Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings show witnesses boost in bookings from new and existing exhibitors bullish about Middle East business prospects.
Signs the regional and global meetings industry is confident about 2013 business prospects are clearly evident in the robust pre-show bookings reported from Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), the organiser of the upcoming GIBTM, the Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition.
The show, which takes place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from March 25-27, 2013, has already sold 90 per cent of all floor space – with a flood of new exhibitors eager to take part and existing participants snapping up extra exhibition area, according to RTE.
“We are well on target to achieve our increased floor space target compared to last year and should have several more exhibitors on board within the next few weeks,” explained Lois Hall, GIBTM Exhibition Manager.
“Newcomers to GIBTM this year represent a wide geographical spread and include the Madrid Visitors & Convention Bureau (MV&CB), the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia, Cast Software and San Francisco Travel and we are delighted to welcome back the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism after a one-year break.”
Regular exhibitors demonstrating their confidence in the show’s ability to deliver results include Bahrain Ministry of Tourism, Etihad Airways and Jordan Tourism Board, which have all doubled the size of their exhibition stands for this year.
“It is significant that Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt, have also booked a large amount of floor space, and it’s another positive indicator that the region’s meetings’ industry professionals are upbeat about economic prospects for 2013 and beyond,” added Hall.
MV&CB CEO Ignacio Fernández described GIBTM as an “essential forum for making initial contact with travel and tourism countries in the Middle East” – a region Madrid has identified as a “potentially strong market for MICE business”.
“To showcase Madrid as a leading MICE destination and to gain knowledge about the specific needs of Middle Eastern Business travellers,” he added.
Fernández pinpointed the UAE as a key source market for Madrid given that air traffic between the UAE and Spain increased 34% year on year in 2011 (versus 2010).
The Hosted Buyer recruitment process for the 2013 edition of GIBTM is also well underway, with 300 senior-level regional and international buyers from leading associations, corporates, destination management companies, agencies, and conference organisers, expected to attend.
“The VIP Hosted Buyer Programme, which was initiated to attract the region’s highly sought-after corporate buyers from GCC nations including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar is also attracting decision makers from the lucrative vertical sectors such as Oil and Gas, Pharmaceuticals, IT, Finance and Automotive,” explained Hall.
Now in its seventh year, GIBTM attracts in excess of 2,400 industry professionals annually. The show’s Hosted Buyer Programme attracts more than 300 buyers with a combined budget exceeding US$827 million, who through 7,600 pre-scheduled appointments over the two-and-a-half-day exhibition meet with more than 350 exhibitors from 36 different countries.
Highlights of this year’s show include the European and Asian Market Focus Hours. These provide a full hour of networking between European exhibitors and buyers who have or will be placing business in Europe and Asian exhibitors and buyers who have or will be placing business in Asia.
“This will provide suppliers in both regions with a highly-targeted platform for meeting buyers interested in placing business with them,” stressed Hall.
This year’s conference programme includes: Research & Trends presented by world leading associations ACTE, SITE, ICCA & MPI; Best Practice & Case Studies; Event Management; Personal & Professional Development; Search Engine Optimisation (SEO); plus the highly-anticipated release of the 2013 Industry Research Report & Social Media.
Also exhibiting at this year’s show are the Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Cyprus Tourism Authority (CTA), Hungarian National Tourism, Movenpick Hotels and Resorts, Rotana Hotels & Resorts, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), TCA Abu Dhabi, Turkish Culture & Information Office, Kuwait Hotel Owners Association, Quick Mobile, Matrix Audio Visual & Entertainment, PSideo SA and many more.