Virgin Australia Group CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka.

The 2021 Australasian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE) is set to be the best and most significant yet, with over 100 speakers – headlined by Virgin Australia’s CEO Jayne Hrdlicka – set to speak in front of an audience of over 500 at the three day event in Adelaide from May 4-6.

AHICE 2021 is being held at two of the city’s hottest new properties – EOS by SkyCity and The Oval Hotel – alongside the sixth Design Inn Symposium and second STR Insiders Summit. It will again be the largest in-person accommodation and tourism industry event to be held in Asia-Pacific over the past 12 months.

Headlining a star-studded speaker program are several of the world’s leading industry executives – including Marriott’s Craig Smith (live from Washington DC), IHG Hotels and Resorts’ Kenneth Macpherson (live from London), Ovolo’s Girish Jhunjhnuwala (live from Hong Kong), Accor’s Simon McGrath, Hilton’s Alan Watts (live from Singapore), Pro-invest Group’s Dr Sabine Schaffer (live from Dubai), The Ascott Limited’s David Mansfield, IHG’s Leanne Harwood, Hilton’s Heidi Kunkel, Outrigger’s Jeff Wagoner (live from Honolulu), Next Story Group’s Darren Edmonstone (live from Singapore), Doma’s Jure Domazet and more – alongside keynote speakers at the top of their industry, including Virgin Australia’s Hrdlicka, Westpac’s Chief Economist Bill Evans and Experience Co’s CEO, John O’Sullivan.

Marriott International Group President – International, Craig Smith.

Australasia’s leading owners will also be speaking at and attending AHICE, including executives from CapitaLand (Grant Alchin), Doma Group (Jure Domazet), Elanor Investors (Marianne Ossovani), Hines Property (James Hines), Melbourne Airport (Stuart Verrier), Mirvac (Deborah Keller), Mulpha Australia (Lucia Grambalova), Pro-invest Group (Tim Sherlock), Ovolo Group (Dave Baswal), Salter Brothers (Kate Harper), the Schwartz Family Co (Dr Jerry Schwartz) and more.

The CEOs of Australia’s leading hospitality super funds, Hostplus and Intrust Super, David Elia and Brendan O’Farrell respectively, will also take to the stage in Adelaide, while some of the key panel sessions will include development, human resources, food and beverage trends, technology and sustainability.

Other key speakers include Sarah Derry (Accor), Trent Fraser (Choice Asia-Pac), Michael Johnson (TAA), Andrew Jolliffe (HTL Property), Dean Long (AA), Andrew Pickering (Shape), Peter Salveson (Hansen Yuncken), Caspar Schmidt (QCC Collection), Robert Williams (WFW), Lynda Ugarte (IHG) and more.

The Design Inn Symposium is also shaping up to be another stellar event, with top architects and designers from across the region speaking, including CHADA’s Juliet Ashworth, Scott Carver’s Angela Biddle, Woods Bagot’s Tracey Wiles, Suede Interiors’ Clifford Rip and Buchan’s Paul Harrison.

Hilton Vice President of Operations Australasia, Heidi Kunkel

At the 2021 STR Insiders Summit, delegates will be able to take a deep dive into local and global performance, by the numbers, through exclusive insights not available anywhere else.

AHICE Conference Chair and HM magazine Editor-In-Chief, James Wilkinson, said given the current climate, the 2021 events would be the most important to date.

“The AHICE week in Adelaide will be the ultimate opportunity for the industry to share ideas, get inspired and find ways to bounce out of the pandemic to success,” he said.

“Alongside our global hotel industry speakers, Virgin’s Jayne Hrdlicka and Westpac’s Bill Evans will provide essential insights for our delegates, while we have ramped up our networking, because for many across Australia, that has been non-existent.

IHG Hotels and Resorts CEO, EMEAA, Kenneth Macpherson

“We are proud to be the largest global in-person hotel industry conference to date in 2021 and are doing all we can to support the recovery of the accommodation sector in Australasia and across the world,” Wilkinson said.

Over May 4-6 in Adelaide, the three events will offer the best networking that any hotel conference in Asia-Pacific has ever seen, with 14 events and breaks, including a new, official late-night networking lounge, ‘Club AHICE’.

AHICE, Design Inn and STR Insiders are being held in person in 2021 thanks to a record number of sponsors and supporters, headlined by the Principal Partners across the three events: Hostplus, Intrust Super, Hansen Yuncken, Shape and STR.


A limited number of sponsorships and supporter packages are still available and a prospectus is available from Tara Ducrou ( and James Wilkinson (

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management