Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the Middle East region’s largest travel and tourism industry event, will make its live comeback in May next year.

The show, which will be staged under the theme ‘a new dawn for travel and tourism’, will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from May 16 to 19, 2021.

A virtual ATM will run a week later to ensure the event reaches the widest audience possible. ATM Virtual, which made its debut earlier this year after ATM 2020 was postponed, was hailed a “resounding success”, attracting 12,000 online attendees from 140 countries.

Now in its 27th year and working in collaboration with DWTC and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), ATM 2021 will throw the spotlight on what the future holds for the industry, with emerging trends and the role of innovation to drive the sector forward, central to the discussion.

Supporting ATM’s bounce back theme, a recent Colliers report – MENA Hotel Forecasts – estimates that 2021 will be a year of recovery, based on the assumption that hotel performance across the region is already improving.

Major destinations such as Dubai and Cairo are leading the way with estimated full-year 2021 occupancy levels of 68 per cent and 65 per cent respectively.

They will be closely followed by Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah, Muscat and Amman, according to Collier.

The announcement of a possible COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer released last week also spells good news for the recovery of the travel and tourism sector, according to ATM’s Exhibition Director, Danielle Curtis.

“If approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Pfizer estimates it can roll out 50 million doses this year and up to 1.3 billion in 2021, enough to vaccinate almost 675 million people. So, we are confident that by May next year, we will be on the threshold of a new dawn for our industry,” she said.