The Middle East region’s largest travel and tourism showcase, Arabian Travel Market, took place in Dubai under the theme of “A new dawn for travel & tourism”. The four-day event welcomed exhibitors from 62 countries and travel professionals from over 100 countries.
The Middle East Tourism Summit, organised by ITIC in partnership with Arabian Travel Market 2021, held during the event called for continued collaboration at government level to support the recovery of the tourism industry in the Middle East. The summit, which will also take place virtually on 27 May, was held under the theme ‘Invest-Rebuild-Restart the tourism industry in the Middle East’ and was attended by high-level decision makers, professionals and investors who discussed the challenges, issues, opportunities, but more importantly the way forward for the tourism industry in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The summit also focused on green sustainable investment, underscoring a new vision for responsible tourism recovery.
“Putting sustainability at the heart of the future development of the tourism industry in the Middle East will be crucial to meet the expectations of local and international visitors, who are now more socially aware and informed, than ever before. The industry has undoubtedly made huge strides in this area, with a range of initiatives across the sector positively impacting the environment,” said Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market.
East Meets West
A seminar entitled ‘East Meets West: Lessons Learned Leading to Recovery and On-going Resilience’ included panelists from industry associations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) proved insightful for strategic planning and future developments.
The overwhelming consensus underscored the importance for countries and destinations to work together, share best practices and align protocols in order to get global travel restarted seamlessly and safely, a point reiterated by aviation experts. However, the most pressing issues making the current situation so challenging for the industry is the unpredictable situation and lack of clarity, which makes medium to long term planning very difficult.
With the long-term tourism outlook more bullish than ever, hotel industry heavyweights discussed the vast potential for new and innovative hospitality concepts and fast-changing guest demographics, now and in the future. The event offered an exclusive look at the future of Saudi Arabia’s hotel landscape.
Another popular seminar was a hotel summit session about the challenges to traditional hospitality, brought on by social distancing and the increased reliance on technology – impersonal by nature. Nothing would replace genuine hospitality but guests will decide their preferred level of human interaction. Hospitality is now faced with balancing safety with personal attention while maximizing the efficiency of technology without compromising on service excellence.
ATM continues with the three-day showcase from 24-26th May with ATM Virtual.
Arival Dubai @ ATM will also take place during the virtual week. The event will feature a series of sessions covering current and future trends for operators of tours and attractions.
In addition, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s business travel and meetings trade organisation, will deliver the latest business travel content, research and education to drive the post-pandemic recovery and support growth in business travel.
“Next week, ATM Virtual gives us the opportunity to interact with an even greater global audience. With travel restrictions still in place for many people, for those unable to attend the live and in-person event, the virtual element provides the perfect platform for travel professionals to connect, do business and hear from leading lights within the industry, from anywhere in the world,” added Curtis.
View the event highlights via the following links:
About Arabian Travel Market (ATM)
Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 28th year, continues to be the focal point for the Middle East’s resilient and ever-changing travel and tourism landscape and prides itself on being the hub of all travel and tourism ideas, providing a platform to discuss insights on the ever-changing industry, share innovations and unlock endless business opportunities. Arabian Travel Market is part of Arabian Travel Week. www.wtm.com/atm/en-gb.html #IdeasArriveHere
Next virtual event: Monday 24 to Wednesday 26 May 2021
About Arabian Travel Week
Arabian Travel Week is a festival of events taking place within and alongside Arabian Travel Market 2021. It includes ATM Virtual, Arival Dubai and Travel Forward – a new travel tech and hospitality innovation event launching this year. It also features the ATM Buyer Forums, the International Travel & Investment Conference (ITIC) Summit, Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) forum, as well as the Saudi and China Summits. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector, Arabian Travel Week will take place in Dubai from Sunday 16th to Thursday 26th May 2021. www.wtm.com/arabian-travel-week/en-gb.html