The Australia and New Zealand office of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) was named ‘Best Tourist Office – International’ at the Australian Federation of Travel Agents’ (AFTA) annual National Travel Industry Awards, which were held on 18 July in Sydney, Australia. This is the second time in three years that Dubai Tourism has won the award, having last won in 2013, and the third time in a row that the tourism board was nominated as a finalist.

The AFTA National Travel Industry Awards acknowledge the best of the best in the Australian travel industry, with categories covering travel agencies and individual consultants, as well as the various suppliers that support them and their businesses. Dubai Tourism faced stiff competition this year from other volume-driven destinations, beating off fellow finalists Hawaii Tourism Oceania, Singapore Tourism Board, Visit California and Tourism Fiji. The award demonstrates Dubai Tourism’s strong position and trade relationships in the market, and reflects its ongoing efforts and investment in the region.

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism, commented on the win: “We are very pleased to have won this award, which recognises the great strides we have made to promote Dubai in Australia and New Zealand and encourage more visitors. Over the past 10 months we have doubled our resources in the region and developed a strong team. This has allowed us to further penetrate and strengthen our relationships with the travel trade – wholesalers, corporate, leisure, MICE and airline partners – and engage in greater activity, partnerships and education.”

“In collaboration with Emirates airline, each year we bring a group of over 300 travel agents to Dubai to experience the emirate for themselves. We have also significantly increased our PR activations over the last 12 months, inviting 10 Australian TV productions to film in Dubai, facilitating three Australian radio broadcasts and hosting large groups of bloggers and social media influencers, in addition to other PR campaigns and strengthening our digital presence. All of these have allowed us to increase Dubai’s visibility among consumers, and we are continuing to work very closely and successfully with partners such as Emirates and Qantas airlines to align our activities and generate success.”