THR: “Post-Pandemic Tourism Investment Must Balance Technology and Hospitality”
The international tourism consultancy THR Tourism Industry Advisors has been part of the Spanish delegation that, led by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Reyes Maroto, has participated in the Saudi-Spanish Investment Forum. The meeting, which took place in Riyadh aimed to promote business opportunities for Spanish companies in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi-Spanish Investment Forum, chaired by the Saudi Ministers of Investment and Tourism, Reyes Maroto and the Ambassador of Spain, hosted an important participation of Spanish companies – among others, Acciona, Indra and Hesperia- as well as Saudi companies, seeking new investment opportunities, at a time when Saudi Arabia plans to attract about 400,000 million euros in the next decade to boost its economic activity and generate employment opportunities.
In this context, Minister Reyes Maroto stressed in her speech that “Spanish companies can contribute to the development and promotion of the important projects that Saudi Arabia is developing thanks to its leadership and proven international experience”.
Carlos Vogeler, Chairman of the Advisory Board of THR Tourism Industry Advisors participated, as representative of the leading tourism consulting firm, in the round table dedicated to Hotel Management and Technological Innovation. It was a panel of experts in which companies such as Amadeus, Barceló Hotel Group and Starlite Group also participated, together with the representative of the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, Mahmoud Abdulhadi.
Balance between technology and hospitality
In his speech, Carlos Vogeler presented the main conclusions of the analysis of the tourism demand of the “new normality” carried out by the consultancy firm. Vogeler drew the basic lines that make up the profile of the post-pandemic traveler. Tourists, according to Vogeler, “have become more self-sufficient, digitized, and demanding, as well as more aware and responsible about their impact on destinations, where they seek new experiences”.
In this sense, in his speech, Carlos Vogeler stressed that “investment is not limited to infrastructure and facilities. Following current demand trends, tourism destinations really succeed when they also invest in a balanced approach between technology and hospitality attitude, which in other words could be stated as ´high tech – high touch´”.
As well, throughout the meeting, in which emblematic Saudi investment projects such as NEOM and the Red Sea project were presented, both delegations had the opportunity to engage in B2B meetings.
Finally, technical visits were organized for the Spanish delegation to the Saudi developments of Diriayh and Qiddiya, in the vicinity of Riyadh, where participants were able to learn about the ambitious tourism development plans of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where THR is already involved in multiple projects.