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ATM 2024 to showcase surge in Chinese outbound travel to the Middle East

Outbound travel from China expected to near pre-pandemic levels in 2024, with the Middle East leading the recovery.

DUBAI, UAE – According to research by Oxford Economics, outbound travel from China is estimated to almost double this year, compared with 2023 and will only be 22% below its peak pre-pandemic numbers of 155 million tourists in 2019, who spent over $250 billion overseas.

Full recovery is expected to materialise in 2025, with the Middle East being the first region globally to recover its Chinese inbound market.

Underscoring that prediction, Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2024 which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 6-9 May, is set to welcome twice the number of Chinese exhibitors and travel professionals, compared with its 2019 show.

China lifted its covid-related travel restrictions on 8th January 2023, allowing Chinese tourists to travel abroad, without having to quarantine upon their return. Bookings for overseas travel during Chinese New Year, soared by 540% compared with the same period in 2022, according to data from the Chinese travel site Trip.com.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market commented, “Last year, some analysts were predicting that the Chinese outbound market would recover to around six million per month by the summer of 2023, driven in part by the pent-up demand, especially from young, affluent Chinese.

“However, that rebound wasn’t as great as many tourism professionals had hoped for and now analysts are confident that this year, we could see Chinese visitor numbers double year-on-year, with major destinations in the Middle East recovering quicker than any other internationally, especially for luxury travel.

“That sentiment has also been borne out by the latest spending data for the 2024 Chinese New Year. According to Chinese payment platform Alipay, the number of Chinese overseas transactions were 7% higher than those recorded in 2019.

“The most popular Middle East destinations include Dubai, Saudi’s AlUla, Egypt and Jordan – Dubai alone welcomed more than one million Chinese visitors in 2019,” said Curtis.

Chinese participation at ATM 2024 is expected to more than double compared with ATM 2019, with new exhibitors that include private sector companies such as Heytrip International, Jiangsu Intelligence Equipment Co, Flightroutes24 Travel Company Ltd, Feeyo Technology and anticipated destination representation from Macao Government Tourism Office, China Cultural Centre in the UAE and the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

ATM is also organising a dedicated conference session on this key market in its Global Stage, entitled ‘Capitalising on China’s Predicted Tourism Surge’, in association with Huawei. This session, which takes place on Monday 6th May from 15:10 to 15:50, will explore the changing trends, cultural preferences and the role of mobile marketing and tourism predictions in the Chinese tourism market.

In line with this year’s show theme ‘Empowering Innovation: Transforming Travel Through Entrepreneurship’, other highlights at the 31st edition of ATM include entrepreneurship-focused sessions as well as dedicated sessions for other key source markets such as India and the Americas. As well as showcasing a range of event features based around the theme, informative content will be delivered across the Global Stage and the new Future Stage at ATM 2024, led by respected industry keynote speakers, and thought leaders.

Held in conjunction with Dubai World Trade Centre, ATM 2024’s strategic partners include the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Destination Partner; Emirates, Official Airline Partner; IHG Hotels & Resorts, Official Hotel Partner and Al Rais Travel, Official DMC Partner.

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

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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