Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the 2021 edition of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM).
This year’s hybrid event (virtual and in person) brought together tourism destinations from around the world to showcase their brand and exhibit alongside the biggest names in accommodation and hospitality, renowned tourism attractions, innovative travel technology companies, and key airline routes, around the theme “A New Dawn for Travel and Tourism”. Some of the exhibits I visited during the in-person event at the Dubai World Trade Centre included: Saudi Tourism Authority, Etihad Airways, flydubai, and of course, Emirates.
Saudi Tourism Authority had the largest, and arguably most interactive display, in an effort to capitalize on the country’s recent issuance of tourist visas to visitors from 49 countries. Previously, Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry was largely associated with religious pilgrimages. Its recent expansion and growth within the leisure tourism sector has been attributed to the lessened restrictions within the country and the above-described increase in accessibility.
In fact, 10 days after the implementation of the tourist visas, an estimated 24,000 foreign visitors entered the Kingdom. Visitors from China topped the list, with the United Kingdom and the United States of America following closely behind. Some of the attractions Saudi Tourism promoted were: Hijaz, the Sarawat Mountains, Red Sea, and a number of ancient ruins.
Emirates also put on an elaborate display, showcasing the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER game-changer First Class fully enclosed private suite, Boeing 777 Business Class seat, the newly refreshed A380 OnBoard lounge, along with other iconic products such as the First Class Shower Spa and the latest version of the game-changer Economy Class seats. The highlight of their display was the airline’s recently launched Premium Economy seats. Visitors were able to relax, recline, and experience Premium Economy, which features seats with a pitch of up to 40 inches, and a width of 19.5 inches that comfortably reclines into a cradle position.
Unfortunately, Etihad Airways didn’t have any seats to display. Their welcoming cabin crew entertained guests with giveaways and delicious treats instead, while flydubai took the opportunity to exhibit their economy and business cabins.
During the ATM, it was clear that the priority was to support the travel industry and facilitate important business connections between visitors and key stakeholders. With enhanced safety and hygiene measures, ATM was able to deliver on their promise of offering a safe and secure environment.
Arabian Travel Market is the market leading, international travel, and tourism event that seeks to unlock business potential within the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. The in-person event took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates at the World Trade Center from May 16-19, and the virtual event is happening now, from May 24-26.
Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and do not represent the views of my company.