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Overview

In the context of making tourism business a sustainable and vibrant industry, it is imperative to walk the extra mile to provide exceptional services. With the increasing demand of travellers and increased expectations, the industry must always be ready to embrace and respond to the rapidly changing tourism landscape.

The numbers speak for themselves: 25 million international tourist arrivals in 1950, 674 million in 2000, and over 1.1 billion in 2014 – international tourism shows no signs of slowing down. In 2015, international tourism once again exceeded expectations, rising by 4.4% and hitting a new record of 1.18 billion tourists travelling the world in one single year.

This remarkable activity undeniably generates invaluable impact on economies and societies worldwide. It provides countries with investment, foreign earnings, jobs and opportunities for social inclusion and regional development. At present, tourism accounts for 9% of global GDP, generates more than US$ 1.4 trillion in trade income or 30% of the world's services exports, and provides one in 11 jobs worldwide.

This immense progress will not be achieved without the evolving trends in globalization of goods and services, more leisure time and financial means, the technological and transport revolutions and rising middle classes that contributes to this fast growing sector. It is timely to analyse and discuss on the evolution that has taken place for the past years which will contribute to the future needs and demand of the tourists.

With increased competition to the industry has to be in constant need to learn and transform its standing in order to make it sustainable and dynamic.

In line with the fascinating and delightful charms of this industry, “Tourism Delights” will focus on the various offerings and wonderful products of this vibrant and dynamic sector to cater to tourists needs.

While accommodating to the rising expectations of the market demand, tourists are always in the quest for seeking new experiences and amazing platforms to satisfy their imagination and needs based on the latest trends. Hence, "Delivering the Unexpected" will try to answer how the successful industry players in their own market fields be it hospitality, accommodation, aviation or even theme parks marked their own path in their successful journeys in fulfilling their customer's expectations.

OBJECTIVES OF THE CONFERENCE

Session 1: Tourism A Sunrise Industry? Now and Beyond

Tourism is one of the earliest industries in the world. Continuously vibrant and evolving, reaching out to the vast frontiers, breaking new development grounds to satisfy the voracious appetite of a growing population of international tourists and creating jobs in urban areas and micro enterprises in rural areas. Is the industry ready to be a game changer? Is it the onset of a new paradigm? What are the foreseeable impacts on demand and market segments? What are the new developmental trends but also what are the pitfalls to avoid?

This session aims to analyse and discuss critical issues and challenges faced by the tourism industry from the global perspective, looking from the past track records, current trends and the predictions about the future of the industry, beyond 2030.

Session 2: Tourism Experience, Breaking New Grounds

The tourism industry is constantly expanding the frontiers. With the latest ideas, innovations and products that aim to exceed the expectation of tourists at current times, tourism is definitely one of the most competitive sectors of industries. Tapping on the ever changing market demands, it is imperative to push beyond boundaries and break new grounds. It is indeed pertinent to know how can the sector remain competitive? What are the unique selling points which have pushed organisations to offer tourism experiences that are unconventional and how do they deliver beyond exception of towards.

This session aims to discuss and feature novel ideas, innovative approaches and out-of-the-box formulas that will boost the tourism industry to remain competitive and discover new territories.

Session 3: Tourism: Prospering Communities, Endless Opportunities

Tourism industry is increasingly becoming an important economic source for rural communities around the world. It has widely accepted as a regional and rural development change agent.

This session is aimed at highlighting the importance and potential of tourism to promote opportunities for communities around the world through stimulating business entrepreneurship and creative approaches in the local communities. It will discuss the role that community engagement in advancing sustainable tourism development, in order to create the immense opportunities for wealth creation and employment generation.

Session 4: Tourists First: Maximizing the Power of Marketing

Future growth of the tourism industry things on the ability to push creative boundaries to develop exciting ways to inspire travelers to convert from desire to travel to actual travel to a particular destination. As a traveler, the perception of a country's brand is a major influencer when they are choosing their travel destination. In order to achieve effective results it is crucial to understand the expectation, preferences and needs of tourism and to leverage on creative and innovative marketing campaigns.

This session will focus on winning the potential tourists attention by delivering products and services beyond their expectations. Towards this end, how do we leverage on the marketing instruments, digital marketing, social media and the forms of innovative marketing medium and approaches?

Participants
This conference will bring together world leaders in tourism, high-level policy-makers, specialists and experts from the public and private sectors, academicians and representatives from the media to exchange ideas and experiences, update their knowledge, and expand the existing network for future tourism growth and development.