By Rafiq Vayani
DUBAI: Reed Travel Exhibitions, organiser of the annual Arabian Travel Market (ATM) showcase in Dubai, which will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 22-25 April 2018, has announced that it will host the first ATM Student Conference – Career in Travel – as part of its line-up of special focus events.
The two-hour conference, scheduled to take place on Wednesday 25th April in the Showcase Theatre, will feature three interactive seminar sessions including, how to gain a career in the industry; developing tourism skills and employment opportunities in travel & tourism; and how to create a job in the travel and tourism industry.
The travel and tourism sector will continue to play a vital role in the UAE’s economy, with the number of people employed in the industry to increase from 317,300 in 2016 to 394,000 in 2026, according to a World Travel and Tourism Council report. An increase in new retail, leisure and entertainment offerings will drive this growth over the next eight years.
Following recent reforms and the relaxation of visa regulations, Saudi Arabia is poised to capitalise on these factors as it nurtures a vibrant leisure and entertainment sector, supported by a new generation of hotels. In 2017, travel and tourism generated 613,000 jobs in the Kingdom with this figure expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.5% to 781,000 by 2027.
Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM said: “Career in Travel has been an integral part of WTM London for the last ten years. Following this success, we are proud to introduce the exclusive student conference to ATM 2018. Designed to increase student and graduate opportunities within the travel and tourism sector, the complimentary programme will allow attendees to learn from the sharpest minds in the industry.”
“A line-up of key travel experts will share their invaluable knowledge of the sector, as well as their individual career experiences, while providing advice on how to launch a career in the travel and tourism industry.
Kick-starting discussions in the Showcase Theatre, a specialist panel featuring Alessandro Cabella, General Manager, Jumeirah Group and Abdo Basmaji, Travel Counsellor, will explore how to secure a career in the travel and tourism industry. Panellists will share their experiences while offering advice on the current job market in the region.
The second panel, made up of educators, trainers and employers, will focus on training the next generation of travel, tourism and hospitality graduates and professionals. This session will be moderated by Chris Warren, International Director for Responsible Tourism – Australia and the Middle East, who will be joined by a host of key industry experts.
Wrapping up the inaugural conference, the third and final panel session will explore how to create your own job in the travel and tourism industry. Hear from Rana Dababneh, founder, Pomalo travel and tourism and Heba Bin Redha, Co-founder of Emirati Kashtas on their experiences and how they went about setting up on their own.
Press added: “The student conference is a great addition to ATM 2018 and we look forward to welcoming the current crop of travel and tourism students to these important sessions, which we hope will equip them with the skills they need to thrive going forward.”
ATM – considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed over 39,000 people to its 2017 event, including 2,661 exhibiting companies, signing business deals worth more than $2.5 billion over the four days.
Celebrating its 25th year, ATM 2018 will build on the success of this year’s edition, with a host of seminar sessions looking back over the last 25 years and how the hospitality industry in the MENA region is expected to shape up over the next 25.