TTME MAY 2019 ATM DAY 1 - P 5

France eyes the ME market

Travel trade from the Middle East shared their views on ‘Rendez-vous en France’ organised by Atout France that hosted over 900 agents in Provence.

TT Bureau

Susan Kamal, Chairman, Star of Egypt
As my first time in Marseilles, I enjoyed every moment of the programme — right from the pre-tours where we were able to witness interesting attractions. To our clientele, Provence and its surrounding areas will be exciting to explore. In terms of the conference, I am happy that I was able to engage in some very fruitful meetings with sellers from France.

Mohammed Jamil, General Manager, Jamil Travels & Tourism, Kuwait
Marseilles was an excellent experience and extremely promote-worthy for the Kuwait market. This will surely be a new destination for our clients with interesting sites to experience. I am thankful to Atout France for hosting us to experience the destination first-hand. Sofitel Marseille Vieux-Port is one of the most magnificent places for a view of the entire city.

Chithra Nair, Tours Manager, IFA International Travel & Tourism, Kuwait
The pre-tours were superb because the destination was a completely new experience for us. We learnt about many new places and had some enjoyable moments with people accompanying us. The two days of exhibition kept us preoccupied as we met various suppliers. The objective of the organisers was to sell the entire country rather than just the capital.

Mohammed Hamed, General Manager, Platinum Travel & Tourism, Riyadh
We managed to see quite a lot of Provence area. It is integral to promote these unexplored areas and develop awareness of these destinations. Even the smaller cities like Toulouse or Lyon have many attractions that would appeal to the GCC market. They are working towards developing some states to attract more visitors to various destinations.

Imtiaz Khan, Travel & Tourism Specialist, Fursan Travel, Riyadh
We visited many interesting places such as perfume factories, soap and olive oil factories. We had some very fruitful meetings at the exhibition and found lots of details about not just one or two areas but the whole of France. Most Saudi clients know the capital of France well but these untapped cities and regions around have so much to offer.

Alex Callahan, Purchasing Manager— European Cities, Youtravel.com, Dubai
We are in the process of developing our European city programme; so this event was key for the French market that has generated a substantial amount of new contracts and partnerships for us. Sofitel Marseille Vieux-Port offered stunning views over the old port. I strongly feel that Marseille could be the next big destination for French tourism.

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