GIBTM opens in Abu Dhabi
by Annie Byrne
GIBTM officially opened its doors today, with its most international representation ever.Two hundred and twenty companies are exhibiting at the Reed Travel Exhibitions’ gulf incentive, business travel and meetings exhibition at Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre (ADNEC), with representation from 12 new countries.Oman, Argentina, Malaysia, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Turkey, China, India, Thailand and Korea are all represented at the show. Cape Winelands District Municipality, Dragonfly Africa, Turkish Culture and Information Office, Beijing Tourism Administration and Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Indonesia, are among the new sign-ups to the show.The show has also welcomed more than 280 hosted buyers, an increase on 2009.GIBTM exhibition director Graeme Barnett says: “I am looking to the next 12 months with optimism and excitement. “The increased recognition of destinations across the region has created an enormous opportunity for the Gulf to become a major player in the meetings industry. It is ideally located between East and West and has created world-class facilities and infrastructure.”The success of the show will not be judged on numbers alone, according to Barnett. “Satisfied exhibitors, Hosted Buyers and visitors are all key,” he says.GIBTM continues until March 31.