Arabian Travel Market (ATM) has announced that it is expecting an influx of exhibitors and visitors from Israel and further afield.
ATM, which has already announced that the 2021 edition of its annual showcase will take place live at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from May 16-19, has witnessed a massive spike, not only in enquiries from Israel, but from travel companies around the world that specialise in tours to that region.
“Following the signing of the Israel–United Arab Emirates normalisation agreement, the Israel Ministry of Tourism is planning significant steps to promote Israel as a tourism destination in the UAE. This will include participating for the first time in the Arabian Travel Market with a large booth and a delegation of Israel tourism industry representatives, as well as attending high level conference sessions,” says Ksenia Kobiakov, Director of New Markets Development Department, Israel Ministry of Tourism.
Putting that into context, according to the Dubai Government’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), in 2019, 8.6 million international trips were made by Israelis, a 9% CAGR over the past five years. The prospective length of stay by 2022 is forecast to be 11.5 nights indicating a willingness to embark on longer trips with business and leisure visitors making up 53% of the total outbound market.
Currently Poland, France and other European destinations dominate, but Turkey and Egypt are top five destinations, showing potential interest in MENA destinations.
“The interest shown by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism as well as other travel professionals based in Israel and international operators specialising in tours to Israel, has been extraordinary. This is a brand new market for both inbound and outbound operators and will provide a much needed boost to regional and international travel,” says Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market.
“However, it is not just about direct travel between Israel and UAE and Bahrain,” she adds. “Due to the burgeoning international flight network between El Al, Emirates, flydubai, Etihad and Gulf Air, there will be massive potential for two-centre holidays or stopovers, either during inbound or outbound legs.
The health of the travel and tourism industry is key to the region. Prior to the pandemic, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to the Middle East’s GDP was predicted by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), to reach US $133.6 billion by 2028.
Other notable features of Arabian Travel Week will include International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) 2021, and Travel Forward, the travel technology vertical. ATM will also be partnering with Arival, which through a series of webinars will cover current and future trends for tour operators and destination managers.
Other features will include Buyers Forums dedicated to key source markets including Saudi Arabia, India and China plus a virtual digital influencers’ speed networking session, a hotel summit and a responsible tourism programme.