- Saudi Arabia attracted 27.6 million overnight tourists in 2023, according to research commissioned by ICAEW and compiled by Oxford Economics
- The Kingdom aims to increase the economic contribution of its tourism sector to 10% of national GDP by the end of the decade, in line with Vision 2030
- Delegates will explore myriad opportunities within KSA’s thriving tourism sector at ATM 2024, which will take place from 6-9 May at Dubai World Trade Centre
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 18 January 2024: Saudi Arabia is on course to welcome an estimated 30 million overnight tourists this year, according to research conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of ICAEW. Delegates from around the world are preparing to capitalise on this momentum and explore opportunities within the Kingdom’s thriving tourism sector at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2024, which will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from Monday 6 to Thursday 9 May.
Last year, Saudi Arabia’s government revised its combined domestic and international 2030 visitor target upwards from the previous 100 million to 150 million. Amid sustained investment in its tourism, hospitality and leisure segments, as well as a slew of ambitious gigaprojects, the Kingdom aims to increase the economic contribution of its tourism sector to 10% of national GDP by the end of this decade.
Representing almost a 50% increase in KSA exhibitor participation, ATM 2024 will host a selection of high-profile exhibitors from Saudi Arabia, including SAUDIA, flynas, NEOM, Dur Hospitality, AMSA Hospitality and the Royal Commission for AlUla. First-time exhibitors will comprise almost 17% of the total Saudi participation, which includes Cruise Saudi, Tabuk Investment and Tourism Co., Al Badiah Transportation, Sixth Gulf and Fairmont Mekka Clock Tower, among others. KSA will represent a key focus for attendees as policymakers, industry leaders and travel professionals from around the world share insights, forge new relationships and showcase cutting-edge innovations with the potential to drive further growth within this burgeoning tourism market.
Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director, Arabian Travel Market, said: “We plan to shine a spotlight on this exciting market at ATM 2024 with a dedicated Saudi Village, which will be highlighted on the exhibition floor and will consist of a full showcase of Saudi products. With significant interest in this market, there will be a range of panel discussions that will enable attendees to identify and capitalise on new opportunities in the Kingdom.”
Data released by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism highlights a surge in inbound visitors in the first half of 2023. The Kingdom welcomed 14.6 million tourists during this period, representing a 142% year-on-year increase. A pronounced uptick was also recorded in the country’s domestic tourism segment, with a 16% rise in spending and an average stay length of 6.3 nights – up from 4.6 nights during the corresponding period of 2022.
Saudi Arabia’s buoyant economy looks set to propel growth across the wider Gulf, according to the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report. The country’s economy is expected to expand by 4.1% this year, contributing to an anticipated 3.6% rise in the combined GDP of GCC countries during 2024.
“The Kingdom is working diligently to diversify its economy in preparation for the post-oil era, and segments such as tourism, aviation and hospitality – not to mention leisure, entertainment and events – are playing a major role in this transition,” Curtis added. “We are looking forward to welcoming a diverse range of exhibitors and delegates from Saudi Arabia to ATM 2024, and we know that industry leaders from around the world will be keen to gain further insights into this thriving market throughout this year’s show.”
In line with its theme, ‘Empowering Innovation: Transforming Travel Through Entrepreneurship’, the 31st edition of ATM will once again host policymakers, industry leaders and travel professionals from across the Middle East and beyond, encouraging them to forge new relationships, exchange knowledge and identify innovations that can reshape the future of global travel and tourism. From startups to established brands, the upcoming show will highlight how innovators enhance customer experiences, drive efficiencies, and accelerate progress towards a net-zero future for the industry.
Building on ATM 2023’s ‘Working Towards Net Zero’ theme, environmentally responsible travel will represent another key focus this year. Informed by the UAE’s Year of Sustainability and the most recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), which took place in Dubai last year, ATM 2024 will explore how innovation can be leveraged to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), creating a greener travel and tourism sector for future generations.
More than 40,000 travel trade professionals, including 30,000 visitors, attended the 30th edition of ATM in May 2023, setting a new show record. The exhibition attracted more than 2,100 exhibitors and representatives from over 155 countries, providing a global platform for the unveiling of ATM’s net-zero pledge.
Held in conjunction with Dubai World Trade Centre, ATM 2024’s strategic partners include Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Destination Partner; Emirates, Official Airline Partner; IHG Hotels & Resorts, Official Hotel Partner; and Al Rais Travel, Official DMC Partner.
The latest ATM news stories are available at https://hub.wtm.com/category/press/atm-press-releases/.
To register your interest in attending ATM 2024 or to submit a stand enquiry, visit https://www.wtm.com/atm/en-gb/enquire.html.
For more information, log on to wtm.com/atm/en-gb.html.
Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now in its 31st year, is the leading international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2023 welcomed over 40,000 attendees and hosted over 30,000 visitors, including more than 2,100 exhibitors and representatives from over 150 countries, across ten halls at Dubai World Trade Centre. Arabian Travel Market is part of Arabian Travel Week. #ATMDubai
Next in-person event: 6 to 9 May 2024, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai.
Arabian Travel Week is a festival of events from 6 to 12 May, within and alongside Arabian Travel Market 2024. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector, it includes Influencers’ events, GBTA Business Travel Forums, as well as ATM Travel Tech. It also features the ATM Buyer Forums, as well as a series of country forums.
About RX (Reed Exhibitions)
RX is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities and organisations. We elevate the power of face-to-face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at approximately 400 events in 22 countries across 42 industry sectors. RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people. RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. www.rxglobal.com
RELX is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. RELX serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs more than 35,000 people, over 40% of whom are in North America. The shares of RELX PLC, the parent company, are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX.
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World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises leading travel events and online portals across four continents. The events are:
WTM London is the world’s most influential travel & tourism event for the global travel community. The show is the ultimate destination for those seeking a macro view of the travel industry and a deeper understanding of the forces shaping it. WTM London is where influential travel leaders, buyers and high-profile travel companies gather to exchange ideas, drive innovation, and accelerate business outcomes.
Next live event: 6 to 8 November 2023 at ExCel London.
WTM Latin America takes place annually in the city of São Paulo and attracts around 20,000 tourism professionals during the three-day event. The event offers qualified content together with networking and business opportunities. In this its ninth edition – there have been eight face-to-face events along with a 100% virtual one, which was held in 2021 – WTM Latin America continued to focus on effective business generation, and achieved the advance booking of six thousand meetings that were held between buyers, travel agents and exhibitors in 2022.
Next event: 15 to 17 April 2024 – Expo Center Norte, SP, Brazil.
WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2022, WTM Africa facilitated more than 7 thousand unique pre-scheduled appointments, an increase of more than 7% compared to 2019 and welcomed more than 6 thousand visitors (unaudited), the same number as in 2019.
Next event: 10 to 12 April 2024 – Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town http://africa.wtm.com/
About ATW Connect: Africa Travel Week’s digital arm, is a virtual hub packed to the seams with interesting content, industry news and insights, and the opportunity to hear from experts on a variety of topics in our new monthly webinar series. All with the aim to keep all of us in the travel and tourism industry connected. ATW Connect focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology.
WTM Global Hub, is the WTM Portfolio online portal created to connect and support travel industry professionals around the world. The resource hub offers the latest guidance and knowledge to help exhibitors, buyers and others in the travel industry face the challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic. WTM Portfolio is tapping into its global network of experts to create content for the hub. https://hub.wtm.com/
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