Rifai urged event planners to better promote themselves through data while speaking during the opening reception at Imex 2014 in Frankfurt.
He also highlighted sustainability, visas and access to travel as key challenges affecting the meetings industry.
Rifai told meetings professionals: "You must better promote the true value of the meetings and travel industry and produce data to promote our assumptions about the sector.
"The meetings industry is young in comparison to other sectors such as finance. It is also a complex one, as it is not easy for people to understand the magnitude of the sector.
"The progress of meetings contributes a large percentage to the tourism sector and the tourism sector contributes to the greater economic and social development of the world. Knowledge is spread through your industry. The sector is one of the most resilient and powerful industries in the world."
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