ASFONA Board Meeting
February 19, 2020, Hyatt Regency, Chicago Downtown
The meeting was focused on "Hyatt Hotels" and the company’s impressive global brand portfolio and took place at the Hyatt Regency, Downtown Chicago. The meeting provided the opportunity for the ASFONA group to meet with a number of the management members of Hyatt Hotels. The Hyatt team was led by Mark Vondrasek, Chief Commercial Officer and the other Hyatt executives included their "global brand leaders", "information technology executives", "SVP global sales", "SVP development and owner relations" and the "global loyalty program SVP’s".
The meeting with Hyatt is the continuation of ASFONA’s “Diversification Strategy” which began with the inclusion of Marriott Hotels at the ASFONA meetings in 2017. This was followed at subsequent meetings by the attendance of executive management from first Virgin Hotels and then Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “It’s wonderful for our group to have the opportunity to meet and to secure firsthand brand-related input from the management teams of these outstanding hotel companies, from which we have developed many mutually beneficial relationships,” stated John Shingler, president of ASFONA.
“As ASFONA continues to diversify its focus on the hotel industry’s leading hotel organizations, it was an honor to welcome the team from Hyatt Hotels to meet our group,” said Shingler. “With over 20 outstanding brands in its portfolio, Hyatt represents extensive opportunities for our Owner/Operator and Management Company Members, as we move into 2020 and beyond.”
Included in the afternoons discussion was the recent news that "Brand USA" has been reinstated and funded through 2027, "a decision that will have a significant and positive impact on the future prosperity of the hospitality and travel industry.” stated Shingler.
The Meeting was also given an overview of the North American hotel market and current market characteristics by Bobby Bowers of STR. Despite some prevailing issues suggesting a possible softening of the hotel market worldwide, the presentation showed cause for optimism in the North American sector.
“The ‘State of the Nation’ for the hotel industry presented at the meeting by the ASFONA Owner/Operator Board Members, together with the STR presentation, is a much-anticipated segment of the meeting, comprising valuable information on market conditions that attendees have come to expect,” continued Shingler. “This market-specific performance data and projections provide intelligence and guidance regarding potential business and growth opportunities".
Shingler continued, “It appears that current global economic indicators are such that we should expect a reasonably robust market, going forward. However, we will continue to face some threats, such as the coronavirus, which is a very serious concern and, although the challenge will eventually pass, the full short and long term impact is still unknown at this point in time.”