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Dubai participants pleased with response from WTM 2003

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 14 November 2003

Representatives of the private and public sector organizations which participated in the World Travel Market (WTM 2003) under the umbrella of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) have expressed their strong confidence about the opening of new growth avenues for the emirates tourism industry and significant increase in visitors from across the world.

The four day global travel fair ended in London on Thursday after witnessing the participation of over 5,000 companies and organizations and close to 50,000 visitors from 190 countries.

The biggest ever Dubai stand in the 24 years of WTM history was a centre of attraction and representatives of the co-participants handled a variety of enquiries of hundreds of visitors about different facets of Dubai, the latest developmental projects, investment opportunities, and the world-class facilities and services available to the tourists, both business and leisure.

Dubais 425 square meter stand featured 54 booths of organizations, ranging from hotels to tour operators

DTCM Manager Overseas Promotions, Mr. Khalifa Ali Buamaim, said: The response that Dubai co-participants got was beyond their expectations and helped in creating further confidence and interest in Dubai among the global travel industry professionals. Our participation in the WTM for the 14th consecutive year is expected to create further growth opportunities. Dubai is the focus of the travel industry as it is a safe and perfect round-the-year destination.

The increase in the number of co-participants and the huge size of the stand reflects the importance that DTCM and the co-participants accords to WTM. The number of co-participants this year went up by 10 compared with the previous year, while the stand size grew by 101 square meters.

Dubai has been enjoying great interest among the visitors at this exhibition right from the very first year of its participation, but the WTM 2003 was utilized to raise the level of awareness and networking with the travel industry.

DTCM officials said the co-participants were able to make new contacts and network with industry leaders and visitors from other parts of the world.

They were able to market the investment and growth opportunities in the fast developing emirate in addition to discuss upcoming projects, develop new business and make new deals and contracts.

The WTM 2003 offered the Dubai participants a perfect opportunity to offer information about the exciting and dynamic emirate and its fast-developing tourism infrastructure: new hotels, fascinating attractions and sites; programs offered by tour operators, ground handlers and incentive and conference organizers.

Kumar Shetty of Ramee Group of Hotels, first-time participant in WTM, said: We expected the WTM to be productive for our business and it has been so. We searched and forged new relationships with the travel companies from the Middle East and Europe. We intend to open a representation office in London for out hotels in Dubai and Bahrain and increase our share in conference business.

G Rotolo of Novotel/Ibis World Trade Centre Hotel, another first-time participant at the WTM, said the global fair provided the opportunity to network with the industry players and expose the property to the UK market.

The WTM 2003 was utilized by The Big Bus Company, another first-timer, to re-launch the project and explore business development opportunities in addition to creating awareness at its well-established UK market.

Olivier Louis, General Manager of One and Only Royal Mirage, said: We welcomed familiar and new faces at World Travel Market-2003. We held discussions on Dubais tourism industry and its diverse and attractive infrastructure and services. We strengthened our relationship with key operators and discussed travel trends and growth opportunities. The share of UK in our total business has more than doubled in three years.

Michelle Chedetol of Dubai Golf said the WTM 2003 helped in meeting the existing customers and initiating partnership opportunities and develop group business.

Anna Popora, Marketing Coordinator, Wafi Health and Leisure, and Daniella Russell, Director, Health and Leisure, Wafi Health and Leisure, said the WTM-2003 was utilized to generate an even stronger awareness for their company and meet new customers for spa and leisure business.

Siggi von Brandt, Business Development Director, Le Royal Meridien B each Resort and Spa Dubai and Grosvenor House, West Marina Beach by Le Meridien, said the participation helped in growing partnerships with the travel industry and exploring new markets, especially new leisure (spa) operators.

Salah El Khayat, Executive Director, Danat Dubai Cruises, said: The participation in the WTM 2003 was very encouraging and we expect more customers in the coming days. We are targeting MICE market in addition to corporates. About 30 per cent of our business comes from the UK market.

Jagdish Pai, Director of Sales, Golden Sands Hotel Apartments, said: The UK as a market has surpassed expectations for Dubai. However, we think our presence at the WTM is critical in terms of strengthening our partnerships with individuals and tour companies that support us. Over 50 per cent of the leisure segment for our business comes from the UK.

Sanjeet Johar, Business Relations Manager, Taj Palace Hotel Dubai, said: The WTM 2003 helped in tapping new contacts and consolidating existing contacts. We are targeting ethnic Asian market in the UK in addition to French and German operators keen in coming to Dubai.

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