Saudi-based travel and tourism companies announced a 20 per cent year-on-year increase in visitors from the GCC region at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2014, which took place last week.
Ayman Sulaiman Al Hemaidi, director of operations at Mowasim Travel Company, says: “We had the opportunity to take part in such an eminent event for the fifth year successively, hence we acquired many benefits in the organisation of tourism trips in the kingdom. There are many contracts made between our company and other travel companies and agencies, especially companies from the Emirates and Kuwait.”
For many participating companies, the ATM offers opportunities for new agreements to be made that leads to strengthening relations with Saudi’s neighbouring countries. This, in turn, boosts tourism and travel to the kingdom.
Shareef Omar Bawazeer, director of marketing at Dar Al Eman Company, adds: “It is an important annual occasion that we cannot miss, because it allows us to meet tourism companies and organisations from all over the world. We had the opportunity to enter into real agreements in Umrah and Haj and hotel areas. We have approximately 14 hotels in Makkah and Al Madina.”
According to a report by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, Bawazeer estimates an approximate 25 per cent to 30 per cent increase of sales, thanks to marketing and networking opportunities that the ATM allows.
“Participation in the ATM 2014 opened new horizons for travel companies, especially for reaching out to new clients,” says Hussam Al Kulaibi, managing director at Al Reyadah International Company.
For countries, such as Saudi Arabia, that are looking to tap into new markets, the ATM – the third largest travel fair in the world – provides ample opportunities to do so.