DUBAI 10 May 2017: Responsible tourism, which played a huge part in the recent Arabian Travel Market (ATM) and continues to be at the forefront of the industry, has been named the theme for 2018.
This year’s ATM witnessed a 10 per cent increase in visitors from the GCC and a 7 per cent increase in international visitors to the event, which was held in Dubai World Trade Centre from 24th to 27th April, organisers said.
For the second year in a row, visitor numbers smashed through the 28,000 mark – the show saw a 71 per cent increase in visitors over the last five years.
Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said, “The continued growth of ATM is a testament to the strength of the travel and tourism industry in the Middle East.”
“Exhibition stand contracts signed during ATM 2017 for next year are up 38 per cent year-on-year, with exhibitors keen on reserving their space for what promises to be a record-breaking event in 2018 as ATM celebrates its 25th anniversary,” he said.
Largest in Region
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, on the theme of experiential travel sponsored by La Perle, boasted an additional hall, with 466 main stand holders representing 87 countries and over 100 new exhibitors making their debut. The number of countries represented at ATM 2017, taken from all attendees, totalled 157.
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.”
The UNWTO & ATM Ministerial Forum, which was attended by more than 20 ministers from various governments and global leaders, concluded that the main priorities for the region’s tourism industry include human resources development, public/private sector co-operation, 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.
By Angel Chan