Arabian Travel Market sets new record for attendance

DUBAI — All records have been broken at the 14th Arabian Travel Market, the Middle East's premier travel and tourism exhibition that closed its doors yesterday, with an 12,305 visitors and 22,655 total industry attendance on the first three days of the show, reserved for business.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sat 5 May 2007, 8:27 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:56 PM

Preliminary statistics showed a record 10.4 per cent rise in overseas visitors, local visitors were up by 5.3 per cent, overall industry attendance rose eight per cent while turnout by Meridian Club Members, the VIP club operated by Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), which organizes the event, increased 7.3 per cent.

The show also attracted a record number of journalists, some 977 in the first three days, with a seven per cent increase in overseas Press and eight per cent in UAE media.

"Judging by statistics, each day was an important business day, showing that Arabian Travel Market is a true leader for the travel and tourism industry. This has been yet another record breaking show, with a steady stream of new visitors every day and repeat visits by our Meridian Club Members, at 36 per cent, on all three days to see the huge variety of business travel products at the event," said Mark Walsh, RTE Group Exhibition Director - Overseas Events.

And as the curtain came down on the 2007 edition of the annual event, exhibitors were tallying onsite business intake which spanned new spa deals for hotels, group outbound and inbound contracts, new convention and meetings events and quotations on overseas cruises.

"In the last three days we signed 20 corporate and leisure contracts with tour operators and companies from regional and international destinations from Europe, Asia and the Far East," said, Nehal Rizvi, of the Metropolitan Palace Dubai, part of the Habtoor Hotels Group.

For Austria, its fourth ATM participation brought GCC-wide dividends. "The contacts I made in the first two days could well lead to co-operation with more than 10 new travel agents, mainly from the Emirates and Kuwait, but also Bahrain and Saudi Arabia," said Andrea Stifter-Vorderegger, of Vorderegger Travel.

Saudi Arabia's Top Adventure won outbound business both to the UAE and Europe. "We signed three deals with UAE operators, another with a Spanish company, one with a UK player and also one with a Swiss agent," said Khaled Al Rasheed, CEO, Top Adventure.

And exhibitors were also looking ahead to the 15th Arabian Travel Market, which will run at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC), from May 6-9.

"My group has been coming to the ATM promoting health and rehabilitation trips to Germany for the past five years. We will be returning next year," said Jasmin Porter of the Bavarian 'Medical Park' group. "Following this show we expect to get business from at least one in every 10 agents we met, mainly from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the Emirates, as well as one from Singapore."

Qatar is planning to double its stand for 2008. "We have already signed for next year as all of the sharers on our pavilion want to step up their presence," said Khalid A. Aziz Al Asmakh, Senior Qatar Tourism Association Representative.

Yemen too is looking to boost its 2008 presence. "We are looking to increase by around 70 per cent to build awareness of Yemen among visiting tour operators," said Abdo Hassan, Marketing Department, Tourism Development Council of Yemen.

Algeria's Ministry of Tourism said it is already planning a heightened participation for 2008. "We will not only increase our presence but will also launch some important tourism projects at next year's show," said Mlle. D. Kermia, Inspector at the Ministry.

ATM 2007 was the largest in its history, with some 2,600 participants from 64 countries, nine new-to-the show participants and 116 new companies.

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