Arabian Travel Market from 1-4 May 2023

The 30th edition of Arabian Travel Market will be held from Monday 1 to Thursday 4 May 2023 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and host over 2,000 exhibitors, representatives from more than 150 countries, and an anticipated 34,000 attendees.

In line with its theme, ‘Working Towards Net Zero’, ATM 2023 will provide a forum in which participants can forge new connections, share knowledge and showcase innovations with the potential to expedite the global travel sector’s journey towards decarbonisation.

Vasyl Zhygalo, Managing Director of RX Middle East and Portfolio Director of WTM, IBTM, and RX, said: “Following the very successful WTM Africa and WTM Latin America earlier this spring it is great to now see the international travel community engage with Arabian Travel Market. We’ve seen a robust increase in exhibitor growth across all show areas and it’s exciting to be able to welcome back our Chinese colleagues after remaining covid restrictions were lifted in the region.”

“With sustainability an ever-increasing consideration for the travel industry, and indeed across the WTM and IBTM event portfolios, it’s never been more important for the sector to interact with ATM 2023’s theme, ‘Working Towards Net Zero’ and explore the vast array of business trends and opportunities showcased around this topic at the show.”

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, added: “ATM 2023 will provide a platform for a diverse array of public and private-sector speakers, all of whom will offer expert insights into sustainable travel trends, responsible tourism, and a host of other industry-critical issues.

“Our opening session, for instance, will see policymakers take to the ATM Global Stage for a ministerial debate on how travel can tackle the climate crisis,” Curtis continued. “Moderated by CNN’s Eleni Giokos, this panel will see His Excellency Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy; His Excellency Makram Mustafa Abdul Karim Al-Qaisi, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan; His Excellency Minister of Tourism Eng. Walid Nassar, Minister of Tourism, Lebanon; and Sukit Mohanty, Chief of the UNDRR for Arab States; come together to explore the ways in which our industry is working towards net zero.”

Exhibitor participation in ATM 2023 has risen by 27% compared to last year’s event, with growth registered across all show sectors. These include regional upticks for the Middle East, representation for which will be 24% larger than in 2022, Europe (17% larger), Asia (15% larger), and Africa (8.5% larger). The event’s Travel Tech and hotels sectors have also witnessed sizeable year-on-year growth, expanding by 62% and 37.5%, respectively.

Chinese exhibitors and travel professionals are making a welcome return to ATM 2023 after the country lifted its Covid-related travel restrictions earlier this year. China became the world’s top source market in 2019, with 155 million tourists spending more than $250 billion overseas, and CNN predicts the nation’s outbound market will recover to around six million travellers per month by the summer of 2023.

Southeast Asia and India will feature prominently at this year’s event too. According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Indian nationals spent a record $10 billion on overseas travel during the first nine months of 2022, an increase of nearly 43% compared to pre-Covid figures. Other estimates indicate the number of annual outbound journeys will reach more than 27 million by 2024, with a total value of over $42 billion.

Saudi Arabia will have a considerable presence at ATM 2023. The Kingdom registered more international arrivals than any other Arab nation during the first nine months of last year, welcoming more than 18 million visitors during this period, according to government data. Tourism spending in KSA hit $7.2bn in H1 2022.

His Excellency, Issam Kazim, CEO, of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, commented: “It is indeed fitting that this year’s ATM theme focuses on sustainability to build a better future for tourism. For us, this theme assumes even greater significance as 2023 is UAE’s Year of Sustainability and Dubai will be hosting COP28, the UN Climate Change Conference. Dubai has made significant strides in this area, with strategies to reduce its carbon footprint and create a more environmentally conscious tourism industry, aligned with the ambition of our visionary leadership to make Dubai the best city in the world to visit, live, and work in. As momentum continues to accelerate across the global tourism and MICE segments, we welcome the pursuit of a more evolved, collaborative, inclusive, and long-term approach to sustainable growth and practices for the industry.”

This year’s show will also feature the inaugural ‘ATM Sustainable Stand Award’, the results of which will be announced as part of the ATM 2023 Best Stand Awards. Entries will be judged according to an extensive range of sustainable criteria, including supplier choice, material usage, operational efficiency, and even what will happen to stands once the exhibition has concluded.

Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer at Emirates, said: “As we celebrate 30 years of partnership and commitment at ATM, it’s remarkable to see this event’s evolution and growing prominence on the global stage. We are proud of the role we have played in the growth of ATM and strengthening its mindshare as an industry event, as well as the growth of our home city Dubai, which is at the forefront of global tourism. This year, Emirates will be showcasing our latest products, connecting with our industry partners as well as demonstrating our commitment to minimise our environmental impact and sustainable aviation practices.”

Haitham Mattar, Managing Director of IHG Hotels & Resorts, added: “As the official hotel partner for ATM 2023, we look forward to the events’ momentous 30th edition. It is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our wide-ranging portfolio of hotels in the region, introduce new and upcoming hotels and delve further into our new ‘IHG One Rewards’ loyalty offering for both leisure and business travellers. Given the theme of this year’s event, “Working towards Net Zero,” we will also be showcasing our commitments to drive environmental and social change across our estate. Most importantly, we will be focussed on connecting with new and existing partners, suppliers, and industry peers to ensure we facilitate greater, collective success for the hospitality sector at large.”

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