Dubai, United Arab Emirates. September 18, 2022. Dubai-based AI-driven consumer insight & influence specialist D/A has shared data from its latest report on sustainability at the GCC ahead of the Future Hospitality Summit (FHS) to be held 19-21 September 2022.
The report, based on the largest study into understanding sustainability at the GCC, covers consumer interest in sustainability, examines where government is leading the debate and charting the course for the future, and what brands are talking about in relation to sustainability.
The data shows that the number of consumers interested in sustainability increased by almost 100% in 2021 compared to 2019, with a significant movement in 2020 coinciding with the peak of Covid-19. The profile of consumers interested in sustainability in the region is young, particularly in Saudi Arabia, where 50% are under 30 years old.
Faisal Khan, Vice President of Strategy & Insights at D/A, said, “With data as context, the first opportunity for any customer-centric organization is to recognize the relevance and magnitude of sustainability opportunities. It pays to set clear sustainability goals and carefully assess how organizations are driving sustainability from now on, otherwise they risk building genuine customer loyalty.”
Social sustainability is a priority for GCC consumers, particularly in KSA and Kuwait, but the environment is also high on the agenda, with climate change being the fastest growing trend, aligned with government priorities in the region. Sustainability in the context of travel and hospitality has seen consistent interest from consumers at the GCC, with 50% of conversations focusing on the role hotels can play in promoting sustainability education and awareness, and a further 30% on environmental sustainability including climate change. But are brands enough?
The number of brands prioritizing sustainability is up 40% year-on-year, and brands are creating 105% more content on the topic year over year, with environmental sustainability accounting for 56.5% of content created. However, brands under-exploit social sustainability and don’t speak up enough about climate change-related initiatives, highlighting the opportunity to advocate for sustainability and build resonance and emotional connections with consumers in the GCC, given that the average engagement for sustainability content is 50% is higher than all posts that create brands. Brands from some industries are more active than others, with food and beverage being the most active, followed by retail and service brands – including travel – which together account for 90% of sustainability posts in the GCC.
Leadership at the GCC is vocal about the role of sustainability in the region’s future. Government agencies in the region are known for their initiatives to maintain social balance and have been active in helping countries and societies in need. What emerges as a priority alongside social sustainability is environmental sustainability with a strong focus on climate change and pollution driving 75% of conversations, followed by animal welfare including food safety and plant-based issues at 16% and waste management at around 14%. . The study shows that governments are making significant efforts to promote awareness of sustainability.
Commenting on the data, Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of The Bench said: “These insights are incredibly important to our industry as we look to drive change and plan for the future of sustainable tourism and hospitality in the Middle East and beyond. Sustainability is at the heart of this year’s FHS programme, not only in the keynote presentations and panel discussions, but also in the event experiences we have created for attendees this year. We are also proud to host the finals of the 2022 Sustainable Hospitality Competition and look forward to hearing the ideas on innovation and sustainability from the world’s most talented student teams as the next generation of hoteliers.”
Hosted by Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts and co-organized by The Bench and MEED, the FHS brings together the investment communities of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC), the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) and the African Hospitality Investment Forum (AHIF) under one umbrella on the theme Lead the change. The action-packed three-day event will feature numerous sustainability-themed sessions, including:
Monday 19 September
A panel discussion on the topic include responsible consumption Then talk about the sustainable future of food delivery at 2:30 p.m.
4:30 p.m – The finale of 2022 Sustainable Hospitality Challengea global competition for students to turn their ideas for innovation and sustainability into reality, on the main stage of the summit.
Tuesday, September 20th
9:40 a.m. –
Presentation by Path Thaker from the Economic Intelligence Unit entitled “From war, ESG, supply chain chaos to food safety.”
A conversation about innovations driving cost challenges responsible sourcing and procurement followed by a presentation by Tim Peck at OBMI sustainable design and a panel discussion on the rise of experiential, ecocentric hotels In the middle east.
3:00 p.m – Keynote speech by Alaa Abudiaum, CEO of Egis Middle East, am The future of green infrastructure and how it will transition into the future of hospitality, followed by a panel discussion that will explore it data-driven sustainable investments and regulations driving change.
Experts from the hospitality industry have the opportunity to address the FHS audience in a special Open Microphone session, with five minutes to show how they are Driving change when it comes to innovation, sustainable practices and personal growth. This is followed by a conversation Accelerate sustainable development and operations in hospitality.
Wednesday 21 September
In addition, FHS delegates will have the opportunity to participate in several event experiences focused on sustainability. This includes a trip to Bustanicathe world’s largest vertical farm to find out how Dubai is reducing its dependence on food imports by creating a year-round growing environment for leafy greens, the fish farmwhich focuses on breeding and hatchery of marine fish to support the local aquaculture industry and reduce dependence on foreign imported fish, and that Turtle rehabilitation project in Dubai at the world-famous Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Al Naseem, the only program of its kind in the region that has released 2,050 sea turtles back into Dubai waters since its inception in 2004.
For more information on Dubai FHS, visit https://www.futurehospitalitysummit.com. For the full program of the FHS agenda, click here.
About the bank
The Bench has built a legacy of delivering world-leading investment forums and conferences in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. The key principle behind these platforms has remained “deal making”. Bench has earned a reputation for creating innovative and impactful meeting spaces for the industry by transforming the way businesses connect.
For over two decades – heads of government, ministries of tourism, global travel and tourism associations, the world’s most influential hotel brands, hotel owners and investors, renowned restaurant groups, airlines and aviation authorities, destination developers, wealth managers, financial groups and consultants have attended The Bench’s events for their respective goals to have. These include AHIC, AHIF, GRIF, FHS, AHF, IDEEA, AviaDev and RENEW – this is where industry players showcase their brands, position themselves as thought leaders or innovators and connect with the right opportunities and knowledge.
Learn more at thebench.com
Introduced on International Women’s Day in 1957, the Middle East Economic Digest, MEED is a well-known and trusted brand used by governments and businesses operating in the region.
MEED includes a business intelligence service, digital media, publications and events and offers exclusive news, data and analysis on a daily basis. We are responsible for keeping our audience of subscribers, registered users and event attendees informed and helping to facilitate decision making and connections.
Our Marketing Solutions team gives clients access to our audience. We partner with local and international companies that need to reach our high quality communities. In consultation with our clients, we use tried and tested methods to target and engage decision makers, to announce and explain how to lead and grow, and to contact and convert business leaders into customers.
MEED is fully owned by data and information company GlobalData Plc, which means our marketing solutions clients can also access a network of over 13 million monthly digital users across 18 different sectors.
Learn more at meed.com
Future Hospitality Summit (FHS)
Date: 19-21 Sep 2022
Location: Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Sponsors: Host Sponsor: Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts
Platinum Sponsors: Accor, Dur Hospitality, Hilton, Marjan, Millennium Hotels & Resorts and Radisson Hotel Group
Emerald Sponsors: Emaar Hospitality Group, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, NEOM, Rotana, Royal Commission for AlUla, SMIT Morocco and Taiba Investments.
Gold Sponsors: Aleph Hospitality, CBRE, Colliers, Compass Project Consulting, Dentons, ELAF Group, ENVI Lodges, GG&Grace International, Hospitality Management Holding, HVS, The Indian Hotels Company, Insignia, Interior360, Ishraq Hospitality, IT Hospitality Group, Knight Frank, Louvre Hotels Group, LXA, Mapal Group, Minor Hotels, OBMI, PwC Middle East, QUO, SSH, STR, Valor Hospitality Partners and Voltere by egis.
Silver Sponsors: Deutsche Hospitality and Katch.
Supporters: Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Hospitality Asset Managers Association (HAMA), Sustainable Hospitality Challenge and Women in Hospitality (WiH).
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