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Travel and tourism experts discuss reducing waste and environmentally responsible partnerships at ATM Advisory Board meeting  

Travel and tourism experts discuss reducing waste and environmentally responsible partnerships at ATM Advisory Board meeting  

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Travel and tourism industry leaders from across the Middle East support Arabian Travel Market’s 2023 theme ‘Working towards net zero’ with a raft of sustainable initiatives  

Travel and tourism experts from across the Middle East examined the challenges and opportunities that sustainable strategies should address, during the latest meeting of the ATM Advisory Board ahead of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023, which will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 1-4 May 2023.

The meeting, which took place at InterContinental Dubai – Festival City, saw senior representatives from Amadeus, Colliers International, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Dubai College of Tourism, Emaar

Hospitality Group, Etihad Aviation Group, Farnek, Hilton, IGH Hotels and Resorts, the Royal Commission of AlUla, TIME Hotels, and Google join show organiser, RX, for an in-depth discussion about the upcoming edition of ATM.

In line with its theme of ‘Working Towards Net Zero’, ATM 2023 will see public and private sector experts from around the world gather in Dubai to explore the decarbonisation of global tourism and hospitality.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Next year’s show will be the 30th edition of ATM. To mark this significant milestone, our team plans to unveil a dedicated sustainability pledge for the exhibition, which will comprise 30 short- and long-term goals that we aim to achieve on our corporate journey to net zero.

“To bring to life the sustainable theme of ATM 2023, we are working closely with our exhibitors and partners to help catalyse sustainable change within the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector,” Curtis continued.

“The insights offered during our Advisory Board meeting were immensely valuable and will help us to ensure that the show’s 30th edition is the most sustainable yet.”

ATM Advisory Board members explored a diverse range of ideas to raise awareness of sustainability during the 2023 edition, not only for the show itself but also for all participants. Items on the agenda included minimising printed and plastic waste, working with environmentally responsible partners and more.

ATM and its stakeholders will use future meetings to develop and implement a comprehensive suite of short- and long-term practical measures with the potential to achieve a positive impact on the environment.

According to Sustainable Travel International, tourism-related activities account for approximately 8% of worldwide carbon emissions. The ATM team will continue to work closely with its

Advisory Board members in a bid to facilitate the leading role that the Middle East’s tourism and hospitality sector is playing in driving sustainable operations. Together, participants will highlight industry best practice and cutting-edge innovations with the potential to accelerate global decarbonisation.

Commenting on the many benefits offered by responsible tourism, Vasyl Zhygalo, Managing Director ME and Portfolio Director for WTM and IBTM at RX, said: “Sustainable operations clearly have a crucial role to play in mitigating the environmental impact of the travel sector globally, but – if approached in the right way – they can also offer a range of commercial advantages.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards are becoming increasingly important across all industries, with socially conscious investors using these criteria to manage their portfolios. Travel is no exception.

“The experience, expertise and insights offered by our Advisory Board members will play a vital role in ensuring that ATM 2023 provides a forum in which industry leaders from around the world can showcase innovations, exchange knowledge and help shape a truly sustainable tourism and hospitality sector for future generations,” he added.

In addition to representatives from RX, the ATM Advisory Board was attended by Jamel Chandoul, Senior Vice President – Middle East and Africa at Amadeus; Christopher Lund, Chief Executive Officer – MENA at Colliers International;

Gregory Fuller, Associate Vice President – Brand and Content at Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET); Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director – Tourism Developments and Investments at DET; Jeff Strachan,

Director of Dubai College of Tourism; Mark Kirby, Chief Operating Officer – Head of Hospitality at Emaar Hospitality Group; Joerg Oppermann, Vice President of Hub and Midfield Operations at Etihad Aviation Group; Nadia Ibrahim,

Head of Net Zero Hospitality at Farnek and Member of the Board of the UN Global Compact; Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, President for Middle East, Africa and Turkey at Hilton; James Britchford, Vice President Commercial IMEA at

IHG Hotels and Resorts; John Northen, Executive Director – Head of Hotels and Resorts at the Royal Commission of AlUla; Mohamed Awadalla, Chief Executive Officer of TIME Hotels; and Bilal Kabbani, Sector Lead Branding – Middle East and North Africa at Google.

Having officially initiated its journey to net zero, the ATM 2023 conference programme will explore how innovative sustainable travel trends are likely to evolve, allowing delegates to identify growth strategies within key vertical sectors, while providing a platform for regional experts to explore a sustainable future ahead of COP28, which will take place next year at the Expo City Dubai.

ATM 2023 will also feature a sustainability category at its annual exhibitor awards for the first time. Exhibiting organisations will be recognised based on the extent to which they have considered the environmental impact of their stands, as well as their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. 

ATM 2023 is held in conjunction with Dubai World Trade Centre and its strategic partners include Dubai Tourism as the Destination Partner, Emirates as the Official Airline Partner, IHG Hotels & Resorts as the Official Hotel Partner and Al Rais Travel as the Official DMC Partner.

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About Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 30th year, is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2022 attracted over 24,000 visitors and hosted over 31,000 participants including 1,600 exhibitors and attendees from 151 countries, across 10 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre. Arabian Travel Market is part of Arabian Travel Week. #ATMDubai

Next in-person event: Monday 1 to Thursday 4 May 2023, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai   

About Arabian Travel Week is a festival of events taking place within and alongside Arabian Travel Market 2023. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector, it includes ILTM Arabia, ARIVAL Dubai,

Influencers’ events and activations, ITIC, GBTA Business Travel Forums, as well as ATM Travel Tech. It also features the ATM Buyer Forums, ATM Speed Networking Events as well as a series of country forums.      

About RX (Reed Exhibitions)

RX is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities and organisations. We elevate the power of face-to-face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors.

RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people. RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.


RELX is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries.

It employs over 33,000 people, of whom almost half are in North America. The shares of RELX PLC, the parent company, are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX. The market capitalisation is approximately £33bn, €39bn, $47bn.*

*Note: Current market capitalisation can be found at

World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises leading travel events, online portals and virtual platforms across four continents. The events are:

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. The show facilitates business connections for the global (leisure) travel community.

Senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating travel industry contracts. Next live event: Monday 7 to 9 November 2022 at ExCel London

WTM Latin America takes place annually in the city of São Paulo and attracts around 20,000 tourism professionals during the three-day event. The event offers qualified content together with networking and business opportunities.

In this its ninth edition – there have been eight face-to-face events along with a 100% virtual one, which was held in 2021 – WTM Latin America continued to focus on effective business generation and achieved the advance booking of six thousand meetings that were held between buyers, travel agents and exhibitors in 2022. Next event: Tuesday 4 to Thursday 6 April 2023 – Expo Center Norte, SP, Brazil

WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa.  In 2022, WTM Africa facilitated more than 7 thousand unique pre-scheduled appointments, an increase of more than 7% compared to 2019 and welcomed more than 6 thousand visitors (unaudited), the same number as in 2019.

Next event: Monday 3 to Wednesday 5 April 2023 – Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town

About ATW Connect:  Africa Travel Week’s digital arm, is a virtual hub packed to the seams with interesting content, industry news and insights, and the opportunity to hear from experts on a variety of topics in our new monthly webinar series.

All with the aim to keep all of us in the travel and tourism industry connected. ATW Connect focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology.

WTM Global Hub, is the new WTM Portfolio online portal created to connect and support travel industry professionals around the world. The resource hub offers the latest guidance and knowledge to help exhibitors, buyers and others in the travel industry face the challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic. WTM Portfolio is tapping into its global network of experts to create content for the hub.