Marriott holds Thought Leaders Forum as expansion into Asia Pacific accelerates

From left to right: Ashley Hansen, Marriott International; Hardy Kilimann, Marriott International; Leon Burman, TRIBE Travel & Event Management; David Williams, HOT Events; Michelle Sargent, CWT Meetings & Events; Avril Northridge, Marriott International; David Fraser, Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park; Stephen Turner, Medical Meetings and Face To Face Event Management, and Matthew Griffiths 212F, Reward, Incentive & Loyalty Programs.

Marriott International held a Thought Leaders Forum to mark Global Meetings Industry Day (#GMID19) on April 5.

Held at the recently renovated Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park, the lunchtime event saw the panel discuss recent news and trends impacting the conference, meetings and incentives business in Australia and New Zealand, as well as the challenges, successes and opportunities of running innovative business incentives and events and building loyalty.

Key speakers included Leon Burman, TRIBE Travel & Event Management, David Williams from HOT Events, Stephen Turner from Medical Meetings and Face To Face Event Management, Michelle Sargent from CWT Meetings & Events, and Matt Griffiths from 212F.

The event was held as Marriott also announced its continued expansion plans in Asia Pacific with its 2020 vision – an aggressive target to have 1000 hotels open by the end of 2020.

The company expects to add close to 100 new hotels or close to 20,000 rooms in the region, with several brand debuts in Australia, Hong Kong, The Philippines, Nepal and India.

“As important as our size is, our commitment is to deliver seamless and quality experiences for our guests at on-brand properties,” said Craig S. Smith, president and managing director, Marriott International Asia Pacific.

“Today’s traveller demands authentic, personalised and transformative experiences, whether for work or for pleasure, as a way of broadening their individual horizons and achieving a deeper understanding of the world.”