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Thursday, 14 April, 2016, 15 : 00 PM [IST]

ATM 2016: Providing comprehensive Utilities

Arabian Travel Mart 2016 will cater to over 26,000 buyers and visitors from April 25-28, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition. TravelBiz Monitor takes a look at the annual show, themed, ‘Mid-market travel’ this year.
Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in its 23rd edition this year  will showcase more than 2,800 products and destinations from around the world to over 26,000 buyers and travel trade visitors across four days  -  April 25 to 28 - at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC). Organised by Reed Exhibitions, its 22nd edition was the most successful to date. ATM goes from strength to strength with 2015 recording a 15% increase in influential visitors and generating USD 2.5 billion in industry deals. Total attendance grew 12% to 36,268.

Mid-market Travel
Mid-market travel, which is a key growth segment for the region’s hospitality and tourism sector, has been selected as the official show theme for ATM. “Data released by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) revealed that up to 50% of the 3,600 new hotel rooms to enter the Dubai market in the final months of 2015 have a 3-star or lower rating, while competitive room rates are set to rival the luxury market, as 69% to have four stars or less according to research,” said Nadege Noblet-Segers, Exhibition Manager, ATM. “This will add much-needed mid-scale room stock to the emirate’s hotel landscape, where three-star or below room supply only accounted for 29% of total availability in the first quarter of 2015,” she added.

Travel Agents Academy
This edition of ATM will introduce Travel Agents Academy, a free, first-come first-serve Networking and Training half-day event specifically for travel agents. It will be held on April 28 and will include professionally-led training, a networking break, refreshments, prizes and a course completion certificate.  ATM 2016 will build on the success of last year’s edition with the announcement of an additional hall as Reed Travel Exhibitions looks to add to its record-breaking achievements.

Awarding Exhibitors
ATM 2016 exhibitors will have more than business on their minds at this year’s event as organiser, Reed Exhibitions, reprises its Best Stand Awards initiative at the annual industry showcase. Launched in 2015, the awards were created to recognise the design creativity and business-friendly appeal of exhibiting companies’ physical presence at ATM.

The five categories this year cover Best Stand Design, Best Stand for Doing Business, Best Stand Personnel, Best Stand Feature and Best Stand within the Travel Tech Show at ATM, and will be judged by a line-up of top industry and design professionals, such as Leo Fewtrell, Dubai Travel and Tour Agents Group (DTTAG); Fiona McAndrew-Sharp, TTN; Nick Hall, Digital Think Tank and Bruce Martin, Ginger Juice.

India Tourism Pavilion
India  Tourism  Pavilion  at  ATM will be themed Yoga  &  Wellness, with  the objective to depict India as a Year round multi-faceted tourist destination for all ages, all seasons and all reasons, luxury, wildlife and medical tourism and to provide a  platform for  the  Indian  travel  industry  comprising  the  Indian  tour operators, travel agents, hoteliers, airlines and state governments to showcase their  tourism products and services.

Sustainable travel
Responsible tourism will headline several seminar theatre sessions at the mart as government legislation, increased focus on the traveller footprint and the impact of natural disasters on country economies put the spotlight on the importance of effective sustainable travel strategies. The line-up of responsible tourism seminars taking place at this year’s ATM includes two afternoon sessions on April 26, entitled ‘Coping with success, the sustainability challenge in the region’ and ‘Environmental leadership in the Middle East’; followed be a special master class on using responsible tourism for market advantage and to drive increased revenues. The ATM will once again provide a platform to raise awareness and funds for the Just a Drop international water aid programme with a focus on one of the charity’s Africa projects, the Mpumpule Community Borehole initiative in Zambia.

Wellness & Spa Lounge
Newly introduced for 2016, the ATM Wellness & Spa Lounge offers suppliers an exclusive platform to meet new contacts and conduct business in the comfort of the dedicated lounge. Designed as the hub for spa and wellness travel professionals, the lounge highlights the growing representation and importance of the Wellness Tourism sector at ATM. The two-day event, taking place on April 26 and 27  will maximise connection opportunities for spa and wellness international suppliers with Middle Eastern buyers.

Travel Tech
Growth in online travel planning and booking across the region will underpin the Travel Tech Theatre focus at ATM 2016, with research firm Phocuswright reporting that the Middle East’s online travel market is forecast to almost double in value within the next two years, rising from USD 18 billion to USD 35 billion by 2018. A key area of annual growth, the travel technology area of the exhibition floor was launched as The Travel Tech Show at ATM in 2015. 
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