This year’s Arabian Travel Market is set to be the largest yet, with an extra hall added and a spotlight theme on mid-market travel, Hotel News ME hears from the hoteliers set to exhibit whilst taking a look at the show’s new features.
When: 25-28 April 2016
Where: Dubai World Trade Centre
Speed Networking taking place in Hall 8 on 25 April and 28 April.
Wellness and Spa Lounge, new for 2016 giving international suppliers an exclusive platform to network, taking place in Hall 1, on 26 and 27 April.
Travel Tech Show will showcase the latest technologies from GDS to tour operator systems from consumer review sites to travel tech trends.
This year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) marks the 23rd edition of the B2B travel show.
Following on from last year’s successful focus on family travel, this year’s trade show will center around the hot topic of the growth of the mid-market travel segment – a key area of opportunity for Middle East destinations looking to diversify their source markets and attract a larger volume of visitors, including families. The show is also set to welcome an additional exhibition hall and will host more than 2,800 exhibiting companies representing over 86 countries with 113 new exhibitors and over 64 country pavilions.
Discussing the 2016 spot-light theme of mid-market travel, exhibition manager, Arabian Travel Market Nadege Noblet-Segers says: “As tourism infrastructure across the Gulf and beyond continues on its high profile development path, our spotlight theme for 2016 has turned to mid-market tourism. This has been identified as both an underdeveloped and potential growth area for the region, driven by demand from the growing middle class markets such as China, India and Africa combined with budget generation-Y travellers and young families.”
A key point of discussion at the show will be the number of new hotel rooms entering the market, including the share that is planned to be in the 3-and-4-star bracket in line with January’s Pipeline Report from STR highlighting the 538 hotels under contract in the Middle East and 321 hotels totaling 62,194 rooms under contract in Africa. With Makkah, Saudi Arabia, reporting the largest number of rooms under construction with 21,068 rooms in 13 hotels. Three other markets reported more than 5,000 rooms under construction: Dubai, United Arab Emirates with 19,846 rooms in 63 hotels; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with 6,738 rooms in 30 hotels; and Doha, Qatar with 5,980 rooms in 26 hotels. Dubai, for instance currently has a total hotel key count of approximately 94,000 and this figure is set to rise to between 140,000 and 160,000 keys by 2020 with around 20% set to target the mid-market hotel sector according to a recent Knight Frank report.
Midmarket focused seminars at the show will include the opening session: ‘Dubai of the Future’ taking place on 25 April from 13:00 – 14:30 on the new ATM Global Stage, and ‘The mid-market strategies’ session, taking place on 26 April from 13:15 – 14:15, also on the ATM Global Stage, is designed specifically to identify who the midmarket traveller is, where they come from and what they want.
Other new features at this year’s ATM will include the Wellness and Spa Lounge, a dedicated space for 25 exhibitors designed to connect Middle East wellness and spa buyers with international suppliers in a series of exclusive pre-scheduled appointments between 26 and 27 April. There will also be a series on seminars taking place in the Showcase Theatre. And with more of a focus on networking, ATM 2016 is set to feature the ATM Bloggers’ Speed Networking – a networking event for up to 40 travel bloggers to take part in mini-meetings with exhibitors to explore ways to work together in the future with the bloggers being grouped by geography and travel sector.