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Friday, 19 April, 2019, 17 : 01 PM [IST]

ATM 2019 - focus on cutting-edge technology & innovation

The Arabian Travel Mart (ATM), in its 26th year, annually welcomes more than 39,000 professionals from the travel industry, local as well as globally. ATM 2019 has adopted cutting-edge technology and innovation as its main theme and this will be integrated across all show verticals and activities, including focused seminar sessions, featuring dedicated exhibitor participation. ATM has officially partnered up with Dubai Tourism, Emirates, Emmar hospitality, Colliers International, The Vision and Rotana. In 2018, ATM celebrated its 25th anniversary and over USD 2.5 billion of new business was generated at ATM.

Roughly three quarters of travel professionals at ATM are trade visitors and buyers, whilst press account for over 920 and those remaining attend with the 2,545 exhibiting companies.

This exclusive B2B event brings professionals from all over the world to showcase their brand, their products and to do business, with the main geographical regions of interest being; the Middle East, Africa, Americas, Asia, Australasia, Europe & the Mediterranean.

Accounting for the majority of the audience, travel trade professionals attend ATM to meet new and existing suppliers, gain industry insight and keep up to date with the latest travel trends representing 141 countries and regions.

ATM’s Buyers’ Club provides a forum for senior travel industry decision makers with direct purchasing responsibility. The club facilitates networking, providing the opportunity to meet, greet and discuss business, leading to contracts being signed whilst expanding connections. In 2018, the ATM Buyers’ Club had 6,665 members made up of tour operators. travel agents, wholesalers and private travel arrangers with purchasing power.

Companies supplying the travel industry in the Middle East, or looking to, attend to showcase their products and services network and conduct business with the travel professionals in attendance. These are the group of attendees that most visitors come to see and in 2018 over 2,500 exhibitors from around the world chose ATM as a platform to showcase their destinations, products and services.

India Spotlight ATM 2019
The number of Indian visitors travelling to the GCC over the coming five years will create an extra 10.8 million room nights, according to data published ahead of ATM 2019, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 28 – May 1.

The latest research published by Colliers International predicts around nine million Indians will travel to the GCC by 2022 – 37% of India’s total outbound market – with business, place of work and leisure underpinning this demand. Indian outbound tourists will account for 22.5 million worldwide tourists in 2018, with reports from the UNWTO estimating this figure will increase by 122% to reach over 50 million by 2022.

Adding to this, Indian tourists are among the world’s highest spenders per visit made abroad, with visitor spend expected to increase from USD 23 billion in 2018 to USD 45 billion by 2022.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said, “Despite recent weak rupee exchange rates, which have seen the rupee lose around 14% of its value against the US dollar over the last 12 months, the Indian outbound market has continued to grow at an average annual growth rate of 10-12% over the last seven years.

“The GCC has benefited from this trend with Indian travellers’ willingness and ability to spend on outbound travel supported by the country’s pace-setting 7% GDP growth and a new generation of leisure attractions in the GCC as well as increased business opportunities and relaxed visa regulations for Indian nationals.

“We are witnessing this growth first hand with Indian visitors to ATM increasing 27% year-on-year between 2017 and 2018.”

India retained top spot on Dubai’s list of source markets for inbound tourism, with over 1 million Indian tourists arriving in the emirate during the first half of 2018, registering a 3 per cent rise over the same period in 2017. Relaxed visa restrictions and the introduction of a free two-day transit visa have contributed to this growth.

According to ATM’s official research partner, Colliers International, Saudi Arabia will also experience a comparative growth of 7% – while the remaining GCC countries, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain will all witness an increase of 6% between 2018 and 2022.

Curtis, said: “The influx of Indian visitors to the GCC shows no sign of abating, with every reason to believe that India will maintain its position as a top source market, moving forward.

“Supporting this demand, in the UAE alone, there are currently 1,065 weekly flights to India corresponding to 130,000 seats per week. Meanwhile, on-going bilateral talks are continuing to take place to increase airline frequency between India and all GCC countries, ”he said.

Looking to the future, the Colliers research suggests India will rank as the world’s youngest country demographically, with 65% of the total population categorised as Gen X or Gen Y by 2025.

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