Arabian Travel Market expects further Growth

Travel News Asia 23 May 2005

Arabian Travel Market 2005, the Middle Easts premier travel and tourism event, attracted a record number of trade buyers to the Dubai World Trade Centre, with total trade visitor numbers nearing the 11,000 mark for the first time. Buyers attended from 94 countries with significant increase from Russia, UK, Australia and North America. International visitors were also doing very good business and staying for up to six hours a day, many visiting for two or three days. The events popularity within the region continues to grow with trade visitors exceeding 7,000.

More than 750 journalists attended the show and the many press conferences were all well attended. Almost a quarter of the journalists came from abroad.

The show had 30 per cent more floor space to accommodate 1,664 exhibitors from 64 countries, up by nearly 100 on last year including 106 first time participants from Cendand Hotel Group, Globus and Cosmos Tours, Sixt Rent a car and Kuoni.

Tom Nutley, Chairman of Reed Travel Exhibitions, the organiser of the Arabian Travel Market, said, The success of this show reflects the strength on the international travel and tourism industry which is set to grow by 5.1 per cent to US$ 9.8 trillion according to the World Travel and Tourism Council and the healthy state of the regional market fuelled by offshore leisure developments, new hotels, airports and airline expansion.

The show housed 57 national and regional pavilions this year and both tourist authorities and the companies which joined them reported brisk business from day one.

South Africa took a national pavilion for the first time at the event and is now looking to increase this by 50 per cent in 2006.

Rob Hetem, Director Tamrich Tours, a major inbound operator based in Johannesburg, said, We were inundated with meetings during the first two days. We held more than 80 one-on-ones with outbound operators from across the GCC, Turkey and the Czech Republic and even Serbia.

This is a truly international show and this stand will create much-wanted awareness about South Africa as a destination.

The show was also voted a major success by the Korea National Tourism Organisation (KNTO).

Chang Yong Lee, Director at KNTOs Dubai office said that the quality of the visitors maintained the high standards of previous years and he was already planning to book a bigger stand for 2006. 

He said, During the shows two first days we held 82 meetings with travel agents and tour operators from the Middle East and Europe. Following Emirates launch of daily flights to Seoul this month, interest in Korea has grown significantly and we expect even more visitors from the Middle East to travel to Korea this year. 

Maldives Tourism Promotion Board is also expecting that the high quality of visitors will boost business.

Aminath Shihab, Assistant Director Marketing, commented, Last years arrivals reached a peak of 616,000 mainly from Europe which is our key market. We are targeting the show to put the message across that the Maldives has recovered from the Tsunami and the tourism industry is back on tracks.

From the Middle East we have had great interest from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait which are the regions key feeder markets to the Maldives.

In a welcome address, His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister said, Arabian Travel Market for the second year running has been named Exhibition of the Year by Reed Exhibitions, the owning company of RTE. The title was bestowed upon it after tremendous feedback from exhibitors who commented on the quality of the organisation, visitor profile and the capacity for business generation. I would like to congratulate Reed Travel Exhibitions on this achievement.

"This has been our best ever show in Dubai by far, and the feedback has been tremendous with exhibitors already re-booking for next year, added Nutley.

"We plan to double the number of hosted buyers to 140 next year after the success of this year's sessions which were packed with exhibitors from beginning to end."

See other recent news regarding: Dubai, Arabian Travel Market

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