A breathtaking view of Sharjah, a key attraction for local and global tourists.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Experts and decision-makers, including Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, will deliberate on the role of technologies in the development and sustainability of the tourism sector at Sharjah International Travel and Tourism Forum (SITTF) 2022, which kicks off on Thursday under the theme ‘Building a Resilient Future for Tourism.’ at Expo Centre Sharjah.
Organised by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), the international event, which serves as a platform for developing the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, offers the public the opportunity to attend a series of sessions focused on building a sustainable future for the travel and tourism profession.
The opening ceremony includes a keynote speech by Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, and Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, followed by three panel discussions that bring together industry partners and stakeholders to explore best practices and innovative solutions, in addition to bolstering a culture of originality and sustainability in tourism.
Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said: “Through the international event, we look forward to rich discussions, creative insights, and innovative solutions, in addition to shining light on the realities of the tourism sector and future trends, in addition to highlighting the role of technologies in ensuring its sustainability, through the diverse sessions that bring together government officials as well as travel and tourism sector experts in this year’s edition of SITTF, which is considered a platform that highlights unique and successful journeys, facilitates expertise and knowledge exchange to formulate a set of recommendations to ensure a sustainable and bright future for Sharjah’s tourism sector.”
The inaugural session ‘Reshaping Tourism and Preserving the Future,’ at 10:30 am brings together Mohamad Al-Rayis, Chairman of the Travel and Tourism Agents Working Group; Ahmed Al Qaseer, Acting CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq); Guillaume Massey Senior Business Development Manager of Expedia Group – Middle East & Africa; and Dr. Amer Al Kassem, Associate Professor – School Of Business at Skyline University College.
The session will highlight the strategic role of the tourism sector, and how it can support and advance local economies around the world, as they seek to develop systematic plans to enhance the tourism sector and make it an important source that revives the local economy and contributes to supporting the economic cycle.
The speakers will discuss the use of metaverse technology in the tourism sector, which will accelerate its growth, including virtual tourism, which is one of the most important and latest trends adopted by the sector’s pioneers globally. Although the adoption of metaverse technology in the tourism sector is still in its early stages, the use of modern technology has become a necessity. The world of metaverse and augmented reality applications contributes to promoting tourism and travel without restrictions, consequently enriching tourism experiences around the world.
For registration and more information about this year’s edition of SITTF, please visit: Sharjah International Travel and Tourism Forum 2022.
Other topics include the concept of ‘ecotourism’ and ‘responsible tourism,’ and their impact on sustainability, as well as the tools of a ‘sustainable future for tourism,’ along with the industry’s best sustainable practices followed by the UAE to achieve a better tourist experience. The session will also discuss the challenges facing tourism and the negative impact of unregulated tourism on the ecosystem, as well as the strategic pillars to guide tourism development, and how to build on the lessons learned to ensure its sustainability.
To be held at 1:10 pm, under the title, ‘Emerging Niches in Technology & Architecture,’ the second session brings together Dr. Nejib Ben Khedher, Divisional Senior Vice President of Skywards at Emirates Airlines; Dr Jerry Kolo, Professor of Urban Planning and Program Academic Coordinator MUP.
In this session, many topics will be under the spotlight, including modern technologies, which have become one of the most important pillars supporting various economic sectors and have exceeded their importance in the tourism sector, especially when it comes to booking flights, hotels, and resorts, which pushed the sector’s pioneers to employ AI tools and innovations from next-generation technologies that contribute to serving tourists and introducing them to destinations before visiting, in addition to planning their trips using the experiences and opportunities that virtual reality offers, aiming to provide the public with adequate tourism information. Additionally, the adoption of modern technologies and various smart options contributes to creating an integrated tourism environment, developing the sector, and ensuring its sustainability