Family-centric travel has been selected as the official show theme for Arabian Travel Market 2015, accounting for more than 12.5 per cent of the $1.07 trillion global tourism market.
It’s easy to see why.
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 per cent overall tourism growth.
Demand for inter-regional family travel will remain robust through to 2020 and beyond. The Economist Intelligence Unit estimated that the GCC population would reach 53.5 million by 2020, 24 per cent of which would be under 15 years of age.
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.
Although family travel is growing, contrasting spending patterns presents 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.
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.
In the Middle East, GCC families often travel in large groups and there is a growing demand for value-for-money accommodation and services catering to the unique needs of travelling families.
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 entertainments programme, There has to be a sense of anticipation, inclusion, engagement, dedication and of course value.
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.
ATM 2015 will also grow with the announcement of an additional hall as Reed Travel Exhibitions looks to build on its record-breaking achievements this year, which saw total attendance increase by 12 per cent to reach 33,000 exhibitors and visitors.
Arabian Travel Market takes place at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre on May 4 to 7. For more information on Arabian Travel Market 2015, please log on to: www.arabiantravelmarket.com
• Nadege Noblet is exhibition manager, Arabian Travel Market
By Nadege Noblet
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.