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UNWTO and ATM Forum to support UNWTO and WTM Ministers’ Summit

UNWTO and ATM Forum to support UNWTO and WTM Ministers’ Summit

The UNWTO & WTM Ministers’ Summit at World Travel Market 2011, the leading global event for the travel sector, is the fifth consecutive edition of this unique event for the world’s tourism ministers to discuss the state of the sector and agree on common strategies to address on-going challenges.

It is now a firm fixture on the tourism ministers’ calendar, with up to 200 ministers and senior aides attending the 2011 UNWTO and WTM Ministers’ Summit discussing issues such as the impact of fiscal consolidation on tourism in Europe or the future of travel in the Middle East and North Africa.

The UNWTO and ATM Forum at the Arabian Travel Market on, Monday, April 30, 2012, will play a similar role in bringing together the leaders of the region for the increasingly important Middle Eastern travel and tourism sector.

Reed Travel Exhibitions’ Group Exhibition Director Mark Walsh, said: “The growth in tourism arrivals since the turn of the century means a forum of this kind is essential for both tourism ministers and the private sector to discuss future possibilities. As the premier travel trade exhibition for the region, ATM is the only place to host such an event.”

The Middle East has been one of the fastest-growing tourism regions of the last decade. International tourist arrivals grew from 24 million in 2000 to more than 60 million in 2010, generating as much as US$50 billion in export earnings for the destinations in the region.


UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai, said: “In spite of current challenges, prospects in the Middle East continue to be very positive in the long-term, as shown by the new UNWTO forecast Tourism Towards 2030, as well as by the projects of infrastructure, airline expansion, and hotel capacity in the pipeline for the region.”

The conclusions from the UNWTO and ATM event on The Future of Tourism in the Middle East and North Africa, taking place at WTM on Wednesday, November 9, will set the agenda for the first UNWTO and ATM Forum next May.

High-profile speakers at the event at WTM include:

- Mr. Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour, Minister of Tourism of Egypt
- Mr. Ahmed A. Al-Nuaimi, Chairman, Qatar Tourism Authority
- Mr. Mehdi Houas, Minister of Tourism of Tunisia
- Mr. Guy Crawford, Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group Dubai
- Mr. Vijay Poonoosamy, Vice President, International&Public Affairs, Etihad Airways
- Mr. Tony Hopkins, UK Customer Director, Thomas Cook
- Mr. Ghassan Aridi, Chief Executive Officer, Alpha Tours Dubai
- Mr.Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO
- RTE representatives will be Simon Press, Exhibition Director, World Travel Market; Lucie James, Marketing Manager, Arabian Travel Market; and Nadège Noblet, Regional Account Manager, Middle East, North Africa&Hotel   Companies, Arabian Travel Market