Bombay /Â WAM
An official delegation from the UAE is participating in OTM â€“ India’s largest travel trade show running from Tuesday until February 23 in Bombay, India â€“ under the umbrella of the Ministry of Economy. Members include representatives of various tourism departments and agencies in the UAE.
The UAE is participating in the annual exhibition for the second year in a row. Its expanded pavilion is organised under the theme â€˜Visit UAEâ€™ and will showcase the most popular tourist destinations across all the emirates. It will also promote tourism services and facilities, shed light on the best options for tourism and business, shopping, therapy and cultural tourism landmarks, among others, and provide adequate tourist information to facilitate easy access to top attractions, the Ministry of Economy sad in a press release.
OTM is a major regional and global event that gathers more than 1,000 exhibitors from over 50 countries. It promotes tourism cooperation and expanded access to opportunities in new and promising tourist markets, either from India or from various other countries participating in the show.
Mohammed Khamis Al Muhairi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Economy, and adviser to the Minister for Tourism, said that after last yearâ€™s successful participation the UAE has broadened its presence to include the various government bodies responsible for tourism in all the emirates as well as private sector representatives involved in tourism.
Al Muhairi pointed out that India is one of the UAEâ€™s top tourism patrons, saying that the number of Indian visitors rose by 9 percent over 2015 to 2.3 million last year, accounting for 8.5 percent of the UAEâ€™s total visitors. Al Muhairi pointed out that the UAEâ€™s selection as a â€˜Focus Countryâ€™ for the second consecutive year has drawn significant attention from exhibition participants and visitors alike and has contributed to a substantial increase in the number of visitors between India and the UAE. This, he said, highlights the importance of the stateâ€™s active participation in major tourism exhibitions, and push towards universal experience on other shows soon.
On the first day of the exhibition, Dr Ahmed Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India and Mohamed Saleh Ahmed Al Jalah Al Teneiji, UAE Consul General in Mumbai, visited the UAE Pavilion and inspected the services provided to visitors and attendees of the event.
The parties involved with the Ministry’s pavilion include the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority; the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing; the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority; the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority; the Fujairah Tourism and Antiquities Authority; the Ajman Tourism Development Department;, Emirates airline; and representatives of various hotels, tour companies, and the UAEâ€™s tourism departments.
Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, reaffirmed the Authorityâ€™s commitment to taking part in the OTM travel trade show as part of the UAE delegation under the umbrella of the Ministry of Economy. The Authorityâ€™s participation in the event showcases Sharjahâ€™s tourism offerings, Al Midfa continued, and allows it to communicate with influential stakeholders in the tourism industry.
Saeed Al Semahi, Director General of the Fujairah Tourism & Antiquities Authority, said: â€œIndia is a very important tourism market for the UAE in general and Fujairah in particular; risen by around 50 percent from 2015.â€
Faisal Al Nuaimi, General Manager of the Ajman Tourism Development Department, added: “The UAE has strong historical and economic relations with India, and the event provides those involved in the tourism industry with a great opportunity to meet and exchanges views.”
Haitham Mattar, CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: â€œThe event is a key platform for us to network with major travel partners from India and raise awareness on the destinations we offer, particularly those serving the leisure and meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) segments. India is currently our fourth international source market after Germany, UK and Russia. Visitor arrivals from India in 2016 grew by 28 percent compared to 2015, and our partnerships with the Indian travel trade are crucial to our continued push for exponential growth from this market,” he concluded.