Arabian Travel Market’s 2015 roadshow series returns to familiar home ground tomorrow (25th February 2015) as the Reed Travel Exhibitions team hosts the UAE leg of its eight city tour in Dubai.
A number of exhibitors are expected to attend the open forum event, which will see ATM representatives share the latest updates on this year’s line-up of specialist events and seminar series’, and invite participating industry players to discuss how to capitalise on market and PR opportunities in the build up to and during ATM.
The number of confirmed UAE exhibitors at ATM 2015, which includes individual UAE emirate pavilions, currently tallies 152 companies with 19 new exhibitors including Dubai Parks & Resorts, Getabed, Holiday Store Travel, R Hotels Group and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
According to the Q3 2014 Alpen Capital GCC Hospitality Industry Report, in the last 10 years the UAE has emerged as the preferred regional destination for leisure as well as business tourism. Its tourism receipts have increased at a CAGR of 12.4% between 2004 and 2013 and its share of the total GCC receipts increased from 30.2% to 41.4% over the same period.
“With the UAE securing highly visible ‘mega events’ such as the upcoming World Expo2020, the sector is developing rapidly and this presents numerous opportunities for the Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing to realise its forecast of 16.5 to 18 million leisure and three to four million business visitors by the end of the decade,” said Nadege Noblet, Exhibition Manager of Arabian Travel Market.
To keep pace, the country’s hotel pipeline is also set to grow substantially with data research house STR Global reporting a total of 144 hotels and resorts in the active pipeline with a planned count of 40,142 rooms, which according to the latest Alpen Capital report, is less than a third of the 140,000+ rooms actually required, so doubtless there are many more projects launches in the offing.
“According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the UAE will retain its position as a regional tourism leader, with the sector valued at US$ 31.8 billion by the end of 2018.
“If you consider the fact that the top 10 tourism projects in the Emirates represent a collective investment of just under US$ 40 billion, the local tourism and hospitality industry is going to accelerate to another level entirely.
“So this roadshow is a great opportunity to bring the country’s key players together ahead of the show, to share their own thoughts of how the UAE tourism landscape is likely to look in just 5 years’ time,” said Noblet.
Among the MEED-listed projects under development are the US$ 5.8 billion Mall of the World development, which will be the largest retail destination on the planet, complete with a dedicated wellness hub; the US$ 9.1 billion Al Habtoor City complex, with St Regis, Westin and W Hotels; and Emaar’s US$ 8 billion Cultural District. In total the UAE has earmarked 18 museums and cultural initiatives, 88 retail developments, 24 theme parks, 15 sporting venues, 17 convention centres and 7 theatres, as per MEED intelligence.
The aviation sector expansion is also supporting the country’s tourism development agenda with Dubai International expected to welcome 126.5 million passengers by 2020, the huge Al Maktoum International site set to eventually accommodate up to 160 million passengers per annum, and continued network and fleet growth of the UAE’s airlines.
“Looking at it in financial terms, Oxford Economics puts the combined economic force of aviation and tourism-related activities in Dubai alone to hit US$ 53.1 billion in 2020 and US$ 88.1 billion by 2030, with almost 1.2 million jobs created,” Noblet added.
Current and potential exhibitors attending the roadshow will learn about new event features including this year’s specialist sector theme, which is family travel, and the popular Tech seminars line-up, plus other marketing and PR tips to maximise their visibility at the show.
The ATM seminars return covering travel technology and other key industry issues such as luxury travel trends, business travel, aviation. Also returning are the visitor trails, helping visitors identify the specific travel sectors on the show floor including: family travel, budget travel, business travel, health & wellbeing, shopping, transportation, sports travel, cultural and heritage and adventure travel.
The ATM line-up will also include a two-day ILTM@ATM programme hosting 25 top Middle East luxury buyers, comprising a series of pre-scheduled appointments and dedicated luxury travel-focused seminars and panel debates, on the 5 & 6 May.
The 2015 event will also build on the success of last year’s edition with the announcement of an additional hall adding an additional 2,000 square metres of floor space as Reed Travel Exhibitions looks to add to its record-breaking achievements in 2014. Last year ATM saw total attendance increase by 12% with 33,000 participants, from more than 131 countries and business deals signed worth more than US$ 2.1 billion over the four days.