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Sun 16 Mar 2014 11:01 AM

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First Arabian tourism council to launch this year

Hospitality & tourism leaders to head up new multi-national council to promote, enhance industry

First Arabian tourism council to launch this year
Gaurav Sinha, founder of Dubai-based luxury travel and hospitality branding firm Insignia.

The first multi-national tourism board in the Middle East is expected to be launched this year in a bid to support and enhance the industry.

It would have up to eight “captains of industry” on an executive board and a potential membership base of millions of people employed in the industry, founder of Dubai-based luxury travel and hospitality branding firm Insignia, Gaurav Sinha, told Arabian Business.

Sinha, who developed the idea, said he intended to launch the first chapter of the Tourism Marketing Council by the end of the year. Based in the GCC, it would be called the Arabian chapter.

Subsequent chapters would be opened in India, Asia and potentially worldwide.

The council would help to formulate regulations, promote tourism and act as an advocate for the industry, Sinha said.

“What I was very keen to do is build a small community of travel professionals with the key stewards and captains of industry on board to improve the intelligence and the opportunities for individuals within the hospitality industry or the travel industry, to better their prospects,” Sinha says.

“It’s also about raising the standards of the way things are done in the industry here and that could lead to... in five years launching awards, a recognition programme that rewards excellence in service at a regional level.

“Plus the Arabian world is getting more and more important for the rest of the world. For even the rest of the world to learn how the travel and tourism industry here works is going to benefit everybody.”

Sinha said the council would hold a series of TED-like talks and events, plus roundtable discussions and white papers, often relevant to an international audience.

He also would apply to become an affiliate of the World Trade Organisation to add authenticity to the council.

He expects the leaders of reputable hotels and other hospitality firms to be elected as board members.

There are about 12 million people working in the hospitality and travel industry across the Middle East.

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