ATM sees record US presence with 82pc jump
Dubai, May 5, 2014
A record 20 US tourism, hotel and travel firms will be represented at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) opening today (May 5) in Dubai, marking an 82 per cent increase on the number of entities that participated in 2013.
ATM 2014, the leading international travel and tourism event in the Middle East, will run until May 8 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Conference Centre.
The increased interest in wooing Middle Eastern visitors to the US follows an increasing number of direct flights to the US by Arabian Gulf carriers, said Jay Gray, vice president of Brand USA, Global Partnership Development, the public-private partnership promoting US tourism marketing.
The interest is augmented by the establishment of preclearance at Abu Dhabi International Airport which is expected to facilitate ease of entry for visitors to the US, he added.
“We realize the potential, need and importance for us to proactively engage with the Middle East tourism industry in order to maximize the opportunities that increased direct flights, preclearance and pent-up travel demand from the region offers,” Gray said.
“We come with a message that there are at least 56 excellent reasons to visit the United States, with each reason representing a state or territory, and each area offering unique travel experiences all of their own. We are here to welcome visitors from the Gulf region and invite them to experience the diversity, inspiration and excitement that the United States has to offer.”
The Brand USA pavilion will play host to a number of independent US tourism organizations promoting their destinations, tourism and hospitality services including; Best Western Global Marketing Group, Black and White Car Rental/ Beverly Hills Rides, Caesars Entertainment, Dallas/ Fort Worth International Airport and Golden Travel USA, among others.
The US has witnessed an unprecedented expansion of direct flights from the Middle East region in recent years. Further announcements have also confirmed new direct flights to come online in 2014 including: Etihad Airways launching to Los Angeles from June 1 and Dallas/Fort Worth from December 3; and Qatar Airways launching flights to Miami on June 10 and Dallas/Fort Worth from July 1. Additionally, Emirates will upgrade its daily service to Dallas/Fort Worth with the world’s largest passenger aircraft – the A380, which will commence operations from October 1.
In addition to new direct air services between the Gulf and the US, a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility has been established at Abu Dhabi International Airport Terminal 3 as a purpose-built facility that allows passengers on certain flights to undertake all immigration, customs and agriculture inspections in Abu Dhabi prior to departure.
“The ease and choice of gateways from which to enter the US from the Middle East continues to grow. The benefit for travelers is that they can enter through one city and conveniently visit a number of US cities and regions before heading out with a direct flight back to the Middle East from another. More of the US can be experienced with little to no backtracking with flights,” Gray added. – TradeArabia News Service