During the final day of the inaugural Arabian Travel Market (ATM) Virtual, a panel of tourism experts came together to discuss the future of the industry in the Middle East and beyond.
World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) ambassador Gerald Lawless said "tourism will bounce back" in the session, Restructuring to Attract Sustainable Development and Customers in the New World Order.
It was moderated by BBC presenter and broadcaster Rajan Datar, and was in collaboration with the International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC), bringing together leading figures in the Middle East’s hospitality industry.Lawless explained: "It is a time for opportunity and that is something investors will always look for. Investors are out there, and they will be in the future. There are investment opportunities within our industry, particularly in the hotel sector and we will see this developing and evolving over the coming weeks and months."
Highlighting the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman, PwC EMEA Hospitality & Tourism Center of Excellence Industry Leader Nicolas Mayer said: "Many of the primary real estate markets in this region, in the UAE, Saudi, and Oman for example, are phenomenally dynamic.
"Yes, they have taken a hit, but they have demonstrated in the past the ability to ramp up again and go beyond what it used to be, before anywhere else in the world, which makes one very confident in investing."Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) CEO Issam Kazim added: "Dubai has a lot to offer these businesses in terms of systems and the different free zones giving companies the opportunity and flexibility to be able to practice their business in a way that is comfortable for them. The lifestyle of Dubai also makes it very easy for people to relocate. It simply becomes an offer too good to refuse."
ATM Virtual ended with a total of 18,959 registrations from 152 countries, with 14,385 meetings and 23 webinars, interviews and roundtables.