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ATM 2010

Arabian Travel Market 2010 opens in Dubai amid cheerful outlook for travel industry

Issac John  May 03, 2010

DUBAI — Arabian Travel Market 2010 opens today at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre amid growing signs of the quick rebound for the Middle East tourism and hospitality industry.

Orgnisers of the annual trade event, billed one the most sought after showcases of the travel and tourism sector, claim that a better than expected response from exhibitors from around the globe was a testimony to the resilience of the regional tourism and hospitality industry that appears to have successfully weathered one of the worst global crises to hit the sector.

This year, the event, running from May 4-7, is lining up almost the same number of more than 2,100 exhibitors and stand-sharers representing 72 countries, including more than 60 new-to-market representatives, Mark Walsh, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions told a Press conference on Monday. Orgnisers believe the strong participation was a testament of the Middle East’s strategic role in the industry’s future.

Hopes of an imminent revival of buoyancy for the travel and tourism sector have been further fanned by upbeat projections about the region’s air traffic sector by Boeing on Sunday. The plane-makers on Sunday predicted that the air travel industry was poised for a 6.6 per cent surge in 2010 on the back of an economic recovery that is already taking place. The recession affecting the business traveller market appears to be well on the road to recovery, especially within the GCC region and wider Middle East, according to Walsh.

The International Air Transport Association has forecast that the GCC air traffic would see an expansion of 12 per cent this year. “We have said time and time again that Arabian Travel Market serves as a barometer to the health of both the regional and international travel and tourism markets. To yet again be putting on one of the most significant ever instalments of this show, in the midst of some of the toughest economic conditions we have faced, speaks volumes about the Middle East’s ever-important role as a catalyst for positive business potential, our industry’s resilience and perseverance and the scope for future growth,” said Walsh. Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the UAE are all bringing increased tourism contingents for 2010. The stronger presence of travel trade is evidence of how the region had handled its industry recovery efforts and the investment, he argued. Walsh said such strong growth underlined how the region has weathered the economic storm. “Much of this is down to determined marketing efforts from the region’s tourism authorities, strong backing from government bodies, the Middle East’s airline industry capitalisation of market share via fleet expansion and development of existing and new airlinks and its overarching belief in being successful.”

The 2010 edition of the show has confirmed steady overall space uptake by nearly 60 national tourist bodies representing six continents, including new-to-market showings from Fiji as well representation from the private sector in Nigeria, Monaco, Swaziland, the Ukraine, Nepal, Malta, Libya, Republic of Korea and Iraq.

This year, Europe boasts 18 new stand holders including Turkish Air, and St Petersburg, which returns after a three year absence. France and Turkey are the biggest increasers of space. The development of key source markets in Europe by Middle East tourism bodies and vice versa has seen above-average exhibitor number rises from France, Germany, Russia, Spain and Turkey.

Asia has also seen an increase in first time exhibitors including representatives from Uttarakhand Province in India, Nepal and China Southern Airlines. Thailand, Malaysia and India continue to be the largest space contributors. The Philippines saw the area’s greatest space increase. Africa, the Americas and Australasia return for 2010 with a similar space commitment as in 2009 with the Maldives, US, Canada, Kenya and Tunisia all seeing positive growth in exhibitor numbers. Leading the Middle East countries at the show is the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing of Dubai. DTCM’s stand represents 87 booths and 114 co-participants.

“This is our 16th year of strong association with Arabian Travel Market. The show plays a critical part in our aggressive overseas promotional agenda, allowing us to network with industry players and ultimately boost the number of visitors to the emirate,” said Saleh Mohammed Al Geziry, DTCM’s Director Overseas Promotions and Inward Mission.

Emirates Airline, the event’s official carrier, reinforced ATM’s significance in promoting the region’s tourism. “Emirates has emerged from this challenging period leaner and stronger. Arabian Travel Market is a superb platform for us to raise awareness of our new routes for 2010 — Tokyo, Amsterdam, Prague, Madrid and Dakar — as well as various other new initiatives across the Emirates Group,” said Richard Vaughan, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice-President - Commercial Operations Worldwide.

Arabian Travel Market 2010 opens in Dubai amid cheerful outlook for travel industry
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