Trends shaping the global tourism landscape with Aradhana Khowala of Aptamind Partners

Trends shaping the global tourism landscape with Aradhana Khowala of Aptamind Partners

As CEO of Aptamind (UK), chair of Red Sea Global and board member of Elaf Group (SEDCO Holding) in Saudi Arabia, among other roles, Aradhana Khowala has her plate full. Here, the accomplished author and expert in travel, tourism and hospitality talks about the global tourism landscape.

How does Aptamind Partners identify promising projects in the diverse landscape of global tourism?

Aptamind Partners specializes in tourism projects, demonstrating how tourism can be a force for good. With mandates in over 75 countries, we leverage industry expertise and foster strategic partnerships. We prioritize rigorous risk assessment and due diligence to align investments with criteria such as scalability, profitability and sustainability. Moreover, we consider shared values and the caliber of the execution team. As a strategy consulting practice, we help leaders stay competitive. However, we see ourselves as part crusaders, part activists, as well as storytellers. We operate at the nexus of climate resiliency, engaging local communities and prioritizing racial and gender equality in destination strategy. We approach our work through the rigorous lens of impact.

What emerging trends do you predict will shape the future of the global tourism and hospitality sectors?

We anticipate a shift beyond sustainable tourism toward regenerative practices. Priority will be given to having a positive impact on the environment, local community and society. Moreover, digital transformation and generative AI will continue to reshape the industry, elevating customer experiences and operational efficiencies. Experiential travel is on the rise, driven by a desire for authentic cultural immersion. In addition, once-in-a-lifetime adventures will remain in high demand. This trend reflects travelers’ pursuit of unique and unforgettable journeys. Additionally, generational changes, coupled with longer lifespans, will further shape travel preferences, notably toward wellness tourism.

How do you envision the future of global tourism?

Tourism is a great social and economic enabler, sitting at the nexus of social, political and economic change. However, we must prepare to co-create the future we want. I am enormously encouraged about the future of tourism. I envision it as part of the global transformation movement to balance equity and sustainability. Moreover, I would like us to go one step further, accelerating the ability of the travel and tourism sector to decarbonize the world. In addition, I would like us to support the sustainability of destinations and businesses. Therefore, improving living conditions locally and globally. Historically, tourism’s role in this process has been passive. I believe it’s time to challenge this assumption and make it an active role. Therefore, we need leaders to be more evolutionary leaders, willing to step out of their comfort zones for this to happen at scale.


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Aradhana Khowala will be speaking at the Future Hospitality Summit (FHS) Saudi Arabia which is taking place from 29 April to 1 May at the Mandarin Oriental Al Faisaliah, Riyadh.

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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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