Travel Tech Giants Stage a Conference Comeback at ATM in Dubai

Updated: May 21, 2021

Travel Forward, the leading global event for travel technology, has revealed an impressive line-up of big-name brands to present live on stage as a part of the sister event Arabian Travel Market (ATM).

Travel Tech Giants Stage a Conference Comeback at ATM in Dubai

This year’s ATM is a hybrid event. Travel Forward is part of the in-person event at Dubai World Trade Centre from 16-19 May 2021, co-located with ATM Dubai.

ATM Virtual will take place from 24-26 May, and all sessions from the in-person event will be available to view during the virtual event.

In collaboration with the travel tech powerhouse Amadeus, Travel Forward Theatre will welcome Amadeus’s senior vice president of retail for the Middle East and Africa, Jamel Chandoul, who will discuss how collaboration can help rebuild the travel industry using technology to offer travellers a smoother and safer travel experience.

The session looks at travellers’ top concerns, including health apps. It takes place on Monday 17 May from 13:30 – 14:30.

The four-day event kicks off on Sunday, 16 May, with a two-part session featuring Gavin Harris from travel marketplace Skyscanner and Kathryn Wallington from next-generation global distribution platform Travelport.

“The Application of Technology to Adapt to the New Reality” begins at 12:30 on Sunday 16 May.

Later that day, David Debeule, director of Expedia Group’s accommodation team in the Middle East and Africa, will talk about the insights that can be gleaned from listening to the global travel ecosystem and how these insights can be converted into real-world action plans. This session is from 16:15 – 17:00.

Elsewhere, an hour-long expert panel will outline “The Path Forward for Destination Marketing Organisations”. Hans Clement will lead it from the Dubai office of Boston Consulting Group and Iva Kutle Skrlec, a destination marketing expert from Google. They will share the findings from an extensive collaborative research project, giving attendees practical advice and takeaways on how to position their destination for the return of travellers. The panel begins at 16:30 on Monday 17 May.

Hotels are also represented across the three-day event. Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, president for the Middle East, Africa & Turkey operations of Hilton, is part of a hospitality panel discussing how data and technology can support personalised trips and memorable experiences. His session starts at 10:30 on Wednesday 19 May.

Simon Press – Exhibition Director at Travel Forward said:
“The return of live events for the global travel industry is welcomed by all of us.
“The line-up we’ve assembled for Travel Forward at ATM Dubai proves that senior execs from across the travel tech ecosystem are willing to travel and share their insights and expertise on how best to approach the first wave of post-pandemic travellers.”

ATM 2021 will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, spread across nine halls. Consistent with the existing density restrictions and social distancing guidelines and regulations, there will be 11,000 people in the halls at any given time. The theme of this year’s show is ‘A new dawn for travel and tourism and the spotlight will be focused on the very latest ‘COVID’ news from around the world – vaccine rollouts, the current state of the industry and more importantly, what the future holds.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said:
“Travel technology is integral to our hybrid format this year. The use of technology is accelerating across all industry sectors, none more so than the travel sector. With expert insight, it will be fascinating to find out just what the ‘new normal’ will look like, the role technology will play and how industry players and consumers will adapt.”

Once again, the event will play an integral role in Arabian Travel Week, a 10-day long festival of travel and tourism events in Dubai and online.

Dubai is one of the safest cities globally to visit, with a wide range of precautionary measures to ensure tourists' safety at every stage and touchpoint of their travel journey, from arrival to departure. It was also awarded a ‘Safe Travels’ stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Over 11.1 million doses have already been administered in the UAE, which is also a major achievement.

ATM 2021’s strategic partners include Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) as Destination Partner, Emaar Hospitality Group as Official Hotel Partner, Emirates as Official Airline Partner and The Vision as Official Destination Management Partner.

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