Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Wego inks deal with SCTDA to promote tourism in Sharjah

From the singing

A new campaign deal has been inked between Wego and Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) for an innovative destination co-marketing campaign to boost tourism in the Emirate of Sharjah. The campaign will promote authentic tourist experiences and hidden gems exclusive to the emirate, enabling tourists to surpass traditional generic pursuits. By showcasing some of Sharjah’s biggest tourist attractions, through innovative online marketing activities, the campaign seeks to position the Emirate as a destination of choice amongst global travellers. Sharjah’s delightful mix of fun attractions, traditional hospitality and old-world charm, which resonate with a variety of audiences from around the world, will be promoted through this campaign. The campaign will focus on promoting the Emirate’s much-loved events and activities such as, but not limited to, the Sharjah International Book Fair, Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial and Sharjah Traditional Crafts Forum. “Sharjah is the perfect Middle Eastern city for travellers who wish to explore a ‘fresh’ destination packed with unique history and rich heritage and traditions,” said Mamoun Hmedan, Wego Managing Director for MENA and India. “In order to boost the emirate’s image as a family-friendly and culturally-charged destination, Wego will harness online tools such as high-impact display advertising, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and unique content marketing tactics. Together, these digital marketing tactics seek to further strengthen SCTDA’s ongoing marketing efforts,” he added.

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Abu Dhabi receives over 1.2 milion guests in first three months of 2018

Abu Dhabi Records Double Digit Growth

The number of  guests staying in Abu Dhabi’s 163 hotels and hotel apartments in March reached to 464,960, representing an increase of 12.3% compared to the same month last year, according to a report by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi . This means that the total number of hotel guests in the first three months of the year was 1,289,537, a year-on-year increase of 10.9% with key international markets registering impressive percentage gains. During the month, the numbers of visitors from leading international source market China increased by 15.4% to number 40,800, Indian guests increased by 32% to number 35,200 and the UK increased by 24% to reach 28,000. Other key markets, notably the United States and Germany, also registered double-digit increases with the US up 29% to 19,300 and Germany rising 36% to 18,800 guests. The figures follow a record-breaking 2017 when just shy of five million visitors stayed in Abu Dhabi city, Al Al Ain Region and Al Dhafra’s range of accommodation. UAE-based guests also increased in March to number 134,631, a rise from March 2017’s total of 130,125. The first quarter of this year has seen China maintain its position as leading international hotel guest supplier, with more than 127,000 Chinese staying in the emirate. Indian visitors have surged past 100,000 and showed a 30% increase. HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary, DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “Our progress in attracting more people to explore the emirate as a visitor destination.Our targeted marketing investment in key source markets is being rewarded with impressive double-digit growth as our global awareness grows and we develop into a ‘must visit’ destination built on unique experiences and rich cultural heritage”.

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Sri Lanka tourism keen to win Middle East travellers

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A delegation of 51 Sri Lanka-based tourism and hospitality companies visited Arabian Travel Market to develop tourist arrivals and demand in the island-nation. In 2017, Sri Lanka received a total of 107,635 tourists from the Middle East region with 6.5 percent growth with the UAE as one of the fastest growing tourism market from the region. Currently there are 70 direct flight services a week connecting the UAE to Sri Lanka suggesting the potential to grow and develop the market further is great, especially as travellers from the country on average have one of the highest travel spends in the world. This will result in not only return dividends for Sri Lanka’s tourism and hospitality industries, but also for the retail industry. John Amaratunga, Sri Lankan Minister of Tourism said, “Sri Lanka has much to offer visitors from the region with our distinctive, adventure-packed, eco-friendly, family-focused experiences and offerings, as well as our rich nature, heritage and culture, year-round schedule of festivals and special events, numerous parks and eco centers, luxury resorts and wellness centres, and romantic settings for honeymooners and couples. Our mission has done much to put Sri Lanka on the map and in the hearts and minds of Middle East-based travel partners, and in combination with future promotions planned for the country and the region, I’m confident we will see many more visitors from the region making Sri Lanka their next holiday destination of choice in the coming months.”

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Dubai Tourism launches ‘Dubai Pass’ for tourists

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Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has launched Dubai Pass for visitors to enjoy the city’s range of attractions, experiences and tours. It is an all-inclusive pre-paid card, grants cash-free access to 33 key events and venues across Dubai, making it the perfect way for tourists to explore the city’s world-class destination proposition. It will be available to redeem from May 16, 2018. Starting at AED399, the pass offers ‘Select’ and ‘Unlimited’ packages, with a specially-curated list of popular attractions and experiences. These include Burj Khalifa, Dubai Parks and Resorts, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Wild Wadi Waterpark, Ski Dubai, Desert Safari Tours, and many more. With every purchase, visitors will also receive a 50% discount on tickets to La Perle – the city’s one-of-a-kind live entertainment show with acrobatics and aerial stunts – by simply presenting their Dubai Pass when buying a ticket to the show. The ‘Select’ package is priced at AED399. It allows card users to enjoy a range of attractions – one from each of the three-tiered attraction pools. The pass is valid over seven consecutive days, beginning with the first day of use. Meanwhile, the unlimited package is available for AED899. Users can choose unlimited events and activities, and the pass is valid for three days. The year-round Dubai Pass has been introduced following the success of previous seasonal DSS and DSF passes. It will provide a streamlined way for people to experience Dubai, save money and make the most of their trip with family and friends.

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Sharjah records 70% hotel occupancy rate in 2017

HE Khalid Jasim Midfa

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development (SCTDA) has revealed at the Arabian Travel Market 2018 that Sharjah hotels recorded an occupancy growth rate of 70 per cent in 2017, indicating an exponentially rising number of regional and global travellers visiting the emirate. Commenting on the results, HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, said, “Last year’s positive developments were the results of the initiatives to transform the emirate into one of the world’s leading family destinations in line with the directives of HH Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and in support of Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, which seeks to attract over 10 million visitors to Sharjah shores by 2021. Our intensive tourism campaigns hit its targets in 2017, further boosting the local tourism sector and enhancing its reputation at the local, regional, and global levels.” He added, “Our strong performance last year helped catapult Sharjah into the ranks of the most innovative and competitive cities in the world. Our continuing achievements and successes are proof of the emirate’s capability to provide an exceptional travel experience as well as high potential to attract tourists from around the world. Furthermore, Sharjah is famous among travellers who want to explore ancient monuments, with visitors from Russia, China, and different parts of the globe descending on the emirate to experience its beauty and rich traditions. All of these are helping drive our economic, social, cultural, and environmental growth.”

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Meraas launches ‘Hala China’ to attract Chinese visitors

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In order to attract more Chinese visitors to the UAE, Meraas has launched ‘Hala China’, a brand-new initiative in collaboration with Dubai Holding and DXB Entertainments. ‘Hala China’ will aim to complement Dubai’s rich calendar of events by creating an annual schedule of exciting events hosted at the destinations of these three companies that aims to showcase Dubai and the UAE to Chinese tourists. The novel initiative will also see the creation of new tourism packages that cater to Chinese visitors in seven categories – stay, shop, eat, play, explore, wellness and concierge. The unprecedented initiative will focus on exploring opportunities that encourage and facilitate economic development through both tourism, trade and investment. ‘Hala China’ will see several key government ministries and companies in Dubai and China team up to organise events and incentives, which will play a role in further strengthening bilateral relations. The year-long pipeline of activities includes a mix of events and programmes spanning food festivals and fashion shows, sporting events, music festivals and Chinese cultural pageants. His Excellency Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman at Meraas, said, “In supporting the development of tourism and trade relations between Dubai and China, we continue to align our commercial objectives with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai reflected through Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020.”

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GNTB now accepts Crypto currencies as payment method

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Starting immediately, services of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) can be paid in Crypto currencies such as bitcoin. The GNTB wants to test the underlying blockchain technology of Crypto currencies in their finance department to use it for their international payment traffic. Petra Hedorfer, Chair of the Board, GNTB, explains, “Within our digitalisation strategy, we continuously test newest technologies and trends to see if they could be useful for our company. Through accepting Crypto currencies as a payment method and the possible medium term implementation of the blockchain technology in our finance sector, our international company wishes to set ourselves apart as an innovator and instigator within the tourism industry.” The blockchain technology offers interesting perspectives in regards to speed, transparency and security. Experts are expecting enormous improvements and saving potentials with, for example, international transactions.

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VisitBritain launches exclusive holidays for GCC

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For the first time, VisitBritain aims to promote the luxury horse racing itineraries to horse racing enthusiasts in the region and inspire them to book these experiences. Their recent ‘I Travel For…’ digital marketing campaign uses short-films and story-telling to market unexplored destinations in Britain, alongside its globally renowned landmarks and attractions. For centuries, horse racing has been linked with the English monarchy. It is called the sport of kings because of its strong association with royalty and nobility. The history of England is the history of horse racing, from its humble beginnings to today’s Royal family’s continuing passion and patronage of the sport. A day at the races is an opportunity to experience English history and tradition at its best.

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Visit Indonesia hosts networking sessions for travel trade in Dubai

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Nour Aridi, Country Manager, Visit Indonesia Tourist Office along with the Ministry of Tourism, Indonesia hosted a brand new campaign to the travel fraternity in Dubai with an interesting presentation. Indonesia, with over 17,000 islands, has some of the best tourist spots in the world. This year, they are on a new venture to promote these picturesque destinations especially to the many travellers in the UAE. It was an exclusive event which discussed and showcased new areas of tourism as well as the infrastructure that will be developed alongside the same. The partners had an opportunity to meet the tourism board officials to discuss further about ways to promote their destination.

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UAE’s Ministry of Economy conducts roadshow to capture India market

india roadshow

‘Visit UAE’, the Ministry of Economy’s recent roadshow in India across three major cities featured the participation of tourism departments and authorities from the Emirates, other local government entities concerned with the tourism sector and a group of tourism institutions and companies, including aviation, major attractions, hotels and tour and travel agencies in the country. The roadshow initially took place in Bangalore, then moved to Ahmedabad and concluded in Mumbai. H.E. Mohammed Khamis Al Mheiri, Advisor to the Minister of Economy for Tourism Affairs, shared that the MOE’s efforts fall in line with the goal of UAE Vision 2021 to position the UAE among the best sustainable tourism destinations in the world. Al Mheiri added that India is one of the UAE’s leading strategic economic partners and the second largest trading partner in 2016. The country also represents a vital tourist market—highlighted by the large number of recorded Indian visitors and tourists that come to visit various UAE emirates and tourist attractions. Visitors from India represent 10 per cent of the total number of visitors recorded in 2016. The figures consolidate the position of the Indian market as an important destination of tourism promotion and cooperation with the UAE.

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