Look­ing ahead to ATM 2018

Ho­tel News Mid­dle East takes a look at this year’s Ara­bian Travel Mar­ket which is gear­ing up to be big­ger and bet­ter than ever

HotelNews Middle East - - Event Preview -

Cel­e­brat­ing its 25th year, Ara­bian Travel Mar­ket (ATM), the Mid­dle East’s lead­ing plat­form for tourism pro­fes­sion­als and fo­cal point for the re­gion’s travel in­dus­try, will re­turn to the Dubai World Trade Cen­tre, from 22-25 April.

ATM 2018 will look to build on the suc­cess of last year’s show. Show­cas­ing over 2,500 ex­hibitors and wel­com­ing over 40,000 in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als, busi­ness deals worth Us$2.5bn were agreed over four days – mak­ing ATM 2018 the largest edi­tion in the show’s his­tory.

These achieve­ments wouldn’t have been pos­si­ble with­out the tan­dem growth of the re­gion’s hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, which, over the last 25 years has emerged as one of the world’s fastest grow­ing re­gional mar­kets.

This year, Re­spon­si­ble Tourism – in­clud­ing sus­tain­able travel trends – will be adopted as the of­fi­cial show theme for ATM 2018. Through­out the event, pro­fes­sion­als from across the in­dus­try spec­trum will demon­strate how, with the cor­rect strat­egy in place, the tourism in­dus­try can ex­pand its re­spon­si­ble cre­den­tials.

Si­mon Press, Se­nior Ex­hi­bi­tion Di­rec­tor, ATM said: “Tourism plays a vi­tal role for GCC coun­tries in their di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion strate­gies away from a re­liance on hy­dro­car­bon re­ceipts. How­ever, the in­dus­try must con­tinue to evolve in a re­spon­si­ble fash­ion.

“It is cru­cial that we all work to­wards a tourism sec­tor which pro­tects the en­vi­ron­ment, pre­serves the cul­tural her­itage of des­ti­na­tions and fos­ters re­spect for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties ev­ery­where.

“To that end, ATM 2018 will have a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on re­spon­si­ble tourism, in­te­grat­ing it across all show ver­ti­cals and ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing sus­tain­abil­ity-fo­cused sem­i­nar ses­sions, fea­tur­ing ded­i­cated ex­hibitor par­tic­i­pa­tion.”

To­day, the cities across the MENA re­gion

are home to some of the world’s largest tourism de­vel­op­ment pipe­lines. In to­tal, the UAE has 194 projects and 55,264 rooms in the con­struc­tion pipe­line, while Saudi Ara­bia has 60,249 rooms and over 198 projects.

De­spite the eco­nomic ben­e­fits, growth of­ten comes at a price and, in the re­source in­ten­sive hos­pi­tal­ity and tourism in­dus­try, the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact is multi-di­men­sional, from car­bon emis­sions, wa­ter and en­ergy de­mand, to food waste, noise and light pol­lu­tion.

The UN'S World Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion es­ti­mates that tourism is re­spon­si­ble for about 5% of global CO2 emis­sions. Ac­com­mo­da­tion ac­counts for ap­prox­i­mately 20% of emis­sions from tourism, which in­cludes en­ergy de­mand, din­ing and leisure.

With guests in­creas­ingly look­ing to re­duce their per­sonal im­pact, the in­dus­try is now in­cor­po­rat­ing sus­tain­abil­ity in busi­ness strat­egy. We have al­ready seen a num­ber of suc­cess­ful ini­tia­tives in­tro­duced by op­er­a­tors and au­thor­i­ties in the UAE, re­duc­ing the av­er­age car­bon foot­print of a ho­tel to within the global av­er­age range of 20,000-30,000 KGCO2E per room.

Demon­strat­ing what can be achieved, in two short years the UAE will host the most sus­tain­able Expo to date, with a record-break­ing 20 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional ar­rivals ex­pected.

In cel­e­bra­tion of ATM’S 25th year, this year’s show will host a se­ries of sem­i­nar ses­sions look­ing back on the tourism rev­o­lu­tion in the MENA re­gion over the last quar­ter of a cen­tury and also fore­cast­ing what lies ahead for the in­dus­try over the next 25 years.

Press added: “The tourism in­dus­try in the GCC has grown ten-fold and more since we first opened our show doors. To­day we have the tallest build­ings and tallest ho­tels; rev­o­lu­tion­ary trans­port in­fra­struc­ture; theme parks and leisure at­trac­tions that are the envy of the rest of the world.

“ATM will re­flect on this suc­cess, while ex­plor­ing how the in­dus­try will shape up over the next 25 years, in light of eco­nomic un­cer­tain­ties, huge tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances and, of course, the in­creas­ing trend of re­spon­si­ble tourism.”

De­but­ing at this year’s event will be the ATM Stu­dent Con­fer­ence – a pro­gramme aimed at stu­dents and grad­u­ates who are look­ing to pur­sue a ca­reer in the travel and tourism in­dus­try.

Tak­ing place on the fi­nal day of ATM, this ini­tia­tive will al­low stu­dents to lis­ten to key guest speak­ers and travel in­dus­try lead­ers. It will also help pro­vide stu­dents with a greater un­der­stand­ing of the in­dus­try and po­ten­tial ca­reer paths.

Fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful launch last year, the sec­ond edi­tion of the In­ter­na­tional Lux­ury Travel Mar­ket Ara­bia (ILTM) will re­turn on the first two days of the show.

In­ter­na­tional lux­ury sup­pli­ers and key lux­ury buy­ers will con­nect via one-to-one pre-sched­uled ap­point­ments and net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The Best Stand Awards pro­gramme will re­turn for a fourth year, while the ATM Global Stage will wel­come an ar­ray of high-level speak­ers who will cover a wide range of top­ics from fu­ture travel ex­pe­ri­ences, avi­a­tion and en­trepreneur­ship to travel tech­nol­ogy and halal tourism.

ATM will host the largest gath­er­ing of travel and lifestyle blog­gers at the Dig­i­tal In­flu­encer Speed Net­work­ing, where they will have the op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­act with ex­hibitors tak­ing part in the show.

Fur­ther ATM cal­en­dar favourites re­turn­ing for 2018 in­clude the ul­tra-in­no­va­tive Travel Tech Show as well as the Buy­ers’ Club and the Well­ness Lounge which both of­fer ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­ni­ties to meet and net­work with like­minded in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The tourism in­dus­try in the GCC has grown ten­fold and more since we first opened our show doors.” Si­mon Press, Se­nior Ex­hi­bi­tion Di­rec­tor, ATM

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