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September 13, 2017 | 12:45 | Dubai
Emphasizing on the tremendous potential of the ME’s outbound travel market, The MICE Arabia and Luxury Travel Congress, the regions’ premier by invitation only business platform will bring the world under one roof for the 6th time around to Dubai on 27 – 28 February, 2018.
Outbound business and luxury travel from the Middle East increased at an annual rate of 4.9% from 2012 to 2016, a figure higher than the global average. Figures released by VISA estimated that the MENA region will see the number of annual outbound trips rise from 42 million in 2016 to 65 million by 2025. According to a Credit Suisse report, GCC nationals spend 260% more on airfare than other nationalities, with up to 60% purchasing business tickets. They also spend an average of 430% more on accommodation and 558% more on dining.
Travel demand in the region is underpinned by the lucrative GCC business and luxury travel buyers. Poised to capitalise on the region’s fast-growing outbound travel market, the sixth annual MALT congress will welcome influencers from the world of conferences, meetings, incentives, events, business and luxury travel for more than 15 hours of learning and more than 10 hours of business networking over two days.
A major trend seen in outbound MICE and luxury travel from the Middle East is the shift towards unique experiences be it cultural, historical or natural. Exclusivity and high quality standards remains at the top of the agenda for this market. Hence, experiential travel will be a key theme at the 2018 event and will encompass the adventure, culture, heritage, wellness and spa, and cruise tourism segments, which are currently trending globally.
The congress will see hoteliers, destination management companies, concierge services, team building companies, tourism boards and other suppliers of varied categories from around the world who can customize their offerings to MICE needs and explore potential business opportunities.
The Congress will feature expert sessions on how to create meaningful supplier relationships, technology trends and the latest on how travel buyers and managers can keep their programs relevant to changing needs, and of course, the crux of the event lies in sealing business deals and getting the most out of the pre-arranged business meetings interwoven into the two day congress.
Speaking about the congress, Sidh NC, Director, Conferences, QNA International said “The 2017 edition of the MICE Arabia Congress boasted of a whopping 1800 meetings during the two day period and with the 2018 edition, we intend on raising the bar even further for the event. We have introduced Six “WOW” elements that make it the special sixth edition, From Focus on “Experiential Travelers” from GCC, 100% carefully sifted ME buyers, spotlight on “Business & Luxury Travel” to the who’s who of event management and regional MICE success stories & activities, from extensive Networking opportunities to prequalified one to one business appointments, The congress is undoubtedly a powerful initiative to harness the immense potential of the MICE industry in the Middle East with the surety of generating long lasting business relations and increasing revenue many folds. The conference program aims to provide a realistic picture of what to expect for the MICE and business & luxury travel from the region.”
“From the biggest corporate organizations, global and regional associations, top travel agencies and event management companies, to high end luxury travel planners, MALT 2018 is a strategic, exclusive, invitation-only congress that you can’t afford to miss,” he added.
MALT offers a carefully planned ratio of sellers to buyers, adhering to the 1:2 split that has made previous editions so successful. Unlike other tradeshows, MALT 2018 is focused on serious buyers who are actively seeking new services and solutions and delegates will meet them over cocktail receptions, luncheons, gala dinners and networking activities.
Looking beyond conventional MICE and business travel programmes, it will also emphasize the buyer experience. From inspiring marketing gurus who will share game changing strategies on hybrid events, ROI, content delivery, meeting innovation and effective destination marketing, to tailor made conference tracks that will dive into every aspect of travel and events planning, including the latest technology, halal tourism, business, luxury travel and wellness and sports.
As these emerging trends bring new opportunities, decision makers require information on the changing options available to them to increase the value of current incentive and business travel programs, in turn adding value to the employee experience and the organization as a whole.