Family-centric travel, which accounted for more than 12.5% of the US$1.07 trillion global tourism market, has been selected as the show theme for Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2015. The event is scheduled to take place at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre from 4-7 May 2015.
According to Thomson Reuters’ data, value of the global family tourism market was US$140 billion in 2013. That figure is set to rise to over US$180 bn by 2018 with growth expected to continue at a rate of 4.79% annually until 2020, compared with just 3.8% overall tourism growth.
“Demand for inter-regional family travel will also remain robust through to 2020 and beyond. The Economist Intelligence Unit estimated that the GCC population would soar to 53.5 m by 2020, 24% of which would be under 15 years of age,” Nadege Noblet, exhibition manager of Arabian Travel Market, WTM Portfolio, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
The Dubai Capital of Islamic Economy initiative has identified the UAE as a top source market for family travel, with spending power worth over US$10 bn.
“Although family travel is growing, these contrasting spending patterns present strategic challenges as well as opportunities for government bodies, hotels and tourism services providers,” said Noblet.
The ATM 2015 line-up will include a number of seminar sessions addressing issues with panel-led discussions on how Gulf destinations can boost their appeal to the lucrative family tourism market and develop family-specific amenities. Driving family business throughout the year is also linked to destination attractiveness with cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
“Family travel is no longer simply about maximising revenue streams during school holiday periods. There has to be a sense of anticipation, inclusion, engagement, dedication and of course value,” said Noblet.