Riyadh, Riyadh Daily - KHALIDALOUD
The "Future of Hospitality" conference hosts more than 300 prominent officials in the hospitality sector to discuss the prospects for the growth and development of the hospitality and hotel sector in the Kingdom.

After the great success of the "Future of Hospitality" conference in its first session, the conference returns to be organised on May 24 and 25, 2022 at the Riyadh Airport Marriott Hotel. The conference will bring together a number of government dignitaries, tourism and hospitality industry officials, as well as some of the most prominent developers, investors, hotel owners and operators to discuss the growth and development prospects of the hospitality and hotel sector in the Kingdom.
This year's conference program will be held under the title "New Horizons." The Bench International Events Company, MEED, and the Saudi Exhibition and Marketing Organisation Company (SEMARC) designed the conference program, which will cover the topics of the future of hotel development, human capital investment, and the food and beverage sector, as well as investment in destinations and the aviation sector, sustainability, and investment in restaurants.
Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of The Bench, the organiser of the conference, said: "We are pleased to bring together three investment conferences under the umbrella of this year's Future Hospitality Conference: the Saudi Hotel Investment Conference, the Global Restaurant Investment Forum, and the AVIADEV Forum, all of which were represented in the conference program of important sessions and meetings in Riyadh this month”.
He added: "Our focus is on the future of the hospitality industry, and the more than 40 participating delegations will have the opportunity to interact, communicate and exchange experiences and knowledge over two days full of various events such as presentations, workshops, discussion sessions, personal meetings and separate sessions." We look forward to hosting these constructive dialogues on the future of the hospitality industry in the Kingdom and the region."
The conference, hosted by Dur Hospitality, will start with an opening ceremony in the Moroccan style to shed light on the unique hospitality concepts offered by the company. Mr. Sultan bin Bader Al Otaibi, CEO of Dur Hospitality, said: "We are honoured to host such a major event that will usher in a new era of hospitality and will contribute to reshaping the future of this important industry and the many opportunities it entails to enhance cooperation and joint work between various stakeholders in the hospitality sector worldwide."
The activities of the conference will start with sessions of the World Restaurant Investment Forum, which will include a series of sessions and meetings dedicated to investments in the food and beverage sector in the Kingdom, which will focus on new food trends and experiences, new brands and concepts, the role of modern technology in restaurants, in addition to the concepts of sustainability and food security.
Ahead of her participation in the session entitled "Creating Great Concepts That Stand the Test of Time," said Hilary Furworthyce, Director of Food and Beverages at AccorHotel Group in India, the Middle East, Africa and Turkey: "I look forward to participating in the panel discussion with Rohit of Soho Hospitality Group, which will discuss the basic principles of creating successful concepts." At a time when social media is playing a big role in the success of businesses and virtual brands, I look forward to discussing how we can create meaningful experiences without missing out on the opportunity to integrate these means into business aspect”.
Many of the dialogue sessions at the "Future of Hospitality" conference will focus on economic prospects, destination development efforts, and the investment climate, and will witness presentations by Pat Tucker of The Economist Intelligence and Robin Rossman of STR, which specialises in research and consulting. Hala Matar Chauvani, President of HVS Middle East, Africa and South Asia, will also moderate the panel at the "Future of Hospitality Investment in Saudi Arabia" session with the participation of Mohammed Al Amir, CEO of Ames Hospitality, Saleh bin Hadban Al-Badhan, CEO of Taiba Investment Company, Guy Hutchinson, President and CEO of Rotana Hotel Management, and Dr. Adel Ezzat, CEO of Elaf Hotels.
Hala Matar Chovani, President of HVS Middle East, Africa and South Asia, said: "The travel and hotel sector is witnessing a continuous rise in demand with the emergence of new tourist destinations and the development of unique urban plans. Strong planning and Vision 2030 have contributed to Saudi Arabia's emergence as a major player in the entertainment sector in the region, as well as benefitting from the growing local demand for the established hotel, hospitality and religious tourism sector in the Kingdom. Success will depend to a large extent on maintaining a balance between supply and demand, having a sustainable implementation strategy and, most importantly, achieving balance and partnership between the public and private sectors."
Nick van Marken, Managing Director of Van Marken Limited, will also discuss more broadly the "future of the hospitality sector in dynamic markets" with officials from leading hotel groups in the Kingdom, including a number of CEOs from leading hotel companies such as Dor Hospitality, Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, Hilton, and AccorHotels.
Mark Willis, CEO of AccorHotels India, Middle East, Africa and Turkey, said: “The Future of the Hospitality Sector in Vital Markets is of particular importance to me, and given the constant changes in the business world over the past 24 months, we need now more than ever to maintain vitality and flexibility in our hospitality offerings and products to partners and guests alike.”
Hassan Al-Ahdab, Head of Hotel Operations at Dur Hospitality Group, said: "The business market has undergone radical transformations over the past few years, and although these transformations are difficult, they have been a major reason to inspire us and guide our strategies towards providing services and products that are more flexible and able to keep pace with changes and transformations."
Frederico González, CEO of Radisson Hotel Group, will moderate a panel discussion on the subject with the participation of Sarah Headley Heimers, Editor-in-Chief, Connecting Travel Magazine. Before participating in the session, Sarah Headley Heimers said: "I look forward to participating in this panel discussion with Sarah Headley Heimers on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Conference in Riyadh.
The tourism and hospitality sector suffers from the problem of understaffing worldwide, and this problem has been exacerbated by the repercussions of the global pandemic. Given the importance of this issue, the session "Commanders' Face the Challenges of Innovation and Human Capital in a rapidly Changing Environment" will review the most prominent solutions to develop human resources capable of driving the development of this sector.
Frederico González, CEO of Radisson Hotel Group, will moderate a panel discussion on the subject with the participation of Sarah Headley Heimers, Editor-in-Chief, Connecting Travel Magazine. Before participating in the session, Sarah Headley Heimers said: "I look forward to participating in this panel discussion with Sarah Headley Heimers on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Conference in Riyadh.
We believe in the strong recovery and growth of both the tourism and hospitality industry and our company in Saudi Arabia and the world. The future of hospitality is a continuous career and the result of the combined efforts of all owners, guests, shareholders and employees. In today's constantly changing world, we continue to look for the best ways to adapt and develop to achieve innovation and sustainability in everything we do, and to establish ourselves as a favourite company for our partners, guests and teams alike."
The conference will feature a number of side sessions that will cover various topics including "The Future of Hotel Asset Management" led by the Hospitality Asset Managers Association; the "Future of Loyalty Programs, Transparency, and Brand Loyalty" session during which Scott Intel of Scotts FZ LLE will interact with Bani Haddad, Founder and Managing Director of Alef Hospitality; the session "Sustainability is the Foundation for the Promising Future of the Hospitality Industry" with the participation of ENVI Lodges Co-Founder, Noel Hamsi and Richard Williamson of Considerate Group; the session "Hybrid Lifestyle Models and Seeing Future Spaces" with the participation of Hamza Khan, Co-Founder of Letswork; and Catherine Montene Montenechenchai, QUO Brand Officer.

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