Saudi Tourism Sector to Contribute Over $70 to GDP

Saudi Arabia’s travel and tourism sector is expected to contribute $70.9 billion in total to the country’s GDP in 2019, according to data from the World Travel and Tourism Council, as exhibitors prepare to showcase what the kingdom has to offer at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM), which is being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from April 28 – May 1.According to data from ATM’s research partner Colliers, international arrivals to Saudi Arabia are expected to increase 5.6 per cent per year from 17.7 million in 2018 to 23.3 million in 2023. Religious tourism is expected to remain the bedrock of the sector over the next decade, with a goal of attracting 30 million pilgrims to the kingdom by 2030, an increase of 11 million from the 19 million Hajj and Umrah pilgrims that visited the country in 2017.

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Red Roof SHE Leads Forum Celebrates, Supports and Inspires Women in Hospitality to Fuel Personal and Professional Growth

PR Newswire | October 26, 2023

Red Roof, an award-winning leader in the lodging industry, hosted over 200 attendees at its 2023 SHE Leads Forum in Dallas. From sound baths to sound advice and student scholarships, attendees – mostly women in the hospitality industry – left the Forum inspired and armed with insightful information and tools to support, help and elevate themselves for future success. This year's SHE Leads Forum was based on SHE, inspired by Red Roof'sSM pillars of ownership, personal branding, and wellness brought to life, with support from HBO, through interviews, a stellar lineup of speakers and workshops, networking, and even a meditative sound bath. Program leader and founder, Red Roof Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Marina MacDonald opened the Forum celebrating the growth of women in the hospitality industry and at Red Roof. "In recent decades, there has been an evolution, a growing emphasis on women's professional development as part of broader efforts to close gender gaps in the workforce. And while hospitality is still a male-dominated industry, even that is evolving," said MacDonald. "Last year, we celebrated 31 percent of our Red Roof properties owned or partially owned by women, and this year, that number is over 35 percent, thanks in large part to participation in Red Roof women initiatives throughout the year." The Forum also celebrated the future of the hospitality industry by presenting seven deserving students with 'SHE Leads Forum Student Scholarships,' sponsored by DISH Business. Each student was selected by their school, including Cornell University, Florida International University, Howard University and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to attend the SHE Leads Forum free of charge. Dr. Lalia Rach, Founder and Partner, Rach Enterprises and best-selling author of Managing the Book on You! Rewriting Your Leadership Story, moderated the two-day Forum. "Red Roof's 'SHE Leads Forum' is in a class all its own! It is jam-packed with interesting speakers, iconic women leaders sharing information, and a passionate leader, Red Roof CMO Marina MacDonald," said Rach. "The biggest difference is the engagement of the attendees, all successful professionals, who want to learn, be inspired, meet new people and connect with those they know. The energy, the desire to be more, is so inspiring." Keynote speaker Dorothy Dowling, Founder of Introspect Strategic Advisor Services, helped motivate the crowd with her inspirational thoughts. "Women's leadership events such as 'SHE Leads' are like having a trusty guide on our journey, whether it's climbing the corporate ladder or venturing into the world of hotel ownership. They're not just about empowerment, they're about real-world guidance. These events let us tap into the experiences of women who've been there, done that. It's like getting insider tips for navigating our own unique paths," said Dowling. Through a session on Red Roof's Strategic Initiatives, with Red Roof Director of Strategic Initiatives Lina Patel and Chief Development Officer Matthew Hostetler, attendees also learned about SHE, inspired by Red Roof's sister program, RIDE with Red RoofSM. While SHE is intended to motivate, RIDE is intended to activate — providing access to capital, educational resources and the connections needed to build a strong network of industry partners. SHE Leads attendees also heard from experts offering business advice. Jyoti Sarolia, President and CEO at Ellis Hospitality gave an informational talk about how attendees can fine tune their lending skills and be ready to finance their next project. Christine Taylor, Claims Consultant & Strategic Insurance Partner at Lockton Companies, spoke about the state of the property and casualty insurance market, educating attendees on the importance of insuring their assets and understanding risk. Listening to and interacting with so many enthusiastic and seasoned business owners left many inspired. AAHOA EVP of Communications and Chief Strategy Officer Heather Carnes, who also spoke at the Forum, was struck by the collective fearlessness in the room. "When I looked at the strength, intelligence and the daring nature of the women in attendance, I know that the future of the hospitality industry is in great hands. The can-do attitude and entrepreneurial spirit in the room was palpable and contagious. I left feeling like, in conjunction with this amazing group, I could change the world," said Carnes. Forum speaker Marti Winer, Executive Leader and General Manager of Casa Bonita said, "Programs like SHE Leads are crucial to women in hospitality and beyond for three important reasons. The first is that they provide a forum for conversation. They are a safe space to meet, explore and create the critical relationships that advance careers. The second reason is education. These forums provide much needed and customized learning opportunities for women that are largely unavailable elsewhere. The final reason is innovation. Dedicated time away from the day-to-day allows for more focused thinking, processing and collaborating. As a result, great ideas are born and given space to germinate." The annual SHE Leads Forum kicks off a year-long infusion of inspiration for women primarily in hospitality that facilitates sharing professional experiences and provides collaborative learning opportunities to continue to foster change in the industry. 'SHE' provides thought leadership, access to resources, and serves as a platform, sharing content and best practices through a dedicated website.

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Hospitality Trends

Travel + Leisure Co. and Sports Hospitality Unveil Sports-themed Resorts

Travel + Leisure Co | September 25, 2023

Travel + Leisure Co. collaborates with Sports Hospitality Ventures to launch sports-themed resort complexes near college towns. Introducing the Sports Illustrated Resorts vacation club, uniting sports enthusiasts and offering flexible bookings and amenities. Sports Illustrated Resorts unveils residences, with fractional and wholly owned condominiums managed professionally. Expansion plans include chic beach clubs and experience parks, with a Tuscaloosa resort expected to open in late 2025. Travel + Leisure Co, a membership and leisure travel company, has partnered with Sports Hospitality Ventures, LLC, the hotel and resorts licensee for the esteemed Sports Illustrated brand in North America and the Caribbean. Together, they introduce an innovative vision for a series of sports-themed resort and lifestyle complexes strategically situated in vibrant college towns catering to passionate fan communities. A novel addition to the Sports Illustrated Resorts portfolio is the vacation club. This innovative concept aims to unite fervent sports fans, friends, and families by elevating their accommodation experience. Club members will enjoy the flexibility to make repeat resort reservations and access a variety of amenities across the expanding Sports Illustrated Resorts portfolio. This endeavor is made possible through the partnership of Travel + Leisure Co., leveraging its expertise in managing brand collaborations. Additionally, Sports Illustrated Resorts introduces residences, offering fractional and wholly owned condominiums managed professionally through the collaboration. The residences promise a range of signature services and amenities in line with the active lifestyle theme of Sports Illustrated Resorts. The inaugural college town resort in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is just the beginning, with plans for further expansion fueled by the collaboration between Sports Hospitality Ventures, Authentic Brands Group, and Kituwah LLC, representing the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who have committed $320 million to propel the growth of the Sports Illustrated Resorts brand. With a vision to deliver immersive experiences celebrating the iconic moments of Sports Illustrated's outstanding history, Sports Illustrated Resorts has become a destination beyond conventional lodging. The resorts' unique design will transport guests and owners into the heart of sports culture, with diverse attractions, live sports and entertainment, fine dining, and wellness facilities. While the initial focus is on university locations, the broader portfolio will extend to chic beach clubs and experience parks in prime leisure destinations. Sports Illustrated Resorts is adopting an asset-light development financing model for its expansion, with the Tuscaloosa resort anticipated to welcome guests in late 2025. While Travel + Leisure Co. foresees no immediate earnings impact, it anticipates this venture will drive incremental growth from the latter half of 2025 onwards.

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Travel Technology, Hospitality Management

Holland America Line Brings Alaska Cruise and Denali/Yukon Adventures to Phoenix Area with Free Travel Show Saturday, Nov. 4

Holland America Line | September 27, 2023

Holland America Line is bringing the Great Land to Phoenix, Arizona, with the all-day Alaska Cruise and Travel Show Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort and Villas. The free-to-attend, action-packed expo runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and invites Arizonans who are dreaming about an Alaska cruise vacation to come learn, engage and see the best ways to experience this incredible destination with Holland America Line. Celebrating more than 75 years of Alaska exploration, Holland America Line is rolling out the red carpet with an immersive display of all-things Alaska for the event. Attendees will be able to meet the people who bring Alaska to life, make s'mores, take part in gold panning (and keep what they find!), try their hand at axe throwing, and enjoy live presentations and culinary demonstrations. "Our Alaska cruises are ranked number one for the most Alaska glacier, wildlife and wilderness viewing opportunities," said Bill Fletcher, senior director of destination marketing for Holland America Line. "We're bringing our Alaska travel experts to Phoenix to connect with people who want to check this destination off their bucket-list but aren't sure where to start. Even travelers who have previously explored Alaska can gain insights for future visits, meet tour operators, enjoy family-friendly activities and enter to win prizes." Those who register and attend will have a chance to win one of six $500 Holland America Line gift cards or the grand prize of an Alaska cruise for two. Scheduled for the Alaska Cruise and Travel Show presented by Holland America Line: Attendees can meet an Alaskan Lumberjack from the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan, Alaska, who will demonstrate axe throwing, and attendees will have the opportunity to test their own skills. Just like the prospectors of the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1800s, attendees can pan for real gold and perhaps take home an authentic nugget. Attendees will feel like they are at McKinley Chalet Resort's Denali Square as they roast marshmallows and make s'mores around a faux firepit. Fleet Executive Chef Sinu Pillai will provide culinary demos featuring fresh, sustainable Alaska seafood served on Holland America Line's Alaska cruises. Attendees will learn more about Holland America Line's enrichment and entertainment programming that brings Alaska on board through authentic experiences that focus on culture, cuisine and adventures ashore. All who attend will enjoy live presentations from Alaska operators to see and hear about the wildlife, scenery, adventure and culture they can experience in Alaska. Shore excursion operators — from the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway in Skagway to the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan — and Holland America Line representatives will be on hand to share more about what to expect when traveling to Alaska with the only cruise line that ventures into the Yukon Territory (hint: it involves river rafting, zip-lining and going deep into the wilderness to spot grizzlies and caribou). The Alaska Cruise and Travel Show is presented by Holland America Line and co-presented by Expedia Cruises in North Scottsdale. Other sponsors include Allen Marine Tours, a family-owned company based in Southeast Alaska. Cruising to Alaska in 2024 From April through September 2024, guests can embark on Holland America Line's cruises to Alaska aboard Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Westerdam and Zaandam. The cruise line is debuting a new 28-day Arctic Circle itinerary in 2024 that includes 12 Alaska ports, longer 14-day voyages and 117 weeklong journeys, enhancing its position as the leader in Alaska cruising. Every Alaska cruise includes a visit to one or more of Alaska's iconic glacier destinations: Glacier Bay National Park, College Fjord, Dawes Glacier, Hubbard Glacier and Twin Sawyer Glaciers of Tracy Arm. Holland America Line has more visits to Glacier Bay than any other cruise line. Exclusive Cruisetours Explore Denali and Yukon The Alaska landscape is one of the few places in the world that is best seen by combining a cruise with an overland adventure, and Holland America Line's award-winning Cruisetours offer guests 16 options that showcase remote and off-the-beaten path regions. Holland America Line is the only cruise company to weave must-see sites such as Denali National Park — the centerpiece of every Cruisetour — with the unspoiled reaches of Canada's Yukon Territory. About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc Holland America Line has been exploring the world for 150 years with expertly crafted itineraries, extraordinary service and genuine connections to the destinations. Offering an ideal mid-sized ship experience, its fleet visits nearly 400 ports in 114 countries around the world and has shared the thrill of Alaska for 75 years — longer than any other cruise line. Holland America Line's 11 vessels feature a diverse range of enriching activities and amenities focused on destination immersion and personalized travel. Guests enjoy the best entertainment at sea each evening and dining venues featuring exclusive dishes by world-famous chefs. A new global fresh fish program brings more than 80 types of fresh fish on board, sourced and served locally in regions around the world.

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