Dubai – MENA Herald: Leading regional travel industry professionals will come together at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2016, as organiser, Reed Travel Exhibitions, hosts its first ever Leaders Breakfast.
The invitation-only event, will take place on Wednesday 27th April 2016. As well as providing a unique platform for peer to peer networking, the highlight of the session will be an open one-on-one interview by BBC World News television anchor Zeinab Badawi, with veteran luxury hotelier, Sir Rocco Forte, Chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels.
Topical industry issues such as opportunities for luxury brands in Iran, the impact of technology on distribution channels and guest experience as well as his views on the future of the industry – online travel agents and the future of luxury in the Middle East post 2020.
“Sir Rocco and Zeinab will discuss current industry issues and the trends that will undoubtedly shape the future of the travel and tourism industry. With almost 47 years’ hands-on experience, Sir Rocco has in-depth knowledge of the hospitality business that is virtually unmatched. Add to that his frank and candid interview style and he was the perfect choice for our first ATM Leaders Breakfast event,” said Nadege Noblet-Segers, Exhibition Manager, Arabian Travel Market.
Son of the late Lord Charles Forte, and a descendant of one of the UK’s best known hospitality dynasties, Sir Rocco Forte founded his luxury hotel company in 1996 following a distinguished career with Forte Plc, which he joined as a young man in 1969. He oversaw the group which at one point, managed a portfolio of more than 800 hotels, 1,000 restaurants and almost 100,000 employees located in 50 countries.
Rocco Forte Hotels currently operates hotels in major European destinations including London, Edinburgh, Brussels, Florence, Rome, Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, and St. Petersburg, as well as a flagship property in Jeddah. Saudi Arabia. In 2009, Rocco Forte Hotels launched Verdura, the company’s first resort on the island of Sicily and has an active strategy for future expansion into new European destinations and other global markets, with a Shanghai hotel set to open in 2018.
Knighted in 1994 for services to the UK tourism industry he was also president of the British Hospitality Association (the main trade body for the UK hotel and catering industry) from 1991-6, and has also been an active member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council.
“As well as an engaging speaker, the breakfast presents a unique, closed-door opportunity for the very top echelon of the commercial travel industry to network with fellow senior industry professionals in an exclusive, relaxed atmosphere,” said Noblet-Segers.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, the show has grown to become the largest showcase of its kind in the region and one of the biggest in the world.

Now in its 23rd year, ATM 2016 will build on the success of this year’s edition with the announcement of an additional hall as Reed Travel Exhibitions looks to add to its record-breaking achievements earlier this year. ATM 2015 witnessed a year-on-year visitor attendance increase of 15% to over 26,000, with exhibiting companies increasing by 5% to 2,873. Business deals worth more than US$2.5 billion were signed over the four days.