Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Wego partners with GNTO to promote future travel

Wego partners with the German National Tourist Office, Gulf countries (GNTO) to invite travellers to discover the destination of Germany and virtually explore its amazing attractions and hidden gems. Until it is safe to travel again, Wego brings the world to you in the comfort of your home. With the message ‘dream now – visit later’, this joint partnership with ‘Wego’ introduces the global campaign ‘#DiscoverGermanyFromHome’ to tomorrow’s travellers in the GCC by providing them with inspiring and informative content, virtual experiences in its 16 federal states, Spotify playlists, an interactive map, quizzes, recipes and much more to keep their interest in the destination alive until travel is resumed. Speaking of the partnership, Yamina Sofo, Director Sales & Marketing, German National Tourist Office, Gulf countries (GNTO) commented, “The Gulf region is among the Top 20 of the most important source markets to Germany and the third largest source market outside Europe. Our partnership with Wego is a great opportunity to highlight that Germany ticks all boxes of the GCC travellers aiming for wellness and recreation, nature and sightseeing or simply for entertainment and shopping, while enjoying high quality services, great value for money, luxury accommodation and facilities.” Mamoun Hmedan, Managing Director, MENA and India, Wego, said, “We are bringing the world to our users until it is safe to travel again and we’re thrilled to partner with GNTO to promote one of the most beautiful European countries. Germany entices tourists with its rich and vibrant nature and culture; it’s a must-see destination for everyone.”

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RAKTDA focus on domestic tourism; invites residents on ‘Shortcation’ this summer

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) is inviting UAE residents to take a well-earned break and enjoy the Emirate’s exceptional beaches, outstanding hospitality, thrilling adventure attractions and authentic cultural experiences for the ultimate ‘Shortcation’. Together with its hospitality partners, the Authority has created a special summer package available until 31 August, whereby guests staying for three or more nights at any of Ras Al Khaimah’s participating 4 & 5 star hotels can take advantage of a series of value-adds for a unique and memorable stay. Guests looking to avail this special offer or simply looking for a home away from home this summer, can choose from a number of different accommodation options to suit every need. From ultra-luxurious beach resorts managed by some of the most notable names in the business, to family-friendly city and seaside resorts and properties offering stunning private villa accommodation, Ras Al Khaimah is renowned for its breadth of hotel offerings. With guest safety and wellbeing its utmost priority, the Authority is working with all hotel partners to ensure they are strictly adhering to all government and public health guidelines and complying with all social distancing advisories so guests enjoying their ‘shortcation’ can do so with peace of mind.

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Spain tourism to conduct destination webinar on Wednesday May 20 at 11 am

The Tourism Office of Spain invites the travel trade to learn more about the destination through its webinar titled ‘Spain will wait’ on Wednesday May 20, 2020 at 1100 hours (UAE). To participate please contact Crisna de Guzman at crisna.deguzman@ddppl.com or call +971505074618, +971554704200. This session will be covering two main destinations: Madrid and Barcelona. This will be an ideal opportunity to learn about the destination, its most known and unknown areas, what to do when in Spain, discover new itineraries, its weather, its culture; the series includes a whole new awareness of one of the most sought after European destinations in the world. The main goal of these sessions will be to create an inspiring, emphatic and informative content in an interactive environment to communicate with tomorrow’s travellers.

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GNTO appoints Yamina Sofo as its new director

The German National Tourist Office, Gulf countries (GNTO) has appointed Yamina Sofo as its new Director Sales & Marketing. In her new capacity, Yamina Sofo will provide leadership and strategic direction to the Gulf region team, manage a wide range of marketing campaigns and activities as well as work closely with the local and overseas trade partners and industry stakeholders to promote ‘Destination Germany’ as a year-round travel destination throughout the Gulf region. Speaking on her appointment, Sofo commented, “I’m proud to say that Gulf region is among the Top 20 of the most important source markets to Germany and the third largest source market outside Europe. Due to its diversity, Germany is one of the preferred travel destinations for the GCC nationals, whether for wellness and recreation, nature and sightseeing or simply for entertainment and shopping – offering high quality services, great value for money, luxury accommodation and facilities as well as environmentally-friendly transportation links throughout the entire country.” Commenting on the recent lockdown, Yamina said, “In spite of the lockdown, the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has launched “#DiscoverGermanyFromHome”, a joined communication campaign on all social media channels worldwide to communicate inspiring, emphatic and informative content with tomorrow’s travellers in an engaging and interactive way.”

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GNTB campaign #DiscoverGermanyFromHome brings together current social media activities

German National Tourist Board (GNTB) brings together their ongoing marketing activities on all social media channels worldwide in a joined communication campaign – #DiscoverGermanyFromHome, amid the recent lockdown. The main goal is to create inspiring, emphatic and at the same time informative content in an engaging and interactive way and to communicate with tomorrow’s consumers. The campaign includes virtual experiences of the destinations in Germany in all of the 16 federal states. The campaign therefore invites consumers to experience destination-Germany virtually and furthermore strengthens the communication with potential future Germany visitors. Besides #DiscoverGermanyFromHome the campaign also uses the hashtags that are currently circulating such as #staysafe, #stayathome or #traveltomorrow. Petra Hedorfer, Chairwoman of the GNTB Executive Board, says, “With over 30 social media channels we are continuously trying to keep the interest in Destination Germany alive, inspiringly and informatively. Besides the direct consumer contact, we are also using our established online tools to maintain the active dialogue with our Germany tourism partners and the international tourism industry.” Due to the current situation the GNTB has postponed all planned market specific and worldwide marketing campaigns such as the start of the planned campaign ‘German Summer Cities’ and ‘#WanderlustGermany’ to the second half of the year. The preparations for the campaigns have been completed to the extent that the digital parts of the campaigns can start at the flick of a switch.

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RAKTDA unveils support initiatives for tourism industry

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) launches a range of far reaching support initiatives, aimed at its hospitality, leisure and development partners, during the peak of COVID-19 crisis and to lay the strong foundations for future recovery. In a move that further reflects the emirate’s ‘ONE RAK’ commitment to transparency, ease of doing business and global community spirit, the tourism authority has sent all business partners and stakeholders a comprehensive contingency plan, which maps out short- to mid-term solutions to mitigate the negative impact of coronavirus on travel to Ras Al Khaimah. Addressing partners and stakeholders via a virtual meeting on April 1, Raki Phillips, CEO, RAKTDA, highlighted that the hospitality industry was facing a grave threat from the coronavirus crisis. The UNWTO estimates losses from international visitor spends to be between USD $30-50 billion globally, while The World Travel and Tourism Council have found up to 50 million jobs have been put at risk. RAKTDA’s prompt robust response sees the creation of an internal Stimulus Committee and Steering Stimulus Committee representing the Emirate. Led by Raki Phillips and top executives across the hospitality, leisure and development sectors, specific measures include a six-month waiver of all touristic licenses; waiver of Tourism Dirhams from March to May; a complete exemption of tourism licensing fees for Q2 and Q3 and tourism licensing fines until September 30. This support will be further enhanced by a dedicated Financial Incentive Package aimed towards non-government owned touristic entities, including budget, midscale and 4-star hotels as well as attractions, golf courses and other tourism establishments. In addition to this, hospitality partners will be able to benefit from complimentary participation in a diverse array of exhibitions and …

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Dubai surpasses global tourism growth with 16.73 million overnight visitors in 2019

Dubai’s tourism industry closed a successful decade at the end of 2019, welcoming an all-time high 16.73 million international overnight visitors, an impressive 5.1 per cent increase in tourism volumes, definitively surpassing the global tourism growth forecast by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) by over one per cent. With momentum firmly tracking against Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2022-25, latest data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) reflects the sector’s exponential progress in a compressed time-frame relative to peers, culminating in Dubai being ranked the World’s Fourth Most Visited City for the fifth consecutive year by MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index 2019. Rapidly gaining traction on the ‘travel wish list’ for today’s global traveller, 2019 not only delivered record tourist arrivals and indicated strong desirability for future visits, but also reinforced tourism’s role as key economic growth driver. Contributing an impressive 11.5 per cent in GDP value, Dubai’s tourism sector was ranked one of ‘Top 10’ strongest economic share generators, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Cities Report 2019. The Report also ranked Dubai the third largest city in capturing direct international tourism spending with a total of US $27.9 billion. His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said, “This past decade, and 2019 in particular, have delivered unmatched acceleration in Dubai’s stature as a ‘Destination of Choice’ for global travellers assuring advancement towards the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to make it the #1 most visited, preferred and revisited global city. While the global economy remains in a state of flux, we can clearly …

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WTTC MENA forum in RAK in October

World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) will host their inaugural Middle East & North Africa Leaders’ Forum in Ras Al Khaimah on October 2nd. The one-day forum will engage 150-200 leaders in keynotes and panel discussions focusing on key themes, including: challenges and investment opportunities; job creation and skill development; climate and environment action and digital disruption. This will bring together government agencies, industry associations, CEOs and senior leaders of the top travel and tourism companies, experts, and media from across the region. The WTTC Middle East & North Africa Leaders Forum will delve into contemporary issues facing the sector and discuss growth opportunities to advance the regional agenda.

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Saudi tourism forecast growth in religious and business travel

According to the latest data released by various indicators Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has seen an exponential increase of tourists from UAE, USA and UK over 2018 which secured a continued growth in the hotel sector.  A report by Colliers reveal that international arrivals to Saudi Arabia are expected to increase 5.6 per cent per year from 17.7 million in 2018 to 23.3 million in 2023. According to the Savills report, recent tourism growth in Saudi Arabia has been driven by three key demand pools – leisure, pilgrim and corporate visitors. Paula de Keijzer, Senior Director Market Management, Africa, Indian Ocean, Middle East and Turkey, Expedia Group, said, “Major hotel groups are driving construction trends across the country as they aim to meet the demands of an ever-increasing number of domestic tourists and international visitors. When it comes to brand affinity and customer loyalty, it is essential to engage at each level of the customer journey. Tools, data and insights available via OTA extranet sites, like Expedia Partner Central (EPC), offer hoteliers the opportunity to inspire and convert travelers, set expectations, create personalised experiences, identify and address issues to better meet guest needs, improve guest experience and drive repeat bookings.” With travel bookings in the Kingdom considered the largest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the power of the international traveler growth to Saudi Arabia is expected to remain strong.  USA saw more than 110 per cent year on year growth in demand compared to the same period in 2017 with almost 45 per cent share of total room nights, UAE saw a whopping year on year growth of above 140 per cent than last year with almost …

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Dubai hotels occupancy records a high of 76%

According to a recent report released by Dubai tourism, the hotel sector has recorded one of the highest in the world with occupancy at 76 per cent with establishments delivering a combined 15.71 million occupied room nights during the first six months of the year, a five per cent increase over the same period in 2018. Another noteworthy fact is that the emirate has now reached an inventory of 118,345 within 714 establishments at the end of June 2019, representing a six per cent increase, which showcased continued strong investor confidence in Dubai’s tourism demand. In the Middle East, Dubai continues to be the much favoured destination recording the largest traffic from all over the world. Brands such as Rove have revolutionised the market in Dubai. Luxury five-star and four-star hotels commanded 34 and 25 per cent of the emirate’s total inventory, respectively.  Meanwhile properties in the one to three-star categories represented a share of 20 per cent. Increasing demand for diversified accommodation options was met with a combined 21 per cent of hotel apartment establishments across the deluxe/superior and standard categories.

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