Global Tourism Trends Spotlight Slow Travel, Sustainability, and Tech Innovations at ATM 2024 |
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The Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2024 at the Dubai World Trade Centre has become the epicenter for forward-thinking discussions on the future of the hospitality industry. As the region's premier travel and tourism event unfolds, industry leaders are highlighting the significant shifts towards slow travel, sustainable practices, and technological integration.

During a compelling session on the ATM 2024 Future Stage titled "Trends Shaping the Future of Hospitality in the Middle East," prominent figures from top hospitality firms and technology partners shared their insights. The discussion, led by Haitham Mattar, Managing Director for Middle East, Africa and South West Asia at IHG Hotels & Resorts, explored the transformative trends redefining travel preferences post-pandemic.

Mattar emphasized the evolving consumer behaviors, noting,

The allure of outdoor adventures has surpassed the traditional beach vacation in popularity. It's imperative for the hospitality sector to align closely with tourism authorities to develop enticing offers that cater to these new preferences."

He also highlighted the willingness of consumers to pay a premium for sustainable offerings, with hospitality businesses that prioritize green practices seeing up to 31% increase in spending willingness by eco-conscious travelers.

Haitham Mattar, Marketing Director IHG During the conference at ATM2024 - ShamalCom

The session also touched on the role of artificial intelligence and data analytics in enhancing guest experiences and reducing travel anxiety, a point echoed by Sandeep Walia, Chief Operating Officer for the Middle East at Marriott International. Walia pointed to the emergence of "dupe destinations"—alternatives to traditional holiday spots that are closer geographically—as a growing trend.

Diverse inputs from leaders across sectors, including Marriott, Four Seasons, Banyan Tree Dubai, Mastercard, and Silkhaus, have painted a detailed picture of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the hospitality industry,"

Mattar added.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director for the Middle East at Arabian Travel Market, remarked on the value of these discussions:

Today's insights are not merely theoretical; they reflect the ongoing transformations we strive to encourage through ATM. These sessions are designed to equip our participants with the necessary tools and knowledge to drive the industry forward."

The ATM 2024 also hosted the Global Stage Welcome and the Market Insights Summit, focusing on Dubai's strategic tourism objectives and the potential of burgeoning markets in China, India, and Latin America.

As ATM 2024 continues through May 9, it remains a key platform for dialogue and innovation, supported by strategic partners such as the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, Emirates Airlines, IHG Hotels & Resorts, and Al Rais Travel. This year's theme, "Empowering Innovation: Transforming Travel Through Entrepreneurship," encapsulates the dynamic spirit of the ongoing discussions and the visionary trajectory of the global travel industry.

Donia Hamouda
Donia Hamouda

CEO of -
Donia's passion for the tourism sector and robust entrepreneurial drive have propelled her to establish herself as an esteemed expert in Digital Destination marketing. She has achieved this by developing and overseeing digital solutions that consistently challenge the limits of innovation in Destination marketing.

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