Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Thailand MICE operating as normal

thailand

Following explosions in public areas in some Thai provinces during August 11-12, 2016, the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has issued a statement advising international stakeholders that Thailand’s MICE industry continues to operate as normal, and all public and private sector stakeholders are working together to monitor the situation. It said that all hotels, venues and attractions are open and ready to welcome business travellers. Transportation links, major roads and airports continue to operate, including Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain and MRT services and both Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi International Airports. However, business travellers are advised to prepare adequate travelling time to avoid getting caught in traffic due to large movements of people during this long-weekend holiday period. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed local authorities to step up security at key locations throughout Thailand as preventive measure and to ensure safety and security for business travelers and local residents. Meanwhile planned events and business events activities continue in Thailand as the nation celebrated the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit and Mother’s Day on August 12, 2016.  

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Bank Muscat joins hands with Oman Tourism

Bank Muscat

Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, in association with the Ministry of Tourism is hosting Sheikh Majed Al Sabah, renowned social media personality, on a unique ‘Discover Oman’ programme. During the week-long stay, Sheikh Majed will explore Oman to discover the country’s well-kept secrets covering natural attractions, vibrant heritage and culture. Sheikh Majed has over six million followers on social media such as Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram. He travels widely and engages in open communication with people through social media posts to highlight unique Arab traditions and values as well as remarkable social and economic developments across the world. The bank hosted a grand reception in honour of Sheikh Majed at the head office, attended by dignitaries led by H.E Maitha al Mahrouqi, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism, senior Management Team of the bank, social media enthusiasts and bloggers. The event evocatively showcased the country’s rick folklore music, traditional crafts and costumes, offering the opportunity for Sheikh Majed to interact with veteran craftsmen pursuing some of the country’s popular traditional crafts. Popular fashion designers engaged in designing traditional costumes for men and women also presented their latest offerings at the event. In his characteristic vibrant style, Shaikh Majed utilised the opportunity to whip up an air of friendship and bonhomie.

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IMG Worlds of Adventure to open on August 31 in Dubai

IMG Worlds Of Adventure

IMG Worlds of Adventure, the world’s largest indoor theme park, will open on August 31, 2016, in Dubai. IMG Worlds of Adventure is currently fine-tuning the last remaining details and is committed to offering its guests the best experience possible when the park welcomes everyone later in August.  Lennard Otto, Chief Executive Officer of IMG Worlds of Adventure, said that they are excited about launching the world’s largest indoor theme park which will be a major tourism attraction for Dubai, the surrounding regions and the rest of the world. They have partnered with some of the biggest global brands in the industry, including Marvel and Cartoon Network and they have secured exceptional sponsors. There are many spectacular one-of-a-kind rides and attractions and they are now completing the final touches. Guests who have already purchased tickets prior to the new opening date will be issued new tickets for a chosen date. In addition, guests will receive a complimentary Ultimate Fast Track pass, which will provide priority access to the rides and attractions.

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Ajman earns AED200m in tourism revenues in first half of 2016

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The Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATDD) has announced that the emirate earned AED200 million in tourism revenues from a total of 272,021 visitors in the first half of 2016. Tourism revenues from April to June 2016 reached AED92 million, 11 percent higher compared to the same period in 2015. Total guests for the period are 129,617 from 119,376 in 2015. Three Furnished Apartments are added to the inventory of establishments during the three month period. Occupancy rate for the second quarter is reported at 63 percent for hotels while hotel apartments has 68 percent occupancy rate. Guest nights for the second quarter reached 293,512 with majority of the guests staying at five- and four-star hotels and superior and standard hotel apartments. Local tourists still top the emirate’s guests followed by visitors from Asia and Africa, other Arab countries and GCC nationals. Europeans, Americans and Russian visitors comprised more than 30,000 of the total guests. With the addition of three Furnished Apartments to the inventory, Ajman has 39 establishments with total 3,392 hotel rooms and units and 5,737 beds.

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Sharjah hotel revenues up 7% in 2016 H1

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The Emirate of Sharjah has registered a 7 percent increase in hotel revenues, reaching AED 378 million ($103m) during the first six months of 2016, according to the latest figures from Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA). The authority has been targeting markets identified in its strategic marketing plan and says that H1 2016 hotel statistics show a 19 percent increase from those markets, compared with H1 2015. The SCTDA announced its Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021 tourism development strategy in 2015, which aims to attract more than 10 million tourists to the emirate by year 2021. A total of 878,006 visitors booked accommodation in Sharjah during the first half of 2016, compared with about one million visitors registered during the first half of 2015. Sharjah guests stayed a total number of 1.99 million hotel nights from 1st January to 30th June 2016 China is now Sharjah’s fastest growing tourism market. The SCDTA has recently stepped up marketing efforts in China, opening up a representative office, recruiting Chinese staff and adding a Chinese language website to Sharjah’s tourism portal. The emirate saw a 78 percent increase in Chinese visitors during 2015 and, this year, has seen a 73.2 percent increase in Chinese tourist numbers during the first six months. Overall, the largest numbers of visitors during the first six months of this year came from the GCC which accounted for nearly 220,000 hotel guests or about 25 percent of the total. Asia provided the second largest source of tourists, showing a 12 percent increase compared to H1 2015. Meanwhile, 180,768 registered Sharjah hotel guests came from Europe, accounting for about 21 percent of the total.New flight routes to Pakistan also …

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SAIF Zone roadshows to attract Indian investors

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Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone) has carried out an extensive series of marketing roadshows across India this year, promoting the free zone in key cities and states throughout the country. This week, the free zone presented its proposition to investors in Kolkata in West Bengal, the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. Over the past 20 years, SAIF Zone has become a magnet for Indian investors and entrepreneurs, with 48 percent of the 7,500-plus companies registered in the free zone being of Indian origin. The free zone’s strategic location, free import and export, single-day licence issuance and tax-free status have proved to be a hit with Indian SMEs. India is one of the UAE’s primary trading partners, accounting for about 9.8 percent of the country’s total non-oil trade, buying 14.9 percent of the Emirates’ exports and 8.7 percent of its re-exports. Economists expect the total volume of bilateral trade between India and the UAE to increase from USD 60 billion in 2014 to USD 100 billion by the year 2020. A frequent visitor to India, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone embarked on it’s 2016 Indian road show in January. Organising events in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the zone first targeted Aurangabad and Pune in Maharashtra state and neighbouring Goa, before attending the MSME Business Summit in New Delhi (held with the support of India’s Ministry of Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises). Following this, the free zone also held roadshow events in Faridabad in India’s National Capital Area bordering on New Delhi; Chandigarh and Jalandhar in the northwestern state of Punjab; and Gwalior in in Madhya Pradesh. In April, SAIF Zone took its message to Mangaluru …

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23% increase in Indian visitors to Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah has recorded a 23 per cent increase in visitors from India during the first six months of 2016 compared to the corresponding January-June period last year, according to the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA). The positive growth trend during 2016 ranks India as the third largest international source market for the UAE’s most northern emirate – up from fourth last year. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA stated that their new brand positioning emphasises Ras Al Khaimah’s natural assets, luxurious indulgence, range of activities for different types of travellers and authentic Arabian heritage and culture – their diverse destination pillars resonate well with Indian travellers.  In-line with the emirate’s international promotional strategy, RAKTDA recently attended July’s MICE India and Luxury Travel Congress (MILT) in Mumbai, the latest stop in a series of roadshows and familiarisation trips with Indian travel trade partners in the first six months of 2016. The promotional programme in India has targeted the country’s swelling MICE and luxury market, which has witnessed tremendous growth in outbound corporate travel in recent years as more and more corporates recognise the importance of MICE activities as a key driver to engage internal and external customers. With RAKTDA projecting further growth from the Indian source market as part of its target to attract one million visitors to the emirate by the end of 2018, Mattar highlighted the emirate’s close proximity to Dubai – a long-standing destination of choice for Indian tourists – has proven a key factor in making Ras Al Khaimah an attractive destination.

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Sharjah-UK trade ties strengthen

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In order to strengthen trade ties between Sharjah and United Kingdom; Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) introduced Sharjah’s investment proposition to businesses in United Kingdom last month, participating in the second edition of the GCC-British Economic Forum, which took place on 21 July in London. Organised by the Arab British Chamber of Commerce and hosted in London, the forum was attended by senior officials, executives, and investors from Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Held under the theme ‘Vision, Challenges and Ambitions: Integration Prospects for a Better Future,’ the one-day event was supported by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and UK Trade & Investment. Shurooq CEO H.E. Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal and Shurooq Head of Investment Promotion Mohammed Juma Al Musharrakh also participated in ‘Social and Economic Development’ panel session of the event. Sharjah Investment and Development Authority has stepped up its trade and investment promotion efforts in the UK, opening a permanent office in London earlier this year. Last year the Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) to encourage, promote and facilitate investment and development cooperation between Sharjah and the United Kingdom. In April 2016, Shurooq held ‘Sharjah Day’ in London, a business–to-business (B2B) forum aimed at introducing British investors and businesspersons to investment opportunities in Sharjah, with an emphasis on the many projects run by Shurooq.

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Ambassadors for Women’s Journey campaign by TAT

Thailand

Tourism Authority of Thailand Dubai and Middle East office has named HH Sheikha Hend Al Qassimi and TV Host & model Amy Kitchingman as official tourism ambassadors of Thailand in the Middle East region. The appointment was made to coincide Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) Women’s Journey Thailand campaign that was launched on August 1, 2016. The campaign encourages women travellers from around the world to enjoy a huge range of activities, special offers, discounts and privileges as well as products and services geared to meet their needs throughout the month of August. Chalermsak Suranant, TAT Dubai & Middle East office Director, said, that they are thrilled to have HH Sheikha Hend Al Qassimi and Amy Kitchingman as official Middle East ambassador of Tourism Authority of Thailand. The appointment aims to help them further promote Thailand to women expat and local residents in the region. As part of the new contract, HH Sheika Hend Al Qassimi and Amy Kitchingman will attend several events in the Middle East and Thailand and conduct series of filming and photo shoots in Thailand to be used as official promotional materials of TAT in the Middle East.

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UAE visitors to the UK rise by 15% in Q1 2016

visitbritain

The latest figures released by VisitBritain show that UAE tourist visitor numbers increased by 15% in the first quarter, with 77,000 visitors during the first three months of the year – the strongest first quarter on record. VisitiBritain added that the total spend by visitors from the UAE was also up 9%. VisitBritain APMEA Director Sumathi Ramanathan said she expects to see a further increase of visitors from the Gulf region over the summer months, particularly with the favourable currency exchange for visitors coming from countries where the currency is pegged to the dollar. “We are welcoming visitors from the GCC to Britain and we are expecting this summer to see more GCC nationals visiting as we continue our activity in the market to promote Britain as a favourite holiday destination,” Ramanathan said. “We’re driving a strong value message coupled with great quality to ensure we continue to attract GCC visitors. With favourable currency exchange rates also helping matters, tourism from the GCC to Britain is very much on track for a great performance this year,” she added.

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