The Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2022 opened doors for its 29th edition in Dubai. Being the Middle East’s largest travel and tour exhibition, it brings together global decision-makers in the sector seeking out new growth horizons for the industry.
This year, the event has drawn 1500 exhibitors, and representatives from 158 destinations, and involves participation of more than 20,000 people. The exhibition focused on worldwide tourism investment and finance strategies.
ATM 2022 is 85 percent largest in comparison to last year, as the focus shifted from a post-pandemic recovery to future opportunities.
The Exhibition Director for ATM, Danielle Curtis, said “We have been basically working hard to gather momentum over the last 12 months, and focus on the future trajectory, the future growth.”
The event also exhibits countries hoping to appeal to new tourist markets with annual attendees from European nations of Greece and Germany to first-time participating countries like Jamaica.
The Director of Spain Tourism Office Daniel Rosado Bayon said it is a great opportunity to promote national tourism to a global market.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) aims to touch 4 billion travellers in 2024, exceeding pre-pandemic levels, and this is a boost for exhibitors.
According to Danielle Curtis, this is evident by the new products showcased, and from the offerings by airports, airlines and hotels.
With increase in urban traffic, entrepreneurs are imagining a future in which commuters use air taxis to bypass busy roads, and companies such as Wisk, Joby and Archer are working towards electric-powered aircraft that can take-off and land vertically (like helicopters), and then move ahead like planes.
Xwing, the Silicon Valley start-up specializes in making standard aircraft that is capable of flying safely without pilots, so as to turn commuting by air into a cheaper and efficient means to travel.
Marc Piette, CEO at Xwing, said that they like to think that they are building the future of aviation.
Miami and Los Angeles are considering exploring the potential of aerial ridesharing with hoping for operations from 2024. Another aspect that could influence the users is the cost.
The autonomy can considerably reduce the price per mile to fly, said Xwing CEO Marc Piette.
Marc Piette further said “you can move away from flying buses, which is what the commercial aviation market is today, and to down the road flying taxis by being able to remove the pilot from the vehicle. You can shrink those vehicles and still keep a very low cost per seat mile.”
United Airlines has already ordered 200 Archer aircraft, planning to use them for last-mile transportation from the airports they serve.