The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) hosted 100 British travel agents – ‘Dubai Experts’ - on a familiarisation trip in Dubai.
This initiative follows the successful launch of the DTCM’s first-ever on-line training programme, Dubai Expert, created specifically for travel executives in the UK and Ireland.
The trip has been arranged by the DTCM, with generous support from several Dubai-based organisations, for 100 top-scoring, qualified “graduates” from the UK who have passed both levels of the comprehensive 18 module course.
Four groups of 25 travel agents each gained first-hand experience of a selection of Dubai’s finest features which will lead to additional destination knowledge.
All of the attendees came together while in Dubai for an industry workshop hosted by the Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa. They heared about the latest developments in Dubai and about the future of Dubai from key developers of main tourism and leisure infrastructure projects, as well as from some of the main sponsors.
The DTCM Manager Missions, Mr. Hamad bin Mejrin, gave a presentation on Dubai to the participants and provided insights into the emirate’s different socio-economic aspects.
Emirates provided flights for all 100 attendees, enabling them to sample their direct flights from the UK and its in-flight service. The ground handling, including a city tour and desert safari, was arranged by Arabian Adventures. The agents attended a welcome dinner on board Bateaux Dubai, courtesy of Jebel Ali International.
The groups stayed at a mixture of hotels to experience a variety of city properties - Grand Hyatt and Shangri-La – as well as some beach properties - Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa and One&Only Royal Mirage.
Site inspections, which are vital for the travel agents’ training, and other meals, were provided by several hotels including Al Khaleej Palace Hotel, Avari Hotel, Crowne Plaza Dubai, Fairmont Dubai, Grand Hyatt Dubai, Hyatt Regency Dubai, InterContinental Hotel Dubai, Jumeirah, Le Meridien Grosvenor House Dubai, Metropolitan Hotel Dubai, Oasis Beach Hotel and Taj Palace Hotel.
Ms.Bärbel Kirchner, DTCM Director of the UK and Ireland, said: “The UK is Dubai's top tourist generating market with 605,000 visitors in 2004 – a 32 per cent increase over the year 2003 arrivals. The DTCM recognises the importance of providing training and information about Dubai to the travel industry to ensure that this trend continues.”
She added: “By hosting 100 of our top Dubai Experts on a familiarisation trip, we are showing our commitment to the travel agents for their further training which will, in turn, help them to increase sales.”
The DTCM launched Dubai Expert in March 2005. The DTCM’s UK and Ireland office had already achieved it training target for travel agents for the entire year by the end of June 2005.
Opportunities are available for Dubai-based leisure and travel industry suppliers to complement the DTCM’s e-initiative by supporting the programme’s reward scheme.
The on-line training platform is free of charge to take part for UK and Irish travel agents and tour operator reservation staff. It gives comprehensive knowledge of Dubai as a tourist destination and trainees are able to progress at their own pace through the training programme’s two levels.
The content provides up to date information to raise awareness levels of Dubai’s diversity of attractions. Training is a key service the DTCM offers to its business partners in the travel industry.
The flexibility of this e-initiative allows the content to be updated frequently in line with the fast-paced development of Dubai’s tourism product.
In the future, more levels of the training programme may be developed in conjunction with additional travel industry principals.