There are also opportunities for smaller agents to deal through the ATRs as subcontractors, still gaining all the benefits of an official reseller – including commission. Sumathi Ramanathan, Dubai-based director – destination marketing with Expo 2020, headed a small delegation that presented the event’s attributes to incentive operators as well as the wider trade and media at targeted functions and meetings in Auckland yesterday. New Zealand is slated to have one of the most popular pavilions of the 192 countries exhibiting. This market is also expected, conservatively, to generate 40,000 visitors to the expo (along with about 110,000 from Australia).
Ramanathan sees considerable opportunities from the corporate market here and says Expo 2020 gives incentive group operators the chance to create once in a lifetime programmes for clients. ‘At an event for incentive operators we found that people who had not thought about Dubai for a programme were now seriously considering it.’ However, the message to agents is that Expo 2020 is not just about business. ‘It will appeal to couples, including honeymooners who may stop over in Dubai on their way to Greece or the Maldives and it will certainly appeal to the family market.
There will also be an extensive student programme.’ She says the event gives imaginative agents and brokers the chance to custom-make itineraries that provide value for their clients. ‘It could be a group interested in architecture and design, or clients looking for a culinary experience – there will be 200 food and beverage options on-site, from street food through to the signature food hall. ‘We’ll also have 60 live events each day, from light shows to children’s activities, parades, poetry shows and other literary events and national day celebrations.’ The expo site is 4.38 square kilometres and is half an hour’s drive from central Dubai, 45 minutes from Abu Dhabi. CLICK HERE for details.