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GCC Market Workshop
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The Programme of the workshop aims to provide a structured approach to learning all about the GCC market, understanding what opportunities it brings and how to approach it based on the shared experience from others. The workshop itself is lead by our market expert Kumud Sengupta, divided into dedicated workshop parts followed by inspirational and insightful presentations and panel discussions with key industry players.

08:30Opening and Welcome

Opening Speakers

08:40Geneva Tourism and Conventions

Geneva Tourism & Conventions have recognised the opportunities of the GCC market for the city and its tourism industry. Philippe Vignon, CEO of Geneva Tourism will officially invite the workshop attendees and share some insights into Geneva's vision, activities and overall outlook with regards to the GCC market.

Philippe Vignon| Geneva Tourism & Conventions

09:00Switzerland Tourism

The Gulf region is an important target market for Switzerland Tourism, having the advantage of matching a lot of the needs of visitors from the region and having gained a lot of market intelligence. Switzerland Tourism follows a successful strategy with regards to visual marketing and overall communication across channels and platforms. Matthias Albrecht, Director of Switzerland Tourism in GCC will share some of their market insights, approaches and activities in the market and key takeaways for others to learn from.

Matthias Albrecht| Switzerland Tourism

Kumud Sengupta - Workshop Part 1

09:30Introducing the GCC Market

This session will introduce the GCC region, highlighting its growing importance as an outbound travel market, both in terms of volume (international visitor arrivals) and value (international tourism expenditure). It will provide a bird’s eye view of the macro environment covering political, economic, social and technological factors that will drive future travel demand from the region overall, and from individual countries. In the light of the free Schengen visa status for GCC nationals (starting with the UAE), the potential opportunities and key challenges for European destinations will be discussed.

Key learnings:
• Importance of the GCC as an outbound travel market
• Macro-economic factors driving the future of outbound travel from the GCC
• Potential for travel to Europe: key challenges and opportunities

Morning Break

Kumud Sengupta - Workshop Part 2

10:45Working with the GCC travel trade

In this session, delegates will gain an understanding of the structureand organization of the trade in the GCC, and the role that traditional ‘brickand mortar’ travel agencies play in travel planning and booking for their clients. In this participatory session, delegates will be encouraged to share their experiences and lessons learnt in dealing with the GCC trade. They will learn how to work collaboratively and build relationships with the GCC trade,and to manage expectations.

Key learnings:
• Difference in structure and organization of the GCC travel trade compared to Europe
• The importance of traditional travel agencies in the GCC travel market
• How best to work collaboratively and build relationships with the GCC trade
• How to manage expectations and deliver results

Destinations & Industry opportunities

11:30Leading Insights from Major Brands

Danish Farhan is the founder of boutique UAE based firm Xisché & Co, working with global brands, government and SMEs on carving their niche in the market.

Having worked on projects key players from Emirates , Dubai Tourism, Dubai Design District and most recently the UAE's Space Mission to Mars, Danish will share his unique insight into how brands can effectively position themselves and stand out from the crowd.

In this session, learn from global brands on how they've adapted of to cater for the needs of the market and pin-point exactly what it is that makes consumers in the GCC region relate to your travel brand.

Danish Farhan| Xisché & Co.

Lunch Break

Phocuswright Insight

13:15Online Travel Overview

Phocuswright is the travel industry research authority on how travelers, suppliers and intermediaries connect. Cees Bosselaar, Director of Business development will share key insights into their Middle East market research, assessing emerging online travel opportunities. Economic development, a tech-savvy consumer base, expanding business opportunities and a culture of hospitality make the United Arab Emirates and other Middle East countries ripe for travel market growth.

Cees Bosselaar| Phocuswright

14:00DTTT Insights on Digital 

The Digital Tourism Think Tank focuses on uncovering trends and opportunities throughout the region. Our network of experts will share valuable and exclusive insights into the market and thoughts on how tourism businesses and destinations can leverage opportunities of the GCC as a market now open for business.

Nick Hall| DTTT

Kumud Sengupta - Workshop Part 3

14:15Understanding the GCC traveller of today & tomorrow

This session will focus on the travel habits and behaviour of the GCC traveller. Delegates will learn about the different travel market segments, their aspirations, needs and expectations, destination and holiday preferences, and lifestyle habits. With a future focus, an interactive session will have delegates reimage travel products & experiences for the youthful “next generation traveller” from the GCC.

Key learnings:
• Travel habits and behaviour of the GCC traveller
• Insights into travel market segments and traveller profiles
• Meeting the needs of the ‘next generation traveller’ from the GCC

Afternoon Break

Kumud Sengupta - Workshop Part 4

15:00Marketing & Promotion

In this session, delegates will learn about marketing and communication channels to reach the GCC traveller, and the increasing importance of ongoing customer engagement on social, video and mobile interactive platforms. The need for contentco-creation and storytelling in Arabic language will be discussed in this session which will also showcase some successful examples of tourism promotion campaigns.

Key learnings:
• Marketing & communication channels to use to reach GCC travellers
• Importance of social, video and mobile interactive platforms for customer engagement
• The need for content co-creation and storytelling in Arabic

Handouts on the GCC travel market will be provided to delegates.

Wrap up

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