Category Archives: Agents

Gulf Travel Show 5.0 wraps up in resounding success with 2000 plus meetings

The fifth edition of the Gulf Travel Show (GTS) 2022 with Tourism Malaysia as platinum partner and German National Tourists Office GCC as silver partner successfully concluded yesterday after two very productive days of networking with an overwhelming response spearheading the recovery of tourism in the region. The theme in focus was sustainability hence buyers from across the Middle East were able to connect with exhibitors and conduct over 2000 one-on-one meetings attended by travel agents, tour operators, tourism boards, airlines, hotels, travel management companies, international agencies and media. Yamina Sofo, Director of Sales and Marketing at the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), the regional office of GNTB, “It’s been a pleasure being back at this year’s Gulf Travel Show, and connecting with both our legacy partners, and brand new potential who we’re looking forward to fostering relationships with. As part of the show, we have been presenting information on our #FeelGood campaign, which focuses on sustainable tourism and highlights ways to explore Germany’s diverse culture, while reducing carbon footprint. We are also driving awareness of accessible tourism, through Tourism For All, which promotes the barrier-free options in Germany and offers a wide range of adventurous offerings for all. In addition, we’re hosting a webinar on #FeelGood in the GTA auditorium, which we’re excited for visitors to the show to come and witness. The GCC is one of our most important source markets, so it’s great to be hear and further develop our understanding of the market, as well as present what we have on offer.” VIP buyer Zayeem Mohtisham, General Manager, Tour Planner reiterated, “We had a great experience at the Gulf Travel Show 5.0. Not only were the …

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Japan to welcome international visitors beginning October 11

The Government of Japan announced a policy of resuming entry by individual travelers for tourism purposes beginning on October 11. JNTO looks forward to welcoming individual inbound travelers back to Japan with the long-awaited lifting of entry restrictions. The resumption of individual travel to Japan and visa waivers, and the elimination of the daily arrival cap will allow international visitors to enjoy Japan in more ways than in the past two-and-a-half years. These measures are long-awaited news for tourists around the world who have been looking forward to visiting Japan. Executive Director of JNTO Dubai office, KOBAYASHI Daisuke shared, “The Middle East is positioned as one of the 22 strategic international markets targeted by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). Since the opening of the JNTO Dubai Office in November 2021, we have been eagerly awaiting, and busy preparing for, the day when international visitors can return to Japan with relaxed entry restrictions. 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and the United Arab Emirates. JNTO Dubai Office will engage in various promotional activities including commemorative events organized by the Japanese diplomatic missions as well as joint campaigns with stakeholders in the region. I am looking forward to seeing as many people as possible from the Middle East visit Japan in the coming months and year.” JNTO President SEINO Satoshi shared, “”The Japanese government has at last announced the resumption of individual travel for tourism purposes, visa waivers, and the elimination of the daily arrival cap. I am incredibly pleased to finally welcome back individual travelers after coping with the pandemic during a wait of    two-and-a-half years. In response to the announcement, JNTO will be doing everything …

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Accor and Qatar Airways unveil an ambitious partnership to strengthen their loyalty value

ALL-Accor Live Limitless and Qatar Airways Privilege Club are pleased to announce the enhancement of their strategic partnership to provide new ways for members to accelerate point collection and fast track their tier status upgrades, solidifying the first venture of its kind in the Middle East and Africa region. Previously members could only earn points or miles with one program per booking, which could then be transferred between programs as per their preference. As part of the enhanced partnership, eligible customers who are members of Qatar Airways Privilege Club and ALL – Accor Live Limitless, will have the opportunity to earn simultaneously Avios from Privilege Club and ALL Reward points on eligible hotel bookings and Qatar Airways operated flights by linking their membership profiles. Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Thierry Antinori, said: “At Privilege Club we are constantly striving to achieve excellence by providing our members with a loyalty programme that sets the highest standards for our members. To achieve this, we have taken the strategic decision to enhance our partnership with Accor, expanding benefits for both Privilege Club and ALL – Accor Live Limitless members and granting opportunities for tier fast-track. We look forward for our members to enjoy the benefits of this partnership enhancement in some of the world’s leading hotels, as well as introducing members of ALL to our award-winning services.” Mehdi Hemici, Chief Loyalty and Partnerships Officer for Accor commented “We are thrilled to elevate our existing partnership with Qatar Airways by offering additional benefits to our joint members. Through a seamless web or app customer journey, members of ALL and Qatar Airways Privilege Club can easily enroll and get rewarded for each flight and hotel …

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GTS day one closes with great success, day two opens with more opportunities

After a successful close of 500 plus B2B meetings on day one of the fifth edition of Gulf Travel Show with Tourism Malaysia as platinum partner and German National tourist office as silver partner opens today to the travel trade of the Middle East to network with the partners from various tourism boards, hotels and resorts, attractions, travel agents and DMCs. Dato’ HJ Zainuddin Abdul Wahab Director General Tourism Malaysia opened the show welcoming all the exhibitors and buyers to the fifth edition of the Gulf Travel Show. “First and foremost I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for inviting me to attend the Gulf Travel Show 5.0 virtually. As a platinum partner of GTS 2022, Malaysia is thrilled to welcome back Middle East tourists to visit and experience our country again. It is a timely opportunity for us to network with travel agents and tour operator partners from the Gulf region. Today, Malaysia is more than ready to welcome more travellers worldwide and in almost two years of stringent border controls to contain the covid 19 outbreak, Malaysia’s international border have reopened since 1st April 2022. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m also pleased to share with you that Malaysia is one of the most hassle free countries to visit in post pandemic. Travellers are no longer required to oblige the travellers guide, pre-departure test, on arrival test as well as civilians’ order, travel insurance is no longer a pre requisite for foreigners to enter the country. Malaysia is known for our natural wonders, a melting pot of cultures with various ethnics and friendly faces who need no introduction as we are known for our warm hospitality. We …

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McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Malaga consolidates its position with record growth in visitors

The Centre, which combines nearly 90 boutiques, has also broken visitor records this summer, surpassing the two million mark. McArthurGlen, Malaga’s large outlet located next to Plaza Mayor, closes its best summer ever. And it does so both in terms of sales growth – with an increase of 36% – and the number of visitors, which, with 2.2 million, represents a growth of 30% compared to the same period last year, between 1st of June and 31st of August. “We are very satisfied with these figures, which show that we have consolidated our position in the province just within two years,” says Javier Mendizabal, head of McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Málaga. The Centre has thus become a great economic engine for the area. As for the origin of international visitors, it is worth noting that most of them come from Morocco, the Middle East – especially Kuwait – and the United Kingdom. The balance of the summer shows other interesting data, such as the increase in sales in the luxury and premium segments, which shows that customers are largely opting for higher quality items. “Thanks to discounts, this means enjoying good value for money and more responsible consumption, with purchases that last longer in the wardrobe,” adds Mendizabal. In addition to existing brands such as Prada, Roberto Cavalli and Ermenegildo Zegna, among others, it is worth mentioning the recent opening of the French brand Moncler, which specialises in haute couture and pret-a-porter outerwear. There are now 90 boutiques in this area, which employs a total of 630 professionals in the sector. The Centre, which will be open from Monday to Sunday until 30 September, is almost fully occupied. However, it will culminate …

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Tourism Malaysia expects ME market to rebound to 2019 levels by 2025

The fifth edition of the Gulf Travel Show kicked off with a special press conference with Mohamed Amirul Rizal, Senior Deputy Director, International Promotion (Asia Africa) Division Tourism Malaysia chairing the press conference. In his opening remarks he welcomed the media for attending the event sharing that this is the fifth consecutive time that Tourism Malaysia participated as Platinum partner with the Gulf Travel Show to network with the travel agents and tour operator partners in the Middle East, especially in the GCC. He also thanked everyone for their dedication and commitment to make Malaysia top of mind destination in the region. He reiterated that entry requirements to Malaysia are now eased, and you can travel hassle free to explore the destination. It is no longer necessary to have pre-departure nor on arrival PCR tests nor have a special covid insurance etc. Instead, he stated that Malaysia is hassle free and everyone is welcome to travel without any quarantine or testing as their vaccination drive including children and retirees hit over 86% hence after two years of stringent border controls now it is time to explore the destination which has a lot more to offer to guests especially from the Middle East/ GCC countries. Connectivity is of utmost importance for all destinations, sharing his thoughts on this, “we work with our airline partners such as, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways etc, at present we are looking at further strengthening our network with SAUDIA, Egypt Air and Air Arabia to have more connectivity to our destination from the Middle East. After the pandemic and the borders opened we received about 23,000 visitors from the Middle East from 1st April 2022, however, we …

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Saudi Arabia is the fastest growing tourism destination in the G20

Saudi is the fastest growing tourism destination in the G20. Saudi Arabia’s exponential sector growth has seen an extraordinary +121% increase from pre-pandemic international tourism levels as recognized by the newly published UNWTO Tourism Barometer. The substantial tourism recovery recognizes not only Saudi’s considerable investment in tourism, but also the country’s pioneering leadership in future-proofing its tourism sector. Saudi was swift in its response to the pandemic and rolled out vaccines to ensure high immunization rates quickly which accelerated the easing of restrictions and the reopening of the country to tourists. The government also implemented several measures aimed at supporting companies and employees working in the tourism sector thereby mitigating the effects of the pandemic. Tourism is a key pillar of Saudi’s transformative Vision 2030 and the country has ambitious goals to ensure that tourism contributes 10% of the country’s GDP by 2030, with one million jobs created along the way. According to the UNWTO Tourism Barometer, the global tourism sector saw international tourist arrivals almost triple from January to July 2022 (+172%) compared to the same period of 2021. This means the sector recovered to almost 60% of pre-pandemic levels. His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, and Chairman of the Board of Saudi Tourism Authority said: “Recognition of Saudi’s achievements in the UNWTO Tourism Barometer is a key milestone in our extraordinary recovery and much of the success lies in our leadership’s multipronged approach to managing the pandemic and accelerating the sector’s pace of recovery. Saudi opened to the world in September 2019 and through continued leadership and commitment, we have made incomparable progress toward realizing our ambitious Vision 2030 tourism goals. We are …

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GTS 5.0 begins at 11am today

It is finally here, the fifth edition of Gulf Travel Show (GTS) which will kick off at 11am today until 4pm (UAE time) and tomorrow under the theme of sustainable tourism. One of the key areas post covid is sustainability, it is not a mere CSR project anymore but a wholesome deal which ensures responsible tourism. Participation in GTS assures you of the great responsibility held by the travel and tourism fraternity about their intent to reduce its carbon footprint. Gulf Travel Show (GTS) is the only event which was built in with a purpose. When it first started out just after the pandemic whilst most borders were still closed, it gave the travel, tourism and hospitality fraternity an opportunity to ensure that confidence is restored in the minds of the people passionate about the industry. It was also a tool which connected online GCC buyers with exhibitors from across the globe. The fifth edition or GTS 5.0 demonstrates its commitment to uphold its social responsibility to ensure less carbon emissions, yet bring all players to the table and learn and study the stakes, the many opportunities to make things right after a bout of almost two and a half years of pandemic era. Sustainability has many layers to be addressed, it is no longer a word to be utilized and passed on as a mere CSR activity, hence it is a commitment to ensure that everyone has a part to play on mother earth. Starting off with airlines and their biofuel capabilities, hotels and their sustainable strategies, tourism boards which provide and maintain sustainable goals to ensure that the country or destination promoted will not be perturbed, undisturbed, instead …

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Germany records 318% increase of traffic in 2022, the GCC is the second largest overseas source market for inbound tourism to Germany

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has revealed the country recorded a 318 per cent increase on overnight stays from Gulf nationals in the first six months of 2022 when compared to the same period last year*. GCC nationals were responsible for more than 335,000 stays in H1 2022, compared with a little less than 81,000 in 2021. Such figures confirm the region’s position as representing the biggest growth from an Asian source market. While tourism numbers may not have returned to pre-pandemic levels yet, the promising growth demonstrates the countries strong recovery as it continues to attract tourists. “The GCC is the top Asian source market, therefore it’s unsurprising with our recent campaigns that there has been such a strong increase,” said Yamina Sofo, director of sales and marketing at the German National Tourist Office, the regional office of GNTB. “Pandemic recovery has long been top of mind and it’s encouraging to see that both longstanding and first-time travellers are increasingly keen to explore everything that Germany has to offer.” Overall, the Asian source markets have recorded a 252.3 per cent increase in overnight visitors, a jump from just over 217,000 to just under 800,000 in 6 months. The surging increase demonstrates a dedication and determination to travel internationally, despite some countries continuing to implement travel restrictions during the first half of the year. To further drive interest in travel to Germany in the remainder of 2022, GNTB has announced the launch of its ‘Feel Good’ campaign, which encompasses a plethora of guiding tips highlighting the country’s eco initiatives that provide conscious tourists with adequate tools and information to reduce their carbon footprint during their travels. A recent survey by D/A, …

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Travel trade from Abu Dhabi witnessed live entertainment from St. Petersburg tourism

Leading travel trade agents in Abu Dhabi attended the first ever roadshow from St.Petersburg recently with partners from DMCs, hoteliers, cruise/shipping companies and medical tourism specialists. The roadshow was divided into three main parts, the first was the one on one B2B sessions where the travel trade could spend time and get to know the destination, followed by detailed presentations by the partners. The final part of the event was the grand dinner with authentic St.Petersburg entertainment, which included a ballet performance as well. Ksenia Narvatkina, Chief Specialist of the development department from St. Petersburg City Tourist Information Bureau and Committee for tourism development of Saint Petersburg, opened the presentation sharing, “we would like to share with you the tourism potential of St.Petersburg and hope that today’s presentation will allow you to know more about our unique city and its many offerings. In 2018, committee for tourism development of St.Petersburg and city tourism bureau organised a roadshow to the cities of the United Arab Emirates. The presentation of tourism development was held with great success and the event aroused great interest among people of the United Arab Emirates.” Mahesh Perera – Travel Consultant – BCD Travels Abu Dhabi shared, “After the pandemic during the past two and half years we did have on and off a few events but this was the first in Abu Dhabi and this was a very well organised roadshow. It was interesting to meet many partners including cruise partners this evening at the St.Petersburg roadshow. For agents like us in Abu Dhabi it was really a very productive and interactive event which enabled us to meet many partners.” Kumar Jiandani Business Development Manager Over Seas …

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