Matthew Weihs, Director, Africa
Email: [email protected]
Matthew Weihs is the Director of the African Chapter of Destination Develop. Having founded the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) for Bench Events, partners of Questex Hospitality, his work has led to a number of high profiled engagements with African Governments.
With over 16 years’ experience in B2B conferencing his main roles have focused on the development of new business opportunities. Having worked at the Guardian News and Media for 3 years, where he managed a highly successful sales team, he had direct experience of leveraging creative media products and services for his clients. Before this post he worked for 7 years at the International Quality and Productivity Center (IQPC) working in a range of sales roles across a wide variety of conference portfolios. He has been working as Managing Director for Bench Events for 5 years and continues to develop profitable events for the business and their partners – in 2013 he launched the Morocco Tourism Investment Forum (MTIF) – an invitation only event for the industry. In 2015 he founded and launched the Mediterranean Resort & Hotel Real Estate Forum (MR&H) the newest of the products in the portfolio.
After launching the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in 2011 his primary work has been focused on developing this market in more detail whilst also supporting the direction of the Bench Events business and providing commercial support for the other eight events. However, work on AHIF has created a passion for doing business in the African market and working closely with the UNWTO his he has been instrumental in promoting better public private partnerships to ensure a better investment climate across the continent. Having Chaired the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in 2014 and had the pleasure of introducing the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, to open the conference he has led the way in promoting better working practices for Government. Work with the UNWTO has included chairing closed door meetings between Government and private sector leaders; presenting at the UNWTO’s CAF Meeting and Regional Seminar on Tourism and Air Connectivity and at Investour, the UNWTO’s business forum for Africa.
Becoming a Director of Destination Develop (D2), a business unit of Questex Hospitality, will support his work across the African continent. Increasing the number of creative services and products outside of large scale events D2 will provide a platform and continuous voice to aid promotion of projects looking for investment.
As an extension to this work Matthew has also launched his own business, Africa Event Services. A company that works in partnership with African Governments and international event companies or organisations helping them attract and host best in class conferences in Africa.