The Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) at Torrens University will host the next event in its popular Leadership Speaker Series next month.

The event – to be held on Wednesday 27 July from 4pm AEST – will feature Jan Smits, CEO of the Intercontinental Hotels Group for Asia, Middle East & Africa (AMEA), as lead panelist.

As a CEO for IHG, Jan is responsible for the operations and growth of one of the world’s largest hotel companies IHG with more than 5,000 hotels globally. His responsibilities are spread across AMEA.

With operations spanning over 40 countries, Jan oversees 270 properties across six globally renowned brands that range from luxury to select service. There are a further 150 properties under development. Jan leads a workforce of approximately 50,000 colleagues working in hotels, corporate offices and business support centres – a 24/7 network that welcomes more than 25 million guests every year.

Jan has repeatedly demonstrated agility in translating strategy into execution; his passion for coaching and developing people, as well as his ability to lead change makes him an ideal panelist for this series. In this interactive discussion, it is Jan’s leadership experience and his career achievements with IHG that he aims to share with BMIHMS students.


Held quarterly, the BMIHMS Leadership Speaker Series (LSS) creates panel discussions for students to learn and engage with those at the forefront of the hospitality industry.

Hospitality professionals discuss current trends within the sector, while providing an open Q&A forum, giving students the chance to gain greater insight into possible future career paths from those leading the field.

Previous panelists include world-renowned dynamic hotelier and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng, Founder and Director of the Unlisted Collection and BMIHMS alumni Justin King (General Manager of the No.1 Boutique Hotel in the World, Saffire Freycinet) and Andreas Breitfuss (General Manager, Catering Services, Stadium Australia Group).

Jerome Casteigt, General Manager (Hospitality) for Laureate Australia & New Zealand, said:

“We introduced the Leadership Speaker Series to ensure that our students were getting real exposure to the industry on a regular basis. Our learning model at BMIHMS is quite unique and comprises academic excellent, applied learning and industry experience. The LSS further extends the industry immersion element for our students, giving them greater access to networking and employment opportunities on graduation.”

To watch the event live, please visit the BMIHMS YouTube channel.

You can send your questions to or post them on our YouTube or Twitter channels using the hashtag #BMIHMS.

For more information about BMIHMS and the LSS program, visit  

Media contact: Hannah Payne || 0408 955 742

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