UK operator concerns over ATM must be addressed

Guest Writer

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) has expressed concern that some UK tour operators are not attending this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) because of the out-of-touch pricing tactics of Dubai hotels.
When TDME asked ATM Group Exhibition Director Mark Walsh for a comment regarding the ‘Dubai hotel tactics dissuading UK buyers from attending ATM’ story, he said he was “a little surprised” buyers felt this way but said it was an issue that needed to be addressed.
“The UK is a very important source market for Dubai and the Middle East and if this is how operators are feeling and there is this perception, hotels - and the Dubai Department of Tourism Commerce Marketing (DTCM) - need to be aware of it,” he said.
“I thought Dubai hotels had become aware of the situation and were trying to be more competitive, so if this becomes a big issue, it would be a concern.”
Around 34 buyers from UK tour operating firms are known to be attending ATM but some are known to have dropped out because they believe Dubai hotel pricing strategies are inflexible.
Not only that, but they say deals are being posted too late plus even if customers do get good room rates, the price of F&B once they are in Dubai is too expensive.
As a result, customers are voting with their wallets and opting for more competitively-priced alternative destinations.
The upshot of the situation is that operators are avoiding this year’s ATM and attending other shows where they believe they can secure better commercial deals.

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