Arabian Travel Market 2021 to run live event in Dubai as new dawn beckons for travel & tourism industry

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  • Live event to take place at DWTC on 16-19 May 2021 and will focus on what the future holds
  • Aviation and travel professionals more optimistic after recent vaccine announcement by US pharma giant Pfizer 

Reed Travel Exhibitions, organiser of Arabian Travel Market (ATM), has announced that the 2021 edition of its annual showcase, will take place live at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) on Sunday 16 to Wednesday 19 May. 

Now in its 27th year and working in collaboration with DWTC and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the theme of the show next year will be ‘A new dawn for travel and tourism’ and the spotlight will be thrown onto the current state of the industry and more importantly, what the future holds. It will also look at the emerging trends and how innovation can drive the industry forward.

Supporting ATM’s theme, a recent Colliers report – MENA Hotel Forecasts, estimates that 2021 will be a year of recovery, based on the assumption that hotel performance across the region is already improving. Major destinations such as Dubai and Cairo are leading the way with estimated full year 2021 occupancy levels of 68% and 65% respectively. 

They were closely followed by Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah, Muscat and Amman, with average occupancies of 58%, 56%, 51%, 48%, and 45% respectively. Overall, average year-on-year growth of the 20 destinations researched was 47%.   

The health of the travel and tourism industry is key to the region. Prior to the pandemic, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to the Middle East’s GDP was predicted by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), to reach US $133.6 billion by 2028. So, given subdued oil prices and a general economic slowdown due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is clear that the regional economy will be relying on travel and tourism to recover quickly, once a vaccine has been fully developed and rolled out.    

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Last week, Pfizer released the first reading of its Phase-3 trial data for its COVID-19 vaccine, announcing that it was more than 90% effective in preventing the coronavirus, based on interim data analysis. 

“If approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Pfizer estimates it can roll out 50 million doses this year and up to 1.3 billion in 2021, enough to vaccinate almost 675 million people. So, we are confident that by May next year, we will be on the threshold of a new dawn for our industry.”

ATM 2021 will also play an integral role in Arabian Travel Week and for the first time, a new hybrid format will mean a virtual ATM running a week later to complement and reach a wider audience than ever before. ATM Virtual, which made its debut earlier this year after ATM 2020 was postponed, proved to be a resounding success attracting 12,000 online attendees from 140 countries. 

In total, the event facilitated 11,301 prescheduled one-to-one meetings and 23 live video sessions including Q&As and polls which ran alongside the presentations to enable audience interaction. Overall, the webinars had more than 24,000 views over the course of three days.

“It is imperative that we include a virtual element to Arabian Travel Week because many industry professionals from around the world, cannot attend the live event in person every year. It would also be naïve of us to imagine that governments throughout the world will relax their travel restrictions, to the same degree, at the same time and of course reopening airports and flight routes will also vary by country,” said Curtis.

Other notable features of Arabian Travel Week will include International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) 2021, and Travel Forward, the travel technology vertical. ATM will also be partnering with Arival, which through a series of webinars will cover current and future trends for tour operators and destination managers. 

Other features will include Buyers Forums dedicated to key source markets including Saudi Arabia, India and China plus a virtual digital influencers’ speed networking session, a hotel summit and a responsible tourism programme.  

The show will strictly adhere to all DWTC’s stringent health and safety guidelines and will set out to provide a touchless and seamless experience. The team at DWTC are working hard to ensure that all events run safely and have implemented a range of measures including an enhanced cleaning regime, improved air circulation, multiple hand sanitiser stations and temperature checks.

ATM, considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed almost 40,000 people to its 2019 event with representation from 150 countries. With over 100 exhibitors making their debut, ATM 2019 showcased the largest ever exhibition from Asia. 

About Arabian Travel Market (ATM):

Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 27th 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. 

ATM 2021 will feature, among others, Travel Forward, a high-end travel and hospitality innovation event, dedicated conference summits, ATM buyer forums and speed networking events, as well as Arival Dubai @ ATM – a dedicated in-destination forum.

Next live event: Sunday 16 to Wednesday 19 May 2021, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai 

Next virtual event: Sunday 23 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 and ATM Virtual 2021, including ILTM Arabia and Travel Forward – a new travel tech and hospitality innovation event launching this year – as well as the ATM Buyer Forums and ATM Speed Networking Events. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector, under one roof over the course of one week,  Arabian Travel Week will be returning to Dubai World Trade Centre from Sunday 16th May 2021.

About Reed Exhibitions:

Reed Exhibitions is a leading global events business. It combines face-to-face with data and digital tools to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 500 events in almost 30 countries across 43 industry sectors, attracting more than 7 million participants.  

Our events, organized by 35 global offices, leverage industry expertise, large data sets and technology to enable our customers to generate billions of dollars of revenues for the economic development of local markets and national economies around the world. Reed Exhibitions is part of RELX, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.

About Reed Travel Exhibitions:

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 20 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. 

Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf and spa travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions. 

About World Travel Market:

World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises four leading B2B travel events across four continents, generating more than $7.5 billion of industry deals. The events are:

WTM Virtual, is the new WTM Portfolio virtual platform, created to offer global delegates the chance to arrange one-to-one virtual meetings, to do business, attend conference sessions and roundtables, take part in speed networking and more. WTM Virtual embraces the global leading travel shows in one platform.

Event was held Monday 9 to Wednesday 11 November 2020 Virtual

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating over £3.71 billion in travel industry contracts. This year the show was fully-virtual.

Next live event is in 2021

WTM Latin America attracts around 19,000 participants – 11,586 unique. The trade show, which takes place in São Paulo, has a worldwide audience that meets to establish the direction of the travel industry. The event is recognised for attracting a high level of professionals from the segment, including buyers and travel agents. It also offers programmes with qualified content and plenty of opportunities for networking and generating business that is relevant to the travel industry

Next event: Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 April 2021 – Expo Center Norte, São Paulo.WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. More than 6,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors.