Discover Europe travel summit this year was organised by tourism boards of Austria, Germany, Ireland and Switzerland. Over 95 partners were present from all 4 destinations and key travel agents from the GCC attended the summit over the last two days.
It was the first time after the pandemic that all GCC countries got the opportunity to be present physically to meet and network with partners from Europe. The two day event kicked off with new campaign presentations by each tourism board director, followed by B2B meetings between the trade partners. Travel trade partners from Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia attended the event with of course the host country participants from across the UAE as well.
Robert Groeblacher Director Austria tourism shared that it was very refreshing to meet everyone in person this year as last year most GCC countries were still closed hence participation was limited but this year saw a rise in the number of entrants. He further reiterated that the past year Austria had a good number of visitors from the GCC as they opened fairly early in the region for travellers to visit the destination.
Yamina Sofo Director Marketing German National Tourist Office for GCC countries in her presentation provided a sneak preview of one of the main campaigns to be launched this year which is based on nature. Embrace nature as the campaign started showed places and experiences that must be tried and should include in the bucket list. Sofo also shared that Germany had also achieved a high number of visitors from the region, hence they have more campaigns for the market this year.
Aisling McDermott Manager tourism Ireland for Middle East partnering for the first time with the other 3 European destinations reiterated their strategy for the year. Before the pandemic Ireland was one of the emerging outbound markets for the travellers from the UAE, she reiterated that this year they will be venturing out to other GCC countries and kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be one of the key destinations where they will kick start their campaigns.
Matthias Albrecht Director of Switzerland tourism shared the latest video on the destination which included stars such as famous Swiss tennis player Roger Federer and Hollywood stars Robert de Nero and Anne Hathaway. It was quite entertaining to see their new brand campaign of the Swiss grand tour starring Roger Federer and Anne Hathaway which brought in smiles from the audience. As Switzerland opened with no restrictions whatsoever, they had the best year too in terms of visitors.
All four directors thanked all the travel agents for their support and trust further ensuring them that they will be able to assist further during this year and beyond. Travel trade partners who attended the event shared that it is the first time after the pandemic that travellers from this region are eager to travel especially to Europe as it is best in summer and this year the bookings had come on much earlier than anticipated.