Arabian Travel Market

ATM To Host Inaugural Hotel Industry Summit

Reed Travel Exhibitions, organiser of the annual Arabian Travel Market (ATM) showcase in Dubai, which will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 28 April – 1 May 2019, will host the first ATM Hotel Industry Summit as part of its line-up of special events.

The inaugural summit, scheduled to take place on Tuesday 30th April on the Global Stage, will see various panels of experts discuss the latest hotel infrastructure developments, investment opportunities and digital innovations which are shaping the region’s ever-changing industry.

The UAE’s hospitality market is expected to be worth $7.6 billion annually by 2022, growing at a five-year Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.5% between 2017 and 2022, driven by Dubai’s Expo 2020, Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and various other government initiatives to boost travel and tourism across the region.

Over the same period, hotel supply is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 6% to 183,718 keys, according to research published in a report by Alpen Capital.

In addition to this, STR data shows that the GCC is expecting an additional 58,761 hotel rooms to enter the market in 2019. The leading contributors are the UAE with 31,517 rooms (53%) in the pipeline; Saudi Arabia with 24,170 (41%); and Oman with 2,984 (5%).

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “It is important to highlight that the GCC is one of the fastest growing regional hospitality markets on a global scale, with the UAE leading the way as it gears up for Expo 2020 which is now less than two years away.

“Dubai’s hotel supply alone is expected to reach 132,000 in 2019, with the emirate aiming to complete 160,000 hotel rooms by October 2020 – in time to welcome 25 million visitors for Expo 2020.”

The summit will get underway with a session on ‘Regional Development and Investment Hotspots’, highlighting buoyant destinations in the Middle East and explaining the factors behind their underlying growth. This market intelligence will be essential for hotel professionals, management companies, owners and investors – particularly with major infrastructure projects stacking up across the Gulf.

The second session of the day will discuss ‘The New Normal – Digital Transformation Secrets Revealed’, in which panelists will show how hotel groups can boost revenues and guest personalisation by implementing the latest technological tools.

Digital now dominates all facets of modern life including hospitality, from reservations, pre-arrival messages and mobile check-in, to mobile keys, in-room preferences and experiences, upgrades and check-outs.

According to research conducted by Colliers International, personalisation through
Artificial Intelligence (AI) could increase hotel revenues by over 10 percent and reduce costs by more than 15 percent – with hotel operators expecting technology such as voice and facial recognition, virtual reality and biometrics to be mainstream by 2025.

“Hoteliers have been cautious of technology taking away the human touch from the guest service and overall experience. However, by giving guests the autonomy to choose at each touch point during their hotel stay, hoteliers can learn the right balance between staff interaction and AI-powered, automated customer service,” Curtis said.

Rounding off the first summit will be a discussion on ‘New Hospitality Concepts Making Waves in the Middle East’, as operators target a wider range of visitors and aim to meet the needs of modern travellers, many of whom are yearning for more authentic experiences.

Curtis added: “Highlighting the opportunities that will drive the next era of hospitality in the region, the inaugural ATM Hotel Industry Summit is an exciting addition to what is now a comprehensive 360 industry showcase.

“As well as providing intelligence, insight and advice to attendees, the summit will also help focus minds on the upcoming infrastructure developments, investment opportunities and digital innovations that will continue to shape the industry over the next decade.

ATM – considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed over 39,000 people to its 2018 event, showcasing the largest exhibition in the history of the show, with hotels comprising 20% of the floor area.

ATM 2019 will build on the success of this year’s edition with a host of seminar sessions discussing the ongoing unprecedented digital disruption, and the emergence of innovative technologies that will fundamentally alter the way in which the hospitality industry operates in the region.

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