Mapping out the future of travel might look like will be one of many topics of discussion during Arabian Travel Market, which opens on Monday at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The event is considered a bellwether for the travel industry in the Middle East, offering an insight into the trends that will shape the year ahead.
More than 1,500 exhibiting companies are taking part in the four-day tourism showcase that will welcome about 20,000 visitors.
A total of 112 countries looking to revive their tourism numbers will be featured on the exhibition's show floor, from Japan to Jamaica and South Africa to Italy,
However, the soaring price of oil and the impact of the war in Ukraine are tempering the travel industry's expected resurgence.
“Arabian Travel Market 2022 will highlight the importance of the travel industry as we continue to address the challenges of Covid-19, while also outlining how we drive the industry forward," said Danielle Curtis, exhibition director Middle East, Arabian Travel Market.
“The tourism industry has rebounded incredibly well. As a result, we have seen a clear uptick in participation, with floor space increasing by over 85 per cent compared to the previous year and Middle East exhibitor space eclipsing 2019 levels."
During a busy ATM conference programme, industry leaders will discuss the latest trends from a cross-section of travel, including technology, transport, sustainability, events and business.
The opening session will involve Issam Kazim, of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Scott Livermore, chief economist, Oxford Economics, and others discuss this year’s theme of ‘The future of international travel and tourism’.
One of the many sessions will see Andrew McEvoy, managing director of tourism at Neom, outline the vision and strategy for Saudi Arabia's $500 billion futuristic mega-city.
Zeina Dagher, chief executive, Emaar Entertainment, will give his outlook on the future of visitor attractions, traveller trends and what’s next in attraction tech and the guest experience.
The event will also see 15 travel, tourism and hospitality start-ups pitch for $500,000 of funding as part of the inaugural ATM Draper-Aladdin Start-up competition. The winner will have the chance to compete for a further $500,000 of funding on the US reality TV show Meet the Drapers.
ATM will also unveil new technology that will eliminate the need for business cards and allow exhibitors and visitors to share details, brochures and marketing material via scanners and badges.
The in-person event will be followed by the third instalment of ATM Virtual, which will take place on Tuesday, May 17 and Wednesday, May 18.