ASTA International Destination Expo 2013 to be held in Dubai, announces DTCM

Dubai: Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has further expanded its promotion of Dubai’s tourism assets through a partnership with the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and made an announcement that Dubai will host the ASTA International Destination Expo (IDE) 2013 in April next year.

The event will be promoted at this year’s ASTA Travel Retailing and Destination Expo, held in Los Angeles during September 7 to 9 2012.

The Retailing Expo is the top North American meeting place for destinations, travel suppliers and travel retailers worldwide, attended by 1040 travel agents from across the USA.

The 2013 conference was successfully brought to the emirate by Dubai Convention Bureau on behalf of the DTCM, who secured the decision in favour of Dubai and is recognized as co-sponsor of the meeting.

ASTA estimated attendance in Dubai next year will be between 500 and 700 travel agents. The DTCM staff in LA was joined at the stand by representatives of six Dubai-based tourism companies, whose products and services are included in the ASTA IDE Dubai itinerary: 24 Degrees, InterContinental and Crown Plaza Festival City, Emirates Airline, the J.W. Marriott Marquis and Madinat Jumeirah.

Hamad M. Bin Mejren, Executive Director of Business Tourism at DTCM, said of next year’s IDE: “The prestige of hosting ASTA’s IDE next year is a great honour and recognized throughout the tourism and convention industries worldwide”.

“Cities from around the globe vie for this opportunity. We can expect to see continued growth of North American tourism traffic in 2013 and beyond as these ASTA agents serve as new ambassadors for Dubai, spreading their enthusiasm to new clients from around the world.

This organized outreach at the Dubai stand in Los Angeles will help ensure a strong attendance in April 2013 – and as always with these events, a huge potential boon for the Dubai economy, in the short term because of increased hospitality spending, and in the long term because of the promotion of Dubai as a first-class tourist destination. ” Dubai’s hosting of the 2013 Expo was awarded back in March, with ASTA Vice President, Cheryl Ahearn making it clear why the emirate was selected: “Dubai is an amazing, growing destination that is expected to host more than 15 million international tourists annually by 2015.

We want to ensure our global travel agent members are fully equipped to fulfil their customer’s expectations on Dubai with hands-on and on-the -ground experience.” DTCM’s Manager of Promotions for North America, Jessica Herring, hosted a seminar entitled “Definitely Dubai”, outlining a variety of features of the emirate, from hotel choices to local tours, and activities that connect visitors with Dubai’s Arabian culture.

“Travel Agents here are delighted that Dubai is the site for their annual international meeting, IDE 2013. Agents are receiving more inquiries about Dubai and look forward to seeing first-hand this amazing city they are selling”, she claimed.

“With the USA now being the 4th most productive source market for travel to Dubai, the ASTA agents are eager to become better informed and share in the benefits of creating new tourism traffic for Dubai.”