Published on : Monday, May 21, 2018
This year’s Arabian Travel Market that is a premiere international event for the Middle East inbound and outbound tourism, celebrated its 25th anniversary in style with an many as 39,000 travel, hospitality and tourism professionals from across the world, with previous records being broken across the board by the time the four-day show concluded on 25th 2018.
For the second year in succession, the numbers of attendees reached the 39,000 mark and the show has witnessed a 40% increase in visitors since celebrating its 20th year in 2013.
ATM 2018 also portrayed the largest exhibition of local, regional and international hotel brands in the history of ATM, with hotels comprising over 5,000 square metres, 20% of the total show area.
Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said that the continued growth of ATM is testament to the robust strength of the travel and tourism industry in the Middle East. ATM provides an ideal platform in that sense, bringing travel and tourism professionals together to discuss the potential of the inbound and outbound markets of the Middle East, he feels.
ATM has grown to become the largest event of its kind in the region and one of the biggest in the world. The 2018 edition, on the theme of responsible tourism, boasted more than 400 main stand holders with over 100 new exhibitors making their debut. The number of countries represented at ATM 2018 totaled over 140.
The show got off to an inspiring start, with an informative discussion on Hyperloop and future travel experiences in the region. The session explored the impact ultra-modern travel infrastructure will have on the tourism industry in the UAE and wider GCC over the next decade, as technological advances bring new and improved modes of transport to the market.
During the session, it was revealed innovative Hyperloop connections could reduce travel times between Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) by around 34 minutes at some stage in the future.
Following a successful debut last year, the Halal Tourism Summit returned to the Global Stage on the third day of ATM 2018, welcoming leading Muslim travel industry experts including Rafi-uddin Shikoh, CEO of DinarStandard, Faeez Fadhlillah, CEO of Salam Standard & Tripfez and Omar Ahmed, Founder and CEO of Sociable Earth.
Muslim travellers will spend US$157 billion by 2020, driven by millennial travellers, with Saudi Arabia remaining the top outbound market, growing 17% over the next three years alone, to reach US$27.9 billion.
The first seminar, entitled ‘Halal Tourism – How far have we come?’, highlighted the growing importance of Muslim millennial travellers illustrated by the changing global socio-economic trends and underscored the potential pent up demand. While the second seminar, ‘Halal travel becomes mainstream’, discussed the key results of a new halal tourism survey carried out by Sociable Earth.
Commenting on the survey, in which 35,000 Muslim travellers participated, Ahmed, said that the halal travel market has graduated from its niche status to become an industry-shaping force in its own right.