My name is Raymond Vrijenhoek, I am the vice president of Sabre Travel Network in the Middle East.
Your Excellency, Sheikh Salman Al-Homoud Al-Sabah..
Our valued customers and partners, It is with a great pleasure to welcome you to Sabre annual Ghabga.
As many of you know, I joined Sabre earlier this year. My experience primarily is in the aviation and travel industry in leading companies around the world. In the past 15 years I gained extensive experience in digital transformation and online travel.
While learning about the Middle East markets, I realized how unique and special the Kuwaiti market is. Great potentials, enthusiasm market, and many opportunities for growth and success all driven by high sense of technology. For me, this is just the right equation.
The travel and tourism sector is an important economic resource that has proven its power to support and boost economies across the world. Investing in this sector is always rewarding. If we look at this market, the total travel and tourism sector has been contributing with 3 % to the gross domestic product (GDP) and this has been increasing steadily for the past four years. The global travel and tourism market contribute about 10% of the global GDP.
As the government efforts continue to develop the tourism sector as a major pillar of the ‘New Kuwait 2035’, and with the vision of his Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to transform the country into a commercial and financial center, the industry is evolving for a great growth. We see new airport expansion plans to increase the capacity of the airport from 10M to 25M passengers, as well as other projects, such as the Kuwait Expressway and the railway network, all of which are included in the Kuwait 2035 plan.
These investments will enable the sector to contribute more to the country’s GDP and make it closer to the global average.
At Sabre, as the leading technology provider to the global travel and tourism industry, we understand the importance of this sector and the investments taking place. Our role is to develop the technology backbone that supports this evolution. We work closely with our travel partners to make the industry more successful and transform the travel journey to make it more enjoyable and seamless by providing technology to the travel stakeholders from airlines, hotels, travel agencies, car rentals, cruises and the end traveler.
In Kuwait, Sabre started its operations in 2005. We helped empower and support many players and shared their journey. Our team is one of the best caliber that understands the market needs and requirements. Our technical team is one of the most innovative team that brings our global expertise and localize it to match the specifications of this market.
One of our focus areas for Kuwait in specific and the region is online travel. We see great potential and growth in the online space driven by high adoption from the end users and we see leading players coming from Kuwait.
We have been pleased to work with you for the past years to achieve your business goals and overcome the obstacles you are facing. We assure you today that we are committed to this market and all its players and will continue to invest to support the “New Kuwait 2035” vision and our valued partners and customers through this exciting times.
At the end, I would like to thank his Excellency Sheikh Salman Al-Homoud Al-Sabah for joining us today and being our patron. Also, I would like to thank the Kuwait Travel & Tourist Agencies Association for partnering with us on this event. Wish you a wonderful evening.