GIOHIS is run by HOFTEL, the only global alliance of hospitality real estate owners.  While HOFTEL exists to leverage the combined influence of our members in dealing with key service providers to our sector, the group always aims to take a positive and pro-active stance where possible.

One manifestation of this is the OFI, the Owner-Friendly Innovation of the Year Award, voted on by HOFTEL members and granted to a brand or operator which has taken steps over the previous year to improve the life of owners.  We believe that the positive reinforcement of good practice is a far better way to tackle the challenges our members face than continual negativity.  At the same time, by not naming and shaming bad performers, but rather by “lauding and applauding” good ones, we hope to showcase an example for other operators and brands to follow.

The way the OFI works is as follows.  HOFTEL solicits nominations from its membership base of 78 owners who together control around US$ 80 billion of hospitality real estate. These can be situations where a brand has increased transparency, boosted revenues, reduced costs or made an activity simpler and easier to monitor.  There are no set limits on what can be nominated (though owners linked to a brand or operator cannot nominate a related party).

The members are then sent a short summary on each nomination and take a vote as to which one they prefer – and the winner is that year’s OFI winner.  There is no disgrace in coming second – indeed, to have been nominated at all should be a matter of pride for each operator or brand.

It is HOFTEL’s hope that winners will benefit from improved relations with their base of owners and an increased likelihood of securing new contracts; while owners may benefit across the board if good practices are then emulated by other brands and operators.

Past winner of the OFI include Intercontinental Hotels Group (twice), Marriott International and Rezidor.  The 2015/2016 OFI winner will be announced at GIOHIS.