Pictureworks Pte Ltd.; Wartsila North America, Inc.

Silver Sponsors: accesso; JRA; ProSlide Technology; WhiteWater

About Asian Attractions Expo

Since 1997, Asian Attractions Expo has been the premier international event for the multibillion-dollar leisure and attractions industry in the Asia-Pacific region. Asian Attractions Expo 2017 takes place at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, 13-16 June, and includes a 10,000-net-square-meter trade show floor, a comprehensive industry education program, networking events, and visits to some of the region's premier attractions. More than 8,000 attractions industry professionals from more than 50 countries are expected to participate in the 2017 event. @IAAPAHQ #AAE17


Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently located amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents nearly 5,300 facility, supplier, and individual members from 99 countries. Member facilities include amusement and theme parks, water parks, attractions, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, and resorts. IAAPA is a nonprofit organization. The association's global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States. The association maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, Hong Kong, and Orlando. @IAAPAHQ #IAAPA

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Beginning on Global Running Day, Westin Pilots Reflective Gear, Adding to the Brand’s Popular & Pioneering Gear Lending Program

Bethesda, MD., June 7, 2017 – In celebration of Global Running Day, Westin Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), today announced an addition to the brand’s game-changing Gear Lending program, which offers guests access to New Balance® shoes and workout apparel during their stay for only $5.00 USD or the local currency equivalent. For the month of June, reflective wristbands and light-up sneaker clips will be included in the Gear Lending offering, allowing guests to pack light, stay fit, and now, rise earlier.

“Travelers today are over-scheduled and always-on; in response, we are seeing people realign their priorities to put their well-being first,” said Brian Povinelli, SVP and Global Brand Leader, Westin Hotels & Resorts. “Whether at home or on the road, often the only time guests have for themselves is the morning. Fueled by our guests’ passion for running and the brand’s promise to empower travelers to move well, we hope this extension to our Gear Lending program will inspire travelers to rise early and own their morning on Global Running Day and beyond.”

Global Study Sees a Surge in Travelers Sweating Before Sunrise

With less time and more disruptors on the road, 3 in 4 people have trouble maintaining their wellness routine while traveling: sleeping less and exercising less with increased stress levels, even when on vacation. In response, guests around the globe are increasingly getting up before the sun to own their morning through well-being and regaining control of their routines on the road.

A global study conducted in partnership with StudyLogic revealed that almost 40% of global respondents are most in control of their wellness routine between 4:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Surprisingly, nearly 25% of respondents specified that they are most in control between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. And many of those wellness routines include running: 45% of global respondents intend to run while traveling.

“As someone who travels throughout the world bringing to life the brand’s renowned running program, I have never met a guest who wakes up early to run and regrets it,” said Chris Heuisler, National RunWESTIN™ Concierge. “There is magic in the early morning hours that fosters a sense of comradery, broadens your perspective and reframes your day. With a strong commitment to the running community, we are delighted to shine a new light on running for travelers and support an event that has quickly become a global phenomenon celebrated around the world.”

Rise & Shine: Westin Hotels & Resorts Celebrate Global Running Day around the World

Today the brand boasts nearly 200 Run Concierges globally, who host group runs for guests and encourage runners of all levels to grab a runWESTIN™ map and explore their destination. Whether it is millennials, who view fitness activities to be more social than competitive; business travelers who are shifting their preference from country clubs to running clubs; or even honeymooners, who are increasingly running together as a way to decompress, disconnect and be a tourist at the same time; Westin continues to evolve its offerings to support the running community.

To celebrate Global Running Day, Westin hotels around the world will host empowering runs enlisting guests and associates to rise early and own their morning. Equipped with the brand’s new reflective gear, Run Concierges will lead runners through the scenic routes of cities, along beachfronts and amid rural landscapes to experience sunrise through Westin’s well-being lens.

In “the City that Never Sleeps,” guests and locals will hit the pavement before Manhattan wakes up with a run beginning at The Westin New York at Times Square, along the scenic Westside Highway and culminating with a fresh and refueling breakfast downtown. In Mexico, the newly built Westin Cozumel has partnered with New Balance Ambassador and Olympic Medalist Ismael Hernandez to lead an inspiring morning run along the coastal beach town; while in Germany, The Westin Hamburg has partnered with Mourad Bekakcha, the fastest runner in the region, to run and train with travelers along the waterfront of the famed port city.

Many Westin hotels around the world will join the celebration in markets including: Austin, Beijing, Boston, Costa Rica, Cairo, Cape Town, Vancouver and Jakarta among others.

Brand Campaign Challenges Travelers: “Will You Get Up, or Will You Rise?”

This initiative follows on the heels of the brand’s launch of its new multi-million-dollar campaign, Let’s Rise, which takes on the disruptions, distractions and unpredictability of travel while empowering travelers to embrace well-being as a way to regain control of their routines and be their best while on the road.

Because morning is the first and best opportunity to take control of the day ahead, the campaign uses morning light as a consistent creative device to speak to the potential that the morning holds. Overall, the campaign calls consumers to answer a simple question, “Will you get up, or will you rise?” The Let’s Rise mantra will continue to serve as an anchor for the wellness programs and partnerships that roll out for guests and associates throughout the year.

To learn more about Westin and its fitness offerings visit or

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Major Hospitality Powerhouses Reveal Key Trends at Annual Boutique Hotel Investment Conference (BLLA)

Executives from Leading Hotels of the World, Equinox Hotels, Sixty Hotels, PENDRY, West Elm Hotels, Arianna Huffington and More, Converge in New York to Talk Boutique Hospitality

New York, June 9 – Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA) successfully closed its 2017 Annual Boutique Hotel Investment Conference in New York, June 7, with some of the most influential hospitality powerhouses in the game. Worldwide hotel luminaries, executives and developers gathered at the Times Center in the heart of New York, to discuss major hospitality trends and provide an in-depth analysis of the ever-developing industry.

Over 45 speakers and panelists discussed the latest in the world of boutique, spanning food & beverage, design, investment and development, market share and influence, to reveal key industry trends and forecasts for the remainder of 2017 and heading into 2018. At the helm of the conference was Frances Kiradjian, CEO and Founder of BLLA, who paved the way for some of the most innovative powerhouses to share key insight into the industry.

Here’s a look:

“STAY BOUTIQUE”: BLLA announces new online platform for the boutique industry

Stay Boutique will be the industry’s first authentic list of real boutique and lifestyle hotels, as well as a direct booking to all BLLA member hotels, worldwide. Defined as a “hub for innovators, leaders and those who believe in the power of boutique”, the Stay Boutique platform will launch this fall and reveal the true world of boutique.

INSTAGRAMMABLE MOMENTS: The importance of creating an “Instagrammable” business model

“Social media is one of the best things we can use as a tool, to promote whatever we are selling” - Co-Founder Mark Birnbaum, EMM Group

Gone are the days of traditional online reviews – we now turn to social media as a way to look for what we want to eat, experience and explore. Creating instagrammable moments for businesses through design is paramount in order to stay relevant. These moments act organically as a daily and continuous type of online “review”, to help drive business and advertise products. Birnbaum uses the ‘instagrammable cake’ sold at Catch, as an example of how “items exist solely for the reason of social sharing”.

ENGAGING THE RIGHT MARKET: Who and what social media influencers to target

“It’s not all about the followers” - Co-Owner Lisle Richards, The Metric.
“Peer-to-peer advertising is very important…being able to sell something organically is key” - Co-Founder Mark Birnbaum, EMM Group

Hotspot guru’s Richards and Birnbaum discuss how Gen Z and millennials are truly influencing ROI. Being able to identify influencers that engage with the right market, is a key element to drive real business for hotels. Target the small, niche influencers that have successful peer-to-peer advertising; hosting an influencer with 30K followers from your local / target markets is more valuable than someone with 500K followers from an off-market.

“FOOD + VIBE”: What’s hot in the world of F&B

“Night clubs and stand-alone lounge business are no longer as popular – our focus is on ‘food & vibe’ business; places where you can eat and get a little action” - Co-Founder Mark Birnbaum, EMM Group

Out with traditional night club – in with “food and vibe”. The world of food and beverage explores offering a seamless transition from experiential dining, to a true form of night life. Businesses are integrating a sense of vibe so their space of F&B can appeal to all audiences at the same time; offering a separate lounge area, live entertainment, private rooms. Gone are the days of restaurants turning into night clubs after 9pm.

INFUSING THE LOCAL MARKET: Using local talent to create an authentic guest experience and compete with disruptors like Airbnb

“Success for us is how well we connect with the community and neighborhood” – Founder & CEO Sharan Pasricha, Ennismore

“We have no formal spaces…it’s more of an Airbnb experience…and [we are] stealing a lot of Airbnb customers” - Co-Founder Chris Pardo, Arrive Hotels

Businesses need to create a “home-away-from-home” identity and infuse the local market through design, F&B and amenities, to appeal to competitive market customers, like Airbnb. Offer a true authentic, local experience that captures the ever-growing number of experience-based travelers. Make hotels approachable and be inspired by the local neighborhood to create a true local destination.


“Emerging neighborhoods are where it’s at - make the buzz and own the space” – Co-Founder Michael Fuerstman, Pendry Hotels

Investors are turning away from built-up cities like New York (that currently have over 30 hotel properties on the market, with no strong buyers), and building hotels in emerging neighborhoods. Boutique developers are also entering markets that are slowly undergoing gentrification. West Hollywood also proved a hot destination of the day, with boutique properties in the works like EDITION, Pendry and more to “elevate West Hollywood as a destination” (Fuerstman).

BLLA also announced its two-day October “Stay Boutique Leadership Conference”, taking place in Los Angeles Oct. 3-5, 2017. For more information, click here: To keep up with more news on the conference, sign-up for the weekly news BOUTIQUE WEEKLY here: News

BLLA is the world’s most innovative and progressive organization dedicated to the luxury independent boutique lodging and lifestyle industries. The association connects the world’s most dynamic executives with cutting edge business and operational insight. BLLA’s membership benefits allow access to the world’s leading minds in the space through events, research and education. Our mission is to provide leadership and opportunities for global recognition and connections to the world’s best hotels, vendors and manufacturers. All resulting in strategic interactions and access to information that helps people and organizations thrive. Join the movement that BLLA gave birth to in 2009 and become a part of something that is truly unique, exciting and inspirational.