Global business travel spending rose by 47 per cent to US$1.03 trillion last year and is expected to grow to nearly US$1.8 trillion globally by 2027, according to a report by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

The 2023 GBTA Business Travel Index Report also found that the global business travel industry rebounded faster than expected in 2023. It attributed factors including pent-up demand following the pandemic and healthier economic conditions than forecasted as having significantly contributed to this recovery.

It comes at a time that the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) has announced a strategic partnership with the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) for the upcoming edition of the annual ATM event. It will be held from 6-9 May, 2024 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The two global organisations have been appointed as ‘Knowledge Partners’ for the regional trade show.

During ATM 2024, ICCA will deliver seminars on insights into recent research, innovations, and best practices covering a range of topics for the MICE industry, while GBTA will outline the prevailing trends in the business travel sector at the show.

According to the ICCA statistical forecast, which charts the history and performance of the International Association Meetings Industry from 1963 to 2022, 10,602 business events were recorded worldwide last year, of which 9,009 (85 per cent) were in-person.

It represented a 349 per cent increase from the previous year when only 2,007 in-person events occurred. The Middle East accounted for the highest percentage of in-person delegates (94 per cent) in last year’s official figures.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director at Arabian Travel Market, said, “All of the latest research suggests that the business events and business travel sectors are going from strength to strength. These sectors have always been important verticals at ATM, and the official partnership with ICCA and GBTA for the 2024 edition will take our offering to the next level. By collaborating with these respected industry leaders, ATM aims to deliver even more value and innovation to its attendees and exhibitors.”

The theme for the 31st edition of ATM is ‘Empowering Innovation: Transforming Travel Through Entrepreneurship’. Participants include those from the fields of aviation, accommodation, hospitality, attractions, and technology, among others. Last year’s event welcomed more than 40,000 attendees, the largest number recorded to date.

Catherine Logan, regional senior vice president for the EMEA and APAC at GBTA, added, “Although one of the smaller global business travel markets, the MEA region has huge potential for growth and recovered more than any other region in 2022, reaching 95 per cent of pre-pandemic business travel spending. Business travel spend in the region is forecast to exceed this figure in 2023 and reach US$30.6 million and continue its growth trajectory going forward.”

(Image: Supplied by Arabian Travel Market)