Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Le Quesne

Katharine Le Quesne

Senior Director, HoCoSo

Katharine is a Senior Director at HoCoSo - an advisory firm specialising in creating unique hospitality experiences and destinations. Our services cover: concept (re)development & portfolio creation; project scoping and execution; asset management; and education.

Ms. Le Quesne has spent over 20 years working all over the world with private investors, public companies, Governments and operators in the hospitality and leisure industries, advising on an eclectic mix of investments, particularly luxury hotels, resorts, destinations and theme parks. She is also a valued advisor to C-suite teams and boards, facilitating strategic workshops and providing an external industry perspective.

Ms. Le Quesne began her career with Jones Lang Wootton (now JLL) in China, when the country was undergoing its first real estate boom, working on real estate investment, agency and development consultancy. She subsequently worked in Asia and Europe for Arthur Andersen and Deloitte, within their specialist hotel advisory practices. She launched and ran the first monthly hotel benchmark survey for Asia Pacific and travelled extensively across EMEA and Asia, working on M&A, strategy and development feasibility assignments.

Ms. Le Quesne is Head of Resorts at the Glion Institute of Higher Education, Switzerland, and is a Visiting Lecturer at world class hospitality and real estate institutions, including the University of Zurich and previously the Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne. She has been an industry advisor on the World Economic Forum Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report and is a regular speaker at industry events.

Ms. Le Quesne has lived in Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Taiwan and France and is currently based in the UK. She speaks French and rusty Mandarin (her undergraduate degree); and has an MBA from INSEAD, France.

Please visit http://www.hocoso.com for more information.

Ms. Le Quesne can be contacted at +44 797-970-3444 or katharine@hocoso.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.