Mark Simpson

9.30  —  Mark Simpson


Summit Compere, Mark Simpson, sets the scene for the morning and introduces each speaker.

9.35  —  Diane Dodds MLA

Minister’s Address

Address from the Minister for the Economy, Diane Dodds MLA, on her thoughts for the future and her passion for the industry.

Diane Dodds MLA

9.40  —  Gareth Hetherington

The Economic Landscape

Gareth Hetherington, Director of the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre, will examine the effects of the pandemic on the local economy particularly on hotels, tourism and hospitality. How he thinks this will play out in the coming year and what can be done to assist recovery.

Gareth Hetherington
Neil Aulton

10.00  —  Neil Aulton

Consumer Sentiment

Are overseas customers keen to travel again? What are they looking for and what are the potential barriers to travel? Neil Aulton, Head of Strategy & Insights at Tourism Ireland, will report on the latest research into the consumer psyche.

10.20  —  Naomi Waite

Embracing our Giant Spirit

Deploying the new Northern Ireland brand and how to get standout in the marketplace. Naomi Waite, Director of Marketing at Tourism Northern Ireland will speak about bring the brand back to life, its journey thus far and how your business can benefit.

Naomi Waites
Sarah Duignan

10.40  —  Sarah Duignan

Hotel Insights

With performance and recovery in mind, Sarah Duignan, Director of Client Service at STR, will look at the forecast for 2021, how recovery in going on a global basis and an in depth look at the local hotel scene.

11.30  —  Justin Reid

Destination Marketing

Justin Reid, Director of Destination Marketing (EMEA) at TripAdvisor, will speak about what’s been going on in the world of travel. Using their considerable market intelligence, he will outline what should a region highlight to speed recovery and what how will post pandemic travel unfold.

Justin Reid
Frankie Whelehan

11.50  —  Frankie Whelehan

Success and Survival

Insight from leading Cork hotelier, Frankie Whelehan, on his journey through expansion, recession and survival.

12.10  —  Rob Kwortnik

Re-awakening Business

Rebooting your business. With re-opening on the horizon, Professor Robert Kwortnik from Cornell University’s renowned School of Hotel Administration, will gives tips on how to reboot your brand and get your business back on track in the post COVID-19 world. A great session with practical tips & industry insights.

Rob Kwortnik
Simon Calder

12.40  —  Simon Calder

Globe Trotting

A Return to Travel – where’s hot and where’s not. Leading travel journalist, Simon Calder, in conversation, will give his thoughts on travel, tourism and what in store for 2021.

13.00  —  Panel Discussion

The Road to Recovery

Panel discussion with thoughts on the coming season and the support the industry requires. Featuring Richard Collins, Area General Manager of Abu Dhabi Marriott Hotels and Brenda Morgan, Chair of NITA. Also including Simon Calder, John McGrillen from Tourism NI and Niall Gibbons from Tourism Ireland.