Don’t ask, but Arabian Travel Market Dubai set a new trend for Travel and Tourism

  1. I am feeling super proud of our Arabian Travel Market team as we close the curtains today on ATM 2021 in Dubai, Exhibition Director Danielli Curtis posted to her Linkedin account.
  2. The feedback by exhibitors at the Arabian Travel Market is overwhelmingly positive and reflects a sign of hope and relief.
  3. UNWTO and WTTC did not show flag at ATM in Dubai, while WTN attended

“We have had so much positive feedback already from everyone about the quality of the meetings and the innovative sessions that took place. Reuniting with you all was one of the most incredible achievements and we are privileged to have brought you the first travel and tourism event in 18 months”, was the response by Exhibition Director Danielle Curtis representing the UK organizer Reed Travel Expo. Her words are echoed by almost everyone attending this trend-setting event in Dubai.

The Arabian Travel Market 2021 was smaller compared to previous editions, but in midsts of an pendemic, this was expected.

Considering this was the first sign and opportunity for the world to come together in person, it was surprising all of the Americas, Australia, Africa, much of Asia, and Europe did not take the opportunity to exhibit at ATM. Some regions in the world, including India, Nepal, Brazil, or South Africa are experiencing dangerous COVID-19 situations and of course, were not expected to be seen. However ATM is a start and regardless of how many countries exhibited it remains a trend now set for the travel and tourism industry, and specifically for the Meeting and MICE sector.

Besides an overwhelming presence from the Gulf Region, Germany and specifically Visit Berlin tried hard to be seen. It was the only country that had organized a press conference.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) just finished its global summit in Cancun, Mexico last month. WTTC had been communicating its approach to become a global template for events. The WTTC Summit has been seen as the icebreaker for global travel and tourism events.

It was strange, that WTTC was absent from ATM. WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara had no comments on why the organization claiming to represent major private industry had no stand at the Dubai event.

WTM Chairman meets members

UNWTO, the World Tourism Organization was also absent. UNWTO and WTTC opened regional offices in Saudi Arabia. With Saudi Arabia taking a prominent role both at the Cancun WTTC summit and the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, UNWTO and WTTC missed an opportunity to show unity and leadership.

Several members of the newly founded World Tourism Network (WTN) came together in Dubai. Chairman Juergen Steinmetz said: “It was good to catch up with members. ATM opened up opportunities for the travel sector.

Arabian Travel Market told the World Tourism Network Chairman: ” Due capacity restrictions the ATM networking evening was far smaller than usual years so I am afraid we could not accommodate everyone that due to limits set by COVID-19 regulations and an invitation to ATM’s networking party was not possible.”

Instead of shouting out to the world, the organizer was protective to not expose exhibitors and themselves to media questions. The only press conference eTurboNews was aware of, was the one organized by the German Tourism Board and Visit Berlin.

Arabian Travel Market Dubai sets a new trend but no questions allowed
German Press Conference

ATM was a mix of showcasing and exhibiting. A number of panel discussions touched on aviation, hospitality, and investments.

Arabian Travel Market Dubai sets a new trend but no questions allowed
Jordan Stand