Arabian Travel Market 2019 opens tomorrow in Dubai
More than 2,500 exhibitors and 40,000 industry professionals from 150 countries will explore how innovation can transform tourism at the largest travel industry event in the Middle East
Hospitality professionals from every corner of the world will gather in Dubai tomorrow (Sunday, 28 April) for the opening of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2019, the largest travel industry exhibition in the Middle East.
Identifying the top tourism trends showing the greatest growth potential is one of the most valuable insights Arabian Travel Market has to offer, and this year’s event – which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre – will be no different as it launches Arabian Travel Week – an umbrella brand comprising four co-located shows.
The 26th edition of ATM will form part of the inaugural Arabian Travel Week, as well as ILTM Arabia, CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa – a new route development forum launching this year and new consumer-led event ATM Holiday Shopper which kicked off proceedings today (27th April).
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Building on the success of last year’s event, ATM 2019 will welcome over 2,500 exhibiting companies and an expected 40,000 attendees, with over 150 countries represented, 65 national pavilions, and more than 100 new exhibitors set to make their ATM debut including Expo 2020 Dubai, flynas, Belarus National Tourism Agency, Moscow Committee for Tourism and Montenegro National Tourism Organisation, South Africa Tourism Bureau and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.
Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “The introduction of two new events for 2019, as well as the creation of the Arabian Travel Week umbrella brand, was made possible due to the past success of ATM and ILTM Arabia. The debut ATM Holiday Shopper provides an exclusive consumer element, while CONNECT MEIA will provide a brand-new route development forum for our industry.”
Running until Wednesday 1st May, ATM 2019 has adopted cutting-edge technology and innovation as its main theme, and this will be integrated across all show verticals and activities.
Over the next four days, professionals from across the industry spectrum will discuss the ongoing unprecedented digital disruption, and the emergence of innovative technologies that will fundamentally alter the way in which the hospitality industry operates in the region.
“Technology and innovation will also represent key focuses during this year’s show. Bots, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the Internet of Things are expected to result in billion-dollar savings for our industry, so it is vital that we empower exhibitors and attendees to explore how these tools can be leveraged to benefit their customers and businesses,” said Curtis.
Participants will enjoy four days of business networking opportunities and a full programme of insightful seminar sessions including aviation, the future of selling travel and the evolution of bespoke luxury travel as well as how immersive technology will transform the visitor experience at mega events such as the upcoming Expo 2020.
On the Global Stage, the opening session ‘Arabia China Tourism Forum’ will take place from 15.30 on Sunday 28th April. With China set to account for a quarter of international tourism by 2030, an expert panel will discuss how destinations around the world can capitalise on this growth. The forum will also include a 30-minute networking session with over 80 Chinese buyers.
Curtis added: “Adding to this, this year’s event is set to showcase the largest ever exhibition from Asia in the history of ATM, with the continent witnessing an 8% YoY increase in total show area and Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Sri Lanka being the largest exhibiting countries.”
Turning a spotlight on upcoming hotel developments, technologies and concepts that will shape the region’s hospitality sector going forward, the Global Stage will host the inaugural ATM Hotel Industry Summit from 14.40 on Tuesday 30th April.
From new infrastructure and regional development hotspots to technologies and hotel models that put the guest experience first, a panel of key industry experts will discuss how the industry will evolve over the next decade.
Other Global Stage highlights will be a focused seminar session on Saudi Arabia’s tourism potential and a keynote from Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline, as well as the third Global Halal Tourism Summit which will explore the top trends within the sector as well as the growing role of technology, including the digitisation of Umrah.
As well as the ultra-innovative Travel Tech Show at ATM, other calendar favourites returning for ATM 2019 include the Best Stand Awards, the Travel Agents’ Academy and the Digital Influencers and Buyers’ Speed Networking Events.
ATM, considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed over 39,000 people to its 2018 event, showcasing the largest exhibition in the history of the show, with hotels comprising 20% of the floor area.