On May 28th and 29th, in Budapest, Hungary at the Danubius Flamenco Hotel, International Business Council brought together the top hoteliers from across Central Eastern Europe and the CIS for the Leaders in Hospitality CEE & CIS Summit. With CEE expanding its tourism and hospitality industry sectors, it was an important platform for the region's hoteliers to discuss best practices and share their expertise.

The tourism industry is the highest contributing factor to the region's GDP economic development. International Business Council strongly believes that it is important for hoteliers to meet and discuss these pressing issues not only to share and collaborate but to expand business opportunities and maximize profitability. The more successful this region is at promoting tourism the more successful the region's hoteliers will be. CEE & CIS have struggled to compete with western Europe in the tourism industry and with political and economical issues this region hoteliers finds it difficult to prosper in such circumstances. To gather the region's experts together once a year to discuss the trends, issues and benefits of CEE & CIS creates an important platform for these hoteliers to better understand and collaborate. IBC continues to change the location of the event to expose top hotel chains as well as smaller and independent hotels to all the potential the region has to offer.

Some of the hot topics discussed at the summit were The Forecast of the CEE & CIS Hospitality Sector Development, Market Gaps and New Segments and Unveiling the Investment and Development Opportunities in the Region. There was a special segment for General Managers and a keynote presentation on E-Commerce by Attila Hegedus, Partner and Managing Director or BDO Hungary Hotel and Real Estate Services Ltd. He stated "Tomorrow’s guests are seeking experience and bearing in mind that our competition is only 1 click away, hoteliers with or without external assistance will have to be always on top of the latest e-commerce trends. Obviously we cannot have full possession of the knowledge at all times but with efficiently spent funds on online and offline marketing, measuring our activities and participating at trainings we can have sustained success, happy customers and increase in revenues and profitability.”

The two-day event provided attendees with the opportunity to participate in interactive panel discussions as well as numerous networking sessions. Experts from Hyatt, Hilton, Starwood, Kempinski and Accor shared their experiences, both positive and negative, and provided insight on the region. Christopher Cox the Regional Director of Central Eastern Europe for Preferred Hotels and Resorts said "I think such an event is very important for the hospitality industry in the region which is definitely a very important region with unlimited potential.”

With Oliver Fodor, Head of Tourism Administration and Catering Unit in the Deputy State Secretariat for Tourism and Ministry for National Economy of Hungary and Dr. Akos Niklai the President of the Hungarian Hotel and Restaurant Association and V.P. HOTREC, this event, once again, provided attendees with insight on a wide range of important issues in the region's hospitality industry.