The Middle Eastern hospitality industry comes together at AHIC 2916
During the second day of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference more than 700 delegates, sponsors, speakers and media have heard from industry leaders across 11 sessions.
Topics have included risk perception versus reality, travel patterns of the future, an interview with the Tourism Minister of Sri Lanka, future global demographic and societal changes which will shape the tourism industry.
What to buy and when, along with the signature and theme topic called ‘Eye of the Future’, have all be on the agenda.
The latter was presented by David Scowsill, president of the World Travel and Tourism Council.
Scowsill said that the travel and tourism needs more ‘togetherness’ in terms of the government working with the industry to encourage growth and that particular attention should be paid to visa policies as currently 63 per cent of the world’s travellers need a visa stamp in their passport.
He commented that the freedom of travel is under threat and this must be addressed by all stakeholders in the industry and beyond.
Scowsill added that data shows traveller numbers will double by 2025, that the tourism sector supports 284,000,000 jobs worldwide and that ‘no travel = no life’.
During the show, Graeme Codrington, international director of Tomorrow Today Global, highlighted technology developments of the future such as Graphene which is a material lighter than air yet 200 times stronger than steel which could revolutionise hotels.
Hotly discussed topics at several panels included the introduction of VAT in Dubai and the implications this will have on the industry, airlift issues to growing destinations and how the banking sector is still a major issue for emerging destinations.
Delegates gather for the event in Dubai
Arabian Hotel Investment Conference
AHIC is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports, president of Dubai Department for Civil Aviation and chairman of Emirates.
“This year’s event has been extremely interesting as anticipated,” said Jonathan Worsley, chairman of Bench Events and co-founder of AHIC.
“Tomorrow we’ll have another packed programme offering insight on a range of relevant topics including the future of online hotel distribution, how hotels and OTAs can share the economy for a more collaborative relationship, banking views on lending for projects, Sharia compliant financing and it’s differing regulations, future development pipelines, investment in wellness and the outlook of oil pricing and how this effects Saudi Arabia.”
“We will also have our AHIC 2016 Awards which will be presented by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum on Thursday,” he concluded.