Saudi Arabia

The travel community is gearing up for Future Hospitality Summit, a hybrid virtual conference developed to explore big ideas and tackle the challenges facing the hospitality industry.

The event begins tomorrow, live from Riyadh and around the world.

Organized by the ministry of tourism Saudi Arabia and G20 Saudi Secretariat, as part of the International Conferences Programme, honoring the G20 Saudi presidency year 2020, the event will be powered by Bench Digital.

The event, which promises to be one of the most impactful gatherings of the hospitality community, will be delivered on Bench Digital’s tried-and-tested, cutting-edge, digital event platform – providing an immersive live experience, including a virtual exhibition, one-to-one video networking, and integrated chat features for all participants.

A comprehensive three-pillar program has been developed in collaboration with industry creators, innovators, and mentors, with particular focus on understanding the new landscape, collaborating and assessing opportunities, and innovating to recreate the future.

Arne Sorenson chief executive of Marriott International; Arnold Donald, chief executive of Carnival Corporation; Gloria Guevara chief executive of the World Travel & Tourism Council; and Anita Mendiratta, a special advisory to the UNWTO secretary-general, are all lined up as featured speakers.

They will be joined by over 100 other esteemed speakers and thousands of attendees.

“As a country that is at the forefront of the tourism sector’s response and recovery plans through the G20 presidency, Saudi Arabia is leading the conversation on the future of tourism and will provide an international platform to bring the industry together in the Future Hospitality Summit.

“Together, we will map out the rebuilding of the tourism and travel sector and strategically plan a sustainable future for stakeholders at every level,” said Mahmoud Abdulhadi, deputy minister for investment at the Saudi Ministry of Tourism.

Future Hospitality Summit aims to gather the global industry for important conversations and create critical connections to build relationships, unity, and actionable ways to support each other – to facilitate a stronger response for a stronger future.

Jonathan Worsley, chairman of Bench Digital, added: “During this difficult time, it is vital that hospitality professionals across the globe come together as a community to work towards the recovery of our industry.

“Future Hospitality Summit will not only provide a powerful platform to network virtually, showcase best practice and demonstrate thought leadership, but it will also prove invaluable in ensuring that the industry emerges stronger as a whole from these unprecedented challenges.” 

Empowering tomorrow’s workforce and attracting talent into the hospitality sector – imperative factors in sustaining the industry – will be two of the key focus points of the hybrid summit.

Developing a skilled workforce is paramount to quickly evolve and keep pace with the demand being created from the hospitality sector. In Saudi Arabia, for example, 253 new hotels are coming online by 2030.

Consequently, Future Hospitality Summit is a forum to engage with the hospitality workforce of the future and promote the sector as an attractive career path.