Monday 27 May 2024 Abu Dhabi UAE
Prayer Timing
Today's Edition
Today's Edition
Business

ATM 2024: Low-impact travel, sustainability and technology highlighted as future tourism trends

ATM 2024: Low-impact travel, sustainability and technology highlighted as future tourism trends
7 May 2024 08:40

DUBAI (ALETIHAD)


Travel & tourism experts from across the industry convened at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2024 Future Stage Monday morning to discuss the complexities of navigating the transformation of hospitality.

Slow travel, a movement that encompasses sustainable, mindful, and low-impact travel, sustainable practices, and the use of AI and data to enhance the travel experience emerged as key actionable strategies for futureproofing travel and hospitality businesses in the Middle East region.

The opening session titled “Trends Shaping the Future of Hospitality in the Middle East” brought together senior representatives from IHG Hotels and Resorts, Marriot International, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Banyan Tree Dubai, Mastercard and Silkhaus. The diverse panel provided a broad perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing today’s hospitality industry.

Haitham Mattar, Managing Director, Middle East, Africa and South West Asia, IHG Hotels & Resorts, initiated the session, highlighting the importance of how destinations and hotels identify their respective source markets: “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way generations choose travel, with outdoor adventure now taking the No. 1 spot away from “beach, sun and sand”. For the industry to stay afloat in difficult times, the private sector needs to mirror the vision of their respective tourism authorities and work together to ensure appealing spending packages for those markets.”

He also outlined how generational shifts and emerging travel behaviours are giving rise to global travel trends such as slow travel and similarly, with the hospitality industry responsible for 10% of global emissions, consumers are now willing to spend up to 31% more on hospitality companies that execute sustainable practices.

Lastly, he highlighted how innovation in the hospitality industry is triggering the pace of digitalisation. “The future use of technology and AI will be critical for us to get a clear idea of how to enhance consumer preferences. Specifically, travel anxiety is starting to reduce with technology, and the focus should now be firmly on the traveller’s experiences,” he added.

Also speaking about the transforming needs of the market, Sandeep Walia, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East - Marriott International, echoed Mattar’s sentiments as he highlighted slow holidays, sustainability, the rise of AI and dupe destinations – similar to traditional holiday destinations but closer in geography – as some of the key travel trends for the next three years, according to the “Marriott Bonvoy Travel Trends report 2024 and beyond”.

“The insights shared today go beyond theories to offer direct reflections of the transformations we aim to foster through ATM. As we continue to drive innovation and entrepreneurial spirit within the travel industry, sessions like these equip our attendees with the knowledge and tools necessary to lead the hospitality industry forward,” said Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market.

The 31st edition of ATM, under the theme “Empowering Innovation: Transforming Travel Through Entrepreneurship”, also hosted the fascinating Global Stage Welcome: The Gateway to Global Insights session, outlining Dubai’s key tourism objectives for the coming years.

Elsewhere on Monday, the Market Insights Summit also took centre stage, exploring the potential of developing markets such as China, India and Latin America as they emerge as key players in global tourism.

ATM 2024 concludes on Thursday, May 9, at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

Copyrights reserved to Aletihad News Center © 2024