HRH Sheikh Mohammed opens Arabian Travel Market

30 Apr 2012

UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai inaugurates ATM 2012 Middle East’s biggest travel and tourism event underscoring importance of sector to regional economies

HRH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, today officially inaugurated Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2012, in the presence of senior government officials, leaders of the regional and international travel industry as well as high-profile participants.

The event programme for day one of ATM brings together some of the most prominent travel and tourism organisations in the Middle East and internationally, from both public and private sectors.

Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, organiser of Arabian Travel Market, said: “As the first promising signs of democratic progression emerge in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring, the region’s tourism figures show that it is growing once again.

“This year’s ATM serves as a timely reminder and strong indicator of the vital role the travel and tourism industry plays in the region’s socio-economic development.

“A recent World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report showed the direct contribution of the travel and tourism trade to GDP is forecast to increase by 4.6% to over $250 billion over the next decade.”

The 2012 instalment of ATM has seen a 46% rise in visitor pre-registrations, against 2011 figures, for its 19th edition, as well as travel agent registration up by a whopping 213%.

“The record figures we’re receiving for this year’s event reflects the region’s positive approach to the tourism sector as a major economic driver. 18-months on from the Arab Spring, we have seen a significant jump in interest from within the gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States, which is confirmed by the positive pre-show figures we have seen across the board,” remarked Walsh.

HRH Sheikh Sheikh Mohammed, toured the exhibition with other dignitaries including HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline & Group and Akbar Al Baker, CEO Qatar Airways. This year, ATM features representatives from 87 countries, with 54 national tourist organisations exhibiting at the International Exhibition Centre floor over the next four-days.

Among international officials participating in the event are Alain Azouaou, Ambassador, French Embassy Abu Dhabi and Gonzalo De Benito Secades, Ambassador of Spain. Jean-Paul Tarud Kuborn, Chilean Ambassador to the UAE, also joined senior figures from tourism ministries in Cyprus, Malaysia and the Philippines.

ATM is a comprehensive four-day travel trade event held from 30 April - 3 May 2012, comprising exhibition, conference and seminar programmes, along with specialist industry days including travel agents day and careers day.

Topics discussed on day one included bouncing back from the ‘Arab Spring one-year on’ and ‘luxury hospitality in the modern age of globalisation’.

Speakers on the first day included some of the region’s most influential business leaders, such as Akbar Al Baker, CEO Qatar Airways, and Rudi Jagersbacher, President, Hilton Worldwide.

Highlights of the sessions tomorrow will include challenges facing aviation growth in the Middle East, attracting the Chinese traveller to the UAE, the Euromonitor travel industry global overview, along with the impact on tourism of the holy month of Ramadan.

With a diverse range of international participants ATM unlocks business opportunities within the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals.

Now in its 19th year, the show has grown to become the largest showcase of its kind in the region and one of the biggest in the world.

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About Arabian Travel Market:
Arabian Travel Market is part of the Reed Travel Exhibitions’ portfolio, which includes 15 of the world’s leading travel industry events. For more information visit www.arabiantravelmarket.com

Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions organise the world's leading travel industry events for trade professionals around the globe, incorporating the travel trade, corporate, meetings and incentives sectors including Arabian Travel Market, The World Travel Market and the International Travel Luxury Market. www.reedtravelexhibitions.com

Reed Exhibitions
The world's leading organiser of trade and consumer events running over 470 events in 37 countries. Reed Exhibitions excels in creating high profile, highly targeted business and consumer exhibitions and events to establish and maintain business relations, and generate new business. Reed Exhibitions network of offices and promoters extends to 65 countries. www.reedexpo.com

Reed Elsevier
Reed Elsevier is a world leading provider of professional information and online workflow solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal, Risk Information and Analytics, and Business sectors. Based in over 200 locations worldwide, they create authoritative content delivered through market leading brands, enabling their customers to find the essential data, analysis and commentary to support their decisions. www.reed-elsevier.com

For more information, please contact: Nathalie Viselé Director Shamal Marketing Communications PO Box 502701 Office 106, Al Sufouh Tower Dubai Media City Dubai, United Arab Emirates Office: +971 4 3652711 I Direct : +971 4 3652712 I Mobile : +971 50 4576525 Fax:+971 4 4278703 E-mail: nathalie@smc-pr.com I Web site: www.smc-pr.com

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