Top News Arabian Travel Market goes hybrid this year By TTG Asia / Posted on 9 March, 2021 10:00 An in-person Arabian Travel Market (ATM) will return this year to the Dubai World Trade Centre from May 16 to 19, followed by a virtual event a week later to reach an even wider audience. Now in its 27th year, ATM 2021 will bear theme, A new dawn for travel and tourism, and focus on the current state of the industry as well as what the future holds. Event content will also discuss emerging trends in travel and tourism, and how innovation can drive the industry forward. The last in-person Arabian Travel Market was hosted in 2019, and it will return this May to Dubai Supporting ATM’s theme, a recent Colliers report, MENA Hotel Forecasts, estimates that 2021 will be a year of recovery, based on the assumption that hotel performance across the region is already improving. Major destinations such as Dubai and Cairo are leading the way with estimated full year 2021 occupancy levels of 68 per cent and 65 per cent respectively. They were closely followed by Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah, Muscat and Amman, with average occupancy of 58 per cent, 56 per cent, 51 per cent, 48 per cent, and 45 per cent respectively. Overall, average year-on-year growth of the 20 destinations researched was 47 per cent. Expressing confidence in the industry’s recovery based on vaccine progress, Danielle Curtis, ATM’s exhibition director ME, said: “Last week, Pfizer released the first reading of its Phase-3 trial data for its Covid-19 vaccine, announcing that it was more than 90 per cent effective in preventing the coronavirus, based on interim data analysis. “If approved by the US Food & Drug Administration, Pfizer estimates it can roll out 50 million doses this year and up to 1.3 billion in 2021, enough to vaccinate almost 675 million people. So, we are confident that by May next year, we will be on the threshold of a new dawn for our industry.” Both ATM 2021 and ATM Virtual are part of the wider Arabian Travel Week. Debuted in June last year, ATM Virtual was said to be a success, drawing 12,000 online attendees from 140 countries and facilitating 11,301 prescheduled one-to-one meetings and 23 live video sessions. Overall, webinars had more than 24,000 views over the course of three days. Curtis believes that maintaining a virtual event element this year would allow more industry professionals from around the world to join in the activities, especially at a time when not all travel restrictions are off the table. The Arabian Travel Week includes International Luxury Travel Market 2021, and Travel Forward, the travel technology vertical. ATM will also be partnering with Arival on a series of webinars aimed at tour operators and destination managers. Buyers Forums will be established for key source markets such as Saudi Arabia, India and China, while a virtual digital influencers’ speed networking session, a hotel summit and a responsible tourism programme will also be held. The in-person event will adhere to all health and safety guidelines, and will provide a touchless and seamless delegate experience.