Marriott International Area Vice President Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, Sean Hunt.
Marriott International Area Vice President Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, Sean Hunt.

A highly-popular staple of the annual Australian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE) will return in 2020 as experts on a range of topics discuss and debate pertinent issues from many sides of the accommodation landscape.

The first panel at AHICE, headline sponsored by Intrust Super and Hostplus, will kick off with a look at the New Zealand and South Pacific hotel sector, moderated from Auckland by Tourism Industry Aotearoa Hotel Sector Manager, Sally Attfield. The panel will feature Accor’s New Zealand SVP Operations, Gillian Millar, who will be joined by Sudima Hotels COO, Les Morgan; HTL New Zealand Director, Stephen Hamilton and CP Group Asset Manager, Terry Ngan.

Other topics to be covered in panel discussion format will include the future of hotel leases and rent discussions, which will be led by Robert Williams, Withers Worldwide Partner and Head of Hotels. Williams will return later in the day to lead a chat with four of Australasia’s most influential hotel executives. This panel will feature IHG Managing Director  Leanne Harwood; Radisson Group’s Managing Director Australasia, Mark Bullock; Marriott International Area Vice President, Sean Hunt and Accor Pacific Chief Operating Officer, Simon McGrath.

Accor Chief Operating Officer – Pacific, Simon McGrath AO

The 2020-21 real estate and investment outlook will also be discussed, led by Minett Prime Square MD, Arnaud Millecamps.

The popular ‘What Owners Want’ topic will return again in 2020 for a fresh look at the critical issue during a critical time. This panel will be convened this year by Colliers National Director of Hotels, Nigel Greenaway. A second panel on the same topic, featuring four new faces will take place on Day 2 of AHICE, led by Kcom Asset Manager, Howard Kemball.

For the full line-up of panel discussions, click to access the AHICE Program for Day 1 and Day 2.

Hyatt Asia-Pacific President, David Udell, will be interviewed live from Hong Kong at AHICE.

AHICE is the leading hotel industry conference in Australasia. The conference has become the place where senior industry professionals come together to share stories, experiences and ideas.

With the accommodation industry facing one of its most serious challenges, the conference has combined a face-to-face component with a virtual element to ensure the event is accessible for everyone, whether they want to attend in person in Sydney and Auckland, or virtually from anywhere in the world.

The current COVID-safe regulations in Sydney limit physical gatherings of more than 150 people, but virtual attendees will be able to access both speakers and delegates via live Q&A sessions and open-forum opportunities. At a recent AHICE webinar, more than 1800 people tuned in, indicating interest in listening and learning remains high.

Sally Attfield, Tourism Industry Aotearoa, will lead a panel discussion on the New Zealand sector.

With the new virtual ticket package, delegates will have access to all sessions live and will also be able to view the recordings of the sessions for up to a month after the event. The aim is to provide virtual delegates with an inclusive and engaging experience.

Using a unique log-in id and pin delegates will have access to a web-based app which will provide direct interaction with the live-action happening in Sydney and Auckland. Virtual delegates can also engage in polling, Q&A sessions, interact with other attendees; everything from the comfort of their home or office.

CLICK HERE to register to receive virtual access to AHICE 2020.