The 6th edition of the annual ROC Middle East Commercial Strategy Conference commenced with a day of insightful dialogues and expert discussions, setting the tone for a transformative event in the realm of hospitality and tourism. The opening addresses by Mona Faraj, Managing Director of HSMAI Middle East, and Bob Gilbert, President & CEO of HSMAI, welcomed a diverse assembly of industry professionals, setting the stage for a day packed with knowledge-sharing and innovation. The plenary sessions began with a captivating talk by Steven van Belleghem, a Customer Experience Enthusiast, who outlined the journey from customer service aspiration to actualization, likening companies to ‘Diamonds in the Rough’ striving for CX excellence.
Following was a spirited panel discussion on Destination Marketing, moderated by Iva Skrlec, Hilton’s Director of Destination Marketing for MEA & Turkey. Panelists, including Liam Findlay of Miral Destinations, Nicholas Hall of the Digital Tourism Think Tank, and Alka Winter from Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, explored the critical role tourism boards play in molding destination narratives and driving demand.
Marie-Louise Ek, Hilton’s VP of Human Resources MEA, shed light on the ‘Crafting Essential Leadership for Modern Work Realities,’ addressing the megatrends influencing hospitality leadership. The conference then delved into the interconnectedness of commercial decisions and asset value, with a discussion led by Omar Eltahry, a seasoned Hospitality Advisor, and panelists from Accor, United Hospitality Management, and Mashreq, who shared real-world insights on revenue enhancement and asset management.
Mona Faraj, Managing Director of the Middle East chapter of HSMAI said, “As we celebrate the opening of 6th annual ROC Middle East Commercial Strategy Conference, we use this opportunity to chart the future of our industry together with hospitality pioneers from this region. This is a gathering of commercial thought leaders from sales, marketing, revenue management, distribution, hotel brands, and owner groups gathered to share current and future trends. We look forward to covering a wide range of topics, discussions, and best practices, led by world-class regional and international experts in our industry and use this event as a platform to share common goals and achieve greater results as tourism gathers momentum over the coming months.”