To consolidate Hamburg’s position as a travel destination for Arabian travellers, the Hamburg Tourist Board (HHT) has recently opened its foreign representative office in Dubai.
As a significant source market, the Arabic Gulf States are gaining more and more importance for this Hanseatic city, said Dr Bettina Bunge, marketing director of the HHT. “Since the opening of Emirate’s new air route Dubai-Hamburg in the end 2006, 33,000 overnight stays from Arabic countries have been counted in 2007, reflecting a growth rate of 37.4 per cent in comparison to the previous year. We are now aiming for around 100,000 overnight stays by 2015,” Bunge told TTN.
With this in mind, in March this year the Hamburg Tourism Pool for Arabia, a public private partnership, was created. The new entity comprises the HHT, the promotion pool and representatives of the five star hotel sector in Hamburg, the municipal Authority of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Hamburg Airport and the Tourism Marketing Association Niedersachsen GmbH.
“The ‘Hamburg Tourism Pool for Arabia’ has been founded to attract the attention of the Arabic market and travel industry in particular to Hamburg’s outstanding features as a leisure and business travel destination, away from the south of the republic,” said Bunge.
“Furthermore, with the aim of creating a local network in the region, a new foreign representative office has been established in Dubai, with Heike Kamolz as managing director. The office has been established under the administration of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce and in association with the Hanse Office of Hamburg,” she explains.
Describing Hamburg as a special maritime, green city, Heike Kamolz, the new managing director says, “Hamburg is without a doubt a magical city. With its unique location on the River Elbe and Alster lake, parks, green spaces, water and woods make up almost 50 per cent of the city. The city has 126 parks covering 3,000 hectares, and a truly impressive harbour, besides the smart shopping arcades with their countless shops and boutiques. The city also has an unparalleled cultural heritage with around 200 galleries and 40 museums and collections, and a range of entertainment options from its world famous musicals to opera and theatre, staged in various state and private theatres with more than 40 private stages.”
Of the Arabian tourists who have been visiting Hamburg, Bunge said that the average age tends to be 45 years, and an average stay of 21 days. Hamburg, which has a wide range of speciality clinics and hospitals, was also attracting a significant amount of health tourism from the GCC region.