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GIBTM, the Gulf Incentives, Business, Travel and Meetings exhibition, which is set to return to Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), has revealed through recent research that spending power is on the rise for Middle Eastern buyers, with research confirming that 69 percent of regional buyers predict they will organize more events over the next 12 months.

In addition to this, the research confirmed that, “unlike other regions of the world where budgets are under extreme pressure even when volume is increasing, 59 percent of Middle Eastern buyers are forecasting increased budgets for the next 12 months.”

Top countries identified as key destinations for outbound business from GMENA identified by regional buyers were Turkey, Spain, France, Malaysia, India, UK, Indonesia, U.S., the Philippines and South Africa.

“San Francisco Travel Association has really started to develop its MICE business over the last year or so and has identified the Middle East as a key economic growth market, which is why we decided to take part in GIBTM this year – the first ever U.S. destination to do so,” said Christophe Ley, director, international meetings and incentives sales, San Francisco Travel Association. “The show has exceeded my goals and expectations…Reed Travel Exhibitions has been very helpful in helping San Francisco exhibit at the show and meet with buyers, and we will definitely return to GIBTM next year.”

In 2013, 7,207 pre-scheduled appointments brought hosted buyers and exhibitors together, with 2,364 total visits and 302 exhibiting companies representing 35 countries.

“Last year, GIBTM saw 251 hosted buyers attend with 67 percent placing orders in excess of $650,000. For 2014, we will welcome over 300 targeted buyers as demand continues to grow for quality interaction with leading industry suppliers, and the new GIBTM event program will build on previous show floor successes to allow us to continue to push outbound business from the region,” said Lois Hall, exhibition manger, GIBTM. “We are looking at a figure of 8,500 pre-scheduled appointments for 2014, which will be a significant increase on 2013, as we roll out a number of exciting new initiatives.”

Post show research also confirmed that 99 percent of hosted buyers surveyed were satisfied with their experience at GIBTM, and 96 percent of exhibitors say that the show is a “must attend” event.

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