Skift Take

In a series of on-stage conversations at Skift Global Forum East 2022, Skift took a closer look at how trends from throughout the global travel industry are converging in Dubai, unpacking the city’s unique position in a 21st Century tourism economy.

This sponsored content was created in collaboration with a Skift partner.

At Skift Global Forum East 2022, Skift partnered with the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism on a series of conversations exploring how the future of travel is unfolding in Dubai. The discussions focused on the biggest challenges and opportunities facing travel in the region, including cross-sector collaboration, building more resilient and livable cities, the future of meetings and events, and explored why Dubai is at the center of unprecedented energy in the Middle East right now. Below are key highlights from those conversations.

Dubai and the Future of Travel

In this video:

  • The importance of collaboration: How Dubai has enabled some of the greatest collaboration between the city’s diverse travel sectors of any destination globally, and what the rest of the travel industry can learn from this deep level of interaction.
  • Driving Dubai’s tourism growth: The infrastructure, attractions, and lodging required for Dubai to reach its goal of doubling the number of travelers by 2031, and the blueprint for how Dubai plans to achieve it.
  • The global travel shift towards the Middle East: Why the epicenter of global tourism has moved away from Asia post-pandemic, how the World Cup will impact tourism to the Middle East in the future, and what role Dubai has in accelerating regional growth.

In this video, we hear from Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, Philippe Zuber, CEO of Kerzner International, Adnan Kazim, chief commercial officer of Emirates Airline, Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing in conversation with Skift Founder and CEO Rafat Ali on Dubai’s tourism trajectory in the future and why collaboration, technology, and regional growth are so important to the future of travel.

Overcoming Travel’s Labor Challenges

In this video:

  • New approaches to cultivating talent: How instilling a customer-focused mindset, employee empowerment philosophy, and offering tangible leadership pathways can boost recruitment and retention in what is traditionally a transient industry.
  • The promise of online education for workforce upskilling: Dubai’s formula for training tourism talent online, and how new technologies such as AI and virtual reality are helping accelerate talent pipelines.
  • Finding new sources of talent: Why the tourism industry in the Middle East is increasingly recruiting and cultivating talent from Africa and India, rather than western countries, and how this benefits both guests and the communities from which staff come.

In this video, we hear from Ellen Dubois du Bellay, Chief Human Resources Officer of Jumeirah Group, Jeff Strachan, Director at Dubai College of Tourism, and Margaux Constantin, Dubai Partner at McKinsey & Company in conversation with Skift Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill on how companies can strategically address the urgent workforce challenges they face through tactics like upskilling local talent, the intersection of training and technology, and focusing on more inclusive hiring practices.

How Global Events Will Drive Tourism and Cities

In this video:

  • The intersection of global events and a destination’s brand: Case studies in how recurring iconic events can elevate a destination’s brand and how organizers and DMOs can partner to create better experiences for all.
  • The trends towards experiences for global events: What the festivalization of events means for tourism and how planners, venues, and destinations are partnering to remain competitive and ultra-differentiated in an environment where experience reigns supreme.
  • Rethinking sustainability for global events: How thinking about sustainability beyond just carbon emissions to the impact on local communities and attendee wellness can allow global events and their host cities to achieve sustainability goals.

In this video, we hear from Michael Dominguez, president and CEO of Associated Luxury Hotels International, and Trixie LohMirmand, executive vice president of Dubai World Trade Centre in conversation with Matthew Parsons, Skift’s corporate travel editor, on the biggest trends shaping the events world, and the role destinations and the broader travel industry can play in pushing the envelope to meet changing attendee expectations.

Enticing and Engaging Tomorrow’s Travelers

In this video:

  • Balancing brand and performance marketing: How travel marketers are leveraging their entire marketing mix and why both brand and performance marketing are critical.
  • Culture’s role in destination marketing: Best practices in achieving cultural influence, global visibility, and marketing impact for destinations through arts and culture programming. Destination marketing strategies surrounding sporting events, attracting Hollywood productions, and hosting cultural events.
  • The evolution of influencer marketing: The biggest misunderstandings around influencer marketing, which destinations are leveraging this tactic best, and how to build effective relationships.

In this video, we hear from Jeremy Jauncey, founder and CEO of Beautiful Destinations, Scott Brodows, Head of Third Party Advertising at Hopper, and Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir, Head of Tourism for Visit Iceland in conversation with Skift Asia Editor Peden Bhutia on the pillars of travel marketing including content and branding, culture and experiences, and performance marketing.

This content was created collaboratively by Dubai Economy and Tourism and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.

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Tags: Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Skift Global Forum East, SkiftX Showcase: Destinations, tourism, travel

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