The Arabian Travel Market 2001 (ATM 2001) looks set to break all previous records, consolidating its reputation as the premier travel and tourism business event in the Middle East.
The event will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from May 1-4.
Building on last year's spectacular success, ATM 2001 is set to record more than 12 per cent growth, exceeding all expectations, organisers Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) said.
Over 700 exhibitors from more than 50 countries will be displaying their products highlighting the ever growing business potential in the region.
"Just over 7,500 square metres of floor space has been sold, which is 400 square metres more than last year's record-breaking event," RTE's group exhibitions director, Overseas Events, Matt Thompson, said earlier this month.
"We anticipate that come May, we will have a show of around 8,000 square metres in size."
Newcomers to this year's show include representation from Argentina, Brussels, Brazil, Norway, South Africa, Vietnam and for the first time, Jakarta will be officially represented by the Indonesian government this year.
Yemen is also coming back to the show after a year's absence.
Other contributing factors to the show's increase in size is due to the regular participants who have expanded considerably. They include Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Syria, Malaysia and Germany.
"Arabian Travel Market continues to record year-on-year growth in terms of exhibitor numbers, space occupied and visitor turnout," said Thompson, who was recently promoted as Group Exhibition Director.
"This year will be no exception, with many new features at the show. Reed Travel Exhibitions are expanding business-related programmes with the introduction of business seminars covering a variety of topical issues affecting the industry, while the ever popular Hosted Buyer Programme will be targeting the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) market, ensuring a higher level representation from this rapidly expanding sector."
Other newcomers to ATM 2001 include Swissair Sabena, Carnival Cruise Lines, Delta Airlines, BITA Tourism & Travel, Turkey; Golden Prague and Emirates Czech Company.
"To date we have exhibitors from 53 countries and this includes first-time representation from Belgium, Brazil, Norway and Vietnam," said Thompson.
"South Africa is more fully represented this time as the country's own travel show, Indaba, which usually is held very close to ATM, is being staged earlier this year freeing up South African private sector exhibitors for participation in Dubai.
"Yemen will also be once again represented at the show following a break of several years. This time representation takes the form of a private tour operator from the country."
Thompson said the truly global nature of ATM was being exemplified by a wide exhibitor footprint.
"We do expect that the number of countries represented in the exhibitor profile will rise slightly before the show," he added.
This year, ATM, will take up five halls at the Dubai World Trade Centre, with RTE booking an additional hall to cater to exhibitor growth.
ATM 2001 will also feature a dedicated free-to-attend seminar programme with experts probing the latest travel and tourism issues, including the environment, maximising meetings business, the impact of technology and incentive criteria.
"We will construct a special seminar arena in one of the halls," said Thompson.
"This year we are also taking the popular Internet cafŽ out from the organising centre to one of the hall floors."
RTE organises ten events worldwide, including World Travel Market, Arabian Travel Market, C.I.S. Travel Market, EIBTM, British Travel Trade Fair, PATA Travel Mart, International Golf Travel Market, Mediterranean Travel Fair, Top Resa and AIME.
Reed Exhibition Companies (REC) is the world leader in creating high profile, targeted industry events where buyers and suppliers come together to do business.
Every year REC events bring together some 156,000 suppliers and over nine million buyers from around the world.
Today, REC events are held in 29 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia/Pacific, and are organised by 30 fully staffed offices.
Their portfolio of over 440 events serves 49 industries in 12 key sectors.
As a member of the Reed Elsevier plc group, a world-leading business and information provider, REC offers integrated market access programmes covering exhibitions, trade publications, direct marketing and the Internet.
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.