Arabian Travel Market to feature International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) as YouGov report highlights appeal of MENA region as global luxury hotspot
Luxury travel trends will once again be a highlighted feature at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2015, with the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Middle East showcase matching luxury-focused exhibitors with travel buyers from around the world looking to discover the very best experiences in the region.
Taking place from 4-7 May 2015 at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, the ATM line-up will include a two-day ILTM @ ATM programme with a series of pre-scheduled appointments and dedicated luxury travel focused seminars and panel debates to run on 5-6 May.
The Atlantis, The Palm will be the Official Luxury and Leisure Host Hotel for the duration of the four-day event, hosting the ILTM buyer group and international buyers from outside the GCC.
“A 2014 YouGov Luxury Travel report for the MENA region showed that out of the 1,000-plus regionally based survey respondents, luxury clearly has a home in the Middle East with Dubai ranked in top spot as the preferred upscale destination,” said Nadege Noblet, Exhibition Manager of Arabian Travel Market, WTM Portfolio, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
A total of 69% of respondents in the YouGov report agreed that luxury travel is defined by the availability of five-star accommodation as a minimum standard. Also those surveyed admitted they had taken an average of 1.9 luxury holidays over the last 12 months, meaning that the region’s preponderance of upscale hotel properties is perfectly positioned to capitalise on growing demand from high net-worth travellers eager to discover new destinations or enjoy an exclusive experience in their favourite resort.
“Today the definition of luxury is strongly dependent on the perspective of the traveller. With no universally accepted definition of what luxury travel is, brands need to truly understand what luxury means to their customers in order to be successful. The subject is of strong interest to travel brands in this market and it is great to see ILTM focus on this issue, said YouGov’s Travel & Leisure Research Director, Scott Booth.
The YouGov report also highlighted the fact that 61% of luxury tourists from the MENA region choose to travel with their spouse, staying for an average of 5.1 nights, with four out of five people choosing to go on a luxury holiday for pure relaxation.
“Of the respondents surveyed, on average they reported typically spending around US$8,310 per trip, with 60% choosing a destination based on recommendations from family and friends, and 53% personally booking their travel. Service delivery combined with exclusivity are clear prerequisites for a desirable luxury offering,” noted Noblet.
Once in the hotel, respondents ranked a good view from their room and a choice of fine dining restaurants as paramount to ensuring an enjoyable experience with consumer opinion defining luxury as ‘differentiating, discovery and experiences’.
“Interestingly, 77% of respondents said that they were likely to book an all-inclusive luxury holiday package, which is an area of opportunity that many Gulf destinations have yet to explore,” said Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director for Luxury Events at Reed Travel Exhibitions.
ILTM @ ATM 2015 will welcome up to 25 international hosted buyers with a specific interest in the Middle East luxury experience, and up to 28 exhibitors representing the luxury travel offering, from hotels and cruise lines to DMCs and destinations.
“ILTM @ ATM returns to ATM with an expanded programme of one-to-one appointments and is a crucial component in our global calendar of luxury events which cover Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe,” added Walsh.
In addition the ATM 2015 line-up features a central Family Travel theme alongside branded exhibition trails including budget travel, health and wellbeing, shopping, transportation, sports travel, culture and heritage and adventure travel. At the event, ATM’s research partner, YouGov will report new and fresh insights on Family Travel in MENA. The 2015 event will also build on the success of last year’s edition with the announcement of an additional hall as Reed Travel Exhibitions looks to add to its record-breaking achievements in 2014. Last year ATM saw the total attendance increase by 12% to reach 33,000 delegates with exhibitors and visitors signing business deals worth more than US$2.1 billion over the four days.
“We are honoured to be named the official hotel of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2015. ATM is one of the most important travel and tourism exhibitions in the world and it is our great pleasure to partner with them. With the spotlight theme of Family Travel for 2015, our unique family offering ties in perfectly with the focus of next year’s event, and we are looking forward to showcasing the amazing diversified attractions at Atlantis,” David Loiseau, Vice President, Sales at Atlantis, The Palm.