THE TOURISM INDUSTRY’S ANNUAL MEA HIGHLIGHT

ATM to host inaugural Hotel Industry Summit as GCC plans for 58,761 new hotel rooms in 2019

Reed Travel Exhibitions, organiser of the annual Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, has announced it 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 €6.73 bn annually by 2022, growing at a ve-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, says, “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.

Meanwhile, according to research conducted by Colliers International, personalisation through Arti cial Intelligence (AI) could increase hotel revenues by over 10% and reduce costs by more than 15% – 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.

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 last 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.

Photo: Danielle Curtis Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market