More than 23,000 visitors and 30,000 participants attended the 29th edition of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2022, with industry leaders gathering at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from May 9-12 to share insights into the future of international travel and tourism, which was the show’s theme.

“In addition to doubling our visitor numbers year on year, ATM 2022 hosted 1,500 exhibitors and attendees from 150 countries,” said Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME for Arabian Travel Market. “These figures are especially impressive given that lockdowns are still taking place in China and other destinations. What’s more, the development of the travel and tourism sector throughout the Middle East region shows no signs of abating, with GCC hotel construction contract awards set to rise by 16 per cent this year alone.”

She added: “ATM 2022 has provided a timely opportunity for the global travel and tourism sector to gather in Dubai and explore the future of our industry. Innovation, sustainability, technology and talent acquisition and retention will be crucial to its long-term success”.

The four-day live event was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group Chairman of Dubai World.

On day three of the show (Wednesday May 11), the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) staged two conference sessions one of which provided insights on the future of the business travel sector.

Catherine Logan, Regional Vice President – EMEA, GBTA, presented findings of the the BTI™ Outlook (Nov 2021). Now in its 13th edition, the BTI Outlook is an exhaustive annual study of business travel spending and growth covering 73 countries across 44 industries.

It found business travel activity has begun its rebound from the sharp downturn brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. After declining 53.8 per cent in 2020 to $661 billion, global expenditures are expected to have rebounded 14 per cent in 2021 to $754 billion and to $1 trillion in 2022.

“This trend is supported by both our own monthly GBTA polls and from feedback we are hearing across the industry,” said Logan.

She added: “By 2024, global business travel is forecast to have made a full recovery, ending the year at $1.48 trillion or just above the 2019 pre-pandemic spend of $1.4 trillion.”

For full coverage of both GBTA sessions, see the June issue of BTME.

The in-person component of ATM 2022 will be followed by the third instalment of ATM Virtual, which will take place online from May 17 to 18.;