DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - The vital role of in-destination experiences was under the spotlight on Monday 9th May during the opening session of the [email protected] forum, which gathers the industry’s brightest minds and leading voices to discuss the essential themes defining tours, activities, attractions and experiences in 2022 and beyond.
In 2019, travel experiences achieved $254 billion in global gross industry sales, making it the third-largest sector in travel and tourism after transportation and accommodation, with almost one million operators around the world. Operators in this sector include organisers of tours, activities, attractions and experiences with over 140 diverse business categories working in the field. Up to 50% have launched their businesses since 2015 and upwards of 70 new startups within tours, activities and attractions have raised $2.6 billion since 2017.
Sharing the latest global research and insights from Arival on the ATM 2022 Travel Tech Stage, Douglas Quinby, Co-Founder and CEO, Arival, said, “We surveyed travellers about what matters most to them when they are travelling and they prioritised attractions, activities and tours above other factors. Experiences are not just the ‘things to do’ - they are the reasons to go, representing a significant opportunity for the travel and tourism industry."
Technology adoption and getting connected is the major focus for the in-destination industry as it moves to a new phase. Quinby added, “Consumers are increasingly booking their travel experiences online - a trend that has accelerated significantly since the pandemic. The sector, therefore, needs to look to technology adoption and working with reservation system providers to make their products more accessible online."
The [email protected] forum advances the creation of in-destination experiences by providing insights and a community for creators and sellers of tours, activities and attractions. For the first time in Dubai since a successful virtual format at ATM in 2021, the event examines current and future trends and focuses on growing business through marketing, technology, distribution, thought leadership, and executive-level connections.
Other topics discussed at the one-day forum included the role of sustainability in driving the in-destination business forward. Elsewhere on the agenda at ATM 2022 Travel Tech Stage, the inaugural ATM Draper- Aladdin Start-up Competition also began on the ATM Travel Tech Stage, seeing a selection of the region’s most innovative start-ups pitch to a panel of industry judges for the chance to secure up to $500,000 of investment, plus the opportunity to compete for a further $500,000 as part of the hit TV show, Meet the Drapers.
Organised by Reed Exhibitions and working in collaboration with the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), ATM 2022 focused on the theme of "the future of international travel and tourism", shining a spotlight on the growth trajectory of the industry, as travel and tourism professionals address the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Other key events tha took place during the 29th edition of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) from 9–12 May at the Dubai World Trade Centre include ATM Travel Tech (Formerly Travel Forward) and ILTM Arabia.