WTM Virtual hosts first meeting of tourism ministers from Israel, UAE and Bahrain since historic Abraham Accords signing
Government representatives will discuss plans to use tourism as a path to peace

Tourism Ministers from Israel, United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Bahrain will come together at WTM Virtual for the first time since signing historic agreements to normalise relations in September.

The Abraham Accords, signed on 15 September, set in motion a host of business opportunities and intergovernmental agreements between Israel and the UAE, as well as creating exciting tourism prospects in the region for the first time. Concurrently, Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain also signed an agreement to launch full diplomatic relations.

The agreements gave the go ahead for official dialogue between the countries and set in place new opportunities for tourism. Those involved hope tourism between the destinations will provide the chance to establish peace on a deeper level within the Middle East region.

Since the Accords were signed, Israel’s first-ever commercial flight – carrying a high-level delegation from Israel and the US – landed in the UAE, while the first commercial passenger flight to Israel by a carrier from the UAE landed at Israel’s Ben-Gurion international airport in October.

As a result of the Abraham Accords, the Israel Transportation Ministry announced there will be 28 direct weekly passenger flights connecting Tel Aviv with Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

On day one of WTM Virtual, seven weeks after the historic agreements were signed, WTM will host a momentous discussion among tourism ministers from the three destinations.

Orit Farkash-Hacohen, Minister of Tourism for Israel; Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises for the UAE and H.E. Mr. Zayed R. Alzayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism to the Kingdom of Bahrain and Chairman of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, will discuss the tourism opportunities now available and determine the role that tourism will play in helping to secure long-standing peace in the region.

It will be the first time the tourism ministers have met since signing the agreements.

They will take part in a WTM Virtual session entitled Tourism: The Path to Peace in the Middle East, which will take place immediately after the Ministers’ Summit, on Monday 9 November.

WTM Senior Director Simon Press said:

“The session will provide a fascinating insight into how co-operating on tourism and trade – encouraging people to engage with different cultures and experience new places, sample different food and take part in different activities – can advance peace.

“WTM has always understood the unique way that travel promotes tolerance, empathy and cross-cultural understanding. When people travel, they form friendships, engage in dialogue and are able to see things from a different perspective. When flight paths open up, the prospect for new business becomes a reality, which creates wealth and opportunity for destinations and their citizens.

“The post-COVID possibilities are endless for this region and we’re excited that WTM Virtual has been able to facilitate such an important meeting and play a part in history.”

Tourism: The Path to Peace in the Middle East, featuring the tourism ministers of Israel, UAE and Bahrain, will take place on Monday 9 November, at 15.00 – 16.00 GMT (19.00 – 20.00 GST).

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About World Travel Market

World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises six leading travel events, an online portal and a virtual platform across four continents, generating more than $7.5 billion of industry deals. The events are:

WTM Virtual, is the new WTM Portfolio virtual platform, created to offer global delegates the chance to arrange one-to-one virtual meetings, to do business, attend conference sessions and roundtables, take part in speed networking and more. WTM Virtual will embrace the global leading travel shows in one platform.

Taking place: Monday 9 to Wednesday 11 November 2020 – Virtual http://london.wtm.com/

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating over £3.71 billion in travel industry contracts. This year the show will be fully-virtual.

Next event: Monday 9 to Wednesday 11 November 2020 – Virtual http://london.wtm.com/

London Travel Week, brought to you by WTM London, is the one-stop-shop for event hosts and visitors

to be able to shape the next 12 months of travel together. The festival of events supports the global travel and tourism industry through capturing invaluable news and enhancing industry connections.

Next event: Friday 30 October to Thursday 5 November 2020 – Virtual https://londontravelweek.wtm.com/.

Travel Forward London is the leading travel technology event, co-located with WTM London. Travel Forward is renowned for showcasing the next-generation technologies for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Over 19,000 travel officials and 150+ innovative solution providers attend for 3 days of cutting-edge insights, open debate and unrivalled networking opportunities. The combination of a 2-day conference, interactive exhibition and Start-up showcase makes Travel Forward truly unique. This year the show will be fully-virtual.

Next event: Monday 9 to Wednesday 11 November 2020 – Virtual http://travelforward.wtm.com/

Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 27th year, continues to be the focal point for the Middle East’s resilient and ever-changing travel and tourism landscape and prides itself on being the hub of all travel and tourism ideas – providing a platform to discuss insights on the ever-changing industry, share innovations and unlock endless business opportunities.

Next event: Sunday 16 to Wednesday 19 May 2021 – Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)- Sheikh Zayed Rd – Trade Centre 2 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates www.arabiantravelmarket.wtm.com.

WTM Latin America attracts around 19,000 participants – 11,586 unique. The trade show, which takes place in São Paulo, has a worldwide audience that meets to establish the direction of the travel industry. The event is recognised for attracting a high level of professionals from the segment, including buyers and travel agents. It also offers programmes with qualified content and plenty of opportunities for networking and generating business that is relevant to the travel industry

Next event: Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 April 2021 – Expo Center Norte, São Paulo http://latinamerica.wtm.com/.

WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. More than 6,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors.

Next event: Wednesday 7 to Friday 9 April 2021 – Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town http://africa.wtm.com/.

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. https://hub.wtm.com/

Reed Exhibitions is a leading global events business. It combines face-to-face with data and digital tools to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 500 events in almost 30 countries across 43 industry sectors, attracting more than 7 million participants.  Our events, organized by 35 global offices, leverage industry expertise, large data sets and technology to enable our customers to generate billions of dollars of revenues for the economic development of local markets and national economies around the world. Reed Exhibitions is part of RELX, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. www.reedexhibitions.com

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 20 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, LGBTQ+ travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf and spa travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions. https://www.reedtravelexhibitions.com/

More information, please contact:

Natalia Hartmann

WTM Portfolio Press & PR Executive

E: natalia.hartmann@reedexpo.co.uk

T: +44 (0)20 8439 5535/ M: +44 (0)7775 036 858