Arabian Travel Market (ATM) has witnessed an exponential growth of the participation of new countries over the past few years. Catering to different markets, be it leisure, family travel, millennials, corporates or a combination of bleisure experiences, this event has become the leading network space in the Middle East. Key partners share their experience of the show.
Mohamed Khoori, General Manager, Golden Sands Hotel Apartments
We have been participating at ATM for over five years as a standalone exhibitor, but we are in the industry under DTCM for over 20-25 years. It gives us opportunities to showcase our hotel apartments as ‘Home away from home.’ This year we will continue to focus on providing comfortable and affordable accommodation in central Dubai and other countries. We are expecting a high volume of visitors and are looking at contract signings and closing deals this year. We are offering the best summer rates for our valued business partners. Tour operators and travel agents are important to the industry; they play a very important role in meeting all the requirements of our hotel guests. We have good partners in tourism destinations across the world; and we work side by side to deliver the best and most memorable experience to our guests.
Timothy Njihia, Country Manager—UAE, GCC & Pakistan, RwandAir
2018 was a good year that saw an unprecedented sales growth; our ranking among the Top Ten World’s Most Improved Airlines by Skytrax and the Most Promising Airline during Arabian Travel Awards. New destinations, new aircraft, network expansion, increase in frequency on our existing routes and continuous service improvement through adoption of new and emerging technologies are top on the agenda for 2019 with Addis Ababa, Kinshasa, Guangzhou, Tel Aviv, Bamako, Conakry and New York as some of the upcoming destinations. In addition, we are expecting the delivery of four new aircraft.
H E Nia Nischaya, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Indonesia
We have been participating at ATM since 2002 to expose our tourist destinations to the Middle East. This year, we will be focusing on supporting Lombok’s recovery from the disaster that hit the island last year. Through promotional construction of Moto GP circuit, we wish to achieve our target, especially in our tourist destinations including Lombok. We are implementing the breakthrough marketing strategies for the Middle East market such as Joint Promotion with Airlines/Wholesaler and Tourism Hub in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Through Tourism Hub, we hope that we can attract tourists coming to those countries to visit Indonesia especially Riau Island that is only about an hour from Singapore.
Freddy Farid, Managing Director, Two Seasons Hotel & Apartments
Our prime focus this year is to create the necessary awareness for our new brand ‘Two Seasons Hotels’ and showcase our new properties in the pipeline, and above all achieve further expansion of the brand. We aim to generate further growth in terms of number of properties under the new brand, renew our relations with our existing partners and sign up few agreements with new potential investors and travel trade suppliers. We are planning various promotions under the new brand for Ramadan and summer alongside DTCM marketing initiatives to include restaurant offers, UAE resident’s staycation deals, special weekend offers and marketing campaigns in all feeder markets to attract more visitors during 2019. We have created several MiCE promotions and have already participated in several MiCE events companies. With the assistance of our new GSO in India and the UK, we believe that they will contribute positively in directing more MiCE business to us.
Antoine Medawar, Senior Vice President—Middle East & Africa, Amadeus
With each passing year, we have worked on providing unprecedented solutions for the travel sector and met evolving requirements for the region’s traveller. As the traveller becomes more aware and inquisitive, we have invested in emerging elements that enhance their travelling experience. The development of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, 5G and blockchain have resulted in not just smart cities but also smart travel and smart travellers. This year is all about the way we see travel going forward. The Amadeus Live Travel Space vision will revolutionise the way travel is sold and booked, while most importantly guaranteeing sustainability for all. This vision should be developed in conjunction with all key players in the travel sector. We are excited to share this concept with our customers.
Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President—Commercial Operations, Emirates
ATM is one of the most important events on the global exhibition calendar and is an ideal industry platform to showcase Emirates’ business developments and superior onboard products to the travel and tourism industry. It also brings together key industry stakeholders from around the globe to discuss new deals as well as identify areas of growth. For Dubai, ATM continues to expand in line with the city’s growth, cementing its status as a global tourism and business hub. Emirates is a vital player in growing Dubai’s connectivity, and we are seeing a major ramping up of infrastructure enhancements for aviation development, all paving way for the airline to carry a large portion of the 25 million targeted visitors and support this event.
Jauhar Abdul Gafoor, Chief Executive Officer, Oneview Group of Companies
ATM has evolved over the years to a mega event where people from the travel trade get to interact with suppliers of travel and related services. The show has always been a venue which has initiated many niche ideologies and this year will be no different. For technology companies, it’s an opportunity to showcase their capabilities to a wider audience of both traditional and online aspirants. The past year had been a year of rigorous transformation in our systems which included the re-engineering of the system and its scalability. With the new enhancements, we are very confident that our system is one among the best in performance and scalability. Our USP for this ATM is a New Business Intelligence Module Prototype which is unique and one of its kind in the market.
Jamal Abdulnazar, Chief Executive Officer, Cozmo Travel
As Cozmo Travel, we have been there with Sharjah Tourism since our inception in 2010. As our business expanded in other countries, we felt the need to be with Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) too and for the last three years including this current year, we have booths under both Sharjah and Dubai. Fundamentally, trade fairs and exhibitions are important because they offer a platform to market different products to our customers and then convert those to serious transactions. So obviously, everyone has to achieve a positive ROI from their participation with the addition of new clientele that they have networked with.
J V R Fernando, Commercial Director—West Africa, ME & Asia, Satguru Travel and Tourism
ATM has tremendously helped us to grow in terms of forging new ties and understanding market trends. Satguru Travel’s main focus will be on emerging as the favourite DMC locally as we are in 20 other countries in our network. Our highlight will be on showcasing our competitive holiday products from these countries. The other highlight will be our latest DMC booking engine. We expect to meet and make new business partners, enlarge our global share and promote Satguru as the preferred DMC in the holiday sector. We also expect to understand the new products and services available through the exhibition. In the last financial year, Satguru has maintained its lead by winning the titles of The Best Corporate Travel Agency in Middle East, in Africa and the Leading Travel Agency in Rwanda, Tanzania, Nigeria and Dubai. As a Global Travel Management Company, our plan is to establish ties with more global brands.