Chinese exhibitors back at ATM 2023 for the first time in three years Dragon Trail to share survey data on Chinese travellers' plans and preferences during conference session on the recovery of Chinese tourism in Middle East 6 million outbound tourists per month from China estimated by summer 2023 China was the top source market globally in 2019 with 155 million tourists
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Chinese exhibitors and travel professionals are making a welcome return to Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023 which is being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) for its 30th edition from 1-4 May, for the first time in three years.
China lifted its covid-related travel restrictions on 8th January 2023, allowing Chinese tourists to travel abroad, without having to quarantine upon their return. Bookings for overseas travel during Chinese New Year, soared by 540% compared with the same period in 2022, according to data from the Chinese travel site Trip.com.
Furthermore, in a CNN report, Steve Saxon, a partner at McKinsey, based in Shenzhen, predicted the Chinese outbound market would recover to around six million per month by the summer of 2023, driven in part by the pent-up demand especially from young, affluent Chinese.
Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market commented,“China became the world's top source market in 2019, with 155 million tourists spending more than $250 billion overseas. However, its isolation from the global market over the past three years has set the industry back by an estimated $840 billion, equivalent, to 16% of the $1.7 trillion spent annually on global tourism, according to UNWTO.”
Dubai received almost one million Chinese visitors in 2019, which was an increase of over 15% compared with 2018. And while the 154,000 Chinese visitors Dubai welcomed over the first 11 months of 2022 was down 83% compared to the same period prior to 2020, it was up 115% year-on-year, which bodes well not only for Dubai, but also for the wider Middle East tourism sector.
Popular destinations such as Dubai, Saudi's AlUla, Egypt and Jordan, which have consistently marketed to Chinese outbound business-to-consumer and business-to-business, should be in a strong position to benefit from the predicted rebound of Chinese visitor numbers.
“We have noticed a considerable amount of enquiries recently from travel professionals in China. Although we would not expect the same volume of Chinese exhibitors and visitors we received in 2019, we are confident of healthy participation numbers this year,” she added.
Considering the short notice, ATM 2023 has already confirmed the participation of key Chinese exhibitors such as FLIGHTROUTES24 Travel, Shenzhen GoodLuck Trip International and Travel World China, with many more bookings anticipated ahead of the show.
ATM is also organising a dedicated conference session on its Global Stage, entitled 'China is back on the map: Macro and micro impacts', in partnership with Dragon Trail International.
An expert panel of speakers including Sienna Parulis-Cook, Director, Marketing and Communications for Dragon Trail International, Peggy Li, CEO & Chief Troubleshooter at sps:affinity and Winnie Chiu, President, Dorsett Hospitality International, will discuss the latest trends that are driving the recovery of Chinese tourism to the Middle East.
Business travel will be integral to the tourism revival. According to a recent survey by the Shanghai Institute of International Studies and PwC China, over 75% of Chinese businesses polled were looking to enter or expand their presence in the Middle East over the next three to five years, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia top destinations for investors.
“I am convinced that the Middle East will experience a surge in Chinese tourism, reminiscent of the rebound we witnessed from Europe and India in late 2021 and early 2022,” said Curtis.
Other highlights at ATM 2023 include exploring the future of sustainable travel in line with its theme of 'Working Towards Net Zero'. Having officially initiated its journey to net zero, the conference programme will explore how innovative sustainable travel trends will likely evolve. It will enable delegates to identify growth strategies within key vertical sectors while providing a platform for regional experts to explore a sustainable future ahead of COP28, which will take place in November 2023 at Expo City Dubai.
The conference will also feature a sustainability category at its annual exhibitor awards for the first time. Exhibiting organisations will be recognised based on the extent to which they have considered the environmental impact of their stands and their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.
ATM 2023 is held in conjunction with Dubai World Trade Centre, and its strategic partners include Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) as the Destination Partner, Emirates as the Official Airline Partner, IHG Hotels & Resorts as the Official Hotel Partner and Al Rais Travel as the Official DMC Partner.
About Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 30th year, is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2022 attracted over 24,000 visitors and hosted over 31,000 participants including 1,600 exhibitors and attendees from 151 countries, across 10 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre. Arabian Travel Market is part of Arabian Travel Week. #ATMDubai
About Arabian Travel Week is a festival of events taking place within and alongside Arabian Travel Market 2023. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East's travel and tourism sector, it includes ILTM Arabia, ARIVAL Dubai, Influencers' events and activations, ITIC, GBTA Business Travel Forums, as well as ATM Travel Tech. It also features the ATM Buyer Forums, ATM Speed Networking Events 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 over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 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.
RELX About RELX:
RELX is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs over 33,000 people, of whom almost half 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. The market capitalisation is approximately £33bn, €39bn, $47bn.*
World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises leading travel events, online portals and virtual platforms across four continents. The events are:
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. The show facilitates business connections for the global (leisure) travel community. Senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating travel industry contracts.
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.
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.
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, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology.
WTM Global Hub, is the new 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.