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HICA 2009 CONFIRMS AN IMPRESSIVE SPEAKER LINE-UPDate: 28/09/2009
Article source: The Property Magazine
The third annual, Hospitality Investment Conference Africa (HICA) has confirmed an impressive speaker and topic list, as excitement builds for the event due to take place from 4-6 November 2009 at the Sandton Sun.
Day one of the conference will include an in-depth discussion around the Global and African Hospitality performance with leaders of some of leading global hospitality brands active in the continent. The UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Association) has been publishing a Quarterly World Tourism Barometer since 2003 and there are many forms of information and statistics around tourism and hospitality which are being published. The conference plans to explore ways to improve and introduce data which enhances investor confidence and insights into Africa.
The first global leader’s session will be moderated by Nawfal Bendefa, Senior Vice President of International Hotel Development at Marriott International. Panel speakers for this session include Arthur de Haast, Global CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle – a global consultancy offering services including investment sales, mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, asset management, operator selection, industry research and project development services.
Steve will provide an African perspective but also has a good understanding of global requirements from his extensive experience.
Day two will see the conference opened with an address by South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk on where the government sees growth potential in the industry in terms of investment focus. Legislation and policy around tourism is currently under review in the country and a revised White Paper on the industry is expected in 2010 providing opportunities to address issues such as investor incentives and minimising red tape to maximise growth.
In addition to the above key topics, the conference is lining up speakers who will provide insights into hospitality investment opportunities in Mozambique, Nigeria and Angola on the continent for the second day and a face-to-face interview with Kurt Ritter, President and CEO of the Rezidor Hotel Group. Kurt is highly acclaimed as the longest serving CEO in the worldwide hotel industry and under his leadership, Rezidor has become one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the world with 5 hotel brands in over 60 countries, and is now listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Winner of two Lifetime Achievement Awards, Kurt Ritter is considered one of the most respected and accomplished leaders in the hospitality industry worldwide and delegates to the HICA conference will afforded the opportunity to learn firsthand something about what makes a hospitality organisation great.
Day three sees the day opening with a robust discussion on the “Green Imperative” and what investors will need to consider in the coming years.
This session will be moderated by Ms Jennifer Seif, Executive Director of Fair Trade Southern Africa (FTTSA) a passionate advocate for sustainable and responsible development and certification on the continent. Later in the day, the question of whether sustainable development and community beneficiation can co-exist profitability will also be explored.
Given the current economic climate, no investment conference would be complete without exploration into the effect of the global recession on the industry, including the debt and lending relationship, the changing travel demand figures and return on investment measures. HICA have secured a number of excellent speakers on these topics including Mr Pieter de Bruin, Head of FNB Commercial and Kamil Abdul Karrim, MD of Pam Golding Tourism & Hospitality Consultancy, Arthur Gillis of Protea Hotel Group and Graham Wood of Southern Sun – to mention a few.
For those who have not yet registered for this must attend conference, log onto www.hica.co.za and book your place now or contact Zelda Coetzee of Imfunzelelo Tourism and Events on 021 762 1442 or email her on Zelda@imfunzelelo.co.za