Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 6, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The final day of Arabian Travel Market’s virtual event, ATM Virtual, saw a panel of tourism experts discuss the opportunities in the region to kick-start sustainable investment in the hospitality sector.
The session, ‘Restructuring to Attract Sustainable Development and Customers in the New World Order’, moderated by BBC presenter and broadcaster, Rajan Datar, and in collaboration with the International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC), took place on Wednesday 3rd June, and was opened by Dr. Taleb Rifai, Chairman, ITIC, who said:
“Who would have imagined three months ago we would be holding our conference in this manner. The world is however quickly waking up. Life post containment is incredibly important and the need for economic recovery is now.”
• The ITIC session discussed sustainable investment measures for the Middle East travel and tourism sector and the strategies to restore travellers confidence
• ATM Virtual recorded 18,959 registrations, from 152 countries and included 14,385 pre-scheduled meetings and 23 live webinars, interviews, and pre-recorded roundtables
Discussing Dubai’s future investment opportunities, Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said: “Dubai has a lot of multinational companies who have established their regional headquarters here.
“Dubai has a lot to offer these businesses in terms of systems and the different free zones giving companies the opportunity and flexibility to be able to practice their business in a way that is comfortable for them. The lifestyle of Dubai also makes it very easy for people to relocate. It simply becomes an offer too good to refuse.”
Gerald Lawless, Ambassador for the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), said: “It is a time for opportunity and that is something investors will always look for. Investors are out there, and they will be in the future. There are investment opportunities within our industry, particularly in the hotel sector and we will see this developing and evolving over the coming weeks and months.
“Tourism will bounce back, and how we make it bounce back is so important.”
The opportunities in the tourism industry for investment as a byproduct of cheaper real estate was discussed by Nicolas Mayer, EMEA Hospitality & Tourism Center of Excellence Industry Leader, PwC, he said: “Many of the primary real estate markets in this region, in the UAE, Saudi, and Oman for example, are phenomenally dynamic. Yes, they have taken a hit, but they have demonstrated in the past the ability to ramp up again and go beyond what it used to be, before anywhere else in the world, which makes one very confident in investing.”
Foreign direct investment was also a hot topic of conversation, particularly from Saudi Arabia when looking at the opportunities afforded by their burgeoning tourism offering.
Majed AlGhanim, Managing Director of Tourism & Quality of Life, Ministry of Investment, Saudi Arabia, said: “In addition to the local and regional buying power in Saudi, we believe we have an attractive offering for investors from overseas with all the of the new sites and destinations coming up in Saudi Arabia. We are a destination that is ready, open, and looking forward to welcoming visitors to Saudi Arabia.”
The session also featured investment discussion from H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority; H.E. Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority – Shurooq; and H.E. Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General, Ajman Tourism.
Day three of ATM Virtual also featured responsible tourism with Harold Goodwin, Responsible Tourism Advisor for World Travel Market and Inge Huijbrechts, Global Senior Vice President Responsible Business and Safety & Security, Radisson Hotel Group, discussing the responsibility agenda in a post-coronavirus landscape.
During the session, What are the Implications of COVID-19 for Responsible Hospitality?’ Inge Huijbrechts said: “Whilst most hospitality brands have put responsible and sustainability projects on hold for a few months, we cannot and must not self-isolate from climate change. Climate change is a huge focus as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, with responsibly caring for both our employees and our guests a key objective for all hospitality companies across the globe.”
Turning to influencers, ‘Make Your Connection: Influencers as a Key Part of the Marketing Mix – COVID-19 The Road to Recovery’, led by ITP Media Group’s Head of Content, Eddie Taylor,, explored the importance of creating relevant, engaging and impactful travel and lifestyle content in the current climate of best practices.
ATM Virtual concluded on Wednesday 3rd June 2020, a total of 18,959 registrations from 152 countries were recorded, including 490 media. The event included 14,385 pre-scheduled meetings and featured 23 live webinars, interviews, and pre-recorded roundtables.
About Arabian Travel Market (ATM)
Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 27th year, continues to be the focal point for the Middle East’s resilient and ever-changing travel and tourism landscape and prides itself on being the hub of all travel and tourism ideas – providing a platform to discuss insights on the ever-changing industry, share innovations and unlock endless business opportunities.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is a leading global events business. It combines face-to-face with data and digital tools to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 500 events in almost 30 countries across 43 industry sectors, attracting more than 7 million participants.
Our events, organized by 35 global offices, leverage industry expertise, large data sets and technology to enable our customers to generate billions of dollars of revenues for the economic development of local markets and national economies around the world. Reed Exhibitions is part of RELX, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.
About Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 20 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, LGBTQ+ travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf and spa travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.
About World Travel Market
World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises nine leading travel events across four continents, generating more than $7.5 billion of industry deals. The events are:
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating over £3.71 billion in travel industry contracts. london.wtm.com
WTM Latin America attracts about 9,000 senior executives and generates about US$374 million of new business deals. Taking place in São Paulo, Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 8,000 unique visitors, including buyers and travel agents, attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news.
WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Around 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors.