It’s quality over quantity
MORE than 2,000 exhibitors and over 40 national tourist bodies representing 60 countries are expected at this year’s ATM including first time showings from Bangladesh, Croatia, Djibouti and Nepal.
Taking place at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre (DIECC) from May 6 to 9, the organisers are expecting the show will attract the biggest turn out to date regarding visitor numbers.
In 2007 more than 12,850 trade professionals from 108 countries attended - up 5.1 per cent on 2006 - with an eight per cent increase in overseas visitors, according to Simon Press, exhibition director, ATM.
“However we are focusing on the quality of visitor coming through the door, not necessarily the quantity. In light of this, we are very optimistic as our hosted buyer programme is ramping up and we predict that there will be over 125 new hosted buyers for 2008, with many already being confirmed from the Americas and other key regions worldwide.”
The buyers programme is the biggest to date with specialists from the leisure and golf segment and meetings sector providing a unique opportunity for the UAE’s travel and tourism industry to meet the right partners in a convenient one stop shop setting.
The UAE is leading the global tourism contingent with its biggest ever showing with more than 350 local companies expected to sign up. Leaders of the pack were the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Emirates Airline.
Many of the UAE’s key companies from the hospitality, travel, real estate, airline, publishing and car rental sectors have also taken space at the show as have many of the other emirates’ tourism authorities, signalling a unified effort to promote the country on the global stage.
Strong UAE representation
With the strong UAE showing, ATM organisers Reed Travel Exhibitions believes that this year’s event with its increased content and product offering, largest seminar programme to date and global exhibitor base spanning over 60 countries will have significant appeal to the country’s tourism industry as an important business and knowledge platform.
“Arabian Travel Market provides local and internationally based travel agents, tourism organisations and key industry decision makers a wealth of opportunities to be a part of the latest trends and meet the global thought leaders in a highly flexible, face-to-face environment in which a wide range of sales and marketing objectives can be achieved,” said Press.
“The UAE has always continued to lead the way for Arabian Travel Market, under the guidance of its leaders, and this year is no different. The UAE governments and local companies continue to realise the need to keep abreast of trends and seize new opportunities.”
“Visitor interest for this year’s event has been phenomenal and we are extremely optimistic regarding quality and quantity. With visitor registrations up on this time last year, many buyers have expressed interest in the UAE’s tourism offerings, with this figure expected to rise as we get closer to the show opening next month,” said Press.
“On the other hand, trade visitors from UAE will also have a wealth of possibility to identify and pursue outbound and inbound offerings from across the globe with all continents represented.”
Reed Travel Exhibitions has made some fundamental changes to this year’s Arabian Travel Market to foster an increased B2B setting and encourage greater interaction between visitors, exhibitors and key decision makers.
The knowledge delivery platform has also been upgraded, allowing exhibitors to make the most out of their presence. Via the Arabian Travel Market website, each exhibitor has access to a dedicated mini-portal where they can update company information, add collateral and invite guests to the exhibition with their company branded registration web link.
“We are continuously seeking various ways to bolster the entire show experience and to instigate a content rich information platform for the global industry. One of our main focuses is to make the Arabian Travel Market experience a 12 month initiative that is not limited to the show’s four days – we want exhibitors and visitors to be involved all year round and we can do this through the web,” said Lucie James, marketing manger, ATM.
“These high brow sessions are inline with Reed Travel Exhibitions’ vision to position Arabian Travel Market as a content rich experience and as the only place to conduct business for the international travel and tourism industry in the Middle East. Visitors and exhibitors to this year’s show will have access to an unrivalled information cache which cannot be found anywhere else in this region,” said James.
“These changes are part of our long term strategy to grow and refine Arabian Travel Market in a bid to stay ahead of the curve in what is the fastest growing tourism sector worldwide. This exhibition has annually set new records and we look forward to again delivering an attendee profile which will assist everyone in achieving their business aims.”
ATM 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, and under the auspices of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Government of Dubai.