Wrapping up four days of travel trade business, Reed Travel Exhibitions reported a healthy increase in visitor numbers, driven by the show’s renewed B2B focus and buoyed by positive indicators from the region’s tourism sector.
The region’s leading trade exhibition for travel industry professionals, the 19th edition of the show has also seen a significant rise in decision makers and influencers – up by 35% – from members of its buyers club, hosted delegates, regional and international speakers and hosted luxury travel buyers.
ATM 2012 also recorded a 7% increase in exhibitors for this year’s event ahead of the start of the show, with more than 21,000 square metres of floor space hosting over 2,400 exhibitors and 82 new companies. This increase was also reflected in its international reach with 54 national pavilions and 87 countries represented overall.
Turkey attended ATM 2012 with a well decorated stand. Orion Tour and Heysem Tourism & Travel also take part at the ATM with their own stand. Presidents of both companies; Ersan Atsür and Ayman Maslamani were present at the exhibition. Mr. Sedat Gonulluoglu, Cultural & Information Attaché at the Turkish Tourism & Cultural Office in Dubai told us that Turkey expects at least 40 percent growth from the Middle East market.
On April 30, the first UNWTO/Arabian Travel Market Industry Forum gathered ministers of Tourism and leading tourism companies from the Middle East and North Africa in Dubai. Moderated by John Andrews, Editor for The Economist and one of its most experienced foreign correspondents, the forum reiterated their confidence in the growth of tourism in the region, where the sector has become a key pillar of local economies and employment and a central part of national development policies.
UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai said: “Despite recurrent challenges, the story of tourism in the Middle East and North Africa is one of success. The sector has become an economic powerhouse for the region, generating US$60 billion in export earnings and creating millions of jobs. This outstanding performance is the result of strong and committed public tourism policies aimed at diversifying national economies and create much needed jobs, especially for the youth, and strong private sector investment. These conditions remain unaltered”.
International tourist arrivals in the MENA region rose from 34 million in 2000 to 79 million in 2010, making the region one of the fastest growing tourism destinations worldwide. In 2011, the region lost some seven million tourists, in spite of the good performance of some destinations.
In 2010, international tourist arrivals to the Middle East and North Africa were at 79 million (60 million in the Middle East and 19 million in North Africa). Receipts from international tourism reached US$ 60 billion (US$ 50 billion in the Middle East and US$ 10 billion in North Africa) in 2010. In 2011, due to recent political development, international tourist arrivals to the Middle East were down by 8% to 55 million and to North Africa by 10% to 17 million.