Published on : Monday, April 24, 2017
The 24th annual Arabian Travel Market (ATM) opened today which gathered professionals in Dubai to discuss key trends affecting the global market. The event was inaugurated by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. From April 24 to April 27, ATM 2017 will host travel professionals from all across the globe.
The event is expected to welcome over 40,000 industry professionals from over 152 countries and 2,600 exhibitors. In its last edition in 2016, around $2.5 billion worth of deals were signed at ATM. Latest industry trend of experiential travel is what the event will focus on this year. debates and discussion which encompasses travelling for adventure, culture, heritage, wellness, and theme parks will be the crux of the show.
Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) invested billions in developing new cultural tourism programs in the Arabian Nations. Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director of the Arabian Travel Market said that across the GCC, there is a rising demand for authentic and enriching travel, full of experiences and opportunities to learn about the unique history and culture of this region. Among the proposed developments, Saudi Arabia plans to open nearly 100 new public and private museums. Oman also committed some $2.5 billion in 2015 for its Omagine Project and is hoping to cash in on increased global interest in cultural tourism.
Dubai reported a 127 percent increase in attendance at its most popular museums and galleries. A number of new projects are also underway in Qatar, where tourism officials say visitor demand is being driven, at least in part, by live and cultural events.
Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said in a statement: “the growth and scale of ATM 2017 is testament to the buoyant travel and tourism industry here in the Mena region. It is no secret the growth we observe in the regional industry is spurred by visionary national agendas and a favourable and thriving business environment. With a series of mega-events scheduled for the coming years, including Expo 2020, this growth will undoubtedly continue.”
Press also added cultural tourism sits perfectly alongside this year’s theme of experiential travel as travellers look to explore destinations and enjoy a more holistic holiday experience.
ATM, however, amid a slowdown in the travel market due to a strengthening US dollar (to which the UAE dirham is pegged) coupled with weaker currencies in key source markets such as Europe, the UK, and Russia.