Arabian Travel Market continues to grow

The Arabian Travel Market (ATM) looks set to record yet another bumper year, as the show gets ready to play host to over 1,600 exhibitors from May 3-6.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  May 2, 2005

The Arabian Travel Market (ATM) looks set to record yet another bumper year, as the show gets ready to play host to over 1,600 exhibitors from May 3-6. Taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the annual travel and tourism exhibition will attract a wider audience than ever in 2005. A total of 73 companies and tourism organisations from 27 countries have signed up as first time exhibitors for ATM. The Middle East has provided 30 of the new entrants, while the other 42 have come from as far a field as the Far East, Asia, Europe, South America and Canada. Together they have taken close to 2,000m² of the show’s 15,308m² floor space, which is now 31% larger this year, with UAE and regional companies taking the largest stands. “The massive development of Middle East tourism and leisure projects like the Palm Islands off Dubai, The Pearl-Qatar and The Waves in Oman, combined with the region hosting major sporting events like the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament and the Bahrain Formula One, is creating massive international interest in the region as a tourist destination,” says Chris Chackal, exhibitions director, Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), organisers of ATM. “At the same time regional growth, fuelled by rapid economic diversification and high oil prices, mean the Gulf’s wealthy population is a prime outbound target for the global tourism market,” Chackal says. “The split in the number of international and local exhibitors making their first appearance at the show reflects the strength of ATM 2005 as the regional leader for both inbound and outbound business.” First time exhibitor, IFA Hotels & Resorts, a wholly–owned subsidiary of Kuwait’s International Financial Advisors and the largest investor in the The Palm, Jumeirah offshore island, has booked 396m² of floor space. “With a growing portfolio of world-class international tourism projects stretching from Europe to the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and Africa, IFA is a major contributor to the global tourism industry. ATM is an excellent international platform for the promotion of our projects and brands,” says Bassam El Khoury, marketing director, IFA Hotels & Resorts. In addition to new exhibitors, ATM will also welcome back show stalwarts, such as Movenpick Hotels & Resorts. “Our company has grown year on year over the past 12 years and so did ATM with its hosted or visiting buyers. We feel that the ATM timing in May is the ideal time for summer contracting with travel agents and tour operators on behalf of the outbound GCC markets,” remarks Toufic Tamim, area sales & marketing director, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts Middle East. “Our aim for ATM 2005 is to promote our existing destinations such as Beirut, Sharm el Sheikh and Cairo. We will also be promoting the latest projects under construction such as: Taba Egypt, Sana’a Yemen, Dubai Pearl Hotel at Media City, and Jumeirah Beach Resort. “ATM provides the ideal platform for any hotel interested in the lucrative outbound GCC summer market. Simply put, ATM is a must see, must be, must participate exhibition,” Tamim says. Also returning to the exhibition for the 12th time is the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Resort & Towers. “We have been exhibiting at the show since it started either at the corporate Starwood stand or the destination Abu Dhabi stand,” says hotel general manager, Robert Van Meerendonk. “It is essential that we participate as all the key suppliers and prospects to our destination will be present at the exhibition,” he adds. Kempinski Hotels & Resorts has been exhibiting at ATM for the last six years. “Every year it has been more successful for us. This year we have a much bigger exhibition stand than the previous years as our company has been undergoing a steady growth and will continue to grow in the coming 2-3 years,” says Ulrich Eckhardt, senior vice president, Middle East & Africa, Kempinski Hotels & Resorts. “We will focus on our existing and upcoming properties in the region. Ajman Kempinski Hotel & Resort was Kempinski’s first venue in the Middle East, and we recently opened Emirates Palace. In Kuwait we operate the Kempinski Julai’a Hotel & Resort and we have just opened the Kempinski Hotel Amman in Jordan. “By the end of 2005 the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, the UAE’s first ski resort, will open its doors. The Kempinski Ishtar Resort Hotel & Spa at the Dead Sea in Jordan is scheduled to open in October 2005. Two more resort hotels will open in 2006, one in Egypt and one in Furjairah,” says Eckhardt. Currently, exhibitors from 60 countries, including 51 national and regional tourism bodies have confirmed their participation for ATM 2005, which runs from May 3-6 at the DWTC. Hotelier Middle East. Stand 469

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