Dubai hotel profits underscore tourism hub status

495ATM annual roadshow arrives in Dubai today as industry stakeholders fine-tune their promotional plans ahead of region’s largest travel and tourism event; Debut show for new DCTCM as Dubai focuses on 20 million visitors by 2020

The annual Arabian Travel Market (ATM) roadshow arrives in Dubai today (Thursday 13 February) at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Executives from Reed Travel Exhibitions the organiser of ATM, are holding a workshop for exhibitors, ahead of this year’s 5-8 May event, bringing together upbeat key industry players to discuss marketing opportunities and how to showcase their proposition to ATM’s 21,000 trade visitors.

Hotels in Dubai reported the highest profit levels in the region in 2013 for the fourth consecutive year, according to TRI Hospitality Consulting. Gross Operating Profit Per Available Room (GOPPAR) for 2013 increased 10.3% to US$ 206, Average Room Rates (ARR) for the year were up by 6.5% to US$ 324 and RevPAR was up by 7.6% for the same period.

In the first nine months of 2013, Dubai government figures revealed that, Dubai hotels had welcomed 7.9 million visitors, sa year-on-year increase of almost 10% and due, in part to longer average stays, visitors spent US$ 4.2 billion an increase of 17% compared with the same period in 2012.

According to Dubai International Airport, annual passenger traffic also rose to 66.4 million in 2013 an increase of 15.2%, with 28 new routes in 2013, it now serves a total of 239 destinations.

“The Dubai success story continues with increases right across the board. It is difficult to imagine that growth slowing anytime soon, especially with Standard Chartered Bank estimating that at least US$ 9 billion will be invested in Dubai’s infrastructure ahead of the Expo 2020,” said Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.

“Indeed the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing has been established to promote brand Dubai around the world and armed with a considerable budget. Hotels will pay a new ‘Tourism Tax’ of up to AED 20 per room per night, to fund the endeavours of the DCTCM, as Dubai focuses on its 20 million visitor target by 2020,” added Walsh.

Dubai is the penultimate stop of the six Middle East destinations being visited by the ATM team during its week-long roadshow which took in Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and Oman with Riyadh to come next week.

Dubai Government’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has already attended a dedicated focus workshop, as it prepares to support destination Dubai during ATM. Other UAE participants at ATM will include some of the biggest names in the regional and indeed international travel and tourism sector such as Emirates, flydubai, Air Arabia, Etihad, Arabian Adventures, Rotana Hotels, Jebel Ali Hotels, Address Hotels and the Jumeirah Group.

Current and potential exhibitors visited during the roadshow will learn about new event features including the introduction of an annual theme, with 2014 shining the spotlight on the luxury travel sector. The seminar programme in particular will focus on this important theme, which is particularly relevant to Dubai and the rest of the Gulf region.

The popular ATM seminars return covering travel technology and other key industry issues such as luxury travel trends, aviation, Expo 2020, CSR and mid-scale hotels. Also returning are the visitor trails, helping visitors identify the specific travel sectors on the show floor including: shopping, career, budget, health and wellness, air and water travel.

New this year is a showcase theatre, which offers exhibitors the opportunity to present their products and services in one hour sessions and the ATM Live Wall, which will broadcast live streaming of interviews, panel debates and other show highlights.

Expanding into an additional exhibition hall, Arabian Travel Market 2014 will take place from the 5-8 May at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre. Last year, ATM welcomed over 21,000 visitors from 165 countries, covering 22,000 square metres of floor space.

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