Dubai’s Arabian Travel Market marks the start of a tourism comeback

Dubai hosted one of the first in-person travel industry events since the start of the pandemic. The Arabian Travel Market had more than 11,000 participants who insisted that the industry is ready to recover from the impact of COVID-19 as soon as the borders reopen.

In 2020, the size of the global travel and tourism market fell to 1.27 trillion euros. However, it is expected to increase in 2021 to reach 1.4 trillion euros.

Claude Blanc, director of the World Travel Market portfolio, told Euronews that there was an appetite in the industry for the event. “The essence of tourism is face to face, it’s connection, personal and professional,” he adds.

It has been a difficult 18 month period for the industry, with many hotels weathering the storm by targeting the domestic market. But as vaccine passports gain momentum, the world is opening up again.

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism, said they are the future of travel after the pandemic.

“I think in the future, again, more countries are vaccinated, more people are vaccinated. There’s talk of the vaccination passport or the antibody passport, whatever it is that people are going to start to think of as the digitization of that, so they can say, I got it, I got it.

Greece, Portugal and Italy are among the European countries which are slowly reopening their doors to tourists. They were spurred on by the news that the EU plans to make its COVID-19 digital certificate operational by July 1, 2021.

Italy lost 121 billion euros in 2020 due to travel and tourism restrictions, but visitors have started to return with popular destinations like Venice and Rome reporting an increase in visitor numbers.