Key players from the tourism industry came together for the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai which opened on the 16th of May. The event, which is the largest travel and tourism showcase in the region, sent a positive signal that the industry is starting on its path to recovery in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
As the event unfolded, there was an announcement by the Dubai government stating that COVID-related restrictions in the emirate were now further reduced gave the industry a further confidence boost.
Live entertainment and activities are now allowed in restaurants, cafés and shopping malls. All entertainment facilities and venues can increase their capacity to 70%, while hotels are now free to raise occupancy to 100%.
The event saw Rotana hotels displayed their expansion plans for new establishments, while Hilton and Millennium both announced they are to double the number of their hotels in the region.
A sense of excitement filled all nine halls of the Dubai World Trade Center as people were relieved to finally attend an exhibition and get back to business.
The exhibition, which is held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, has been running for 28 years and is an important date on the tourism industry calendar. Due to COVID, the Arabian Travel Market was held online last year but this year's event was in person.
Leading travel companies, airlines and tourism boards from over 80 countries showcased at the exhibition. In addition, 10,000 people attended the event, a feat that would have been unimaginable 12 months ago.
The theme for this years Arabian Travel Market was "A new dawn for travel & tourism". Industry-leading companies have recognised that hygiene and safety are now the highest demand for holidaymakers instead of luxury and value for money.
After one of the most crippling years to date for the industry, the event has been seen as a first step towards a comeback.