Welcome was not always warm at ATM

The highly-polished hospitality that is generally assumed to be a defining characteristic of the tourism industry has not been entirely abudant at this week’s Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

One PR disaster was an over-subscribed party at The Address hotel which descended into chaos when it reached capacity sooner than expected and dozens of delegates were turned away. An onlooker likened the hotel lobby to an aircraft departure lounge after the cancellation of a major flight.

There were angry scenes as ATM sponsors and exhibitors arrived at the event only to find that the doors were closed. Apparently the sudden queue for taxis stretched all the way down the drive.

There were also rumours from other venues of people being denied access to parties because they worked for rival hotels. And this was after a day of seminars about the need for region’s tourism industry to get together and work in harmony for the greater good.

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