Special industry theme for Arabian Travel Market 2015 to focus on family travel segment as new figures reveal annual average growth of 4.75% will value market at $180 billion by 2018
Family centric travel, which accounted for more than 12.5 per cent of the $1.07 trillion global tourism market, has been selected as the official show theme for Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2015, which takes place at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre from 4-7 May 2015.
According to Thomson Reuters’ data, the value of the global family tourism market was $140 billion in 2013. That figure is set to rise to over $180 billion by 2018 with growth expected to continue at a rate of 4.79 per cent annually until 2020, compared with just 3.8% overall tourism growth.
“Demand for inter-regional family travel will also remain robust through to 2020 and beyond. The Economist Intelligence Unit estimated that the GCC population would soar to 53.5 million by 2020, 24% of which would be under 15 years of age,” Nadege Noblet, Exhibition Manager of Arabian Travel Market, WTM Portfolio, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
The Dubai Capital of Islamic Economy initiative has identified the UAE as a top source market for family travel, with spending power worth over $10 billion. Additional research data from technology and payments business Visa, showed that Saudi Arabians are the world’s biggest spenders when overseas, racking up a per capita average of US$6,666 per trip. In stark contrast UK-based shopping platform ‘Give As You Live’, revealed that the average British family of four spends US$5,800 on their annual holiday.
“Although family travel is growing, these contrasting spending patterns present strategic challenges as well as opportunities for government bodies, hotels and tourism services providers throughout the region with a clear need for a wide spectrum of family-focused offerings to satisfy budget sensitivities as well as cultural expectations,” said Noblet.
The ATM 2015 line-up will include a number of dedicated seminar sessions addressing these issues with panel-led discussions on how Gulf destinations can boost their appeal to the lucrative family tourism market and develop family-specific amenities, the pressing need for value-for-money accommodation options and – at the other extreme – the rise in aspirational travel from high-spending families for whom the experience outweighs the expense.
In the Middle East, GCC families often travel in large groups and companies like Millennium & Copthorne are honing in on the demand for value-for-money accommodation with the development of new brands designed to service the unique needs of travelling families.
“Historically, attracting families to stay at your hotel has involved creating special packages or seasonal offers, while juggling with yield and room configurations. With our recently launched Millennium Executive Apartments brand, we can now offer a tailored product with a simplified rate structure,” said Naeem Darkazally, Vice President of sales and marketing for Millennium and Copthorne Middle East & Africa.
Driving family business throughout the year is also linked to destination attractiveness with cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai already offering world-class family attractions as well as shopping, summer and Ramadan festivals.
“Family travel is no longer simply about maximising revenue streams during school holiday periods, putting temporary beds into existing rooms and adding kids’ activities to a one size fits all entertainment programme. There has to be a sense of anticipation, inclusion, engagement, dedication and of course value,” said Noblet.
The Family Travel theme will be added to the ATM 2015 collection of exhibition trails including budget travel, health and wellbeing, shopping, transportation, luxury travel, sports travel, culture and heritage and adventure travel.
The 2015 event will also grow with the announcement of an additional hall as Reed Travelooks to build on its record-breaking achievements this year, which saw total attendance increase by 12% to reach 33,000 exhibitors and visitors.
For more information on Arabian Travel Market 2015, please log on to: www.arabiantravelmarket.com
About Arabian Travel Market
In its 21st edition, Arabian Travel Market 2014, boasted more than 2,700 exhibitors and stand-sharers from 85 countries and attracted over 23,000 visitors from around the world.
Arabian Travel Market is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s WTM portfolio, which also includes World Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa. www.wtmworld.com
About Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry, with a wide-ranging portfolio of 21 international events in 14 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa. Its market-leading, business-to-business events cover all elements of travel and tourism, including leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, events, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel. RTE is part of Reed Exhibitions. www.reedtravelexhibitions.com
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organizer, with over 500 events in 40 countries. In 2013 Reed brought together over six million active event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organized by 34 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events and is part of the Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world-leading publisher and information provider. www.reedexpo.com
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