EXCLUSIVE CONTENT RELEASED AT THE MIDDLE EAST’S LEADING HOTEL INVESTMENT CONFERENCE, AHIC, TODAY
• A flurry of signings announced and observations from the industry leaders at AHIC 2016
· More than 700 delegate and speakers are at the Madinat, Jumeirah from 8am today until 6pm tomorrow (28th April)
· This year’s programme is delivered by more than 120 speakers and includes 35 high level panel discussions and round table events
Dubai, UAE – 27 April 2016 – At the second day of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) more than 700 delegates, sponsors, speakers and media have heard from industry leaders in 11 sessions so far (correct to 17:00 27th April) with topics including 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, industry headlines, industry outlook, transaction analysis; what to buy and when along with the signature and theme topic called ‘Eye of the Future’ which was presented by David Scowsill, President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
David 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% 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, who is the President and CEO of the WTTC also said 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’.
Dr Graeme T. Codrington, International Director of TomorrowToday 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.
Thierry Antinori, EVP and Chief Commerical Officer of Emirates Group said the airline will take delivery of 37 new aircraft whilst retiring 26 in 2016.
Wyndham Hotel Group’s President and CEO Geoff Ballotti commented that the most powerful tool a hotel can have is loyalty but it must be executed correctly to be of true value.
Olivier Jager, Chief Executive Officer, ForwardKeys unveiled research that showed the drop in travel to Europe was only 1.5% following the Paris attacks.
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.
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 and Group CEO 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.”
For more information on all event sponsors and a full list of the speakers visit www.arabianconference.com.
ON THE SPOT REGISTRATION IS POSSIBLE AT THE EVENT
Sponsors of AHIC 2016 are: Al Marjan Island, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Jumeirah Group and Katara Hospitality as Platinum Sponsors; AccorHotels, Dur Hospitality, Emaar Hospitality Group, Hilton Worldwide, IFA Hotel Investments, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), Marriott International, SMIT Morocco, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, Wyndham Hotel Group and YAS (Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management) as Emerald Sponsors; Wanda Hotels & Resorts as Networking Community Sponsor; AECOM, Bahrain Economic Development Board, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, Centara Hotels & Resorts, Colliers International, Deloitte, ERC (Egyptian Resorts Company), ESPA, Faithful + Gould, FRHI - Hotels & Resorts, HKS Architects and Planners, HVS, JLL, Mashreq Bank, Melia Hotels International, Modul University Dubai, PwC, Roya, Shaza Hotels and STR and Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces as Gold Sponsors and Ruckus Wireless as Connectivity Sponsor.
About Bench Events
Bench Events has a long track record of delivering, with its partners, the premier hotel investment events across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Bench Events’ Chairman, Jonathan Worsley, was one of the founders of the highly successful International Hotel Investment Forum which is now in its nineteenth year (www.berlinconference.com). In 2005, he was responsible for launching the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai (www.arabianconference.com); and in 2008 launched the Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference (www.russia-cisconference.com). In 2011 Bench Events added two events to its portfolio, co-hosting the Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference (www.cathic.com) and the Africa Hotel Investment Forum founded in 2013 (www.africa-conference.com). In 2014 Bench Events launched the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (www.restaurant-invest.com) in Dubai to great acclaim.
Bench Events recently supported the Ethiopian charity www.artistsforcharity.org raising enough funds to help them complete their goal of putting a children’s playground in Addis Ababa’s largest hospital.
For 50 years business leaders have been relying on MEED (Middle East Economic Digest) to give them a wealth of factual, unbiased business information that they need to be successful. The MEED brand represents an unrivalled portfolio of high calibre business information products, online services and premier networking events. MEED Conferences is part of the leading information brand in the Middle East working to provide delegates with the very latest business sensitive information. Over the past 12 years, MEED Conferences has organised events attended by senior government officials and thousands of international business people. The conference series is aimed at companies actively seeking business in the markets of the Middle East. MEED is well established as the source of strategic and accurate regional information placing it in a unique position to bring together high-calibre speakers.