Past Speakers

Maximum Occupancy is New Zealand’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 New Zealand, Australia and the globe.

See some of our past keynote speakers and panellists below.

View bio Adam Cunningham

Managing Director/ National President
Raconteur/ Hospitality New Zealand

Adam Cunningham's biography

Managing Director/ National President
Raconteur/ Hospitality New Zealand

Adam is owner to many service related businesses in New Zealand also National president of Hospitality NZ, Chair of Service IQ Hospitality Sector Committee and a member of the Hospitality Industry Advisory Group for government.

Stephen Hamilton

Director
Horwath HTL

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.

Sally Atfield

Hotel Sector Manager
Tourism Industry Aotearoa

View bio Tim Pollock

Area General Manager New Zealand
InterContinental Hotels Group

Tim Pollock's biography

Area General Manager New Zealand
InterContinental Hotels Group

Tim Pollock is Area General Manager New Zealand for IHG, and General Manager of Crowne Plaza Auckland.

Appointed to this role in April 2016, Tim oversees operations for IHG’s portfolio of InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels in New Zealand, as well as having operational responsibility for Crowne Plaza Auckland.

Tim joined IHG in 2007 as General Manager of Crowne Plaza and then Holiday Inn & Suites in Port Moresby, before becoming Area General Manager of Papua New Guinea until he moved to his current role in New Zealand.

His extensive hotel career seen him work as food and beverage manager, rooms division manager, operations manager and general manager with a number of well-known hotel brands, including Travelodge, Parkroyal and Heritage Hotels.

Tim’s greatest enjoyment in life is game of golf, spending time with his family, and watching an All Blacks game with a good glass of Shiraz. 

Brendan Taylor

Managing Director
Scenic Hotel Group

View bio Scott Rees

Marketing Manager
Heritage Hotel Management

Scott Rees's biography

Marketing Manager
Heritage Hotel Management

Scott Rees is the Marketing Manager for Heritage Hotel Management looking after the marketing of the overall brand and 17 properties throughout New Zealand. Scott has considerable experience in services marketing having held positions including marketing portfolio manager for State Insurance at IAG New Zealand, marketing manager for Massey University and marketing manager and product manager for BTI New Zealand, now known as HRG New Zealand. Scott holds a postgraduate diploma in business and administration (marketing) and a bachelor of business studies (marketing) from Massey University. Scott also has a certificate of direct marketing from the Direct Marketing Association.

View bio Drew Bowering

Senior Director, Market Management - Oceania
Expedia

Drew Bowering's biography

Senior Director, Market Management - Oceania
Expedia

Drew Bowering leads Expedia Lodging Partner Services in Oceania, responsible for the strategic direction and execution of the company’s account management and sales approach in the region.  He leads an organisation of 80 professionals throughout the region to establish and develop hotel partner relationships and help maximise their exposure to Expedia’s 200+ travel booking websites.   

Drew is a regular on the industry speaker-circuit, seen as a thought-leader who specialises in delivering compelling presentation and discussion around technology and booking trends.

Drew has worked for the Expedia group for more than eight years, holding a variety of senior roles across the business from the Global Partner Group to Market Management in the UK, USA, and Australia.

Drew holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from Loughborough University in the UK, where he grew up.  He currently resides in Sydney, Australia where he is raising his young family.

View bio Dai Williams

SVP - Global Partnerships
SiteMinder

Dai Williams's biography

SVP - Global Partnerships
SiteMinder

From establishing SiteMinder’s second global office in London, to growing sales internationally and subsequently leading the expansion of the company’s EMEA operation as managing director for the booming region, Dai Williams has been instrumental in nurturing the success of the SiteMinder brand for almost a decade.

With a drive to continually challenge the norm in travel technology, today Dai is responsible for a diverse partner network that generates in excess of $21 billion annually for SiteMinder’s 30,000 hotel customers around the world.

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 Michelle Allen

Head of Travel
Google

Michelle Allen's biography

Head of Travel
Google

Michelle is Head of Travel for Google Australia. She joined Google in 2011 and has 14 years experience in the travel industry in France, Spain and Australia having previously worked for Amadeus. Michelle is passionate about understanding consumer behaviour and how the travel path to purchase has been impacted by digital transformation.

View bio Graham Perry

Managing Director, Australasia
Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Graham Perry's biography

Managing Director, Australasia
Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Graham is a seasoned executive leader with experience working across the global travel, tourism, media and hospitality sectors.  The thread that flows through his career is his passion for marketing and the ever-evolving travel distribution and technology landscape.

From 2016 Graham has worked with a number of successful travel start-ups including eRoam who are applying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to transform travel distribution. He was appointed Managing Director, Australasia for Best Western Hotels & Resorts in May 2018.

View bio Alex Kahn

Market Manager Asia Pacific
Triptease

Alex Kahn's biography

Market Manager Asia Pacific
Triptease

Alex leads the direct booking movement at the new Triptease Asia Pacific office. Prior to moving to Singapore, he served as a digital marketing consultant for independent properties that were in the process building a more established direct channel including Carvi Hotels in New York City. He is responsible for the Triptease accounts team based in Singapore.

View bio Steven Wright

CEO
BIG4 Holiday Parks

Steven Wright's biography

CEO
BIG4 Holiday Parks

Steven Wright is an experienced Chief Executive Officer and Company Director. He has held a number of Chief Executive Roles in the tourism, professional sports, major events and leisure industries. He was appointed Chief Executive of BIG4 Holiday Parks in October 2014. Prior to that he was the inaugural CEO of Tourism & Events Queensland, CEO of AFL Clubs Richmond and Brisbane Lions and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation. He is also on the Advisory Board for Delaware North. Steven holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Masters of Law both from Monash University and worked as a solicitor with Freehills for 8 years. 

View bio Jure Domazet

Managing Director
Doma Group

Jure Domazet's biography

Managing Director
Doma Group

Upon completing his professional qualifications, Jure worked in commercial finance with a national bank and as a commercial lawyer with a national law firm. He applies this experience in the financing and structuring of the Groups investments and developments.

As Managing Director, Jure has responsibility for the Groups strategic decisions and operations, ably assisted by his property, hotels and finance divisions.

View bio Tracey Foxall

Regional Manager – Oceania
Booking.com

Tracey Foxall's biography

Regional Manager – Oceania
Booking.com

Tracey Foxall is the Regional Manager for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands based in Booking.com’s Sydney office, managing a team of 66 across the region. She joined Booking.com in 2011, initially focusing on the New Zealand market. Tracey has over 10 years of hotel industry experience, primarily in revenue management and also 3 years a Lecturer on a Diploma of Hospitality Management. She has a degree in Hotel Management from Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. 

View bio Gianluigi Bazzini

Senior Commercial Manager Hotels, APAC
Skyscanner

Gianluigi Bazzini's biography

Senior Commercial Manager Hotels, APAC
Skyscanner

Gianluigi is originally from Milan (Italy) and living abroad since 2007.

Recently relocated to Singapore, Gianluigi is Senior Commercial Manager APAC, Hotels at Skyscanner. During his career he has held various sales and account management roles at online travel agencies (Booking.com, in Barcelona) technology providers for online distribution management (SiteMinder, London) and hotel chains (Hotusa, Barcelona).

Gianluigi holds a Masters in "Online Marketing for Tourism" at the Universitat de Barcelona and a specialization in "Online Hotel Distribution" issued by ESSEC Business School in Paris, France . 

View bio Paul Constantinou

Chairman
Quest Apartment Hotels

Paul Constantinou's biography

Chairman
Quest Apartment Hotels

With more than 40 years’ experience in accommodation and hospitality, Quest Founder and Chairman, Paul Constantinou is a respected industry leader. Paul founded Quest more than 30 years ago and has built the business to be the largest serviced apartment group in Australasia. 

Today, Quest has 165 properties in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the UK. In July 2017 Quest announced an extension of its partnership with one of the world’s leading serviced residence network, following a 60 per cent increased investment in the business by Singapore-based The Ascott Limited (Ascott). 

View bio Paul Gorman

Senior Manager – Owner Engagement
Luxury Escapes

Paul Gorman's biography

Senior Manager – Owner Engagement
Luxury Escapes

Paul started his career in the Travel Industry in the early 1980’s in regional Australia. Paul moved into his own consulting business in 2009 – with clients such as  such as APT (Australian Pacific), Royal Melbourne Hospital travel procurement and Luxury Escapes in 2012. He moved into his current full time role Commercial Partnerships at Luxury Escapes in 2016.

Paul has extensive experience across the travel industry, including hotel and airline contracting, sales and distribution planning via both online and traditional. He has a strong focus on win/win outcomes for all his partners and understands that one size does not fit all.

View bio Scott Wegener

Head of OTA, APAC
TripAdvisor

Scott Wegener's biography

Head of OTA, APAC
TripAdvisor

Scott Wegener is Head of OTA’s for TripAdvisor in Asia Pacific. Based in TripAdvisor’s regional headquarters in Singapore, Scott is part of the management team responsible for its click-based, Meta advertising business in Asia Pacific, and specifically oversees the account management of the leading online travel agencies, with a team of 5 Account Managers.

With a career in travel spanning over 12 years, Scott began working for Virgin Australia Airlines within the partnership team of the Velocity frequent flyer program and was subsequently recruited to TripAdvisor, where he has held a number of sales positions in both Australia & Singapore, culminating in his current role as Head of OTA’s.

Not surprisingly, Scott has a passion for travel and discovering new places. His next stop will be enjoying the history, culture, white sandy beaches and amazing food of Sri Lanka.

View bio Julian Clark

CEO
Lancemore Group

Julian Clark's biography

CEO
Lancemore Group

The Lancemore Group is one of Australia’s preeminent Boutique Hotel groups.  They operate six iconic boutique hotels - Mansion Hotel & Spa at Werribee Park, Lindenwarrah at Milawa, Larmont Sydney by Lancemore, Lindenderry at Red Hill, Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore & Lancemore Hill at Macedon Ranges.  Never a group to be boxed, the Lancemore Group also run a multi-award winning winery (Lindenderry Wines) and have a white label hotel management division. 

Their properties regularly feature in best-of-the-best hotel lists and are the iconic hotels of their respective regions. Indeed, most Lancemore hotels have been regular finalists in the coveted Luxury Travel Gold List Awards, with the Mansion Hotel and Spa being in the top 5 “Australian Hotels” for the past three years.  With a core strength in Food & Beverage, many of the Lancemore Group’s restaurants are critically acclaimed and are mainstay’s in the Good Food Guide, whilst Lindenderry Wines is a multi-award winning Halliday 5* winery.

View bio Daniel Symonds

CEO / Co-Founder
Collectic Hotels

Daniel Symonds's biography

CEO / Co-Founder
Collectic Hotels

Collectic Hotels founders, Daniel Symonds and Toby Raphael, have created an eclectic group of hotels that challenge traditional accommodation offerings.  They include the Freespace property brand – a sustainable 'capacity capture' pop-up accommodation concept converting a variety of unutilised spaces, such as university colleges, during peak summer periods;  The Collectionist Hotel brand - a ‘choose your own room’ concept where all rooms have their own unique design, the first of which opened in Camperdown in May 2018; and stand-alone hotel offerings, The Urban Newtown, a conversion of the former Newtown RSL building into a boutique hotel complete with a post-apocalyptic garden atrium, and the Merchant Hotel a contemporary apartment style hotel located in the inner Sydney suburb of Summer Hill.  Collectic Hotels are continually exploring opportunities to expand their unique footprint in cities across Australia and New Zealand.

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 Brisbane, Ovolo Nishi and the recently acquired Valley Hotel Brisbane which is to be re-branded in the near future.

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.

View bio Toby Berger

Managing Director & General Manager, APAC
Revinate

Toby Berger's biography

Managing Director & General Manager, APAC
Revinate

Toby Berger serves as the Managing Director of APAC at Revinate, the hospitality industry’s leading marketing and guest feedback software. Based in Singapore, Toby is responsible for customer success, operations, and revenue across Asia.

Toby has been helping multinational travel and non-travel brands digitize their businesses and marketing for more than 20 years. Prior to joining Revinate, Toby was at Google for five years leading relationships and strategy with some of its largest clients across the APAC region, as well as the commercial strategy for Google’s programmatic and analytics ad-tech stack. During his tenure, he helped some of the world’s largest brands advance their digital marketing and better prepare for the adoption of new technologies.

Before Google, Toby worked at Expedia where he served for five years building Expedia’s Media Solution business in Canada and then in APAC. Leading those businesses, he worked with travel partners and other non-travel brands to drive revenue on and off Expedia’s core sites.

View bio Stuart Davidson

Territory Sales Manager
Kentico Software

Stuart Davidson's biography

Territory Sales Manager
Kentico Software

Stuart Davidson is a Territory Sales Manager for Kentico Software, a fully integrated all-in-one ASP.NET CMS, E-commerce and Digital Experience platform. Kentico prides itself on enabling its customers to create cutting-edge and highly personalised digital experiences across web and other digital channels. Kentico is trusted by some of the most recognisable brands in Australia and across the world, including LJ Hooker, Twining’s, ME Bank and Red Cross.

Stuart has a background in Financial Services and has over 6 years experience in the digital space. He has a Bachelor of International Business from LaTrobe University and Master of Diplomacy and Trade from Monash University.

View bio AJ Shantiratnam

Senior Account Manager
Tripadvisor

AJ Shantiratnam's biography

Senior Account Manager
Tripadvisor

AJ Shantiratnam is Senior Account Manager 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 Alanna Eades

Revenue & Distribution Manager
One & Only Resorts

Alanna Eades 's biography

Revenue & Distribution Manager
One & Only Resorts

Alanna Eades is the Revenue and Distribution Manager for prestigious Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley and has held this position for the last 3 years. In this time, Alanna assisted in achieving over 27% growth in room revenue for 2017. Prior to this she was the Revenue Manager at Sir Stamford Circular Quay and Reservations Manager at InterContinental Sydney. Predominately working within the luxury market Alanna has over 15 years in the hotel industry and Advance Diploma in Hotel Management & Hospitality. 

View bio Michael Smith

Group Operations Manager
8Hotels

Michael Smith's biography

Group Operations Manager
8Hotels

Michael Smith wants to live in a hotelier world where creativity has no limits, hotels celebrate their individual stories and a better, more human interaction is formed with hotel guests. 

With over 25 years of experience, Michael has worked for the leading global hotel management group Accor, where he was a General Manager for a number of well-renowned Australian hotels across all market segments. He is now the Group Operations Manager at 8Hotels, a boutique hotel group offering hotel management, development, asset management and specialised services to a range of businesses in its portfolio throughout Australia. 

Michael’s role at 8Hotels is to provide guidance and direction to the business by implementing strategies that are individual by nature and ideas that shake the industry. Assessing new properties is an exciting aspect of the 8Hotel’s direction and Michael is in the midst of setting up new boutique hotels focusing on location, unique interiors and real personalised guest experiences. 

When he is not occupied in his specialised areas of strategic planning, financial management, leadership and product development; you can find him tap dancing his way onto a baseball field or looking for unique ingredients at the grocers for his next homemade recipe.

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