Selling Travel July-August 2022

Page 62

Trade talk

60 / Show report MIDDLE EAST

Meet in the middle Selling Travel toured the stands at the ATM 2022 Middle East Tourism Summit in Dubai. Here’s the latest news from across the region

UAE to invest in tourism The UAE and wider Middle East region needs to invest in new ideas, technology and embrace inclusivity in order for its tourism sector to recover and prosper, it was said at the ATM 2022 Middle East Tourism Summit in Dubai. The B2B travel exhibition in the Middle East welcomed delegates in person to discuss tourism strategies going forward. H.E. Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs & Chairman of Emirates Tourism Council of the UAE, said: “For the UAE hospitality accommodation sector, investment in rooms and keys remains a primary focus as evidenced by a 5% growth in the number of rooms compared to 2019 levels, with a variation of service levels and accommodation type.” According to recent forecasts, Governments across the region are investing heavily in their tourism industry, with Bahrain spending $492 million of tourism capital investment in 2020, for

NEWS IN BRIEF • Ras stays balanced Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development is marketing the destination as a ‘nature-focused’ destination with its new Balanced Tourism initiative. Key objectives included avoiding over-tourism, as well as promoting environment, cultural, conservation and livability sustainability. It hopes to become the regional leader in sustainable tourism by 2025.

• Time to expand

example, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia earmarking one trillion dollars to its travel and tourism sector through to 2030. Belhoul Al Falasi added: “As the customer demand for elevated tourism experiences continues to evolve, we see technology as an important investment area in the future. So, while recovery is going well, we need to be mindful of being equitable in our recovery to ensure that the whole ecosystem benefits.”

Saudi’s sustainable future Saudi Arabia has seen a surge in domestic and international visitors, it was claimed at the ATM Saudi Forum. “Our recovery in the domestic market has been substantial; in the first quarter of 2022 we exceeded last year’s targets,” said Fahd Hamidaddin, Chief Executive Officer, The Saudi Tourism Authority. “On the international front, we have recovered almost 83%. “Our target for this year is to reach over 70 million visitors. The kingdom is investing in sustainability initiatives and has allocated 30% of Saudi land to be reserves and rewilding 21 species, including the Arabian leopard.

Time Hotels has revealed plans to expand its portfolio by 40%, which will see an additional 21 properties across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Sudan. As apart of the expansion, Time Hotels recently opened Time Moonstone Hotel Apartments in Fujairah and has plans to open Time Coral Nuweiba Resorts in Egypt later this year.

• Dubai for foodies The new MICHELIN Guide Dubai features 69 restaurants, 11 MICHELIN-Starred and 14 Bib Gourmand restaurants. Dubai is the latest addition to the 35 MICHELIN Guide destinations across North America, South America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

• More room in Qatar Le Royal Méridien Doha has opened its doors in Qatar. The new hotel, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio, is the latest to join Qatar’s growing number of new hotels (over 100) as the country gears up to host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ later this year.


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