Leaders from 140 countries participate in hybrid virtual conference

 to restore growth through tourism

  • The virtual curtain closed on the Future Hospitality Summit on 27th October following a successful two-day event.
  • Future Hospitality Summit, which took place live from Riyadh and around the world on 26th—27th October, brought together 100+ esteemed speakers and 6,000+ attendees from 140 countries.

Riyadh, KSA (2nd November 2020): The Future Hospitality Summit came to a close on Tuesday last week following a hugely successful 2-day event which saw the hospitality world come together live from Riyadh and across the world to discuss, reimagine and pave a new path towards the future.

The Future Hospitality Summit was organised by the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia and G20 Saudi Secretariat, as part of the International Conferences Programme, honouring the G20 Saudi presidency year 2020. The event, which was powered by Bench Digital, welcomed over 100 special-guest speakers and more than 6,000 attendees from 140 countries for what proved to be two invaluable days of critical insights and knowledge exchange.

Over the course of the hybrid virtual conference, a comprehensive three-pillar programme, developed in partnership with hospitality industry creators, innovators and mentors, focused on understanding the new landscape, collaborating and assessing opportunities, and innovating to recreate the industry’s future. Participants discussed how to forge a path forward based on building a tourism and hospitality sector that is relevant to a post-pandemic world and attractive to future travellers, consumers and workers. Speakers also considered ways of encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship, while ensuring that tourism development remains sustainable in economic and environmental terms.

The event attracted global leaders from across the sector, including His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization and Gloria Guevara, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council. Sarah R. Al-Husseini, General Director of International Cooperation at Ministry of Tourism, Saudi Arabia, and Chair of the G20 Tourism Working Group closed the event with a summary of key achievements driven by Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 tourism.

During her closing address, in which she spoke about Saudi Arabia’s role in the G20 and the importance of travel and tourism within the global response to the current crisis, Al-Husseini said, “Leading the G20 discussions on tourism this year, we at the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia undertook the mission to drive the agenda for crisis management and economic recovery. Central to this agenda was the importance of maintaining livelihoods and protecting jobs, while enabling sustainable socioeconomic growth and building resilience.

To deliver on these objectives, we prioritised multilateral cooperation and collaboration with international organisations and entities such as the UNWTO, OECD, and the WTTC. In addition to the active role of the G20 in leading this response, Saudi Arabia contributed to achieving major milestones to develop our sector. Amongst the many milestones we have reached together, I am pleased to share that the UNWTO will open a Middle East regional office in Riyadh next year. This is hugely exciting for all of us deeply invested in unlocking our region’s tourism potential.

The Future Hospitality Summit’s immersive, world-class live experience was delivered on Bench Digital’s tried-and-tested, cutting-edge, digital event platform, which enabled attendees to effortlessly engage and interact with each other, make new connections, and attend sessions live from their homes or offices, while a comprehensive line-up of industry leaders and change-makers came together to map out a stronger and more sustainable path for the industry. The hybrid experience was live-streamed across the globe from a state-of-the-art FHS studio in Riyadh, which also hosted Saudi-based speakers and moderators.

About Future Hospitality Summit

Organised by the Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia and G20 Saudi Secretariat, as part of The International Conferences Programme honouring the G20 Saudi presidency year 2020, and powered by Bench Digital – Future Hospitality Summit was developed to tackle the big ideas and challenges facing the hospitality industry in both the Kingdom and the world. On 26th and 27th of October 2020, the hybrid virtual conference hosted over 100 leading industry speakers and more than 6,000 attendees from 140 countries. The event was delivered on a tried-and-tested, cutting-edge, digital event platform, managed by Bench Digital – providing an immersive live experience, including a virtual exhibition, one-to-one video networking and integrated chat features for all participants. The conference was designed to dig deep into how the hospitality community can create an industry that is:

  • Relevant for a post-pandemic world;
  • Attractive to tomorrow’s international traveller & consumer;
  • Supportive of entrepreneurs and innovation;
  • Sustainable for the global economy and the environment; and
  • Attractive to tomorrow’s workforce.

To find out more, visit FutureHospitalitySummit.com.

About Bench Digital

Bench Digital is a sister company of Bench Events, a global business events organizer with more than two decades of experience in delivering premium hospitality and aviation conferences. With a global footprint in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America – Bench Events organizes the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC), Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF), Adria Hotel Forum, AviaDev Europe and AviaDev Africa, to name a few.

In April 2020 Bench Digital ran Hospitality Tomorrow, their first virtual conference which attracted more than 6000 registrations from across the world. The success of this event has led to the launch of several online forums including 3 more Hospitality Tomorrow events, Real Estate Tomorrow, Africa Tomorrow, GRIF Marketplace and AviaDev Online. In August 2020, Bench Digital helped deliver a transitional event for the industry, facilitating over 72,000 pre-scheduled video meetings for the renowned Virtuoso Travel Week.