Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME – Arabian Travel Market, shares facts about the international exhibition with TRAVTALK.
What will be the focus or theme of ATM this year?
The theme of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2022 is ‘The future of international travel and tourism’. This year’s show will shine a spotlight on the long-term trajectory of our industry, exploring trends, opportunities and catalysts for change along the road to frictionless travel and transportation, and seamless tourism and hospitality experiences.
With the new weekend, what changes have been made in terms of days and timings?
In line with the UAE’s new Monday-to-Friday workweek, the upcoming edition of ATM will run from 9 to 12 May. This is great news for us as we expect it to result in greater alignment with international markets, the majority of which also follow the Monday-to-Friday workweek.
How will this year’s ATM be different to last year?
Our revamped and rebranded ATM Travel Tech event (previously known as Travel Forward) will be a must-attend fixture, featuring seminars, debates and presentations focused on this year’s theme. Industry professionals from around the world will be on hand to provide expert insights and perspectives on where our sector is heading and how we can take advantage.
Our inaugural ATM Draper-Aladdin Start-up Competition is also generating a huge buzz. The initiative will see 15 travel, tourism and hospitality innovators pitch for up to $500,000 of funding – not to mention the opportunity to compete for an additional $500,000 of investment as part of the hit TV show, Meet the Drapers. On top of this, ATM 2022 will include in-depth buyer forums dedicated to India and Saudi Arabia.
Could you please share some details about ATM virtual?
Following the success of ATM’s hybrid approach during the global pandemic, we were keen to ensure that ATM 2022 included a virtual component, ensuring those who are unable to join us in Dubai can nevertheless benefit from everything we have to offer. The third edition of ATM Virtual, which will take place from 17 to 18 May, will feature speed networking events, a session dedicated to digital influencers, plus a wide range of business opportunities. In addition, our virtual briefings will offer industry professionals the opportunity to showcase their destinations to our global audience of travel buyers.
Can you update about the number of exhibitors this year? How many visitors do you expect this year?
Every year, ATM offers an opportunity for thousands of industry professionals from all over the world to gather face-to-face in the UAE, and the 2022 edition will be no exception. Held in collaboration with Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and the emirate’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), ATM 2022 will again form an essential part of the UAE’s annual Arabian Travel Week. This year’s show will feature 1,500 exhibitors as well as representatives from 112 destinations. With over 20,000 travel trade and tourism professionals expected to visit, 2022 looks set to go down as one of the most exciting editions in our 29-year history.
Are there any new exhibitors, especially post-Expo?
Absolutely. This year, we cannot wait to welcome and reunite in-person with our new and returning exhibitors, which include Qatar Tourism, Qatar Airways, Oman’s Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (SHUROOQ), dnata, Zagreb Tourist Board, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau and Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Taipei International Convention Center (TICC), Dubrovnik & Neretva County Tourist Board, Waldorf Astoria Kuwait, among others – many of whom had to join us remotely in 2021.
What sort of business transactions are you looking at this year?
We expect to see transactions across the full spectrum of our industry, from travel and transportation to hospitality and attractions.
Could you share an update about the special speaker programmes for this year?
ATM 2022 will see a diverse range of industry leaders. Our opening session, which will be moderated by CNN’s Eleni Giokos, will feature Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing; Scott Livermore, Chief Economist at Oxford Economics; and Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, President – Middle East, Africa and Turkey at Hilton.