Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Finland witnesses 20.6 per cent increase in visitors from the UAE

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Finland welcomed almost 12,000 tourists from the UAE in 2018, revealed VisitFinland, as it returned to Arabian Travel Market with a unique campaign aimed specifically at Middle East tourists. Joonas Halla, Representative, VisitFinland said, “2018 was another successful year for the Finnish tourism industry. Not only did the number of visitors from the UAE increase by 20.6 per cent from 9,906 in 2017 to 11,951 in 2018, the number overnight stays during the winter season also doubled. In Lapland alone, the number of UAE visitors increased by 36.1 per cent to 2,791 between 2017 and 2018. This year, we have already witnessed remarkable growth, with UAE visitor numbers increasing by 131 per cent in January 2019 compared to January 2018, and 110 per cent in February compared to the same month last year, so we are confident our tourism numbers and receipts will eclipse the successes of 2018.” Finland’s links with the UAE have strengthened in recent years mainly due to the introduction of new direct airline routes. In October 2018, flydubai started a new direct, daily flight between Dubai and the Finnish capital, Helsinki. Meanwhile, Finnair, the national carrier of Finland, is expected to restart its seasonal Dubai to Helsinki flight later this year, flying between October 2019 and March 2020. Turkish Airlines are set to launch a new direct route from Istanbul to Rovaniemi in December, further widening the reach. Halla said, “Building on the success of our participation at last year’s ATM, this year we are looking to learn more about potential partners and tour operators we can work together with to promote Finland as the perfect winter and summer destination for Middle East tourists. Finland has long been …

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Emirates renews MoU with Mauritius and Seychelles to boost tourism

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Emirates renewed its support to Mauritius and the Seychelles by extending a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which outlines joint activities to promote the two countries. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group met a VIP delegation from Mauritius and Seychelles at Arabian Travel Market 2019.  An MoU was signed  by Orhan Abbas, Senior Vice President—Commercial Operations for Africa, Emirates and Sherin Francis, Chief Executive Officer, Seychelles Tourism Board and Arvind Bundhun, Director, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, in the presence of the Didier Dogley and Anil Kumar Gayan, Tourism Ministers of Seychelles and Mauritius respectively. “We have enjoyed long and fruitful partnerships with both Mauritius and Seychelles, and have taken an active role in boosting the tourism industry of the island nations. Our commitment to these destinations and the partnership forged with the respective government authorities, have seen great success. The renewal of our agreements underpins our confidence that the growth of tourism to both Mauritius and Seychelles can be further developed, and we remain confident that we will continue to see these numbers grow,” said Abbas. “The signing of this MoU with Emirates underpins the long-standing strong relationship, developed over a decade, between the Government of Seychelles and the leadership of this global airline. We value the services Emirates has provided and continues to provide to the Seychelles and its tourism industry. We look forward towards further deepening this relationship towards our mutual benefits”, said Didier Dogley, Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine of the Seychelles. “I am happy that we are renewing this Memoradum of Understanding with Emirates as this is the basis on which we have built …

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Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board highlights latest visitor attractions at ATM 2019

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Tourism Malaysia has outlined its ambitious plans for growth today during an event held at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2019 in Dubai. The organisation’s participation is designed to support the objectives of the Visit Malaysia 2020 initiative, which aims to attract more than 30 million tourists and around AED 89 billion in tourist receipts. More than 50 representatives from key stakeholders in Malaysia’s travel and hospitality sectors have travelled to the UAE for the event, where they showcased the latest news and updates on the country’s tourism offerings. The GCC remains a key market for inbound tourism to Malaysia, with total arrivals from West Asia standing at 315,733 during 2018, an increase of 25% on the previous year. The number of visitors from Saudi Arabia increased by 11.7%, while UAE travellers increased by 9.7%. Oman recorded the biggest rise in visitor numbers, at 36.9%. During the same period, visitors from the region contributed more than around AED 2.7 billion to Malaysia’s economy, with tourism receipts rising by 33% compared to 2017. Travellers from GCC countries also recorded the highest average expenditure per person, with visitors from Saudi Arabia spending around AED 10,300, United Arab Emirates around AED 8,300, Oman around AED 7,500, and Kuwait around AED 7,400. Y B Datuk Mohamaddin bin Ketapi, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia commented, “It is particularly relevant for us to be here during the national Year of Tolerance, which highlights the common values of our two countries by emphasising on the importance of diversity and harmonious coexistence. We look forward to further building on our shared legacy of cultural exchange and extend a warm invitation to travellers from the Middle East to …

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‘Heart of Europe Travel Summit’ and ‘Marhaba France’ to be held in Dubai this April for trade

European Tourist Boards host Travel Trade Workshop

Demonstrating their commitment to the Gulf region, the European national tourist boards of Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France are hosting an exclusive networking event in Dubai this April, ahead of Arabian Travel Market (ATM). In a combined effort, Atout France’s travel trade workshop ‘Marhaba’ will kick off its two-day event on April 24 while the national tourist boards of Germany, Switzerland and Austria will take over on April 26 and host the ‘Heart of Europe Travel Summit’ at Sofitel, The Palm Resort & Spa, Dubai. More than 40 tourism suppliers from France and 80 from Germany, Switzerland and Austria – ranging from local tourist boards, hotels, destination management companies, airports, shopping facilities, transport companies as well as medical clinics – are looking forward to developing knowledge about the destinations, and also providing travel trade from the GCC with the opportunity to source products to enhance their holiday offerings for the summer season and beyond. The four tourism boards expect an attendance of over 100 buyers from the GCC region. Highlighting the importance of the travel trade industry in the Gulf region, Sigrid de Mazieres, Director–Gulf Countries, German National Tourist Office, said, “We are excited to collaborate with our European neighbouring countries, and to facilitate business relations between our touristic partners and the local travel trade through this new innovative platform.” The travel trade workshops will include pre-scheduled B2B appointments, cutting-edge presentations and extensive social programmes to experience the destinations’ hospitality and networking opportunities with participating decision-makers. “We believe that one of the many challenges facing the travel trade industry today is to keep abreast of the growing and changing needs of travellers from the region. This joint and unprecedented event …

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Philippines to organise roadshows in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia

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The board representatives of Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines are set to host roadshows in Kuwait city and Riyadh. The roadshow in Kuwait will be held on March 24 at JW Marriott Hotel Kuwait while the one in Riyadh will be held on March 26, 2019 at Faisalaih Hotel. Leading agents from the cities are expected to participate at the event. The objective is to showcase new destinations for the Middle Eastern travellers.

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Germany rolls out new campaign in Dubai in partnership with Lufthansa Group & Al Rais Travel

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The German National Tourist Office (GNTO) kicked off its annual worldwide marketing campaign ‘German Summer Cities’ with a successful brand activation event at City Walk Mall in Dubai, together with the campaign’s premium partner Lufthansa Group as well as UAE-based Al Rais Travel. In an objective to woo the Gulf travelling community to choose Germany as their preferred destination, visitors were offered a great mix of engaging activities such as VR installations, travel information through promotional staff and special promotional packages by Al Rais Travel as well as Lufthansa. The three-day event was designed to capture the essence and unique atmosphere of the many great German cities. The multi-channel ‘German Summer Cities’ campaign which is being rolled out throughout the GNTB’s 31 offices around the world includes comprehensive digital marketing, pop-up event scheme in 14 key source markets and a wide range of PR activities. The GCC is one of the Top 15 source markets for Germany and the third largest non-European source market, after China and USA. In 2016, Germany ranked top among GCC travellers, even ahead of UK, Turkey and France. According to German Federal Statistical Office, there were 87.7 million international overnight stays recorded in accommodation establishments with at least 10 beds in 2018. For the ninth consecutive year, the number of visitors to Germany in 2018 reached record levels, showing a 5 per cent increase overall to 2017.

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UAE to welcome 8.92 million visitors from top five source markets by 2023

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Expo 2020 and its legacy, District 2020, are expected to have a long-term influence on the growth of inbound arrivals to the UAE from the country’s top five source markets between 2018 and 2023, according to data published ahead of Arabian Travel Market, set to take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 28-May 1, 2019. Looking at the country’s top three source markets, the number of Indian visitors travelling to the UAE will increase at a CAGR of 7 per cent to 3.01 million in 2023, while arrivals from Saudi Arabia and the UK will witness an increase of 2 per cent and 1 per cent to 1.76 million and 1.28 million respectively over the same period. While the UAE’s top source market rankings are expected to remain mostly unchanged post-Expo 2020 – the latest research from Colliers International, in partnership with ATM, reveals the Russian and Chinese source markets will show above average annual growth rates for inbound passenger arrivals. Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director—ME, Arabian Travel Market, said, “The number of Russian tourists travelling to the UAE will increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12 per cent to 1.6 million in 2023, while the number of Chinese tourists visiting the UAE will increase at a CAGR of 8 per cent to 1.27 million over the same period, according to the data. Taking a look at the other key drivers, besides Expo 2020, Russian visitors to the UAE have grown in recent years, due to the introduction of additional and direct airline routes. According to some analysts, China’s middle-class will swell to 338 million households by 2020, a 13 per cent increase in just five years. Therefore, the growth …

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Ras Al Khaimah attracts over one million tourists in 2018

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Exceeding its target of attracting 1 million visitors by 2018, Ras Al Khaimah reported 1,072,066 visitors from domestic and key international markets during the year. Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) reported a 10 per cent growth in visitors compared to 2017, led by the UAE domestic market which continues to generate 38 per cent of overall visitors. Germany continues to be the leading international source market with 83,605 visitors, followed by Russia, with 83,531 visitors – up by a significant 17 per cent on 2017. The third largest source market was the UK, with 63,054 visitors, up 11.5 per cent; India was fourth with 62,325 visitors, up 22 per cent; rounding out the top five was Kazakhstan with 27,168 visitors, a growth of 28 per cent. One of Ras Al Khaimah’s key milestones in 2018 was the launch of Jebel Jais Flight – the world’s longest zipline, which has welcomed over 25,000 flyers since opening 12 months ago. This put Ras Al Khaimah on the map, breaking the world record and strengthening the emirate’s credentials as the fastest growing adventure tourism destination in the region. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA said, “2018 has been another remarkable year for the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in terms of achievements and milestones accomplished, primarily exceeding our target of 1 million visitors. With the current robust visitor demand, solid regional and international partnerships in place and iconic product launches over the past few years, Ras Al Khaimah is on a mission to further assert its position as the fastest growing tourism destination in the region, whilst promoting our emirate’s breadth of offerings to regional and international target markets”. Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority …

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Ras Al Khaimah to drive visitor growth from Central and Eastern Europe

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In line with its new Destination Strategy 2019-21 and long-term objectives of strengthening the emirate’s presence in key international markets, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced the opening of its first international representative office in Prague, Czech Republic to manage and oversee the authority’s activities in Central and Eastern Europe. The new office will play a vital role in promoting the destination and driving further growth in the number of visitors travelling to Ras Al Khaimah. In 2018, visitor numbers from the Czech Republic and Hungary were up by 18.4 per cent and 11.4 per cent respectively compared to the previous year. Announcing the opening of the new office, Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA said, “Our Destination Strategy 2019-21 aims to attract 1.5 million visitors to the emirate by 2021. We believe that by providing a compelling proposition and establishing dedicated presence in our key international target markets, we will be able to promote the destination and its diverse offering driving growth in visitor numbers. Central and Eastern European countries are amongst the fastest growing markets for us and frequently rank in our top ten source markets for visitors. The new representative office in Prague will support our promotional activities, trade partnerships and help us develop the region’s high potential outbound market.” Adding to RAKTDA international representation offices in UK, Germany, Russia and Nordics, the Prague office will support RAKTDA’s initiatives to drive further awareness of the emirate as a multi-faceted leisure destination to Central and East European travellers.

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Over 18% growth in travel from the UAE to the Czech Republic

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The Czech Tourist Authority- CzechTourism – along with the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Abu Dhabi, said that the second highest number of travellers from the GCC after Saudi Arabia to the Central European country was from the UAE. A statement from the CzechTourism and the Embassy said travel from the UAE to the Czech Republic grew by over 18% in the first half of the year, faster than the previous corresponding period, and it is expected that 2018 will end with significant rise in the number of outbound travellers. Commenting on the increasing travel from the UAE, HE Alexandr Sporýš, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the UAE, said:,“For both expatriates and the citizens, the Czech Republic is an exquisite geographically close destination. The country offers a diversity of experience within a five-hour flight distance making it possible for even weekend sojourners to visit the Czech Republic.” The overall number of travellers from the UAE to the Czech Republic in the last three year stood at close to 100,000 with an average growth rate of over 28 per cent during the period. The average length of stay of the UAE travellers to the Czech Republic was in the range of 3.4 to 4.3 days. Monika Palatková, Managing director, Czech Tourist Authority – CzechTourism, said, “The Czech Republic is one of the closest European destinations to the UAE which is being increasingly favoured by family tourists as well. Our aim is to reach out to the potential UAE travellers and to present them the eclectic experiences the Czech Republic can offer across the spectrum of heritage to modernity complemented by the country’s diversity of natural landscape and culture.” She …

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