China and Saudi Arabia key highlights at ATM

The Great Wall of China … China was a highlight at ATM

ARABIAN TRAVEL MARKET (ATM) 2019, held at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 28 to May 1, witnessed a 106 per cent increase in visitors from China and a 20 per cent increase in international visitors to the event.

ATM has grown to become the largest event of its kind in the region and one of the biggest in the world with visitor numbers smashing through the 28,000 mark for the third year in succession.

This year’s event showcased the largest ever participation from Asia with Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Sri Lanka being the largest exhibitors.

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “The continued growth of ATM is testament to the continued strength of the travel and tourism industry in the Middle East.


Unique and tech-enabled experiences are key when it comes to convincing younger Chinese travellers to visit the GCC


“It not only brings together travel and tourism professionals from around the globe to discuss the potential of the regional outbound market, where GCC tourists spend over six times the global average.

“In addition, it draws major inbound players, eager to capitalize on the huge amount of investment that is being put into the region’s tourism infrastructure, including its airlines, resorts, attractions and facilities.”

The 2019 edition placed a spotlight on cutting-edge technology and innovation, and boasted more than 400 main stand holders with over 100 new exhibitors making their debut. More than 150 countries were represented at ATM 2019.

ATM 2019 formed part of the inaugural Arabian Travel Week, as well as ILTM Arabia, CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa – a new route development forum which launched this year and new consumer-led event ATM Holiday Shopper.

ATM 2019 got underway with the ‘Arabia China Tourism Forum’. With the overall number of outbound tourists from China projected to hit 224 million by 2022, according to research conducted by Colliers International, the session explored how Gulf states can boost Chinese visitor numbers by catering to the younger travellers arriving from the Far East.

An expert panel revealed that unique and tech-enabled experiences represent a key component when it comes to convincing younger Chinese travellers to visit the GCC. Panellists noted that China’s free independent travellers (FITs) are looking for attractions that are not available in other markets.

Panel discussion titled ‘The Big Picture – Who Will Sell Travel Best in the Future?’ revealed Gulf-based travel and hospitality companies that use disruptive technologies to boost personalisation and remove friction for customers are likely to become future market leaders.