DUBAI- Concluding four days of travel trade business, Reed Travel Exhibitions, the organiser of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2014, which comes to a close today (8 May), reports that visitor numbers topped 23,000, up by over 2,100 or more than 10% on 2013 figures.
The record-breaking show, now in its 21st year is the largest travel trade exhibitor showcase in the Middle East, accommodated over 2,700 exhibitors with 120 first-time participants, 68 national pavilions and a packed schedule of 40 seminar and tech theatre sessions.
“The preliminary figures for this year’s show underscore Arabian Travel Market’s relevance to the regional travel and tourism sector and reflect the healthy performance and confidence of the industry and its vital role as a major economic driver for the region,” said Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
Independently ABC-audited, ATM 2014 had already recorded an 8% increase in exhibitors compared with 2013, with a record amount of travel-focused floor space of over 24,500 square metres– including one extra hall –all reserved months in advance.
“The halls have been thronged with travel trade professionals this week and the feedback from exhibitors, speakers and our 115 hosted buyers has been overwhelmingly positive, reinforcing our position as the regional industry platform for tourism and hospitality professionals to share their news, network with decision-makers, meet potential partners and exchange insight and ideas,” said Walsh.
Main stand holder numbers also grew by 10 % to 420, including new exhibiting destinations such as Taiwan and Slovenia, and a diverse array of companies making their ATM debut including Kuwait Airways, IMG World of Adventures and Al-Futtaim Travel LLC.
The newly launched ‘Spotlight on Luxury’ theme, which featured a programme of focused seminars and hosted buyers representing high-end travel companies and luxury exhibitors including well-known hospitality brands and premium destinations, added further value to the 2014 line-up of events.
Other new initiatives providing exhibitors and visitors with up-to-the-minute news and product information included the ATM Exhibitor Showcase Theatre and ATM Live Wall, which broadcast live streaming of interviews and panel debates. Another show highlight was VISA’ affluence report which took an insightful look at spending patterns of wealthy regional travellers.
“As always, as one show wraps-up we are eagerly anticipating the next, and on as a result of this week’s business buzz, re-bookings for 2015 are already extremely encouraging. We also have a number creative ideas as to how we will develop our strategic offering for next year to continue our growth pattern in line with regional development,” concluded Walsh.
Arabian Travel Market is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai. Now approaching its 22ndyear, the show has grown to become the largest travel trade showcase of its kind in the region and one of the biggest in the world.