Connect, learn and network

Global DMC Network, owned by JTB Group, with their representative in Dubai Venture Planet organised a special roadshow for B2B agents in the UAE recently. Industry experts share with us the trends they foresee in the Middle Eastern market and how they can leverage it to their advantage.

Abrar Uppal, Senior Manager – Global Marketing,
Global DMC Network by JTB Group
Global DMC Network is owned by JTB Group with many companies around the world trained to do B2B business. Our main business on B2B constitutes leisure, FIT and MiCE. The Middle East is a rapidly growing market, predicted to grow to 12 million USD, hence, we decided to penetrate this market with value-added and specialised services. Our products, services and expansive network are assets that could further benefit the travellers from this region.

Rebecca Whitter, Global Destination Management, 
Global Marketing – Global DMC Network by JTB Group
Global DMC Network provides inbound travel services for a number of destinations that are relevant to the Middle Eastern travellers. Our unique network will cater to the Middle East market, which is always on the lookout for tailor-made options. The agents were divided into groups with four different break-out sessions where they learnt an in-depth study about the destinations and the offerings for the specific market.

Elena Bounimovitch, Global Destination Management,
Global Marketing – Global DMC Network by JTB Group
We see a new trend from this market, which is a demand for long-haul destinations to experience specific FITs, so we feel as a global DMC we can make it happen. The event witnessed face-to-face meetings with some of the biggest agents who discussed the scope of business in the market. Dubai as we know has a great potential for B2B agents, FITs and meeting agents.

Manju Manchanda, Director, Venture Planet
Venture Planet represents JTB in Dubai, hence, we organised the first-ever roadshow so that all agents could receive comprehensive information first-hand by the agents themselves. The agents who particpated were from some of the top destinations, most favoured by this region, such as Europe and Asia. We were targeting fixed departures, MiCE, etc. We received a positive feedback and now look forward to strengthen the market.

Murad Farrah, Sales Representative, Middle East, Europamundo
We highlighted an important aspect necessary for this market. What is most important for the Arab speaking guests is that they require tour guides and drivers who can connect, understand and serve their needs, as most of them are not so well versed in English. Hence, for the first time we were able to provide specialised Arabic speaking tour guides and drivers in order to make the travellers from the region comfortable.

Didier Nicoux, Regional Sales Director, Europe and
Middle East, Tumlare
We have received nearly 3,000 pax last year from the Middle East and we hope to enhance the numbers this year. Hence, the locals will be informed about our offerings. Some of the countries desired are Iceland, Scandinavian countries and Western European destinations. With Kuoni joining our company last year, we have provision of additional services, which can be beneficial to the travel agents in the UAE region.

George Joseph, General Manager, Trinity Travel and Tourism
The sessions were informative and had good partners from around the world with their professional setups and tie-ups, which could benefit our clients. We learnt a lot from the mature markets. As travel agents, the sessions certainly helped us to learn more about the network in the region and how best we can work together to deliver best services to the trade and grow our business optimally.

Pramod Thomas, Head of Leisure, SNTTA
Networking is a major part of our business and we need to constantly engage in having the right sources to provide to our clients. We need to update ourselves and enhance what we can offer to our clientele. In the past four sessions, we were provided additional information that can be useful for us for procuring suitable business from our local clients. With this, we aim to provide a more comprehensive service.

Abdul Jabbar Ali, Operation Manager, Al Barrak Travel and Tourism
We deal mainly with FITs, especially serving the locals. The sessions were important in imparting how we can work together to provide our customers with better service. Most of my clients prefer destinations like Japan, Singapore and Malaysia, as they are mainly travelling to check the car factories in Japan on business or for leisure. By attending the sessions I gained knowledge on how to help my clients enjoy their holiday better.

Suzan Alali Humaid Al Falasi, Holidays Consultant, Orient Travel
The event was one of the most interesting ones that I attended. The presentation was in Arabic which is my native language. The event was important for me as 90 per cent of my clientele are locals. I am grateful to global DMC and Venture Planet for taking the initiative. Locals look out for tour guides and drivers who speak Arabic. I shall share the inputs with my clients for helping them generate profitable businesses.

Uma Ravindran, Manager – Corporate and Leisure,
B6 Travel and Tourism
We are specialised in inbound, MiCE and events, with a mix of 40 per cent local and 60 per cent expat clientele. The four sessions conducted were very informative. The one-on-one meetings with the representatives provided comprehensive information on the needs of the region in terms of business. The trends that are relevant to the region were showcased and discussed in the presentations and sessions.

Dona Niluka Dangalla, Head of Sales and Operations, Travzed
We are an inbound and outbound tour operator in Dubai for the past three-and-a- half years, catering to FIT, MiCE, leisure etc. There were some crucial takeaways in the four sessions. We also gained knowledege on the extensive network, which we can leverage to our advantage as we can reach out to different markets through one organisation. Besides, there were specialised Arabic speaking tour guides and drivers for the European destinations.

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