Arabian Travel Market (ATM) organiser, Reed Travel Exhibitions, is finalising the line-up for this year’s event, which takes place at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre from 4-7 May 2015.
Following the success of last year’s inaugural spotlight theme, which was luxury travel, attention this year will turn to family travel - a key area of opportunity for the industry both in the region and globally.
“The number of wealthy families making travel a high-spend priority is on the rise, and with over one-third of MENA residents choosing to stay in upscale hotels when travelling for leisure, this trend for luxury family travel offers exciting opportunities for destinations and hotels to directly target this affluent segment, and for tour operators to create tailor-made packages that also address the cultural considerations unique to the MENA region,” said Nadege Noblet, Exhibition Manager, Arabian Travel Market.
Family focused seminars include an opening day session in the Visa Seminar Theatre ‘Family travel trends you should know about – Global family travel patterns and how the Middle East can cash in on them’, which will identify the top global family trends, and featuring a distinguished panel line-up including official research partner of ATM, YouGov Middle East’s Scott Booth, Head of Travel, Tourism & Leisure; Terry Kane, Head of Travel, Facebook MENA; Gillian McLornan, Gold travel Counsellor, Travel Counsellors; and Ailsa Pollard, Senior Vice President, dnata Travel ME&I.
A morning session on day two entitled ‘How Gulf destinations can boost their appeal to the lucrative family tourism market’, will look at the steps that Gulf destinations must take to attract more families and an [email protected] session on aspirational family travel is also scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday 6th key source markets for this type of business as well as discuss what destinations, experiences, types of holidays, accommodation and mode of transport today’s affluent families prefer.
An additional exhibition hall has also been added this year in order to accommodate over 400 confirmed exhibitors and in excess of 2,700 exhibiting companies representing 86 countries, including 70 country pavilions.
A total of 113 first time exhibitors will make their ATM debut, with companies from around the world heading to the Emirates, including Beverly Hills Tours & Transport from the United States of America, Steigenberger Hotels AG from Germany and Ventura Holidays from India.
Other new features at this year’s event include [email protected], which matches luxury-focused exhibitors with Middle East travel buyers looking to discover the best of the best in luxury travel, the travel technology theatre (sponsored by RateGain), the Captains of Industry lunch (sponsored by Al Rayyan Hospitality) and, for the very first time, the ATM Best Stand Awards.
After a one-year hiatus, ATM 2015 will also once again play host to Ministers of Tourism from the MENA region at the UNWTO Ministerial Forum. They will be joined by industry leaders representing the different travel and hospitality sub-sectors with an agenda to discuss how to advance intra-regional tourism and seize the growing opportunities emerging for increased co-operation.
“Other highlights this year include The Travel Tech Show at ATM, which has been introduced in response to visitor interest in growing the focus on travel technology,” said Noblet.
The industry as a whole is embracing technology like never before, to compete in a digital market place where accessibility and speed are critical to the demands of today’s tech-savvy travelers, especially mobile compatible sites for hotels, tour operators and leisure attractions.
“Our regular tech focus is supported with a calendar of over 40 wide-ranging seminar and technology theatre sessions, with global experts flying in to share their insight on the latest luxury tourism trends, aviation development, mobile technology trends and wellness tourism, among other topics,” she added.
Seminar speakers include, amongst others, Sir Timothy Clark (KBE), President, Emirates Airline; Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive, Qatar Airways; Kinda Chebib, Senior Analyst, Euromonitor International; and Adam McEwan, MD, Platinum Heritage Tourism who will take part in a panel debate on Responsible Tourism.
Popular annual features include the easy-to-follow exhibition trails covering family travel, budget travel, business travel, health & wellbeing, shopping, transportation, sports travel, cultural and heritage and adventure travel; and the high profile New Frontiers Recovery Awards. The award recognises the efforts of those nations that have suffered devastating economic and human losses in the last 12 months, as a result of natural disasters, this year’s shortlist includes India, Nepal and Japan.
The Visa Exhibitor Showcase Theatre also returns to the heart of the action on the show floor for the second year running, at which exhibitors will be able to present their products and services at a 30-minute session with presentations from the likes of Sabre, Amadeus and Travelport.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, the show has grown to become the largest showcase of its kind in the region and one of the biggest in the world.