Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

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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SCTDA unveils initiative to empower women in the tourism sector

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) aims to uplift women’s role in the travel and tourism sector with an initiative that combines tourism training and promotes equality through community initiatives. The dates for the training, as part of the women’s empowerment initiative, were announced in conjunction with NAMA Women Advancement Establishment during Women Economic Empowerment Global Summit (WEEGS) 2017, which was held in Sharjah. Through creating a learning programme that advocates for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment as per Goal #5 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, SCTDA shall contribute to the UAE’s efforts towards driving women’s empowerment. The training of first and second batches of candidates will be held from July 7-11; and October 13-17, respectively. By equipping more women with the skills and knowledge needed to address the demands of the sector, the initiative will prepare them to take on challenging roles in tourism and the travel and hospitality industry. Furthermore, the programme is set to have a wider impact and social reach to resonate with the UN-Women Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). H.E Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said: “Our partnership with Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Summit, which serves as a catalyst for positive change, adds further value to our efforts in this direction.” As part of the initiative, SCTDA has set two main objectives including the promotion of education, training and professional development for women. To achieve this, the Authority has designed a customised women’s empowerment training programme to address the key learning needs identified for 40 Emirati women who are graduates. The promotion of equality through community initiatives and advocacy is also a focus area of the programme. The initiative offers …

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Finland witnesses 20.6 per cent increase in visitors from the UAE

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

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

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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