Big guns target Africa Hospitality Investment Forum (AHIF)

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Agenda boasts multiple ministers and Africa’s hospitality leaders

TAGHAZOUT, Morocco: The Africa Hospitality Investment Forum (AHIF) has revealed an impressive speaker line-up for its 2022 conference. The programme features several government ministers, the Chair of Morocco’s tourism development agency, the Chair & CEO of Royal Air Maroc and a battery of Africa’s most influential hotel industry executives with the fire power to transform destinations. The event will also facilitate a by-invitation investment site visit to Guelmim, which has been described by Wanderlust as the “gateway to the Sahara” and “one of Morocco’s best kept secrets”.

The conference programme will see around sixty top executives, investors, bankers, government officials, consultants, and other experts on stage to discuss all the major issues affecting the development and operation of hotels in Africa generally, and Morocco specifically. The highlights include:

  • Daniel Silke, one of Africa’s most charismatic economic and political commentators, discussing investment incentives with Fatim-Zahra Ammor, Morocco’s Minister of Tourism, Mohcine Jazouli, Minister Delegate i/c Investment, and Mohammed Abdeljalil, Minister of Transport and Logistics. He also explores the global economic outlook with Pat Thaker, Chief Economist at the Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Rajan Datar, Host, BBC Travel Show & BBC World News, interviewing Abdelhamid Addou, PDG, Chair and CEO, Royal Air Maroc
  • Nick van Marken, a top hotel consultant, interviewing Haitham Mattar, the regional Managing Director of IHG Hotels & Resorts and Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, the regional President of Hilton, on the future of hospitality
  • An exploration of Africa’s best hotel development opportunities and domestic tourism with the chief development officers of Hilton, Louvre, Marriott and Radisson
  • A case study, looking at the regeneration of The Casablanca and Rabat CBD, with Youssef Chraibi, Managing Partner, MAGESPRO Africa and Ewan Cameron, Director – Africa, Westmont Hospitality
  • Rajan Datar, interviewing Amos Wekesa, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Great Lakes Safaris
  • A panel discussion moderated by Wayne Godwin of JLL with the principals of four major African hotel investors, Kasada Capital Management, Millat Investments, City Blue Hotels and Risma
  • The CEOs of Louvre Hotels, Pierre-Frédéric Roulot and PropCo Selina, Saurabh Chawla, being quizzed by Nick van Marken on recent lessons they have learnt
  • Africa’s hotel performance by the numbers, with Thomas Emmanuel, Senior Director, STR
  • Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and Chairman, APO Group discussing the power of mega events for hotel development, with Amadou Gallo Fall, SVP NBA, President, Basketball Africa League, Jason Jennings, Group COO, Event Horizon and Robins Tchale-Watchou, CEO, Vivendi Sports
  • Sessions on branding, construction costs, contingency planning, destination development, employment, franchising, hotel design trends, the hotel development pipeline, leadership, mixed-use projects, raising finance, resorts, scenario planning, supply chain management, sustainability, new technology and much, much more!

Imad Barrakad, Chairman & CEO, SMIT, said: “Agadir and the whole southern coast of Morocco has known some tremendous developments in recent years thanks to the guidance of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI as well as all the people who support and believe in the success of this enterprise. I look forward to hosting the global investment community in Taghazout very soon to show them Taghazout’s success story and all the potential and the benefits the region has to offer.”

Matthew Weihs, Managing Director, The Bench, which organises AHIF, said: “I am optimistic that this year’s AHIF will spawn a high number of new deals – for the following reasons. We are meeting in person for the first time in three years; we are visiting a destination that offers outstanding potential, not only the gateway to the Sahara but also miles of virgin coastline looking west over the ocean; we are being welcomed by a country that really understands the value of tourism; we have a high concentration of major players with the fire power to transform a location; and we have an event format that will facilitate an exceptional amount of productive networking in both relaxed and formal settings.”

Delegates attending AHIF this year (it takes place on 2nd – 4th November, at the luxurious Fairmont Taghazout Bay, a five-star resort close to Agadir), are encouraged to enjoy the resort over the weekend as The Bench, the event’s organiser, is offering post-event weekend packages involving golf, surfing, yoga and other activities to entice delegates to bring their partners and extend their connections in a highly convivial atmosphere.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Bench Events.

About The Bench:
Over the past 25 years, Bench has established a legacy of delivering business forums and conferences in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. It has built a reputation for delivering immersive virtual events, energising masterclasses and innovative B2B digital strategies for its clients. Its live event portfolio includes: AHF, the Adria Hotel Forum; AviaDev, the African Aviation Development Conference; IDEEA, the IDEEA Hotel Investment Forum; SAHIC, the South American Hotel Investment Conference; SPACE, the Efficient Buildings Investment Conference; SHIC, the Saudi Arabian Hospitality Investment Conference; AHIF, the Africa Hospitality Investment Forum; FIHA, the Forum De L’Investissement Hotelier Africain; GRIF, the Global Restaurant Investment Forum and RENEW Real Estate for a New World. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, Bench Digital has successfully delivered seven completely virtual conferences featuring a combined count of 626 international speakers and 30,023 business professionals in attendance from 140 countries.

About SMIT:
SMIT (Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development) is the government company in charge of tourism development in Morocco. Since its inception in 2007, SMIT has been actively carrying out the assignments of the Moroccan tourism strategy through the conception of tourism projects. The identification and mobilization of land for development, market research and feasibility studies, promotion of investment opportunities and enhancement of both private initiatives and public- private partnerships are all core activities.