Arabian Travel Market (ATM) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, with a focus on sustainability and responsible tourism. The inaugural International Hotel Investment Conference at ATM will share a lowdown on what investors are looking for and the newly designed ATM Student Conference aims to aid newbies looking to join the industry
Hands up, who’s responsible?
Today's travellers have become very conscious of their carbon footprint and now look to hotels, tour companies and airlines to do more to protect the environment. This growing trend has meant the entire industry has had to look long and hard at how sustainability and a credible social conscience must drive business strategy.
The GCC is one of the fastest growing regional hospitality markets on a global scale, but it is a resource-intensive industry. The UN’s World Tourism Organisation estimates that tourism is responsible for around 5 per cent of global CO2 emissions and accommodation accounts for approximately 20 per cent of emissions from tourism, including energy demand, dining and leisure.
To this end, it is crucial that we all work towards a tourism sector which protects the environment, preserves the cultural heritage of destinations and fosters respect for local communities everywhere.
In our effort to provide a platform to create awareness of how reducing, reusing and recycling can eliminate waste and protect our environment, we’ve put a spotlight on ‘Responsible Tourism’ at ATM 2018 as the event’s theme. Responsible Tourism will be integrated across all show verticals and planned activities, seminars and advice clinics.
ATM @ 25!
Quite what the hospitality industry in the UAE and wider Middle East will look like 25 years from now, nobody knows. It has certainly come a long way since the first ATM was held in 1994, with the world’s tallest buildings and tallest hotels; revolutionary transport infrastructure; theme parks and leisure attractions that are the envy of the rest of the world.
In celebration of ATM’s 25th year, a host of top speakers and panel sessions will look back at the tourism revolution in the Middle East over the last quarter of a century and will also forecast what lies ahead for the industry over the next 25 years.
New this year to ATM is the inaugural International Hotel Investment Conference (IHIF) at ATM, which will take place on the Global Stage, and will discuss what drives investment in travel destinations across the Middle East and neighbouring regions, with particular focus placed on, who is investing, what assets they are looking for, and what destinations can do to attract investment.
Also new for 2018 is the inaugural ATM Student Conference – a programme aimed at students and graduates who are looking to pursue a career in the travel and tourism industry.
ILTM Arabia will also be returning, playing host to one-on-one pre-scheduled appointments between suppliers of luxury products and destinations from around the world to an audience of high net worth individuals. And we have the Wellness and Spa Lounge, the Buyer’s Club and Digital Influencer Speed Networking too.
Arabian Travel Market is considered by many industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector and, with the efforts that have gone into developing the content for this year’s showcase, we are confident that we will continue to provide a vital showcase for the industry.
* The writer is senior exhibition director, Arabian Travel Market