Young Hoteliers SummitYHS welcomed 62 delegates and 12 professors from hospitality institutes around the world to the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. On Monday, they joined key industry representative for the opening ceremony of the Young Hoteliers Summit 2015.

Masters of Ceremony, Isabel Gudenus and Nicolas Dupont, kicked off the Summit with an Oscars inspired selfie which was posted with the hashtag #YHSconnects. They then welcomed the YHS  core team Alexandra Lange Bernal, Lee Koppel, Nathalie Rey, and Seher Ilciktay to the stage who spoke about the growth of the Summit from the 8 hospitality institutes that participated in the 1st Edition of YHS back in 2010 to the 31 participating today. Ji Min Lee and Laura Walter then presented the results of the Hotel Employer Ranking 2015 survey as voted by young hoteliers. Four Seasons took first place, followed closely by Taj and FRHI. For the full ranking results report, please contact rankings@yhsglobal.com.

For the first event of the Summit, YHS was honored to welcome Ms. Gilian Tans (President, Booking.com) to address the audience on the topic of “Understanding the evolution of distribution in hospitality and what the future is for young hoteliers. Lessons learnt from the Booking.com experience.” Ms. Tans shared insights on the customer experience and applied Booking.com practices to each stage of the journey. She discussed the need for optimization across a multitude of devices in order to capture the 8-second attention span of the average human being.

The afternoon brought a stimulating and insightful debate on the topic of “The Travel Stockbroker” – Using information and technology to achieve competitive gains in the global travel industry. Panelists Olivier Jolidon (Director, Digital Marketing Europe, FRHI), Lennert de Jong (Commercial Director, citizenM), Geneviève Materne (Director of Distribution Strategy EMEA, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide), Lorenzo Stoll (Head of Western Switzerland, Swiss International Airlines), David Turnbull (Cofounder and COO, SnapShot GmbH) and Ait Voncke (VP Account Management EMEA, Expedia) joined Mr. Ian Millar (Professor, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne) on stage to discuss the key players in the distribution game and what the future holds for the multitude of distribution channels.

To complete Day 1, delegates, distinguished partners and guests enjoyed a gala dinner at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne to continue networking and discussing the events and key learnings of the day.