The Way Ahead

The Mediterranean Hotel & Hospitality Forum has an extensive programme offering the latest insight and market intelligence, highlight solutions and initiatives already available, as well as discussing innovations that will drive the sector forward. It is the must-attend event for those looking to develop green hotel policies, projects and technologies or looking to make their existing operations more sustainable.

The Meda Hotel & Hospitality Forum has been running for over 4 years and is renowned for attracting the highest calibre of international hospitality representatives and companies. It connects business leaders from the international and the Mediterranean market with the aim of boosting cooperation, investment, infrastructure and hotel development across the Mediterranean.

This event be held in a hybrid format to continue bringing together key team players in the sector and providing the space to make meaningful connections. It will also offer information about the industry latest trends and will be an occasion to meet potential projects online.

The hotel industry has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic since the first quarter of 2020, leading to the cancellation of reservations and events and the restrictions imposed on travel. Support is needed to keep the industry afloat, but the most important goal is to create a resilient and sustainable hotel industry that is capable of withstanding future major crises.

The Mediterranean region has 20% of the hotel accommodation capacity worldwide. The 24 Mediterranean countries have 10,000 destinations, some 100,000 hotels and around a million restaurants in total. The vulnerabilities exposed by the pandemic, such as the oversupply of hotel capacity, bureaucracy, the lack of flexibility and innovation and the inadequate collaboration between all the actors involved, present an opportunity to reinvent the sector.

The hotel industry of the future needs support. In addition to providing crisis relief for companies in the sector, a cooperative business environment has to be created for all stakeholders. It is urgent to promote a new and more efficient operating model by implementing the latest technologies, innovation and digitization, while maintaining safety and well-being standards for the local communities where they are based. Without a comprehensive plan that consolidates its leadership, recovery and long-term sustainability, this sector is in jeopardy.

As a consequence, it is essential to develop a future tourism ecosystem in a careful and considerate way that provides the right products and experiences to meet the demand of future visitors. The path is clear: promote cooperation and coordination of a coherent, modern and efficient Mediterranean tourism market, a profitable sector that generates not only income but also jobs and benefits the entire population, and moreover a sector prepared for climate change and aligned with the UN Development Sustainable Goals.

19th November 2021

12:00 – 13:30


Session: Building a more resilient Mediterranean hospitality sector

The Mediterranean hospitality sector requires vital support to navigate the post COVID-19 economy, as well as key areas for action to support players through and beyond the pandemic crisis.

The Way Ahead for Hospitality include establishing an official industry body to provide a voice for the hospitality sector to encourage greater collaboration and unity, and to work on behalf of all hoteliers in the Mediterranean region.

It is necessary to introduce a Mediterranean hotel development strategy that will manage the supply of hotels and other hospitality assets in a holistic way and ensure appropriate assets that are available to meet the future demands.

Key points for discussion:

  • How can the hotel & hospitality sector be supported throughout the crisis?
  • What does “greater collaboration” mean?
  • How can sustainability and efficiency be improved?
  • What safety measures can be implemented to make the tourist feel safe?
  • Exchanging and sharing the industry good practices
  • How big an impact the Digital transformation and innovation is having on the traditional hotel business and what hoteliers can do in response?

Session: A new model for hospitality

The COVID-19 has provided an opportunity to rethink the Mediterranean’s hotel and hospitality industry. The lockdown measures introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have cut hotel bookings and revenues, and raised fears for business survival across the hospitality sector. 

Hotels in the region have largely retained a traditional model of operation, but the struggling industry will need to evolve to survive. This is now an opportunity to really bring in some more innovative solutions. Some of the changes will require collaboration between stakeholders in the industry.

There is little doubt that the region’s hospitality sector is facing unprecedented pressure as a result of COVID-19, but there have been underlying issues that have dogged the industry for several years. The long-term decline in profitability, as a result of rising costs and declining levels of spending, represents a maturing of the regional’s hospitality sector after years of growth. This crisis presents an opportunity for the industry to come together and rethink Mediterranean hospitality. The additional pressure of the COVID-19 crisis will perhaps allow sector to act quicker and louder.

Experience session: Mediterranean cuisine and Hotels: Mediterranean Diet and the enhancement of traditional products in Mediterranean Tourism

Culinary tourism or food tourism is the exploration of food as the purpose of tourism. It is now considered a vital component of the tourism experience. The hotel sector accounts for 11% of the foodservice sector sales in the Mediterranean region.

This session aims to provide a common ground where producers and providers can share their experiences, discuss and find opportunities to build bonds and establish consistent and attractive destination products and services that will touch the tourist heart. And therefore, create unforgettable trips that will remain in their minds and will reinforce their willingness to come back to the Mediterranean, boosting this way the regional economy. 


Eva Ballarin | Trends, innovation and strategy independent researcher & analyst, HoReCa Industry expert

Speakers confirmed

Ghassan Aidi |President, IHRA & MHRA

Aadel Benyoussef | CTO, inHovate Solutions

Tomeu Bennasar | CEO, Soltour Travel Partners

Jalil Mekouar | Founder & CEO, inHovate Solutions – Hospitality Technology, Management & Investment

Amine E. Moukarzel | Ph.D President, Golden Tulip MENA/Louvre Hotels Group

Roger A. Allen | Group CEO, RLA Global

Elodie Casola | Marketing and Communications Director, ARUM Group

Salvador Illa

Ministry of Health, Government of Spain (Special Guest Speaker)

Enric Mayolas

Consulting Director, World Health Management (Moderator)

Gonzalo Fanjul

Policy Director, Institut Salut Global

Chakib Abouzaid

Secretary General, General Arab Insurance Federation

Co-organized with:

European Regional Development Fund              A way to make Europe