ATM exhibitors raise US $30K for African water aid

Arabian Travel Market exhibitors helped raise more than US $30,000 for Just a Drop water aid programme

ATM and WTM supported the Just A Drop initiative.
ATM and WTM supported the Just A Drop initiative.

Arabian Travel Market exhibitors worked together to raise more than US $30,000 for African water project, Just A Drop, focusing on the Mpumpule Community Borehole initiative in Zambia.

Jointly sponsored by ATM and WTM London, this is the first real-time project that Arabian Travel Market has worked on with Just a Drop, raising combined exhibitor donations of $30,632 from ATM 2015 and WTM London 2015.

Reed Travel Exhibitions, organiser of both annual travel trade events, has supported Just a Drop since 1998 and will once again ask exhibiting companies to donate a contracted nominal donation when signing up to participate at the 2016 industry showcase.

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The project aims to provide the 160-person community with permanent access to clean and safe water from a dedicated borehole fitted with a hand pump.

In addition, it will help reduce water-borne and sanitation-related diseases, and give local women and girls the opportunity to focus on their education, effectively cutting down on the time required to collect water from other sources.

"An estimated 4,000 children die every day from water borne diseases, and Just a Drop is committed to effecting meaningful lifelong change in the communities in which it is present.

"The tourism industry is also at the heart of communities around the world, and in supporting this initiative we are able to disseminate the message to an influential global audience, and hopefully accelerate this change for the future benefit of those in need,” said World Travel Market London and Arabian Travel Market senior exhibition director Simon Press.

Established in 1998, Just a Drop was launched under the premise that a donation of £1 ($1.46) can help provide access to clean water for a child for up to 10 years.

The charity’s projects support communities through the construction of wells, boreholes, pipelines, hand pumps and latrines, and establish health and sanitation programmes for some of the poorest communities in the world. Its ultimate goal is to reduce child mortality by delivering clean, safe water where it is needed most.

“As well as providing a basic human right, this is a fantastic way to empower people in the community, with a local water and sanitation committee established and trained to maintain and repair the water system, thereby bringing new skills to Mpumpule’s inhabitants and developing local capability,” said Just A Drop head of fundraising and communications Brendan Hanlon.

ATM 2016’s spotlight theme is mid-market travel, along with other highlights including spa and wellness, technology, halal tourism, business travel, technology, responsible tourism, shopping, aviation, culture and heritage, and adventure travel.

ATM 2015 witnessed a year-on-year visitor attendance increase of 15% to over 26,000, with exhibiting companies increasing by 5% to 2,873. Business deals worth more than US$2.5 billion were signed over the four days.

The show is set to take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 25-28, 2015.

Read the roundtable on responsible tourism in the January 2016 issue of Arabian Travel News, with the forthcoming roundtables on digital travel, spa and wellness, and mid-market travel in Hotelier Middle East.

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