Travel, tourism and hospitality professionals from around the world will have an opportunity to explore the next generation of industry innovations at the Middle East’s first ever edition of Travel Forward, which will take place alongside Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020.

The travel and hospitality innovation event will connect buyers and suppliers from across the Middle East and beyond, enabling delegates to try out the latest industry tools and take advantage of technologies that could boost efficiency and improve the customer experience.

The event will cover the full spectrum of industry tools, from emerging innovations such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and machine learning, to existing systems such as booking engines, business management software and end-user technology.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “In today’s ultra-competitive travel, tourism and hospitality markets, the effective implementation of innovative technologies is essential to the long-term success of any business. By identifying the right tools to meet their needs, industry professionals can give themselves a competitive edge.

“That is why events such as Travel Forward are so important to our sector’s future. By bringing together buyers and suppliers, and facilitating face-to-face interactions, the show will make it easier for participants to identify and test innovative technologies and applications that could help to achieve their long-term goals.”

Travel Forward will form part of next year’s Arabian Travel Week, an umbrella brand comprising several co-located shows including Arabian Travel Market 2020; ATM Holiday Shopper; CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa; and ILTM Arabia.

The original edition of Travel Forward was launched during World Travel Market 2018 in London. Based on the success of the event to date, organiser Reed Travel Exhibitions rolled out a Latin America edition earlier this year, and plans to introduce both Middle East and South Africa editions in 2020.

Richard Gayle, Event Manager, Travel Forward at WTM London, said: “The London edition of Travel Forward has attracted widespread industry interest since its launch in 2018. The event not only allows technology suppliers to showcase their products and services to buyers on a one-to-one basis, but also enables travel, tourism and hospitality professionals to get hands-on experience with technologies that could transform their operations.

“The Middle East edition of the show will enable industry players from across the Gulf to engage with the latest innovations by bringing these technologies to their doorstep.”

Delegates at the Middle East event will have access to high-profile keynote speakers and a world-class line-up of technology experts, and the event’s organiser plans to limit the number of exhibitors so that suppliers and buyers can be more effectively aligned.

Travel Forward will include a dedicated product theatre, enabling exhibitors to conduct live demonstrations for attendees. The event will also feature ‘Pitch It – Prove It’ start-up challenge, in which suppliers will not only explain the theory behind their innovations but also demonstrate their advantages in real time.

The standalone event will build on the success of ATM 2019’s theme, cutting-edge technology and innovation, which has been integrated across all show verticals and activities, including its focused seminar sessions.