After a competitive bidding process, Jordan has been chosen for the first time as the venue of the 6th edition of the Arab Aviation Summit, which will take place under the patronage of Jordanian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Lina Annab on Dec. 5 and 6.
Known as the voice of the industry, the Arab Aviation Summit has grown to become the most prominent gathering of aviation and tourism executives in the region. Since it launched in 2011, the industry initiative has been facilitating a constructive dialogue between public and private sector leaders and the wider Arab media community.
“The fact that the summit is taking place in Jordan is another key highlight,” Arab Aviation Summit Producer Roy Askar told Gulf News Journal. “Jordan is a popular travel destination and hosting this event in Jordan will offer participants the opportunity to explore the regional industry’s challenges in the context of the country’s own growth potential. Additionally, its cultural insight will add another intriguing dimension to the event.”
The theme of this year’s summit is "Linking Cultures, Driving Economies," which builds on the idea that connecting destinations opens doors for greater economic growth.
“Aviation and tourism is the bridge that helps make this possible and facilitates stronger connections,” Askar said.
Besides spotlighting emerging trends, the summit will identify new challenges and opportunities and discuss the greater impact of all the micro and macroeconomic factors on aviation, Ashkar said. The agenda will initiate a dialogue on a wide range of sub-topics such as future destinations, travelers of the future, future technologies, new regulatory models for foreign investment and sky liberalization. Prominent speakers from Arab Airlines, Airbus, CFM and the Jordan Tourism Board will be featured, and list of speakers will be announced at a later date.
“Travel and tourism in the region are growing in leaps and bounds, which means the expectations, challenges and opportunities associated with are also evolving,” Askar said. “The agenda of this year’s summit will assess these factors, offering the most insightful and informed discourse on topics most relevant to the industry and its current climate.”
In addition to drawing attention to the evolving landscape of aviation and tourism in the region, the initiative helps raise awareness about its host destinations and in doing so, brings the rest of the world closer to Arab geographies. Also, all the key findings and most noteworthy insights are compiled into a white paper report, which is presented to regulators and decision-makers from both public and private sectors.
“The avia-tourism industry is in a constant phase of transition, especially in recent times, so it is vital to keep track of all the changes affecting it and discuss how the industry can shape its future,” Askar said. “The summit serves to offer a strong platform on which decision-makers can collaborate and write the next chapter of the industry’s continuous transformation.”
The Arab Aviation White Paper 2015 said it is estimated that by 2025, travel and tourism in the Middle East will account for 3.2 million jobs directly, an increase of 3.1 percent per annum over the next 10 years. The outlook for aviation will continue to remain positive since 40 percent of the world’s population lives within four hours of the Middle East, 87 percent within eight hours and 100 percent within 16 hours.
However, Askar said, there will always remain challenges the industry will need to overcome for sustained growth. Platforms like the Arab Aviation Summit help to identify and anticipate these challenges so that industry players can collaborate on strategies and solutions, mitigate risks or brace themselves for the outcomes.
“The world of aviation and tourism is changing rapidly and new challenges continue to crop up,” Askar said. “However, as the voice of the industry, the Arab Aviation Summit will continue to play its part as a torchbearer by bringing key industry players together and ensuring that opportunities are highlighted and capitalized on.”