2016 Programme

Day One - Monday 27 November

8:30 - 9:15

Networking

Registration, Morning Coffee & Pastries in the Exhibition Area

9:15 - 9:30

Welcoming Remarks and Official Opening

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Jonathan Worsley
Chairman, Bench Events and Board Director, STR

Jonathan Worsley

Chairman, Bench Events and Board Director, STR

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Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events, is one of the founders and organisers of multiple leading international conferences for the hotel investment industry, including the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai, now in its 13th year, The Summit in London, the Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference and the Africa Hotel Investment Forum. 

More recently, Jonathan and his team have entered the Latin America market partnering with SAHIC in Cuba and Buenos Aires and the inaugural Iran Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference in 2017.

Bench Events has also branched out into the related fields of aviation and F&B, with the respective launches of AviaDev Africa, inaugurated in 2016, and The Global Restaurant Investment Forum now in its fourth year.

In 1997, Jonathan was one of the founding members of the annual International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin, a conference he subsequently organised for 19 years, which today attracts over 2,000 delegates. Earlier in his career, Jonathan worked for real estate consultants CBRE & Hotel Partners, hotel advisors PKF and hotel operator Forte & Holiday Inns. 

Jonathan sits as a shareholder and board director of STR, a global benchmarking company with over 50,000 participating hotels following the merger of The Bench, STR and Deloitte’s Hotel Benchmark. He sits on the board of Hotel Swaps, which allows participating members to swap empty hotel rooms with other members around the globe and is an investor in TripTease, the tech start-up that enables hotels to increase direct sales and aims to defeat rate disparity.

Jonathan and his colleagues are actively involved raising money for the communities in which Bench Events works. They raised more than £200,000 for TUSK, Cancer Research and the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation by participating in the Kili Madness challenge and breaking the World Record for the highest game of cricket ever played on top of Kilimanjaro. In 2016, Jonathan cycled from Amsterdam to Berlin with nine others for the opening of IHIF and raised funds for the Anne Frank Trust and Future Talent, a feat he will tackle again in 2017. 

Jonathan is a Trustee of Future Talent, a charity that provides financial support to gifted young musicians in need of financial assistance to pursue their dreams and talent. 

9:30 - 11:15

Plenary Sessions

MINISTER OF TOURISM

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Hon. John Amaratunga
Minister of Tourism and Christian Religious Affairs of Sri Lanka

Hon. John Amaratunga

Minister of Tourism and Christian Religious Affairs of Sri Lanka

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11:15 - 11:45

Networking

Coffee Break in the Sponsors’ Exhibition

11:45 - 13:15

Plenary Sessions

13:15 - 14:30

Networking

Networking Lunch

14:30 - 17:00

Plenary Sessions

17:00 - 18:00

Speed Business Card Exchange

The fast paced business card exchange is a popular ice breaker. It could be the most beneficial 60 minutes of networking you will ever do. Don't forget to bring lots of business cards!

18:30 - 20:30

Networking

Networking Reception hosted by Galle Face Hotel

Join us at the end of the first day of the conference for a superb reception hosted by Honourable John Amaratunga Tourism Development Minister of Sri Lanka and Dr. Prabath C. Ukkwatte, the Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Club, at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo. Spend an evening in a relaxed setting networking with existing contacts and making new