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Luxury Travel Forum

A T M 20 1 1


Welcome to the Luxury Travel Forum with ttgmena luxury in association with Reed Travel Exhibitions ATM 2011 May 2 14:00 to 15:00 Chair: Alexandra North, Chief Editor, TTG MENA Panellists: Luca Deplano, Banyan Tree Group Michael Marshall, Millennium Hotels & Resorts Thorsten Ries, Onyx Hospitality Group Helen Beck, Royal Caribbean International


Yesterday Today Tomorrow Following hot on the heels of the launch of ttgmena luxury, we now welcome you to the Luxury Travel Forum at Arabian Travel Market, 2011. What twists and turns has luxury travel encountered along its journey of evolution? In today’s fast-paced climate, what does luxury travel actually mean? Indeed, where is it heading? How can the industry satisfy current demands from this high-yield sector? A stellar line-up of panellists bring their extensive insight and experience to the stage to help us find the answers. While we don’t possess a crystal ball, collectively, we will glimpse into the future to see what shape and form luxury travel might take for the next generation of high-end travellers, who are becoming increasingly savvy and demanding by nature. Are you ready to immerse yourself in the world of luxury travel?


Luca Deplano Vice President, Marketing Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts

Luca Deplano was appointed to the post of vice president, marketing, at Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts in December 2010. Based at Banyan Tree’s corporate office in Singapore, Luca is responsible for reinforcing the brand position as the Group embarks on an aggressive global growth strategy to double its number of properties by 2013. His main area of focus is on growing Banyan Tree’s e-business and aligning the marketing strategy to be customer centric. Luca has amassed over 14 years of experience in business development as well as

strategic planning in the sales and marketing of premium brands such as American Express, Prada, Furla and Cerruti 1881, in both Asia and Europe. His most recent position prior to joining the Group was as marketing director, Premium Cards, American Express, based in Hong Kong. Luca holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Columbia Business School, and a Degree in Business Administration from Bologna University, Italy. He is married with no children, and besides having a passion for Asian studies, he enjoys swimming, tennis and photography.


Michael Marshall Vice President, Sales and Marketing Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Middle East and North Africa

Michael Marshall currently holds the esteemed position of vice president, sales and marketing for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels – Middle East and North Africa, currently operating 11 hotels, with some 40 confirmed projects in the pipeline. Michael, renowned in the industry as a progressive and dynamic experienced professional, boasts an extensive array of knowledge of the corporate, regional and operational marketing, sales, product and brand initiatives within the hospitality industry throughout both Europe and the Middle East.

Immediately prior to joining Millennium & Copthorne Hotels in 2010, Michael held the position of corporate vice president, sales and marketing for Rotana Hotels. Holding a post graduate marketing diploma from the Institute of Marketing and a BA in Business Studies and Marketing, Michael has garnered a number of coveted awards throughout his career, including the HSMAI Silver Award for US inbound ‘Europe for Less Campaign’; Top Sales and Marketing Award InterContinental Hotels, Europe (1996, 2002) and Duke of Edinburgh Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards.


Thorsten Ries Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer ONYX Hospitality Group

Thorsten Ries, executive vice president and chief operations officer of ONYX Hospitality Group, has a broad range of expertise in the operations field with an emphasis on implementing strong corporate growth strategies. His colourful career path, which stretches over more than 20 years, includes numerous executive positions at some of the world’s leading multi-national hospitality organisations. Currently, Thorsten is responsible for driving ONYX’s corporate strategy and ensuring its alignment with the company’s core philosophy.

Along his professional journey, Thorsten has held key leadership positions, including those of general manager, area manager, and vice president for Ritz-Carlton Eastern Europe, Four Seasons and Marriott Hotels in Europe, America and the Middle East. He was also area vice president and general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin, and was responsible for Moscow, Istanbul, and Wolfsburg. In addition to implementing a leaner business structure, Thorsten will drive ONYX’s strategic business initiatives across the company’s brand portfolio.


Helen Beck Regional Sales Director International Representatives - EMEA Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity and Azamara Cruises

Helen Beck joined Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises as regional sales director, international representatives, EMEA in September 2000 and has seen this region grow from 11 to 18 countries in that time. Currently, Helen oversees the sales, marketing and operational activities within these diverse markets. Helen is a travel industry veteran who was born into the hospitality trade, starting her career in travel in 1983. She spent several years working for British tour operators throughout Europe before becoming a product executive contracting hotels and

producing brochures. Helen briefly worked with a marketing and incentive company specialising in inbound and outbound events before joining Millennium & Copthorne Hotels as its International Sales Manager. In this role, she was responsible for introducing and promoting the chain’s US, Asia-Pacific and European hotels to the UK travel trade. Helen was educated in England and speaks French, German and Spanish fluently. Additionally, she is a Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner and enjoys watching all sports, skiing and socialising.


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2011 ATM Luxury Travel Forum program