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Global travel industry stakeholders call for sector to embrace innovation, faster

By Gulf News Report

DUBAI, UAE – With the tourism and hospitality sector witnessing signs of a positive recovery worldwide, the recently concluded World Tourism Forum (WTF) International Festival held in Andermatt, Switzerland, sought to bring together distinguished stakeholders of the industry to deliberate and discuss on a wide range of topics relevant to building upon this momentum.

With a theme of ‘Moving Forward’, the event’s many sessions focused on innovation, sustainability, and the role of start-ups in helping the sector work around its traditional business model.

The Tourism Executive Roundtable held on the last day of the event, saw Puneet Chhatwal, chief executive officer of Indian Hotels Company Limited; Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics; Christine Demen Meier,managing director of Les Roches and Adeeb Ahamed, managing director of Twenty14 Holdings, engage in a constructive dialogue on the sector’s main challenges and opportunities.

The roundtable threw light on the need for the tourism and hospitality sector to innovate for the future, and Adeeb Ahamed, who was recently appointed to the WTF’s advisory board, pointed out the need for various stakeholders of the industry, right from asset owners, to operators, travel agents and other crucial links of the travel supply chain, to find common ground in adopting technology-led innovation, at a faster pace. He also mentioned how innovative practices have helped provide better returns in other sectors, and how such practices can be beneficial for the hospitality sector as well.

Puneet expressed hope that the sector could find the right answers in challenging its basic business model if it was to position itself more responsibly in matters of climate change and sustainability.

Christine meanwhile, spoke of the need for the industry to position itself responsibly in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint.

The discussion also revolved on the importance of recovering from the crisis and better handling of the industry’s resource crunch, especially skilled human resources, to ensure the sector seems as prospective to investors as future talents and job aspirants.

Founded in 2008, World Tourism Forum is the world’s most coveted tourism platform where international top-level decision-makers from industry, government, academia, and finance collaborate with the next generation on future challenges.

The next gathering of WTF will be held in New Delhi, India in December.



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