The expansion of Flash Tours in the Arab world is transferring its legacy and heritage to the UAE. Mohamed Khater, the newly appointed Regional GM & Managing Partner, speaks with TRAVTALK about their current regional ambitions.
Which areas of tourism do you specialise in?
The Flash Group, established in 1985, is an Egyptian international company that owns various brands and sister companies in the tourism and hospitality industries. Flash Group operates across the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, offering comprehensive tourist services. These range from hotel stays, Nile cruises, transportation, desert camping, and restaurants.
Are there any specific source markets with which you are working? How important are they and why?
The company has a strong base in West European source markets, including the Netherlands and France, but we intend to diversify our business and segments as the company expands. I plan to cover West Europe to the Far East with a proper strategy to tackle each source market and business. My primary philosophy is ‘do not put all your eggs in one basket’. For the past few years, we have been the pioneers in organising Formula F1 Groups to Abu Dhabi.
What is your outlook for tourism in the region?
The future looks bright and promising. The travel industry is resilient, and we can overcome many challenges. Vaccination rates are improving every day, which gives travellers more confidence in their safety and security. Due to the proper and effective measures and regulations that were implemented and validated by the governments and authorities, there is a tremendous demand in the region. This will undoubtedly have a positive impact in the future.
What are the strategies for attracting visitors, both inbound and outbound?
We need to be different and offer a diverse range of products and services to our partners and clients. For both segments, I plan to present out of the box ideas. One of my main objectives is to engage with National Tourism Boards and international associations to promote destinations using new and innovative strategies. The market is quite volatile, and we must be prepared. We cannot keep doing the same activities we were doing
before the pandemic.
What will this year’s winter look like? Do you have anything special planned?
This winter season is promising. The demand for travel to the UAE and the Middle East is tremendous, and we must capture this in the right manner. My plans are to strengthen our existing partnerships while also bringing new business opportunities to the destinations. As a result, we began to hire more team members and bring in new partners as part of our expansion plan to Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Africa.
What are your plans to bring in more visitors to help with incoming visitor numbers, and what destinations and numbers do you expect to attract before March?
Expo 2020 is a national pride event, and I must say, we have witnessed positive growth from our primary source markets visiting Dubai and the UAE in preparation for Expo 2020. We have included Expo 2020 tickets in some of our partner packages. The response has been great, and as I said before, the numbers are on their way up. Until March 2020, we expect this to continue in a positive direction.