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Landmark line up to inspire hospitality sector

New industry report to be launched at Hospitality Exchange 2017

NIHF President Ciaran O’Neill, Bryony Boyd and Gavin Carroll, The Merchant Hotel.

NIHF President Ciaran O’Neill, Bryony Boyd and Gavin Carroll, The Merchant Hotel.

Northern Ireland’s hospitality conference, Hospitality Exchange, will see a sensational selection of hugely inspirational and motivational speakers come together for a spectacular event on 17th and 18th October in Crowne Plaza Belfast.

The two day programme will be far and away the biggest event for the sector this year, featuring an incredible line-up of top industry figures. Experts from the worlds of banking, economics, marketing, hospitality, tourism and global trend analysis have been brought together for this bespoke conference.

Janice Gault, Chief Executive of NI Hotels Federation says:

“The planning for Hospitality Exchange 2017 is well underway with an almost sold out exhibition and a diverse conference programme reflecting a buoyant sector. The big news throughout most of 2016 has been the reports of hotel expansion. After almost a decade of stagnation, hotels are in full expansion mode with forty-nine projects now in the public realm and others bubbling under the surface. Whilst all these projects may not come to fruition, industry experts reckon that the number of hotel rooms will break the 10,000 room barrier by 2020; a real milestone for Northern Ireland!”

Recognising this growth, the 2017 programme for Hospitality Exchange will feature a new industry report outlining the economic benefits the hotel sector is bringing to the local economy, focusing on the opportunities this affords and the added advantages for the wider hospitality sector in terms of jobs and growth.

Ciaran O’Neill, President of NI Hotels Federation discusses the report:

“The report, which will be launched at the event and will focus on the substantial levels of investment by the hotel sector, will cover refurbishment, expansion and new openings. A business breakfast will explore these topics in some detail with a full economic briefing and an update on industry performance. The Tourism Talks session will look at opportunities, challenges and promotion of the sector. In addition to a burgeoning hotel sector, restaurant numbers have grown considerably and visitor attractions are also reporting record numbers.”

Aspects of the 2017 conference programme have been designed to appeal to these sectors. Firstly, the ever-popular chef session will feature Birmingham based chef, Glynn Purnell. Known as the Yummy Brummie, Glynn has just celebrated ten years in business at his eponymously named Purnell’s restaurant in his native Birmingham. The chef session has been expanded to include an innovative demonstration on the pairing of beer and food. Led by chef Owen Murtagh, who works with Molson Coors as their culinary consultant, delegates will gain an insight into what beer can bring to the dining experience.

The Tuesday afternoon masterclass will focus on sales delivered by The Boost Partnership’s Managing Partner, Damian McAlonan. His interactive session will focus on the art of the sale: customer engagement, understanding the sales process and key markets for Northern Ireland. Damian is an award-winning speaker, who has worked with clients like Google, British Airways and AOL Time Warner. Described as a dynamic speaker and trainer, who delivers cutting-edge information with both humour and insight, this is an opportunity for those in the sector to grasp a better understanding of the sales process.

John Scanlon, a long standing figure head at the world-renowned Dorchester Group and General Manager of 45 Park Lane, will inspire with his tales of working at one of the world’s leading hotel groups. John who originally hails from Co Kerry has had an illustrious career in London working in the five star hotel market. At this year’s speaker lunch, he will entertain diners with his tales of life on Park Lane and his career with one of the world’s most prestigious hotel properties.

The current level of hotel expansion has led to unprecedented interest in the trade exhibition with companies recognising the excellent prospects in the hospitality sector. Suppliers have seized the opportunity to showcase their wares and engage directly with prospective customers.

Hospitality Exchange 2017 will end on a genteel note with a Downton Abbey themed Gala Dinner on 18th October. All details are available at hospitalityexchange.co.uk or for further information contact the Hospitality Exchange team on 028 9077 6635.

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