With interest in leisure travel to Dubai growing and an increased profile thanks to Expo 2020, Quebec’s GoDubai is responding to the needs of travel agents looking to increase their knowledge and sales strategies for this unique destination.
The specialist wholesaler brought its 2019 workshop series to Toronto last night (Oct. 2), welcoming more than 175 agents to an in-depth training session covering all aspects of Dubai tourism, from which hotels to book for clients to the city’s latest developments and answers to common questions from travellers about visiting Dubai. In addition to Toronto, GoDubai will also be on the road in Quebec this fall.
“If there’s a good way to introduce Canadians to the Middle East, it’s Dubai,” said GoDubai President Caroline Lavictoire to attendees of the session.
GoDubai has also been named the official North American ticket reseller for Expo 2020, which Dubai will host for 173 days beginning Oct. 20, an event which Lavictoire said has generated more interest in tourism amongst Canada’s travel agent community.
“It’s the first time that Expo is being held in the Middle East and it has attracted the most countries in the history of the event,” Lavictoire told PAX. “There are 190 countries registered, including a Canadian pavilion.”
And while agents are keen to sell more Dubai, Lacvictoire notes that not all agents have first-hand experience visiting the destination, which is where the company’s specialists and training sessions come in. Working exclusively through travel agents, GoDubai’s tours include private airport transfers and from Toronto, the option of direct flights operated by Air Canada and Emirates. Itineraries include tours featuring both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, programs for solo travellers, pre- and post-cruise tours and themed tours including Formula 1 racing and golf.
“It’s a different way of working with travel agencies,” Lavictoire told PAX. “It’s a circle – we get the requests from our websites, we send them to travel agencies and agencies come back to us. We’re a wholesaler – we don’t like to sell direct.
“We have more people asking and what the agents need are the tools. There’s only a small fraction of agents that have actually been there.”
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