Arabian Travel Market, the Middle East's premier travel and tourism exhibition which marked its 14th showing at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC), could well double in size within the next five years, according to Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president, Department of Civil Aviation, Government of Dubai and chairman of the Emirates Group.
This year’s edition was the largest in the annual series with some 2,600 exhibitors from 64 countries – a 24 per cent increase on last year. It featured 116 new exhibiting companies from 34 countries, with first-time representations from China, Croatia, Macau, Palestine, Peru, Ras Al Khaimah, Swaziland, Taiwan and Zimbabwe. The show also marked Visit Palestine's global exhibition debut.
“This exhibition is definitely going to continue on a growth pattern and although it is difficult to say exactly what the growth will be, it could well double in size by 2012," said Sheikh Ahmed.
All records were broken, with an extraordinary 12,305 visitors and 22,655 total industry attendance on the first three days, reserved for business.
Preliminary statistics showed a record 10.4 percent rise in overseas visitors, local visitors were up by 5.3 percent, overall industry attendance rose eight percent while turnout by Meridian Club Members, the VIP club operated by Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), which organizes the event, increased 7.3 percent.
Trade buyers from over 100 countries attended.
As the curtain came down on the 2007 edition of the annual event, exhibitors were tallying onsite business intake which spanned new spa deals for hotels, group outbound and inbound contracts, new convention and meetings events and quotations on overseas cruises.
Saudi Arabia’s Top Adventure won outbound business both to the UAE and Europe. “We signed three deals with UAE operators, another with a Spanish company, one with a UK player and also one with a Swiss agent,” said Khaled Al Rasheed, CEO, Top Adventure.
Next year’s show will be held at the same venue from May 6 to 9.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.