Published: Sep 06, 2014
Source: Khaleej Times

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Arabian Travel Market to focus on $140b family travel market

The Dubai Capital of Islamic Economy initiative has identified the UAE as a top source market for family travel, with spending power worth over $10 billion

ATM 2014 boasted more than 2,700 exhibitors and stand-sharers from 85 countries. — KT file photo 

Dubai: Special industry theme for Arabian Travel Market 2015 to focus on family travel segment as new figures reveal annual average growth of 4.75 per cent will value market at $180 billion by 2018 

Family centric travel, which accounted for more than 12.5 per cent of the $1.07 trillion global tourism market, has been selected as the official show theme for Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2015, which takes place at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre from May 4-7, 2015.

According to Thomson Reuters’ data, the value of the global family tourism market was $140 billion in 2013. That figure is set to rise to over $180 billion by 2018 with growth expected to continue at a rate of 4.79 per cent annually until 2020, compared with just 3.8 per cent overall tourism growth.

“Demand for inter-regional family travel will also remain robust through to 2020 and beyond. The Economist Intelligence Unit estimated that the GCC population would soar to 53.5 million by 2020, 24 per cent of which would be under 15 years of age,” Nadege Noblet, Exhibition Manager of Arabian Travel Market, WTM Portfolio, Reed Travel Exhibitions.

The Dubai Capital of Islamic Economy initiative has identified the UAE as a top source market for family travel, with spending power worth over $10 billion. Additional research data from technology and payments business Visa, showed that Saudi Arabians are the world’s biggest spenders when overseas, racking up a per capita average of $6,666 per trip. In stark contrast UK-based shopping platform ‘Give As You Live’, revealed that the average British family of four spends $5,800 on their annual holiday.

 “Although family travel is growing, these contrasting spending patterns present strategic challenges as well as opportunities for government bodies, hotels and tourism services providers throughout the region with a clear need for a wide spectrum of family-focused offerings to satisfy budget sensitivities as well as cultural expectations,” said Noblet.

The ATM 2015 line-up will include a number of dedicated seminar sessions addressing these issues with panel-led discussions on how Gulf destinations can boost their appeal to the lucrative family tourism market, the pressing need for value-for-money accommodation options and the rise in aspirational travel from high-spending families.

In the Middle East, GCC families often travel in large groups and companies like Millennium & Copthorne are honing in on the demand for value-for-money accommodation with the development of new brands designed to service the unique needs of travelling families.

The event will also grow with the announcement of an additional hall as Reed Travel Exhibitions looks to build on its record-breaking achievements this year, which saw total attendance increase by 12 per cent to reach 33,000 exhibitors and visitors.

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