We’ve an amazing line-up of speakers for 2017 including Glynn Purnell, one of the hottest chefs in the world; sales expert, Damian McAlonan; and a range of leading economists and experts in the hospitality and tourism sectors.

Glynn Purnell

Come and see a live demonstration by popular “Yummie Brummie” chef, Glynn Purnell. His energy and passion will inspire delegates and give an insight into why this chef has enjoyed great culinary and commercial success.

Damian McAlonan

Entertaining, Engaging and evocative! An interactive masterclass will ensure that your sales gene is awakened. Forget death by powerpoint, this high impact session shows how to engage your customer, maximise your business but REMEMBER it’s not just for your sales team!

John Scanlon

A life on the lane; Park Lane that is! John will give an insight into his fascinating career in the luxury London hotel market. A great tale and entertaining info from this internationally respected hotelier.

Lawrence Kenwright

A new player on the Belfast hotel market, Lawrence will discuss his plan to invest £80m locally opening five hotels in the city including the recently announced George Best Hotel.

Brian Gillan

An insight from the head of business banking into why the hospitality is a growing sector in the banking world with stories from local businesses who have been supported by First Trust Bank.

Gareth Hetherington

Tourism and hotels are in the news with great stories of investment and expansion. Get the facts and the figures as Gareth explains the economic impact, investment and job creation.

Sarah Duignan

Sarah will give you the facts and the figures behind hotel performance. Her data will help you assess your performance and align your KPI’s. Great information plus a forecast into the effect of major hotel expansion in the pipeline!

Dermot King

On the panel, Dermot will be able to give a national perspective on industry issues as well as an insight into the Cut Tourism VAT campaign which he chairs, highlighting the importance of a favourable tax regime for tourism.

John McGrillen

John will discuss promoting Northern Ireland and creating propositions to attract the visitor. It’s been a record year and John will speak about increased opportunities and give an insight into how working together can increase our performance.

Ruth Andrews

Ruth will bring over thirty years’ experience as a marketeer in the realm of tourism to the Tourism Live panel. Her recent role on the ROI Taskforce coupled with leading the ITOA will allow her to comment from an international perspective.

Niall Gibbons

As CEO of Tourism Ireland, Niall is charged with promoting the island of Ireland overseas. In conversation with Mark Simpson, he’ll outline international opportunities and challenges for the coming year.

Owen Murtagh

Owen is development chef with Molson Coors Franciscan Well Craft beer. He wants you to think beyond the bottle and bring beer into your menu. The results will amaze you when this innovative chef demonstrates the versatility of this popular beverage.

Aaron Spring

Assessing values and analysing the vibrant hotel market is part of Aaron’s role at Savills Global Hotel & Leisure Team. In the breakfast panel, he’ll give his thoughts on hotel expansion and capital investment.

Michael Williamson

A well-respected figure on the local hospitality scene with a encyclopaedic knowledge of the industry, Michael will add an invaluable insight to the breakfast panel.

Donal Durkan

Belfast is experiencing dramatic hotel growth and the council has ambitious plans of tourism in the city. Donal, Director of Development in the city, is well placed in the Tourism Live panel to comment on the future and tourism’s role in regeneration.

Ciaran O’Neill

Ciaran will add a practical dimension on the Tourism Live panel with an operator’s view on skills, start-ups and maximising the opportunities in market. His experience of opening a new hotel coupled with over 30 years of experience in the sector working both internationally and locally will resonate with the audience.

Pamela Ballantine

Back by popular demand, Pamela will compere, corral and control proceedings over the course of day one. Returning as Glam Pam, she’ll compere the Dinner at Downton, entertaining guests with a story or two along the way.

Mark Simpson

Compere extraordinaire will oversee the Wednesday morning programme talking with those in the know, fielding questions from the audience and ensuring that delegates get a real insight into the tourism economy.