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Nick Pilbeam, divisional director, RTE Nick Pilbeam, divisional director, RTE

Dubai Plays Host to Inaugural ATM Advisory Board

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), organiser of the annual Arabian Travel Market (ATM) showcase, hosted their inaugural advisory board meeting at the Address Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, bringing together travel and tourism leaders to discuss the untapped opportunities and key challenges facing the industry.

ATM’s Advisory Board was set up to provide counsel on industry themes, challenges, growth opportunities and future strategies in the Middle East travel and tourism sector - as well as to help facilitate current business and marketing plans.

Board attendees included Mohammad Al Bulooki, chief operational officer, Etihad Airways; Olivier Harnisch, chief executive officer, Emaar Hospitality; Haitham Mattar, chief executive officer, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority; Anita Mehra, senior vice president communication & reputation, Dubai Airports; John Davis, chief executive officer, Colliers International; Mohamed Awadalla, chief executive officer, TIME Hotels; Bassel Al Nahlaoui, managing director, Careem; Mark Willis, chief executive officer Middle East & Africa, Accor Hotels Group; Mohanad Sharafuddin, chairman, Arabian Falcon Holidays and Muhammad Chbib, chief executive officer, Tajawal.

Nick Pilbeam, divisional director, RTE, said, “The advisory board was initiated to allow ATM to get closer to the industry and to listen and learn from some of the region’s key hospitality leaders as they discuss the industry’s key trends, while brainstorming topics and issues that should be debated at next year’s show.” He added, “In addition to addressing regional challenges and opportunities, the advisory board also stressed the importance of looking at global shifts, trends and events that will impact and shape the future of the travel and tourism industry here in the Middle East, which we will make sure to incorporate into next year’s seminar agenda,” Pilbeam said.

Throughout the board meeting RTE shared findings from a market research report commissioned by ATM. The report interviewed exhibitors from all relevant sectors of the industry, including hotels, tourism organistions, car rental, airlines and cruises.

This research highlighted the challenges exhibitors are facing in today’s market and the extent to which they are impacting marketing and sales strategies, financial performance, leadership, HR and training.
Based on these findings, ATM has developed a list of areas which it will look at in the short-to-medium term to address these challenges. These include providing new buyers, better coverage of specific niches and improved market insights and education amongst others.

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