Gulf carriers boost long-haul MICE to Asia

Cheaper flights making dream destinations real
Long-haul MICE buyers are seeing a surge in demand for Asia as air travel to and within the region gets cheaper – a trend they say is due to the ambitious expansion of Middle Eastern airlines, TTG Asia reports from IT&CMA and CTW Asia Pacific 2016, Bangkok.
“It becomes easier to sell these countries and furthermore it is not expensive to host luxury dinners and incentives in these destinations, so the whole package becomes really attractive,” says Violeta Rousseva of Bulgaria-based Hermes Holidays, giving the examples of Thailand and Indonesia.
Katarzyna Mazur, project manager at Nu Horizons Poland, adds: “We see growing demand from clients to host incentives and meetings in places like the Philippines and Malaysia.”
According to her, the cost of flying from Poland to Bangkok today is 30% less than it was four years ago because of the presence of carriers like Emirates.
The lure of history and culture in countries like Thailand and Cambodia makes Asia a “dream destination” for clients of ATJ Lingwista in Poland, says managing director Monika Valleton.
Apart from the Middle Eastern carriers’ connections, she also chartered a plane for a company to Phuket earlier this year.
“There is a general growth in interest and excitement from our clients into this part of the world. It is very positive,” she said.
Magdy Ibrahim, managing director of Smart Solutions, Dubai, said: “We are increasing our focus on Asia as it is getting so much more accessible and cheaper.” Some 40% of his corporate groups are heading to Asia this year and a predicted 50% next year.
“The new Middle Eastern flights into Asia help to encourage healthy competition between the carriers, which is great news for us as Asia becomes cheaper with all the airline promotions,” he said. “One of Asia’s added advantages is the warm hospitality, which makes it very welcoming for our delegates’ overall experience.”
TTG Asia