Tuesday 26th April 2016
14:15 – 14:45 Coping with success, the sustainability challenge in the region Link to ATM site
There has been dramatic growth in tourism to the Middle East in recent years, what are the implications for the management of tourism if current trends continue? How should the region adapt to address the challenge of increasing volumes of visitors at the destination level?
Progressing to a more sustainable tourism future will require significant changes in tourist accommodation environmental management. Christopher Warren, founder of Warren & Associates, reports on the best practice energy and water resource use at UAE hotels/ resorts today, how this compares to global trends, and what will be the future resource needs for Dubai if a business-as-usual trajectory remains at tourist accommodation. He discusses latest technology and behaviour change innovations that could contribute to improving the sector’s sustainability.
As the visitor experience plays an increasingly significant part in consumer decisions about where to travel the challenge of providing a high-quality visitor experience of the destination grows. The growth of the experience economy has been well documented by Harvard Business School amongst others – Aziz Abu Sarah of Mejdi Tours, will describe the challenge and suggest solutions to enable you to maintain or grow your competitive advantage.
15:00 – 15:30 Environmental leadership in the Middle East Link to ATM site
There is much internationally good practice in the region, in this session we’ll showcase some of the green building initiatives in the Middle East and discuss how we can better communicate what has been achieved – and secure more business.
Over the last 15 years considerable progress has been made in the United Arab Emirates and the wider region in adopting green building principles, reducing fossil fuel consumption and using water more efficiently. One of the fundamental principles of the UAE’s Vision 2021 is United in Responsibility the 2021 Agenda focuses on improving the quality of air, preserving water resources, increasing the contribution of clean energy and implementing green growth plans. The UAE has a set of national key performance indicators on air quality, waste, clean energy, water; and targets against which progress is being reported.
During this panel two of the leading practitioners will talk about what they are doing to green their buildings and why it makes business sense.
Moderator Harold Goodwin WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor
Sarfraz Dairkee, General Manager- Corporate Development & Engineering, MAHY Khoory & Co. LLC and Secretary of the Secretary of the Emirates Green Building Council PowerPoint
Gaetan Lavoie, Corporate Director of Technical Services, Time Hotels L.L.C PowerPoint
15:45-17:00 Masterclass on using Responsible Tourism for market advantage and increased revenues
Media Centre, Sheikh Saeed Hall 1
This masterclass has a limited capacity of 12. Therefore it is “first come first served” only. If you would like to ensure that you can attend this session please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the last five years there has been a significant global trend towards more experiential forms of tourism. Travellers and holidaymakers are expecting to get more from their travel, no longer is a beach, a view and luxurious accommodation enough. This Masterclass builds on the roundtable held by Arabian Travel Mart in November last year at WTM London when there was a thought-provoking discussion about the opportunities for hoteliers and incoming operators in Arabia. This Masterclass will equip you and your company to secure competitive advantage and added value by capitalising on the experiential tourism opportunity which continues to grow.
Pine & Gilmore of Harvard Business School in their influential work on the Experience Economy argue that no company wants to be commoditised, to compete only on price. The growth of the experience economy has caused considerable change in the travel and tourism sector, Consumers want more than quality services – your guests want “a complete production of sights, sounds, tastes, aromas and textures to create a unique experience.” It is important now to use the services you provide as the stage and props to engage the consumer and give them an authentic experience.
Drawing on his experience as tour leader tour operator, traveller and holidaymaker over 40 years Harold Goodwin will introduce the opportunity and give a range of examples of how added value can be created to attract clients, benefit the guest, secure repeat business and referrals, and to improve margins. Aziz Abu Sarah will share Mejdi’s approach to tour operating with its emphasis on authenticity and meeting local people: “exciting destinations, authentic experiences, rare cultural immersion, exclusive access, socially responsible business model.” They go “ beyond traditional tours by providing unrivalled customization, exclusive access, and cultural immersion unavailable anywhere else.” Arva Ahmed will share her experience of running Frying Pan tours, linking food and culture, offering trails that are not solely about eating – but more about using food as a lens for street-side discovery, interaction with characters of the old city, food history and even etymology, creating ”small but unique memorable touches” which enhance the guest experience and spark viral marketing. Chris Warren will share his experience of developing a programme of guest activities at Crystal Creek Meadows in Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales to enhance the guest experience, extend length of stay, secure repeat visits and referrals.
Harold Goodwin WTM & ATM Responsible Tourism Advisor PowerPoint
Chris Warren, founder of Warren & Associates PowerPoint
Aziz Abu Sarah, co-owner & CEO – MEJDI TOURS PowerPoint
Arva Ahmed Chief Executive Muncher, Frying Pan Tourism PowerPoint