Director, Tribe Hotel
Steven Warren Miller
Senior Vice President – Business Development, Shapoorji Pallonji International
Area Director - Middle East & Africa, STR Global
Head of Property Services, Hotel Partners Africa
Senior Industry Specialist - Hotels, International Finance Corporation
Senior Director - Commercial and Investments, Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC)
Vice President Development Sub Saharan Africa, Hilton Worldwide
Manager Business Development Africa & Indian Ocean Islands, The Rezidor Hotel Group
Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development Middle East & Africa, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Chief Executive Officer, Inaugure Hospitality Group & Mangalis Management Group
Senior Partner, G1 Architecture
Manager – Trade Finance and Branches, African Export-Import Bank
Hon. Lazaro Samuel Nyalandu
Deputy Minister fot Tourism, United Republic of Tanzania
Senior Vice President Development - Europe & Africa, Hilton Worldwide
Chief Executive Officer, Hotel Spec
President, Golden Tulip, West Africa
Managing Director, Rwanda Hospitality Association
Ulrich T. Eckhardt
President India, Middle East & Africa , Kempinski Hotels
President EMEA, Hilton Worldwide
Hon. Carvalho Muária
Minister of Tourism , Mozambique
Chief Executive Officer, BGI Properties
Marianne Ndegwa Jordan
Managing Director, Kenya Tourist Development Corporation (KTDC)
Vice President Development Sub Saharan Africa, ACCOR
Director - Head of Hotels, MENA, Colliers International
Head: Coverage; Investment Banking, East Africa, Standard Bank Group/CfC Stanbic Bank Limited
President & Chief Executive Officer, World Travel & Tourism Council
Managing Director, The Heritage Environmental Management Company
Chief Executive Officer , Lonrho Hotels
Vice President Development - Middle East & Africa, IHG
President & Managing Director Middle East & Africa, Marriott International, Inc.
Kevin B Murphy
President & CEO, Asiawide Hospitality Solutions
Chief Executive Officer, Rainbow Tourism Group
Director , Sankara Hotel Group Kenya Ltd
Principal, Grant Thornton
Selim El Zein
Head of Hospitality Asset Management, Colliers International (MENA)
Senior Vice President Development EMEA, Accor
Senior Vice President Acquisitions & Development, Hyatt International (Europe Africa Middle East) LLC
Partner, Z.65 Vision Collaborative
Chief Executive Officer , Hotel Partners Africa
Chief Finance Officer, ACCOR
Managing Director, W Hospitality Group
Professor George H.O. Abungu
Chief Executive Officer, Okello Abungu Heritage Consultants
Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers
Senior Account Manager, IDC
Chairman, Bench Events, Board Director, STR Global
Managing Partner, Horwath HTL, France
Regional Vice President – Middle East & Africa, Wyndham Hotel Group
Rui M. Barros
SVP & Managing Director Europe, Middle East & Africa, Wyndham Hotel Group
Consultant, Lausanne Hospitality Consulting (LHC)
Chief Executive Officer, AZALAI Hotels
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Transnational Hotels & Tourism Services Ltd. (owners of Transcorp Hilton)
Founder, Diar Capital & CityBlue Hotels
Maarten van den Nieuwenhuijsen
Vice President Operations - Africa, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts
COO Africa, Middle East, Indian Ocean & Caribbean Islands, ACCOR
Hon. Dr. Maria Mutagamba
Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Uganda - Government
Vice President : Business Development, Africa & Indian Ocean Islands, The Rezidor Hotel Group
Head of Advisory Services, Grant Thornton
Development Director, Lordship Africa
Director, Political Futures Consultancy
Global Sector Head - Hotel, Retail & Real Estate Investments, IFC (International Finance Corporation - World Bank Group)
Hon. Phyllis Jepkosgei Kandie
Cabinet Secretary, Ministry Of East African Affairs, Commerce And Tourism, Kenya
Principal, Head of Economics, AECOM
Dr Martyn Davies
Chief Executive Officer, Frontier Advisory (Pty) Ltd
SVP, Real Estate and Asset Management, Hilton Worldwide
Managing Director, Bench Events
Travel Editor, CBS News
Global Leader of Leisure and Culture, AECOM Design + Planning
Head of Department, Tourism and Conservation Department , Rwanda Development Board
Director of Business Development, STR Global
Bjorn de Kock
Head of Hotel Openings - Asia, Middle East & Africa, IHG
Welcome to the Africa Hotel Investment Forum
AHIF Supports Kenya
AHIF 2013 took place at the InterContinental Nairobi on September 23-25 as planned. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the 400 who attended for making it such a great success. Bench Events would like to offer our deepest condolences to all of those unfortunate people, their families and friends who have been affected by the atrocities at Westgate shopping mall. Your attendance to AHIF 2013 raised $25,000 for the Kenyan Red Cross and $15,000 for The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick DBE wrote us a wonderful letter thanking the AHIF delegates for their generosity in supporting the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust: Click here to view the letter.
Considering the extraordinary circumstances that were unfolding as our attendees arrived to have only had 10% of our attendees be unable to come says so much about how spirited and united this industry is. It was important to us, our partners the KTDC and all the hospitality industry across Africa that we did everything in our means to ensure AHIF took place. It was not an easy decision but to have cancelled or postponed the event would have played into the hands of those who enacted such horrors. Please find below David Scowsill’s opening speech – we believe it summarises the spirit of AHIF 2013.
Opening Remarks from David Scowsill, President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen. Good afternoon.
On behalf of the members of the World Travel & Tourism Council, I would like to extend our condolences to those who have suffered loss or injury during the terrible events of the past few days.
Terrorism has come to Nairobi with a devastating impact.
Our solidarity is with the citizens of Nairobi and Kenya as you come to terms with what has happened. This has been, in the words of the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, a ‘totally reprehensible’ act of terrorism, targeted at defenseless civilians.
Circumstances of such shock and grief can lead to a natural inclination to stop. To cease activities. To hide and retreat.
I commend the Kenya Tourist Development Corporation for their decision to continue as planned and I am heartened by the great attendance at this conference.
I am happy to have this opportunity, along with all of you, to show Travel & Tourism’s support for Kenya. This is not ‘business as usual’ without respect for the tragedy and loss, but a recognition that business must go on.
To do otherwise would be to let the terrorists triumph.
There is already speculation that this attack will affect tourism to Kenya. My message to you today is that it cannot.
We cannot allow events such as these to stop the business of Travel & Tourism. It is a business which creates jobs, drives GDP growth and stimulates investment.
In Kenya, our industry is a cornerstone of the economy. 1.8 million visitors in 2012. 12.5% of GDP, 1 in 10 jobs, 20% of exports. 7 billion US dollars (600 billion Kenyan Shillings) of investment forecast over the next ten years.
In Africa our industry supports 9% of GDP, 1 in 14 jobs, and 8% of exports.
Globally this amounts to US$6.6 trillion in GDP, 260 million jobs, US$760 billion in investment and US$1.2 trillion in exports.
But it is not just about jobs and GDP. As Tony Blair said at our Asia Summit last month, “Travel & Tourism is an industry which can genuinely help to bring about not only more commerce and prosperity but more peace, security and understanding”
Let’s pause on those last few words once again: “More peace, security and understanding.”
In an increasingly interconnected world, we can choose a path of mutual understanding, or of conflict. Travel & Tourism brings people together, it allows us to build relationships, to understand other cultures and as such is a vehicle of diplomacy and trade.
Travel & Tourism is a weapon in the war against terror.
And it is a powerful weapon.
Because above all, our industry is resilient.
Over the past decade we have faced challenges in the shape of terrorism, natural disaster and man-made crises. On each occasion Travel & Tourism has returned to growth with remarkable speed. After the Japanese earthquake of March 2011, within a year domestic, outbound and international tourism was back to pre-disaster levels. Despite the financial meltdown in Europe in 2007/2008 Travel & Tourism has continued to grow, outpacing the wider economy. And terrorist attacks across the world, some of which were specifically aimed at our industry, have not thwarted growth.
While other industries take time to recover from such shocks, Travel & Tourism can be up and running within days or even hours, as soon as the infrastructure to support it is there.
It is not just about ensuring that hotel rooms are filled. Travel & Tourism can rebuild confidence in a wider sense. Confidence that a country is not only safe to visit but that it is a place to do business. Confidence to trade. Confidence to invest.
It is crucial in these situations that a country remains open to tourism. The message has to be clear – tourists are welcome and safe in the destination, and they will have the positive experience they desire.
And the KTDC has made a fantastically positive statement in this respect. These messages need to be echoed across government ministries in the coming weeks and months, with each playing its role to ensure the world knows that Kenya is open for business and visitors are welcome, and to ensure that this is reflected in the reality of their experience.
But the strongest message does not come from the authorities. In these days of social media, the positive experience of tourists speaks louder than any official statement.
I urge all my fellow delegates here at the African Hotel Investment Forum, and all those tourists who are currently in this beautiful country, to support Kenyans by telling the world that they are here and that they are having a good and safe time.
As Kenya emerges from this tragedy the message we should be hearing is not one of a dangerous country beset by terrorism, but one where the people pull together to fight back against those who want to harm them. We must share the stories of mutual support – people queuing up to donate blood, delivering food to security forces at the scene – which reflect a nation which is proud, welcoming and hospitable.
I for one am delighted to be here. Thank You.
Watch Industry Leaders And Their Views On Africa
What people are saying about AHIF...
"Thank you for AHIF. It was a great event. A lot of value for us." Bani Haddad, Regional Vice President, Middle East and Africa, Wyndham Hotel Group.
“Many thanks for holding a very impressive and well organised event again!”. Tim Harlech-Jones, Development Manager, extrabold
“Thank you for a wonderful event. I was extremely hesitant in coming as this was my first event, but I am glad I was able to attend. It was the best well organised and productive conference I have ever been to and you will be seeing me as an attendee on a regular basis.” Edmund Asamoah, Director of Operations & Project Development, MyGetawayGroup
“We have secured our first project in Nairobi as a direct consequence of attending AHIF 2012.” Gordon Pickering, Senior Partner, G1 Architecture
“I want to thank you for an excellent conference. From an informational and contact basis, one of the best I have attended. I have to admit that I also was under a lot of pressure from family and firm to cancel and I am really glad that I came. I applaud you and your team for how you handled everything, and I agree that it was important to show support to Kenya at this time. The messages of thanks from the Kenya representatives at the opening of the conference were truly moving. I look forward to next year's event!” Chuck Wood, Managing Director, Rockwell Group
“You and your team did a great job, thanks for holding your nerve, it would have been easy to cancel….the quality of investors and lenders was the best we have seen in Africa, well done!” Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President Development - Europe & Africa, Hilton Worldwide
"I wanted to write and tell you that this was probably one of the best and most productive conferences I have attended recently. It was the right size and the calibre of the attendees was great. We had 4 people from my team there and I wish I had more because every one of us was fully engaged during the whole conference. Well done on pulling it off despite the sad events. Me and my team are very glad we came." Neil George, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development Middle East & Africa, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
"For us it was the best conference ever - lots of exposure and a good deal of fun of course! Time will tell if the seeds we planted will develop - but I am very confident. It is all organised excellently and went swimmingly despite the difficulties. Well done to you all." Gordon Pickering, Senior Partner, G1 Architecture
"Many congratulations on hosting such an excellent and worthwhile event in difficult circumstances. I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and found the quality of attendees and speakers exceptional." Tim Smith, Director, HVS
"Kempinski has always believed in Africa and will continue to seek development opportunities there. We’re equally delighted that AHIF was a great success this year, despite the devastating incidents in Nairobi. From my side, I would like to thank you and the rest of the team at Bench Events for the support and professionalism, from the planning stages and right to the execution of AHIF, a forum which is becoming more and more successful and relevant every year." Louay Sarrage, Regional Manager Strategic Planning IME&A, Kempinski Hotels
"It was our pleasure hosting AHIF two years in a row! We look forward to working with you in the future to expand the tourism investment space in this part of the world. Thank you for helping us put Kenya on the world investment map despite the Westgate attack incident. Indeed it only made us stronger!" Abraham Muthogo Kamau, Head of Credit, Kenya Tourist Development Corporation
"Great event – well done. A credit to your whole team." Marc Finney, Director, Colliers International
"Thank you for all the hard work you put into making the event work despite the terrible events." Samantha Muna, Managing Director, Trianum Hospitality
"My colleagues - Heba and Uzere - found it most useful in meeting our objectives. They also attested to the impressive attendance in spite of the incidents in Kenya." Kanayo Awani, Director Trade Finance and Branches, African Export-Import Bank
"AHIF was well organised & I greatly appreciate your effort & that of Bench Events for making the event a success." Timothy Kairu, Business Man, NIC Bank Ltd
"Was a great pleasure working with you and all your team! Thank you so much – we are indeed very grateful to you for the extraordinary efforts to make it happen, despite all odds." Ioana Georgescu, Group Marketing Manager, Mangalis Management Group