Conference Speakers

Maximum Occupancy is Australia’s premier hotel and accommodation industry conference, designed for and by the hotel industry's leaders. The conference features over 40+ leading industry experts and speakers from around Australia and the globe.  

Included in this year's list of conference speakers are:

View bio Juliet Ashworth

Creative Director
Chada

Juliet Ashworth's biography

Creative Director
Chada

Juliet is an award-winning interiors expert who has been designing world-class luxury hotels and resorts for over twenty years. She is also the series judge on the successful Netflix series “Instant Hotel”.

View bio Dean Long

CEO
Accommodation Association of Australia

Dean Long's biography

CEO
Accommodation Association of Australia

Dean is a Public Policy professional with over a decade of experience providing advice to Governments around Australia and the business sectors with a focus on delivering advocacy outcomes that are mutually beneficial. Throughout his career Dean has created and maintained strong and trusted relationships across the political, private and public sectors.

Dean was appointed the CEO of the Accommodation Association of Australia in June 2019 following roles as a Senior Adviser in the NSW Government, Head of Public Policy for the Australian Federation of Travel Agents and the National Manager of Government Acquisition (merchant services) for American Express. Dean has successfully led industry responses to regulatory changes across financial services, taxation, consumer affairs, immigration and planning. Dean holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, Environmental Management and Tourism from Western Sydney University and Masters of Management from the University of Technology Sydney.

Aaron LePoidevin

Head of Online, ANZ
Uber Eats

View bio Michael Johnson

CEO, TAA National & NSW
Tourism Accommodation Australia

Michael Johnson's biography

CEO, TAA National & NSW
Tourism Accommodation Australia

As CEO of Tourism Accommodation Australia, National & NSW, Michael Johnson calls on his experience within the hotel industry, spanning over three decades and across Australia and New Zealand. Previously in the business of managing four and five star business hotels, resorts and tourist attractions Michael shares insight into all facets of the tourism accommodation industry, from operations to senior management.

Most recently, after a successful tenure as General Manager of PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport, Michael moved back to Sydney to take on the position of General Manager at PARKROYAL Parramatta and managed the redevelopment extension and 2016 relaunch. Since April 2019, Michael has lead the team at Tourism Accommodation Australia - National & NSW, liaising with Governments to combat hotel industry specific issues such as skilled migration, unregulated accommodation and the skills shortages gap.

Michael is a natural ambassador of the hotel industry and is committed to encouraging the next generations to try their hand at building a successful career within the industry, an experience he has found extremely rewarding.

Originally from Sydney, Michael possesses valuable local and national insights and exceptional industry knowledge and skills.

View bio Gavin Faull

Chairman and President
Swiss-Belhotel International

Gavin Faull's biography

Chairman and President
Swiss-Belhotel International

Gavin has over 35 years experience in hotel management and operations under his belt. He started his career as an accountant for The Peninsula Group, Hong Kong. In 1983, he was made chief executive of Kingsgate International Corporate Limited, a publicly listed company that owned several hotels in Australia and New Zealand.

He worked for a start-up hotel management company Swiss-Belhotel group in 1990, before taking over the ownership of the company in 1999. Apart from his illustrious career in the hospitality industry, he also runs a number of agricultural companies in his native New Zealand. Gavin holds hold a Bachelor Degree in Accounting from Victoria University of Wellington.

View bio Trent Fraser

CEO
Choice Hotels Asia-Pac

Trent Fraser's biography

CEO
Choice Hotels Asia-Pac

Trent Fraser began his career in 1990 and by 2002, had held several senior management roles in a number of hotels across the Asia Pacific region. Mr. Fraser joined Choice Hotels in 2002, heading up the development side of Choice Hotels’ business and a short time later, was overseeing both Development and Franchise Services. In 2012, Mr. Fraser was appointed CEO of Choice Hotels Asia-Pac.

Mr. Fraser has been at the forefront of property growth for Choice Hotels throughout his 15-year tenure and has developed and implemented strategic, growth-focused business plans, leading to substantial increases in group RevPAR and business delivery.

Mr. Fraser led the launch and implementation of the Econo Lodge brand in Australia and New Zealand in 2009, and in 2013 he launched the upscale Ascend Hotel Collection spanning unique/boutique properties across Australia.

Mr. Fraser lives in Melbourne with his wife Michelle and their three daughters. When he’s not in the office or travelling he enjoys playing golf or getting out to cheer on the mighty St Kilda Football Club. He also serves on the national board of AAoA and is a passionate supporter of Choice Hotels Asia-Pac’s charity partner, Kids Under Cover. 

 

View bio JD Cain

Vice President of Sales
Revinate

JD Cain's biography

Vice President of Sales
Revinate

As the Vice President of Sales at Revinate, JD is responsible for the strategic direction and execution of all of the company’s global sales and business development efforts. Revinate is the only guest data platform for hospitality, with CRM, marketing and guest feedback solutions, counting tens of thousands of the world’s leading hospitality brands as customers. Before Revinate, JD managed direct sales for large and complex accounts at Akamai Technologies.

View bio Dave Baswal

COO/CFO
Ovolo Hotels

Dave Baswal's biography

COO/CFO
Ovolo Hotels

Currently the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Ovolo Hotels Australia, Dave brings with him over 15 years’ experience within the hospitality industry. An exemplary hospitality executive who creates strategic alliances with organisation leaders. With a proven experience in operations, strategic finance, corporate treasury, project management, distribution, IT, audit, financial analysis, sales and marketing within hospitality industry. Dave joined Ovolo Group’s Australian team with a goal of driving the Hong Kong-based brand’s further expansion into the Australian market.

Dave has been instrumental in leading design and development initiatives for all new Australian based Ovolo Hotels including spearheading recent design projects for Ovolo Inchcolm in Brisbane, Ovolo Nishi in Canberra, Ovolo The Valley in Brisbane. Most recently, Dave has worked tirelessly on ZA ZA TA. Ovolo The Valley’s Middle Eastern and Mediterranean kitchen and bar inspired by the Tel Aviv bar scene, invigorating Fortitude Valley’s Emporium Precinct with soulful cuisine.

Dave is an effective communicator, and a member of CPA Australia. With a Masters in Professional Accounting and Masters in International Tourism and Hospitality from Griffith University in Gold Coast in addition to Bachelor in Hotel Management, Dave brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to lead the Ovolo Australia Team.

 

Chantelle Veness

Group Director of Sales & Marketing
The Lancemore Group

View bio Eliza O'Hare

Editor
Inside Out Magazine

Eliza O'Hare's biography

Editor
Inside Out Magazine

Eliza O’Hare is a journalist and editor who has worked in Australian publishing for 30 years.

She has worked on every genre of magazine, including time on Wheels magazine, Cosmopolitan, Dolly, Woman’s Day and Harper’s Bazaar as well as writing countless articles on modern Australian lifestyle for a variety of print and digital publications.

Eliza is currently Editor of Inside Out magazine and focuses on design, interiors, food and travel.

Brett Salter

National Accommodation Manager
ALH Group

Georgina Williams

Director of Development
BWH Hotel Group

Kristy Edwards

Director of Revenue Optimisation
BWH Hotel Group

Andrew Boocock

Sourcing Regional Manager - Pacific
Hotelbeds

View bio Vincent Lombino

Group Food & Beverage Director
Ovolo Hotels

Vincent Lombino's biography

Group Food & Beverage Director
Ovolo Hotels

Overseeing food and drink across the Ovolo brand, from concepts to delivery, in-house to in-room, Vince works closely with Ovolo's Creative Culinary Partners, Chefs, Bar team to curate exciting and innovative offerings to reflect Ovolo’s philosophy. This role sees Vince work across the hotels, creating vibrant new concepts and implementing the highest standard of service and offering, allowing Ovolo to continue to push the boundaries, improve on existing concepts and launch new and unique innovations within the industry.

With over 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, Vincent brings a wealth of knowledge and experience. His role as Group Director Food & Beverage has seen him working at organisations globally including Noble House Hotels & Resorts in Seattle, Urban Purveyor Group and Australia’s Event Hospitality Group as Group Food and Beverage Director focusing on development and implementation of their food and beverage concepts across Hotels and Cinemas.

Timo Bures

General Manager
The Old Clare Hotel

Taryn Williams

Founder & CEO
TheRight.Fit

View bio Sue Johnson

Marketing Director
Spicers Retreats

Sue Johnson's biography

Marketing Director
Spicers Retreats

After finishing a business degree and scratching the London travel itch, Sue decided that if she could get a job in travel marketing she’d never work another day in her life. And that’s exactly what happened. Sue started with Flight Centre in 2005 as a Consultant and quickly worked up to Team Leader. After a one year contract at Malaysia Airlines as a Marketing Officer she returned to Flight Centre as Recruitment Marketing Officer and over the next 10+ years held a range of roles including National Brand Manager for Flight Centre Brand, Head of Retail Marketing for Flight Centre in the UK and Head of Marketing for Travel Associates and Cruiseabout. Sue recently moved to Spicers Retreats as Marketing Director and is loving every minute of it.

When she isn’t showing off Spicers Retreats, Sue is spending time with her two girls, trying to run 5kms in 25 minutes and perfecting a banana bread recipe (all suggestions and advice welcome!)

View bio Andrew Collins

Senior Account Manager
Booking.com

Andrew Collins's biography

Senior Account Manager
Booking.com

Based in Sydney Andy leads the Key Markets Account Management Team at Booking.com. In his 7 years at Booking he has held a variety of key account management roles focusing on markets across the APAC Region in both Sydney and Singapore. Coming from a hotel background prior to joining Booking.com, Andy spent over ten years in a variety of roles in properties across France, Spain and New Zealand before relocating to Australia.

Daniel Xu

General Manager
Digital Crew

View bio Adele Labine-Romain

National Travel, Hospitality and Leisure Sector Leader
Deloitte

Adele Labine-Romain's biography

National Travel, Hospitality and Leisure Sector Leader
Deloitte

Adele is the Australian Tourism Sector Leader at Deloitte and a partner within Deloitte Access Economics’ economic and policy advisory practice. With a deep understanding of the tourism landscape and experience in strategy and policy development including executive roles with Tourism Australia (Executive General Manager, Strategy and Research) and peak industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (Executive Director), Adele works with government and private sector clients across tourism-related industries including aviation, transport and cruising, hotels, business events, sports and major event and attractions.

Jackie Douglas

President
HSMAI Asia Pacific

Terry Oomens

Director of Sales & Marketing
Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Blair Weir

Commercial Director
Hilton Sydney

View bio Oliver Ruf

Director of Revenue Management
Park Hyatt Sydney

Oliver Ruf's biography

Director of Revenue Management
Park Hyatt Sydney

Oliver Ruf is a results-oriented executive with over 15 years of experience in revenue management and, distribution strategy.

Oliver has held leadership roles with Hyatt and has been a member of Hyatt International’s Global Specialist Program since 2010. As Director of Revenue Management at Park Hyatt Sydney, he has consistently grown revenue streams, contributing to the success and positioning of the award-winning hotel as a preferred luxury hotel in Australia.

In his current tenure, Park Hyatt Sydney has achieved some of the highest performance benchmarks in its history and is currently recognized as one of the highest performing hotels within Hyatt Hotels & Resorts globally in RevPar & Marketshare terms.

View bio Melissa Kalan

Founder
ARMA

Melissa Kalan's biography

Founder
ARMA

Melissa Kalan is the Founder of the Australian Revenue Management Association (ARMA), providing revenue management education via the ARMA Academy to the accommodation industry.

Her life philosophy is centred on the principle of “always learning”, and with this she empowers organisations to lead a revenue management culture from the top down that influences both profits and staff retention.

Melissa wrote the first Australian nationally accredited VET short course in revenue management and the Graduate Certificate of Revenue Management – an online globally recognised qualification, the first of its kind, in partnership with Torrens University Australia. Melissa co-facilitates the university program with Torrens University Australia and also founded the annual APAC Revenue Management Summit.

View bio Adrian Caruso

Founder, Managing Director
Fastrack Group

Adrian Caruso's biography

Founder, Managing Director
Fastrack Group

Adrian is founder and CEO of Australasia's leading travel, tourism and hospitality full-service marketing and communications firm, Fastrack Group.

Adrian is a highly experienced and respected travel, tourism and hospitality digital marketing, media and communications expert with over 25 years in the industry. He is also a management consultant and strategist. 

View bio Philip Niemann

Group Vice President, APAC
Duetto

Philip Niemann's biography

Group Vice President, APAC
Duetto

As Group VP of the APAC region, Philip leads Duetto's mission to address hospitality’s complex technology landscape, providing solutions that increase organizational efficiency, revenue and profitability. Based in Singapore, Philip oversees the sales, deployment and customer success efforts throughout Asia Pacific. He brings with him a decade of experience in revenue leadership roles on property, in corporate and area capacities in resort and city locations. While of German heritage, Philip is native to Singapore and holds a Bachelor of Science from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. More than 3,000 hotel and casino properties in more than 60 countries have partnered to use Duetto’s applications. 

Kari Hunter

General Manager - Marketing
Choice Hotels Asia-Pac

View bio Nick Jeffery

Vice President - Sales & Account Management, APAC
Sabre Hospitality Solutions

Nick Jeffery's biography

Vice President - Sales & Account Management, APAC
Sabre Hospitality Solutions

Nick Jeffery leads the Asia-Pacific Business Development team for Sabre Hospitality Solutions. A veteran of the Asia-Pacific Hospitality sector he joined Sabre back in 2009 after leading the Account Management team for IDeaS across Asia-Pacific since 2001. Prior to his roles with leading hospitality technology companies he “cut his teeth” in Hospitality with the Intercontinental Hotel Group where he held a variety of roles during his 13 year tenure. Whilst working with the Sydney Intercontinental he implemented the first automated Revenue Management solution for the Group globally which prove the catalyst for a rollout of the solution across six continents in the late 1990’s. He has studied Commerce and Economics at both the University of NSW and Macquarie University in Sydney.

Philip Stanley

General Manager ANZ
Sabre Hospitality Solutions

Amit Peshawaria

Head of Sales, Asia Pacific & Oceania
OTA Insight

View bio Andrew Hughes

Managing Director (formerly Vice President Hotel Sourcing GTA)
HW Consulting

Andrew Hughes's biography

Managing Director (formerly Vice President Hotel Sourcing GTA)
HW Consulting

Andrew started his hospitality career with McDonalds back in 1989, including Australia,
Germany and Tahiti, before tour guiding in Europe and time spent as a pilot presenter with
an Australian Travel Show.

Andrew’s hotel career started with Best Western Australia before moving to IHG,
responsible for 43 Hotels in ANZ. In 2007, Andrew moved to Dubai to open Atlantis, the
Palm Dubai, and two more openings for Moevenpick in the region.
After 11 years in the hotel game, Andrew crossed the floor to the distribution space,
moving to GTA and relocating to Singapore and most recently managed the 3 way
integration for the Hotelbeds Group.

Seeking a tree-change, nowadays Andrew is more likely to be chatting to guests around
the firepit at his recently acquired property in Margaret River, or helping clients as part of
boutique tourism consultancy, HW Consulting.

Felicity Arthur

Hotel Manager
Establishment Hotel

View bio Nikita Beresnev

Group Director of Revenue – Australia & New Zealand
Nesuto

Nikita Beresnev's biography

Group Director of Revenue – Australia & New Zealand
Nesuto

Nikita joined Nesuto Hotels & Apartment Hotels, as Group Director of Revenue in 2017, following a successful career across leading Hotel companies in Revenue Management roles. He is highly skilled in Revenue Growth Generation, Yield Management and Rooms Division Management, with a high proficiency in financial acumen and rate management, ensuring positive returns for the business, its owners and partners.

With a Master of International Business, Nikita understands the power of a successful brand and what is required from a Revenue Management and Distribution perspective, to support a growing business.

 

View bio Matthias Dybing

Co-Founder and Director
Nuvho Hotels

Matthias Dybing's biography

Co-Founder and Director
Nuvho Hotels

Matthias (Matt) Dybing will be speaking at Maximum Occupancy on the panel of The Great Debate – Is Direct Business Really Profitable?

Matt has more than 20 years' experience in the hospitality industry, working for small to large accommodation providers located in Europe and Australia.

Matt co-founded various hospitality businesses including Nuvho Hotels, a new breed of hotel services and hotel management company. Nuvho combines tech, hotel services and expertise to deliver profitable outcomes to accommodation providers. The company currently provides revenue management, property management, marketing and sales services to 20+ properties across Australia. Their direct booking and upsell platform is used by more than 50 accommodation businesses.

Matt is a regular industry speaker and commentator on topics relating to revenue management, distribution and digital marketing.

View bio Fabian Bartnick

Founder
Infinito

Fabian Bartnick's biography

Founder
Infinito

Fabian is the Founder of Infinito, a technology company dedicated to improving the work-life balance of hotel managers through IVI, a personal revenue management assistant. He previously was the Vice President of Asia Pacific & International business at LodgIQ overlooking all aspects and operations within the region and as the Director of Global Revenue Generation at Tune Hotels Group encompassing Sales, Distribution, Business Analytics, Revenue Management and the Central Reservations Office. Having lived and worked across 4 continents, Fabian has a rich history in hospitality and a thorough understanding of the global revenue optimization landscape as a user, builder and seller of technology. Fabian has successfully turned around revenue performance in many companies by providing strategic consulting services as well developing powerful revenue analytics solutions that empower the business to maximize its revenue potential. Fabian has been on the Board of Directors for HSMAI South East Asia and currently sits on the HSMAI Advisory Board.  

View bio Evelien Langeveld

Blogger & Content Creator
Eef Explores

Evelien Langeveld's biography

Blogger & Content Creator
Eef Explores

Evelien is a travel blogger and content creator from Bondi.As a result of combining her three biggest passions - travel, photography and writing - Eef Explores was born. She has worked with hotels, travel organisations and tourism boards all around the world. 

View bio Jessica Ward

Travel and Lifestyle Creative
Jessica Ward Photography

Jessica Ward's biography

Travel and Lifestyle Creative
Jessica Ward Photography

Jessica is a professional content creator based in Newcastle, NSW. She specialises in travel and lifestyle photography and she is happiest when she's creating something for the world to see.

Thanks to her extensive travels, Jessica is able to work with tourism companies, both internationally and locally, where she creates visual and written content to showcase experiences and accommodation services.

She loves creating content that showcases the hard work of those within the tourism industry and thanks to social media she is now able to show online audiences the beauty of places and experiences that they otherwise wouldn’t know about.

Jessica aims to always step outside of her comfort zone and explore as many unfamiliar locations as possible.

View bio Matthew Burke

Regional Manager - Pacific
STR

Matthew Burke's biography

Regional Manager - Pacific
STR

Matthew Burke is the Regional Manager Pacific at STR leading the growth in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. He has over a dozen years of experience in hospitality, with Hyatt and IHG in various roles including revenue management.

View bio Matthew Stephens

President
eHotelier

Matthew Stephens's biography

President
eHotelier

Matthew is a graduate of the Blue Mountains International Hotel School in Australia, where he was named Alumni of the Year in 2013. He served as the VP Operations at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales for five years, and came back to Australia to be the General Manager of the Shoal Bay Resort and Spa in NSW. Matthew is also well versed in the technology side of hospitality, having served as the IT Manager of Rydges Hotels and Resorts and most recently as the Director, Information Systems at Carnival Australia.

View bio Mauro Risch

Hotel & Resort Photographer
The Hotel Photographer

Mauro Risch's biography

Hotel & Resort Photographer
The Hotel Photographer

Over the last decade, Mauro Risch has become known simply as The Hotel Photographer. He travels around the Asia Pacific region creating visual content that brings brand awareness and most importantly, improves bookings. He is trusted by PR and marketing teams, hotel managers and executive brand teams right across the Asia Pacific region. Mauro is the preferred photographer for some of the top operators across the industry, including IHG, Wyndham and Meriton.

View bio Lina Ang

General Manager, SMB, APAC
Sojern

Lina Ang's biography

General Manager, SMB, APAC
Sojern

Lina has a wealth of experience in the travel and hospitality industry and has constantly moved along with this evolving industry. As General Manager, APAC, she leads Sojern’s SMB commercial team responsible for driving direct bookings and building online brand awareness for accommodation providers.

With experience in a variety of progressive leadership roles, Lina spent over 8 years at Orbitz Worldwide (now part of Expedia Inc) as Regional Director, Strategic Accounts APAC and held various roles at Shangri-La and Mandarin Oriental.  She holds a MSc in Marketing from University College Dublin.

Kirsty Ludbrook

Creative Director
The Hotelery

Samantha Foster

Director & Business Owner
Healthy Highs Pty Ltd

View bio AJ Shantiratnam

Principal Client Partner
Tripadvisor

AJ Shantiratnam's biography

Principal Client Partner
Tripadvisor

AJ Shantiratnam is Principal Client Partner for TripAdvisor in Australia. AJ manages click-based advertising business for hotel chains and OTAs in Australia.With a blend of experience working for large OTA and hotel chains, AJ has over 10 years’ experience in the travel industry which he capitalises with his passion for data and business analysis. AJ has previously worked for Agoda.com and Frasers Hospitality leading account management and e-commerce performance.

View bio Henry Leung

SEO Specialist
Fastrack Group

Henry Leung's biography

SEO Specialist
Fastrack Group

Henry is Fastrack Group's SEO Specialist. He is responsible for delivering effective and best-in-class SEO strategies from start to finish. With a proven record of success in developing and executing creative organic growth strategies for stakeholders, Henry brings his broad industry knowledge having worked with reputable brands, such as Sofitel, Mercedes Benz and Allianz, among others, to achieve their goals in organic ranking and traffic.

More Speakers to be Announced


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