Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2016 posted a seven per cent year-on-year rise in visitor numbers with more than 28,000 trade visitors attending the show, which took place from April 25-28 at Dubai World Trade Centre.
Leading with a topical mid-market theme, the initial results for the 23rd travel and tourism industry showcase, released by organiser Reed Travel Exhibitions, also recorded a nine per cent increase in the number of Buyers’ Club members, with a similar percentage hike in the number of other quality visitors such as VIPs, sponsors and speakers, compared to 2015.
“The initial estimated figures for this year’s show highlights ATM’s significance as a leading exhibition for the region’s travel and tourism sector, as an increasing number of destinations ramp-up efforts to drive travel and tourism as part of economic diversification and sustainability,” said exhibition manager, Arabian Travel Market, Nadege Noblet-Segers.
“The overall increase in visitor numbers, and specifically the nine per cent rise in key buyers (those with budget responsibility for regional and international contracting), underscores ATM’s importance to trade buyers and also means ATM 2016 is poised to top last year’s record $2.5 billion in business deals facilitated.
“This year’s popular mid-market theme also resonated with the region’s travel professionals – with many exhibitors leveraging opportunities to launch mid-tier brands as well as discussing strategies, developments and future trends during the ATM seminars,” added Noblet-Segers.
Held under the patronage of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ATM has grown to become the largest event of its kind in the region and one of the biggest in the world. The 2016 edition boasted an additional hall, with 423 main stand holders representing 86 countries, 64 country pavilions and over 100 new exhibitors making their debut.
Once again, the show welcomed a number of new initiatives including the launch of the ATM Global Stage, which opened the week’s proceedings with a high level panel discussion on the future of tourism in the UAE featuring leading industry leaders including CEO, Dubai Corporation Travel and Commerce Marketing, Issam Kazim; acting executive director, tourism, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri; chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, HE Khalid Jassim Al Midfa; and many more.
Also new for 2016 was the Wellness & Spa Lounge, a dedicated space for 25 exhibitors which connected Middle East wellness and spa buyers with international suppliers; the inaugural Travel Agent Academy; and, in line with the show’s ongoing focus on technological innovation, the first-ever ATM Bloggers’ Speed Networking session, at which 40 travel bloggers met with interested exhibitors.