Reed Travel Exhibitions, organiser of Arabian Travel Market (ATM), is finalising the line-up for this year’s event, which is taking place from April 25-28 in Dubai.
The focus for this year’s edition will be on mid-market tourism – a key area of opportunity for the Middle East.
Exhibition manager, ATM, Nadege Noblet-Segers commented: “As tourism infrastructure across the Gulf and beyond continues on its high profile development path, our spotlight theme for 2016 has turned to mid-market tourism. This has been identified as both an underdeveloped and potential growth area for the region, driven by demand from the growing middle class markets such as China, India and Africa combined with budget Generation Y travellers and young families.”
Throughout ATM 2016, the number of new hotel rooms entering the market, including the share that is planned to be in the four- and three-star classification, will be discussed.
According to the January Pipeline Report from STR Global, there are 538 hotels totalling 151,771 rooms under contract in the Middle East and 321 hotels totalling 62,194 rooms under contract in Africa.
Makkah, Saudi Arabia, reported the largest number of rooms under construction with 21,068 rooms in 13 hotels. Three other markets reported more than 5,000 rooms under construction: Dubai, the UAE (19,846 rooms in 63 hotels); Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (6,738 rooms in 30 hotels); and Doha, Qatar (5,980 rooms in 26 hotels).
Dubai currently has a total hotel key count of approximately 94,000 and this figure is expected to jump to between 140,000 and 160,000 keys by 2020 with around 20 per cent set to target the mid-market hotel sector.
Midmarket focused seminars include the opening session, Dubai of the Future, taking place on April 25. Panelists including head of tourism, Dubai Holding, Gerald Lawless, will pinpoint the source markets Dubai should be targeting including midmarket travellers, families, young independent travellers and couples, as well as the high-growth-potential BRIC countries in order to evolve over the next two decades.
Meanwhile, the mid-market strategies session, taking place on April 26, will identify who the midmarket traveller is, where they come from and what they want. Confirmed panelists include president, Louvre Hotels Group MENA, Dr. Amine Moukarzel.