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NZHIC attracts top speakers

Sally Attfield

Sally Attfield

Next week’s New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference (NZHIC) is attracting a number of key speakers.

A man whose style and vision has seen Australasia’s Mantra Group grow its number of properties by almost 150% over the past eight years is a keynote speaker at the 2014 event, being held at Pullman Auckland on June 5.

Bob East is Chief Executive Officer of Mantra Group, one of Australasia’s leading accommodation providers and marketers. Under his leadership Mantra Group has grown from 41 properties in 2006 to more than 100 properties in 2013.

“Bob is one of several international and New Zealand speakers who will give conference delegates valuable insight into hotel industry trends and opportunities, including the important Asian visitor markets,” says Sally Attfield, Hotel Sector Manager of the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand, which co-hosts the annual hotel conference with Horwath HTL.

Attfield says the Tourism 2025 growth framework highlights the huge potential the Asian region holds for New Zealand’s tourism industry, spurred by its surge in middle class consumers with a desire to travel internationally.

Dominick Stephens, Westpac Chief Economist, will discuss domestic and global economies and their impact on visitor outlook.

Other notable conference speakers and panel participants include:
-Barry Robinson, CEO and Managing Director of Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific, has spent most of his life in the hospitality industry and will discuss his commitment to the concept that exceptional service and successful business go hand-in-hand;
-Julia Gong is CEO China Ready & Accredited. She enjoys high-level relationships and networks in China, and assists Western businesses to engage effectively; and
-Garth Simmons, Senior Vice President New Zealand, Pacific Islands and Japan. Garth is responsible for managing Accor’s interests in New Zealand and Fiji, which currently comprise 37 hotels, more than 5000 rooms and 9 brands which generate over $175 million in revenue.

The conference programme is designed to inform, stimulate discussion and entertain, says Terry Ngan, Director of Horwath HTL Ltd.

“Many of the sessions will be panel discussions, which will give delegates the chance to ask questions on topics ranging from the hot opportunities and risks facing hotels to airline growth outlook,” he says.

The annual conference, now in its eighth year, is the only such event dedicated to the New Zealand hotel industry. More than 200 delegates representing all areas of the hotel sector are expected to attend.

Accor is the platinum sponsor of the event which is being supported by more than 30 domestic and international sponsors and exhibitors.

The conference, sponsored by HM magazine, will conclude with a dinner, where the three annual hotel awards celebrating excellence in the hotel industry will be presented. The awards will recognise the Senior Hotel Executive of the Year, Outstanding Young Hotel Executive and Environmental Initiative.

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