The ninth annual Australian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE), hosted and presented by HM Magazine, has wrapped up for another year (03 May 2018).
More than 800 delegates registered for the conference, which saw attendees create meaningful business connections and engage in educational sessions over two days.
The momentum continued on the second day, with delegates hearing thought provoking updates and presentations by Tourism Australia Chair and Mantra Chief Executive Bob East; followed by an industry update delivered by Tourism Accommodation Australia chair Martin Ferguson and Q&A sessions with Travelodge Asia chairman Stephen Burt and Intrust Super Chief Executive Brendan O’Farrell.
Time Out Australia Managing Director Michael Rodrigues then led a panel discussion on food and beverage issues and trends. The panel was comprised of Matteo Restaurant Director Adam Abrams; Restaurant and Catering Industry Association Chief Executive Juliana Payne; Design Assembly Principal Paul Wiste; Pastuso Chef Alejandro Saravia and Site Hospitality Managing Director Dave Galvin.
A big F&B issue affecting the hotel industry is the new visa 457 rules which has effectively “turned the tap off” experienced international chefs coming into the country, the panel said.
“The local industry is losing out on highly skilled chefs due to a political issue,” Ms Payne said.
IHG Managing Director Leanne Harwood took to the stage next with HM editor-in-chief James Wilkinson discuss her new role and ways to develop staff to take on leadership roles.
Harwood said that the talent pool for top level jobs is getting smaller and smaller.
“Hospitality isn’t just a part-time job, we do have great careers available for you,” she said.
A highlight of the day for many was Professor Toby Walsh’s keynote presentation on how artificial intelligence will impact the hotel industry.