Published on : Tuesday, May 18, 2021
During the opening session of Day 2 of Arabian Travel Market’s (ATM) Global Stage, panellists shared their thoughts on the importance of governments and the private sector, domestically and internationally, working collaboratively to ensure that travel and tourism rebound to boost economic recovery across the Middle East.
In collaboration with the Global Travel & Tourism Resilience Council, the region’s largest travel and tourism showcase shone a spotlight on improving traveller confidence and building resilience to get the global travel industry moving again.
The session began with an interview with Madame Ghada Shalaby, Vice Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for the Arab Republic of Egypt, who explained how collaboration between ministries during the pandemic has resulted in a formula for other countries to follow to ensure destinations, and their visitors, have the best possible experience.
With tourism traditionally generating more than 15% of Egypt’s GDP, and with the country targeting between 6 and 7 million visitors in 2021, the road to recovery of the travel and tourism sector in Egypt is well underway, with tourism and health ministries working in tandem to ensure the health and safety of both visitors and residents.
Madame Shalaby was joined by fellow panellists from the private sector, including Clive Bourke, President, DAON, EMEA and APAC; Dr Edem Adzogenu, Co-Founder, AfroChampions; Kashif Khaled, Regional Director Airport Passenger Cargo Security & Facilitation Africa & the Middle East, IATA; Stephanie Boyle, Head of Industry and Partner Communications, Skyscanner; and Ernesto Sanchez Beaumont, Managing Director, Amadeus Gulf.
Also speaking about the importance of sector collaboration to improve traveller confidence, Scott Hume, Senior Vice President, Operations, Global Rescue, said: “There needs to be significant industry and international governmental collaboration to solve information gathering and distribution efforts across the globe to get travel started. On a national level, everyone is well aware of the complexities of the systems that need to be brought online to make travel easier and safer. However, we also need to address the issue of what happens when travellers get to their destination and how nations can instil a sense of confidence in travellers minds.”
The second panel session of the day on the ATM Global Stage saw aviation leaders including Wizz Air’s CCO George Michalopoulos, Embraer’s General Manager for Special Projects for Middle East & Africa, Hussein Dabbas, and John Brayford, President, The Jetsets convene to discuss the role of aviation in restoring confidence and building solutions for international travel.
Meanwhile, the ATM Travel Forward explored topics such as the future of entertainment and technology at mega-events, including the World Expo, and how to restore travel trust and confidence to kickstart the industry’s recovery. An expert panel with Boston Consulting Group and Google assembled on stage to discuss how Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) can prepare for the eventual resumption of travel despite the unexpected changes on the horizon.
Commenting on the path forward for DMOs as they navigate a COVD-19 world, Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Developing tourism strategies based on annual planning and predicted travel behaviour has been challenging during this period. ATM is pleased to support destination marketers with this specialist panel hosted by BSG and Google as they share their insights into how consumers’ attitudes toward travel have changed in response to the pandemic and how DMOs can prepare for the eventual resumption of travel.”
ATM 2021 continues on Tuesday 18 May and Wednesday 19 May at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). ATM virtual will run the following week from 24-26 May, which will complement the live event by accommodating visitors who may be unable to travel to Dubai.