Marcelo Molinari, Tourism Director – Destination Marketing, The Bicester Village Shopping Collection speaks to TRAVTALK about the initiatives for the GCC Roadshow which will be held from February 10-13, 2020. The roadshow will increase awareness of European shopping destinations and their associated regions in the ME market.
Do share details about the roadshow to be held in GCC.
The GCC Roadshow comprises a series of luxury events scheduled from 10 am to 3 pm at The St Regis Doha on February 10, The JW Marriott Hotel Kuwait City on February 11, the Fairmont Dubai on February 12 and Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche on February 13. While not the Collection’s first in the region, this roadshow is unprecedented in terms of scale. Among others, it incorporates tourism boards and tourism development agencies, including VisitBritain, Atout France, Turespana and Tourism Ireland, together with numerous boutique hotels local to our Villages. Travel trade incentives include the opportunity to win a six-night, two-city break for two in Europe.
What does the roadshow entail?
Unifying nine distinctive destinations across Europe and two in China, The Bicester Village Shopping Collection offers a personalised and differentiated luxury shopping experience – one that has significant appeal to the discerning Middle Eastern guests. Not only does the GCC Roadshow allow us to showcase our exceptional offerings to our second-largest market, but it provides an opportunity for us to establish face-to-face relationships with our travel partners and, in so doing, to give our Middle Eastern guests the best shopping experience possible. We anticipate 22 partners, including the hotels neighbouring our nine European Villages, as well as four tourism boards. Our audience will largely comprise travel bookers experienced in selling luxury packages to the GCC market.
Could you share the key objectives for organising the roadshow?
After China, the Middle East represents the largest market for The Bicester Village Shopping Collection and this roadshow allows us to gather valuable insights so that we can cater to the needs of this important guest. The collaboration of tourism boards, travel partners and travel trade media also provides an outstanding opportunity to promote our nine European Villages.
What are the expected number of visitors?
We hope to attract some 200 travel trade professionals, all of whom will gain an in-depth understanding of our experience-led luxury retail offerings and the culturally rich regions in which our Villages are located.
What are the initiatives taken to promote the event among industry professionals?
In addition to media partnerships, such as that established with TravTalk Middle East, we are also working with destination experts, Emirates Holidays, to curate travel packages for promotion to the trade.
The Bicester Village Shopping Collection also boasts a powerful global PR network and works extensively with key influencers in our source markets, including the Middle East, to promote events of this nature.
Is the Middle East a key source market?
The Middle East represents our second-largest strategic market in terms of tax-free sales. Topping the list is Kuwait while the KSA, UAE, Qatar and Egypt are our other key markets in the region. We cater to guests from these markets with relevant brands in all our Villages as well as through our exceptional service offerings which include contemplation rooms, halal dining, Arabic speaking concierges and a host of targeted activities throughout
What will be the expectations at the event?
Not only will the roadshow increase awareness of our European shopping destinations and their associated regions in this important market, but it will also furnish our travel trade partners with a suite of exceptional value-added incentives that they can pass onto their clients.