Arabian Travel Market (ATM) has convened its advisory board to set the agenda for the 2022 event. The show will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from May 8 -11.
Danielle Curtis, exhibition director, Arabian Travel Market, said: “We wanted to connect with a broad range of industry stakeholders to fully appreciate their key issues.
“More importantly, how those issues might impact the hospitality and the regional tourism landscape, as we work to build the agenda for ATM 2022, providing more business opportunities for our exhibitors and visitors.
“During the debate which took place on 23rd November, three main topics came to the fore – innovation, attracting and retaining talent and sustainability, which will certainly feature in our seminar program next year,” added Curtis.
In terms of innovation, the board debated how the pandemic had accelerated the adoption of digital and technology in general and that companies were now focused more on innovating and leveraging third party data to adapt to the new normal.
Examples used were the ways in which organisations were actively searching to simplify the payment process and defragment the way content is being pushed to customers.
Furthermore, the board discussed the need for investment to facilitate the travel experience, ensuring customers felt safe through a frictionless journey.
Although members agreed that technology would never totally replace human interaction, offering choice was imperative.
By limiting the need to interact physically, the risk of further contamination could be reduced, highlighting the need to integrate all tech’ products for mainstream travel sectors, accommodating, wherever possible, a seamless travel experience.
“The Middle East’s track record is especially strong in this area, having taken advantage of cutting-edge services and technologies to bring luxury travel to millions, however it was acknowledged that tourism and hospitality is still being disproportionately affected by the fallout from Covid-19.
“Supporting sector-specific innovation and bringing it to market, therefore, has never been so important – both in terms of the immediate recovery and longer-term sustainability,” added Curtis.
Turning to sustainability, the board discussed the positive trend of environmentally friendly practices and how essential it was, especially when reaching out to younger travelers.