Leading hotel chain CEOs to headline AHIC 2017
Key figures from some of the world’s largest hotel chains will take to the stage in a series of CEO keynote sessions at this year’s Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC).
The 13th edition of the annual knowledge and networking platform for the hotel investment community takes place at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai from 25-27 April, and is set bring together more than 700 hotel owners, investors, developers, operators, consultants and experts from professional services to debate the hospitality investment climate against a backdrop of global catalysts for change and the macroeconomic environment.
AHIC 2017, which has the theme ‘Catalysts of Change’, will include sessions featuring Chris Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton; Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO, AccorHotels; and Pierre-Frédéric Roulot, CEO of Louvre Hotels Group.
Jonathan Worsley, chairman of Bench Events and founder of AHIC, said: “As the Middle East plays an increasingly important role in the international hospitality industry for owners and operators alike, it seemed only right to bring a global perspective to AHIC.
“We are delighted to welcome our keynote speakers to the conference and look forward to hearing their take on the current state of the hospitality industry and their plans to adapt to an ever-evolving marketplace.”
The AHIC conference programme will open on 26 April with a one-to-one interview with Nassetta, hosted by Richard Dean, presenter of The Business Breakfast on Dubai Eye.
Nassetta said: “The Middle East is a very important market for the hospitality industry, and Hilton sees tremendous growth potential here in the years ahead. I am honoured to keynote AHIC this year, and I look forward to a great conference and many productive conversations with the region’s key leaders.”
The opening keynote will be followed by a panel session ‘Global Catalysts For Change’ featuring Stefan Leser, group CEO of Jumeirah Group; Olivier Harnisch, CEO of Emaar Hospitality Group; Steven Daines, COO New Businesses and CEO Hotel Services Africa and Middle East AccorHotels; and Jean-Gabriel Pérès, president and CEO, Kerzner International.
This session is set to tackle the impact of the ongoing digital revolution, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), the advent of the sharing economy and the changing face of the consumer on today’s hotel businesses.
Leser said: “Jumeirah Group’s partnership with Bench Events was instrumental in getting The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference established and we have been proud hosts at Madinat Jumeirah since the first conference in 2004. I am a firm believer in collaboration and AHIC is a significant opportunity for industry leaders and influencers to connect, and work together, to further grow and develop the Middle East hospitality sector both regionally and internationally.”
Other keynote sessions at the event include Louvre Hotels’ Pierre-Frédéric Roulot speaking about the growing influence of the East on the international hotel industry, and an interview with AccorHotels’ Sébastien Bazin live from Paris via video conference, in which he will reveal insights behind the diversification of AccorHotels and his outlook for the future.
Bazin said: “We operate in a world where change is the only constant and obviously our industry has been tremendously disrupted in the recent past years in many aspects, economy, technology, cultural, etc. Those changes bring amazing opportunities provided we are agile and dare to take risks.
“This is what we have been undertaking for the past three years at AccorHotels – opening one new hotel every 36 hours to expand our presence while inventing new products and services away from a hotel room to increase our market share into something different from what we are accustomed to.”