Government and private sector urged to collaborate to ensure travel rebounds to boost economies in the Middle East

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  • Key travel and tourism trends in the spotlight on the ATM 2021 Global Stage include stakeholder collaboration, building resilience and the role of data-based technology solutions
  • ATM 2021, the region’s largest travel and tourism event, continues for two more days of interactive discussions, keynotes and industry briefings on 18 & 19 May at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)

During the opening session of Day 2 of Arabian Travel Market’s (ATM) Global Stage, panellists shared their thoughts on the importance of governments and the private sector, domestically and internationally, working collaboratively to ensure that travel and tourism rebound to boost economic recovery across the Middle East.

In collaboration with the Global Travel & Tourism Resilience Council, the region’s largest travel and tourism showcase shone a spotlight on improving traveller confidence and building resilience to get the global travel industry moving again. 

The session began with an interview with Madame Ghada Shalaby, Vice Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for the Arab Republic of Egypt, who explained how collaboration between ministries during the pandemic has resulted in a formula for other countries to follow to ensure destinations, and their visitors, have the best possible experience. 

With tourism traditionally generating more than 15% of Egypt’s GDP, and with the country targeting between 6 and 7 million visitors in 2021, the road to recovery of the travel and tourism sector in Egypt is well underway, with tourism and health ministries working in tandem to ensure the health and safety of both visitors and residents.

Madame Shalaby was joined by fellow panellists from the private sector, including Clive Bourke, President, DAON, EMEA and APAC; Dr Edem Adzogenu, Co-Founder, AfroChampions; Kashif Khaled, Regional Director Airport Passenger Cargo Security & Facilitation Africa & the Middle East, IATA; Stephanie Boyle, Head of Industry and Partner Communications, Skyscanner; and Ernesto Sanchez Beaumont, Managing Director, Amadeus Gulf. 

Also speaking about the importance of sector collaboration to improve traveller confidence, Scott Hume, Senior Vice President, Operations, Global Rescue, said: “There needs to be significant industry and international governmental collaboration to solve information gathering and distribution efforts across the globe to get travel started. On a national level, everyone is well aware of the complexities of the systems that need to be brought online to make travel easier and safer. However, we also need to address the issue of what happens when travellers get to their destination and how nations can instil a sense of confidence in travellers minds.”

The second panel session of the day on the ATM Global Stage saw aviation leaders including Wizz Air’s CCO George Michalopoulos, Embraer’s General Manager for Special Projects for Middle East & Africa, Hussein Dabbas, and John Brayford, President, The Jetsets convene to discuss the role of aviation in restoring confidence and building solutions for international travel. 

Meanwhile, the ATM Travel Forward explored topics such as the future of entertainment and technology at mega-events, including the World Expo, and how to restore travel trust and confidence to kickstart the industry’s recovery. An expert panel with Boston Consulting Group and Google assembled on stage to discuss how Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) can prepare for the eventual resumption of travel despite the unexpected changes on the horizon.

Commenting on the path forward for DMOs as they navigate a COVD-19 world, Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Developing tourism strategies based on annual planning and predicted travel behaviour has been challenging during this period. ATM is pleased to support destination marketers with this specialist panel hosted by BSG and Google as they share their insights into how consumers’ attitudes toward travel have changed in response to the pandemic and how DMOs can prepare for the eventual resumption of travel.”

ATM 2021 continues on Tuesday 18 May and Wednesday 19 May at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). ATM virtual will run the following week from 24-26 May, which will complement the live event by accommodating visitors who may be unable to travel to Dubai.

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 in-person event: Sunday 16 to Wednesday 19 May 2021, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai 

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, the Travel Agents’ Academy, The ATM Influencers day, the Digital Influencer Speed Networking and Travel Forward – a new travel tech and hospitality innovation event launching this year. It also features the ATM Buyer Forums, ATM Speed Networking Events 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.

About Reed Exhibitions Global

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 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors, attracting more than 7 million participants. Our events leverage industry expertise, large data sets and technology to enable our customers to connect face-to-face or digitally and 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-based analytics for professional and business customers. 

About RELX

RELX is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs over 33,000 people, of whom almost half are in North America. The shares of RELX PLC, the parent company, are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX.  The market capitalisation is approximately £33bn, €39bn, $47bn.*

About World Travel Market

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

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. 

Next event: Monday 1 November to 3 November 2021 at ExCel London

WTM Virtual, is the 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 embrace the global leading travel shows in one platform.

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 3 to Thursday 5 August 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.

Next event: Wednesday 7 to Friday 9 April 2021 – Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town