Over 1200 hotel industry professionals have descended on Adelaide this week for the 13th annual Australasian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE), running May 3-5.

Over three days, AHICE, Design Inn and the all-new Future Leaders Forum welcome leading owners, investors, hoteliers, executives and suppliers from across the world.

There will be more than 100 speakers (including several CEOs from Europe, the United States and Asia), and over 50 keynotes, panels and Q&A sessions, alongside a new gala welcome event that will put networking on another level.

Now the largest sector conference in the world outside of the United States, AHICE is hosted by Travel Business Media, HM (Hotel & Accommodation Management) and organised by Interpoint Events. The event is co-hosted by the Government of South Australia and presented by principal partners HOSTPLUS and Pro-invest Group.

AHICE Founder, Chair and Convenor, James Wilkinson, said the event is a significant milestone as the sector return to normal.

“We are excited to bring over 1200 of the world’s leading hotel investors, owners, operators, consultants and suppliers to Adelaide for three days of events, networking and over 50 panel sessions and evocative keynote speeches that will look at the recovery and future direction of the hotel sector in not just Australia, but Asia-Pacific and the world,” Wilkinson said.

“AHICE has grown into the largest and most significant hotel industry conference in the world outside the United States and we are excited to be back in Adelaide and have South Australia firmly in the spotlight for the global industry.”

This year, AHICE will feature a stellar Gala Welcome Reception on Wednesday May 4 (6:00pm-9:00pm) at the Adelaide Oval, themed ‘A Taste of South Australia’, presented in partnership with the South Australian Government.

‘The Time is Now’

The theme for AHICE 2022 is ‘The Time Is Now’, and will focus on the reopening of borders, international travellers and maximising opportunities as the hotel industry recovers.

Accommodation Association CEO Richard Munro described it as “an important reset” for Australia’s hotels and motels.

“Australia’s accommodation sector has been through some unique situations as a result of the ban on international travel and decisions of various states and territories to close their borders, so this is a very welcome opportunity to come together as a sector to reinforce our path forward,” Munro said.

“In addition to updated industry analysis and market forecasts to assist the sector in planning for ongoing success, the inaugural Future Leaders Forum and all-new Australasia-Pacific Hotel Design Awards will provide important momentum for our rapidly adapting sector.

“We are of course also looking forward to again experiencing the diversity of South Australia with the South Australian Tourism Commission showcasing local food, wine, beers, spirits and destinations.”

 Munro said the Accommodation Association is delighted to be a sponsor of AHICE once again.

Global CEOs return

Importantly, this year sees the return of global CEOs speaking in person at the event including IHG CEO – EMEAA, Kenneth Macpherson (London); Outrigger CEO Jeff Wagoner (Honolulu); Hilton President – Asia Pacific Alan Watts (Singapore); Marriott International President – Asia Pacific (excluding Greater China), Rajeev Menon (Singapore); Far East Hospitality CEO, Arthur Kiong (Singapore); LWT Asia Pacific, Leader, Satoshi Konagai (Singapore); and Pro-invest Group Co-Founders Ronald Barrott and Dr Sabine Schaffer (Dubai and London).

They will speak alongside leading Australasian executives including Accor’s CEO – Pacific, Sarah Derry; DOMA CEO Jure Domazet; Crown Sydney CEO Simon McGrath; Schwartz Family Co Director Dr Jerry Schwartz; Wyndham Destinations President Barry Robinson; EVENT Hospitality CEO Jane Hastings; Voyages CEO Matt Cameron-Smith; The Ascott Limited MD – Australia David Mansfield; Hilton Head of Australasia Paul Hutton; Accommodation Association CEO Richard Munro; Tourism Accommodation Australia MD Michael Johnson; Radisson Hotel Group MD – Australasia Mark Bullock; Pro-invest Group Co-CEO Jan Smits; Lancemore Group CEO Julian Clark; 1834 Hotels CEO Andrew Bullock; Marriott International Vice President Sean Hunt; Veriu Hotels Co-Founder Alex Thorpe; La Vie Hotels Managing Director Craig Bond; Too Build CEO Ian Wilson; QCC Collection CEO Caspar Schmidt; Ovolo Hotels Director of Operations Wayne Taranto; Salter Brothers Director of Hotels Steven Skarott; Crystalbrook Collection CEO Geoff York; South Australian Tourism CEO Rodney Harrex; IHG SVP and MD – Japan, Australasia Pacific Leanne Harwood; IHG MD – Australasia Pacific Matthew Tripolone; Watson Farley & Williams’ Head of Hotels & Hospitality Asia Pacific Robert Williams and many more.

Several global leaders will also be dialling in for exclusive interviews, including Accor Chairman and CEO, Sébastien Bazin (Paris), Marriott International’s Group President and Managing Director – International Craig S Smith (Washington DC), Radisson Hotel Group President – Asia Pacific, Katerina Giannouka (Singapore), Wyndham Hotels and Resorts President – Asia Pacific, Joon Aun Ooi (Shanghai), and Ovolo Hotels Founder Girish Jhunjhnuwala (Hong Kong).

Future leaders celebrated

In addition to the regular insights into the developing trends and deep dive in-market analysis, AHICE 2022 has a number of new features, including the first-ever Future Leaders Forum, an all-new Australasia-Pacific Hotel Design Awards and a spectacular gala opening event.

The inaugural Future Leaders Forum will be held on the afternoon of Tuesday May 3 (2:30pm-5:00pm) at SkyCity.

The Future Leaders Forum is the new, under-35s leadership summit featuring the industry’s brightest stars. This exclusive, invite-only event will feature keynote addresses from global and local CEOs and think tank sessions spanning higher learning to owners’ forums and rising the ranks.

At Design Inn 2022, there will be an expanded program including an all-new Australasia-Pacific Hotel Design Awards, including recognition for the best new-build, conversion and refurbishment projects, plus an overall winner, which will take out the 2022 Paul Davis Design Award (the hotel industry’s most important design award).

A full program and limited tickets are still available at ahice.com.au