Marking 25 years in 2018, Arabian Travel Market is the largest travel trade show in the region, attracting 40,000 visitors last year. Ahead of its return to Dubai World Trade Centre on 22-25 April, Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, explains why this year’s show is all about responsibility.

Why did ATM adopt responsible tourism as its theme for 2018?

The UNWTO estimates tourism is responsible for about 5% of global CO2 emissions and accommodation accounts for approximately 20% of emissions from tourism. However, travellers have become very conscious of their carbon footprint and now look to their hotels, tour companies and airlines to do more for the environment. This growing trend has meant the entire industry has had to look long and hard at how sustainability and a credible social consciousness must drive business strategy. World Travel Market London has been at the forefront of responsible tourism for over 20 years and provides the inspiration for ATM 2018, where we will showcase MENA’s leading sustainable hospitality businesses.

What are the highlights at the 25th anniversary edition of the show?

The tourism industry in the GCC has grown ten-fold and more since we first opened our show doors. Today we have the tallest buildings and tallest hotels; revolutionary transport infrastructure; theme parks and leisure attractions that are the envy of the rest of the world. ATM 2018 will reflect on this success, while exploring how the industry will shape up over the next 25 years, in light of continuing geopolitical tensions, economic uncertainties, huge technological advances and, of course, the increasing trend of responsible tourism. We have a line-up of top speakers scheduled to deliver keynotes, panel discussions and presentations over four days. The show will also see the return of the Wellness and Spa Lounge, in partnership with the Global Wellness Institute, and our popular networking platforms Buyers’ Speed Networking and Digital Influencer Speed Networking.