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Irish innovation is thriving, particularly across sectors that are thinking and acting digital-first. With Ireland acting as a hotbed for travel technology companies and Enterprise Ireland providing them with a collaborative ecosystem, more and more exciting and innovative start-ups are finding their place in international markets, especially within the MENA region with Dubai as the hub for inter-continental travel.

Led by the goal to establish the Middle East as the global marketplace for the future of travel, annual trade conference Arabian Travel Market was held in Dubai last week, connecting products and tourism operators with buyers and travel trade visitors from around the world.

Speaking at the event’s opening address, Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said: “Since the beginning, Dubai has shown remarkable resilience in dealing with the pandemic. Taking decisive action at the right time, using all the data available to us as a smart city to make decisions, and opening the economy sector by sector, with the right precautions being taken at each stage, has enabled the gradual recovery of the travel and tourism industry and allowed the city to open its borders to both domestic and international travel.”

While the pandemic stopped the travel market in its tracks in early 2020, the sector is starting to see true recovery, and huge part of this progress was a worldwide acceptance of needing to live through the ‘new normal’. This perspective has given rise to companies, whether they are start-ups or global giants, to adapt through product diversification as well as develop and implement innovative tech solutions, in turn driving tourism recovery.

“It was great to attend Arabian Travel Market this week in Dubai. Many stakeholders, partners, visitors from government bodies, hotels and destination management companies were warmly welcomed within a safe physical setting to share their insights on the travel sector. The key industry event set the standard for organising large-scale events in the post-pandemic era. Interesting to see the Saudi Tourism stand that presented a truly immersive experience for visitors showcasing the upcoming giga projects that are central to the Kingdom’s Vision2030 agenda,” said Stephen Twomey, Senior Market Advisor at Enterprise Ireland.

Personalisation: the catalyst for tourism recovery

In the past few years, Irish tech companies have played a central role in providing world-class companies with tech solutions that cover reservations, payments and customer-focused ICT needs. This accelerated significantly in the early months of 2020, preparing the travel sector to recover more rapidly, and simultaneously revolutionising the market to develop a consumer-first approach.

Aviation and hospitality service businesses around the world are increasingly looking to Irish travel tech companies, using their expertise in artificial intelligence to reform existing product strategies. One such firm that shifted the dial in the travel industry is Arvoia, which enabled market leaders to gain deep direct customer understanding, through a raft of prediction and personalisation products. Boxever follows the same train of thought by helping businesses embed data-driven decisioning, experimentation and personalised experiences into their ecosystem.

With ‘contactless’ being the keyword of the pandemic era, innovators like Daon were able to deploy biometric authentication and identity assurance solutions worldwide. Their platform helped ease authentication process for airlines and other travel agencies by providing the highest level of security with inherent multi-factor authentication to deliver an improved customer experience. TripAdmit provided tour and activity providers with the tools to manage every aspect of their online sales and distribution in one place through its flexible booking software.

With such innovative solutions developed out of Ireland, it is no surprise that Irish innovation has built a reputation as the leader in world travel technology. To connect with market leaders and their advanced technologies that are driving profitability across the travel industry, please visit

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