The German National Tourist Board’s (GNTB) manager for GCC States, Heike Murad, said, “Saudi Arabia’s qualification for the FIFA World Cup will have a big impact on GCC travellers. Therefore, the Arabian Travel Market is an ideal event for us to kick-start the regional campaign.
“The actual campaign is still being finalised but will include key incentives to encourage soccer fans to make the trip to Germany.”
FIFA soccer fever will be just part of a diverse German presence at Arabian Travel Market 2006, which will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from May 2-5 this year. The GNTB is among 34 official tourism bodies taking part in the annual Arabian Travel Market, which this year is celebrating its 13th showing.
Other key German promotions planned for ATM is the ‘Shopping In Germany’ festival and the ‘Mozart Year’ – a 12 month celebration of the renowned maestro’s 250th birth anniversary.
“Our aim is to create awareness among GCC travel agents, especially about Germany’s cultural wonders, which is central to our agenda,” said Murad.
The GNTB believes the Middle East is key to the development of Germany’s inbound tourism industry with overnight stays by GCC travellers rising higher than from any other region.
“The growth in overnight stays from the GCC to Germany is the highest from anywhere in the world – 648,997 visitors in 2005, a 26.7% increase over 2004 as against the world average of 6.4%,” explained Murad.
“The average length of stay of visitors from the GCC is 22 days as compared to 7.5 days for European travellers, demonstrating the value of the Gulf market to the German tourism sector.
“The average GCC traveller spends 2,350 Euros (US$2,793) per person, 403% higher than their European counterparts who spend an average of 583 Euros (US$692) per person, an indication of the high spending capacity of Arabs.”
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), which organises Arabian Travel Market, says this year’s event will be the most diverse in the event’s history with more exhibitors, more destinations and more products on show.
“Not only is this one event which will promote unlimited destinations, but it will also be a shop window to a hugely diverse product range,” said Chris Chackal, Group Exhibition Director – Overseas Events, RTE.
“New-to-market products at ATM will include private hire of one of the world’s most luxurious yachts to horse riding on the Argentine pampas. The new business opportunities for Middle East travel professionals are obvious from this extremely wide product and exhibitor portfolio.”
To date exhibitors from 37 countries have signed up for Arabian Travel Market, which is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and under the auspices of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Government of Dubai.
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