Rotana Hotels & Resorts is marking its 25th anniversary by continuing its sponsorship of the registrations for next year's Arabian Travel Market (ATM), also celebrating its 25th anniversary.
The announcement was made at WTM London. ATM will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22 - 25 next year.
Guy Hutchinson, chief operating officer for Rotana, said: "ATM has been critical to our success and we are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the registration process for what is ATM's 25th anniversary."
"ATM is the most important travel business event in the region and it is important for us to have a strong presence in our home territory. The number of key decision makers from the region and beyond who attend is unrivalled," he said.
The theme for ATM 2018 is sustainability, an area where Rotana is leading the way, not only in the region but also from a global hospitality industry perspective. It has its own sustainability platform Rotana Earth which, Hutchinson said, looked at all aspects of its operations.
Hutchison said: "We don't talk about 'green' internally because we go deeper than that. You can tell how serious a business is about sustainability by how deeply it is embedded into the corporate structure. Every hotel we operate has, at department head level, one person whose sole responsibility is oversee our sustainable initiatives."
"We are looking hard at every aspect of waste management and food recycling. And our Saadiyat resort, due to open by the end of the year [in Abu Dhabi], will have its own full-time marine biologist."
He continued: "We are determined to rid our hotels of plastic bottles. The air in [Abu Dhabi] is quite humid, and we are looking at ways to extract the moisture from the air to create drinking water - drinkable air. It is proprietary technology we have developed ourselves and we have a prototype in our office."
The announcement of its continued relationship with ATM came as the hotel chain announced at WTM London it is on course to meet its target of having 100 hotels in operation, up from its current portfolio of 34 properties across six brands. It showcased 14 new properties set to open by the end of 2018, including new hotels in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iraq. It will also makes its debut in Tanzania and Iran in 2018 with hotels in Dar Es Salaam and Mashhad respectively.
Hutchinson added that WTM was "huge" for the business, with 30 per cent of the conversations taking place with technology companies, including consumer-facing online travel agents but also channel managers, switch companies and other B2B facilitators.
"We set up 154 meetings in advance for WTM, and we will get a direct return on investment from 80 per cent, 90 per cent of these," he said. - TradeArabia News Service
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