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Saudi Arabia affirms itself as key market for German tourism

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At the Riyadh Travel Fair (RTF), Germany highlights the prime role of the Saudi market for its tourist industry

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At the Riyadh Travel Fair (RTF), Germany highlights the prime role of the Saudi market for its tourist industry

With travelers from this country representing 50% of the whole overnight stays from the GCC region, Saudi Arabia affirms itself as a key market for German tourism. For this reason, the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), the local affiliate of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) in Dubai, will continuously strive to strengthen the excellent results regarding tourists from Saudi and the Arabian Gulf, which in 2010 recorded an impressive increase of 26.4% of overnight stays as compared to the figures of the previous year. As part of these growing efforts aimed at the Saudi and GCC market, the GNTO is participating to the Riyadh Travel Fair (RTF) where it will promote the two key-marketing themes for 2011, health and wellness tourism to Germany, as well as the 125th anniversary of the motor car.

Kicking off today, the four-day travel and tourism exhibition is scheduled to take place at Riyadh International Exhibition Centre until May 26, 2011. The annually recurring RTF, which will launch its third edition under this year’s theme “Destination 2011 for everyone at anytime,” not only represents a global forum for the international travel industry, but also gives the open public the opportunity to learn about world-wide tourist destinations and its amenities.

“We are well-aware of the importance that the GCC countries and Saudi Arabia in particular have for German tourism and, therefore, we always put consistent efforts in promoting topics of particular appeal to visitors from this region. I am sure that the marketing themes 2011 and especially the medical and wellness tourism will draw the attention of the regional audience and travel industry, marking a successful participation for Germany at the RTF,” said Antje Roeding-Boudier, Director of the Marketing and Sales Office for the Gulf Countries at the GNTO in Dubai. “The German medical sector enjoys a great reputation abroad. Every year, tens of thousands international patients come to Germany, in order to receive treatment in hospitals as well as ambulatory care. In addition to a great offer in diagnostics and an excellent medical infrastructure, patients benefit from highly trained and specialized doctors and nurses,” she added.

Medical tourism is a holiday segment that is experiencing strong demand in the Arabian Gulf countries. Germany is particularly well prepared for tourists from the GCC region seeking medical treatment. Many medical facilities provide Arab guests with tailored packages, including both patients and accompanying family members. Mrs. Roeding-Boudier stressed that these offers are met with great interest, because they allow many tourists from the Gulf to come to Germany and receive medical treatment, while their families are being entertained on visits to the beautiful landscapes and culturally-rich cities of the country.

In addition to the promotion of medical tourism, the marketing campaign this year focuses on the 125th anniversary of the invention of the automobile. Given the great popularity that German car brands enjoy in the region, Gulf visitors already showed great interest in this field. On this occasion, many events, such as car museums with pioneering architecture and innovative technologies have been planned in order to expand the automotive-themed tourist attractions.

GNTO is continuously working closely with travel trade representatives and agents throughout the year and is always interested in further strengthening its collaboration with the touristic industry. For this reason, GNTO’s staff will be present at Germany’s stand at the RTF to inform the travel trade industry, as well as the general public about Germany as a tourist destination. In addition, various special offers matching the promotional topics will be available, and brochures, as well as information material in both English and Arabic, will be displayed at the RTF.

Over the past years, Germany has observed a constant increase in the number of visitors from abroad. In 2010 for the first time, overnight stays by international travelers passed the record-breaking 60 million mark. With the number of overnight stays reaching 968,336 in 2010 by visitors from the GCC, this region is one of the biggest source markets for Germany.

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.