Outlook for the year of Expo 2020

UAE will be focusing on new markets in 2020, starting off with the Nordic travel fair—MATKA—to be held from January 17-20 in Helsinki, Finland. The two other important exhibitions to kick off in the upcoming year are Vakantiebeurs in Netherlands and FESPO in Switzerland.

HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority
2020 is expected to be a banner year for us as we have a lot of exciting things planned, including B2B and B2C activities with travel and tourism companies that are aimed at increasing awareness about Sharjah and promoting it as an ideal travel destination across thriving international markets. We are very excited with our coming participation at the 2020 edition of the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair, which is widely recognised as the largest travel fair in Northern Europe. This fair is attended by over 50,000 consumers and almost 20,000 travel trade professionals over a course of three exciting days. Our participation will allow us the opportunity to make Nordic travellers more aware of what Sharjah has to offer as a travel and tourism destination. Our goal is to be able to reach out to a wider audience of potential tourists and increase awareness of what Sharjah offers as a travel destination – from related products to top spots to visit. We want to package Sharjah as a highly-preferred vacation spot for the Nordic market.

Jamal Abdulnasser, CEO, Cozmo Travel
In 2020, Cozmo will focus and promote all our 10 markets. Consistency and sustainability in all our existing markets is the key focus. We launched a new bedbank division called iByta and we were awarded representation of Travel Leaders International in five markets – Oman, Qatar, KSA, Bahrain and India. iByta will function like an independent unit which will consolidate all land contracts which includes small & large chain hotels, sightseeing & transportation. We will grow our B2B network through iByta. Travel Leaders Network is a diversified, multi-line, 25 billion dollar company in the North America, specialising in corporate and leisure travel, with more than 52,000 travel advisors, 6,000 locations in USA and presence in over 80 countries around the world. So I believe Travel Management & leisure B2B is going to be our key areas of interest to grow.

Rifaat Salih Sabet, Cluster General Manager – Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel and Resort Ghantoot
We are taking over the Private Beach Club which was run by Blue Marlin Ibiza previously, we will be putting up some water sports and do slight renovation in rooms and public areas including the lobby. Our focus will be on quality of service. We are investing in Human Resources and Training and Development of our new staff and existing team. This year we will be attending ITB Berlin, ATM Dubai and Leisure Exhibition in Moscow to increase our share of tourism arrivals from these countries so that we diversify our business mix in order to showcase our property and present it to the Travel and Trade along with our services such as Private Beach Club and Water Sports Activities. Property exposure and awareness to the local and international market and new business sources are the main way forward for us this year.

Sarah Wisler, Cluster Director of Marketing – Delta Hotels by Marriott Jumeirah Beach, Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road and Downtown
There’s no doubt that 2020 is going to be a very challenging and competitive year in the market. Delta Hotels by Marriott Jumeirah Beach is the first property of the brand in the Middle East and our focus in Sales & Marketing this year is going to position the hotel in the market and increase brand awareness. Our efforts will concentrate on driving direct bookings and gaining digital room nights shares. A strong digital marketing strategy is absolutely vital for maximising bookings and increasing revenue. The rest of our efforts will focus on mobile marketing and experiences, such as mobile check-in, influencer marketing, and a robust PR strategy. Key European markets will be Germany and the UK, CIS, GCC and Scandinavia for long stays as the hotel boasts spacious 2, 3, and 4-bedroom suites.

Beverly Au Yong, Area Director (Middle East), International Group
In the first half of 2019, we welcomed over 58,000 visitors from Middle East to Singapore, a growth of 6.1 per cent over the same period in 2018. We remain positive about the growth potential for this market and look forward to welcoming more visitors to Singapore. We will continue to foster meaningful partnerships with regional airlines and tour operators. On the consumer front, we will continue to promote family and single travellers as well as actively promote M!CE offerings to potential corporates and intermediaries. We recently announced the global launch of the In Singapore Incentives & Rewards (INSPIRE) which invites M!CE groups to experience over 60 complimentary local experiences in Singapore, which will be part of Expo 2020. The Singapore Pavilion, titled ‘Nature. Nurture. Future’ will pay tribute to Singapore’s journey towards growth, sustainability and resilience. The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will lead Singapore’s participation in Expo 2020.

Inputs by Shehara Rizly


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