Tourism will bounce back – Expert | Daily News


Tourism will bounce back – Expert

The final day of the 27th Arabian Travel Market’s virtual event, ATM Virtual, saw a panel of tourism experts discuss the opportunities in the region to kick-start sustainable investment in the hospitality sector.

Gerald Lawless, Ambassador for the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), said: “It is a time for opportunity and that is something investors will always look for. Investors are out there, and they will be in the future. There are investment opportunities within our industry, particularly in the hotel sector and we will see this developing and evolving over the coming weeks and months.

“Tourism will bounce back, and how we make it bounce back is so important.”

The session, ‘Restructuring to Attract Sustainable Development and Customers in the New World Order’, moderated by BBC presenter and broadcaster, Rajan Datar, and in collaboration with the International Tourism and Investment Conference (ITIC) was opened by Dr. Taleb Rifai, Chairman, ITIC, who said: “Who would have imagined three months ago we would be holding our conference in this manner. The world is however quickly waking up. Life post containment is incredibly important and the need for economic recovery is now.”

The opportunities in the tourism industry for investment as a by product of cheaper real estate was discussed by Nicolas Mayer, EMEA Hospitality & Tourism Center of Excellence Industry Leader, PwC, he said: “Many of the primary real estate markets in this region, in the UAE, Saudi, and Oman for example, are phenomenally dynamic. Yes, they have taken a hit, but they have demonstrated in the past the ability to ramp up again and go beyond what it used to be, before anywhere else in the world, which makes one very confident in investing.”

Foreign direct investment was also a hot topic of conversation, particularly from Saudi Arabia when looking at the opportunities afforded by their burgeoning tourism offering.

During the session, ‘What are the Implications of COVID-19 for Responsible Hospitality?’ Inge Huijbrechts said: “Whilst most hospitality brands have put responsible and sustainability projects on hold for a few months, we cannot and must not self-isolate from climate change. Climate change is a huge focus as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, with responsibly caring for both our employees and our guests a key objective for all hospitality companies across the globe.”

ATM Virtual saw a total of 18,959 registrations from 152 countries were recorded, including 490 media. The event included 14,385 pre-scheduled meetings and featured 23 live webinars, interviews, and pre-recorded roundtables. Reed Exhibitions is a leading global events business and hosts over 500 events in almost 30 countries across 43 industry sectors, attracting more than 7 million participants.

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