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Virtual Arabian Travel Market 2021 begins as industry convenes to show support for recovery of travel and tourism

Tourism professionals discuss sustainability & growth of alternative lodging at ATM Virtual
Tourism professionals discuss sustainability & growth of alternative lodging at ATM Virtual
Written by Harry Johnson

Aviation, regional tourism, destinations and technology some of the key topics to be discussed on the first day of ATM Virtual 2021.

  • Virtual element of hybrid ATM takes place from 24 – 26 May
  • In-person event successfully concluded last week having welcomed exhibitors from 62 countries and travel professionals from over 100 countries
  • Sir Tim Clark opens ATM Virtual 2021

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 at 10:30 am to 11:30 am GST, with airline expert John Strickland from JLS Consulting. It will be followed by IATA’s Director General Willie Walsh keynote interview at 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm GST, 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 at 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm GST, 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. 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.