Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2014, the region’s leading travel industry showcase, opens its doors tomorrow (Monday 5May) with a full schedule of educational seminar sessions, business networking opportunities, high level discussions and recognition of 12 months of industry achievement.
Now in its 21st year, the 2014 edition is a complete sell out, with 25,000 square metres – including one extra hall – making of floor space being utilized – including one extra hall – making it the largest travel trade exhibitor event ever to be held in the Middle East.
Taking place at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre until 8 May 2014, the show has grown by 8% since 2013 and will welcome over 2,700 exhibitors, with 420 main stand holders and exhibitors from 83 countries as well as 68 national pavilions.
Record-breaking visitor numbers are also forecasted with over 21,000 local, regional and international industry professionals expected to attend. Tourism professionals including exhibitors and visitors from 157 countries will be in attendance. “It’s been a year of growth not only for the tourism and hospitality industry in the region, but for ATM; and this year’s showcase will see more than 120 new exhibitors make their ATM debut plus the launch of several exciting new initiatives created especially to expand on key industry trends impacting business in the region today,” said Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
“The diversity of our exhibitors is also something to highlight and we have seen significant growth in the various industry verticals with car rental company presence up by 58%, travel tech by 22%, 103% growth in the cruise pavilion and fresh demand for medical tourism representation, which we welcome back this week with a dedicated 70-square metre space,” he added.
ATM’s perennially popular 2014 seminar and tech theatre series, which will offer wide-ranging topics covering aviation, mobile trends and the rising demand for wellness tourism, will kick off with a high profile panel session on an equally high profile topic – Delivering the Tourism Vision for 2020 and How Dubai is Marketed to the World.
The expert line-up includes HE Helal Almarri, Director General, Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM); Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO, flydubai; Thierry Antinori, EVP & Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline; and Neal Jones, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International.
Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “At last year’s ATM the Tourism Vision for 2020 was announced, with the headline target of 20 million visitors per year. One year on, significant steps have been taken towards achieving the target. ATM 2014 provides the opportunity to communicate with the industry to share the successes and outline future plans which will ensure both the continual development of the destination offering and Dubai’s position around the world as a must-visit destination”.
Echoing that sentiment, Majid Al Mualla, DSVP Commercial Operations Centre, Emirates Airline, said: “This year’s ATM is special because it is the first since it was announced that Dubai would host Expo in 2020. It is an opportunity to celebrate the travel and tourism industry, which is so fundamentally important to Dubai.
The latest figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council show more than 1 billion arrivals globally for 2013, pumping in 9% of the world’s GDP. Dubai is very much part of that picture. Even in the past year, we have seen an abundance of new hotel properties, fresh infrastructure and additional attractions in the city as we prepare to reach 20 million visitors by 2020 – and 25 million unique visitors during the period of Expo itself.
As Emirates we will play a major part in all of this, bringing people into Dubai on our award-winning, modern, fuel efficient aircraft including our flagship A380, staffed by our friendly, international cabin crew. We have already launched three new routes in 2014, Taipei, Kiev and Boston, taking our destination total to 142 destinations in 80 countries and a further five routes, Abuja and Kano in Nigeria, Chicago, Brussels and Oslo have all been announced as launching later this year. We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead.”
Ali Abu Monassar, Chairman, The Vision Destination Management, added: “From both a destination and company (The Vision) perspective, together we have achieved a lot this year. Once again, ATM brings an important business season to an end and opens up opportunities for a new one. With its continual growth it remains the most important hospitality meeting place for the region and beyond.”
New features and services for ATM 2014 include the launch of the first ever specialised annual theme, with a ‘Spotlight on Luxury’ focus encompassing several luxury-specific seminars, hosted buyers representing this valuable market segment and high-end exhibitors including well-known hospitality brands and premium destinations.
The ATM Hosted Buyers Programme is another key feature for exhibitors looking to connect with global buyers with 115 confirmed buyers representing the luxury, cruise, medical and wider leisure markets. Reed Travel Exhibitions will also unveil the new ATM Exhibitor Showcase Theatre, which is located in the middle of the show floor; the ATM Live Wall, which will broadcast live streaming of interviews, panel debates and other show highlights; plus the results of the highly anticipated Visa Affluence Report.
Karim Bizid, General Manager of The Oberoi, Dubai said: “When The Oberoi, Dubai opened in June 2013 we promised that it would herald a new era of luxury in the UAE by delivering the exceptionally attentive, consistent and warm personalised service for which The Oberoi Group is known worldwide. Nearly one year after opening and already ranked in the top 10 hotels on TripAdvisor, The Oberoi, Dubai is proud to be one of the official partners of ATM 2014, particularly with the focus on luxury this year. We are looking forward to participating in the show with Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, recognised as one of the World’s Leading Luxury Hotel Brands, and to welcoming luxury buyers and valued business partners to the hotel.”
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.
Arabian Travel Market 2014 will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 5-8 May.