Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market
Where would you hear of robotic concierges, visionary tourism plans, mega projects, even giga projects transforming regional tourism landscapes, disruptive technology and Expo 2020, all under one roof?
Where would government ministers, travel planners, experts and decisions makers, investors, developers, media and techies converge to ring the changes on a global travel scale?
Enter centre stage, The Arabian Travel Market, (ATM), run by Reed Exhibitions. With fingers on the tourism pulse, this company uncovers the plots and trends, the key issues and tourism visions. All this in order to display the travel & tourism barometer of the Middle East and North Africa region.
From small beginnings back in 1993 when Reed Exhibitions set up its first travel stall with 2,000 sqm of space and 7,000 visitors, the industry has seen unprecedented expansion and maturity. Last year, its show, held annually in Dubai, attracted 40,000 industry professionals from 141 countries.
Capitalizing on these growth factors, the Arabian Travel Market 2019, saw the unveiling of an umbrella brand, Arabian Travel Week, with new events running within the show. These included ILTM Arabia, a service bringing together luxury and global buyers through pre-arranged appointments in a dedicated area, the first CONNECT Middle East, India, Africa 2019, a route development forum exchange for airlines and airports and ATM Holiday Shopper, a consumer-led event.
At the helm, Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, explained how ATM has carved a winning formula and why she believes connectivity is key. “We are always looking for new verticals and approaches to focus on specific avenues across the breadth of the travel industry. And to do this in an environment where the industry meets, does business, exchanges ideas and showcases its brands and services to cover all facets of the industry for commercial success.”
“ATM strives to identify the top tourism trends and growth potential, learn how the industry is evolving and how to affect that change. Content is important. Our advisory board is instrumental in bringing together the general parties to discuss subjects such as stopover tourism to help the industry address key issues. Yes, we are an exhibition that runs for four days but we aim to be an instrumental part of the industry and a driver to help change or at least a platform where these discussions can drive the industry forward.”
This year, the theme took the form of technology and innovation as digital developments change the face of the industry and bring in disruption, especially to the hospitality sector.
The GCC is one of the fastest growing regional hospitality markets globally and reliant on innovative technology. The first ATM Hotel Industry Summit focused on this digital infrastructure – facial, voice recognition, chatbots, virtual reality robot concierges and AI – and how it is transforming the industry and affecting hotel design and guest communications.
Danielle Curtis stressed the significance of the scheduled Arabian China Summit. “China is now a key source market set to account for a quarter of international tourism by 2030. With relaxed visa rules, ATM has brought 120 buyers from China to this event. We are following the needs and demands of the travel industry.”
The future of selling travel for both Inbound and outbound tourism professionals is key to visitors and exhibitors alike. Seminars and debates focused on projects which will change the future tourism landscape. These included the aptly named Saudi’s White Oil and their Vision 2030 expansion and infrastructure plans such as Neom and Red Sea Project. With years of experience in the market, ATM has been conversing on Expo 2020 for a number of years and to date 182 destinations have signed up for this 6 month event in Expo City.
An influencer inspires, creates awareness, showcases products and highlights the latest trends. Exhibitions provide a central platform and a global stage. Following 26 successful years as the travel & tourism beacon for trade professionals, the Arabian Travel Market has branched out launching new initiatives to attract a wider audience to the region causing ripple effects globally. The Arabian Travel Market is certainly an influencer and a driver of change so watch this space for ATM’s themes for its 27thshow in 2020.
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Arabian Travel Market international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. The 25thedition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre. www.arabiantravelmarket.wtm.com.
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face to face through data and digital tools at over 500 events a year, in more than 30 countries, attracting more than seven million participants.