WTM: A gamut of opportunities

This November, Excel London will become the focal point for leading travel, tourism and hospitality partners as they gather to network on one stage for World Travel Market (WTM) from November 6-8, 2017. It is expected that this year will be a record year with a strong contingent from the Middle East region participating in the event.

H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority
World Travel Market is one of the very top events for any institution operating within the tourism industry; a mammoth function that draws more than 30,000 professionals. As with every year and every event we attend, we seek to promote Sharjah as a yearround tourist destination, catering to families and culture enthusiasts the world over. The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) will introduce its events, including cultural events such as Sharjah International Book Fair, Sharjah Heritage Days, and Sharjah Art Biennial, as well as leisure and sports events including the world-famous Sharjah Light Festival, the final race of the U.I.M. F1H2O World Championship, and the Aquabike World Championship Grand Prix. Moreover, the Authority will introduce new additions to its already rich touristic offerings. The UK expatriate community is the largest western community in the country: there were 240,000 Britons living in the country in 2012, a large number of whom reside in Sharjah or frequently visit the emirate coming from the neighbouring territories. Older UK tourists show considerable interest in the type of cultural tourism that Sharjah offers and places high importance on it when choosing a destination. We seek to promote Sharjah to as many people as possible. We have concentrated many efforts this year towards Asia and Russia. We have recently concluded very successful roadshows in GCC, India, China, Kazakhstan and Baltic countries. We are focusing on forging partnerships with online travel agencies and rating services. We work to create a compelling value proposition with international travel trade businesses and receptive tour operators. To maximise current partnerships, we have to gain a greater voice in key global markets. WTM is one of the largest and widest-reaching tourism events in the world. Tourism authorities around the region should utilise this platform and communicate their message to source markets. After all, more than £2.5 billion ($3.24 billion) in travel industry contracts are concluded at WTM each year.

Freddy Farid, Area General Manager, Gloria Hotels
We look forward to learning about new trends within the travel industry, including approaches to online solutions and development of niche markets at WTM. We anticipate to meet and establish relations with new partners and strengthen our relationship with our existing partners. We have launched an aggressive ‘Kids Go Free’ offer partnered with DTCM in their ‘Stay Sunny’ campaign where kids below age 16 can stay for free. The UK represents a major market for us at Gloria Hotels. We are currently launching a special programmes for the next summer with aggressive offers and added values.

Samir Hamadeh, General Manager, Alpha Destination Management
It’s our 20th time to exhibit at the WTM. The UK market is still a leading market into our destination and Alpha Destination Management is a well-known brand among the UK tour operators. It is important for us to continue nurturing those relations with key industry partners. The message that we are conveying this year is that we are committed to offering greater added value as well as investing further into technology to enhance customer experience in the destination. Visitors at WTM will be able to find us at the Dubai Tourism stand on booth M300.

JVR Fernando, Commercial Director (West Africa & Asia), Satguru Travel & Tourism
Our objective was to showcase Satguru Travel & Tourism as the leading Destination Management Company (DMC). We will be showcasing our strong points to become the leading DMC in 22 countries under the six zones. Under the six zones, the following destinations are selected to promote Satguru as the leading DMC: North Africa, Europe & Latin America, South Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East, East Africa. With our strong presence in UAE and head office based in Dubai, we offer a range of travel related products and services, with great value for money and developed after extensive research.

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