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Travel And Hospitality Industry’s Global Challenges – Finding Solutions Together

October 29, 2020 @ 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM EDT

Join us for EACC’s Table Topics and Networking!

2020 started strong. Despite macro-economic tensions, both recreational and business travel was experiencing steady growth around the world, fueled by low prices, more accessible information about destinations, and increasing disposable income in the developing world. But by March, the COVID-19 pandemic had changed everything and the travel and hospitality activity came to a grinding halt.

While the process of re-opening after a long shutdown has begun, progress has been slow and with government subsidies running out, the industry is even more challenged, with no clear short-term relief in sight.  The COVID-19 crisis will continue to profoundly impact how hospitality and travel-related businesses operate in Florida, the United States, Europe and across the globe.

The EACC Florida invites you to sit down to its Table-Topics to discuss some of the key issues affecting this industry and share ideas about how the industry is addressing its many current challenges. During this EACC Florida event, participants will have the opportunity to join any two of eight Table-Topics, interactive moderated conversations among small groups of industry colleagues from around the world.

Join the discussion and start networking!


10.00 AM – 10.10 AM EDT I 3.00 PM – 3.10 PM CET                        Welcome and explanation of the format

10.10 AM – 10.40 AM EDT I 3.10 PM – 3.40 PM CET                        Table-Topics Session 1

10.40 AM – 10.45 AM EDT I 3.40 PM – 3.45 PM CET                       Transfer to Session 2

10.45 AM – 11.15 AM EDT I 3.45 PM – 4.15 PM CET                         Table-Topics Session 2

11.15 AM – 11.25 AM EDT I 4.15 PM – 4.25 PM CET                          Conclusions


What are table-topics?

Table-topics are interactive conversations about general themes of interest to the travel and hospitality industry facilitated by a moderator. Conversations take place in groups of up to 10 like-minded professionals led by an expert in the field.

The “table-topic” format allows you to introduce yourself and exchange views with the other participants. At the conclusion of the event, participants will be offered the opportunity to have EACC connect you with anyone who attended your session.

There will be 4 concurrent 30-minute table-topic discussions in each time slot and participants will be able to participate in 2 table-topics during the program.

How do I register?

Have a look at the table-topic descriptions and select your 1st and 2nd choice for each session during the Registration process. You will only be able to participate in 1 table-topic per session. Table-topics will be filled on a first-come first-served basis.

What happens on the day of the event?

On the day of the event, after the introductory remarks, you will automatically be placed in the room of your 1st or 2nd choice table topic. At the conclusion of the first session, after a short break in the main room, you will automatically be placed in the room of your second table-topic (1st or 2nd choice).




Session 1 – 10.10 AM – 10.40 AM I 3.00 PM – 3.10 PM CET             

TT-1 –       A Deep Dive into the Future of Luxury and its Intersection with Travel

Despite macro-economic tensions, travel had been growing across the world fueled by cheap transportation costs and a growing global middle class with increased disposable incomes. Likewise, the luxury industry was fueled by Chinese consumption and the boost in women’s spending power around the world. But COVID-19 changed everything.

Join me for a Deep Dive into the major forces and emerging trends that were set to reshape the luxury industry over the next decade, explore how travel and luxury intersect and how the future interactions between these industries are being shaped by the current virus-related turbulences.

Topic leader:    Erwan Rambourg – Managing Director and Global Head of Consumer & Retail Equity Research, HSBC


TT-2 –     Present and Future Local Market Activity

As the economy is trying to recover in a Market where tourism represents the main revenue stream, where is Miami right now, and where and how can the Travel and Hospitality industries move in order not only to sustain but to increase their affluence considering the new safety precautions necessary to their re-opening? Please join us at this table where we will share best practices on the current market activity and where it is going as well as how the national and international market affects it.

Topic Leader:  Lizbeth Alvarez, Global Director – TMF Group


TT-3 –     Working with lenders, suppliers and unions to survive until a return to some form of normalcy

The last 6 months have seen your industries face unprecedented disruptions not only for your businesses but for your necessary constituencies. How can companies navigate through all this to achieve mutual gains for all. The table talk will look at those and related issues as we consider the dynamics and examples of union, lender and vendor relationships.

Topic leader:     Jon Sulds, Shareholder – Greenberg Traurig


TT-4 –     Safety protocols and return to work for transportation providers and/or hospitality industry

Discuss some of the key issues to have in mind in relation to safety protocols and return to work for transportation providers and the hospitality industry. Issues to consider include:

  • Return to Work protocol/best practices
  • Reopening staffing issues/challenges
  • Shifting business models
  • Non-stimulus related internal “Policy” issues

Topic leader:    Jennifer M. Taylor, Member – Cozen O’Connor


Session 2 – 10.45 AM – 11.15 AM EDT I 3.45 PM – 4.15 PM CET

TT-5 –     Alternative Revenues Sources for the hospitality industry         

What works and what doesn’t? Exchange views on some of the options used successfully (or not) to create alternative sources of revenues for the hospitality industry.

  • Expanded take-out and room service options?
  • Creating outdoor spaces for dining and events weather permitting?
  • Shift to long-term stay contracts requiring fewer transient guests?
  • Use of large assets like cruise ships in warm storage to house corporate meetings in a manner that can enforce with social distancing?

Topic leader:   Alexandre GUILLAUME, Sales Manager EMEA – Front of the House (FOH)


TT-6 –    Innovation and Alternative Revenue Sources for Transportation Providers

Transportation providers are exploring new options to create alternative sources of revenues. At the same time, new and innovative technologies are increasingly finding their way into the transportation industries. Many of the innovative tools deployed and ideas being explored initially focused on efficiency gains and building an individualized passenger experience. At the same time, transportation providers had to repurpose passenger carrying-assets for cargo use or shift assets to support e-commerce deliveries. How are those technologies and shifts addressing recent concerns with person to person transactions and service delivery? What are some of the innovative technologies outside transportation finding use cases in the industry?

Topic leader:  Adam Kressler, Vice President Customer Experience – CVG and Bobby Spann, Vice President External Affairs – CVG


TT-7 –    Innovation in Hospitality

Innovation in the hospitality industry, especially in these uncertain times, is paramount for survival.  Technology and hygiene, and in some cases a mixture of both, have come to the forefront of guest comfortability and safety.  Please join us to discuss viewpoints and ideas on this exciting topic.

Topic leader:  Charlie Grappone, Team Leader – Sales – CitizenM Hotels



Lizbeth Alvarez is the Global Client Director for TMF Group leading the strategy for a global base of Multinational Corporations located around the world.  She holds and Executive MBA from FIU in Miami. Born in Mexico City, she moved to the US 17 years ago. Considered a bicultural-bilingual executive, sales, senior account manager with more than 20 years of experience impacting corporate performance for organizations across multiple verticals. She led the Latin America and Canadian team of Client Directors for SAP Concur for 6 years, focusing on the strategy and the travel and expense impact for the largest accounts in 25 countries. She specializes in travel, hospitality, software and telecommunication industries.

With 15+ years hospitality experience, Charlie Grappone has worked in a variety of operational and sales roles within some of the most well-known global hotel chains, ranging from IHG, Marriott, Starwood, Hilton and Millennium Hotels. Starting in hospitality as a bellboy for a small Hampton Inn in 2005, Charlie progressed to working as a Night Manager, Sales Coordinator, Sales Manager, Director of Sales, and Area Director of Sales, leading up to joining CitizenM as the only global salesperson located in the USA at that point, in 2017.  Recently being named Team Leader – Sales, Charlie and his team are responsible for the corporate sales success of all CitizenM hotels worldwide.

Alexandre Guillaume joined FOH – Front of the House – as Sales Manager EMEA in February 2020. FOH is a Miami-based US leader in tabletop & buffet presentation trends now expanding to Europe, the Middle-East and Africa. Alexandre’s expertise in the hotel & restaurant industry ranges from brand development worldwide including in Horeca, Cruiselines and Airline industries; the development of an international network of relationships with Asia & EMEA Chefs, F&Bs, Culinary VPs, Corporate Procurement & Marketing departments of hotel and restaurant brands; the negotiation of annual and pluri-annual distribution and procurement contracts, and more. Before joining FOH, Alexandre developed and internationalized a number of French F&B companies including Mealplak (launched from scratch), OSEVA and ERAI. Alexandre Guillaume is based in Lyon (France) and is also a marathon man.

Adam Kressler joined CVG Airport in October 2011 and currently serves as Vice President, Customer Experience.  CVG serves the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region carrying over 9.1 million passengers and more than 1.2 million tons of cargo in 2019.  Adam’s 25+ years in aviation and airport management includes a broad range of experiences including; airport master planning and design, operations analysis, and airline network planning and operations.  In his current role, Adam collaborates with airlines, governmental agencies, and airport partners to deliver a seamless travel experience that meets and exceeds guest expectations.  The Airport has been honored to receive the 2019 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Award for outstanding customer service from Airport Council International (ACI) and, more recently, the 2020 Best Regional Airport in North America Award from Skytrax.  CVG is also proud to be the third Airport in North America to receive the Airport Health Accreditation from ACI.

Erwan Rambourg has been a top-ranked analyst covering the luxury and sporting goods sectors for fifteen years. After eight years as a Marketing Manager in the luxury industry, notably for LVMH and Richemont, he is now a Managing Director and Global Head of Consumer & Retail Equity Research at HSBC. He regularly contributes to the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, CNBC and Bloomberg, and has guest lectured at top universities in the US, Europe and Asia. He is the author of “The Bling Dynasty: Why The Reign of Chinese Luxury Shoppers Has Only Just Begun” (Sept 2014). His second book “Future Luxe: What’s Ahead for the Business of Luxury” , in which he identifies the major forces and emerging trends that are set to reshape luxury over the next decade after a period of virus-related turbulence launched in Sept 2020. After six years in Asia, Rambourg now lives in New York City with his wife and three children.

Bobby Spann is Vice President, External Affairs for the CVG (Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport) and is responsible for leading Air Service Development, which includes recruiting new carriers, developing new routes, building community and corporate partnerships and representing the airport with industry forums and associations. Spann joined CVG in 2011 after a 25-year career in airline management at both Eastern Airlines and Delta Air Lines working in Sales, Marketing and Customer Service. Spann is a native of Nashville, Tennessee and graduated from David Lipscomb University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He currently lives in Union, KY with his wife Jean-Marie and two sons, Lee and Brady.

Jonathan L. Sulds is a Shareholder at the Greenberg Traurig Office in New York. He has been representing leading employers since 1974 in virtually every aspect of their engagement, protection, management and reward of workforce resources. He is a member of the Hall of Fame of American Labor and Employment lawyers established by Lawdragon and Human Resource Executive magazine. They also have named him both one of the Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Lawyers and as one of the Nation’s Top 20 Lawyers in Traditional Labor and Employment Law.

Jennifer Taylor is a Member at the Cozen O’Connor Law firm in Miami. For over 20 years, her focus has been on representing management in all facets of labor and employment law including labor and employment litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor. She has considerable experience advising clients on all aspects of employment law compliance, including employee leave issues and accommodations, wage and hour audits, internal investigations, hiring and termination decisions, workplace policies and employee privacy issues. Jennifer is an active member of the American Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Section. Since 2008, Jennifer has served as a regional co-chair for the section’s national student trial advocacy competition. She is also a member of the section’s Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee and currently serves as the management co-chair of the committee’s ethics subcommittee. Furthermore, Jennifer is a frequent author and lecturer.


October 29, 2020
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM EDT
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