The seventh annual MICE Arabia and Luxury Travel (MALT) Congress successfully kicked off yesterday.
On the first day, the invitation-only event delved into new trends within the MICE and luxury travel industry.
The UAE was pin-pointed as the second largest market for outbound travel from the Middle East, surpassed by Saudi Arabia, with business and luxury outbound travellers being a combination of locals and expats.
The congress kicked off on a positive note, with attendance from top industry professionals, government policymakers and senior decision makers from leading organisations.
With countries in the Middle East region dedicated to enhancing their infrastructure, cruise lines are adding to the attraction of luxury travel, as was discussed on day one.
General manager, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises – Middle East, Mohammed Saeed elaborated: “Middle Eastern travellers see cruises as an easy way to check off several bucket list attractions they may not previously have visited with the introduction of the leisure cruise industry from the GCC region. We are always on the lookout to offer the next best and effortless experience. Participating in the MALT Congress gives us an excellent opportunity to immerse ourselves to discuss trends.”
Also on day one, the growing demand for travel to Russian countries was discussed, as tourist itineraries are now featuring more destinations in the region, such as Sochi, Kazan and Karelia, as well as the Trans-Siberian Railway and the well-known destinations of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Senior project manager, Russian Empire (DMC), Victoria Globina declared: “This is only possible due to the incentivisation programmes and great infrastructure built during the preparation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Face-to-face meetings are one of the most effective tools to find reliable suppliers and customers, so for us, participating in the MALT Congress is very important.”
Also investigated on Day 1 of the event was the keen interest in up-and-coming destinations, such as Zanzibar and Tanzania. These exotic countries have the infrastructure for MICE travel and are looking for innovative ways to attract more business.
Pleased to be participating in this year’s congress, general manager, ZanTours, Sabine Emmerich noted: “Shows like MICE Arabia and Luxury Travel Congress give us the platform to target very specific incentive agents and corporates in the GCC market, to promote our destination as the perfect destination for incentives, events and conferences.”
MALT Congress began yesterday at Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR, and is concluding today (February 27, 2019).
Commenting on the success of the first day was director, QNA International (organiser of MALT Congress), Sidh NC: “As the Middle East continues to see a surge in outbound travel, there is more emphasis to recognise the importance of MICE and making MICE friendly destination offerings and unique experiences available. As Middle East buyers are continually on the lookout for new destinations and novel experiences MICE Arabia & Luxury Travel Congress is all about exploring new destinations, as well as addressing local, regional and global trends and challenges in the MICE and luxury travel sector.”