Arabian Travel Market 2016 focuses on responsible tourism.

Author:Wells, Rhona
Position:Conference news

The 23rd Arabian Travel Market (ATM) will be held at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre from 25-28 April. With greater global awareness about the importance of maintaining our environment for future generations, responsible tourism will be a prime focus of the event. In its 22nd edition, ATM 2015 boasted more than 2,800 exhibitors from 86 countries and attracted over 26,000 visitors from around the world. ATM 2015 witnessed a year-on-year visitor attendance increase of 15% to over 26,000, with exhibiting companies increasing by 5% to 2,873. Business deals worth more than $2.5 billion were signed over the four days.

Global tourism outlook

International tourist arrivals grew by 4.4% in 2015 to reach a total of 1,184 million in 2015, according to the latest United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) World Tourism barometre. Some 50 million more tourists (overnight visitors) travelled to international destinations around the world last year as compared to 2014.

Meanwhile, 2015 marked the sixth consecutive year of above-average growth, with international arrivals increasing by 4% or more every year since the post-crisis year of 2010.

"International tourism reached new heights in 2015. The robust performance of the sector is contributing to economic growth and job creation in many parts of the world. It is thus critical for countries to promote policies that foster the continued growth of tourism, including travel facilitation, human resources development and sustainability" said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary GeneralDemand was strong overall, though with mixed results across individual destinations.

"2015 results were influenced by exchange rates, oil prices and natural and man-made crises in many parts of the world. As the current environment highlights in a particular manner the issues of safety and security, we should recall that tourism development greatly depends upon our collective capacity to promote safe, secure and seamless travel. In this respect, UNWTO urges governments to include tourism administrations in their national security planning, structures and procedures, not only to ensure that the sector's exposure to threats is minimised but also to maximise the sector's ability to support security and facilitation, as seamless and safe travel can and should go hand in hand", added Rifai.

Results from the UNWTO Confidence Index remain largely positive for 2016, though...

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