Organisers of this year’s Arabian Travel Market hope the event will bring in as many as 15,000 trade visitors, according to Mark Walsh, group exhibition director, Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), organisers of the event.
“Pre-registration for this year’s show is up over the same time last year,” Walsh said on the telephone from his London office weeks before the event.
“What we’re concerned about, however, is that quality visitors attend, rather than simply attracting increased numbers.”
The event, which runs from May 1 to 4 at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre, is in its 14th year. With representation from all five continents, this year’s show features over 2600 exhibitors from 60 countries, said Walsh. Of these, 61 national and regional tourism bodies have confirmed their presence at the event. This year the show will have over 114 first-time exhibitors, including destination management companies, Asian and European travel technology specialists, African and Asian health resorts and spas as well as travel and tour operators.
Destinations debuting at ATM include Croatia, Macau, Nigeria, Palestine, Swaziland, Taiwan and Zimbabwe while exhibitors from China and Peru will participate in the show for the very first time.
Delegations from the US and Canada will also visit the show with a view to exhibiting next year, he added.
Last year’s ATM accommodated 1,750 exhibitors from 59 countries, including 114 first time participants. The show housed 50 official tourism organisations including first timers Japan, Ireland, Russia and Poland.
Also up is the number of hosted buyers at the show, with 60 MICE buyers and 90 leisure buyers attending, largely from the GCC, Europe and the US.
The show’s free-to-attend seminar programme will feature 11 seminars covering the hottest topics impacting the local, regional and international travel and tourism industry. ‘Meeting the region’s challenges’ is part of an educational free-to-attend seminar programme planned by RTE as part of its expanded trade visitor show experience. “Through our seminar programme we are partnering the industry to provide delegates an educational forum and tackle topics which have global and regional relevance,” said Walsh.
Responding to criticism of last year’s show, this year’s event has re-organised the floor plan so real estate and development exhibitors now have their own hall. Parking problems have also been addressed.
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