Breaking Journey Information interview: Danielle Curtis, exhibition director, Arabian Journey Market | Information

Breaking Travel News interview: Danielle Curtis, exhibition director, Arabian Travel Market

With simply over two weeks to go till the official opening of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023, preparations for the industry-leading occasion are nicely underway.

Going down on the Dubai World Commerce Centre from Could 1st-4th, the present will welcome 1000’s of delegates to the dazzling emirate.

Chatting with Breaking Journey Information, Danielle Curtis, ATM exhibition director, reveals there’s a feeling of confidence within the Center East tourism market because the occasion approaches.

“That is our thirtieth anniversary – once we launched in 1994, we had 7,000 attendees from 52 nations, this 12 months, we’ll welcome 2,000 exhibitors, with over 34,000 attendees from 150 nations.

“This is a superb achievement – and one we’re actually happy to share.

“These figures are up 27 per cent year-on-year when it comes to exhibitor participation, although we’re nonetheless barely beneath the degrees reached in 2019, pre-pandemic.

“Our objective is to be again to pre-pandemic ranges subsequent 12 months.”

Curtis explains: “Plenty of development has come from the Center East, with the growth in ambition in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and elsewhere, whereas we’re additionally seeing development from Asia and Africa.

“This has been led by the personal sector, which has seen confidence return after a few powerful years.

“Journey expertise attendance is up 62 per cent, whereas key worldwide lodge chains have elevated their presence by 37 per cent – so it is a optimistic step.”

As a part of milestone celebrations, ATM will likely be presenting a particular award to a person who has made an impressive contribution to the journey and tourism {industry} within the Center East over the previous three a long time.

The winner will likely be revealed through the present.

ATM is that this 12 months a part of Arabian Travel Week – which runs from Could 1st-Tenth.

Curtis outlines her ambitions for the bigger occasion: “There are lots of occasions in Dubai round the principle present, and we embrace these and place all of them beneath one umbrella.

“It is a celebration, a pageant – so whether or not it’s an awards ceremony, networking occasion or get together, we’re completely satisfied to welcome that to the schedule.

“Now we have ILTM Arabia, which brings the luxurious market to the occasion, working for 2 days, in addition to the start-up competition alongside Plug & Play.

“The latter will see modern corporations pitch sustainable concepts to impression on the journey {industry}.

“We additionally associate with the International Enterprise Journey Affiliation (GBTA) for a collection of enterprise journey forums, and the ITIC Tourism Investment Session.

Travel Tech can be rising at a speedy tempo, a model inside ATM, at all times evolving, which can discover journey expertise.”

The theme of the 2023 present is ‘Working In the direction of Web Zero,’ with sustainability set to be ingrained in each ingredient of ATM.

“Now we have come a good distance within the final couple of years – however we’re additionally eager to look towards the longer term,” says Curtis.

“ATM has at all times been that key platform for the sector right here within the Center East – we deliver collectively the area, whereas our worldwide viewers has additionally grown extra over the previous couple of years, outdoors of the pandemic.

“Covid-19 allowed us to cease, rethink and have a look at actually what we are attempting to realize with ATM – and that has led us towards our theme this 12 months, which is ‘Working Towards Net Zero’.

“That is very a lot consistent with Dubai and the broader targets we now have seen shared throughout the area with regards to sustainability.

“There are ambitions inside the area to deal with carbon output and to deal with the topic.”

RX – the organisers of ATM and almost 400 different world occasions – are additionally enjoying their half, having made a sustainability pledge – taking in 30 completely different short- and long-term targets.

“As an organization, we need to obtain ‘web zero’ by 2040,” provides Curtis.

The theme will likely be carried throughout all ATM communications, content material, phases and platforms.

The occasion will work to share finest observe, data and insights, together with the most recent improvements, all of that are designed to speed up the journey of tourism towards decarbonisation.

Custis provides: “There’ll the standard line-up of networking, speed-networking and social actions – however this 12 months there will likely be a renewed give attention to sustainability.

“Now we have launched a sustainability hub, which supplied bite-sized learnings on the present ground, the place we’ll welcome key {industry} professionals to come back and talk about best-practice or best-in-class initiative from the sector.

“Now we have additionally launched a best sustainable stand award, which can recognise the ‘finest stand construct incorporating sustainability initiatives’.

“This has seen quite a lot of curiosity already, from delegates and the broader {industry}, and we now have seen keen exhibitors submitting their purposes.”

When it comes to delegates, the reopening of China and development of India have each been nicely acquired.

“China has been closed for 3 years, so the reopening is basically optimistic,” says Curtis.

“This was a prime supply market, with 155 million vacationers, spending US$250 billion abroad in 2019 – and it’s nice to see it start to get well.

“Dubai itself welcomed a million Chinese language company in 2019, which was a 15 per cent improve over 2018 – a robust development trajectory.

“These numbers recommend the United Arab Emirates, which has relaxed its visa laws, is well-placed to profit from the reopening, as is Saudi Arabia, which is making an enormous push into the tourism house.

“Egypt and Jordan are additionally following go well with.

“Now we have seen a rise in flight schedules for the approaching months, placing the area in a robust place.”

She provides: “India, too, has at all times been a prime supply marketplace for company within the Center East, and for attendees coming to ATM.

“Plenty of patrons come from the area, which has been a profitable one for ATM.”

Tourism within the Center East can be going from strength-to-strength after a troublesome couple of years.

“The United Arab Emirates was exemplary in the best way it reopened, post-Covid-19, the velocity with which it opened, post-pandemic,” explains Curtis.

“We noticed confidence return in 2022, each from vacationers arriving and companies investing.

“The area has set bold targets for what it needs to realize when it comes to tourism and is shortly getting again to pre-pandemic ranges.

“Dubai welcome 14.36 million worldwide company final 12 months, and there’s a lot of confidence round that.

“The emirate noticed an occupancy fee in its accommodations of 73 per cent final 12 months, one of many highest on this planet.

“There are expectations this restoration will proceed, not simply this 12 months, however sooner or later, in Dubai and throughout the Center East.”

She provides: “That mentioned, this isn’t only a return to ‘business-as-usual,’ we’re actually centered on sustainable journey – not least by the arrival of COP 28 within the area this 12 months.

“The Center East will drive sustainability on this {industry} ahead at a speedy tempo.

“The GCC alone has 150,000 rooms within the growth pipeline and beneath contract, so there may be quite a lot of confidence right here.

“There was collaboration throughout the GCC area – and we now have seen some nice examples.

“Qatar welcomed the FIFA 2022 World Cup, which benefitted the entire area, whereas Expo 2020 right here in Dubai was additionally a hit.

“All these occasions have a optimistic knock-on impact to the encircling international locations, and I see this mixed method being repeated sooner or later.

“It is a hub, and the connectivity is there, by and past Dubai, for everyone to profit.”

Extra Info

Arabian Journey Market takes place at Dubai World Commerce Centre from Could 1st-4th this 12 months.

Discover out extra on the official website right here.