Amsterdam to be 'top spot' for ME travellers

Amsterdam’s canals are a big tourist attraction

AMSTERDAM will be among Europe's top five most popular destinations among Middle East travellers over the next two years, according to industry experts.

Harriet Koopman, general manager of the Radisson SAS Hotel Amsterdam Airport, part of the fast growing Brussels-based Rezidor Hotel Group, says hoteliers are already seeing a healthy increase in Middle East occupancy levels and expects the trend to continue.
“Amsterdam is known as one of the world's most colourful and vibrant cities, with a plethora of areas of interest. Its rich history, museums, markets, festivals, vibrant nightlife, cobbled streets, canals and bridges make the Dutch capital one of the most attractive cities in Europe for tourists to visit,” she said. “We're now seeing a strong increase from the Middle East MICE market and leisure travellers particularly from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.”
Rezidor is now looking to roll out its multi-brand strategy in the country and plans to introduce its mid-market property, Park Inn and its luxury brand Regent Hotels. “There will be more international chains opening up new properties in the city and an increase in inbound tour operators here serving the GCC market,” added Koopman.
And the country's national air carrier, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines says it is also aggressively looking at a Middle East expansion strategy over the next 12 months to cater for growing demand. “We will be increasing our seats by 15 per cent from Dammam, Doha and Tehran over the next six months due to a fleet renewal programme, replacing the Boeing 767 aircraft with a new Airbus A330-200,” said general manager, Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan, KLM, Richard Oliver. “We are now also exploring new Gulf routes.”