Arun Sudhaman 17 Dec 2015 // 2:16PM GMT
DUBAI—The organization charged with overseeing Dubai's tourism strategy has brought in additional PR support focused on Gulf markets, as it attempts to deliver on its vision of attracting 20m visitors by 2020.
The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing has hired independent MENA PR firm TRACCS to oversee the assignment, which will include marketing and communications support and media services, focused on GCC markets and the wider MENA region.
The agency appointment is part of Dubai Tourism's new GCC strategy, which also sees the organization take on responsibility for GCC marketing, after previously outsourcing activities to El Zayat Tourism & Hospitality Consultancy.
The new GCC strategy is being overseen by Mana Al Suwaidi, regional director for the Middle East and Sub-Continent and international operations at Dubai Tourism, and involves enhanced marketing tools, new tourism-boosting community initiatives, and intensified direct sales efforts.
TRACCS joins a global Dubai Tourism PR agency roster that also features Edelman, which secured international PR duties earlier this year. In addition, it is understood that Dubai Tourism is working with UK PR firms Freuds, which handles special projects.
Issam AbdulRahim Kazim, CEO of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, noted that GCC markets are "extremely important" for Dubai's tourism goals, accounting for 2.8m visitors during the first ten months of 2015 — approximately 25% of the total number of visitors to the emirate.
"In order to promote Dubai’s overall offering as unparalleled in the region which has immense appeal in itself, we will need to directly engage with the people within the market to further promote Dubai as a family, leisure and business destination, and grow visitor numbers," added Kazim. "For this reason we have appointed TRACCS as our regional agency, enabling us to work with local experts that understand the people and market dynamics as well as reinforce our presence and strategic offering to the GCC tourists going to Dubai."
Dubai's tourist appeal has resulted in consecutive years of double-digit increases in arrivals, with the emirate attracting 13.2m visitors in 2014. However growth has slowed slightly, up 9.3% to 8.2m during the first seven months of this year.
The emirate has targeted 20m visitors by 2020, with growth in several sectors — such as construction and hospitality— dependent on continued increases in visitor numbers.
"We are looking forward to building on the success of Dubai as a destination and brand through our deep understanding of the regional markets, and travel and tourism trends and preferences of the local populace," said TRACCS CEO Mohamed Al Ayed.