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Travel and tourism recruitment practices must evolve

( DUBAI, UAE - Recruitment best practice and employment techniques should be further developed if the Middle East travel and tourism industry is to weather a predicted skills shortage, according to Reed Travel Exhibitions, organizer of Arabian Travel Market 2009.

With more than 1.5 million travel and tourism professionals required in the region by 2020, and with more than 300 new committed hotel projects planned between 2008 and 2011 across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the need for companies and organizations to focus their recruitment and retention efforts is paramount.

And with increased pressure for staff coming from the emerging markets of Asia and the sub-continent, employers in the Middle East are facing their biggest challenge yet.

“It is no surprise that the huge growth in the Middle East’s tourism, hospitality, and travel sectors has resulted in a shortage of skilled professionals. However, it is how we address this concern that will prove the deciding factor in the years to come,” said Simon Press, exhibition director, Arabian Travel Market, which takes place from May 5-8, 2009 at the Dubai International Convention Centre in the United Arab Emirates.

“We all have to take proactive steps to both enhance the region’s offering and increase the understanding of employees about the opportunities that are out there. Recruitment is a sizeable investment, both in terms of time and capital, and given the current economic climate, it is more important than ever that we get it right.”

To raise awareness of the issues, organizers of Arabian Travel Market – the Middle East’s premier travel and tourism exhibition – have added Careers Day to the 2009 event schedule as part of the show’s enhanced learning and knowledge delivery vision.

Taking place between 3:00 pm and 9:00 pm, Careers Day, which coincides with Consumer Day on Friday, May 8, 2009, will enable meetings between exhibitors and public with a keen interest in working within the industry or developing an existing career.

As well as face-to-face meetings with potential employers, visitors can attend specific career workshops and seminars hosted by established representatives within this industry, covering CV construction, covering letters, and interview techniques.

“The travel industry is evolving to meet the ever-changing requirements of the public, and there is a constant need for staff within all sectors. We see this Careers Day as way of tapping into the Middle East’s buoyant skills sector and helping to evolve the market in this region,” said Press.

“Careers Day enables those living in the Middle East to discover the various travel and tourism career opportunities available to them in a practical way - by meeting with potential employers and taking part in workshops that will aid the search for their ideal job.”

A number of other initiatives will also be retuning for 2009 including an expanded seminar program, increased year-long web presence and networking facilities, Travel Agents Day, and the show’s pioneering Hosted Buyer Program.
Arabian Travel Market is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and under the auspices of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Government of Dubai.

For further information: Sam Dulka, MCS/Action, Dubai, UAE; Tel: + 971 4 390 2960; Fax: +9714 390 8161; Email: href=""> or visit the show online at:

About Arabian Travel Market:

Arabian Travel Market was launched in 1994, and the 2008 event – which marked the show’s 15th anniversary – opened with its largest ever exhibitor base of 2,229 participants from 70 countries.

In addition, floorspace bookings from international representatives in Asia, the Americas, Europe, and Africa had grown by 10 percent, with Middle East companies increasing their allocation by five percent.

The 2008 show also boasted close to 90 new-to-market exhibitors, as well as increased space uptake from over 62 national tourist bodies with products and services representing 70 countries, including show debutants Bangladesh, The Philippines, Djibouti, Georgia, Senegal, and Nepal.

The event’s signature awards scheme, the New Frontiers Awards, will be staged for the fourth time in 2009. Presented to a destination that has made a remarkable recovery and positive contribution to tourism development in the face of the overwhelming adversity, the award, which is chosen by a panel of judges consisting of regional and international industry professionals, is one of the show’s highlights.

Arabian Travel Market is part of the Reed Travel Exhibitions’ portfolio, which includes 15 of the world’s leading travel industry events. For more information visit

Dina Fouad
Phone: 00971507810654

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