Themed Working Towards Net Zero, Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023 is set to open in UAE’s Dubai from May 1 to May 4, 2023. Held in collaboration with the emirate’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) and in its 30th edition, the show will host over 2,000 exhibitors, representatives from more than 150 countries and an anticipated 34,000 attendees.Interestingly, the exhibitor participation in ATM 2023 has risen by 27% compared to last year’s event, with growth registered across all show sectors. These include regional upticks for the Middle East, representation for which will be 24% larger than in 2022, Europe (17% larger), Asia (15% larger) and Africa (8.5% larger). The event’s Travel Tech and hotels sectors have also witnessed sizeable year-on-year growth, expanding by 62% and 37.5%, respectively.
“ATM 2023 will provide a platform for a diverse array of public and private-sector speakers, all of whom will offer expert insights into sustainable travel trends, responsible tourism and a host of other industry-critical issues,” said Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market.
Other than the theme, the highlight of this year’s ATM is the return of the Chinese traveller. For the first time after the country lifted its Covid-related travel restrictions earlier this year, Chinese exhibitors and travel professionals are making a return to ATM 2023, an official release by the exhibitor shared. China became the world’s top source market in 2019, with 155 million tourists spending more than USD 250 billion overseas. Based on predictions, the nation’s outbound market is expected to recover to around six million travellers per month by the summer of 2023.“We’ve seen a robust increase in exhibitor growth across all show areas and it’s exciting to be able to welcome back our Chinese colleagues after remaining covid restrictions were lifted in the region,” said Vasyl Zhygalo, Managing Director of RX Middle East and Portfolio Director of WTM, IBTM and RX.
“With sustainability an ever-increasing consideration for the travel industry, and indeed across the WTM and IBTM event portfolios, it’s never been more important for the sector to interact with ATM 2023’s theme, ‘Working Towards Net Zero’ and explore the vast array of business trends and opportunities showcased around this topic at the show,” added Zhygalo.
As in previous years, Southeast Asia and India will feature prominently at this year’s event as well. According to a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report, Indian nationals spent a record USD 10 billion on overseas travel during the first nine months of 2022, an increase of nearly 43% compared to pre-Covid figures. Other estimates indicate the number of annual outbound journeys will reach more than 27 million by 2024, with a total value of over USD 42 billion.
To mark its 30th edition, ATM will be unveiling a dedicated sustainability pledge that has been designed to reinforce RX’s commitment to the delivery of sustainable events through the use of environmentally friendly materials, the elimination of single-use plastics and other forward-thinking initiatives. In addition to setting out the show’s journey towards net zero, this pledge will be accompanied by a new playbook, which offers participants a framework within which to mitigate their environmental impact before, during and after the event, the exhibitor shared.
“It is indeed fitting that this year’s ATM theme focusses on sustainability to build a better future for tourism. For us, this theme assumes even greater significance as 2023 is UAE’s Year of Sustainability and Dubai will be hosting COP28, the UN Climate Change Conference,” said Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
“Dubai has made significant strides in this area, with strategies to reduce carbon footprint and create a more environmentally conscious tourism industry, aligned with the ambition of our visionary leadership to make Dubai the best city in the world to visit, live, and work in. As momentum continues to accelerate across the global tourism and MICE segments, we welcome the pursuit of a more evolved, collaborative, inclusive and long-term approach to sustainable growth and practices for the industry,” Kazim added.
In addition to sustainability, the ATM Global Stage will host a variety of sessions focused on pivotal industry issues, including, but not limited to: hotels and hospitality; aviation and transport; meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE); business travel; investment; responsible tourism; workforce diversification; and emerging segments such as attractions, cruises, wellness and cultural tourism.
The upcoming edition will see the return of the ATM Travel Tech Stage, which will host discussions on how factors such as artificial intelligence, the metaverse, cryptocurrency and big data are impacting the travel sector, while showcasing cutting-edge innovations and solutions with the potential to drive the next generation of sustainable tourism.
ATM 2023 will also feature a Sustainability Hub for the first time in the show’s history. This space will offer a venue for sessions dedicated to the latest sustainable travel trends and innovations, while providing the backdrop for the ATM 2023 Start-up Competition.
This year’s show will see the return of International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Arabia, which will explore trends and opportunities within the burgeoning field of high-end tourism. There will also be sessions from the International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC), the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).
“As we celebrate 30 years of partnership and commitment at ATM, it’s remarkable to see this event’s evolution and growing prominence on the global stage,” said Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer at Emirates. “We are proud of the role we have played in the growth of ATM and strengthening its mindshare as an industry event, as well as the growth of our home city Dubai, which is at the forefront of global tourism,” he shared.
The 30th edition of ATM will take place as part of Arabian Travel Week, a festival of events dedicated to enabling industry professionals from all over the world to collaborate and capitalise on market opportunities through exhibitions, conferences, breakfast briefings, awards, product launches and networking events.
ATM 2023’s strategic partners include Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) as the Destination Partner, Emirates as the Official Airline Partner, IHG Hotels & Resorts as the Official Hotel Partner and Al Rais Travel as the Official DMC Partner.