Mumbai, February 23, 2016: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is eyeing big on India’s outbound tourism potential. Thanks to the increasing emphasis of all the seven States in the UAE on India to promote ‘within the country’ destinations under one umbrella of its extensive tourism offerings. Highly placed representatives of the UAE’s travel and tourism industry under the umbrella of National Council of Tourism and Antiquities (NCTA) announced its India-specific tourism promotion plans during India’s biggest Outbound Travel Mart – OTM 2016 in Mumbai today. The UAE has the largest pavilion at the OTM.

H.E. Sultan Mohamed Bin Khadin, Acting Consul, the UAE Embassy in India, who was present on the occasion, said, “The UAE has trade and cultural ties with India since ages. We want to strengthen these ties further and foresee a substantial growth in the number of tourist footfalls in the near future.”

The UAE is positioning itself as a unique country where all the seven States like Dubai, Sharjah, Ras-Al-Khamaiyah, Abu Dhabi, etc. have different tourism varieties to showcase to India. Unlike other tourist destinations, where tourists need to travel long distance, the UAE has a long expanse from the North to South, which has a wide variety of tourism offerings like terrains, mountains, beaches, desert, etc.

Said Mr Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority, who is part of the delegation representing the UAE, “The UAE has been promoting its tourism potential globally and we find India as a great opportunity to expand relationships with India’s outbound travel and trade fraternity. In the UAE, Dubai is a commercial hub, Sharjah is a cultural hub and that way all the seven states have different offerings. Sharjah alone contributes about 8.5% of GDP from tourism, which is bound to grow further. We are expecting a manifold increase in tourism footfalls from Tier I and Tier II countries of India.”

In Sharjah alone, the number of hotel guests from India have seen a 23 per cent growth. Adding further, Mr Kahlid Jasim Al Midfa, said, “There are 110 flights per week just for Sharjah from India. We will achieve a double-digit growth in footfalls in the near future.”

OTM 2016 inaugurated today:

OTM 2016 opened today with the highest attendance ever, with the inauguration by Shri Ram Shankar Shinde, Hon’ble State Tourism Minister of Maharashtra, in the presence of Chief Guest Mrs Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand’s Tourism Minister, and other global thought-leaders of the travel fraternity.

It is a three-day B2B trade show, where more than a thousand sellers from 50 participating destinations will meet 6,000 buyers on the exhibition floor. Side by side the trade exhibition, there are a host of innovative events to discuss emerging trends in the travel business, e.g. TechForum@OTM, #StartupKnockDown and Shoot at Site@OTM sessions. These have been planned alongside OTM to specifically address topical agendas that are increasingly catching the industry’s attention.

They are joined by several global destinations at OTM 2016 with the keenness to carve a piece of India’s projected 50 million outbound pie – Indonesia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Thailand, New Zealand, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Macao, Bangladesh, Philippines, Maldives, Oman, Bhutan, Seychelles, Israel, Rwanda, Romania, Fiji and Greece are all in place at India’s biggest travel show.

Major Indian destinations are perfectly complementing their international counterparts with Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and many other states, present with large number of sellers from each, to showcase India at its best.

Corporate Comm India (CCI Newswire)