The Scope of Hospitality

Envisioning - Defining - Succeeding

The 10th Edition of the Young Hoteliers Summit seeks to celebrate and illustrate the great diversity and width to which the hospitality industry has progressed. While relying on traditionally inspired business models, today’s hospitality sector has developed into a multifaceted landscape, where the continuous evolution of consumer behavior and the growing power of online disruptors have substantially impacted the number of stakeholders and, thereby, increased the industry’s complexity significantly. In order to honor YHS’s anniversary and its associated accomplishments the 10th Edition aims to narrate hospitality success stories and simultaneously build a roadmap for the future leaders of the industry: Envisioning - Defining - Succeeding – Three powerful words guiding the content for three insightful days.

#YHSconnects #GenerationYHS #YHS10thEdition

Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Every year, YHS dedicates itself to engaging leaders of their respective industries to deliver powerful and thought-provoking speeches. Drawing on their personal experience and expertise, each keynote speaker will interpret the theme - The Scope of Hospitality - from their unique perspective to engage and inspire the audience.

Lyle Worthington

CIO, The Student Hotel; Immediate Past-President, HFTP

Olivier Bracard

Co Founder & CEO at Hosco

CIO advisor to multiple global hospitality brands, Lyle has been with hospitality technology for 13 years

Lyle Worthington, HFTP is a hospitality technology executive, advisor, mentor, and world-renowned technology consultant with over 23 years of diverse technology experience ranging from software developer to CIO. He is a CIO advisor to multiple global hospitality brands, the CIO of The Student Hotel based in Amsterdam, and Past Global President of HFTP. He has served on and chaired several boards, committees, and councils specific to the hospitality industry, and has been an active voice for technology in Hospitality for over 13 years. He regularly speaks at global technology and hospitality industry events and has written numerous articles for hospitality technology printed and digital publications. Outside of hospitality, Lyle spends his time working with technology startups, playing and coaching lacrosse, and skydiving every chance he gets.

EHL alumnus, Olivier recognized a gap in the market for online recruitment in 2010 While working in hospitality real-estate consultancy

This realization gave birth to Hosco in 2011. Since then, Hosco has become the largest network specially designed for the hospitality industry. A unique three-sided concept that currently supports hundreds of thousands of hospitality students and professionals throughout their entire career with job opportunities, connections, industry insights, and expert advice. It provides an advanced career and alumni management platform to +300 top schools and universities worldwide. And it’s the best partner for +4,500 international employers to effectively attract and recruit qualified talent, saving them time and money.

Martijn Brouwer

General Manager Astronaut Relations & Hospitality at Virgin Galactic

Barefoot luxury in Space... Martijn Brouwer is here to take us to space

After graduating in The Hague, Netherlands, Martijn decided to go and explore by travelling abroadthe world; and has since lived and worked in some of the most idyllic places in the world delivering truly world class and distinct customer service. Martijn’s 20 year career has included leading roles on the most exclusive Private Islands such as Richard Branson’s Necker Island in the BVI’s and the award winning ‘North Island’ in the Seychelles. More recently Martijn opened Vana Retreats, a 90 bedroom, 452 treatment room wellness retreat in the foothills of the Himalayas and a private member health and wellness club in the prestigious South Kensington area of London (SKC). Martijn is currently responsible for the Astronaut Experience and Hospitality for Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial space line. His commitment to unique, distinct and tailor made experiences is recognised by Richard and led to his appointment at Virgin Galactic. He is currently responsible for building and developing the end-to-end customer experience in New Mexico, including the fitoutfit-out of Spaceport America.  Once operational, Martijn will ensure the customers have as amazing a time on the ground as in space, no small challenge!

Tess Mattisson

Director of European Marketing, at Choice Hotels International®

Carson Booth

CEO, Snapshot GmbH

Achieving business results through insight driven, customer centric and outcome focused strategies in the digital space

Awarded change maker with a track record of leading digital initiatives within organizations seeking business growth. Currently leading a pan-European marketing organization within Choice Hotels International®. As part of this role, I have been tasked with fast-tracking online growth and business performance in EMEA, which includes 250 hotels across 12 countries.

CEO of Snapshot, Carson Booth serves on several boards and has had vast experiences in technology

A Shiji Group Company Brand and a leading hospitality data platform, and has recently joined the Company after being active in the vibrant hospitality technology startup space in Berlin. Previously, Carson 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 here in Berlin with his young family.


Panel Topics & Speakers

Panel 1 - The Hotel Quality Lab: Experimenting with Service Quality

The hospitality industry is all about service. The quality of a hotel’s service is what makes the difference between a room with a bed, and an experience to be remembered. This panel therefore recognises the need to revolutionize service quality, and examines the different levels of service quality and its impact on consumers. A major question is the establishment of a guest-centric service culture. Additionally, it will discuss possible new standards and adjustments, and how innovation and technology may shape the future of service quality.

Marc Stierand

Director of Institute of Business Creativity (IBC) & Associate Professor of Service Management, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne

Marc Stierand, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Service Management and Director of the Institute of Business Creativity (IBC) at the École hôtelière de Lausanne.

His research focuses on managerial and organizational cognition and management education and development, with a particular interest in personal and team creativity, intuition, and talent. Marc has authored several papers in diverse outlets including Management Learning, the Journal of Creative Behavior, Creativity and Innovation Management, the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, and the Handbook of Research Methods on Intuition. He serves on the Editorial Board of Tourism Review and the Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government and is a steering group member of the Research Methodology Special Interest Group at the British Academy of Management.

Thomas Camenzind

Founder, foodROOTS

Our eating habits significantly contribute to the development of sustainable businesses and the earth.

I spent more than 10 years at Google responsible for building and developing the worldwide Staff catering program and team. For Google, this topic is of the highest strategic importance. Daily, we provided meals for 22.000 employees with over 75 nationalities in more than 60 restaurants through 15 different catering partners in 36 countries.. As a trained chef with both a Bachelor’s degree from the hotel management school Thun, Switzerland, and a master’s degree in general Management (Executive MBA) of the Lorange & Smith School of Business Zurich & Maryland, I have been able to build, experiment and design numerous food programs in the last 30 years. I am pleased to share my international experience from gastronomy, hotel, airline catering and business catering to support organizations to create a balanced and sustainable food culture.

Richard Leuenberger

Managing Director, Badrutt’s Palace Hotel

Richard Leuenberger graduated from the prestigious EHL hotel school in Lausanne before joining Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Paris, New York and Carlsbad (California).

In 2008 Leuenberger joined the team at the iconic Badrutt's Palace Hotel as Director of Food & Beverage. After three years the Swiss hotel specialist moved to Asia where he assumed the esteemed position of General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel & Resort in Hong Kong. Prior to returning to the Palace family in November 2016 as General Manager, Richard Leuenberger served as Area Director of Operations in Asia Pacific for The Ritz Carlton where he was in charge of 25 hotels. Today as Managing Director of the Badrutt's Palace Hotel, Leuenberger is responsible for all operational activities as well as spearheading the Rooms Division, Food & Beverage, Sales & Marketing, Human Resources and Accounting & Controlling.

Heleri Rande

F&B Strategist and Consulting Editor, SUPPER Magazine

Sylvie Rolland

Vice President of Emerging Talent, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Heleri is a freelance F&B strategist and a consulting editor for SUPPER Magazine, the international title covering global hotel F&B.

SUPPER explores the projects, personalities and products driving the sector and presents these in a quarterly print title, distributed to the industry’s leading figures. Originally from Estonia, Heleri has lived in seven countries and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from New York University in Economics and Business, as well as an executive MBA in Hospitality Administration from École Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) in Switzerland. Heleri serves as an advisory board member for the Global Restaurant Investment Forum, is one of the founders of the Hyatt Student Prize Alumni and holds a seat on EHL’s United Kingdom Alumni Chapter Committee.

Sylvie Rolland is dedicated to fostering a true and individualized employee-experience approach

Sylvie Rolland started out in the hospitality industry 14 years ago when she joined the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts brand at the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris.

She began her career in Human Resources in industries far removed from the hotel industry and after several enriching learning experiences, she left her position as HR Director to join the Four Seasons where she recognized the very same values ​​that were decisive in her HR career choice years previously.

Her double qualification and natural connectivity to the hotelier industry permitted her to evolve to the position of Senior Human Resources Director where she also facilitated and animated programs for leadership & culture at Four Seasons Hotels.

Later nominated Regional Vice President with supervision of European hotels, she appreciated the new dimension of strategic orientation and global vision whilst taking real pleasure in sharing her experience, both in her field of expertise and of her hotel experience.

Highly committed to talent development, she is once again transitioning to a new challenge within the company as Vice President of Emerging Talent.

With her operational HR knowledge and her expertise in recruiting and developing talent, Sylvie’s commitment is to a true and individualized employee-experience approach.


Panel 2 - Seizing Top Tech Opportunities: When Data is Everything

As the rate of technological advancement reaches unprecedented highs, professionals across different industries have come to recognize the importance of using technology – or more specifically, “Big Data”, in understanding and grasping the complexities of customer relationship management. This panel will thus discuss the trends, roles, and importance of Big Data, and how it has revolutionized operations and consumer interactions in the hospitality industry.

Hampus Ljunggren

Head of Business Development & Partnerships, Travel Appeal

Hampus has been involved in the strategic growth of Travel Appeal since beginning of 2017, and is now leading the International Business Development efforts.

He is also in charge of Partnerships in International markets, as the company continues it's emphasis on growing their of strategic partnerships. Hampus also serves as member of the board of Travel Appeal, and as a member of the board of Hive Tech GMBH, a hospitality experience platform currently launching in France. Prior to joining Travel Appeal, Hampus gained valuable experience in the startup space, mainly with strategic development, growth and mentorship of young startups. He managed a startup acceleration program at the Italian startup incubator and innovation platform H-Farm.

Dr. Patrick Flesner

Director, LeadX Capital Partners

LeadX Capital Partners is an investment fund established by METRO Group.

Key areas of activity are investments in technology-driven, disruptive, revenue-generating and sustainable high- growth businesses in the hospitality, food and retail industries. Dr. Flesner is a member of the board of directors at Planday AS, Orderbird AG and Shore GmbH. Previously, Dr. Flesner served 6 years as a partner at two renowned German law firms where he headed the M&A and Venture Capital practice groups and focused on advising founders, financial and strategic investors on early to late stage venture capital transactions. Prior to that, Dr. Flesner was an Associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, a leading international business law firm, where he advised strategic and private equity investors in connection with major buyout transactions. His education includes a PhD in law, a Master of Business Laws (LL.M. oec.) and an MBA from INSEAD.

Prof. Ian Millar

Manager of Inst. of Business Creativity & Senior Lecturer, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne

Ian Millar’s double expertise in the areas of hospitality and information technology.

sets him at the forefront of new developments in the international hospitality industry.  Millar is a frequent presenter at international IT conferences and author of numerous hospitality technology articles. He served a member of the Board of Directors of HFTP (Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals) as the group’s educational representative. He also served as a member of the HFTP Executive committee serving from 2012 to 2014. Millar also serves at an advisory level to various hospitality technology companies as well as having served as a Member of the Hotel Industry Expert Panel for the Singapore Tourism Board advising hotels in the region on best practice technology usage. He is also a mentor for the Metro Accelerator program, advising various hospitality technology start-up companies. He is currently the manager of the Institute of Business creativity That focuses being on one hand on understanding the barriers and opportunities in the digitalisation of the industry and on the other hand on studying the effects of digitalisation of operations and customer service through digital services, products and channel, specialising in all digital aspects of the research. He is also currently on the HITEC Amsterdam advisory council. Millar has been instrumental in developing the exceptional resources and expertise available to students at the school. He created EHL’s unique CyberHotel, a specially equipped and fully functional centre on campus that features best practical IT solutions in hospitality technology currently used in the industry. He also serves as an ambassador for the Make a Wish foundation of Switzerland.

Steve Hood

Vice President of Research, STR

He has been with STR for 23 years and was involved in the original development of the STAR program

STAR Program is utilized by 62,000 hotels and most hotel companies all over the world.  Steve is the Founding Director of the SHARE Center, STR’s program to support hospitality and tourism schools with nearly 850 members from 75 different countries.  He serves on advisory boards and as an honorary professor for leading schools, including Cornell, Penn State, Virginia Tech, University of Delaware, Colorado State, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne and Hong Kong Poly.  Steve has been recognized with the ICHRIE Industry Recognition Award, the EuroCHRIE Nestle Pro Gastronomia Award and by the Hotel Schools of Distinction for his commitment to hospitality and tourism education.

Carson Booth

CEO, Snapshot GmbH

CEO of Snapshot, Carson Booth serves on several boards and has had vast experiences in technology

A Shiji Group Company Brand and a leading hospitality data platform, and has recently joined the Company after being active in the vibrant hospitality technology startup space in Berlin. Previously, Carson 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 here in Berlin with his young family.

Panel 3 - Disrupting Distribution: Game-Changers

The distribution landscape has become an important topic of discussion as distribution costs increase with the rise of OTAs. This panel, thus, discusses the distribution landscape and its future developments. It will also discuss the competition that new and existing players in the industry face in optimizing their distribution strategies, and which new technologies and resources these players may use to compete.

Adam Rowledge

General Manager, Georgian House

Ait Voncke

Senior Vice President, Expedia

Adam has been General Manager of Georgian House since September 2015.

Under his leadership, the boutique, Grade II-listed property has continuously invested into team training and guest experience, and won a number of prestigious industry awards. Named Independent Hotelier of the Year by the Independent Hotel Show Awards in 2018, Adam has also been awarded British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame Young Manager of the Year in 2017 and an Acorn Award in 2012. Adam is dedicated to the development and wellness of the Georgian House team, as well as giving back to the industry. Outside of the hotel, Adam is a St. Julian Scholar, Guardian Member of Hospitality Action and Ambassador for Room to Reward. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality as well as sitting on its Supervisory Board.

Responsible for managnig Expedia's global portfolio, Ait has over 15 years of experience in consulting

Ait is responsible for managing the Expedia group’s hotels portfolio globally. He leads a knowledgeable team focused on maximizing the exposure and demand Expedia’s hotel partners receive from its 200+ global travel booking sites. With more than 15 years in the consulting industry across Europe and Asia, Ait has helped technology companies grow, enter new markets, and restructure. Prior to Expedia, Ait held several senior roles at Groupon, where he developed and managed the travel vertical for EMEA. He also spent 13 years at Accenture, most recently as Partner, where he managed growth projects for multiple internet and telecommunication companies.

Christopher Cox

Regional Director, Central and Eastern Europe, Preferred Hotels & Resorts

Christopher Cox joined Preferred Hotels & Resorts in April 2013 as Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe.

In this position, Christopher oversees the retention and expansion of Preferred Hotels & Resorts portfolio throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as in Eastern Europe and Turkey. Christopher has over 20 years experience in luxury hotel management and hospitality sales and marketing and has acquired a wealth of industry expertise. Before embarking on his current role at Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Christopher held General Manager positions at Falkensteiner Schlosshotel in Velden, Austria and Carlton Hotel in St Moritz, Switzerland. Other prominent roles include Director of Sales & Marketing at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in St Moritz and several key sales positions at Kempinski Hotels. Christopher attended summer classes at  Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and completed a PDP course at The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. He is fluent in German and English and has a solid knowledge of French.

Marco Rosso

Regional Sales Director - Spain, SiteMinder

Born into a long line of hoteliers where hospitality and tourism were not only the family business but a way of life

Marco Rosso began his career at luxury hotels and travel companies. In 2015, he brought his expertise to the hotel technology landscape, joining Triptease to help expand the SaaS company’s presence across EMEA, and support its growth from just 15 employees to more than 150 within major cities around the world. Today Marco leads Spain for the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, SiteMinder. In this role, the hospitality and e-commerce passionate proactively supports hotels to leverage technology and unleash their full potential in competing for today’s traveller. Marco completed his studies at "École Hôtelière de Lausanne" specialising in Digital Marketing and lists travel among his favourite things in the world.

Henri Roelings

Founder & CEO, HospitalityNet

Recognized as a thought leader in global hospitality

Henri is a frequent guest speaker at industry events and conferences. Under Henri’s leadership, HospitalityNet has pioneered online B2B publishing in the hospitality industry since 1994, launching brands such as HospitalityNet, WIWIH, pineapplesearch and the HOTEL Yearbook. Henri is an advisory board member of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA), member of HFTP’s HITEC advisory board in Europe and USA and received HSMAI’s "Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing" honor back in 2014. Henri graduated from Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne in 1987.

Panel 4 - The Pitfalls and Challenges in 21st Century Management and Leadership

As employee loyalty begins to wane with employees constantly seeking career advancement opportunities, and diversity in the workplace becomes increasingly important, managers and leaders of the 21st century face unique challenges in managing and retaining talent. This panel will therefore seek to address the problems of talent shortages, the need for diversity in the hospitality industry, the importance of organizational culture, as well as structural shifts towards building a network organization.

Dr. Sowon Kim

Associate Professor, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne

Eugenio Pirri

Chief People & Culture Officer, The Dorchester Collection

Thomas Mielke

Managing Director, AETHOS Consulting Group

Lorenzo Stoll

Vice President Head of Western Switzerland, Swiss International Airlines

Niko Viramo

Director Onboard Operations, Vikings Cruises

Dr. Sowon Kim is an Associate Professor at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and Co-founder of the Women in Leadership (WIL) Initiative

She teaches bachelors, masters, and executives in the fields of leadership and intercultural management. Dr. Kim’s research focuses on personality, networking, work-family, and leadership diversity. She has published in diverse outlets such as Journal of Vocational Behavior, Personality and Individual Differences, Journal of Environmental Psychology, and Harvard Deusto Business Review. Dr. Kim holds a PhD from the University of Geneva, was a Visiting Scholar at IESE Business School and INSEAD Fontainebleau (both funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation) and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Geneva. Prior to academia, Dr. Kim has gained substantial business experience in the consumer goods, high-tech, broadcasting, and jewelry industries. Dr. Kim speaks four languages and lived in eight countries before settling in Martigny with her family.

As Chief People & Culture Officer, Eugenio has over 30 years of operations and people resources experience

Eugenio and his team are responsible for all aspects of Human Resources, Learning and Development, Employee & Guest Engagement, Innovation, Corporate Responsibility and The Dorchester Collection Academy Centre, working with all functions in the business to ensure our people are the cornerstone of every business decision. Eugenio Pirri is a well-rounded professional with an exceptional background in People leadership, organisational development, people practices, education, development and operations; global experience within diverse cultures and attitudes. He leads the business and change by thoughtfully challenging the status quo,  disrupting traditional ways of thinking, showing common ground where needed and building long term sustainable people and strategic initiatives. Eugenio has over 30 years of operations and people resources experience, a proven success record in people management, operational performance, human resources, organisational development, finance, change management, employee relations, grounded in a holistic approach to employee and guest engagement within all constituents of the business.  He has knowledge and experience operating and managing in several countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Japan. He and his team have been awarded several accolades including Distinction in Talent Management by the HR Distinction Awards, Excellence in Employee Engagement from HR in Hospitality and Employee Engagement Company of the Year by the Employee Engagement Awards.  Eugenio has been recognised as HR Director of the Year and for the past 5 years, has been ranked in the top 10 with HR Most Influential List by HR Magazine.

Thomas Mielke is a Founding Partner and Managing Director at AETHOS Consulting Group.

He is a fully certified executive search consultant by the AESC and has a track record in senior level appointments at leading hospitality organizations across the globe; with a particular focus on the lodging, restaurant, food service, real estate, cruise and tourism sectors. Acting as a trusted advisor, Thomas equally supports the process of identifying and developing values and best practices that define and foster a corporate culture and consults his clients on talent management programs. Thomas holds a BSc in International Hospitality Management from Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, has authored numerous articles on corporate governance and leadership, and is fluent in several European languages. Thomas can be reached at

Lorenzo Stoll has joined SWISS from Nestle in October 2013.

Holding a diploma of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, he did start his career working in the tourism and leisure industry at the Montreux-Vevey Tourism Office.

Lorenzo Stoll comes to SWISS from the Nestlé organization, where he has held various executive functions with a strong focus on customer and marketing affairs over the past 12 years. In 2007 he assumed responsibility for the global sales of Nestlé Waters, and two years later he was appointed Chief Commercial Officer of Nestlé Waters Switzerland.

As SWISS’ Head of Western Switzerland, he is in charge of all aspects of SWISS’ business unit in Geneva.

Niko Viramo has over fifteen years of senior leadership experience in hotel development and management

Niko Viramo possesses more than fifteen years of senior leadership experience in the areas of hotel development – and management. For the past five years he is working for Viking River Cruises as Director Onboard Operations.

Niko, a citizen of Finland, has studied international hotel management in Vienna and MBA at the University of Wales. He has completed postgraduate studies in Executive Leadership mainly at the Cornell University and the THNK –Amsterdam school of creative leadership. Furthermore Niko has engaged as a freelance guest lecturer for hospitality related topics at the Modul Tourism school in Vienna for several years. Niko is certified Six Sigma Black Belt (Quality Management), Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) and Ironman Triathlete (11:27).

Michael Hirschler

Director of University Relations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Mike began his Four Seasons career in 2005 as the Assistant Director of Human Resources at the Boston property.

He joined the company after six years with Fairmont where he oversaw the hotel’s training and development programming before becoming Project Manager for a $34 million restoration of the storied Copley Plaza.  During his time with Fairmont, Mike participated in numerous corporate initiatives including the repositioning of Fairmont’s Royal Pavilion beachfront resort in Barbados. Mike’s Four Seasons career took him west to Chicago before he settled in Seattle as the opening Director of Human Resources for a brand new hotel in 2008.  Responsible for all pre-opening hiring, training and policy implementation, Mike has been actively involved in leading local hospitality human resources efforts, and has served as a legislative expert in the Seattle marketplace.  A highlight of Mike’s time in the Pacific Northwest was the founding of Run of Hope Seattle, a partnership between Four Seasons Hotel Seattle and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund (a fundraising guild at Seattle Children's Hospital). Since the first event was held in 2009, the Run of Hope Seattle has contributed more than $4.5 million to pediatric brain tumor research in the Pacific Northwest. Beginning in 2016, Mike became the company liaison to his alma mater, Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, with a focus on adding value for students and faculty in the School’s partnership with Four Seasons.  His role soon expanded to oversee University Relations efforts at all four-year hospitality management program partners in North America. He has focused on building individualized relationships with each program to maximize the experience for all stakeholders, especially students.  Mike works closely with his worldwide counterparts to ensure consistency in global university engagement efforts to help Four Seasons grow its employer brand profile as a Fortune Magazine Great Place to Work for all.

Panel 5 - Global Brand Expansion: Adaptation and Development

Mergers and acquisitions between existing hotel brands are becoming increasingly commonplace in the hospitality industry, while new entrants are adopting unique business models to establish themselves. This panel seeks to investigate the effectiveness of these different brand expansion strategies, in consideration of the tips and tricks of investors and consultants use at the negotiation table in order to seal the deal.

Dimitris Manikis

President and Managing Director for Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa (EMEA), Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Born into a long line of hoteliers where hospitality and tourism were not only the family business but a way of life

Dimitris Manikis was appointed President and Managing Director for EMEA in April 2018. In his role, he is responsible for the development of all of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ brands in the EMEA region as well as maximising the performance of all new and existing franchise and managed hotels. He focuses on driving the strategic objectives of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts including quality and technology solutions as well as loyalty, sales and marketing. Dimitris Manikis has a long-standing career and deep knowledge of the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, he spent over 27 years with RCI, the worldwide leader in vacation exchange, across a number of senior roles, and most recently served as Vice President of Business Development for EMEA. Earlier in his career, he also held a number key positions in the region as Managing Director of RCI Greece and RCI South Africa. A Greek national, Dimitris was born in Athens and holds a Bachelor degree in Tourism and Administration from the University of Patras in Greece, and an MSc Postgraduate degree in Tourism Marketing from the University of Surrey. His passion for people and work ethic comes from his father, who built up a grocery retail business in Athens where Dimitris learned the value of high customer service, positive outlook and hard work as being the foundations of success in both business and life. He is based in Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ London office.

Jeff Higley

Senior vice president, communications strategy, STR Content strategist, Hotel News Now

Jeff Higley is a 30-year journalism veteran who has specialized in the hotel industry for the past 20+ years.

He launched Hotel News Now, a division of STR, in September 2008. The website is a business-to-business digital magazine that targets hotels owners, operators, developers and other disciplines interested in the global hotel industry. Hotel News Now won the “Web Site of the Year” from the American Society of Business Press Editors in 2015. Higley oversees the HNN operation. Higley also directs the corporate communications/public relations for the STR enterprise as well as the annual Hotel Data Conference. Prior to joining Hotel News Now and STR in March 2008, Higley served in various editorial leadership positions for Questex Media Group’s Hotel & Motel Management group. Higley began his career in the newspaper industry and worked as a sportswriter for several Midwest newspapers, covering everything from high school basketball to the World Series. He moved to business-to-business publishing in 1995. Higley is a product of Valparaiso University in Indiana and a native of Sandusky, Ohio. He and his wife, Cheryl, reside in Avon Lake, Ohio.

Philipp Henle

Head of Global Development, The Dorchester Collection

Kenneth Hatton

Senior Vice President - Global Development, Belmond

Patrik Hug

Senior Consultant - Advisory & Valuation Services, Christie & Co.

As Head of Global Development, Philipp is responsible for growing the brand globally

Philipp Henle is responsible for growing the brand through third-party hotel management agreements and acquisitions in key global gateway cities. In synonymy with Dorchester Collection’s brand values, Henle implements a selective growth strategy - continuing to build a luxury portfolio of hotels that honour individuality, heritage, excellence and innovation. Before joining Dorchester Collection in January 2017, Henle spent seven years with Kempinski Hotels SA, with the last two as vice president development Europe, where he oversaw the development efforts across Europe and the CIS. With extensive industry experience, Henle also worked for Golden Tulip Hospitality Group as a business development executive and HVS International as a consulting and valuation analyst. A graduate of the École Hôtelière de Lausanne where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management, Henle also holds a certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornell University in New York. Henle maintains a clear vision in his approach to development opportunities for Dorchester Collection, commenting: “Our place in the top-echelon of the ultra-luxurious hotel industry reflects the meticulous consideration that goes into the development of our properties. For Dorchester Collection, it is not about the number of properties we grow, but rather in finding the right fit of both property and partner.”

Kenneth Hatton, SVP of Global Development for Belmond, is responsible for adding remarkable destinations to the company's portfolio

Belmond is a global collection of exceptional hotel and luxury travel adventures in some of the world’s most inspiring and enriching destinations.  Established over 40 years ago with the acquisition of Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Belmond offers a curated portfolio that includes luxury hotel, tourist train, river cruise, safari and restaurant experiences in many of the world’s most celebrated locales.  While still owning a large proportion of its branded estate, it has been transforming from its pure owner-operator model to being both owner and third-party operator, having developed a management and distribution platform that is tailor-made for its distinguished, global luxury segment.  With its development team based around the world, Belmond has set out its intent to add further, remarkable destinations to the company’s portfolio.  Prior to his role with Belmond, Kenneth had responsibility for portfolio asset management for Hyatt outside the Americas and, earlier his career, worked as M&A and hotel counsel in New York and Europe.  He holds an LL.B. from Trinity College Dublin and an MBA from each of Columbia Business School and London Business School.


Patrick Hug has various experiences in consulting, real estate, and the hospitality industry

Patrik Hug joined Christie & Co’s Munich Office in September 2016 as a Consultant Advisory & Valuation. Previously, he worked for Union Investment Real Estate GmbH in Hamburg and Frankfurt, where he supported the hotel investment team primarily with the due diligence for acquisitions throughout Europe and the United States, as well as with national and international market studies and strategy papers.

He gained operational experience in Switzerland, amongst others, at the 5-star hotel Grand Resort Bad Ragaz and the boutique hotel 7132 in Vals.

Patrik holds a Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management from Ecole Hôteliere de Lausanne (EHL), where he graduated with honours. Further, he won the “Best Dissertation Award” for his bachelor thesis.

Our Partners

Challenge Provider


Royal Partners

Exposure Partners


F&B Partners

Media Partners

YHS is proud to present the Official Media Partners of our 10th edition:

Hospitality Net provides world news and regional perspectives that focuses on up-to-the-minute hotel industry news, opinion articles, breaking news, hotel openings, industry events and conferences.

With an exclusive focus on global hospitality and tourism, Hsyndicate provides electronic news syndication for global hospitality vertical.

Hotel News Now is an online news resource that combines the decades worth of experience from its editorial team along with unprecedented access to STR data to provide vital, up-to-the-minute information for hotel decision makers throughout the world."

eHotelier serves as the global portal for hospitality professionals, providing the latest hospitality industry insights and news.

4Hoteliers is a quality industry web, and is one of the leading hospitality and tourism news platform.

Journal des Palaces is an online newspaper in French and English. It discusses topics about the luxury hospitality, fine-dining restaurants, spas and events.

Hotel-online, the first online news source in the industry, provides latest, and most relevant global hospitality news, trends, products and services.

HOTELS is one of the leading sources of news and analysis in the hospitality industry worldwide.

TOPHOTELNEWS offers high quality articles about the hospitality industry. They work closely with a large number of international journalists to provide unique content.

The Hotel Yearbook is a family of publications of experts all over the world to ask, "What lies ahead for the global hotel industry?"

Hotel Speak is a hotel and travel marketing community aimed at providing actionable advice for hoteliers and hotel marketing teams"