Arabian Travel Market goes online to discuss prospects of recovery from pandemic

The three-day event will take place early June
Wednesday 13/05/2020
Pre-pandemic days. A 2017 file picture shows visitors at the Dubai Parks and Resorts stand during the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) at the Dubai World Trade Centre. (AFP)
Pre-pandemic days. A 2017 file picture shows visitors at the Dubai Parks and Resorts stand during the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) at the Dubai World Trade Centre. (AFP)

DUBAI – The 2020 Arabian Travel Market (ATM) will next month hold a three-day virtual event focusing on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on tourism in the MENA region.

The ATM is a travel and tourism event organised annually in Dubai to provide a platform for inbound and outbound tourism professionals in the Middle East and explore future opportunities for travel and tourism in the region.

The ATM will not take place in Dubai this year, organisers have announced, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“In light of the changing global situation relating to the Covid-19 virus, will now be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre on May 16th-19th next year,” a statement said.

Measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have had a significant impact on the tourism industry due to travel restrictions as well as a slump in demand among travelers.

ATM’s online event will discuss the impact of the pandemic on the travel and tourism sector and the prospects of recovery from the crisis.

This virtual event, will take place for three days starting June 1, aims to enhance communication among key players within the travel and tourism sector in the region and identify opportunities beyond the current crisis.

“The first ATM virtual event will provide an opportunity to work with the travel market community closely. This is going to emphasise our main role in supporting the travel and tourism industry on its road to recovery from the crisis very quickly and efficiently,” said Danielle Curtis, exhibition director for the Middle East at ATM.

“We will also discuss the crisis’ impact on this industry, and we will discuss the road map for the recovery from Covid-19. At the same time, we will determine the most important trends, which will shape the future of this industry in light of the current changes, and the new norm,” Curtis added.

Leading tourist destinations have been adversely affected at an unprecedented scale by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Arab Tourism Organisation estimated tourism losses in the Arab world of about $30.6 billion.

Through four sessions that will be broadcast live, professionals and experts will discuss strategies for the future as well as the current situation of the airline industry and possible uses of travel-related technologies.

The sessions will discuss confidence-building among stakeholders during the health crisis and the hotel industry’s vision for the post-COVID-19 phase.

The event will host meetings bringing together editors, exhibitors and buyers. Live video sessions will allow Q&As while conducting surveys and presentations that will allow audiences to directly interact with the event.

A series of pre-recorded virtual sessions were prepared to simulate roundtable discussions in order to touch on a range of emerging vital topics, such as domestic travel, luxury travel trends, corporate travel and tourism sector recovery plans.

“For exhibitors from this region, these sessions will include one discussion devoted to the Middle East each day, in addition to an exhibit for buyers focusing on European and Asian products, as well as a session targeting Chinese buyers,” said Curtis.

According to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) the pandemic has caused a 22% fall in international tourist arrivals during the first quarter of 2020.