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List of growing speakers
Avijit (Avi) Arya
CEO, Internet Moguls
Avi Arya, a street car racer discovered the internet in 1995 and grew his family’s small hotel into a thriving boutique hotel business.
Ranked among the Top 100 Digital Icons by Impact, he founded Internet Moguls, a social + digital agency in 2009 and grew it from 4 to 155 people in 4 countries. After 82 awards for his work, Avi and Internet Moguls help individual entrepreneurs and businesses like the Marriott, Starwood Hotels & Thai Airways and over 600 + small and large businesses worldwide. He conducts social media workshops online and offline to help business and in the last two years over 10000 + students have taken his social media success.
Founder & Chairman, the Entertainer
VP Operations, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®)
Bastien Blanc is the Vice President Operations, Middle East at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). Following the acquisition by Accor, he was identified as high potential talent and made responsible for driving the transition to Accor Hotels Luxe and implementing the new structure. Prior to this, he was VP Sales, Marketing & Development, Russia & CIS at Interstate Hotels, the largest third party company worldwide operating from major brands including Holiday Inn hotels in Moscow. Bastien also specializes in revenue management, rate structuring, hotel finance and project management, which will allow him to add great value to our operational mix in the Middle East. An industry veteran, Bastien brings with him over 25 years of experience in managing international hotel operations, with senior management experience in North America, Europe, Russia, India, Middle East, Africa and the Indian ocean.
Carson Booth is the Chief Executive Officer of SnapShot GmbH, a leading hospitality data platform, and has recently joined the Company to help lead the next stage of growth. Just prior to joining SnapShot, Carson was active in the vibrant hospitality technology startup space, and previously served as the Global Vice President of Property Technology at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and concurrently as General Manager of Starwood’s International Licensing Company. Carson serves on several boards, including HTNG’s Vendor Advisory Council and HFTP Global Board of Directors, and is the former Chair of the HITEC Europe Advisory Council for its first 2 years. Carson lives in Berlin with his young family.
VP Asset Management - Hospitality & Leisure
Head of Advisory Services, EMEA
Neil is a Head of Advisory services for EMEA region at IDeaS Revenue Solutions with over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality sector. He began his career in hotel sales and marketing, subsequently moving into revenue management. Prior to joining IDeaS, Neil held a number of corporate sales positions such as Director of Agency Sales with Ramada UK and senior revenue management roles at Whitbread plc (Group Revenue & Distribution Manager, Premier Inn) and more recently, Director of Revenue at De Vere Group. Now based out of the SAS UK headquarters, Neil has responsibility for Advisory Services at IDeaS across the EMEA region, helping hotel organisations maximise revenue opportunities and enhance their strategic capabilities
Executive Managing Director
M Management Company
Sam El Asmar
VP Revenue and Distribution
Rotana Hotel Management Corporation PJSC
Sam El Asmar is the Corporate Vice President – Revenue & Distribution at Rotana Hotels and Resorts one of the leading hotel management companies in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe. Sam is responsible for defining and setting the revenue strategy for all new and existing hotels and enlarge the company’s distribution network to include new partners and markets. Prior to joining Rotana six years ago, he worked with leading international hotel chains including Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Concorde Hotels & Resorts and he holds an MBA in Hospitality Management IMHI from ESSEC Business School, Paris.
Head of Asset Management, TFG Asset Management
Mariano Faz is Head of TFG Asset Management in Dubai. He is responsible for the asset management of the company’s Hospitality and Real Estate portfolio which comprises over 3,000 units in the UAE and an additional 3,000 hotel units under development. During his tenure, Mariano has guided the strategic planning efforts to achieve investment objectives on behalf of owners. He provides leadership to the asset management team and ensures that the hotels are managed to the best of their capacity. Mariano is an active HAMA (Hotel Asset Management Association). Mariano brings over sixteen years of expertise within the hospitality sector, where he has held a number of management, finance and operational roles. He has successfully negotiated multiple hotel management contracts, coordinated pre-openings and possesses in-depth knowledge of hotel industry trends
Founder, 80 Days
Mark Forrester is the Chairman and founder of 80 DAYS, a Digital Marketing Agency specialising in the travel sector. Mark founded 80 DAYS (formerly Occupancy Marketing) in 2001 and the company now provides Branding, Design and Marketing support for over 400 four and five star independent hotels in the UK, Europe and Middle East. Mark spends a lot of time working on partnerships, Joint Ventures and New Product Development. In 2017, he launched 80 DAYS Benchmark, an industry digital benchmarking tool for independent hotels. Prior to 80 DAYS, Mark worked in business process outsourcing in the UK and USA, advising high tech companies (Apple, Intel, Adobe) on ways to reduce their operation costs. In addition to 80 DAYS he looks after family interests in Rufflets Hotel, St Andrews.
Director - Global Food & Beverage, TFG Asset Management
Duncan has spent the past 26 years in the hospitality industry, spanning Australia, Asia, and the Middle East. During the past 10 years, he has been in the Middle East in key corporate food and beverage roles within the hospitality industry and is regularly invited to speak at international conferences and forums on the growth and development of the industry in the region. In 2013 he established “The Cutting Edge Agency” and opened several outlets in the region including Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton’s Marina Social as well as Michelin starred Chef Greg Malouf’s Cle in the DIFC as well as Intersect by Lexus to name a few. Most recently Duncan has joined The First Group as its Director – Global F&B. This role has seen Duncan create and execute 6 new outlets for the group, in his first year, for its newly formed stand-alone food and beverage division, including Local and BARBARY at TRYP by Wyndham as well as, Alloro Ristorante and The Blacksmith at Wyndham Dubai Marina & later this year the opening of the MasterChef the TV Experience in Marina area.
Facebook & Instagram - Middle East & North Africa
Terry is a core member of team Facebook & Instagram. Born in Belfast, educated in leading schools in Ireland, England, Dubai, Hong Kong, New York, professionally trained in major organisations and currently working as the Head of Auto, Financial Services, Tech, Telco & Travel verticals for Facebook Inc. in the Middle East & North Africa. Terry is a profitability-driven senior executive with a love for building strategic solutions to business challenges. Terry has 19+ years-experience in shipping highly effective strategic solutions, building talent dense teams and leaving exceptionally positive legacies with every appointment.
VP Sales, Distribution, Loyalty and Marketing
AccorHotels - Middle East and Egypt
Flavio Leoni is the Vice President of Sales, Distribution, Loyalty and Marketing at AccorHotels Middle East, which includes a portfolio of more than 100 hotels across 14 leading hotel brands spanning 10 countries with over 1.2 million loyalty members. With over 20 years of international experience in Hospitality, Financial Services & Consumer Goods, Flavio is a strategic thinker leader with a strong track record in driving results and operational excellence across several disciplines from Strategic Planning, Sales & Marketing Finance Consulting, Project & Management, Technology & Innovation
Founding Chief Executive, Gates Hospitality
Senior Vice President, Retail - Middle East Africa and Managing Director - Middle East & Africa
Antoine was appointed Vice President Middle East & North Africa in November 2009 The role of VP MENA included the leadership of 500+ resources located in 21 countries in MENA including Iran and Pakistan. As of July 2018, Africa came under the leadership of Antoine and he is now the Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa regions. On top of this role, Antoine is also now the Senior Vice President for the Retail segment of the business, for Middle East and Africa. Middle East and Africa is a vast region of over 70 markets, 700+ resources and a robust year-on-year growth. Previously, Antoine was the Managing Director within the Hospitality Business Group. In this role, he was responsible for Amadeus' worldwide hospitality business, covering Distribution and IT solutions such as Property Management Systems, Central Reservation Systems and Revenue Management Systems
Chief Tease, Triptease
Charlie started his first company, FreshMinds, a research consultancy, on graduating from Oxford University. The business grew well and Esquire Magazine named him UK Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Charlie is the Chief Tease at Triptease, a firm dedicated to helping hotels deliver a better digital experience and more direct bookings. Triptease, a pioneer in the Direct Booking Movement, quickly gained a reputation for its first product Price Check. Charlie served three years on the British Airways Business Advisory Board, won The Sunday Times £5M London Entrepreneur Challenge and was named in HSMAI’s list of 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales & Marketing. Charlie is a keen sailor and recent convert to running, finishing 2nd in the 2017 Death Valley marathon.
Director Revenue Management - South Asia, Middle East and Africa
Preferred Hotels & Resorts
C.S. “Ram” Ramachandran serves as Director of Revenue Account Management for Preferred Hotels & Resorts, charged with helping the brand’s member hotels maximize the effectiveness of their online distribution channels and optimize revenue through better revenue strategies. In this position, he also guides member hotels in South Asia, Middle East and Africa on e-marketing, data interpretation, and pricing strategies along with MIS, which help them, make informed business decisions.Ram has over 20 years of rich expertise in hotel management, the majority of which has been dedicated to revenue management. His key interests include business analytics, business strategy, distribution, online marketing, sales, and customer relationship management. Prior to joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Ram served as Assistant Vice President of E-Marketing for The Oberoi Group, responsible for the group’s digital marketing strategy with a focus on maximizing e-commerce revenues. He is based in New Delhi.
Senior Director, Global Revenue Management
A Dutch national, with over 10 years of Revenue Management and Distribution experience, Marieke has worked in both Dubai and London. For the past seven years she led the Dubai regional revenue management team for Marriott Hotels and was responsible for the recent openings of the JW Marriott, Marriott Al Jaddaf and Marriott’s existing operations in the region. In her new role with Jumeirah Group Marieke will lead the Revenue Management teams across Dubai and MEASA.
Senior Vice President, Research and Business Operations
Ms. Sileo launched the research division of Phocuswright Inc. in 1998. She pioneered online travel metrics adopted as the industry standard for segmentation, sizing, forecasting, analysis & consumer planning behavior. Lorraine is quoted frequently in consumer and trade media including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and has authored numerous publications including Phocuswright's U.S. Online Travel Overview. Lorraine was previously an adjunct professor at New York University's Graduate Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. She has analyzed the business and consumer digital marketplace for various publications and media companies for over 20 years
Head of Sourcing - Middle East
Area Director - Middle East & Africa
Philip Wooller is based in Dubai and is responsible for the organization’s expansion throughout Middle East & Africa. Philip spent many years in hospitality and his career combines the unique blend of senior positions in hotel operations and management, sales, marketing and revenue management in a variety of branded hotel groups as well as independent resort properties.
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