Bridg­ing the world

TravTalk - Middle East - - GUEST COLUMN -

In its 24th year, the Ara­bian Travel Mar­ket (ATM) opens its doors to 2,500 ex­hibit­ing com­pa­nies spread across 12 halls at the Dubai World Trade Cen­tre, mak­ing it the largest ATM in its his­tory. Last year the event at­tracted al­most 40,000 in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als, set­tling on deals worth $2.5 bil­lion over the four days.

Open­ing on April 24, the ex­hi­bi­tion this year will host a di­verse in­ter­na­tional di­as­pora on one plat­form for four days to net­work and tap into the most po­ten­tial travel mar­kets in the world. The fo­cus of this edi­tion of Ara­bian Travel Mar­ket is on the trends which have taken the world by storm.

Many tourism boards around the globe are look­ing into cre­at­ing lo­cal ex­pe­ri­ences as part of the tourism itin­er­ary which en­ables the tourist to be more aware of the im­por­tance of cul­ture and her­itage. More fo­cus is on cul­tural and her­itage tourism in this part of the world as it is very rich in its unique cul­ture and tra­di­tion.

Tech­nol­ogy, on the other hand, con­tin­ues to play a piv­otal role in to­day’s travel, tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor. Tra­di­tional travel agents are gear­ing up to be more ver­sa­tile and they are fast be­com­ing con­sul­tants who sell ex­pe­ri­ences be­yond what is of­fered on a website. In this man­ner, in­flu­encers are the new breed which has bloomed, shar­ing their thoughts, rec­om­men­da­tions and guid­ing trav­ellers around the globe.

AHIC opens from April 25-27 at Mad­i­nat Jumeirah with the theme ‘Cat­a­lysts of Change’, an apt theme for re­cent times. Among the top­ics of in­ter­est would be the way in which tech­nol­ogy will shape the fu­ture of ho­tels and the global ma­jor trends that im­pact hos­pi­tal­ity in the ME re­gion.

At ATM last year the in­tro­duc­tion of mid­scale brands wit­nessed a ma­jor share in the tourism mar­ket en­sur­ing more num­bers to the re­gion. The Mid­dle East is con­sid­ered to be the most lu­cra­tive re­gion to do busi­ness by most op­er­a­tors be­cause of its con­nec­tiv­ity op­tions, swift terms of busi­ness and con­tin­ued growth tra­jec­to­ries.

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