Monday, May 22, 2023
This month the Dubai World Trade Centre played host to the 30th Arabian Travel Market (ATM), a large tourism expo with more than 2,800 exhibitors from over 150 countries and up to 40,000 visitors.
One more popular area was the South African stand, well marked and decorated to show the wildlife and sights in well-photographed imagery and well as a small café stand, serving cups of rooibos tea.
This was a huge improvement from the shockingly disappointing stand at last year’s expo in Dubai.
The theme this year was “Working towards Net Zero”, and the call was for exhibitors to advance sustainability within the travel space.
Increasing African tourism in Dubai through ATM
In its 50-year history, Dubai has become known as a major hub for international travel, with one of the biggest and busiest airports in the world, and boasting some of the largest man-made tourist attractions.
A key part of the ATM is to increase the number of tourists from Africa.
There has been a growing number of African tourists visiting Dubai over the past few years.
In 2019, the busy city welcomed about 1.6-million visitors from the continent, a 5.1% increase compared to the previous year.
Covid took a toll on the numbers but it appears, with ventures like the ATM, the country is slowly gaining ground again.
Vice-president of international operations Dubai Tourism Hoor Alkhaja said the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and particularly Dubai had been actively marketing their offerings in Africa.
The UAE has also sponsored major events in Africa, such as the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament, to help raise its profile within the continent.
The focus is on Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, and Ethiopia.
A partnership with Dubai Tourism could help foster tourist trade in both directions and SA Tourism gave the expo support by offering SA tourism businesses an opportunity to showcase their offerings at the stand.