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In 2018 hospitality professionals attended the conference with very positive feedback.  Our 2019 edition is aiming to be bigger and better.

Created in full consultation with our Advisory Board of leading industry experts, the 2018 programme was one of the most comprehensive ever seen for the industry.  Subjects addressed key issues, challenges and market developments locally, regionally and internationally meeting the needs of all hotel professionals from smaller independently owned to large international branded establishments.

Each day was packed with information and consists of in depth discussions and debates, allowing for delegates Q&A either publically in the main session or directly after in a private one to one with the speaker.

Each session contained up to 10 expert speakers with differing views and experiences, ensuring delegates got a full 360 range of insights and ideas taking away the most value.

If you are interested in being a part of our Advisory board or a speaker for 2019 please contact Fran Lupton on +2711 783 7250 or email

Hospitality leadership forum

Early Bird tickets now on sale!

2019 Hospitality Leadership Forum Headline Sponsor

Diversey has been, and always will be, a pioneer and facilitator for life. We constantly deliver revolutionary cleaning and hygiene technologies that provide total confidence to our customers across all of our global sectors. Headquartered in Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA, Diversey employs approximately 9,000 people globally, generating net sales of approximately $2.6 billion in 2017. For more information, visit or follow them on social media.


*Conference programme subject to change

Conference Day 1 – Monday 24 June



Joint opening address Plenary: Where to invest in Africa?


Joint plenary panel discussion: Investment and business leadership in the 4th industrial revolution

All industries are all experiencing rapid change, disrupted by advancing technologies and shifting consumer expectations. To adapt to constant change, businesses are looking to adopt an ‘agility first’ strategy to future proof their business, but what does this really mean? This discussion explores how business leaders are navigating a rapidly changing technological and political landscape?



VIP Tour and morning refreshments


Welcome and keynote address: Diversey South Africa


Strategy of 2030



Driving real transformation in tourism: Shared economies, sustainability, women empowerment



Networking Lucheon


Hospitality trends and outlook: Present and future?

A new generation of tourist is emerging and the hospitality and tourism sector is undergoing fundamental shifts in the way it operates, affected from changing global economies and regional government policies to operational efficiencies, from the need for seamless technology to delivering a frictionless guest experience. We take an in-depth look into the trends and forecasts influencing travel patterns, how different segments are performing and how you can take advantage of the opportunities they bring.

MODERATOR: Rishabh Thapar, Director, HVS Africa



Tourism leisure – Why the destination is all about the experience

Tourists growing demand for culinary travel, cultural exploration and activity based travel experiences is not showing any signs of slowing down. Adventures for truly local and authentic experiences from food trucks, to hidden beaches or textile weaving classes are all set to increase this year. This session looks at the opportunities that will drive experimental travel in 2019 and how ‘pop culture’ can help boost destinations. Are you ready to take a piece of the pie?



F&B – Foods on the move

Whether dining in a pop-up restaurant or getting a true slice of local cuisine, the rise of the ‘experiential diner’ has created ripples in the food and beverage sector. According to a report 75% of people said that they believe that blending unique dining experiences is worth paying more for. A panel of top chefs, restaurateurs and f&b professionals join the platform to share views on the latest trends, debate the next big thing and how to create an F&B destination.

MODERATOR: Martin Kobald, VP, World Chef/Owner, MLK Food & Beverages



Afternoon refreshments


Hotel investment outlook

This presentation will take a look at hotel investment in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on regional and international capital flows in the hospitality sector, barriers to investment, the impact of performance on investor sentiment in the region and the evolving profile of investors on the continent.



Development and investment: Creating more than hotel rooms – Looking at blended real estate solutions / Mixing it up – The best development combination to maximize a mixed-use opportunity

Treating hotels as real estate assets and making sure you are marketing the best use of space for a maximum ROI is a business imperative, but what are the benefits. Hotel developments that include apartments and apartments for sale continues to show growth globally. This session discovers why this investor model is increasingly attractive and how it is set to transform developments across Africa.

MODERATOR: Miller Matola, Chief Executive Officer, Millvest



Networking Function

Conference Day 2 – Tuesday 25 June



Design & Architecture – Why tomorrow’s hotel will look very different from todays?

From exotic materials, to electric finishes and quirky furnishing to ‘bringing the outdoors inside’ and creating a personalised home away from home atmosphere with minimalists and natural designs architects and designers will always offer us novel.

This session takes a look at new build plans, how operators can get involved in new projects and why and lobbies are still trending as the epicenter of the hotel. Hear from experts how you can translate the latest trends and styles into your hotel.

MODERATOR: Clive Shepherd, Chairman, DSA Architects International



Adapting to survive and thrive – Hear from GMs leading the change

Join our expert panel share their visions on how hotel groups are adapting to changing economic conditions, travel trends, operational requirements and attracting the right kind of talent. How well do they know their customers, how can they serve their needs better.


Decoding Gen Z – Are you ready for the rise in millennial business travelers?

According to forecasts, millennial’s will account almost 50% of travel spend by 2020 with generation Z the most populated generational group of all time. So, what makes them unique and are you ready to accommodate? This session will look at what they want and how the hospitality industry is going to have to adjust to meet their needs once they grow up?



Networking Luncheon


Technology – Transforming your guest experience

Today’s travelers are smart, tech savvy guests looking for unique experiences at the click of a button. It has been reported that 2019 will continue to deploy a range of new technologies to improve efficiencies and minimize disruptions with further investments into big data, process automation, internet of things and integration continuing to be a focus.

Accor Hotels is said to have invested € 5 million in travelling AI analytics platform. Our expert panel looks at trends and innovations paving the way to a better hotel experience and what technologies are essential for reaching your customers?



Safety – Mitigating risk and keeping safe

Protecting your guest, your brand and your future is essential. So the question you need to answer is how safe do your guests feel, what’s at risk, your revenue, your brand or both? This session will give insights into the latest security platforms and why investing in high-tech security is the future of smart hoteliers.


Human capital development

YES – the Youth Employment service – is a national movement to ignite the potential of South Africa’s youth, led by business and supported by government and labour.  Apart from benefiting the country, corporates can gain up to two levels on the B-BBEE scorecard.  Seeing how this initiative can transform the tourism industry makes it an exciting opportunity for all.



Sustainability beyond greening


Quality positioning of Africa through quality assurance

As a continent, Africa needs to ensure that the quality of accommodation product is of such a standard to enable to compete with for its share of international tourists. Whilst Africa has seen an increase in in large brand Hotel Groups, who offer consistent operating standards entering the market in recent years, there remains notable inconsistency of standards in accommodation across most of the continent.

What mechanisms are available or should be available to assist the continent in improving standards and with it, its positing as a quality option for international tourists.



Closing remarks


End of conference and networking refreshments


*Conference programme subject to change