Arabian Travel Market postponed on coronavirus fears

The travel and tourism industry-focused event will now be held in June

Abu Dhabi, April 29, 2019.  Arabian Travel Market. -- At the Etihad airlines stand.
Victor Besa/The National
Section:  BZ
Reporter:  Deena Kamel
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Arabian Travel Market, a major exhibition for the region's travel and tourism industry, has been postponed due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

The event, which was scheduled for April at the World Trade Centre in Dubai, will now be held from June 28 to July 1, according to organiser Reed Travel Exhibitions.

"Due to the escalation of the Covid-19 epidemic around the world, after consultation with all our stakeholders, the venue management, supporting associations, and in alignment with the advice from the UAE public health authorities regarding travel to and from affected countries, we have taken the decision to postpone our event which was due to take place on April 19 to 22, 2020 in Dubai World Trade Centre," Reed Travel Exhibitions said on Monday.

Arabian Travel Market attracts more than 39,000 professionals from the global travel industry, generating about $2.5 billion (Dh9.18bn) of new business. A number of top executives from the industry were expected to speak during the four-day event.

The novel coronavirus, which originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, has now spread to more than 100 countries, killed more than 3,800 people and infected more than 100,000. The rapid spread of Covid-19 has disrupted global supply chains and dampened demand for travel.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development last week revised down its estimate of global GDP growth by half a percentage point to 2.4 per cent in 2020. It said global growth could fall to 1.5 per cent if the outbreak persisted and could tip many countries into recession.

Global airlines are also expected to lose $63bn to $113bn in passenger revenue this year due to the coronavirus, the International Air Transport Association warned, after revising an earlier estimate of a $29.3bn loss last month.

The Capa Middle East and Africa Aviation Summit, which was scheduled to be held in Jordan this month, was also postponed due to concerns on the spread of the coronavirus.

“While the UAE is following the strictest medical and hygiene protocols in line with international standards, we have made this decision in the best interest of the industry to enable us to organise an event which provides effective participation and experience for all,” Reed Travel Exhibitions said.