In order to create trade awareness of The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, shopping villages in the nine European cities as well as places to stay and things to do, a special roadshow will be held across the GCC from February 11-13, 2020. Some of the partners share their plans and provide insights into what they expect from the upcoming event.
Karim Mekachera, Regional Director – Middle East and Turkey, Atout France
France offers its tourists a unique experience of discovering the world in a country. A multifaceted destination, France invites its travellers to begin their journey at iconic monuments in Paris and continue their voyage to the amazing ski resorts of French Alps passing by the beautiful French Riviera without forgetting typical villages of Alsace or the famous coast of Normandy and so much more to discover. Atout France, the France Tourism Development Agency, contributes to strengthening the appeal of France as a destination and the competitiveness of its companies, sectors and destinations through various promotional actions.
Patrick Allais, Business Development Manager, La Vallee Village
Just 40 minutes from Paris on the road to the Champagne region, La Vallée Village is a key shopping destination for Middle Eastern tourists. The GCC Roadshow allows the Village to showcase its more than 110 boutiques from leading brands and develop relationships with this growing market.
Jeroen van der Velde, Corporate Sales and Tourism Director, Maasmechelen Village
Easily accessible from Brussels and Antwerp, both just an hour away, Maasmechelen Village should top the itinerary of discerning Middle Eastern tourists. The GCC Roadshow, therefore, provides an invaluable opportunity to highlight the Village as a must-visit destination – and to put Belgium on the map for this important market.
Veerle Boonen, Sales Manager, Domaine La Butte aux Bois, Brussels
From the moment you arrive in Lanaken, the alluring combination of nature and wellness casts its spell over you. Surrounded by verdant woodlands, yet close to vibrant centres of cosmopolitan life, the Domaine La Butte aux Bois is a sanctuary of total luxury. Every room at Domaine La Butte aux Bois exudes elegance, luxury and utter sophistication. Dinner is served at the two Michelin-starred gourmet temple, Restaurant La Source.
Stefano Rizza, Business Development Manager, Fidenza Village
The GCC Roadshow allows us to showcase Fidenza Village, with its more than 120 boutiques and beautiful location in the midst of Verdi country, to this key market. It also allows us to gather valuable insights so that we can better cater to the needs of the Middle Eastern guest.
Riccardo Santi, Director of Sales, Grand Hotel Et De Milan
This original ‘Milanese mansion’ is located right in front of ‘via Montenapoleone’, a few steps away from the most luxurious fashion and design brands. Our guests from the Middle East will experience an authentic and discreet Italian jewel far from stereotyped international 5-star hotels. Special attention is paid to individual needs. One can enjoy impeccable culinary experiences through our two restaurants – Caruso and Don Carlos. Gerri’s bar is the perfect location for a sumptuous Club Sandwich before a supreme shopping experience.
Johnathan McDonagh, Sales Manager,The Kildare Hotel, Spa and Country Club
A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Legends Collection and Ireland’s first AA Five Red Star property, The K Club boasts 134-bedrooms, a grand Irish country retreat, set amid 550-acres of pristine parkland on a mile-long private stretch of the river Liffey. Located only 30 minutes from Dublin Airport and City Centre, The K Club is an elegantly restored 19th century Georgian mansion estate, set on the former site of Straffan House. Converted into a luxury hotel and country club in 1991, the opening of The K Club was a landmark moment in the Irish hospitality industry, creating new standards of Irish décor and service that have not been surpassed. The K Club resort offers guests a selection of facilities including two Arnold Palmer designed championship golf courses, a resort spa, several restaurants and bars and a host of country estate activities including falconry, fly fishing, kayaking, horse riding, archery, tennis and much more.
Sofia Santos, Country Manager GCC, Visit Britain
The GCC is a very important tourism source market for VisitBritain. It is second globally for inbound tourism spend in the UK with visitors spending an average of almost £2000 per visit, more than three times the all-market average. Visitors from the GCC also stay longer in the UK, an average of 13 nights compared to an all-market average of seven. We know that GCC visitors enjoy Britain’s cooler climate as well as its world-class shopping and dining experiences. We look forward to taking part in the ‘The Bicester Village Shopping Collection Roadshow’ to showcase new and unexpected experiences to our GCC visitors, inspiring them to discover more and travel further, supporting our drive to boost tourism right across Britain and across more of the year.
Siobhan Naughton, Marketing & Trade Executive – Middle East & Asia, Tourism Ireland
Through our participation in The Bicester Village Shopping Collection Roadshow, Tourism Ireland hopes to further increase awareness of the island of Ireland as the perfect travel destination for GCC visitors. Tourism Ireland estimates that approximately 71,000 Middle East travellers visited the island of Ireland in 2018. A key factor influencing the growth of visitor numbers from the GCC to Ireland in recent years is the significant advances that have been made on access through daily flights from across the region. In January 2018, the Irish Government lifted visa requirements for citizens of the UAE travelling to Ireland – this was a historic step for Ireland-Emirati relations and a great boost to help grow tourism from this important emerging market.
Alison Johnston, Head of Tourism, Kildare Village
An hour from Dublin in the heart of racing country, Kildare Village is home to 100 boutiques with up to 60 per cent off the recommended retail price. Establishing face-to-face relationships with our travel partners at the GCC Roadshow allows us to give Middle Eastern guests the best shopping experience possible.
Clive Doble, Tourism Director, Bicester Village
Located in the heart of the picturesque Oxfordshire countryside, Bicester Village is home to more than 160 boutiques. Providing opportunities to build relationships with key partners across Kuwait, UAE and Qatar, the GCC Roadshow supports the Village in achieving its target of attracting more Middle Eastern visitors.
Daniel Rosado Bayon, Spanish Tourism Counsellor, Turespaña, Abu Dhabi
The Spanish Tourism Board (Turespaña) in Abu Dhabi, the governmental body responsible for the promotion of Spain as a tourism destination in the Gulf region, is happy to partner with The Bicester Village Shopping Collection to increase awareness and position Spain as a luxury shopping destination. With dedicated shopping zones like Madrid´s Serrano district, the Paseo de Gracia boulevard in Barcelona and Puerto Banus in Marbella or the shopping villages of La Roca and Las Rozas offering international brands to Spanish designer labels like LOEWE or Manolo Blahnik, combined with the advantage of claiming VAT refunds with no minimum limit, Spain is a true shopper´s paradise.
Julio Montes, Director of Sales and Marketing & VP, Plaza Espana Design Hotel (Madrid)
The goal of the VP Group was to design a 5-star hotel that becomes an icon of design, art and architecture in Madrid. The philosophy ‘Design’ has art as its main protagonist and allows VP Hotels, to differ from other companies, to develop its own concept of accommodation, accompanied by commitment to sustainability, incorporating good practices in the categories of location, water, energy, materials, indoor environmental quality and innovation.
Dennis Thievessen, Director of Business Development – International Markets, NH Hotel Group & NH Collection Barcelona Gran Hotel Calderon
The recently renovated NH Collection Gran Calderon in Barcelona is the perfect spot to stay in the city because of its walking distance to many key tourist sights. Take a stroll around Barcelona or simply enjoy the views of the city basking in the sun at the rooftop pool or with a drink at Bar Eleven BCN by World Class located on the eleventh floor.
Monica Cecconi, Deputy Tourism Director LRV, Value Retail Management Spain S.L.U.
Understanding and better engaging with the Middle Eastern market is among the many benefits of the GCC Roadshow. It also provides the perfect opportunity to introduce these guests to the stylish Las Rozas Village, with its more than 100 boutiques and savings of up to 60 per cent off the recommended retail price.
The collaboration of tourism boards, travel partners and travel-trade media represented by the GCC Roadshow provides an outstanding opportunity to promote La Roca Village in the idyllic Mediterranean, just 40 minutes from Barcelona. This 360 approach ensures we deliver relevant content at the right moment via the most appropriate channel.
Andreas Laepple, Assistant Destination Marketing Manager, Wertheim Village & Ingolstadt Village
The GCC Roadshow is key to strengthening our relationships with our travel partners, highlighting Ingolstadt Village, in the heart of the beautiful Bavarian countryside, to prospective Middle Eastern guests. The Village offers these guests unprecedented levels of service and, with more than 110 boutiques, an extraordinary luxury shopping experience.
Positioning Germany top of mind for Middle Eastern travellers will be a key outcome of GCC Roadshow, where we will be able to foster deeper connections with our travel partners. This is vital for promoting Wertheim Village, which is located just 50 minutes from Frankfurt in the picturesque Tauber valley.