- Collaboration at government level crucial for tourism recovery said former UNWTO Secretary General
- Exhibitors from 62 countries and travel professionals from over 100 countries represented at ATM
- The highly anticipated virtual element of hybrid ATM takes place next week, from 24 – 26 May
The Middle East Tourism Summit, organised by ITIC in partnership with Arabian Travel Market 2021, rounded off the Middle East region’s largest travel and tourism showcase by calling for continued collaboration at government level to support the recovery of the tourism industry in the Middle East. The comments came ahead of ATM Virtual, which takes place 24-26 May.
“Governments must come together. They must work together. There is no sense in any country working on its own anymore,” said Taleb Rifai, Chairman, International Tourism and Investment Conference (ITIC) and former Secretary General UNWTO.
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 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.
Elsewhere on the conference agenda on the final day of ATM, was an insightful session entitled ‘East Meets West: Lessons Learned Leading to Recovery and On-going Resilience’ with guest 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).
The overwhelming consensus was that it is extremely important that countries and destinations work together to share best practice and align protocols in order to get global travel restarted seamlessly and safely, a point reiterated by aviation experts earlier at ATM. According to the panel, the most pressing issues making the current situation so challenging for the industry is the fact that the situation remains unpredictable and there is a lack of clarity, which makes medium to long term planning very difficult.
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. A panel consisting of hospitality leaders, agreed that nothing would replace genuine hospitality, rather guests would decide what level of human interaction they were comfortable with – balancing safety with personal attention while maximising the efficiency of technology without compromising on service excellence.
ATM continues next week with the highly anticipated ATM Virtual event, which takes place from 24 – 26 May. During the three-day showcase, those unable to attend the in-person event this year, will have the opportunity to view sessions recorded from the in-person event, as well as participate in a range of webinars, live conference sessions, roundtables, speed networking events, destination briefings, as well as make new connections in one-to-one meetings.
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 premier 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.
“This week has been a resounding success, we’ve welcomed exhibitors from 62 countries and travel professionals from over 100 countries during the four days of the event,” said Curtis.
“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.
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. #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 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.
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.
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