DUBAI,Oct 12 (WAM) – ‘Responsible Tourism’ will be the official theme for the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2018 show, which will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), April 22-25, 2018.
Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said, “The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is one of the fastest growing regional hospitality markets on a global scale and is a resource-intensive industry. Its impact on the environment is multi-dimensional, ranging from CO2 emissions, water and energy demand and food waste to noise and light pollution.
“Travellers have become conscious of the carbon footprint they are leaving while visiting destinations and the subsequent impact on the environment. This growing trend has forced the entire industry to look long and hard at how sustainability and a credible social conscious must drive business strategy.
“At ATM 2018 we will be showcasing some of MENA’s (Middle East and North Africa’s) leading and commercially successful businesses, which make the rich heritage of the region accessible to tourists, bring economic development to the local communities and help preserve their cultures,” Press remarked.
More than 1.2 billion international tourists crossed the globe in 2016, which is expected to grow to 1.8 billion by 2030. Tourism generates 10 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product and is responsible for one in every 10 jobs and 30 per cent of the world trade in services.
However, the UN’s World Tourism Organisation has estimated that tourism is responsible for about five per cent of the global CO2 emissions. Accommodation accounts for approximately 20 per cent of the emissions from tourism, which includes energy demand, dining and leisure.
According to the latest research from Colliers International, hotel carbon footprint in the UAE is within the global average range (20,000–30,000 KGCO2E per room), but Saudi Arabia is up at over 50,000 KGCO2E. In terms of the hotel energy usage per square metre, the UAE is within the global average at just under 500KWH (kilowatt hour), but Saudi Arabia is up at around 750KWH.
ATM welcomed over 39,000 people to its 2017 event, including 2,661 exhibiting companies, and signed business deals worth more than $2.5 billion over the four days.
In its 25th year, the ATM 2018 will build on the success of this year’s edition, with a host of seminars and sessions. (WAM) (END/2017)