The first three major WTM worldwide events to take place so far this year have each attracted an even bigger slice of the globe’s travel representatives – posting record attendance figures and marking major milestones on the exhibition floor.
The 25th Arabian Travel Market (ATM), held in Dubai in April, hosted 39,000 travel, hospitality and tourism professionals from across the world. The four-day event closed on 25 April 2018 with a 7% increase in international visitors and an impressive 11% increase in visitors from the African continent.
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This is the second year in succession that the number of ATM attendees has reached the 39,000 mark – and visitor figures have increased 40% since 2013.
ATM 2018 also showcased the largest exhibition of local, regional and global hotel brands in event history, with hotels comprising over 5,000 square metres – 20% of the total show area.
Over 400 main stand holders from more than 140 countries exhibited at ATM, with over 100 new exhibitors making their debut.
Session highlights included a discussion on the impact Hyperloop and other ultra-modern travel infrastructure will have on the tourism industry in the UAE and wider GCC over the next decade. Following a successful debut last year, the Halal Tourism Summit returned to the Global Stage on day three, welcoming leading Muslim travel industry experts.
Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said: “The continued growth of ATM is testament to the robust strength of the travel and tourism industry in the Middle East. ATM provides an ideal platform to discuss the potential of the inbound and outbound markets of the Middle East.”
Over in Cape Town – host city of WTM Africa 2018 – pre-audited statistics for the event, which took place from April 18-20, show an 18% year-on-year increase in visitor numbers.
More than 600 companies exhibited, while hosted buyers represented a cross-section of over 50 different countries. A total of 37 African countries were represented at WTM Africa, while media attendance was up 8%.
In addition to an increase in buyers from Africa in particular, 2018 also saw buyers from new markets including Mexico, Greece, Romania, Spain, Argentina, Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Rwanda, Algeria and Ivory Coast.
Chardonnay Marchesi, South Africa Portfolio Director for Reed Exhibitions’ Travel, Tourism & Sports Portfolio, said: “We continue to strengthen our presence as the penultimate African travel trade exhibition, and the trust of these exhibitors is testament to that.”
Finally, WTM Latin America 2018, the leading B2B travel event in the region, welcomed 12,000 visits – a year-on-year increase of 7%.
The sixth edition of WTM Latin America, which took place between 3-5 April, in São Paulo, facilitated 12,000 business meetings, with 42 travel operators represented on the show floor.
This year, for the first time, WTM Latin America 2018 brought together six hotels – Royal Palm Plaza, Wyndham Hotels, Master Hotel, Maksoud Hotel, Hotel Alfa Moscow and the Brazilian group Hotéis Luzeiros. In addition, the event welcomed top tourist cities in Brazil: Ilhabela, Paraty and Porto de Galinhas.
Luciane Leite, Director of WTM Latin America, said: “Over the three-day show, we saw busy corridors, busy sessions at the five Speed Networking meetings, well-known speakers and a lot of networking. We’re really pleased with the number of business meetings that took place over at the event generating more business deals.”
Next year’s WTM Latin America will take place between 2-4 April 2019 in São Paulo.
WTM Africa 2019 will take place in Cape Town from 10-12 April 2019.
Arabian Travel Market 2019 will take place in Dubai from Sunday, 28 April to Wednesday, 1 May 2019.