ATM first day numbers up 5 per cent

The 14th edition of the Arabian Travel Market has reported its highest-ever first-day visitor tally with industry professionals from 88 countries attending.
Some 5,002 visitors attended the show at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) - a rise of 5.2% on 2006.

“Apart from the UAE, the countries with an increased numbers of visitors were Egypt, India, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UK - which alone actually accounted for 4.7% of the entire first day turnout,” said Mark Walsh, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), which organizes the show.

“The calibre of attendees is also reflected in a 24% growth in our Meridian Club members - who are the leading industry professionals with substantial buying power.”

Exhibitors and visitors at the show - which is the largest in it history with some 2,600 participants from 64 countries - are reporting on-site business deals from new contracts with travel agents to room bookings.

“This has been a good show for business with us meeting and contracting new hotel and land transport partners from Austria and the UK,” said Thomas Sam, a travel buyer from Kuwait’s Al-Manea Travels. “We have contracted over 1,000 room nights with regular partners in Europe, Asia and Australia but the new business from Austria and Great Britain will enhance our outbound product offering.”

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Morocco reported strong demand from the Middle East and Asia. The country’s Go Holiday has concluded over 30 agreements with tour operators from Kuwait, Tunisia, Bahrain, Indonesia and Syria.

Hassan Al Sabbagh, the Managing Director of the UAE’s Oscar Travel & Tourism, said the show had opened up new business opportunities with Cyprus. “I now have several meetings planned both with the national airline of Cyprus and several hotels in which we are exploring the possibility of special fares to promote the destination which is in increasing demand from Arab tourists.”

Arabian Travel Market 2007 runs at the DICEC until Friday night. It’s free-to-attend seminar session continues on Thursday exploring Middle East demand for budget hotels, the regional cruise potential, Asia-Pacific MICE trends, sports tourism, 10 years of E-commerce, Biometrics in travel and eco-tourism in the UAE.
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