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Arabian Travel Market 2016

Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2016 opened its doors on Monday 25th April for four days of business networking opportunities, insightful seminar sessions, leadership forums, and recognition of 12 months of industry achievement. ATM experienced visitor growth this year, with a 4% increase in the number of visitors through the doors over days one and two, compared to 2015.
The show was officially inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai who was joined by dignitaries including His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group and Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General, Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre Authority.

The official opening of Thailand’s stand by TAT’s Governor
TAT, Tourism Authority of Thailand, is promoting Thailand as a safe destination, targeting tourists from Middle East region, as well as more female tourists. August is going to be promoted as the ‘Lady Month’ in accordance with the 84th birthday anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen to encourage more female travellers to visit Thailand. Arrivals from the Middle East region increased 34% compared to last year. Thailand’s Minister of Tourism, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, said that “Thaland’s focus now is on enhancing the image the image of the country as a quality leisure destination. At the same time, we need to ensure a balance between tourism growth and its social and environmental impact. We also want to welcome women travelers and explore the various Thai elements that show that Thailand is an amazing place to make memories”.


The stand of South Korea
Korea Tourism Organization is acting as the central force in developing Korea’s tourism industry. KTO’s primary goal is to improve tourism environment and attract foreign tourists. KTO participated in ATM 2016 with 17 co-exhibitors among them hotel chains, DMO’s, and travel agents. According to the statistics, Korea doubled visitor numbers in the last decade. In, 2015 the country reaches 12.1 million international arrivals mainly from Japan, China, and the USA. 


Snapshot from the conference of Malaysia
Malaysia participated in ATM 2016 with 124 Malaysian sellers from 77 organizations, who represented some of the top travel trade players. The main goal was networking, forging a closer relationship, and establishing business opportunities with Middle East buyers. Malaysia is ranked again first as the World’s Top Muslim-Friendly Destination, making sure that amazing holidays awaits Muslim Travelers in the country. Arrival to Malaysia from UAE is still relatively small. Last year, there was even a 20.2% drop. Therefore, Malaysia is looking for forging more partnerships with the tour agents in Dubai to bring more tourists to the country. 


The stand of India
India participated under the “Incredible India” banner, with 28 sellers, who represented the diversity of Heritage Nature, Culture, and Wellness tourism. The Theme chosen this year by Ministry of Tourism for ATM 2016 was “Yoga & Wellness” promoting India as a multi-faceted tourism destination for Luxury, Wildlife, and Welless-Medical Tourism. Foreign tourism arrivals in India during 2015 was 8.03 million registering a growth of 4.5% over 2014. The Gulf and Middle East region are very important markets for India, as there has been a consistent and positive growth from this region. The e-tourist Visa has been available for citizens of 150 countries, and been accepted across 16 major airports in the country, including Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Bengaluru, and Goa. 


The stand of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”, hopes to attract 2.2 million visitors with the aim to boost tourism revenues up to US$ 2.27 billion. In the Middle East Dubai’s low-cost airline, flydubai, operates 14 weekly flights to Sri Lanka. JA Eclipse Resorts & Hotels, the first five-star luxury tourism destination to be developed on the East Coast of Sri Lanka is starting to take shape, as it is scheduled to open towards the end of the next year. The property will be managed by UAE-based JA Resorts & Hotels. According to the statistics of the Sri Lanka Tourism Department Authority, visitor numbers increased from 450.000 in 2009 to 1.5 million visitors by the end of 2014.


The stand of the Philippines
The Philippines Department of Tourism, PDOT, is trying to position Philippines as a preferred destination for Muslim tourists, in order to attract more visitors from Middle East. The Philippines aim to improve the halal industry not only for attracting more tourists, but also for boosting the Philippine economy. According to the Tourism Research and Statistics Division arrivals were closed to 4.4 million from January to October 2015. The Philippines has witnessed strong interest from the Middle East and visitor numbers are set to rise as Emirates has announced increased flights to Manila, as well as daily flights to Cebu and Clark which started in March this year.


The stand of Onyx Hospitality Group
Thailand based Onyx Hospitality Group is targeting Middle East market for many years now; and as a result there is an increased occupancy throughout in many of the hotels of the group this year. ONYX Hospitality Group operates four diverse yet complementary brands – Saffron, Amari, Shama and OZO – each catering to the distinctive requirements of today’s business and leisure travelers. In recognition of this increasing market, the group participated at Arabian Travel Mart in Dubai to meet with travel industry partners, highlight properties in key locations, and share new and upcoming additions to its portfolio of hotels, resorts and serviced residences across the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean region.


Snapshot from the stand of Macau
The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) participated in the exhibition in order to uncover the potential of the Middle East as a rising tourism market for Macau. It regards the Middle East region as one of Macau’s tourism markets with great potential for future growth. Macau, the “Las Vegas of Asia” is full of shopping malls, entertainment complexes, and of course of giant casinos. The tourism industry is undoubtedly the mainstay of Macau’s economy, however the Chinese city, which relies on its casinos, has been affected by the economic slowdown in China. Macau is, also, a unique destination which preserves a multi-cultural heritage alongside state-of-the-art tourism facilities and a full calendar of events all year round.


The stand of Japan
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Kyoto Convention and Visitors Bureau, Hokkaido District Transport Bureau, and the Japan Halal Business Association jointly promoted Japan as tourism destination at Arabian Travel Market. The target was, not only to show to the Middle East market that Japan has many attractions, but also to promote a new kind of Tourism, called industrial Tourism. Industrial Tourism includes visits to a wide range of factories, farms, plants, craft centers, industrial museums, workshops, distilleries and breweries in Japan. Industrial tourism can be a memorable and educational addition to a more traditional holiday in the country.


Man in traditional costume welcomes visitor at the stand of Indonesia
The Republic of Indonesia, the largest archipelago of the world, received 6,3 million foreign tourists in the first 8 months of 2015, an increase of 2.7% from last year. In 2014, the Indonesian air transport market topped 100 million passengers with yarly growth rates exceeding 10%. Garuda and Etihad Airways are in talks to start direct flights from Abu Dhabi to Lombok.  


Snapshot from the stand of Travelport
Travelport announced its plans to expand in Japan, establishing Travelport Japan a new entity owned by Travelport by purchasing of its distribution business – Galileo Japan, which was previously owned by a consortium of airline owners. The company aims to expand in Asia, and sees Japan, the world’s 3rd largest air travel market in terms of flights offered, as a major travel market. 


The stand of Taiwan
Taiwan honored with the New Frontiers Recovery Award 2016, during ATM 2016, at a special presentation on the final day of the annual event for the way the country has maintained its optimistic outlook with regards to maintaining and growing its tourism industry, particularly when it comes to targeting travelers from the Middle East region. The Taiwan government has established 8 national parks and 13 national scenic areas to preserve its ecological environment. The country saw a huge boom in tourism the recent years, thanks to the easing of travel restrictions in 2008. 


The stand of Seychelles
The tourism board of Seychelles as well as the 8 suppliers that were co-exhibiting at ATM 2016 consider the Middle East market as very important and participated in the exhibition in order to support the airlines of Emirates, Etihad and Air Seychelles who are providing great air lift to the islands from the area.


Co-Founder & Managing Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Articles

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.