Category Archives: Govt

Turkey receives over 1.2 million travellers from Middle East in Q1 2017

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According to new data released by the Turkish Consulate General Cultural and Information Office in Dubai, 1,226,665 Middle East travellers landed in Turkey between January and June 2017, which means that tourist traffic to Turkey from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries continues to show strength, rising by 26.29%, or an estimated 360 thousand travellers, in H1 2017 in comparison to the same period in 2016. The number of United Arab Emirates nationals travelling to Turkish destinations increased by 9.86%, while Kuwaiti traveller numbers increased by 41.04% and travellers from Bahrain increased by 31.86%. The UAE figures are particularly striking. The first six months of 2016 saw a decrease of 20.99% in traveller traffic from the UAE to Turkey, and this year, it recovered to increase by almost 10%, or over 18 thousand travellers. Ramadan played a big part where UAE travel into Turkey increased by 330.33%. Travellers from Saudi Arabia led the way, with over 205,000 holidaymakers visiting Turkey in H1, followed by Kuwait and Bahrain with 94,000 and 23,000 travellers respectively.

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Dubai College of Tourism set to launch its first course next month

Essa Bin Hadher

This year, Dubai Tourism has provided alternate higher education options for high school leavers, who dont wish to take the traditional academic route to university. The newly inaugurated Dubai College of Tourism, a government-backed institution that will specialise in vocational training for the Emirate’s thriving tourism and hospitality sectors, is now accepting applications for its September 2017 ‘Introduction to the Tourism Industry’ course. The vocational courses offered by DCT have been designed to provide a middle ground between on-the-job training and a purely theoretical degree. Students will learn practical and marketable skills that have a direct application in real life, and the training will open new doors, allowing students to explore a myriad of exciting and rewarding career opportunities. DCT’s courses are focused around five core faculties – Tourism, Events, Hospitality, Retail and Culinary Arts – and aims to help young people learn various trade and soft skills from established professionals in the industry. The college aims to educate and empower the future leaders, entrepreneurs and employees of Dubai’s expanding tourism industry, ensuring a steady pipeline of highly trained hospitality professionals for the city. Until now, there have been very limited options for this type of vocational training within Dubai. According to a 2014 Deloitte study, only one to three percent of Dubai’s students enrol in vocational education after high school, something which could lead to labour shortages within key industries in the future. With Dubai’s tourism and hospitality sectors set to employ a workforce of more than half a million by 2020, the dedicated industry-focused vocational training offered by DCT, has never been more important.

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Nominations open for Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards

Issam Kazim

Hotels and desert camps in Dubai have just one more month to enter the 2017 Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards. Part of the Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) initiative, the awards will recognise hotels and individuals who are adopting tangible measures to contribute to enhanced sustainability within the Emirate’s tourism sector. Establishments can enter the awards via the Dubai Sustainable Tourism website; nominations will close on September 14 and winners will be announced at a ceremony in mid-November. Inaugurated this year, the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards feature 20 categories; 13 main awards targeted towards different types of hospitality establishment, and seven special awards that recognise individuals who are true champions of sustainability. Winners of the seven special awards will be leaders and teams who truly embody the sustainability principles of DST, and who have inspired remarkable changes within their organisations. The awards criteria have been designed to meet the challenges outlined in Dubai’s Carbon Abatement Strategy; issued by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, this commits to reducing carbon emissions by 16 per cent by 2021. The awards also support the UAE’s Green Growth Strategy that aims to build an economic system that has sustainability at its core. These initiatives in turn, are in line with Dubai Plan 2021 and Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030. The deadline for hotels to enter the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards is September 14. This will be followed by an evaluation process and approval by the final DST committee to select the winners. Adjudication of the awards will cover both strategic and operational initiatives, which will be benchmarked against standards set by highly qualified subject matter experts representing various entities. This process will be supervised by a …

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Dubai Business Events reports strong H1 results

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Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, has reported strong results for the first half of 2017, with 97 bids submitted to host business events being successfully awarded to the city. There are 97 more that have been submitted and the city is awaiting verdict on them. Key wins include: Baby Care Annual Incentive (2018), World Conference on Desalination and Water Re-Use (2019) and Congress of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (2022). DBE has also ramped up efforts to highlight the city’s business events offering to international audiences. DBE representatives have attended over 50 trade events in the first half of the year, interacting with over 4500 business event buyers and planners. The bureau has also facilitated a total of 16 site inspections with 38 clients and hosted 144 buyers from around the world as part of four in-depth Dubai study missions. Steen Jakobsen, Director, DBE, said, “We’ve had a stellar start to the year, and are well on our way to achieving our targets set for 2017. As we continue to work towards further strengthening Dubai’s reputation of being a premier host destination for business events, we have a steady pipeline of initiatives planned for the year ahead. We are also focusing on expanding our network and reach globally, enabling businesses, event buyers and planners to benefit from our expertise.”

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RAK Tourism Development Authority CEO to represent ME at UNWTO

RAKTDA CEO Haitham Mattar spoke at a UNWTO round table on Sustainable Urban Tourism in Madrid

The CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), Haitham Mattar, has been appointed as the Middle East representative for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation affiliate members board. Mattar has also been named a full-time advisory board member of the Global Thinkers Forum (GTF), an international platform that brings together a diverse network of thought leaders to share their vision for the future, create meaningful conversations around them and effect positive change in the world. “While I am personally humbled by these dual board member appointments, my strategic objective now is to leverage them to raise the profile of Ras Al Khaimah and highlight our sustainable tourism work and progress initiatives that we are championing to influence global audiences. These board appointments will increase our collective capacity to underline our tremendous destination performance across all tourism and hospitality products, as well as highlight the abundant investment and partnership opportunities available in the emirate,” he added.

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Dubai records over 8 million overnight visitors in H1 of 2017

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A record total of 8.06 million international overnight tourists arrived in Dubai during the first six months of 2017, reflecting a stellar 10.6 per cent increase over the same period last year. Figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) affirm the foundational strength and sustained acceleration of the emirate’s tourism sector, as it stayed the course of its impressive growth trajectory from January this year, underscoring the expanding appeal of Dubai as a global tourism destination of choice. Most of Dubai’s top 20 inbound visitor source markets saw positive or near-stable year-on-year performances in H1 2017, with five of the top 10 delivering double-digit growth. India continued to top the list of traffic generators and for the first time crossed the 1 million mark in a six-month period, with 1,051,000 Indians visiting the city between January and June. Saudi Arabia and the UK retained their spots as the second and third largest feeder markets respectively, with the latter delivering reliable volumes, backed by a solid 4 per cent year-on-year growth.

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20 per cent increase in UAE tourists visiting Korea’s Jeju Island in H1

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The Jeju Island Tourism Organisation, South Korea has revealed a 20 per cent increase in the number of UAE tourists that have visited South Korea’s Jeju Island during the first half of 2017. The figures were presented in a special promotional event held recently at the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai. The event was aimed at further promoting the increasing popularity of Jeju Island to a potential UAE and Middle East market. Jeju Island, the largest island off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, has become a top destination for tourists visiting the country, primarily because of its natural World Heritage Site, Jeju Volcanic Island, and Lava Tubes. Other top attractions in the island include Mount Halla, the Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls, Hallim Park, Yakcheonsa Temple, Manjanggul and the Jeju Stone Statue Park. Jeju is also rich in beautiful beaches and posh countryside and seaside hotels & resorts.

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Sharjah launches summer tourism campaign to beat the heat

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Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has launched ‘Sharjah Summer’, a two-month campaign aiming to drive entertainment, leisure, retail and tourism sales, underpinned by discounts of up to 50 per cent. It is the emirate’s first summer campaign that integrates offers from airlines, hotels, government institutions, travel agencies, shopping centres and other private sector companies. So far, about 30 public and private sector organisations have joined the campaign, which offers visitors entertainment, special hotel packages, retail promotions, and much more. Although the hot summer months are typically less busy for the Gulf’s inbound travel and tourism sector, SCTDA expects ‘Sharjah Summer’ to appeal strongly to the regional markets as families often consider inbound holiday plans during the shorter breaks in the summer. Last summer, Sharjah International Airport saw a 13 per cent increase in the number of passengers in July, August and September, in comparison to the same quarter the previous year. Both the airport and Sharjah-headquartered budget airline Air Arabia are taking part in this year’s summer campaign.

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RAK’s tourist count continues to grow

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Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, has revealed Ras Al Khaimah’s hotels have reported a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in international guest arrivals during the first six months of the year. Also, the average hotel occupancy in H1 saw a 4.7 per cent year-on-year increase in comparison to the corresponding six-month period in 2016, jumping to 72.7 per cent. With RAK targeting 900,000 visitor arrivals during 2017, it has already recorded 390,499 guest arrivals between January and June, which is a year-on-year increase of 6.5 per cent in comparison to H1 arrivals last year. Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA, says, “While our excellent H1 results highlight continued year-on-year growth in Ras Al Khaimah’s visitor numbers, it is the Ramadan and June results that are particularly promising,” said Mattar. “Our best-ever figures during these typically lower periods of occupancy are a direct result of strategic initiatives and promotional activities undertaken in domestic and international source markets.” The successful Ramadan and June figures follow RAKTDA launching a dedicated summer campaign called ‘Feel Free this Summer’ in April to leverage the emirate as an ideal summer holiday destination on the global platform.

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Women’s Journey Thailand campaign comes back this August

Women's Journey Thailand

Owing to the continuously increasing number of women travellers in the kingdom, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is bringing back its Women’s Journey Thailand campaign in August, with a vast spectrum of activities, special deals, discounts and privileges, especially for the female tourists, for one whole month. Srisuda Wanapinyosak, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and the South Pacific, says, “Today, women have become the decision makers and quite powerful, with high spending power. They expect and deserve optimum luxury and variety in holiday products and services. Thailand can prove to be the perfect destination for each of these holiday elements. This is why we have brought back the Women’s Journey Thailand campaign as it is a platform to showcase our woman-centric holiday products and services of unparalleled quality and variety, at unbelievable prices.” Some of the highlights of this season of Women’s Journey Thailand campaign include the Lady Golf Challenge, Lady Celebrities to Thailand, Thailand through Her Eyes, Lady in Thai Fabrics and Lady Bloggers.

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