Sustainable ATM 2023 Dubai: No single-use plastic, food waste as travel sector targets net zero

Over 2,000 exhibitors from more than 150 countries will participate, with 34,000 people expected to attend

by

Waheed Abbas

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From left: Haitham Mattar, managing director, IHG Hotels & Resorts; Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, part of DET; Vasyl Zhygalo, managing director, RX Middle East / Portfolio Director WTM and IBTM, RX; Danielle Curtis, exhibition director for the Middle East, Arabian Travel Market; and Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates, at the press conference in Dubai on Thursday (Supplied)
From left: Haitham Mattar, managing director, IHG Hotels & Resorts; Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, part of DET; Vasyl Zhygalo, managing director, RX Middle East / Portfolio Director WTM and IBTM, RX; Danielle Curtis, exhibition director for the Middle East, Arabian Travel Market; and Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates, at the press conference in Dubai on Thursday (Supplied)

Published: Thu 27 Apr 2023, 4:41 PM

Last updated: Thu 27 Apr 2023, 5:31 PM

The 30th edition of the four-day Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023, which will open on May 1, will focus on the theme of sustainability as the travel and tourism industry is working aggressively to achieve a net zero target by 2030.

With the participation of over 2,000 exhibitors from more than 150 countries and an anticipated 34,000 attendees, exhibitor participation in ATM 2023 has risen by 27 per cent, with all the regions seeing increased participation.


ATM 2023 will also feature a Sustainability Hub for the first time in the show’s history, which will be dedicated to the latest sustainable travel trends and innovations.

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director for Middle East, Arabian Travel Market, said this year’s focus is on net zero and ATM 2023 presents an ideal opportunity to show the world innovations that will expedite the industry’s journey towards decarbonization.


“To mark the 30th anniversary, we will be unveiling a dedicated sustainability pledge that has been designed to reinforce our commitments to deliver sustainable events to reach net zero by 2030 through a reduction in print, and use of sustainable and environment-friendly and recycled materials. There will be no single-use plastic at the venue this year. We also have a food waste programme in place as well as other forward-thinking initiatives,” said Curtis

Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said with global travel and tourism back on track, ATM’s sustainability theme comes during a landmark year when the UAE celebrates 2023 as a “Year of Sustainability” and Dubai hosts COP28.

“We have made significant strides in sustainability in tourism initiatives. The aim is to reduce carbon footprint and create a more responsible inclusive industry,” he said.

Under Dubai Sustainability Tourism, the DTCM recently launched a carbon calculator – a mechanism that tracks carbon emissions – which helps partners identify and manage their energy consumption.

The show will also feature the inaugural “ATM Sustainable Stand Award” this year and the winner will be announced on the last day of the expo.

Danielle Curtis said the experts will offer insights into sustainable travel trends, responsible tourism and a host of other industry-critical issues during the panel discussion.

“For instance, will see policymakers take to the ATM Global Stage for a ministerial debate on how travel can tackle the climate crisis,” Curtis said, adding that Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy; Makram Mustafa Abdul Karim Al-Qaisi, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan; Minister of Tourism; and Walid Nassar, Minister of Tourism, Lebanon will discuss the industry’s role towards net zero.

Moreover, panel discussions will also be hosted on the sidelines on the topics of AI, the metaverse, cryptocurrency and big data and their impact on the travel and tourism industry.

The Chinese exhibitors and travel professionals are also returning to the ATM this year after the country lifted travel restrictions earlier this year.

In addition, Southeast Asia and India will feature prominently at this year’s event too.

Regional giant Saudi Arabia, which registered more international arrivals than any other Arab nation during the first nine months of last year, will also have a considerable presence at ATM 2023.

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