Sunday, May 5, 2013

Arabian Travel Market highlights next decade of opportunity for region

Arabian Travel Market highlights next decade of opportunity for region

UAE, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia leading the race for tourist revenue growth with positive outlook for industry as governments use tourism as major anchor for economic diversification

Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2013, the region’s leading travel industry showcase, opens in Dubai today, Monday 6th May, as it prepares to celebrate its 20th edition and welcome over 2,500 exhibitors from 87 countries with exhibition floor space sold out at over 22,000 square metres.

Speaking ahead of this year’s showcase, Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, highlighted the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Economic Impact 2013 outlook, which supports positive forecast for industry development and performance in the region this year.

“The regional tourism map is now incredibly diverse with travel and tourism directly contributing US$76.6 billion to GDP in 2013, which is forecast to rise by 4.2% this year alone as ongoing investment into the sector and infrastructure development in key markets supports the dual long term goals of driving visitor numbers and moving towards sustainable economic diversification,” said Walsh.

He also emphasised the growth of a number of regional destinations, in particular the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
“The UAE has long been a role model for regional tourism development, and recently released figures from the WTTC show that tourism in the Emirates is growing significantly faster than the world GDP growth average, contributing an impressive 14% to the UAE economy in 2012, - compared to the global trend of 9% - and expected to rise by 3.2% in 2013,” he said.

Industry investment, which hit US$22.5 billion last year is also set to increase in 2013, by an estimated 12%, as the country fully embraces the social and economic benefits of tourism, maximising on the ongoing expansion of its airline route networks, and a healthy economic outlook.

The UAE’s nearest neighbour, the Sultanate of Oman is also pursuing plans for tourism growth spurred by the government’s US$39 million investment into development of Dhofar province, with the aim of making its annual Khareef (monsoon) festival an in-demand fixture on the global tourism calendar.

This is supported by forecasted hotel room capacity growth at a CAGR of 5.3% between now and 2016, which will see Oman swell its current base of 5,331 rooms by an additional 2,000 before the end of this year.
One of the fastest growing markets in the Gulf, Qatar is also moving ahead with its US$65 billion investment plan that focuses on the state’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Over 85,000 new hotel rooms will bolster current inventory levels as Qatar looks to welcome as many as 3.7 million visitors per annum by the time the tournament kicks off.

“Saudi Arabia is an extremely interesting market at the moment, and there is a strong push towards development of domestic tourism with 22.5 million residents looking for new experiences aside from the favoured summer destination of Jeddah, as well as undertaking their Hajj and Umrah commitments,” said Walsh.
Hajj and Umrah travel generated US$16.5 billion for the Kingdom in 2012 and business tourism demand is also growing, particularly for Riyadh, the capital city and seat of government. Tourist arrivals are forecast to grow at CAGR of 4% by 2022, driven by strong growth across all sectors.

“Tourism is currently the country’s second largest industry and this has huge significance for the economy as US$80 billion worth of investment into key infrastructure projects including airport expansion, railways and roads comes to fruition in the next 10 years,” remarks Walsh.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, ATM 2013 is being held at the Dubai International Exhibition and Conference Centre from 6-9 May.

Photo caption:

At the head table today, from left to right;
Toufic Tamim, Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Mark Walsh, HE Helal Saeed Almarri, Ali Abu Monassar.

For more information on Arabian Travel Market 2013, please log on to

About Reed Travel Exhibitions
Arabian Travel Market is organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel. Reed Travel Exhibitions also organises Abu-Dhabi based global meetings and incentive exhibition, GIBTM which takes place annually in March.

The RTE portfolio of 19 events are; World Travel Market (WTM), World Travel Market Latin America (WTM Latin America), Arabian Travel Market (ATM), International French Travel Market Top Resa (IFTM), International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), International Ski Travel Market (ISTM), International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), International Luxury Travel Market Asia (ILTM Asia), International Luxury Travel Market Americas (ILTM Americas), International Luxury Travel Market Africa (ILTM Africa), International Luxury Travel Market Japan (ILTM Japan), International Luxury Travel Market Spa (ILTM Spa), Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) (owned by Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau), Global Exhibition for Incentive, Business Travel, and Meetings (EIBTM), Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (GIBTM), Americas Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (AIBTM), China Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (CIBTM), India Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (IBTM India) and Business Travel Market.
September 2013 will see the launch of IBTM India in Mumbai and another exciting launch in the ski travel sector, with International Ski Travel Market in March 2014 in Austria.

RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.

About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organizer, with over 500 events in 39 countries. In 2011 Reed brought together six million active event participants from around the world, generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organized by 33 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 44 industry sectors with trade and consumer events and is part of the Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world-leading publisher and information provider and a FTSE 100 company.

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