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Second annual UNWTO forum to focus on aviation and tourism

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Successful World Travel Market 2012 forum precursor to Arabian Travel Market 2013 session; regional airlines and tourism leaders invited to discuss role of aviation in driving Middle East tourism sector growth and influencing policy.
For the second year running, Arabian Travel Market 2013 will host a special UNWTO forum, with this year’s session taking place on Tuesday 7th May 2013, under the theme ‘Aviation and Tourism Policies: Balancing the Benefits’.

Following on from a highly successful and dynamic discussion at this year’s World Travel Market UNWTO forum, which focused on the topics of visa facilitation and air transport policies as key drivers for tourism co-operation and sector growth, the second annual UNWTO gathering at Arabian Travel Market 2013 will bring regional airlines, tourism leaders and the UNWTO together to discuss the role of the industry in driving Middle East tourism growth and the regional influence on its tourism strategies and policy.

“The theme for this year’s forum is particularly relevant, and timely, as IATA reports indicate that the Middle East will handle 400 million air travellers by 2020 as a number of new state-of-the-art airports come on line, major carriers expand their route networks, and aircraft orders from the Gulf region add new capacity,” remarked Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, organiser of Arabian Travel Market.

“Route network expansion for the Middle East’s major carriers is driving domestic and international tourism demand. Regional aviation sector growth forecasts remain positive through to 2020, buoyed by up to US$90 billion worth of investment into infrastructure expansion in key gateway destinations,” he added.

A full schedule of events and networking sessions will mark the 20th anniversary of the Arabian Travel Market exhibition with air travel one of the eight major vertical sectors during the weeklong event, alongside budget travel, careers, health and wellbeing, luxury, shopping, sports, and cruise and water-based travel.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, the 2012 edition of the Middle East’s leading travel exhibition showcased 2,436 exhibitors covering over 20,000 square metres and attracted more than 23,000 attendees.

Arabian Travel Market 2013 will be held at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre from 6-9 May 2013.
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