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Breaking Travel News investigates: Speakers unveiled for second Hospitality Tomorrow event

Breaking Travel News investigates: Speakers unveiled for second Hospitality Tomorrow event

As the global hospitality community prepares for the second Hospitality Tomorrow event, an industry leading panel of speakers has been unveiled. The show will ‘follow the sun’, starting in Asia, before moving its spotlight to the Middle East, Europe and onto the United States and North America.

First on the agenda, at 06:00GMT, is Jesper Palmqvist, area director for Asia Pacific at STR.

He has spent his career across both supplier and aggregator sides in hospitality, online travel and IT, and will seek to offer the latest statistical overview of performance in the sector.

Next up, with Covid-19 dominating all hospitality discussions of late, Eric Ricaurte, chief executive of Greenview will examine what this means for the sustainability agenda. Will green credentials become less important as companies focus on hygiene?

In the first panel session of the day, at 06:30, René Beil, managing director of Beaufort Global, will speak to JA Resorts & Hotels chief executive Anthony Ross, Tyrone Tang, chief executive of Shimao Hotels, and (China) Hotel Investment & Management chief financial officer Renee Zhang about the how the recovery has begun in China.

Still on the main stage, and at 07:00 Minor International founder William Heinecke will offer his thoughts on leadership in times of crisis during a conversation with Robert Hecker, managing director, Pacific Asia, at Horwath. One of the best-known expatriates in south-east Asia, Heinecke is the driving force behind the leading global brands under the Minor Group umbrella. His visionary spirit, unwavering commitment and hands-on management style are the cornerstones of his unparalleled successes, which are deeply rooted in Thailand. He created his very first company there at the young age of 17. Today, Minor International owns and operates a diversity companies, focused on three primary business sectors: restaurants, hotels and lifestyle retail brands.

Hospitality Tomorrow will move to India at 08:00, with Puneet Chhatwal, chief executive of Indian Hotels Company, Neeraj Govil, senior vice president for south Asia at Marriott International, and Horwath India managing director, Vijay Thacker, offering their perspective from the top.

Next, Priya Paul, chairperson of Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels, will gaze into the future of hospitality with an all-star panel. She will be joined by K.B. Kachru chairman emeritus of Radisson Hotel Group, Patu Keswani. managing director with Lemon Tree Hotels, Arun Kumar Saraf, managing director at Juniper Hotels, and JB Singh, president of InterGlobe Hotels, for an enlightening exchange of views.

Before breaking to network, Ajay Bakaya, managing director at Sarovar Hotels & Resorts, Vikram Madhok, managing director at Abercrombie & Kent, Lokesh Sabharwal, head of development at French hospitality giant Accor, and Nirupa Shankar, executive director of Brigade Enterprises, will share their views on demand in the hospitality sector from their respective positions around the world.


At 10:15, Jerry Inzerillo, chief executive of Diriyah Gate Development Authority, will share his views on the future of the hospitality sector in the Middle East. Inzerillo developed and operated some of the most famous and successful lifestyle brands in tourism and entertainment. In 2018, he was appointed by the crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman of the Saudi Arabia to be the first chief executive of the newly created Diriyah Gate Development Authority. The authority seeks to turn the UNESCO site of the first Saudi state into one of the great gathering places of the world.

Next up, Aiman AlMudaifer, head of local real estate investments, at the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia examines how the body works to develop the domestic economy. AlMudaifer joined the Public Investment Fund in 2018, where he now oversees 57 real estate projects, and is a member of the management committee.

Still with the Middle East, and Hala Matar Choufany, president of HVS Middle East, Africa & south Asia, will offer a forecast for the hospitality sector in the GCC and beyond at 10:45.

World Travel & Tourism Council ambassador Gerald Lawless will lead the next session, chatting with Marwan Jassim Al Sarkal, executive chairman of the Sharjah Investment & Development Authority (Shurooq), Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority chief executive Raki Phillips and Ali Al Shaiba, executive director with the Department of Culture & Tourism, Abu Dhabi, about cooperation across the United Arab Emirates.

With a shift in focus to Europe, Robin Rossmann, managing director at STR, examines whether the local hospitality market has hit rock bottom and when it might begin to recover. Rossman is focused on continuing to improve the way STR provides the hotel industry with robust and insightful performance benchmarking that enables stakeholders to make better decisions and will offer his thoughts at 11:40.

After a break for lunch, HARDtalk presenter Stephen Sackur will examine the influence of technology on the world during and post Covid-19 and the likely impact this crisis will have on the world economy. He will be joined by Peter Westmacott, a former British ambassador to the United States, France and Turkey, and Wesley Paul, chairman at Gemin-i Analytics.

At 13:00, CBRE Hotels consultant Michael Hirst will be joined by Marcus-Milan Arandelovic, hotel division chief operations officer with Aroundtown, Cody Bradshaw, managing director global head of hotel asset management at Starwood Capital Group, Frank Croston, co-founder of Hamilton Hotel Partners, and Pandox chief executive Anders Nissen to discuss how asset managers are looking to overcome disruption.

They will be followed by Nick van Marken, managing director at van Marken, as he chats with Franck Gervais, chief executive of Accor in Europe, about how hotels can accelerate the rebound from the coronavirus pandemic by improve hygiene. van Marken served on the board of global industry data provider STR from 2011 to 2017, and is a member of the advisory board of Hospitality Tomorrow hosts Bench Events.

Examining that most of elusive of things, the ‘new normal’, Dirk Bakker, head of EMEA hotels at Colliers International, will take the stage at 14:10. He will be joined by Meininger Hotels chairman Navneet Bali, Kerten Hospitality chief executive Marloes Knippenberg, Hans Meyer, managing director of Zoku, and Mark Selawry, vice president of hospitality at ACT.Global.

At 14:45, Jacqueline Gifford, editor in chief of Travel + Leisure, will be joined by Christopher Norton, chief executive of Equinox Hotels, to discuss high performance living after Covid-19.

Focusing on life in the UK, David Roberts, head of leisure and corporate partner at CMS, will lead the next discussion. He will be joined by Jonathan Downey, co-founder of London Union, Jo Fleet, managing director at Flat Iron, Robin Hutson, chief executive of Lime Wood Group, and Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality.

Finally for the European section of the Hospitality Tomorrow event, Demian Hodari, associate professor of Strategic Management, Ecole Hôtelière Lausanne, will be joined by Inge Huijbrechts, global senior vice president at Radisson Hotel Group, and Brett Tollmann, chief executive of the Travel Corporation, to take another look at sustainability.

In the final, North American leg of the event, Jeff Weinstein, editor in chief of Hotels Magazine, will be joined by Edward Mady, general manager of the Beverly Hills Hotel, and Lindsey Ueberroth, chief executive of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, to discuss what impact social distancing will have on the hospitality sector.

At 16:50, Arturo Garcia Rosa founder of SAHIC, will be joined by Radisson Hotel Group chief executive Jim Alderman to take a closer look at the reopening of the hospitality sector in the United States.

More Information

Find out more about Hospitality Tomorrow from Bench Events on the official website.