Let’s meet again, in person

Danielle Curtis

And staying on that point, using Reed Exhibitions’ Global COVID-19 ‘Safety Shows’ Health & Safety strategy, we have been working closely with the team at the DWTC to ensure that we provide a safe, touchless and seamless experience for everybody.

The show will strictly adhere to the health and safety guidelines set by the Dubai Government and followed by the venue, with a range of measures including an enhanced cleaning regime, improved air circulation, multiple hand sanitiser stations and safe distancing procedures.

The theme of this year’s show is ‘A New Dawn for Travel and Tourism’ and the spotlight will be focused on the very latest ‘COVID’ news from around the world – vaccine rollouts, social, travel and visa restrictions and consequently, the current state of the industry and moreover, what the future holds. We will also look at the emerging trends and how innovation can drive the industry forward.

In-person on the show floor, 62 countries represented by main stand holders and sharers will be participating this year. They include the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Germany, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Italy, Greece, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Maldives, the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico and the USA to name but a few.

Features this year will include Travel Forward at ATM, which will highlight keynote speakers and world-class technology experts, that will provide industry-leading insights about the latest technologies and trends that will undoubtedly shape the future of travel and tourism. The ATM 2021 conference programme includes the Global Stage which will feature the Hotel Industry Summit and Buyer Forums dedicated to key source markets such as Saudi Arabia, India and China.

There is also an International Tourism and Investment Conference, plus other focused events on Gulf-Israeli ties, an aviation panel and a special seminar aimed at encouraging women to take up careers in tourism and travel. In addition, other co-located events will include the Digital Influencer Speed Networking event and Buyers’ Club. ATM 2021 will also play an integral role in Arabian Travel Week, which will feature exhibitions, conferences, breakfast briefings, awards, product launches and networking events.

For the first time, a new hybrid format will mean a virtual ATM running from 24-26 May, a week later, to complement and reach a wider audience than ever before. ATM Virtual, which made its debut earlier this year after ATM 2020 was postponed, proved to be a resounding success attracting 12,000 online attendees from 140 countries.

It is imperative that we include a virtual element to Arabian Travel Week because many industry professionals from around the world, cannot attend the in-person event every year, particularly this year with travel restrictions still in place.

Having said that, Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world to visit with a wide range of precautionary measures in place to ensure the safety of tourists at every stage and touchpoint of their journey. Well over nine million vaccine doses have been administered in the UAE, which is also a major achievement, even on a global scale.

Indeed, Dubai’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of hygiene and safety and its effective citywide management of the pandemic received a strong endorsement from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which gave the city a ‘Safe Travels’ stamp.

Finally, if you are planning to attend ATM in-person, please feel free to post the hashtag #ImGoingtoATM.

* The writer is Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market