The Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2019, which took place from April 28 until May 1, welcomed a 106 per cent rise in visitors from China, as well as a 20 per cent jump in international visitors, while visitor numbers smashed through the 28,000 mark for the third year in a row.
The 2019 edition of the event featured the largest exhibition from Asia to date, witnessing an eight per cent year-on-year increase in total floor space, with Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Sri Lanka being the largest exhibitors.
Exhibition director ME, ATM, Danielle Curtis said: “The continued growth of ATM is testament to the continued strength of the travel and tourism industry in the Middle East. In addition, it draws major inbound players, eager to capitalise on the huge amount of investment that is being put into the region’s tourism infrastructure, including its airlines, resorts, attractions and facilities.”
ATM 2019 featured 400 main stand holders with over 100 new exhibitors marking their show debut. The number of countries represented at the show totalled over 150.
Meanwhile, this year’s event launched Arabian Travel Week – an umbrella brand comprising four co-located shows: ATM 2019, ILTM Arabia, CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa and ATM Holiday Shopper.
Adding to this, ATM also featured the ‘Arabia China Tourism Forum’. With the overall number of outbound tourists from China expected to reach 224 million by 2022, the session explored how Gulf states can boost Chinese visitor numbers by catering to the younger travellers arriving from the Far East.
Another of the highlights from the Global Stage was a discussion on the potential benefits and pitfalls of technology implementation in the Middle East’s tourism sector.
A panel discussion titled ‘The Big Picture – Who Will Sell Travel Best in the Future?’ revealed gulf-based travel and hospitality companies that use disruptive technologies to boost personlisation and remove friction for customers are likely to become future market leaders.
Also taking place on the Global Stage was a focused seminar entitled ‘Why Tourism is Saudi’s New ‘White Oil’, among many others.