Travel trade professionals from across the world have gathered online for the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) Virtual, a newly launched three-day event for the region’s tourism community.
The debut event, which runs from June 1 to 3, focuses on emerging trends, opportunities, and the challenges which are directly impacting the travel and tourism industry amid the COVID-19 global health pandemic.
Over the course of three days, ATM Virtual will feature comprehensive webinars, live conference sessions, round tables, speed networking events, and one-to-one meetings, as well as facilitating new connections and offering a wide range of online business opportunities.
Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, Arabian Travel Market (ATM), said: “Our debut event not only underscores ATM’s mission to support and guide the region’s vast travel and tourism industry during and beyond COVID-19, but it also demonstrates our commitment to delivering positive business and networking opportunities to the entire community, during even the most challenging times.
“With up to four live high-level sessions each day, industry experts will address a range of topics including a road map to recovery, tourism strategies for the future, the hotel landscape in a post-COVID-19 world, and the resilience of the travel industry, as well as exploring the ‘new normal’ that lies ahead, emerging travel technology and sustainability trends.”
In the opening session “A Conversation with Sir Tim Clark,” the president of Emirates Airline spoke to John Strickland about his time at the airline, its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its plans for the future, as well as unveiling Emirates strategy, including planned fleet and network changes.
Another key event that took place on the first day was “OTAs and Distribution for Tours and Attractions Post-COVID,” hosted by Arival, a global research authority on the tours, activities and attractions sector.
The highlight of the second day was a live webinar “Bouncing Back: Tourism Strategies for the Future,” which saw industry experts including Fahd Hamidaddin, chief of investment, strategy and tourism marketing for the Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia, and Keith Tan, CEO, Singapore Tourism, discuss how the long-term tourism development strategies implemented by the region’s governments will become a catalyst for recovery when travel patterns adjust to the “new norm.”
Hamidaddin said: “As global travel restrictions ease, our focus is on ensuring that Saudi Arabia is ready to welcome visitors as soon as they are ready to travel. We are collaborating across the public and private sectors, to safeguard the well-being of visitors, while continuing to invest in high quality tourism experiences. Saudi Arabia offers endless appeal to the modern traveler. We are optimistic about the future of tourism in the Kingdom and we remain committed to our long-term targets.”