GCC tourism industry grows ten-fold and more since first show opened
New hospitality projects, advanced technologies and sustainable travel trends will be discussed and highlighted during the 4-day Arabian Travel Market 2018, which opens today at Dubai World Trade Centre.
The 25th edition of the ATM, the largest gathering of region’s hospitality and tourism companies and professionals since its inception, will see the participation of more than 2,500 exhibitors and 40,000 industry professionals from 150 countries.
Simon Press, senior exhibition director of the ATM, said the travel and tourism industry in Mena region is buoyant.
“With Expo 2020 now just two years away, this growth will undoubtedly continue as Dubai aims to complete 160,000 hotel rooms in time to welcome an additional 5 million visitors over the course of the event,” he said.
“The tourism industry in the GCC has grown ten-fold and more since we first opened our show doors 25 years ago. Today, we are seeing dozens of ambitious projects being announced across the UAE and wider GCC. From innovative hyperloop train systems and the development of key airports to cities-within-cities, the region has a masterplan for growth and development, and it is vital that these plans are discussed in forums such as ATM Global Stage 2018.”
Avin Gidwani, chief executive officer of BNC Network, said in the GCC region, most of the hotel projects are being constructed in the UAE, especially in Dubai in order to prepare the city to welcome a record number of visitors during the World Expo 2020 mega event.
“Dubai is racing against time to deliver a large number of hotel rooms and service apartments to be able to handle 20 million hotel guests per year and 25 million visitors during Expo 2020.”
According to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the emirate’s tourism regulator, the city of Dubai needs 40,000 additional hotel rooms in order to host such a mega event. Dubai’s nearly 600 hotels and serviced apartments collective has an inventory of more than 100,000 hotel rooms.
According to the ATM, around 20 per cent of the total area of the exhibition has been dedicated to hotels. While over 100 exhibitors will debut this year from different countries including China, Finland, Poland, India, Japan and Indonesia among others.
According to BNC Network statistics released on Saturday, the total value of the 1,156 hospitality and tourism projects in the GCC region exceeded $147 billion (Dh539 billion) in March 2018. As many as 492 hospitality projects worth $39.4 billion are currently on progress – including those in the tender and under-construction stages.
As many as 210 hospitality projects worth $26.8 billion (Dh98.35 billion) are in the pipeline, in the planning, concept and design stage. However, in terms of value, $80.9 billion (Dh296.9 billion) worth of projects, or 55 per cent of the projects, are currently on hold.
Running until Wednesday, ATM 2018 has adopted ‘Responsible Tourism’ – including sustainable travel trends – as its main theme and this will be integrated across all show verticals and activities.
In addition, there will be a series of seminar sessions looking at what lies ahead for the industry over the next 25 years. Also, the show will feature four days of business networking opportunities and advice clinics as well as a full programme of insightful seminar sessions including halal tourism, travel technology, aviation, Instagram and Airbnb, to name a few.
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