Travel agents interested in expanding their knowledge of the Middle East as a destination for their clients should make plans to attend the American Society of Travel Agents’ (ASTA) eighth annual International Destination Expo (IDE) in Dubai, April 4-7, 2013. Through the IDE, ASTA continues its global push to provide certified destination training and provides agents with the vital skills to market their business and increase sales.
According to ASTA, “Dubai is an amazing, growing destination that is expected to host more than 15 million international tourists annually by 2015. We want to ensure our global travel agent members are fully equipped to fulfill their customers’ expectations on Dubai with hands-on and on-the-ground experience.”
At ASTA’s 2013 IDE, attendees will discover why the key to increasing sales to Arabia is “Definitely Dubai.” With a destination training program like no other, travel agents not only learn how to sell the destination, but make personal connections with local suppliers they won’t meet at any other trade show. Agents return home with ASTA’s industry-recognized Destination Specialist certification, giving them an edge over their competition. As part of the event, attendees will participate in exclusive training seminars that go beyond the ordinary and provide real-life experiences to share with their clients.
By registering for ASTA’s eighth annual IDE, you guarantee yourself:
• Focused, destination education sessions not found anywhere else;
• Personal connections with local suppliers on the exhibition floor and throughout the event;
• Admission to lavish evening networking events;
• Complimentary sightseeing and specially priced pre- and post-tour options; and
• Reduced airfare on Emirates, the official airline of IDE Dubai.
Where to Stay
From iconic luxury properties to practical hotels for those on a budget, Dubai has it all. Designed to meet your specific needs, IDE delegates can choose from select properties in such well-known areas as Sheikh Zayed Road, Jumeirah Beach, the Palm, Dubai International Financial Center, Business Bay and Deira. Specially discounted rates are being offered to ASTA attendees at the following conference hotels:
• JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, the official conference hotel, with rates starting at $177 per night plus tax and service charge
• InterContinental Festival City, with rates starting at $150 per night plus tax and service charge
• Crown Plaza FestivalCity, with rates starting at $136 per night plus tax and service charge
Click here for more booking information.
As the official airline for ASTA’s eighth annual IDE, Emirates is offering attendees a 30 percent savings on flights from Emirates gateways (use promotion code AEASTA2), or a 10 percent savings on travel to add-on cities (use promotion code AEASTA1). Savings are valid on travel from March 28-April 16, 2013. For more information, including terms and conditions, visit emirates.com/asta.
Seeing the Sights
Complimentary Sightseeing: In order to showcase the best of Dubai as a destination, all attendees will be offered two complimentary excursions on April 4 and 7: a 4-hour Old Dubai Tour that focuses on the area around the Dubai Creek, the historical center of the city; and a 4-hour Modern Dubai Tour, which shows off the city’s groundbreaking architecture and innovative approach to design. To reserve your spot in these complimentary tours, visit ASTA’s online registration system. You must be registered for the conference before reserving.
Paid Excursions: Additional sightseeing opportunities abound on various dates and at various times. If you’re interested in seeing more of the country before going home, the following excursions are available at an additional cost, and can be booked by clicking here.
•The 8-hour Abu Dhabi Tour explores the most popular sites in Abu Dhabi, such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village and the Manaraat Al Saadiyat Exhibition, plus lunch, transfers and guide ($92 pp)
• Go off-roading in the desert dunes on the 6-hour Desert Safari and Bedouin Dinner itinerary, with included camel rides, henna painting, barbecue dinner, shisha pipes, roundtrip transfers, and, of course, licensed expert desert drivers ($90 pp)
• Enjoy a High Tea on Bateaux Dubai cruise with dainty baked goods, hand-crafted cakes and panoramic views of the city ($95 pp)
• The Burj Al Arab Dining Experience offers the utmost in opulence, elegance and luxury during a lunch or dinner at Burj Al Arab’s Al Iwan Arabic Restaurant, plus a short tour of one of the resort’s guest suites, based on availability ($175 pp)
• Partake in a Dhow Dinner Cruise aboard a traditional wooden sailing ship, or dhow ($55 pp)
Pre- and Post-Tours
Extend your stay by experiencing the full United Arab Emirates, plus the surrounding region. Then return home and share your experiences with your clients. Available options can be viewed here, and include:
• 2-night Mystical Muscat City Tour and Dolphin Watching
• 2-night Cairo: A Moment Through History
• 3-night Adventures on the Nile cruise
• 3-night The Paradise of Sharm El Sheikh
• 7-night Serenade of the Seas cruise
For more information and to register for ASTA’s International Destination Expo, visit asta.org/ide.