ATM expected to be biggest show to date

Customers at last year's ATM.

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), which organises Arabian Travel Market, the Middle East's premier travel and tourism show, says this year's event is "well on track to be the biggest show to date."

"It is safe to say that, to date, the uncertainty in the region has not affected Arabian Travel Market," said Matt Thompson, Group Exhibition Director, Overseas Events, RTE.

RTE says that with three months to go before the 2003 Arabian Travel Market, which will be held at the Airport Expo, Dubai, United Arab Emirates from May 6 to 9, the show is already 5% square metres larger than last year's record-breaking event.

"Much of this space growth is taken by tourism boards which are increasing the size of their stands to meet demand from the private sector," explained Thompson. "Moreover, we are welcoming a number of fresh exhibitors to the show with new national pavilions from Saudi Arabia and Canada and the return of a Ugandan national pavilion after a break of seven years."

Visitor expectations also remain unhindered by regional uncertainties, according to Thompson.

"We recently started our visitor promotional campaign and the early indication is that our pre-registration figures are on track to match those of last year," he said.

Thompson stressed that Arabian Travel Market, now in its 10th year, was proceeding very much as "business as usual.

"Everything is going to plan," he said. "Of course, we are monitoring events in the region very closely, and, like everyone, we sincerely hope that tensions do not escalate. However, if they do, I believe that we will have some fallout from the show, which is understandable. But I do not believe that it will have a truly detrimental effect on the event.

"At the moment Arabian Travel Market is in a very healthy position and booking trends over the last few weeks have been very positive."

To date, exhibitors from 47 countries have registered for Arabian Travel Market 2003, including destinations, tour operators, hotel groups, national tourist boards, travel technology providers, airlines, industry associations, yachting and cruise operators and tourism consultants.

Reed Travel Exhibitions is part of Reed Exhibitions which manages over 450 events in 32 countries, serving 49 different industries in 12 key sectors with some 156,000 exhibiting companies and over 9 million visitors per event cycle.

Reed Exhibitions offers integrated market access programmes covering exhibitions, trade publications, direct marketing and the Internet. It also has a growing portfolio of electronic publishing and information services, including LEXIS-NEXIS, the world's leading provider of on-line information services.

The also organise 13 events world-wide, including World Travel Market, Arabian Travel Market, C.I.S. Travel Market, EIBTM, British Travel Trade Fair, Asia Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME), Asia Business Travel Market, International Golf Travel Market and La Cumbre among others.