Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

SCTDA on roadshow drive in India

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Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) and Hamriyah Free Zone both launched new marketing roadshows targeting India during the past few days, building on a busy year of promotion activities by Sharjah authorities. The SCTDA kicked off a four-city roadshow in Mumbai this week, which also visits New Delhi, Chandigarh and Bengaluru (Bangalore). The roadshow introduces seven Sharjah hotels, two destination management companies, plus leading budget carrier Air Arabia, to key Indian outbound tour operators and other industry contacts. Trade, investment and tourism from India have become a top priority for Sharjah, as its trade promotion organisations campaign widely to capitalise on growing interest in the emirate. Meanwhile, a delegation from Hamriyah Free Zone, headed by Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, Director of Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA) and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone), met with business leaders in Delhi a few days ago. Hamriyah Free Zone and SAIF Zone have both organised an extensive calendar of trade and investment promotion campaigns in India this year, visiting all major commercial centres in the country. Benefits such as 100 percent ownership, tax exemptions and allowing companies to repatriate 100 percent capital and profits have made the free zones very popular with Indian businesses. According to official estimates, about 7,000 of the 15,000 companies operating out of the two free zones are owned and controlled by Indian investors.

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UAE and UNWTO to conduct inaugural Tourism Innovation Forum

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The first edition of the Tourism Innovation and Transformation Forum is organised by the UAE Ministry of Economy (MOE) in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is all set to be held in Dubai, UAE on November 23, 2016. The Forum organised by Ministry of Economy during UAE Innovation Week to discuss how tourism stakeholders can prepare for and attract next generation of visitors to the region.

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Sea Festival attracts more than 4,000 visitors to Bahrain

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The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) aims to showcase the Kingdom’s rich link to the sea tying it to several Bahraini sea-related traditions and cultural activities. Last week they witnessed more than 4,000 people attended the ‘Sea Festival’ held at Bahrain Bay as part of ‘Manama Capital of Gulf Tourism’ calendar of events.  The Sea Festival, running until Saturday 29th October, has attracted scores of residents and visitors of all ages who enjoyed a fun-filled family experience through the exciting sea-related activities like the jet ski and the modern virtual reality games.  The festival includes a series of activities including a multimedia photo gallery and video display that demonstrates the history of pearl diving in addition to several workshops that showcases the sea-related handicrafts which includes the making of fishing and diving equipment. As it also features a Dhow and Boat display that is lit-up with the use of decorative lighting.

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Strong growth on Dubai’s holiday home sector

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Dubai’s holiday home sector is going from strength to strength, with the latest figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) revealing a total of 1,805 approved units to date, benefitting both homeowners and visitors to Dubai. In the short time since the introduction of updated regulations in May, a total of 109 homeowners submitted applications for a holiday home permit, of which 39 have now been approved, enabling them to enter the market. These join the 78 approved holiday home operators already doing business in Dubai, moving forward, Dubai Tourism anticipates further growth across the sector. To obtain a licence, homeowners must ensure their property meets the required quality, health and safety standards, while also offering all necessary amenities and guest services, as well as insurance coverage and wider community integration. Owners are also accountable for ensuring the property meets all legislative requirements and complaint management policies, and is accurately listed to visitors and sufficiently maintained. This growth is being driven by effective government regulations designed to increase competitiveness, transparency, safety and standardisation, and comes on the back of Dubai Tourism’s decision earlier this year to allow private homeowners to apply for a holiday home permit and start leasing their properties directly.

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2.1 million passengers at Abu Dhabi International Airport in September

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Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) has welcomed 2.1 million passengers throughout September, marking an increase of 5 per cent on September 2015. Since the beginning of the year, passenger traffic has grown 6 per cent from the same period last year, with 18,528,723 passengers between January 1 and September 30. Total departures numbered 352,067, which signify a 10.1 per cent increase on September 2015. Passenger traffic to India grew 10 per cent on 2015, which maintained its position as the top destination, with 355,328 passengers throughout September. Passengers to Qatar totaled 70,627, representing an increase of 18.4 per cent compared to September 2015. Saudi Arabia rose to become the third busiest destination, with traffic to and from the country increasing by 19 per cent. Traffic to and from Egypt rose by 37.9 per cent to 57,885 passengers.

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TAT issues travel advisory for the mourning period

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has recommended that any visitors with travel or tourism plans reconfirm with agents and follow the advice of the local authorities for announcements and updates. They should also be aware that in some areas transportation could be affected. We also ask tourists and visitors for their understanding and patience should they experience delays or some routes may be closed to traffic. Thailand is in a period of national mourning after the passing of its monarch His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The TAT would like to ask that members of the public stay updated via media announcements and notices from the Bureau of the Royal Household as well as the Royal Thai Government to ensure accurate information. It also requests that the solemnity of these rites are observed and the visitors – local and international – wear respectful attire. In the period of national mourning, some festivals and activities in the kingdom have been cancelled or postponed. Other events will go ahead as planned but may be toned down as a mark of respect.

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Ras Al Khaimah ramps up tourism promotion in Saudi

Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has ramped up its travel trade activities and consumer awareness campaigns in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in an effort to draw more visitors from the GCC market. Positioning itself as one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the region, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority hosted a travel trade roadshow in Saudi Arabia this week in partnership with Emirates Airline. More than 85 key stakeholders from the Saudi travel trade attended the roadshow which comprised awareness workshops for the travel trade in Jeddah and Riyadh on 9th and 10th October. During the first nine months of this year, RAKTDA reported an upturn of 18 per cent in the number of Saudi visitors staying in Ras Al Khaimah’s hotels, compared to the same period in 2015. Moreover, for the month of September, Saudi visitors to Ras Al Khaimah have increased by 39 per cent compared to September 2015. RAKTDA has launched its Vision 2019 tourism strategy with a target for 1 million visitors by the end of 2018. The strategy focuses on the emirate’s inimitable assets which include some of the finest beaches and nature in the region, the highest mountain in the UAE, a unique terracotta desert, 7,000 years of history and heritage, as well as authentic Arabian cultural experiences. The tourism body is planning an additional 20,000 hotel rooms by 2025, along with new tourist attractions, products and events to be developed across Ras Al Khaimah. Emirates Airline serves the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with 70 flights a week offering seamless travel to Dubai from its four gateways: Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Medinah Al Munawarah.

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India’s medical tourism market likely to reach $8 billion by 2020

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To tout the country’s image as a preferred healthcare & wellness destination, India participated in a big way at this year’s International Medical Travel Exhibition and Conference (IMTEC) at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC). According to some recent Medical industry reports India’s medical tourism market is expected to grow to USD 8 billion in the next four years. Industry analysts have pointed out that drivers for this growth includes India’s position as being the second largest country with the most number of accredited facilities (after Thailand) offering high quality healthcare with immediate service. Another driver seen is cost as India is known for offering quality medical treatments at affordable costs. The number of international visitors travelling to India for medical treatment has increased in recent years with the rise of private hospitals that offer world-class medical infrastructure and the capabilities for complex operations & procedures. Globally, the medical value travel is projected to increase to USD 32.5 billion over the next five years. Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC), set up by the Department of Commerce under India’s Ministry of Commerce, participated on behalf of the Government of India at the event showcasing the theme, ‘India Heals’ and promoting India as an ideal healthcare and wellness destination.  They further explained the features of the new India Healthcare Tourism Portal (www.indianhealthcaretourism.com) which was launched jointly by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India and the Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC). The portal is a comprehensive one-point information site and covers hospital-related and travel-related information on India. The medical facilities listed on the portal can be searched by location, medical specialty, key procedures, language options available in hospitals …

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157% rise in Polish visitors to Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and plans, initiates and drives its domestic and overseas promotions, welcomed two new charter flights from Poland to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. Operated by Enter Air, the two new charter flights have been added by the pan-European tour operator TUI, following the new co-marketing agreement with Ras Al Khaimah TDA which was signed in August. According to CEO RAK Tourism Development Authority Haitham Mattar, the visitor numbers from Poland have increased by 157% to date.

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Ras Al Khaimah to host Emirates Golf Tournament

Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah will host the annual Airlines Sports and Cultural Association (ASCA) Golf Tournament hosted by Emirates Airline from November 28-30, 2016 at Al Hamra Golf Club. The deal to stage the signature tournament in Ras Al Khaimah, which will welcome 120 players from a host of global airline teams, was formally signed by Emirates Golf Society and Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and plans, initiates and drives its domestic and overseas promotions, at the Emirates Group Headquarters in Dubai.  

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