Events crucial for Middle East to realise tourism market of USD 133.6 billion by 2028

Events for Tourism Growth will be adopted as the official show theme for Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020, taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 19-22 April 2020.

According to data from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the direct contribution of travel and tourism to the Middle East’s GDP is predicted to rise by 4.2% per annum to USD 133.6 billion by 2028 – driven in part by additional tourists to the region as a result of mega-events, major sporting and political events, cultural festivals, concerts and MICE events.

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director of Middle East at ATM said: “Events of all kinds have become increasingly important drivers for international arrivals to the UAE, GCC and wider MENA region over recent years. With this in mind, ATM 2020’s spotlight theme will be launched as a platform to explore the impact events have on tourism growth in the region and to inspire the travel and hospitality industry about the next generation of events, while bringing together senior travel executives to meet and conduct business under one roof over four days.”

In the UAE alone, the major exhibition centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi experienced a 14% growth in footfall between 2016 and 2018, with Dubai World Trade Centre welcoming 3.4 million visitors in 2018 and Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, combined with Al Ain Exhibition Centre – welcoming over two million during the same period.

Expo 2020 will be the largest event ever staged in the Arab world. Taking place from October 2020 to April 2021, 192 pavilions from countries around the world will be showcased, with over 25 million visitors – 145,000 visits for every one of the 173 days the site is open, expected.

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