Arabian Travel Market 2017 witnessed a 10% increase in visitors from the GCC

DUBAI, 9th May, 2017 (WAM) -- This year’s Arabian Travel Market witnessed a 10 percent increase in visitors from the GCC and a 7 percent increase in international visitors to the event, which was held in Dubai World Trade Centre from 24th to 27th April, organisers said.

For the second year in a row, visitor numbers smashed through the 28,000 mark – the show saw a 71 percent increase in visitors over the last five years.

Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said, "The continued growth of ATM is a testament to the strength of the travel and tourism industry in the Middle East. The event has also built on its quality year on year and the professionalism of exhibitors and stands not only increases the brand value of their own organisation but also that of Arabian Travel Market."

"Exhibition stand contracts signed during ATM 2017 for next year are up 38 percent year-on-year, with exhibitors keen on reserving their space for what promises to be a record-breaking event in 2018 as ATM celebrates its 25th anniversary," he said.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, ATM has grown to become the largest event of its kind in the region and one of the biggest in the world. The 2017 edition, on the theme of experiential travel sponsored by La Perle, boasted an additional hall, with 466 main stand holders representing 87 countries and over 100 new exhibitors making their debut. The number of countries represented at ATM 2017, taken from all attendees, totalled 157.

Commenting on the overall session, Press said, "The seminar also explored the importance of Dubai’s sustainable tourism initiatives, the expansion of the emirate’s airports’ capacity and the engagement of global audiences through partnerships with celebrities and social media influencers."

The UNWTO & ATM Ministerial Forum, which was attended by more than 20 ministers from various governments and global leaders, concluded that the main priorities for the region’s tourism industry include human resources development, public/private sector co-operation, connectivity, technology and sustainability.

"Despite all external shocks, the Middle East and North Africa tell one of tourism’s biggest success stories. A story that brings an immense opportunity to make tourism a pillar of economic diversification, job creation and sustainable development in this region," said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

Responsible tourism, which played a huge part in the show and continues to be at the forefront of the industry, has been named the theme for 2018.