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ATM Virtual 2021 begins with the theme – a new dawn for travel and tourism

ATM Virtual, Arabian Travel Market, Middle East travel show
ATM Virtual

Middle East region’s largest travel and tourism showcase, Arabian Travel Market continues this week from Monday 24 May to Wednesday 26 May with the highly anticipated ATM Virtual event.

During the three-day showcase, those unable to attend the in-person event this year 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.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “We are thrilled to be able to continue with ATM Virtual 2021 off the back of the hugely successful in-person event at the Dubai World Trade Centre last week. We must be able to reach a wider audience as possible as the travel and tourism sector unites to pave the way forward towards fast-paced recovery beyond COVID-19.”

Under the theme of ‘A new dawn for travel & tourism’ , the virtual event begins with an exclusive airline industry leadership keynote interview with Emirates’ President Sir Tim Clark, with airline expert John Strickland from JLS Consulting.

Emirates’ President Sir Tim Clark
Emirates’ President Sir Tim Clark

It will be followed by IATA’s Director General Willie Walsh keynote interview also with John Strickland and will explore the priority issues on Willie Walsh’s agenda and seek his views on how IATA needs to drive engagement and consistency of approach to permit airlines to begin the process of recovery.

One of the many highlights from the in-person event last week, the Saudi Arabia Tourism Summit returns virtually on Monday 24 May, for an exclusive look at the future of Saudi Arabia’s hotel landscape. With the long-term tourism outlook more bullish than ever, hotel industry heavyweights including Accor’s TIMEA CEO Mark Willis, Olivier Harnisch, Head of Hospitality, Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia, Hassan Ahdab, President of Hotels Operations for Dur Hospitality, and Christopher Lund, Director, Head of Hotels, MENA Region, Colliers International, will discuss the vast potential for new and innovative hospitality concepts that keep pace with this demand and fast-changing guest demographics, now and in the future.

Elsewhere on the conference agenda on the first day of ATM Virtual 2021, Douglas Quinby, Co-Founder and CEO of Arival, shares exclusive research on the outlook for tours, activities, attractions and key trends shaping the sector’s revival post-pandemic.

John Strickland Director JLS Consulting.
John Strickland Director JLS Consulting.

Meanwhile, delegates will hear from Emaar Entertainment’s CEO Zeina Dagher on her experience of how attractions have adapted to the downturn and where attraction development, distribution, and guest experience is headed in 2021 and beyond.

Other hot topics include a session exploring the changes afoot amid the rise of online travel agencies (OTAs) and what this means for tour and attraction operators across the region, as well a candid interview with Peter Jamieson, Head of technology at Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, as he discusses how the UAE’s capital is looking to reimagine the guest experience by creating a truly connected and personalised experience from travel planning to arrival and experiencing the destination.

Later in the week at ATM Virtual 2021, the ATM Hotel Industry Summit will examine hospitality trends such as wellness and sustainability.

“The ATM Hotel Industry Summit is the opportune platform for hotel industry trade professionals to explain how they’ve adapted to the super-acceleration of global wellness and sustainability movements, evolving their hotels and services to respond to overwhelming traveller demand for health and wellbeing solutions and sustainable practices that support the environment and local communities,” Curtis added.  

The third day of ATM Virtual on Wednesday 26 May, will include highlights such as Cultural Tourism for Growth and Responsible Technology for Travel & Tourism sessions, as well as the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Conference, with the theme, Ready.Safe.Travel.

The Middle East Tourism Investment Summit organised by ITIC in partnership with Arabian Travel Market 2021 will also take place virtually on 27 May.

Read more: News

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