ATM 2017 celebrated strength of travel and tourism industry in Middle East
- International visitors up 7%
- ATM records 71% growth since 2012
- Over 100 new exhibitors debuted at ATM 2017
- Responsible tourism to be the key theme of ATM 2018
This year’s Arabian Travel Market witnessed a 10 percent increase in visitors from the GCC and a seven percent increase in international visitors to the event, which was held in Dubai in April.
For the second year in succession, visitor numbers smashed through the 28,000 mark – the show saw a 71 percent increase in visitors over the last five years.
Testimony to strong tourism industry
Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said: “The continued growth of ATM is testament to the strength of the travel and tourism industry in the Middle East. The event has also built on its quality year on year and the professionalism of exhibitors and stands not only increases the brand value of their own organization, but also that of Arabian Travel Market.”
“Exhibition stand contracts signed during ATM 2017 for next year are up 38 percent year-on-year, with exhibitors keen to reserve their space for what promises to be a record-breaking event in 2018 as ATM celebrates its 25th anniversary,” added Press.
Largest of its kind
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, ATM has grown to become the largest event of its kind in the region and one of the biggest in the world.
The 2017 edition got off to an inspiring start, with an informative discussion on the legacy of Expo 2020. Now just under three years away, it was revealed that plans for the site after the world showcase concludes will see 80 percent of the plot re-developed with all Expo’s assets and transport infrastructure re-purposed for future use by a range of tenants and major private sector firms.
Commenting on the overall session, Press said: “The seminar also explored the importance of Dubai’s sustainable tourism initiatives, the expansion of the emirate’s airports’ capacity and the engagement of global audiences through partnerships with celebrities and social media influencers.”
Targeting main priorities of industry
The UNWTO & ATM Ministerial Forum, which was attended by more than 20 Government Ministers and global leaders, concluded that the main priorities for the region’s tourism industry include human resources development, public/private sector cooperation, connectivity, technology and sustainability.
“Despite all external shocks, the Middle East and North Africa tell one of tourism’s biggest success stories. A story that brings an immense opportunity to make tourism a pillar of economic diversification, job creation and sustainable development in this region” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
New this year, the inaugural Halal Travel Summit, was one of many seminar sessions on the Global Stage, which welcomed leading Muslim travel industry experts including Rafi-uddin Shikoh, CEO of DinarStandard and Faeez Fadhlillah, CEO of Salam Standard & Tripfez, in a discussion about halal destination strategies and how to sell halal travel.
Muslim travel is a key sector for economic development and job creation throughout the world, generating $139 billion in GDP and creating 4.5 million jobs worldwide. And the travel and tourism industry throughout the Middle East is perfectly placed to capitalize according to panelists.