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Exclusive networking-event in Dubai to raise awareness ahead of the busy summer season

National tourist boards of Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France welcome travel trade to an exclusive joint networking-event in Dubai ahead of ATM.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Demonstrating their commitment to the Gulf region, the European national tourist boards of Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France are hosting an exclusive networking-event in Dubai in April ahead of the Middle East’s leading tourism fair Arabian Travel Market (ATM) to raise awareness ahead of the busy summer season. 

In a combined effort, Atout France’s travel trade workshop ‘Marhaba’ will kick off their two-day event on 24 April, while the national tourist boards of Germany, Switzerland and Austria will take over on 26 April and host the ‘Heart of Europe Travel Summit’ in the beautiful settings of the Sofitel, The Palm, Dubai.

More than 40 tourism suppliers from France and 80 from Germany, Switzerland and Austria – ranging from local tourist boards, hotels, destination management companies, airports, shopping facilities, transport companies as well as medical clinics – are looking forward to developing the knowledge on the destinations and provide travel trade from the GCC with the opportunity to source products to enhance their holiday offerings for the summer season and beyond. The four tourism boards expect the attendance of over 100 buyers from the GCC region.

Highlighting the importance of the travel trade industry in the Gulf region, Sigrid de Mazieres, Director for the Gulf countries at the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), an affiliate of the German National Tourist Board, said: “We are excited to collaborate with our European neighboring countries, and to facilitate business relations between our touristic partners and the local travel trade through this new innovative platform”. 

Commenting on this exclusive networking-event, Robert Gröblacher, Director Middle East & South East Asia, Austrian National Tourist Office said: “Our four countries are amongst the most visited and most popular premium destinations by travellers from the GCC in Europe. We are very proud to join forces and thus provide a perfect networking opportunity for the top touristic players from our countries and the GCC region“.

The travel trade workshops will include pre-scheduled B2B appointments, cutting-edge presentations and extensive social programmes to experience the destinations’ hospitality and networking opportunities with participating decision makers.

“Switzerland Tourism is happy to welcome the most successful GCC tour operators and travel agents on the Heart of Europe Travel Summit.  The Summit is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the beauty of Switzerland and its neighbors to the GCC travel-trade. The event enables dedicated buyers and suppliers to meet in a very convenient way and nice setting in Sofitel the Palm, Dubai and its straightforward approach will guarantee a great return on investment”, commented Matthias Albrecht, Director GCC, Switzerland Tourism.

For travel trade interested in selling the respective European countries, the event is the perfect opportunity to strengthen ties and discover the latest product offerings from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France. By working together and investing in this workshop, the tourist boards showcase their support of the GCC travel trade, and reflect the value of the industry for their tourism business.

“We believe that one of many challenges facing the travel trade industry today is to keep abreast of the growing and changing needs of travelers from the region. This joint and unprecedented event is a direct response to assist the travel trade in selling our countries” explains Karim Mekachera, Regional Director of Atout France Middle East

The GCC is one of the Top 15 source markets for Germany and Austria and the third largest non-European source market, after China and USA. For Switzerland, the GCC market is the 5th biggest foreign market and the 1st market in daily expenditure spending with approx. – 450 CHF daily per person. MENA (North Africa, Levant and The Gulf Countries region) represents 2.5 million visitors in France from which 60% are GCC’s travellers in 2018.

In addition, the tourist boards of Germany, Switzerland and Austria will be participating with dedicated stands at the trade fair ATM to further boost tourism growth from the Gulf region.

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (, and Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.