- Opening session of the high-level summit highlights the critical role that travel and tourism plays in long term sustainable economic recovery of the Middle East
- Panellists call for unity from countries across the world to work together to overcome the pandemic
- Other topics discussed on the opening day of ATM 2021 include opportunities from return of mass tourism, the revival of Chinese outbound tourism and the use of technology in a new reality for travel and tourism
The 28th edition of Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the region’s largest travel and tourism showcase, returned to Dubai in-person this morning to shine the spotlight on Tourism For a Brighter Future during the opening session at ATM’s Global Stage.
With 2021 ushering in a new dawn for travel and tourism, leading industry figureheads from around the world kicked off the discussion on the ATM Global Stage as they explored factors delivering the sector’s fast-paced recovery. Vaccinations, market segmentation and innovations in tech, travel corridors, marketing and product diversification were all highlighted as drivers for significant recovery by 2023.
Addressing the audience this morning, His Excellency Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said: “To see true recovery in travel and tourism, countries need to accept that COVID-19 exists and that we need to learn to live the new COVID-19 normal.
“Since the beginning, Dubai has shown remarkable resilience in dealing with the pandemic. Taking decisive action at the right time, using all the data available to us as a smart city to make decisions, and opening the economy sector by sector, with the right precautions being taken at each stage, has enabled the gradual recovery of the travel and tourism industry and allowed the city to open its borders to both domestic and international travel.
“With the number of COVID-19 cases stabilising, due to high vaccination rates and some of the highest testing rates in the world, we can expect to see further easing of restrictions in Dubai in the near future,” he added.
Other notable speakers on the panel were Dr Taleb Rifai, Chairman ITIC & Former Secretary General United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Scott Livermore, Chief Economist of Oxford Economics Middle East, Dubai; and Mr Thoyyib Mohamed, Managing Director, Maldives Tourism Board.
Elsewhere on the agenda on the ATM Global Stage, tourism ministers and key industry stakeholders from the Gulf and Southern Europe convened during the Tourism Beyond COVID Recovery session to discuss the vast opportunities for travel, tourism and hospitality presented by the potential return of mass leisure tourism, medical and educational travel, business events and beyond that, cross-cultural exchange and collaboration.
This was followed by the ATM China Tourism Forum, which highlighted the continuing importance of China as a major source market for many MENA destinations, and examined the imminent return of inbound tourism from China as destinations including Dubai near “COVID-19 safe” status due to the success of their domestic vaccination drives.
Meanwhile, delegates at the ATM Travel Forward theatre heard from world-class technology experts discussing industry-leading insights about the role of technology in the future of travel.
“Technology plays a critical role in facilitating the restart of global travel and tourism in the wake of the COVID-19 bounce back,” said Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market. “The discussions taking place at ATM Travel Forward highlight the readiness of travel businesses to face the new realities of the industry and provides a valuable forum for identifying the new technologies and innovations essential to restore travel confidence.”
Throughout the four-day event, ATM 2021 will feature 67 conference sessions with over 145 local, regional and international speakers. On the Global Stage, attendees will also be able to attend the hotel industry summit, the ATM Saudi Arabia Tourism Summit: Transformation through tourism, an International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC), as well as an aviation panel, and a special session on lessons learned leading to recovery and on-going resilience in world travel.
ATM 2021, which was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, CEO and Founder of Emirates Group and Chairman of Dubai World, continues on Monday 17 to Wednesday 19 May at the to the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
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, 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, India 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.*
*Note: Current market capitalisation can be found at http://www.relx.com/investors
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