Travel trade professionals from across the world gather online today, on Monday, 1st June 2020, for the first day of the Arabian Travel Market, ATM, Virtual, a newly-launched three-day event for the region’s tourism community.
The debut event, which will run from 1st to 3rd June, 2020, will focus 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 three days, ATM Virtual will feature comprehensive webinars, live conference sessions, roundtables, speed networking events, and one-to-one meetings, as well as facilitate new connections and offer a wide range of online business opportunities.
Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, 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."
Kicked off proceedings today, the opening session "A Conversation with Sir Tim Clark" took place from 11:00 to 12:00 GST (8:00 to 9:00 BST). The President of Emirates Airline spoke to British film and television director, 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 the planned fleet and network changes.
Another key event taking place on the first day is "OTAs & Distribution for Tours & Attractions post-COVID". Run by Arival, the global research authority on the tours, activities and attractions sector, this session focused on the rise of online travel agencies, the re-opening of operations, and what this means for the tour and attraction operators across the Middle East.
Other highlights from day one include "Communicating and Building Confidence Now" and "The Hotel Landscape in a post-COVID-19 World" sessions.
Day two will feature The Virtual ATM China Forum, which will focus on the recovery of outbound travel from the country and how Chinese travellers have been changing their way of accessing information about foreign destinations.
Another highlight of the second day will be a live webinar "Bouncing Back: Tourism Strategies for the Future" which will see industry experts including Fahd Hamidaddin, Chief of Investment, Strategy and Tourism Marketing for the Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia, and Keith Tan, CEO of 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".
The third and final day will include highlights such as an interview with Wizz Air CEO, Joszef Varadi, the International Travel Investment Conference summit and a webinar titled "What are you doing to energise your operational performance?" that will discuss the power of data analytics in helping to maximise performance.