Where are trav­ellers go­ing?

TravTalk - Middle East - - FRONT PAGE - SHEHARA RIZLY

Whilst Lon­don and Europe re­main pop­u­lar, there is a need for the Mid­dle Eastern trav­eller to ex­plore emerg­ing destinations. gath­ered in­for­ma­tion about new va­ca­tion spots for this year and key points on re­quire­ments by lo­cals and ex­pats to drive to these sites.

Our qual­ity tourism and mild cli­mate is some­thing which tourists from the Mid­dle East mostly pre­fer dur­ing their stay. Mon­tene­gro at­tracts many vis­i­tors with its me­dieval towns and moun­tain land­scapes whilst boast­ing of one of the most beau­ti­ful coast­lines of Europe. As the Mon­tene­grin coast is 293 km long with 73 km of beaches spread over 117 lo­ca­tions, it of­fers a wide se­lec­tion of beaches - from se­cluded in­ti­mate bays to fam­ily ori­en­tated re­sorts, from spec­tac­u­lar sandy stretches to quaint rocky coves, ac­ces­si­ble only by boat. With al­ready good air ac­ces­si­bil­ity and im­proved port­fo­lio of tour op­er­a­tors, we ex­pect to re­ceive much more tourists in the next pe­riod.

The UAE is one of the grow­ing tourism mar­kets for Turkey tourism. As the year of Troy de­clared by Turkey Min­istry of Cul­ture and Tourism, 2018 has been wit­ness­ing heavy promotion of the Canakkale re­gion in sev­eral in­ter­na­tional destinations. Be­sides the avail­abil­ity of daily flights, high­way con­nec­tions are smooth and easy to ac­cess in three and a half hours. Sev­eral in­ter­na­tional press vis­its and tours op­er­a­tor vis­its are also on sched­ule. Troy Mu­seum, set to open in Au­gust 2018, is go­ing to at­tract thou­sands of tourists. Canakkale and Troy re­gion, with its end­less touris­tic op­por­tu­ni­ties, per­fect na­ture and rich history, is the ris­ing star of Turkey Tourism. The area covers Dar­danelles strait, beau­ti­ful beaches, water sports, div­ing, sail­ing, wind and kite surf­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, and its thou­sand springs.

This year, more and more travel agen­cies have pre­pared Eid pack­ages for the res­i­dents of the UAE to dis­cover Rwanda. Rwanda is a des­ti­na­tion for trav­ellers in search of a unique ex­pe­ri­ence. Visit the Moun­tain Go­ril­las, walk on a canopy sus­pended at 50m high above the Nyungwe Rain­for­est, and wit­ness the Big 5 at the Ak­agera Na­tional Park. The hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor in Rwanda has laid spe­cial em­pha­sis in grow­ing the Halal of­fer­ing. Last year, Rwanda re­ceived 1,020 GCC vis­i­tors. How­ever, we ex­pect a dras­tic growth due to the visa re­lax­ation that started early 2018, where all vis­i­tors will be able to re­ceive their visa upon ar­rival. We fo­cus on in­creas­ing aware­ness around Rwanda as a ‘bucket list’ des­ti­na­tion.

The pic­turesque me­dieval Old Town in Riga of­fers trav­ellers ar­chi­tec­tural gems, ar­ti­sanal shop­ping and gourmet ex­pe­ri­ences that can all be ac­cessed on foot. airBaltic, the na­tional car­rier of La­tiva, of­fers di­rect flights from Abu Dhabi to Riga dur­ing the winter sea­son (start­ing late Oc­to­ber) with ex­cep­tional value. For this sum­mer, we have launched at­trac­tive pack­ages ex­clu­sively for the Mid­dle East mar­ket that in­clude Old Town high­lights, cho­co­late fac­tory vis­its with cho­co­late mak­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, and even stays in cas­tles. We are look­ing to part­ner with the re­gion’s travel trade by cre­at­ing be­spoke itin­er­ar­ies that can be pro­moted di­rectly to their clien­tele, be their he­li­copter trans­fers and tours to nu­mer­ous cas­tles, or generic Latvia high­light tours. Groups, MiCE travel and sports groups for train­ing camps will be the fo­cus of our pro­mo­tional ac­tiv­i­ties.

With Emi­rates in­tro­duc­ing A380 in Oc­to­ber to Kan­sai/Osaka, the gate­way air­port for Ky­oto, the UAE mar­ket has be­come more im­por­tant to Ky­oto. You can find in­for­ma­tion on Halal and Mus­lim-friendly restau­rants, prayer spa­ces and ac­com­mo­da­tion in des­ig­nated web­sites. The num­ber of UAE na­tion­als who stayed at least one night in Ky­oto in 2017 in­creased 18 per cent. A new ex­pe­ri­en­tial travel pack­age specif­i­cally de­signed for Mid­dle Eastern guests, ‘I’m Turn­ing Ja­panese!’ in­cludes a two-night stay at a four-star or five-star ho­tel with break­fast, city tour, authen­tic tra­di­tional kimono wear­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and orig­i­nal noo­dle cook­ing class at Ky­oto’s cer­ti­fied Halal Ra­men restau­rant.

Each AVANI is unique with its own char­ac­ter­is­tic that makes it an ideal ho­tel for the Mid­dle East trav­eller. The flag­ship AVANI River­side Bangkok Ho­tel is lo­cated on the beau­ti­ful Chaophraya, where all the rooms and suites fea­ture un­in­ter­rupted panoramic view of the river with mes­meris­ing sun­rise or sun­set. The newly opened and the first AVANI+ Luang Pra­bang is lo­cated in a UNESCO World Her­itage Town with a pri­vate bou­tique hide­away that was for­merly the French of­fi­cer quar­ters. The ho­tel is also lo­cated at the heart of the city; and last but not least, AVANI Quy Nhon Re­sort & Spa is a pri­vate beach­front re­sort where each room or suite fea­tures coastal views and ded­i­cated con­nect­ing rooms for ex­tended fam­ily stays.

From the be­gin­ning of this year, we have a ded­i­cated rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the UAE. Fin­land is a fam­ily-friendly des­ti­na­tion with lots to of­fer in all sea­sons and all of its four main re­gions - Greater Helsinki, Lake­land, Coast and Is­lands and Lake­land re­gion. As a source mar­ket, Mid­dle East is still small for Fin­land but there has been a steady growth from UAE dur­ing the past years. In UAE, we see Fin­land’s strengths as fam­ily, ad­ven­ture and ac­tive hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion as well as ed­u­ca­tion travel, health travel and well­be­ing travel des­ti­na­tion. We are tar­get­ing fam­i­lies, ad­ven­tur­ous trav­ellers, trav­ellers in­ter­ested in ed­u­ca­tional travel and those seek­ing health­care treat­ments in safe and highly func­tional en­vi­ron­ment.

Zeli­jka Radak Kukavi­cic Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Na­tional Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Mon­tene­gro

Salih Ozer Cul­ture and In­for­ma­tion At­tache of Turkey to the UAE

Yas­min Amri Sued Charge d'Af­faires, Con­sulate of the Repub­lic of Rwanda

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