Complex Made Simple

Germany woos GCC tourists, appoints new director for Gulf countries

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has appointed Antje Roeding as its new regional Director for the Gulf countries.

Operating from the Dubai office, she will be in charge of further enhancing Germany’s image as a tourism destination in key regional markets, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.

Addressing a gathering of journalists at German restaurant “Der Keller” in Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Hotel, she commented: “I consider myself very fortunate, indeed honoured, to have been entrusted with the challenging task of coordinating Germany’s efforts in the region to attract tourists from the Gulf countries.

Germany is already one of the most popular travel destinations for the region but we will aim to consolidate the positive trend and highlight the manifold attractions our country has to offer”.

According to the latest figures, the number of GCC travelers visiting Germany has been increasing steadily over the past years. Overnight stays from the GCC grew by 8.8% in 2007 to more than 700,000.

Despite this dynamic development, Germany is intensifying its efforts to attract further GCC tourists and create additional offerings within the country that meet the specific needs of the region: “As the number of Arab Gulf tourists visiting Germany grew larger over the past years, there has been a learning process on our side to adapt to the specific requirements of Gulf Arabs. For example, many of the major cities now distribute Arabic language city guides; also, apartments are increasingly being offered as an alternative to hotel rooms,” Roeding pointed out.

Having worked in the travel industry for ten years, Antje Roeding contributed to a number of organizations, among them the world’s largest tourism company, TUI.

She traveled widely over the world and studied in Europe and South America before coming to the Middle East. Roeding is fluent in English, Spanish, and her native German, has a working knowledge of French, and is currently learning Arabic.

At this year’s Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, from 6-9 May 2008, the German National Tourist Board will be participating for the 15th consecutive time.

Along with a number of German partners and local tourism offices of German regions and cities, as well as tour operators and various hotel partners, the Tourism Board will showcase the top attractions and services offered by the German travel industry.