DUBAI, 17 May 2021: Local and international travel professionals converged on the Dubai World Trade Centre on Sunday for the opening of the Arabian Travel Market 2021, the first major in-person international travel event since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The opening session, Tourism for a Brighter Future, featured presentations from Helal Saeed Al Marri, director-general, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing; 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 Thoyyib Mohamed, managing director, Maldives Tourism Board.
“This year, more than any other, we, along with our partners and sponsors, have worked together closely to enable an inspirational in-person event that will set the tone for the Middle East travel and tourism industry for the rest of this year,” said Arabian Travel Market exhibition director ME, Danielle Curtis.
“We are looking to capitalise on the latest trends and opportunities, as well as meeting challenges head-on with innovative solutions – with governments, trade associations, industry professionals and influencers, all working in unison,” she added.
Under the theme of ‘A new dawn for travel and tourism, participation at the 28th edition of the four-day show, which concludes on Wednesday 19 May, will have seen representation from 62 countries such as the UAE, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Germany, Cyprus, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, the Maldives, the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico and the US.
Away from the exhibition floor, 67 conference sessions are taking place featuring 145 local, regional and international speakers. Onsite, a global stage includes a hotel industry summit, dedicated buyer forums for Saudi Arabia and China, and the International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC).
Other features this year include Travel Forward at ATM, which has world-class technology experts, providing industry-leading insights about the latest technologies and trends that will undoubtedly shape the future of travel and tourism.
ATM 2021 will once again play an integral role in Arabian Travel Week, a 10-day long festival of travel and tourism events taking place in Dubai and online. In addition to the in-person Arabian Travel Market, other events that are part of Arabian Travel Week include Travel technology exhibition Travel Forward; ARIVAL Dubai for the tours and attractions sector; GBTA’s half-day virtual business travel conference; ITIC’s Middle East Tourism Investment Summit and regionally focused buyer groups including China.
Commenting on ATM Virtual, Curtis remarked: “This year, for the first time in ATM history, a new hybrid format will mean a virtual ATM running a week after the in-person event – that is one week later, starting Monday 24th to Wednesday 26 May.
“This will complement the in-person event and reach a much wider audience than ever before. ATM Virtual, which made its debut last year, proved to be a resounding success attracting 12,000 online attendees from 140 countries.
“Including a virtual element to our show is now essential, many industry professionals may not be able to attend in-person every year, particularly this year with social and travel restrictions changing so rapidly around the globe,” she added.