Middle East's largest travel trade event will feature 2,600 exhibitors, 65 national pavilions, over 35 seminar and technology theatre sessions and anticipates 30,000 trade visitors
Dubai, UAE, April 18, 2017: Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2017, the region's leading travel industry showcase, opens its doors on Monday 24th April for four days of business networking opportunities, insightful seminar sessions and top level ministerial discussions.
Now in its 24th year, the 2017 edition, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 24-27 April, will welcome over 2,600 exhibitors and an expected 30,000 visitors to the largest travel trade event in the Middle East.
For the second successive year, organisers have added an extra hall, to accommodate extra demand, with over 150 countries represented, 65 national pavilions, and more than 100 new exhibitors set to make their ATM debut.
Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said: “It is clear that the Expo 2020 project is driving growth throughout Dubai, as it aims to complete 160,000 hotel rooms in time to welcome an additional five million visitors over the course of the six-month event. However, the UAE and the GCC countries as a whole are looking towards tourism as a way of diversifying their economies away from their reliance on hydrocarbon receipts.”
He added: “The increasing trend is for an immersive style of tourism, which encompasses different areas of local life – culinary, culture, history, shopping, nature, sports, halal, theme parks, wellness and spa, medical tourism and sheer Arabic opulence – and can be the basis for a holistic travel experience, by connecting with a place rather than just making a visit.
“This growing trend is now on the radar of the region's tourism chiefs as destinations face increased competition for their share of the more traditional travel segments. And it is very much on the radar of Arabia Travel Market 2017, which has adopted experiential travel as the main theme of this year's event, integrating it across all show verticals and many activities, including focused seminars and roundtable events.”
New to ATM 2017, ILTM Arabia will play host to one-to-one, pre-scheduled appointments, between suppliers of luxury products and destinations from around the world to an audience of high net-worth individuals. While marketing to experiential travellers will be an integral part of the ATM Travel Tech seminar programme.
The UNWTO & ATM Ministerial Forum returns, uniting more than 20 ministers with industry leaders in the MENA region to consider methods of capitalising on tourism growth and building a sustainable ecosystem for the sector to unlock its potential within each country's national agenda.
Other popular features returning to the show repertoire this year include the Wellness and Spa Lounge (which has grown by 40% and now includes 35 international suppliers and 35 Middle East specialist buyers), Travel Agent Academy, Buyers Club and the Bloggers Speed Networking events.
There will also be a series of seminars, starting with the opening session of this year's event on the Global Stage, which will look at the role Expo 2020 will play in delivering the UAE Government's long-term vision for economic diversification. Now just three years away, high level stakeholders will take part in a panel discussion about the upcoming event.
“2017 began on a strong note for inbound tourism to Dubai with over three million overnight visitors recorded in January and February, representing a 12 per cent year-on-year growth in visitor numbers. A large part of this continued success is due to the ongoing support from our partners – from new and existing attractions, to airlines and travel agents – all working together to evolve and innovate Dubai's destination offering.
“ATM serves as a platform to highlight the factors behind Dubai's appeal to a diverse range of travellers, as the emirate continues to drive tourism growth in line with our Tourism Vision for 2020. We are looking forward to showcasing Dubai's ever-evolving destination proposition to the international travel trade community during the event - this includes a whole host of attractions that have launched over the past year alone, from theme parks such as Dubai Parks and Resorts, to more cultural offerings such as Dubai Opera, the Etihad Museum and Saruq Al Hadid.
“On the stand at ATM this year we'll also be highlighting several new initiatives of our own including Dubai Sustainable Tourism updates and our new industry training ‘Dubai Expert' which Dubai College of Tourism will showcase – and much more,” said Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai's Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).
Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airlines, said: “Experiential travel, ATM's theme for this year, is about providing more choice, and as an airline, we are seeing rising demand from consumers for more authentic and engaging travel experiences. In this seamlessly connected era, people want to travel better, with a more personalised experience and at Emirates we work hard to deliver those memorable experiences for our customers.”
He added: “However, the customer experience is only half the equation in serving the traveler who craves a one-of-a kind experience. We add value by building connectivity. Our operations have more than doubled in size in the last ten years, and our footprint is truly global, spread across 83 countries in six continents. With 155 destinations in our growing network, savvy travelers can tap into up-and-coming destinations like Myanmar, Vietnam, Zambia, as well as Cambodia and Croatia – two new destinations we will be launching this summer.”
Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, commented: “Ten years since our inception, we have clearly defined our credentials as a home-grown hospitality group with a growing portfolio of hotel and serviced residences projects in the UAE and other international markets.
“The Arabian Travel Market 2017 offers us a significant platform to highlight our three exceptional hotel brands – Address Hotels + Resorts, a premium luxury hotel and residences brand; Vida Hotels and Resorts, an upscale lifestyle hotel and residences brand; and Rove Hotels, a contemporary midscale hotel and residences brand – and to showcase the properties under these brands.
“As the Official Hotel Partner of this global event, we will underline the differentials of our properties and our focus on value creation in managing mixed-use projects, which set us apart. ATM is a strong demonstration of Dubai's international appeal as a tourism and hospitality hub, and we look forward to welcoming visitors from around the world to our dedicated pavilion.”
Anwar A.Z Abu Monassar, Destination Director, Strategy & Operation, The Vision, said: “Arabian Travel Market is the premier event in our industry, where we can network and showcase our products and projects to a huge, captive audience. As official ground handlers, The Vision Destination Management are glad to contribute to this success story, which started some 24 years ago. We will present designed concepts and enhance visitors' experiences, while reaffirming our strong commitment to the industry and the region.”