RCU CEO advocates innovation at Hospitality Tomorrow forum
Royal Commission for AlUla has called for more experiential and transformative tourism options
The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) CEO Amr AlMadani joined fellow hospitality leaders last week to discuss the future of the industry at the Hospitality Tomorrow virtual forum, hosted by Bench Global Events and watched by a global audience of thousands.
The talk was co-hosted by Anita Mendiratta, special advisor to the Secretary General at the United Nations World Trade Organisation and member of RCU’s advisory board, under the title “Legacy, Sustaining Growth through Adversity.”
RCU CEO Amr AlMadani began by highlighting resilience and innovation as key to the industry’s growth, emphasising that travel in the future will be driven by a desire for deeper, transformative experiences founded in a strong sense of community. As an example, AlMadani noted that AlUla has 250,000 years of history, amid an authentic Arabian landscape, with its own community creatively engaged in its tourism industry.
Expanding on the theme of growth, AlMadani emphasised that AlUla remained open to investment, and argued that the future growth of the wider industry is dependent on lowering barriers to investment to fuel innovation. He noted that RCU is taking an open-minded approach to current challenges but remains committed to its partners.
AlMadani said: “We are banking on a strong recovery for the industry, but one that will newly focus on offering people deeper, more experiential and transformative tourism options – rather than simply a photograph.”
Mendiratta added: “Legacy - the protection, preservation and promotion of the past into future, can provide a powerful source of inspiration, ideation and collaboration during times of challenge. Having heard Amr emphasise the truism that hospitality of tomorrow will evolve to be about genuine connection to places and people of shared values, not just sought after photo ops, and knowing AlUla personally, I have no doubt that in our post-COVID19 world, the world's travellers will feel a strengthened desire to visit AlUla as a place of natural, cultural and spiritual pilgrimage, making it a crossroads of people of the world once more”
Attendees of the online forum were also be able to visit the Royal Commission of AlUla’s virtual booth to learn more about RCU’s Framework Plan for the sustainable development of AlUla and the 12 strategic principles that guide the organisation’s work.