Reed Travel Exhibitions, the organiser of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2015, which took place 4-7 May 2015, has shared initial post-event numbers for the 22nd edition of the annual travel trade showcase, with in excess of 26,000 influential visitors recorded, representing a 15% increase on 2014 figures.The record-breaking show, which is the largest travel trade exhibitor showcase in the Middle East, also welcomed several new initiatives this year including the Captains of Industry lunch, the Travel Tech Show at ATM with over 50 travel tech-specific exhibitors (up 24% on 2014 floor space), the RateGain Travel Technology Theatre and Visa Exhibitor Showcase Theatre; as well as the return of the high profile UNWTO Ministerial Forum Hosted by National Council of Tourism & Antiquities and the all-new ATM Best Stand Awards.
Exhibitor numbers across the 9 halls totalled 412 confirmed participants including 113 first-timers, with over 2,800 exhibiting companies representing 86 countries, 64 national pavilions and a packed schedule of over 50 seminar and tech theatre sessions.
“The preliminary figures for this year’s show yet again underscore Arabian Travel Market’s relevance to the regional travel and tourism sector, and reflect general industry confidence as well as underlining the vital role that tourism plays in driving regional economies towards a sustainable future,” said Nadege Noblet-Segers, Exhibition Manager, Arabian Travel Market.
“The mood on the show floor across the four days of the exhibition was incredibly dynamic and buoyant, we have already had 68% of ATM 2015 exhibitors rebook space for next year – such was the enthusiasm on the show floor, 20% of 2015 exhibitors are already contracted for 2016, a great achievement given that this is the first time that contracting has ever taken place at the event,” she added.
The Captains of Industry closed door lunch and networking event, which was sponsored by Al Rayyan Hospitality, featured keynote speaker Geoff Cousins, former Global Director for Jaguar who addressed a line-up oftop commercial travel industry movers and shakers.
New exhibiting destinations included Croatia and Serbia with an international contingent of companies making their ATM debut including the Slovak Tourist Board, Slovakia; Travel Plan-Eurostar, US; Izmir Development Agency, Turkey; Al Rayyan Hospitality, Qatar; Small Luxury Hotels of the World, UK; L.E. Hotels, Spain; Hard Rock International, US; Dubai Parks & Resorts, Dubai and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, USA and Even Global, Malaysia.
Following the success of last year’s inaugural spotlight theme, which was luxury travel, attention this year turned to family travel – a key area of opportunity for the industry both in the region and globally – with a programme of focused seminars and hosted buyers representing this profitable growth segment.
Popular annual features included the easy-to-follow exhibition trails covering family travel, budget travel, business travel, health & wellbeing, shopping, transportation, sports travel, cultural and heritage and adventure travel; and the high profile New Frontiers Recovery Awards, which was given to Nepal.
“The feedback from both exhibitors and visitors has been extremely positive, and beneficial, and we are already discussing a number of creative ideas to add even more value to next year’s line-up, as well as cementing plans to add a further hall for 2016 in order to accommodate demand and to support industry development,” said Noblet-Segers.
“The spotlight theme for ATM 2016, to be held from 25-28 April, will be mid-market travel, an area of opportunity and demand that has been steadily gaining ground in the last couple of years, with the regional hotel pipeline set to add a new dimension in accommodation in key locations across the Middle East. We are delighted to be working with The Address as the sole host hotel, the launch of Emaar Hospitality Group’s mid-market Rove brand will be the ideal fit with the 2016 spotlight theme,” she concluded.
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 2015 partners include Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Emirates Airline, The Vision Destination Management, Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort and Spa, The Atlantis The Palm, The Address Downtown, TIME Hotels and IHG.