ABU DHABI. 2nd May 2023. A local paper reported that the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, which has been around for 30 years now, has been a place for discussion on travel’s most recent trends. What began as a modest conference to promote tourism in the Middle East, has now become a global event.
The National’s editorial of Tuesday said that the event will close on Thursday with 34,000 attendees. The World Trade Centre opened on Monday, and more than 2,000 exhibitor countries were represented.
This year’s ATM is unique in that it responds to the changing needs of an increasingly anxious and socially aware world. Businesses often view business travel as a necessary expense. However, holidays are all about escaping the stresses of everyday life and experiencing something new.
“But, in a world of increasing complexity, a new breed discerning traveller is looking to enjoy their holidays guilt-free. They want to know that they are making decisions which are not just fun but also ethical, sustainable and sensible. It may seem unreasonable to expect an industry which has relied on carbon-fueled transportation for decades to suddenly adopt a more environmentally friendly approach.
Travel is not a stranger to buzzwords. “Sustainable travel” has become a part of industry jargon for several years. ATM 2023 is an opportunity for exhibitors, including national tourism boards and aviation giants as well as hoteliers, tour operators, and tour companies, to demonstrate that they are not greenwashers.
The theme for this year is “Working toward net zero”, and the future generations of travelers are just as important as those with itchy feet now.
ATM organisers are giving space on the agenda for discussions about AI, technology and big data and their role in enhancing travel efficiency.
The first day’s discussion on big data reminds us of the 20th ATM in 2013, where the organizers made headlines for partnering with Google. The event featured a “Technology Theatre” where Google provided the latest travel data worldwide and spoke on how the Information Age will lead to a revolution in travel.
The editorial went on to say, “Today’s data technology has advanced lightyears from what was available ten years earlier, but appetite for data-driven travel has grown along with it.” The world is moving forward after the Covid-19 pandemic has ended. Industry leaders are keen to know why some destinations are more appealing than others.
In a world with high inflation and soaring oil prices, companies will want to know the exact price sensitivity of consumers and what innovations they can use to increase production without sacrificing quality.
As most experienced travellers can attest, the best holidays are rarely free. Travel professionals know the real difficulty is the effort behind the scenes that goes into creating perfect getaways for leisure or business.
The Abu Dhabi daily concluded that “every year the task becomes more complex, but industry gatherings like ATM ensure that development keeps moving in the right directions.”