Unprecedented demand for Global’s first overseas conference saw delegate numbers for agent members increased by more than 50%.
The group quickly sold its initial allocation of 120 agent places for the three-day event in Dubai, which starts today, and as of last week had hit 190.
Managing director Andy Stark said the agenda gives delegates, some of whom have not visited Dubai, the chance to experience a destination that is rivalling the likes of the Canaries as a year-round sun destination.
In previous years the Global event has been held at the Carden Park Hotel near Chester.
“The level of interest suggests there was pent-up demand for an overseas conference,” Stark said.
“Dubai has definitely got an attraction. It’s a destination that will become more popular in the next decade along with other emirates like Ras Al Khaimah as they develop their products.
“And it will become more affordable with more three and four-star and all-inclusive properties. It’s going to be an option like the Canaries was 20 years ago.
The decision to host the conference in Dubai has been supported by Global’s new Dubai-based parent, dnata Travel, which is part of the Emirates group.
This means the cost to agents has been minimised, with subsidised flights and accommodation, as well as activities and sightseeing trips.
And Stark said there was no resistance from members to the amount of time required out of the office to attend the event.
“We were always planning to go somewhere different this year, even before the acquisition [by dnata], and we looked at a number of options, not excluding Europe.
“We gave people a lot of notice and all of the pricing from an agents’ point of view is heavily subsidised.”
The conference will see 22 new Global members attending for the first time and 12 existing members.
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