HH Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, officially opened Arabian Travel Market 2011, in the presence of senior government officials, leaders of the regional and international travel industry and high profile exhibitors participating in the event.
The event programme for day one of ATM gathers some of the largest travel and tourism organisations in the Middle East and internationally, from both the public and private sector. HH Sheikh Maktoum toured the exhibition floor, which featured local and regional representatives including Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, the Egyptian Tourism Authority and the Bahrain Ministry of Culture.
“Regional inbound and outbound tourism professionals are currently riding a wave of optimism, especially in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Recent estimates for hotel occupancies in both countries suggest a healthy double digit increase, according to industry professionals. Naturally, Qatar will provide a lift for the whole region as infrastructure projects begin in earnest, in preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2022,” said Mark Walsh, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
ATM also features representatives from other key areas of the globe, including some of the largest travel and tourism organisations in Europe, Asia, the US and South America. Among international officials participating in the event are Alain Azouaou, Ambassador, French Embassy Abu Dhabi and Gonzalo De Benito Secades, Ambassador of Spain.
Jean-Paul Tarud Kuborn, Chilean Ambassador to the UAE, also joined senior figures from tourism ministries in Cyprus, Malaysia and the Philippines.
ATM is a comprehensive four-day travel trade event, held from 2-5 May 2011, comprising an exhibition, conference and seminar programme, which this year is sponsored by new exhibitor, Mexico Tourism Board, along with specialist industry days including travel agents day, careers day and consumer day.
Topics on day one included the luxury travel sector, aviation, the future of travel and hotel concepts of the future. Speakers include some of the region’s most influential business leaders, including Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airlines, Adel Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia and Helen Beck, Director of EMEA, Royal Caribbean International.
Highlights of the sessions on day two include the cruise sector, green initiatives, Middle East tourism trends along with technology and online marketing.
With a diverse range of international participants, ATM unlocks business opportunities within the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals.
Arabian Travel Market is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai. Now approaching its eighteenth year, the show has grown to become the largest showcase of its kind in the region and one of the biggest in the world. In 2010, Arabian Travel Market featured 2,236 exhibitors across more than 20,000 square metres, attracting more than 22,000 visitors.
The ATM exhibition, spanning more the 20,000 square metres of floor space and over 2,200 exhibitors, showcases a broad range of accommodation options, tourism attractions, new airline routes and travel technology.