Arabian Travel Market postponed over coronavirus fears

Arabian Travel Market (ATM) has been postponed due to the global outbreak of a new coronavirus, organiser Reed Travel Exhibitions announced Monday.

ATM 2020, earlier set to be held from April 6-9, has been rescheduled from June 28 to July 1.

“We at Arabian Travel Market want to express our concern for everyone impacted by coronavirus. Like all of you, we have carefully monitored the global health crisis related to COVID-19 coronavirus. Our top priority is the health and safety of everyone involved in Arabian Travel Market; employees, partners, customers and exhibitors,” a statement issued by the organiser read.
“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 impacted countries, we have taken the decision to postpone our event which was due to take place on 19-22 April 2020 in Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).”

The number of coronavirus cases in the United Arab Emirates has risen to 45.

The UAE, a major air transit centre, business and tourism hub, has advised citizens and residents against traveling abroad and all schools have been closed for a month.

Events across the country have also been canceled or postponed, whilst some sports, such as horse racing and soccer, are going ahead without any fans in attendance.

The Arabian Travel Market, the biggest travel trade show in the Middle East and Gulf region, has been postponed a week after the cancellation of Germany’s ITB Berlin, the preeminent trade show for the European hospitality market.

Maldives, known for its upmarket tourism and hospitality industry, is a regular exhibitor at both fairs.

Maldives on Saturday reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus, as two hotel employees tested positive for Covid-19 at a luxury resort in the archipelago.

Two more cases have since been identified, with two resort islands currently in lockdown.

Maldives had taken several preventive measures against the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

The Maldives had earlier closed its borders to arrivals from the worst-hit countries, including mainland China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.

Cruise ships had also been banned from docking at any of the country’s ports.

All direct flights to and from China, Italy, South Korea and Iran had also been cancelled.

The island nation had installed thermal screening cameras at its international airports.

Quarantine facilities, including designated islets from the 1,192 islands that make up the archipelago, had also been established.

The global coronavirus outbreak is expected to hit the Maldivian economy hard, as tourism contributes the bulk of the island nation’s state revenue and foreign reserves.

The government has already announced several cost cutting measures, including a freeze on the hiring of new staff and suspension of non-essential travel by state officials.

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