Gary Neville, former captain of Manchester United and currently coach of the England football team, is to open the 2012 Annual Hotel Conference (AHC) in October.
Neville, who recently secured permission to construct a 139-bedroom hotel near Old Trafford, with plans to open for the 2014-15 season, said that he had put a lot of work into researching and understanding the hotel business. "I am excited about engaging with the sector and look forward to speaking to delegates at the AHC," he said.
Chairman of the AHC Jonathan Langston commented: "We are delighted that Gary has accepted our invitation to open the conference, which this year will be the biggest in its nine-year history."
This year's AHC, which is to be held at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate on 3 and 4 October, is titled Planning for Profit. Speakers and panellists will share their experience and expertise on topics such as driving sales, revenue management, harnessing new technologies, securing funding and making green initiatives pay.
Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, will moderate the opening session in which representatives from Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International and Accor intend to address market challenges and share their views on what the future holds.
Photograph: Rex Features
By Janet Harmer
E-mail your comments to Janet Harmer here.
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs