The Middle East’s largest travel trade event, The Arabian Travel Market (ATM), showcasing 2,700 exhibitors and 64 national pavilions, is open for business. Rhona Wells reports from Dubai
Now in its 22nd year, the 2015 edition takes place at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre from 4-7 May 2015.
The show has grown by 7% since 2014, and added an extra hall for 2015, with 86 countries represented, 64 national pavilions, and a total of 113 new exhibitors set to make their ATM debut. “As we count down to Expo 2020 and a target of at least 20 million visitors annually as part of Tourism Vision 2020, and a forecasted figure of 25 million visitors for the six-month-long expo, it’s impossible not to be swept up in the momentum of tourism development, both right here in the UAE and across the region. Despite the ongoing challenges facing neighbouring economies, the Middle East continues to break new ground when it comes to infrastructure expansion, government and private sector initiatives, and visitor engagement,” said Nadege Noblet-Segers, Exhibition Manager, ATM.
“Sustainable development is the foundation for the successful long-term growth of the tourism economy and this year’s showcase will incorporate a number of major features that directly address current industry issues. We have also launched the Travel Tech Show at ATM which is accompanied by our annual Technology Theatre seminar series, where global experts in their field will share the latest hi-tech developments impacting our industry. We also have our dedicated spotlight theme for 2015 – family travel, which represents a significant opportunity for the global tourism industry to capitalise on the trend towards multi-generational travel, the travelling future of Gen Y and, specifically in this part of the world, the increase in high-net worth families seeking luxury experiences,” she added.
Emirates Airline’s divisional Senior Vice President,Sheikh Majid Al Mualla stated that“Tourism is an integral part of Dubai’s economy, and the Arabian Travel Market is a key showcase of the emirate’s capabilities and infrastructure, as well as its thriving and diverse travel services on offer. With Dubai Expo 2020 on the horizon, travel and tourism operators will continue to capitalise on exhibitions like ATM, putting in place building blocks for future development.”
The CEO of Dubai’s Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM),Issam Kazim explained hoW much ATM is part of the vision for Expo 2020 saying “ the ATM is one of the most important events on our calendar, and we look forward to building new relationships with travel and tourism partners, as well as strengthening existing ones. ATM provides the ideal platform for DTCM and Dubai stakeholders to showcase the many elements of the emirate’s destination offering from different perspectives – and the ongoing efforts to enhance these. With one of ATM’s main themes for this year being family tourism, we are also using the show as an opportunity to highlight Dubai’s strength within this segment, which plays a major role as we work towards realising our Tourism Vision for 2020 targets.”
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, the show has grown to become the largest showcase of its kind in the region and one of the biggest in the world. This year’s event is set to build further on the success of the 2014 edition.