The 2007 edition of the Arabian Travel Market has attracted the highest visitor turnout in its 14-year-history with some 23,449 people from 108 countries attending.Preliminary figures for the event at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) showed an eight percent increase in visitors on last year with the geographic footprint of the turnout expanding to nine more countries.
Whilst celebrating another highly successful show, Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), which organises of the Arabian Travel Market, said it is now looking to take the event to “the next level.”
“We are gauging industry feedback from both the exhibitor and visitor perspective to move the show on to a whole new parameter which will reflect the enormous advances the travel and tourism sector is now making,” said Mark Walsh, RTE Group Exhibition Director - Overseas Events.
“One idea up for discussion is the introduction of new vertical, industry-specific pavilions.”
At the end of its four-day run, the Arabian Travel Market 2007 attracted 12,859 trade visitors - up 5.1% on 2006, while an 8% increase on overseas visitors was recorded.
Most trade visitors expressed satisfaction with the business potential of the show and reported finalising many deals.
Zakaria Oummani, Manager of Morocco’s Go Holiday said that the company signed more than 30 deals with tour operators from Kuwait, Tunisia, Bahrain, Indonesia and Syria during the first two days alone.
“This was our ninth Arabian Travel Market visit and we found it very fruitful as we had the time to meet with exhibitors who we could not meet at London’s World Travel Market and ITB in Berlin” Zakaria said.
The show attracted over 115 new exhibiting companies, including nine destinations, which are looking to return in 2008 for the 15th Arabian Travel Market which will be held from May 6-9 at the DICEC.
At its Arabian Travel Market debut, the Taiwan Tourism Board met with more than 400 visitors. “Interest was more than what we expected and we are interested in coming back next year,” said Shu-Fen Luo, of the country’s External Trade Development Council.
Final audited results from the show, which had a 10% increase in contracted floor space over 2006, taking up more than 24,600 square metres, are being processed.
“A detailed breakdown of Arabian Travel Market 2007 statistics will be available by the end of the month. We will also detail the results of the numerous on-site surveys conducted,” said Lucie Dawkins, Marketing Manager, Arabian Travel Market.
One of the most anticipated announcements at the 2008 event will be the final report on the research by international think tank - Global Futures & Foresight - into the region’s tourism industry.