TTME MARCH 2019- COVER STORY

All roads lead to Germany

ITB Berlin 2019, to be held from March 6-10 at Messe Berlin, attracts six emirates from the UAE with Expo 2020 Dubai and Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority as new additions from the Middle East.

SHEHARA RIZLY

HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority
We are participating at ITB Berlin for the 22nd consecutive year and this represents a fresh opportunity for us to showcase the finest aspects of Sharjah’s heritage, adventures, architecture and other offerings. This year, during our participation, we will focus on Sharjah’s ecotourism, outdoor activities and branded hotels with the aim of attracting more tourists and investors from Germany, a major source market, and other participating nations. The event will help boost our efforts to meet our target of attracting 10 million visitors by 2021. Our contingent this year will comprise Ramada Hotel, Sharjah Airport Travel Agency, Coral Beach Hotel, Sharjah Museums Department, Sharjah International Airport, Cozmo Travel, The Act Hotel, Environment and Protected Areas Authority, Sheraton Hotels, Al Bait Hotel, Sharjah Collection, Centro Sharjah by Rotana and Orient Tours.

Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Officer, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority has exceeded its target of attracting one million visitors by 2018 by reporting 1,072,066 visitors from domestic and key international markets. Germany continues to be our leading international source market with 83,605 visitors to Ras Al Khaimah in 2018, followed by Russia and the UK. At ITB Berlin, we will be showcasing a virtual reality experience of Jebel Jais Flight – the world’s longest zipline, which has welcomed over 25,000 flyers since its opening about a year ago. We will be updating visitors on the culture and heritage projects including the pearl farm and restoration of old pearl farming village of the 17th century.

Sigrid de Mazieresm, Director—Gulf Countries, German National Tourism Board
Like every year, the German tourism board will have a large stand at ITB Berlin to meet with our valued partners from all over the world. We look forward to strengthening relations with the travel trade and tourism partners to update the tourism community about the latest industry trends and marketing activities to promote ‘Destination Germany’. Our Dubai-based office will be attending ITB to connect with German partners like hotels, regional tourism boards or any other travel-related service providers and woo them to take part in our GCC-wide marketing activities. To promote ‘Destination Germany’ and for the travel trade industry to explore our country, we organise Germany Travel Mart every year whilst offering a range of pre-scheduled educational tours.

Mohamed Awadalla, Chief Executive Officer, TIME Hotels
The event provides us with an excellent opportunity to network with our trade partners and our peers as well as the local, regional and international press. This year, we will be highlighting our pipeline of property launches. In particular, we will be promoting our debut property under the TIME Express Hotels brand – TIME Express Hotel Al Khan, a three-star property in Sharjah featuring 55 keys and scheduled to open in April 2019. Expansion will remain key for us throughout 2019 with a range of new openings planned across the UAE as well as other properties throughout the wider MENA region.

Fadi Sallit, Director – Sales Leisure, Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate Dubai
Crucial for hotels in the UAE, the German market is focused on leisure as it offers volume throughout the year, including the summer season. Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate Dubai continues to work closely with this market. ITB Berlin is a great networking platform for us. We aim to strengthen our existing partnerships with Germany to increase business volumes whilst taking this opportunity to source new ones. Additionally, promoting and selling indestination services together with our room rate is another area we look forward to enhancing during this show.

Freddy Farid, Managing Director, Two Seasons Hotel & Apartments Dubai
The German market and Central Europe as a whole represent a 21 per cent share of arrivals to Dubai, and the German market in particular represents UAE’s largest trading partner that has consistently generated an influx of inbound visitors. As a home-grown management company, we are focusing on the German market since a long time for its stability and economic growth. We are showcasing our new brand as Two Seasons Hotels from the viewpoint of Dubai enjoying two seasons – winter and summer. We are expecting to increase our brand awareness.

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