ATM 2013 takes off as aviation leads key industry sectors

08 Oct 2012

 Growth in long-haul routes and regional connectivity drives hotel construction projects reflecting Middle East’s largest travel exhibition’s focus on air travel

As Arabian Travel Market begins preparations for its twentieth edition in 2013, the region’s expanding aviation sector is once again driving the hospitality industry resulting in a steady rise in hotel RevPar (revenue per available room) rates across many of the GCC countries and a burgeoning hotel development pipeline.

 “The predicted growth of the regional hospitality sector is linked to the continuous growth of the region’s major airlines and improved regional connectivity with low cost airlines, such as Air Arabia and flydubai,” said Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, the organisers of Arabian Travel Market, the leading travel exhibition in the Middle East.

 “Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways, all continue to outpace their international counterparts with high passenger volume loads and ever-expanding networks, which is having a positive effect on the region’s hotel construction pipeline,” added Walsh.

Underscoring Walsh’s comments, OAG a UK-based aviation analyst, reported that Dubai airport, already the world’s fastest-growing aviation hub, saw the largest growth in long-haul traffic in August, with a 12% increase in flight operations and 14% increase in seat capacity.

During the same month, flight operations to and from the Middle East grew by 7% to 64,252, while seat capacity increased by 8% to reach 14.2 million.

This represents nearly 4,000 more flights and more than a million more seats offered than in August 2011. Traffic within the Middle East region is also expected to grow by 4% for flights and 3% for seats according to OAG data.

Linking those impressive growth numbers to hotel construction, in its mid-year Construction Pipeline Report, industry consultancy STR Global tracked a total of 495 hotels and 125,481 rooms across the Middle East & Africa region, with Oman expected to see the largest room growth at 81.2%, if all 5,417 rooms in the country’s total active pipeline come on line.

Significant growth is also on the cards for Saudi Arabia with the Kingdom’s hotel market set to grow by 53.9% and 27,624 rooms, while Qatar prepares for a tourism spending spree ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament, with an additional 6,785 rooms under development, representing an increase of 47.1%.

Air travel is the sector of highest interest to visitors to Arabian Travel Market according to the 2012 event statistics, yet its representation on the exhibition floor is relatively small in comparison to some of the larger areas such as hotels. For 2013, in order to guide visitors to the airline stands organisers are to provide visitors with a map of where to find airline exhibitors amongst over 2,400 companies represented on the show floor. “Air travel will be one of eight major vertical sectors at next year’s show, alongside budget travel, careers, health and wellbeing, luxury, shopping, sports, and cruise and water-based travel. We are making it even easier for exhibitors and visitors to plan their appointment schedules by guiding visitors directly to the industry sector they are looking for using sponsored floor trails, allowing them to fast track their way around the show, managing their time more effectively,” said Walsh.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, the 2012 edition of the Middle East’s leading travel exhibition showcased 2,436 exhibitors covering over 20,000 square metres and attracted more than 23,000 attendees.

Arabian Travel Market 2013 will be held at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre from 6-9 May 2013. For more information, go to

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Photo caption: Mark Walsh Notes to Editor About Reed Travel Exhibitions Arabian Travel Market is organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, business travel and the meetings and incentives industry. Reed Travel Exhibitions also organises Abu-Dhabi based global meetings and incentive exhibition, GIBTM which takes place from 25-27 March 2013. In 2011 RTE 13 events were the catalyst for £2,807 million worth of travel and tourism business deals. The 13 events are; World Travel Market (WTM), Arabian Travel Market (ATM), International French Travel Market (IFTM), La Cumbre, International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), International Luxury Travel Market Asia (ILTMA), Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) (owned by Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau), Global Exhibition for Incentive, Business Travel, and Meetings (EIBTM), Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (GIBTM), Americas Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (AIBTM), China Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (CIBTM) and Business Travel Market. April 2013 will see RTE launch World Travel Market Latin America in São Paulo. RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions. In 2011, six million participants attended RE’s 500 events in 39 countries covering 44 industry sectors from aerospace and aviation to beauty and cosmetics to sports and recreation. Reed Exhibitions is owned by Reed Elsevier, the world’s leading provider of professional information and online workflow solutions. About Reed Exhibitions Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organizer, with over 500 events in 39 countries. In 2011 Reed brought together six million active event participants from around the world, generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organized by 33 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 44 industry sectors with trade and consumer events and is part of the Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world-leading publisher and information provider and a FTSE 100 company. For more information, please contact: Nathalie Viselé Director Shamal Marketing Communications Dubai Media City, UAE Office: +971 4 3652711 Cell: +971 50 4576525 E-mail:

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