Arabian Travel Market’s 2015 roadshow series arrives in Qatar on 18th March, 2015 to meet with key industry players and highlight the country’s healthy growth in the hotel and tourism sector, which saw over $2.5 billion in contracts awarded in 2014.
Qatar will be represented at ATM 2015 by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), Qatar Airways, Al Rayyan Hospitality, and Katara Hospitality, occupying over 815 square metres of floor space at the dedicated Qatar stand this year.
Projects totaling $8.48 billion are currently underway that will set Qatar up as a major tourist and venue attraction, including Doha Festival City, Doha Convention Centre, Rayyan Mall (Mall of Qatar), Doha Zoo, Lusail Museum, Katara Towers (Lusail Marina), and not forgetting the FIFA World Cup football stadiums, home to the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
“Qatar has witnessed astounding economic growth over the past decade, and this has translated into a healthy tourism sector focused on culture, shopping, sporting events, meetings and exhibitions,” explains Nadege Noblet, Exhibition Manager, Arabian Travel Market. “The recent completion of important infrastructure projects, such as the iconic Hamad International Airport in 2014 and Qatar Airways’ plans to significantly expand its capacity across Europe this year, has confirmed Qatar’s position as an important travel and tourism hub for the region, which ATM 2015 is keen to highlight.”
The total number of projects planned or underway include 5 museums and libraries; 57 hotels and resorts; 22 shopping venues; 21 sports facilities; 11 theme parks, 6 convention centres; and a state-of-the-art theatre (MEED).
Qatar saw 2.8 million visitors enter the country in 2014, an 8.2% increase in numbers over the previous year, generating 61,000 jobs in the tourism sector and an economic injection of $7.6 billion, equal to 8.3% of Qatar’s non-extraction GDP, according to IFP Info.
40% of tourists came from other GCC countries, 15% from European countries and 28% from Asia and Oceania, according to figures released by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA). Hotel occupancy rates increased to an average of 73% in 2014, with five-star properties enjoying the lion’s share of visitors, and hoteliers in 2015 are expecting those numbers to rise further.
Current and potential exhibitors attending the roadshow will learn about new event features including this year’s specialist sector theme, which is family travel, and the popular Tech seminars line-up, plus other marketing and PR tips to maximise their visibility at the show.
The ATM seminars return covering travel technology and other key industry issues such as luxury travel trends, business travel and aviation. Also returning are the visitor trails, helping visitors identify the specific travel sectors on the show floor including: family travel, budget travel, business travel, health & wellbeing, shopping, transportation, sports travel, cultural and heritage and adventure travel.
The ATM line-up will also include a two-day ILTM@ATM programme hosting 25 top Middle East luxury buyers, comprising a series of pre-scheduled appointments and dedicated luxury travel-focused seminars and panel debates, to be held on May 5 & 6.
The 2015 event will also build on the success of last year’s edition with the announcement of an additional hall adding an additional 2,000 square metres of floor space as Reed Travel Exhibitions looks to add to its record-breaking achievements in 2014. Last year ATM saw total attendance increase by 12% with 33,000 participants from over 131 countries, and business deals signed worth more than US$ 2.1 billion over the four days.