HOTEL & TOURISM SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition

CONTENTS

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS
EVENTS
ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS
MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGIES

 

Editorial: THE TALE OF THE NEW WORLD

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness”: Perhaps these lines from the Tale of Two Cities seem even more applicable today as the world comes into a time of fundamental change, than for the period for which they were written – just before the French Revolution. Indeed, the world is getting smaller each year, but the challenges appear to be looming bigger as well.
With this backdrop, the tourism industry forges ahead – piloted by the World Tourism Organisation, and with leading events such as this month’s Arabian Travel Market, World Tourism Forum and HITEC show helping guide the way. Industry growth is very much dependent on the brilliance of those in leading positions, and in this edition of the SMARTreport, we highlight more than one example. Indeed, our interview with Arne Sorenson, President & CEO of Marriott International – now the biggest hotel group in the world, celebrates his being given the Lifetime Achievement award by IHIF.
On a different level, as Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the UNWTO, steps down in 2017, he talks to us about his final year, and we also take a close look at all the new candidates for the position – and each of their platforms. The CEO and President of the world’s most prestigious group of travel advisors – Virtuoso – Matthew Upchurch – is back in this edition with another exceptional interview. And in the field of technology and innovations, we gather together some of the world’s top tech brains to paint a picture of what the industry will look like in five years’ time. All in all, we’re really “taking it from the top”.

We hope you get some mileage out of this edition and that it lives up to all your expectations. Happy reading!

  • Richard Barnes – Editor-in-Chief