https://adgully.me/post/4889/atm-establishes-official-partnership-with-icca-and-gbta

ATM establishes official partnership with ICCA and GBTA

Arabian Travel Market (ATM) has announced a strategic partnership with the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) for the upcoming edition of the event, which takes place from 6-9 May 2024 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.The renowned global organisations have been appointed as ‘Knowledge Partners’ for the regional trade show, providing in-depth insights and opportunities for the thriving segments of business events and travel.According to the ICCA statistical forecast, which charts the history and performance of the International Association Meetings Industry from 1963 to 2022, 10,602 business events were recorded worldwide last year, of which 9,009 (85%) were in-person. This represented an astounding 349% increase from the previous year when only 2,007 in-person events occurred. Interestingly, the Middle East accounted for the highest percentage of in-person delegates (94%) in last year’s official figures.The business travel industry is also experiencing significant growth, as evidenced by statistics from the 2023 GBTA Business Travel Index™ Report, which found that the global business travel industry rebounded faster than expected in 2023. Pent-up demand following the pandemic and healthier economic conditions than forecasted were highlighted as significant contributing factors for this shift. The report also stated that global business travel spending rose by 47% to $1.03 trillion last year and is expected to grow to nearly $1.8 trillion globally by 2027.Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director, Arabian Travel Market, said: “All of the latest research suggests that the business events and business travel sectors are going from strength to strength. These sectors have always been important verticals at ATM, and the official partnership with ICCA and GBTA for the 2024 edition will take our offering to the next level. By collaborating with these respected industry leaders, ATM aims to deliver even more value and innovation to its attendees and exhibitors.“With a focus on these two vital sectors, ATM is committed to offering a world-class event that provides a platform for networking, education, and business opportunities for professionals from around the world.”During ATM 2024, ICCA will deliver seminars covering a range of topics for the MICE industry, while GBTA will outline the prevailing trends in the business travel sector at the show. These seminars will give the industry valuable insights into recent research, innovations, and best practices.Dr Senthil Gopinath, CEO of ICCA, said: “ICCA proudly announces our collaboration with ATM as we celebrate the exciting inclusion of business events as a foundational segment in future editions. Envisaging a dynamic future, we see global business events seamlessly integrating with ATM's rich tapestry of opportunities. With ICCA joining as a Knowledge Partner for the MICE segment, we are collectively positioned to redefine the landscape of collaboration, innovation and success in the interconnected realms of business. We look forward to working together in 2024 and beyond.”Catherine Logan, Regional Senior Vice President EMEA and APAC, GBTA, added: “Although one of the smaller global business travel markets, the MEA region has huge potential for growth and recovered more than any other region in 2022, reaching 95% of pre-pandemic business travel spending. Business travel spend in the region is forecast to exceed this figure in 2023 and reach USD$30.6 million and continue its growth trajectory going forward.”The theme for the 31st edition of ATM is ‘Empowering Innovation: Transforming Travel Through Entrepreneurship’. With exhibitors from the fields of aviation, accommodation, hospitality, attractions, technology and more, ATM 2024 will explore how innovators in the travel and tourism space are working to attract greater levels of funding to further increase the sector’s overall contribution to global GDP. Last year’s event welcomed more than 40,000 attendees, the largest number recorded to date.
https://adgully.me/post/1990/generative-ai-and-sustainability-are-driving-investment-in-the-tourism-tech

Generative AI and sustainability are driving investment in the tourism tech

Dubai: Generative artificial intelligence (AI) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) activities are attracting the highest levels of investment in travel technology at present, according to innovation specialist, Plug and Play. Experts from the Silicon Valley-headquartered firm shared a range of insights into the latest investment trends on the Travel Tech Stage at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023, which will conclude today at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).Speaking on the third day of the show, innovation specialists explored how travel startups are being affected by macroeconomic headwinds and fears of a global recession as part of the ‘Investment Trends Leading Travel Tech’ session.Kristie Choi, Early Stage Tech Investor at Plug and Play, noted that venture capital (VC) investment witnessed a “dramatic pullback” in the second half of 2022, a trend that continued into Q1 2023. “While this looks pretty scary, there are still billions of dollars of dry powder out there to be gained,” she told attendees. “Travel tech round dynamics tend to follow similar patterns as the wider tech market, and we are seeing an increased focus on profitability and cash efficiency in this segment.”Choi said that the travel sector was leading the curve in terms of generative AI investment and adoption. This technology is being leveraged to enhance the customer experience by facilitating trip planning, automating refunds and back-office processes, and supporting content creation. ESG is also a major focus for the travel technology sector, she explained, with sustained investments in transparent data reporting and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) serving to bolster the growth of responsible tourism. The influencer economy, meanwhile, is “driving business away” from online travel agencies (OTAs), according to Choi, as companies look to attract the Gen Z market by integrating direct booking into the channels of content creators.Following Choi’s presentation, Mike Sung, Director, Partner Success – Travel & Hospitality at Plug and Play, joined Natalie Seatter, Chief Product Officer at OAG on the ATM Travel Tech Stage for a conversation about travel technology investment trends.Speaking on the growing importance of artificial intelligence to the tourism industry, Sung noted: “It’s going to be very interesting to see how generative AI is leveraged, especially among travel suppliers in the metaverse. There’s a lot of experimentation happening in the metaverse, and for generative AI, it’s not just about text. It’s also about audio, video and graphics. I think this technology is going to ramp up the velocity of [Web3] solutions, especially for travel and hospitality.”Commenting on the need for investment in data transparency, Seatter said: “The big elephant in the room is the large cloud-based data warehouses [the industry] is using to power platforms. It’s either really hard to understand the carbon-emission cost of these platforms or no one wants to tell you how big it is – or maybe it’s a bit of both. I think that’s certainly one of our challenges.”The day-three session followed the ‘Plug and Play: Sustainable Tech – Startups Pitch Battle’ on day two of ATM 2023, which saw six new ventures compete for a range of industry support and data. Sustainable commercial food waste solutions company, Winnow, beat off stiff competition from CarbonClick, Eilago, Hotelverse, OACIS Middle East Limited LLC and Thrust Carbon to be crowned this year’s winner.The 30th edition of ATM is taking place as part of Arabian Travel Week (1-10 May 2023), a festival of events dedicated to enabling industry professionals from all over the world to collaborate and capitalise on market opportunities through exhibitions, conferences, breakfast briefings, awards, product launches and networking events.Those attending ATM 2023 in person can get involved in the conversation online by using the hashtag #ATMDubai when posting on social media channels.ATM 2023 is being held in conjunction with Dubai World Trade Centre, and its strategic partners include Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) as the Destination Partner, Emirates as the Official Airline Partner, IHG Hotels & Resorts as the Official Hotel Partner, and Al Rais Travel as the Official DMC Partner.
https://adgully.me/post/1962/big-data-is-transforming-hospitality-for-the-better-but-human-intervention

Big data is transforming hospitality for the better but human intervention

Dubai: Big data is having a transformative effect on hospitality across the Middle East and beyond. However, leading hoteliers speaking on the opening day of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023, which will run at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) until Thursday 4 May, emphasised that human intervention remains essential if owners and operators wish to derive genuine value from the information being gathered.‘Hospitality Debate: What More Can Big Data Unlock?’ featured a range of expert insights into the power of data to improve guest experiences within the Middle East’s hospitality sector. Moderated by Paul Clifford, Group Editor – Hospitality & Design at ITP Media Group, the session saw Chris Hartley, CEO of Global Hotel Alliance; Tommy Lai, Chief Executive Officer at General Hotel Management Pte Ltd; Sandeep Walia, Chief Operations Officer – Middle East at Marriott; and Nicolas Huss, CEO of Hotelbeds, take to the ATM Global Stage to share their views.Commenting on advancements in the hospitality sector’s data capabilities over the past decade, General Hotel Management Pte Ltd’s Lai said: “It used to be you’d need a lot of people for analysis, but now, you can collect data and AI will decipher it for you. Big data and AI are evening the playing field between small groups and larger brands.”Speaking on the importance of interpretation, Marriott’s Walia said: “This technology can help guests to narrow down the hotels they would like to stay in,” noting that big data – when used in combination with AI – can help to identify the best options for customers. “But ultimately, guests have to connect with us to make the booking, so the balance between AI and the human touch is equally important and can’t be forgotten.”Reiterating the importance of quality over quantity, Global Hotel Alliance’s Hartley said: “Acquiring data is one thing but that isn’t ‘big data’. It’s what you do with the data that’s critical. We’ve known for years, for example, that credit card companies have a huge amount of data on spend – way beyond the hotel. This tells you a lot more about the customer than they might reveal to you during a one-off stay.”Hotelbeds’ Huss agreed but warned that an ethical approach is essential in order to realise the full potential of this information. “I think there are several rules,” he said. “The first is that everything has to be anonymous. The second is that we must ensure that the data we have adds value to the guest experience. And finally, we must acknowledge that the way we behave when we’re staying at a hotel doesn’t always reflect what we do when we leave that environment. We will only thrive if we have the best data and some form of human care.”Day one of ATM 2023 featured 20 sessions across the Global Stage, Travel Tech Stage and Sustainability Hub. Other highlights from the day included the Technology: The Enabler of Sustainable Travel session, the funding of sustainability and Enhancing the Customer Experience Through AI. The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance also touched on the importance of protecting the locations, livelihoods and communities in which hotels are based, in the Achieving Net Positive Hospitality session.The 30th edition of ATM is taking place as part of Arabian Travel Week (1-10 May 2023), a festival of events dedicated to enabling industry professionals from all over the world to collaborate and capitalise on market opportunities through exhibitions, conferences, breakfast briefings, awards, product launches and networking events.Those attending ATM 2023 in person can get involved in the conversation online by using the hashtag #ATMDubai when posting on social media channels.ATM 2023 is being held in conjunction with Dubai World Trade Centre, and its strategic partners include Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) as the Destination Partner, Emirates as the Official Airline Partner, IHG Hotels & Resorts as the Official Hotel Partner, and Al Rais Travel as the Official DMC Partner.The latest ATM news stories are available at https://hub.wtm.com/category/press/atm-press-releases/.