Can’t-Miss Speakers at the First Skift Global Forum East

Skift Take

The Middle East is evolving into one of the most interesting and dynamic stories in the global travel industry. We’re going to connect the dots in Dubai and examine how the Middle East and Asia fit into the global travel story.

Series: Skift Global Forum East

Creating connections at the center of global travel. Join us in Dubai December 12-14, 2023.

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Skift Global Forum East will gather the top CEOs and travel industry leaders to the heart of the Middle East in Dubai, from Dec. 13-15 for three days of sessions, panels and networking opportunities. The Forum will look at the future of travel in the dynamic and growing Middle East and Asian regions, pull apart recent trends and discuss what they mean for the growth and future of the multi-faceted region. 

Here are just a few of the speakers taking the stage for the Forum: 

Online Travel plays a huge role in the future and impact on the region and the industry. To that end, we have Senior Vice President, Expedia Group Media Solutions, Rob Torres, who will take the stage to discuss not only his remarkable career that started at Expedia, with a 15-year stint at Google in the middle, but also to talk about what he’s learned about the region. Torres will talk about the move away from traditional marketing and advertising and the new reliance on harnessing data, changing consumer behavior and Expedia’s hope to capture traveler’s pent-up demand in the region and beyond. 

Labor continues to be a big issue in the travel industry and we’re also excited to announce that Ellen Dubois du Bellay, chief human resources officer for the Jumeirah Group, will join us in Dubai. Ellen has nearly 25 years of experience in the human resources field, and can talk with great authority about the labor needs of the travel industry, how to build quality, high-functioning teams while increasing diversity. She has launched several projects across the enterprise, including gender diversity and regional hiring. We’ll be pulling these apart and learning more about labor, skills and hiring at one of Dubai’s finest hotel groups. 

Destinations and how they market themselves are dramatically changing to keep up with consumer demands. Adel El Fakir, CEO of the Moroccan National Tourism Office, calls relationships one of the most important aspects of his job. He has prioritized relationships between local and global businesses to help grow the Moroccan brand worldwide. He consistently works with airlines and local tour operators to create dialogue and make sure visitors to Morocco have what they need, where they need it. His goal is to move past the 600,000 annual visitor pre-pandemic to a million annually over the next five years and believes the destination and relationships he’s working to cultivate will make that happen. 

These are only three of the many speakers to take the stage at the Forum. See the rest of the lineup here. These speakers, often joined by Skift editors, will be discussing how to make travel more resilient to change, the experience versus destination traveler, how to communicate and access these new travelers, the great merging and how the Middle East and Asia will continue to grow and lead the global travel industry.

Tags: sgfe2022, skift live

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