HSMAI Europe 2021 Awards Winners Announced at HSMAI Europe Commercial Strategy Week in London


The winners of the HSMAI Europe Awards 2021 were revealed at a gala ceremony which took place at the Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel in London last week.

The event was part of HSMAI Europe’s annual business strategy week. The objective of these awards is to promote results-oriented and innovative leadership among young executives, and to focus on companies that have demonstrated innovation and adaptability.

Digitization is one of the important drivers of today’s society and has become even more important during the pandemic.

The HSMAI Europe Awards are held annually and reflect the passion, determination and innovation of executives working in different disciplines across the region.

The judges

  • Valerie De CorteGlobal Alliance & Partnership Director at EHL
  • Monna NordhagenFounder & Owner at MARS Brand Agency
  • Eric BrownChairman of the Marketing and Branding Advisory Board of HSMAI Europe
  • Philippe B. RoyDirector Global Strategic Partnerships Europe – Head of the Hospitality Vertical at AMEX
  • Terje OlsenBroadstone Network CEO

Ingunn Hofseth, President and CEO of HSMAI Europe comments:

“On behalf of the Association, I would like to express our gratitude to the jury for their time and commitment to the awards.

“All of the finalists have shone as industry leaders and inspirational role models – especially as the industry has had to overcome the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic. The Awards spotlight and reward those who have demonstrates innovation and adaptability through new business models and/or internal improvements.

“The finalists made it clear that in order to not only survive, but also thrive, it is essential to disrupt the status quo. Adapting often means being ready to shift mindsets, break out of the norm, and create new solutions to support industry recovery.

HSMAI Europe Young Talent of the Year (co-winners)


  • Olivia RockyMarketing Manager at Interstate Hotels & Resorts
  • Christopher Thomas KeatesKey Account Director at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)

Judges’ comments

Winner: Olivia Rocky

“In creating the Interstate Marketing Taskforce, Liv brought together many creative minds – all with diverse strengths and backgrounds. Through Liv’s innovative leadership, she created a culture of collaboration to produce ideas, plans and campaigns. that benefit the entire portfolio The tools and resources Liv has created to support hotel performance add real value, ensuring that marketing efforts are focused in the right areas to drive maximum profitability. Liv consistently stays ahead of the trends of current market conditions and is an invaluable asset to the industry.”

Winner: Christopher Thomas Keates

“Chris has always been an advocate for change, winning awards in previous years for change management. He is a born leader and a winner, someone who finds ways to work smarter and is there for members of the team. His dedication to moving across various target industries for IHG has been the pinnacle of his success, and his willingness to apply has shown that he learns quickly and makes a difference. Chris is known for the good things that make him With such a dynamic situation in 2021 with travel changes so frequent and having a big impact on our industry, we all had to be nimble and flexible, Chris went above and beyond that not just for himself but for his colleagues, his peers and the hotels he represents.”

HSMAI Europe Sales Professional of the Year


  • Mouncef Bencherif,
    Senior Key Account Director at Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG)
  • Jas Sandhu, Director of Sales and Marketing at Interstate Hotels & Resorts Europe

Judges’ comments:

Winner: Mouncef Bencherif

“Mouncef has had a fantastic year leading by example throughout the crisis, being a great motivator and innovative, embracing change and turning it into an opportunity. Mouncef has mastered all challenges, solving problems , finding solutions and seeking assistance to drive the 2022 RFP strategy with a strong pricing position. Mouncef has worked flexibly to reflect the changing business environment in 2021 and has relentlessly focused on recovery to build and transfer shares to IHG for 2022. Helped provide multiple carbon emission reports and analysis for each of its clients, thus enabling them to manage their travel policy more efficiently.”

Fabian Specht Income Professional of the Year


  • Hayley JenkinsRegional Revenue Manager at Best Western Hotels & Resorts GB
  • Monika SableCorporate Revenue Manager at Lindner Hotels AG
  • Justyna ObiegloDirector of Revenue Management at IHG, InterContinental Warsaw

Judges’ comments

Winner: Monica Sand

“This award was given to Monika Sand to recognize her contributions to revenue optimization for the hospitality industry. Monika is an innovative leader and continuously develops the organizational structure around her discipline. initiative, Lindner has implemented a cluster revenue structure, which is one of their success factors, and sees revenue as the foundation and driver of communication and collaboration across all disciplines, working to “non-siloed” cooperation and transparency She fully understands how to explain market needs and analyze revenue streams to ensure the most attractive and valuable price.”

HSMAI Europe Marketing Professional of the Year


  • Diane-Laure DudoueCommunication Director at InterContinental Paris le Grand
  • Elena LjiljanicPR & Marketing Manager at Regent Porto Montenegro

Judges’ comments

Winner: Diane-Laure Dudoué

“Diane-Laure has a proven track record in creating public relations strategies and driving results. She promoted her creative ideas to hotel management, head office and agencies. She always innovates by selecting bespoke brands for Kimpton as a dedicated pet lover program to surprise and amaze guests. She shows a burning passion for the profession and has brilliantly succeeded in repositioning Le Grand Hôtel and establishing Kimpton and its notoriety in France. This award recognizes her exceptional work and she is a major asset to IHG Hotels.

HSMAI Europe Event Inspiration of the Year

Sofitel Legend Grand Amsterdam was unfortunately unable to attend the ceremony, but Franck X. Arnold, General Manager and Regional Vice President of The Savoy was on hand to accept the award on their behalf.

Judges’ comments

Winner: Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam

“Many hotels invest in different art forms for the enjoyment of their guests and staff. Some take this to the next level, to position the hotel using their long history with art and the emphasis they place on art today. In addition, the winner also wanted to focus more on corporate social responsibility. The solution was to create a project called Artists in Residence. A range of artists get a helping hand and are invited to stay in the Artists-in-Residence suite to work on a new piece of art. The project encompasses different artistic disciplines, from painters to poets and from jewelry designers to photographers. Bort young talents and renowned artists participate in the project. The ultimate goal is to support the art world during a difficult time and to further strengthen the hotel’s position vis-à-vis art and corporate social responsibility. »

HSMAI Europe Technology Innovator of the Year (joint winners)

The following companies have been nominated:

  • Overview OTA
  • Wooded
  • RateGain
  • The hotel network
  • Cloud
  • Arvoia
  • Cvent
  • Mouse rate

Judges’ comments

Winner: Global Market Insight by OTA Insight

“How can hotels make more informed decisions on critical topics like budgeting and forecasting, returning and recruiting staff, and when to adjust their pricing strategy? One company has found an answer. This heatmap interactive can serve as a new industry benchmark for tracking the global recovery of the travel and hospitality industries, combining recovery trends for the past six months and a demand outlook for the next 90 days, completely free of charge. Information displayed for each destination includes flight and hotel search progress index, available hotels, time trends and top countries searching for the destination.

Winner: Bench Direct by The Hotels Network

“Hotel benchmarking is essential to the growth strategy of any hotel brand. How can hotels get more bookings through their own channels and reduce OTA costs? This question has been, and still is, one of the most important for the hospitality industry, especially post-pandemic. Hotels need real-time competitive information to better understand how their recovery is going, compared to the market as a whole. This new tool, launching in 2021, is a powerful new technology for hotel brands. With this free solution, all hotels, regardless of budget, can see where their property stands against their competitors, making it easier for hotels to stay competitive. »

HSMAI Europe Marketing Inspiration of the Year

Judges’ comments

Winner: Visit Norway for their campaign “Top 13,000 Reasons Why You should visit Northern Norway”

‘13,000 reasons to visit Norway…’ also received ‘Best in Show at HSMAI Adrian Award in US’, a much-loved and humorous campaign. This involved the creators receiving feedback from 13,000 visitors from northern Norway and reading aloud in one take, creating the longest-running review ever. “

Learn more here

Please note that two of the categories will be distributed later this year due to challenges with Covid and flight cancellations. These are:

  • HSMAI Europe Best Use of Trademark
  • HSMAI Europe Young Hotelier of the Year


About HSMAI Europe

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Europe Region is committed to growing the business of the hospitality, events and travel industry and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for smart and sustainable growth income at local, national and European level. The association provides practical tools, insights and cutting-edge expertise to enable knowledge sharing and enhance professional development as well as fuel sales, inspire marketing, digitally transform businesses and optimize revenue.

Marius Flaskjer
HSMAI Europe


About Author

Comments are closed.