Winter Olympics boost to South Korea
THE Winter Olympic Games in South Korea has been throwing up exciting numbers of in-bound travel despite restrictions on China’s group travel to the country. Smart analytics company ForwardKeys that helps forecast future travel sifting through 17 million flight booking transactions a day reveals patterns that should excite as well as alert travel consultants.
The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang has helped boost inbound tourism from certain long-haul origin markets. If one excludes China, overall bookings for the Olympic are 20.1 per cent ahead. Notably, flight bookings from Hong Kong are 24.8 per cent ahead, from the USA 23.8 per cent ahead, from Germany 30.7 per cent ahead, from Canada 41.6 per cent ahead and from Malaysia 19.1 per cent ahead. The most spectacular growth is from Vietnam, 555 per cent ahead, which is the result of the combination of improved air connectivity, a visa waiver for the Olympic period and Tet holidays (Vietnamese New Year).
One particularly eye-catching statistic is the shift in profile of Chinese visitors: in February 2017, 65 per cent came in organised groups, as opposed to independently; this year, the vast majority, 82 per cent, will be independent travellers. The likely reason is an ongoing overhang from Beijing’s ban on group travel.
Cyprus looks to woo couples
ENCOURAGED by past numbers of GCC tourist arrivals to Cyprus, the Mediterranean island wooed couples on a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway. Cyprus offers warm hospitality and beautiful natural scenery making the island a perfect backdrop for couples looking to celebrate weddings and honeymoon. Figures from the Statistical Service of the Ministry of Finance reveal that 2017 arrivals increased 14.6 per cent on 2016. Visitors from the GCC increased by 21.3 per cent in 2017, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributing the largest growth at 48.4 per cent, followed by the UAE at 19.6 per cent.
Couples seek to enjoy the country’s beautiful scenery, including its beaches, mountains, forests and cycling routes. The exquisite features of the island make it an ideal spot for hiking, swimming, camping or playing Golf – the country is famous for its array of courses golf.
Sharjah impresses on the Indian market
THE Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) led a strong contingent at the South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE), South Asia’s leading travel trade show, in New Delhi, India with an agenda to attract tourists to a family-friendly destination.
At the event last month, SCTDA presented Sharjah’s credentials as a family-friendly destination. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, chairman of the SCTDA, said, “India is undisputedly one of the largest key markets for the tourism and travel industry around the world. In fact, 138,000 Indian guests stayed in Sharjah hotel establishments during 2017. The Authority is keen to strengthen relations with the Indian market by organising roadshows in Indian cities in combination with workshops and meetings with major tourism agencies, resulting in agreements on the exchange of tourism between the two destinations.”
SCTDA’s delegation comprised high level tourism and travel partners, including Sheraton, Ramada Hotel, Air Arabia, Sharjah Airport Travel Agency (SATA), Al Bait Hotel, Centro Sharjah, and Golden Tulip.
Al Zohra opens creek-side development
A UNIQUE upscale development in Ajman surrounded by the natural mangroves, Al Zohra has been in the limelight with a lot expected out of its mixed-use developments to boost the emirate’s tourism numbers in the luxury category.
The project launched its first phase of creek-side development, Marina 1, boasting over 15 new dining outlets and recreational options. Imad Dana, CEO of Al Zorah Development Company said, “With the launch of the Marina 1, Al Zorah will further transform into a thriving community wherein our Golf Villas residents and guests can spend a relaxing getaway at the 5-star The Oberoi Beach Resort, enjoy golfing at the 18-hole Nicklaus Design championship golf course managed by Troon Golf, kayak through serene natural mangroves or moor at the marina’s berthing facilities and experience diverse recreational offerings.”
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