Dubai Gears Up for Surge in Chinese Visitors at Arabian Travel Market

The upcoming Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2024, scheduled for May 6th to 9th at the Dubai World Trade Centre, is anticipating a significant boost in participation from China. Organizers expect to welcome more than double the number of Chinese exhibitors and travel professionals compared to the 2019 edition of the event. This surge reflects China's rebounding outbound travel sector following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in January 2023.

The increased Chinese presence aligns with a broader trend of renewed travel enthusiasm from the world's most populous nation. According to research by Oxford Economics, outbound travel from China is projected to nearly double in 2024 compared to 2023. This growth signifies a near return to pre-pandemic levels, with outbound travel expected to reach just 22% below its peak of 155 million tourists recorded in 2019.

This influx of Chinese travelers presents a significant opportunity for tourism destinations in the Middle East. Dubai, a perennial favorite among Chinese tourists, welcomed over a million visitors from China in 2019. Other popular destinations in the region include Saudi Arabia's AlUla, Egypt, and Jordan.

ATM 2024 is expected to be a key platform for facilitating connections between Chinese travel businesses and tourism stakeholders in the Middle East. The event will feature a significant presence from Chinese companies, including private sector players such as Heytrip International, Jiangsu Intelligence Equipment Co., Flightroutes24 Travel Company Ltd., and Feeyo Technology. Additionally, destination representation from the Macao Government Tourism Office, the China Cultural Centre in the UAE, and the Hong Kong Tourism Board is anticipated.

The increased participation from China reflects the growing importance of the Asian market for the Middle Eastern tourism industry. As China's travel sector continues to rebound, ATM 2024 is poised to be a crucial meeting point for fostering new partnerships and driving tourism growth in the region.

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