Australia’s largest hotel owner tops speaker line-up for HotelsWorld

Mike Goodson, head of hospitality for Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds and Australia’s largest hotel owner will join a cast of over 75 global and local accommodation and tourism industry leaders as speakers at the suite of three HotelsWorld 2014 events to be held over three days from 16 to 18 July in Sydney.

The three annual events, that also include Hotels Investment World and Luxury Hotels World are the leading events on the hospitality industry calendar for CEO’s and other C-level executives, and attract over 400 delegates, as well as over 50 sponsors, exhibitors and supporters.

Under a theme of A World of Opportunities the 2014 events will welcome as speakers, leaders from all aspects of the industry and all parts of the world, including:
> Lisa Scaffidi, the lord mayor of Perth,
> Michael Levie, co-founder of citizenM, one of the world’s hot new hotel brands, that focuses on providing affordable luxury
> Mark DeCocinis, president and chief operating officer of One & Only Resorts, that is about to launch its first resort in Australia on Hayman Island
> Kristin Intress, the recently appointed CEO of Worldhotels, a collection of over 500 independent hotels and resorts in 250 global locations
> Bobby Hiranandani, director of Royal Group of Singapore, that has recently acquired a hotel in Sydney’s exclusive Double Bay to convert to Sydney’s second InterContinental hotel
> Juay Hiang Tan, CEO of Ascendas Hospitality Trust, a Singapore REIT that owns seven leading Australian hotels
> Kevin Zhang, chief executive officer of Argyle Hotel Group, an Australian hotel brand operating in China
> Stiphan Beher, chief executive officer of SpaceTek, that is developing a low earth orbit space station
> Michael Issenberg, chairman and chief operating officer, Accor Asia Pacific
> Jan Smits, chief executive officer, Asia Middle East and Africa, InterContinental Hotels Group
> Gavin Faull, chairman & president, Swiss-Belhotel International
> Christopher Wong, managing director development Asia Pacific, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts
> Amrita Banta, managing partner, Agility Research & Strategy
> Patrick Imbardelli, managing director, Imbardelli Holdings; and
> Jesper Palmqvist, area director – Asia Pacific, STR Global

In addition, over 60 local industry CEO’s and other leaders will also take the stage in the largest assembly of industry expertise and leadership ever seen at an event in this region.

HotelsWorld 2014 comes at a time of continuing positive signals for the hospitality industry in Australia and New Zealand, with visitor numbers and hotel demand rising, revenues and profits increasing, and investor appetite for transactions, as well as new hotel development, all at near historical highs.

“In 2014, investors and hotel operators here and in many other parts of the world have decided it’s finally time to look beyond the uncertainties and risks that have dominated markets for over half a decade and instead focus on future possibilities in the hotel industry” said HotelsWorld organiser and Horwath HTL Australia CEO, John Smith. “Whilst not every accommodation sector and market in the region is booming, overall its fair to say that the industry is in the best shape its been in for a very long time and future prosects look bright” he added.

The three events comprising HotelsWorld are also part of Megameet 2014, a series of six co-located and linked industry events held over three days in Sydney and which include the 2014 Tourism Accommodation Australia (New South Wales) Awards for Excellence, the IT based Ted’s Conference and Future Leaders Forum.

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