200 industry guests attend Irish Hospitality Perspectives 2023 by Cliste Hospitality, the first conference in a new annual series curated by the hospitality management and consultancy company, with keynote address by Alastair Campbell
The inaugural Irish Hospitality Perspectives 2023 conference took place on Wednesday 12th October, in Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin. The new annual invitation-only conference, proudly presented by Cliste Hospitality, saw over 200 guests gather from across all aspects of the hospitality industry, bringing together a broad section of hoteliers, investors, bankers, auctioneers and tourism industry stakeholders.
Irish Hospitality Perspectives 2023 was designed to explore what lies ahead for the industry through incisive and insightful panel discussions, framed by perspectives of where the hospitality sector currently lies both at the macro and micro level, with a strong line-up of participants, moderated by MC Anton Savage and with a keynote address by Alastair Campbell.
Paul Fitzgerald, CEO of Cliste Hospitality who gave the opening address, was pleased with the attendance and the conference engagement. “Our aim with Irish Hospitality Perspectives 2023 was to spark curiosity and conversation,” he said after the event, “and we’ve certainly achieved both today. Thanks to our thoughtful and engaging panels of speakers, expertly managed by MC Anton Savage, we really feel we have laid the foundation for an important annual event in the industry going forward. The strength, depth and diversity of voices, both from the stage and in the audience, made for an invaluable day, not just of observations but also of useful actions.”
Sean O’Driscoll, Director of Hotels at Cliste Hospitality and a participant in the morning panel discussion on Hospitality in the Family, is happy that the one-day conference met its aims of giving the audience valuable insights into the forecast for the Irish hotel industry. “We trusted the inaugural Irish Hospitality Perspectives conference would be of benefit right across the sector,” he said, “and Cliste is proud to have assembled an exceptional programme of speakers, including our keynote speaker, Alastair Campbell. We’d like to thank them all for a day of robust and helpful conversations with our colleagues and peers, with absorbing and informative discussions about market outlook, attracting and retaining staff, family succession and tax planning, and making innovation a key driver of success. It has been a full and rewarding exchange of opinions and ideas and the first in what we believe will become an unmissable annual event.”
“There was so much energy and expertise in the room,” said Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, Chairperson of the Irish Tourism Industry Federation and a participant in the final panel discussion of the day on Innovation in Hospitality. “The inaugural Irish Hospitality Perspectives 2023 by Cliste was a much-needed time to recalibrate in the midst of so much uncertainty, a really informative and enjoyable hospitality conference.”
During the lunch break at Irish Hospitality Perspectives 2023, communicator, best-selling author and strategist Alastair Campbell signed copies of his book The Irish Diaries (1994-2003) for attendees with all proceeds donated to the Cliste charity partner, Down Syndrome Ireland, before giving the keynote conference address on Brexit, Northern Ireland & World Politics. Campbell, one of the best-regarded voices in politics and renowned for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy, began his speech by drily asking “Anyone in this room who is able to secure me an Irish passport, please do!” He was then interviewed in a wide-ranging and entertaining Q&A by MC Anton Savage, covering everything from the state of current British politics and the growing influence of echo chambers, to war in Ukraine, Putin, the EU and Brexit, and his own personal formula for a resilient mindset.
The one-day conference began at 8.30 a.m. on Wednesday 12th October and opened with an address by Paul Fitzgerald, Cliste Hospitality CEO, with an opening presentation by economist Jim Power on the Economic Outlook for Ireland, Europe, Tourism & Hospitality. Themed morning discussions included The Hotel Market Outlook with panellists Tom Barrett, Head of Hotels & Leisure, Savills Ireland, Paul Collins, Head of Hotels, CBRE Ireland and Dan O’Connor, Executive Vice President, JLL Ireland, followed by The People Challenge, How to Attract & Retain People in Hospitality & Tourism with Caeman Wall, Head of Research at Failte Ireland, Caroline Reidy, Managing Director of The HR Suite and Deirdre Buckley, Director of HR, Cliste Hospitality. The third panel discussion, Hospitality in the Family, explored strategies, succession and tax planning with John Cuddigan, Tax Partner at Ronan Daly Jermyn, Mairea Doyle Balfe, Director, Crowe Ireland, Niamh Walsh, Director, TDL Horizons and Sean O’Driscoll, Director of Hotels, Cliste Hospitality. Innovation in Hospitality was the final panel discussion, introduced by David Jordan, Director of Strategy, Research & Innovation at Cliste Hospitality and featuring Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, Chairperson of ITIC & Director of Fitzgerald’s Woodlands House Hotel & Spa, Adare, Chris Austin, Director of Operations at Cliste Hospitality and Gillian Horan, CEO, The Pudding.
The conference concluded with the keynote address and Q&A with Alastair Campbell.