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India remains key source market for GCC’s inbound travel sector

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Spokesman Report

Dubai : As Indian flight queries for the UAE and Egypt witness a significant uptick, and the country retains its position as Dubai’s biggest source market, India’s tourism sector will be a key focus for delegates, exhibitors and attendees at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2022, which will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from Monday 9 to Thursday 12 May.

With India’s travel industry projected to account for 29 million outbound trips per year by 2025, according to analysis from GlobalData, and ResearchandMarkets.com predicting its outbound tourism market will surpass $42 billion by the end of 2024, ATM 2022 will offer a timely opportunity to explore the vast potential offered by the country’s travel, tourism and hospitality sector.

Data from Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) shows that the country ranked top of the emirate’s source market list for 2021, accounting for 910,000 inbound visitors, and short-haul flight queries for destinations including Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Egypt have witnessed a 30 percent uptick among Indian tourists, according to Thomas Cook (India).

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME – Arabian Travel Market, said: “The global pandemic had a major impact on India’s travel sector but, as our industry’s global post-pandemic recovery continues to gather pace, Indian tourists appear eager to return to their favourite Middle Eastern destinations. We are excited to explore the vast potential of this vital source market as part of our dedicated buyer forum at ATM 2022.”

The number of inbound tourists travelling from India to the UAE has witnessed a 50 percent increase of late, with VFS Global processing 40,000 travel visas since Dubai reopened its borders following the pandemic. With a buyer forum dedicated exclusively to India, attendees, exhibitors and delegates at ATM 2022 will have ample opportunity to take a deep dive into the country’s tourism, travel and hospitality industry, examining current and future trends, and exploring the ways in which destinations across the Middle East can capitalise on this important source market.

Organised in conjunction with TravTalk India, the ‘The Indian traveller: writing the global recovery sequel’ discussion will explore pent-up demand and eagerness to travel within India’s immense outbound travel sector. Moderated by Mr SanJeet, founder and CEO of DDP Group and Buzz Travel Marketing, the session will include expert insights from Jaal Kalpesh Shah, Group Managing Director of Travel Designer Group, and Sandeep Dwivedi, COO of InterGlobe Technology Quotient Pvt Ltd.

ATM 2022 will also host a range of high-profile exhibitors from India, including India Tourism, the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, ITC Hotels, Le Passage to India Tours and Travels, Vervotech Solutions, Qtech Software, TI Infotech, and WebEngage/Webklipper Technologies amongst others.

“With the reopening of the Indian skies, flights to and from India now reach 3,250 flights per week by 66 airlines. Emirates alone is now back to pre-pandemic frequencies, operating 170 weekly flights to nine cities, which underscores the importance of the Indian market for the region.

“ATM 2022 offers the ideal forum in which to explore synergies between the GCC and Indian tourism sectors, and to identify opportunities to grow inbound travel in the future,” she added.

In addition to the dedicated India forum, ATM 2022 will also feature sessions focused on Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning tourism sector.

Now in its 29th year and working in collaboration with the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) – formerly the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) – ATM show highlights in 2022 will include, among others, a destination summit focused on the key source market of India, as well as Saudi Arabia.

Previously called Travel Forward, the revamped and rebranded ATM Travel Tech event will take place on the ATM Travel Tech Stage, hosting seminars, debates and presentations as well as the inaugural ATM Draper-Aladdin Start-up Competition.

The dedicated [email protected] forum, meanwhile, will cover current and future trends for tour operators and attractions, focusing on growing business through marketing, technology, distribution, thought leadership and executive-level connections.

ATM will once again play an integral role in Arabian Travel Week, a festival of events dedicated to enabling travel professionals from all over the world to collaborate and shape the recovery of the Middle East travel industry through exhibitions, conferences, breakfast briefings, awards, product launches and networking events.

The UAE remains one of the most Covid-secure countries on the planet, with consistently low case rates and robust measures to ensure tourists’ safety at every stage of their visit. Like its neighbouring emirates, Dubai is committed to maintaining the highest hygiene and safety standards. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has endorsed its pandemic management, awarding the city a ‘Safe Travels’ stamp.

In line with the UAE government’s forward-thinking transition to a four-and-a-half-day, Monday-to-Friday workweek, this year’s edition of ATM will commence on Monday 9 May.

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