Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2017, the region’s leading travel industry showcase, opens its doors on Monday (April 24) for four days of business networking opportunities, insightful seminar sessions and top level ministerial discussions.
Now in its 24th year, the 2017 edition, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre will welcome over 2,600 exhibitors and an expected 30,000 visitors to the largest travel trade event in the Middle East.
For the second successive year, organizers have added an extra hall, to accommodate extra demand, with over 150 countries represented, 65 national pavilions, and more than 100 new exhibitors set to make their ATM debut.
Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said: “It is clear that the Expo 2020 project is driving growth throughout Dubai, as it aims to complete 160,000 hotel rooms in time to welcome an additional five million visitors over the course of the six-month event. However, the UAE and the GCC countries as a whole are looking towards tourism as a way of diversifying their economies away from their reliance on hydrocarbon receipts.”
He added: “The increasing trend is for an immersive style of tourism, which encompasses different areas of local life – culinary, culture, history, shopping, nature, sports, halal, theme parks, wellness and spa, medical tourism and sheer Arabic opulence – and can be the basis for a holistic travel experience, by connecting with a place rather than just making a visit.
“This growing trend is now on the radar of the region’s tourism chiefs as destinations face increased competition for their share of the more traditional travel segments. And it is very much on the radar of Arabia Travel Market 2017, which has adopted experiential travel as the main theme of this year’s event, integrating it across all show verticals and many activities, including focused seminars and roundtable events.”
New to ATM 2017, International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Arabia will play host to one-to-one, pre-scheduled appointments, between suppliers of luxury products and destinations from around the world to an audience of high net-worth individuals. While marketing to experiential travelers will be an integral part of the ATM Travel Tech seminar program.
The UNWTO & ATM Ministerial Forum returns, uniting more than 20 ministers with industry leaders in the MENA region to consider methods of capitalizing on tourism growth and building a sustainable ecosystem for the sector to unlock its potential within each country’s national agenda.
Other popular features returning to the show repertoire this year include the Wellness and Spa Lounge (which has grown by 40 per cent and now includes 35 international suppliers and 35 Middle East specialist buyers), Travel Agent Academy, Buyers Club and the Bloggers Speed Networking events.
There will also be a series of seminars, starting with the opening session of this year’s event on the Global Stage, which will look at the role Expo 2020 will play in delivering the UAE Government’s long-term vision for economic diversification.
Now just three years away, high-level stakeholders will take part in a panel discussion about the upcoming event.