ATM attracts luxury names


LEADING international luxury hotels Arabella Sheraton, Sun International, Kwantu Private Game Reserve, Solimer Golf Resort & Spa, Le Passage To India, Leading Hotels of the World, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts and Raffles have already committed their participation at this year’s Arabian Travel Market, four months before the region’s premier travel and tourism trade exhibition and event is held again in Dubai.

They are some of the increasing number of tourism industry luxury services providers targeting the Middle East’s lucrative outbound sector, which contributes in excess of $12 billion on annual international vacation spending.
“Luxury travel is an industry in its own right representing the elite three per cent of global travellers who account for 20 per cent of total annual travel expenditure - and who are immune to economic slowdown,” said Chris Chackal, Group exhibitions director, Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), the organiser of Arabian Travel Market.
“According to Cap Gemini consultants, the Middle East accounts for approximately $1 trillion of the global $30.8 trillion of high net worth (HNW) wealth and this is growing faster than in any other region, following a 28 per cent growth since 2002. Top tourism industry luxury brands have always been well represented at Arabian Travel Market, but this year we expect an even higher participation as they compete for a larger share in the lucrative outbound Arab market.
“Specialist trade buyers and sellers serving this travel industry sector have very specific needs and expectations compared to their counterparts working in the mainstream travel trade and Arabian Travel Market brings together the world’s top luxury segment players,” added Chackal.
Early bookings indicate Arabian Travel Market 2006, which will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from May 2 to 5, will be yet another sell out following a two-year trend registering double digit growth. And RTE says the luxury segment will be key in fuelling further growth for this year’s event.
“We expect similar growth rates to the 30% increase the 2005 show witnessed as the global travel and tourism industry has displayed magnificent resilience having rebounded from a poor start to the decade marred by the 9/11 events,” said Chackal.