9th Edition Speakers

Keynote Speakers 

Using their own experience and expertise, each keynote speaker interpreted the 9th Edition’s theme – “Eyes to the Future: Following the Momentum of Growth” – to deliver an insightful and thought-provoking speech.

Tina Haller

Senior Manager, KPMG

Steve Hood

Senior VP of Research, STR

Nick Price

Founder & CEO, NetSys Technology

Javier Cedillo

CEO, Onefinestay

Michael Levie

Founding Partner & COO, CitizenM

Heather Jacobs

Senior VP HR, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Nadine Wiegratz

Manager Global Employer Branding, Metro

Panel Discussions

Redefining Luxury in the Age of the Millennial

In this panel discussion, we examined the correlation between millennials and the luxury travel industry, as well as the potential trends in the luxury sector with the influence of millennials. How will millennials reshape the luxury travel industry? How should the marketing, sales and merchandising strategies adapt to the changes in the demography? What actions are luxury sectors taking to satisfy all-age group travellers?

Klaus Kabelitz

GM, The Belmond Cadogan

François Delahaye

COO, Dorchester Collection

David Samson

Associate Director, Deloitte

Rami Sayess

Regional VP & GM, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Jurgen Ammerstorfer

General Manager, EDITION London

How Technology will Change the Future Hospitality Industry

As guest demands become increasingly complex, and more players enter the industry, hotel technology has become vital to remaining competitive. In this panel discussion, we discussed how the implementation of technology in hotels could improve the guest experience and the operation efficiency, as well as what were the opportunities in technology that hotels could apply to exalt the stay experience.

Ian Millar

Professor of Information Technology, Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne

Nick Price

Founder & CEO, NetSys Technology

Suzanne Ward

Director Digital Solutions, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

Ulrich Pillau

Founder, Apaleo GmbH

Ansgar Frederik Frische

Founder & CEO, ABACCO Hospitality

The Changing Dynamics of Hotel Ownership

While a handful of hotel companies are exercising asset-light strategy, there has been a growing appetite from institutional investors for new hotel ownerships, driven by the potential of high returns. Through this panel, we delved into the reasons behind the changing landscape of the real estate world, and asked questions such as how does private equity assess hotel investments, how do hotel investments compare to other asset classes, and what it indicates for the hotel management companies.

Russell Kett

Chairman, HVS Market Research

Oliver Judge

Senior Director of Asset Management, Park Hotels & Resorts

Henri Wilmes

CIO, A&O Hotels & Hostels

Marc Socker

Managing Director Hotel Fund Management, Invesco Real Estate

Giovanni Forni

Vice President, Cedar Capital Partners

The Rise of the Lifestyle Brands: Revolutionizing the Hotel Experiences

How can lifestyle hotels and serviced apartments find the perfect balance between privacy, amenities and social activities? How may hotels and serviced apartments maximize the utilization of public spaces, and how could we build concepts that are millennial-driven but also have universal appeals? Hoteliers regard “millennials” as people who value authentic experiences and the need to connect. This panel sought to answer these questions by focusing on the growing trends of lifestyle hotels and serviced apartments.

Andreas Scriven

Head of Hospitality & Leisure, Deloitte

Youri Sawerschel

Founder and Brand Strategist, Creative Supply

Jessica Emde

Brand Manager nhow Hotels, NH Hotel Group

Alessandro Redaelli

Vice President Operations, Paramount Hotels & Resorts

Navneet Bali

Chairman, MEININGER Hotels

Exploring Niche Markets: Seizing the Untapped Opportunities

Niche marketing creates wonderful branding opportunities for hotels to differentiate themselves from others whilst providing adapted services to guests with particular needs. By bringing together experts in niche marketing and markets with unique travelling requirements, this panel focused on how hotels could better serve specialized markets.

Maggie Chen

Assistant Professor in Marketing, Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne

Christopher Cox

Regional Director, Preferred Hotels & Resorts

Mathew Nixon

Business and Operations Transformation, Dorchester Collection

Adam Rowledge

GM, Georgian House Hotel

Daniel Füglister

General Manager, InterContinental Davos

Yves Wencker

Lodging Director, Disneyland Paris

YHS Challenge

Last edition’s challenge was provided by the home-sharing platform onefinestay. It asked students to answer the following question: “How could the innovative world of private home rentals elevate today’s global luxury hospitality experience for b-leisure travelers?”.

9th Edition Challenge Winners:

Centro Superior de Hosteler+¡a de Galicia

Marta Casas
Centro Superior de Hostelería de Galicia

Florida university

Kyle Uzcategui
Florida International University


Alliza-Moira Enrile
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

Stenden University South Africa

Jesse Stanley
South Africa
Stenden South Africa

Washington State University - Carson College of Business

Anna Meindersee
Washington State University

Challenge Pitch

Thank you to our 9th Edition Partners!

Challenge Provider

Royal Partners

Exposure Partners

F&B Partners

Car Partner

9th Edition Photos