The 2014 edition of Arabian Travel Market will mark significant growth for the region’s largest travel showcase.
Due to increased exhibitor demand from a variety of industry sectors, an extra hall has been added to the floor plan, which now exceeds 23,500 square metres of exhibition space.
According to organiser, Reed Travel Exhibitions, this represents a 5.8 per cent increase in floor space for next year’s event, which will be held from May 5th-8th, 2014 at Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre; with newly revealed statistics recording rising demand from Middle East exhibitors up 11 per cent, Europe up by seven per cent and travel technology and hotels rising by eight per cent and seven per cent respectively.
“That the highest growth in floor space is coming from the Middle East is reflected in the growth being experienced in tourism in the region,” commented Mark Walsh, portfolio director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
The Gulf is also climbing the ranks of the 2013 World Economic Forum Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index, with the UAE now making the top 30.
Qatar and Oman are also improving their ‘appeal’ rating on the 14-strong country list.
This is supported by figures from Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, which forecasts the economic value of the GCC hospitality industry will be US$28.3 billion by 2016, through a healthy annual growth rate of 8.1 per cent.
“The UAE is the undoubted tourism leader in the Gulf region, but multi-billion dollar high profile developments and ambitious long term economic diversification plans are also putting neighbouring Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia in the spotlight,” continued Walsh.
Qatar’s 2022 vision and infrastructure investment agenda, and Saudi Arabia’s focus on domestic tourism are creating new tourism hubs across the Kingdom as the region’s hotel pipeline reaches 485 hotels according to the latest STR Global Middle East update.
The UAE currently has 114 hotels (32,261 rooms) under construction and STR Global reports that Oman will see the highest growth, with 4,577 rooms in development, followed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait and Jordan.