A new series of buyer forums and networking events focused on India, Saudi Arabia, China and Russia’s growing outbound potential, has been launched by Arabian Travel Market 2020 (ATM), as GCC travel and tourism companies and destinations look to attract a larger share from these major source markets.

These new forums and networking events have been designed to explore the untapped opportunities that India, Saudi Arabia, China and Russia’s expanding tourism markets present, following the successful launch of the ‘Arabia China Tourism Forum’ at ATM 2019, and they advise travel, tourism and hospitality professionals, on how to attract and cater to these key markets.

ATM will be inviting 150 hosted buyers from India, China, Russia and the Middle East, as part of the networking sessions, as well as partnering with CBN Travel & MICE once again to bring an additional 84 new buyers from China.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market (ATM), which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 19-22 April 2020, said: “Identifying the key players in the top source markets, along with current and emerging industry trends are two of the most valuable insights ATM has to offer. Therefore, the 2020 edition will continue to follow that successful model with a packed agenda, including new forums and networking opportunities as well as an engaging seminar programme.”

According to research from Colliers International, looking at the UAE alone in partnership with ATM, the number of Indian visitors travelling to the UAE is expected to increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7% to 3.01 million by 2023, while arrivals from Saudi Arabia will witness an increase of 2% to 1.76 million during the same period.

The data also predicts an above average annual growth rate for both Russian and Chinese arrivals to the UAE, with the number of Russian tourists expected to increase at a CAGR of 12% to 1.6 million and Chinese tourists estimated to increase at a CAGR of 8% to 1.27 million by 2023.

Taking a look at the key drivers, beside Expo 2020 which is now less than one year away, Indian, Saudi Arabian, Chinese and Russian visitors have grown in recent years due to the introduction of additional and direct airline routes; relaxed visa regulations; the growth of their respective economies; increased disposable incomes and a new generation of leisure attractions and retail destinations as well as a broad range of hotels and resorts across the region.

Curtis said: “Over recent years in particular, sentiment at ATM has reflected the growth in these tourists to the Middle East and as we look ahead to the 2020 edition of the show we are seeing more hotel and travel professionals than ever before eager to capitalise on the significant opportunities presented by these key markets.”

ATM, considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed almost 40,000 people to its 2019 event with representation from 150 countries. With over 100 exhibitors making their debut, ATM 2019 showcased the largest ever exhibition from Asia.

Adopting Events for Tourism Growth as the official show theme, ATM 2020 will build on the success of this year’s edition with a host of seminar sessions discussing the impact events have on tourism growth in the region while inspiring the travel and hospitality industry about the next generation of events.

Niyi David
Author

‘Niyi David is a travel writer/photographer and Editor-in-Chief at More Cream Than Coffee. Previously, he worked at Afro Tourism West Africa Ltd as a travel writer, and was Head of Media and C.O.O. before leaving in May 2018. Prior to that he had worked as scriptwriter on some major media projects in Nigeria, such as 'Peak Talent Show' and the Ford Foundation sponsored 'Stop Impunity in Nigeria' campaign.