Patrick Imbardelli and Paul Fischmann are back for AHICE 2011

 The program, featuring almost 40 industry leaders, has been released for the second annual Australasian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE) at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney on September 2.

AHICE, supported by the two major hotel associations in Australia – Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) and the Australian Accommodation Association (AAoA) – is being hosted by leading industry magazine HM (Hotel and Accommodation Management) and is expected to attract over 300 leading Hoteliers and industry executives from across the Asia-Pacific region and globally.

During the day, delegates will be given a snapshot of the accommodation industry, from an overall outlook to specific topics ranging from social media to the MICE market, food and beverage trends, human resources issues and managing distribution channels.

HM magazine’s Managing Editor, James Wilkinson, says a number of the world’s leading Hoteliers will be involved in plenary and breakout sessions during the conference.

“We have a fantastic program that will look at the major trends in the travel industry,” he says.

“The day will be a great insight to the industry for Hoteliers, major suppliers and industry leaders and the program will be one where delegates leave with a firm understanding of the major factors impacting on the accommodation industry.”

AHICE 2011 – Conference Program

Friday, September 2, 2011
8:00am-onwards – registration

Opening remarks
-James Wilkinson (Managing Editor, HM magazine)
-Howard Kemball, MC

Opening Presentation: Ross Greenwood, Channel 9, on the state of the economy.

Moderator: James Wilkinson, HM Magazine
Topics to be discussed:
-Performance outlook for the remainder of 2011/2012;
-Major issues facing the industry at present;
-Development in Australasia (or lack thereof);
-Impact of low-cost airlines and airline disruptions;
-Impact of Australian domestic tourism with a high dollar;
-International arrivals: the hot markets;
-Innovation in the industry, including winning over Chinese and Indian travellers;
-Expected impact of the 2011 Rugby World Cup;
-Update on Christchurch and domestic NZ
Confirmed panellists:
– A. Patrick Imbardelli, President and CEO, Pan Pacific Hotels Group
– Paul Richardson, Vice President – NZ, Accor Hospitality
– Stephen Burt, CEO, Mirvac Hotels & Resorts
– Bob East, CEO, Mantra Group
– Ashley Spencer, Vice President Australia, Hilton Worldwide

Presentation: Rutger Smits, National Leader – Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

Moderator: Howard Kemball, Kcom
Topics to be discussed:
-Development, operations, management, discounting, what drives revenue, occupancy, marketing, selecting a management company and more.
Confirmed panellists:
– Graham Wilkinson, Retirement Assets Limited
– Nigel Greenaway, Eureka Funds Management
– John Hudson, Managing Director, Thakral Holdings Group
– Andrew Turner, Managing Director, Shenton Hospitality
-John van der Wallen, Fund Manager, CPHF, Colonial First State Global Asset Management

Morning tea in exhibition area

BREAKOUT SESSION 1a: Travel Forum – airlines, inbound and outbound
Moderator: James Wilkinson, HM Magazine
Topics to be discussed:
-A snapshot of new airline routes and opportunities for domestic and outbound tourism;
-An insight into where Australians and Kiwis are travelling to globally;
-Impact of a high Australian dollar on surrounding nations (NZ, Pacific Islands, Asia-Pacific);
-Future growth from Middle East and Asian carriers – are they helping inbound tourism?;
-Markets to target for inbound tourism across the Asia-Pacific region;
-Are Australia and New Zealand too expensive with our high dollar (a mini-debate)?;
-Maximising low-cost carriers from Asia wanting to serve Australia / NZ;
-How Asian nations are stealing Australian and NZ travellers with ingenious campaigns.
Confirmed panellists:
– Jayson Westbury, CEO, Australian Federation of Travel Agents
– Simon McGrath, Vice President – Australia, Accor Hospitality
– Marcus Niszow, Deputy CEO, Pacific Resort Hotel Group (Cook Islands)
– Deepak Ohri, Chief Executive Officer, Lebua Hotels and Resorts (Bangkok)

BREAKOUT SESSION 1b: Human Resources
Moderator: Fujio Shibata, General Manager – Australia and NZ, TMS
Topics to be discussed:
-Immigration and student visa issues;
-OH+S issues for hotels at present;
-The importance of training and staff retention (including skills training programs);
-Overseas labour – why it is a major issue both in Australia and NZ;
-Hotel school students – how do we keep them in Australia and New Zealand?;
-Australians returning home – is the “greenback rush” over?;
Confirmed panellists:
– Rachel Argaman, CEO, Toga Hospitality

BREAKOUT SESSION 2a: Sustainability and technology
Moderator: Ted Horner, E Horner & Associates
Topics to be discussed:
-Where technology is heading in 2012 and beyond;
-How technology is helping sustainability;
-How energy-saving lighting is being adapted by hotels;
-Sustainability in hotels;
-Sustainable products;
-Sustainable design;
Confirmed panellists:
– Richard Dalman, Managing Director, Dalman Architecture (NZ)
– Vincent Hoogewijs, General Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
– Michael Matulick, CEO Concept Amenities

BREAKOUT SESSION 2b: The franchising boom
Proposed moderator: Tony Ryan, Ryan’s Lawyers
Topics to be discussed:
-Why franchising is the hot development model in Australia and New Zealand at present;
-Why owners are looking to the franchising model over management;
-What franchising really means for Hoteliers and staff in properties that are re-branded;
-What further opportunities there are for franchising in the market;
-Which segments are the development hot spots (economy, midscale, upscale);
-Growth projections from leading Hoteliers;
Confirmed panellists:
– Paul Constantinou, Chairman, Quest Serviced Apartments
– David Bayes, CEO, Choice Hotels Australia
– Dino Mezzatesta, Accor Hospitality
– Barry Robinson, Wyndham Hotel Group

Networking lunch next to exhibition area

CEO HARD TALK: An interactive discussion with Koos Klein, Managing Director of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, about his plans for the new indigenous training academy at Ayers Rock Resort and plans for the property going forward.

PLENARY SESSION: The rise of boutique hotels
Moderator: James Wilkinson, HM magazine
Topics to be discussed:
-Why boutique is the world’s hottest development segment;
-Why the world’s biggest management companies are targeting the segment;
-How Australia’s boutique brands are taking off (Art Series, Diamant, Emporium, QT);
-Big brands vs stand-alone brands;
-Why the development opportunities are extensive;
-How the US is leading the way;
-The importance of F&B in the segment and why hotel bars are a key to success;
-The demands of the new world traveller and why boutique is the answer;
Confirmed panellists:
– Will Deague, owner, Art Series Hotel Group
– Peter Savoff, General Manager, Emporium Hotel Brisbane
– Paul Fischmann, CEO, Eight Hotels Australia
– Wouter de Graaf, General Manager, Sofitel Queenstown
– John Uliana, owner and General Manager, Gibraltar Hotel Bowral

Afternoon tea in exhibition area

PLENARY SESSION: Social networking and marketing
Moderator: Kim McKay, Director, Klick Communications
Topics to be discussed:
-Trends in social media and how hotel chains can maximise the online savvy traveller;
-Using social media to increase bookings;
-Which social networking sites are leading the way (and how they work);
-Why LinkedIn has become a ‘must’ for hoteliers;
Confirmed panellists:
– Robin Maes, Director of Digital Media, AHL
– Gwen O’Toole, Editor, SpiceNews and Spice Magazine

Closing remarks and door prizes

Conference ends

Pre-dinner drinks for the 2011 HM Awards at Sydney Town Hall

2011 HM Awards commence at Sydney Town Hall

Once again, AHICE will be held prior to the HM Awards, with the 2011 event also hosted by HM magazine on September 2.

Early bird registration is still available for just $350 per delegate and a special deal of ‘four for the price of three’ is also currently on offer. Bookings are available online at or by calling 1300 789 845 (within Australia).

Combination packages are also available for both the AHICE conference and the HM Awards being held later that night. Packages start from just $400 per person (for both events) and full details are also available at

*The above speaker list is subject to change due to availability.