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Travel and tourism

Journeying from strategy through execution with our clients to develop tourism in the Middle East.

Travel and tourism generate 10% of the world’s economic output and support 1 in 10 jobs.

In the Middle East and North Africa, tourism is a strategic lever for the diversification of oil-based economies.

Today, the region is welcoming approximately 90 million international arrivals per year, which equates to 6% of the world’s total arrivals. Spanning more than 15 countries, the region’s natural, heritage, cultural, and religious tourism assets appeal to virtually all traveler segments.

Yet, some destinations benefit from distinct local priorities and a more mature tourism ecosystem. Destinations such as Egypt, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi have established themselves on the global tourism map, while others are reinforcing their positioning and even emerging as novel destinations.

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Why Strategy&

Our expertise in the Middle East’s travel and tourism space runs both wide and deep. We work with governments and authorities to articulate and implement their national and regional tourism strategies and frameworks—as well as public and private sector clients to design, develop, activate, promote, and manage destinations. Built on experience serving prominent clients and developing flagship travel and tourism projects, our team possesses unmatched capabilities and an in-depth understanding of the sector landscape, dynamics, and trends across the region.

 

How we can help you

Sector development

We help governments and authorities to define and execute their travel and tourism strategies, policies, and governance models, while developing the enabling ecosystem and incorporating sustainability.

Destination development

We work with public and private sector clients to define new destinations’ concepts and tourism products that appeal to target visitor segments. We also create the assets that bring a tourism experience to life.

Destination activation

We devise and execute plans to activate and manage established destinations. From event calendars to itineraries, we outline distinctive end-to-end visitor experiences that are aligned to brand positioning.

Marketing and distribution

We assist tourism stakeholders in promoting destinations and articulating distribution plans. We also assist the travel community ecosystem across a variety of topics such as feasibility studies and digitization models.

Transport infrastructure

We design land, sea and air infrastructure development and upgrade plans to enable mobility of visitors to, from and within destinations.

Digital

We assist national and regional authorities in digitizing tourism journeys, from destination consideration through final departure. We also work with private stakeholders to digitize products and services.

Sustainability

We help clients apply economic, social, and environmental sustainability to their tourism agenda, while preserving heritage, cultural identity, and natural assets.

Our client journeys: Tourism case studies

GCC island concept

When a major investment fund decided to develop a destination island in the Middle East, Strategy& was asked to help design the concept.

Strategy& first assessed the host region and took a close look at other benchmark destinations. An analysis of source markets and visitor characteristics was also conducted to determine targeting and consumer preferences. From there, Strategy& developed the island’s concept including retail, beach, outdoor, and cultural activities. To finalize, the team tested the details with focus groups and developed financial forecasts.

The concept and implementation roadmap were both approved by the investment fund’s board of directors and the island is currently in development.

GCC island concept

Cruise company business plan

Strategy& was retained by a major investment fund to assess the viability of the cruise sector and define its strategy.

The Strategy& team first confirmed the attractiveness of the region to the cruise ecosystem and estimated the cruise demand across different target markets. The team assessed potential destinations, estimated cruise traffic, and articulated an infrastructure and destinations upgrade plan. Strategy& defined the cruise line strategy and developed its business plan, which also covered details for vessel acquisition and deployment.

The board of directors approved the strategy and a cruise company was established to manage infrastructure and destinations upgrades, as well as launch the cruise line.

Cruise terminal business plan

Green tourism destination

A tourist destination in the Middle East had the ambitious goal of transforming into a “Green Tourist Destination” and commissioned Strategy& to help develop the strategy.

Strategy& first analyzed the destination’s existing carbon emissions, water supply, solid and liquid waste, waste management practices, and biodiversity. The team then conducted a cost-benefit analysis and made recommendations for 14 holistic programs that could achieve a “realistic green” scenario, while also offering a framework for financing the green initiative.

The sustainability strategy developed by the team at Strategy& was presented and approved to move forward.

Green tourism destination

Digital travel platform

Strategy& was asked by a GCC government agency focused on aviation to support the activation of a one-stop digital platform for all travel services.

The Strategy& team first defined a clear objective for the digital platform—namely to offer tourists one central online location where they could connect with all travel suppliers including hotels, cruise lines, and tour operators. The team then designed the platform’s operating model, including the overall functional architecture and the required modules of the core technology.

Once the design was developed, Strategy& helped the agency select a vendor and trade partners, create marketing materials, and activate operations.

Digital travel platform

Contact us

Marwan Bejjani

Marwan Bejjani

Partner, Strategy& Middle East

Alessandro Borgogna

Alessandro Borgogna

Partner, Strategy& Middle East

Ramy Sfeir

Ramy Sfeir

Partner, Strategy& Middle East

Karim Abdallah

Karim Abdallah

Partner, Strategy& Middle East

Karim Sarkis

Karim Sarkis

Partner, Strategy& Middle East

Maha Raad

Maha Raad

Principal, Strategy& Middle East

Vivek Madan

Vivek Madan

Principal, Strategy& Middle East

Sami Khawaja

Sami Khawaja

Principal, Strategy& Middle East

Dima Sayess

Dima Sayess

Partner, Strategy& Middle East

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