The importance of travel and tourism to the UAE need hardly be stated. The sector contributed $41.95bn – 11.3 percent – to the UAE’s GDP in 2017, a figure that is expected to rise 4.9 percent in 2018 and 3.8 percent per annum to $63.77bn by 2028, constituting 10.6 percent of the UAE’s GDP.
MICE tourism (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) is a vital component of this space. But how will it evolve as new technology makes virtual connections more feasible?
In this edition of Inside AB, Eddie Taylor talks to Nicholas Pilbeam, divisional director of Reed Travel Exhibitions, the company that organises Arabian Travel Market (ATM) to find out how the sector is being disrupted.
ATM celebrated 25 years in 2018, with the total amount of business conducted at the event estimated at $2.5bn. And Pilbeam believes that the region’s culture of hospitality means that face-to-face connections will continue to be vital to business tourism. Nevertheless, the industry must adapt to changing times to take advantage of new opportunities and challenges ahead.
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