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ITB Asia News 2019 Review Edition

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14 REGION AROUND THE

14 REGION AROUND THE WORLD Communities at the centre of Sabah Tourism promotion Snowball girls at the Moscow stand during ITB Asia 2019 Moscow presents its new attractions at ITB Asia Noreda Othman General Manager, Sabah Tourism The impressive Moscow booth did not only showcase charming Russian girls dressed as Snowballs (the Russian Tea Cakes) it also emphasized the new attractions of the Russian capital for Asian tourists during ITB Asia. Easy visa requirements and many flights connecting Moscow to all of Asia makes the Russian capital an increasingly attractive destination for Asian travellers. Moscow offers first class accommodation, shopping, gastronomy and a wealth of attractions with its museums or its opera houses. The city added this year more attractions to the public which were presented at the show. The Moskvarium just opened its doors and is considered Europe’s largest aquarium as well as one of the best centres of oceanography and marine biology. It is home to 12,000 aquatic animals living in some 53,000 square meters of space. Visitors are able to learn about marine life with sharks, seals, turtles, caimans, octopuses and hundreds of fish species living in recreated natural landscapes. The Moskvarium integrates a knowledge centre for children to discover ocean life with a special Russian aquarium exhibition which highlights the endangered species in the country. A big attraction is the Water Show Theatre where sea animals participate in shows with circus artists and stage actors. There is also a special centre to learn how to swim with dolphins. Another brand new attraction is Panorama 360, the highest observation deck in Europe. Located 4km away from the Kremlin in the district of New Moscow City, the observation deck is part of the Federation Tower, Mosvow’s tallest building at 374 meters. The observation deck is on the 89 floor of the building and offers the best possible view of the Russian metropolis. The attraction is not only about admiring Moscow, it integrates various attractions such as a virtual 3D exhibition, the highest ice-cream factory in the world, as well as the highest chocolate factory in the world Sabah Tourism in East Malaysia was among the three Malaysian States present at ITB Asia. For Noredah Othman, General Manager Sabah Tourism, the State presence at the show was important in order to meet regional as well as Australian buyers. “European arrivals are stagnating as we lack direct flights to Kota Kinabalu. International arrivals are mostly driven by strong growth from both China and South Korea. Sabah is turning into a very attractive destination for both markets due to their close proximity. With China we have some 100 weekly flights,” Othman explains. China is generating over 35% of all foreign arrivals and the growth continues this year unabated. “Chinese travellers are generating revenues for many of our communities, especially for East Coast destinations,” Othman adds. Most of the Chinese travellers stay in Kota Kinabalu and the islands far from the regional capital city or along the East Coast. Empowering communities is turning into an important tool for tourism marketing in the State. “We feel that tourism belongs to local people. We have 26 districts in Sabah and we created a Tourism Action Committee in each of them. The TAC identifies the tourism product and we then help them to market it to the right target, help local people understand tourists’ expectations and manage their tourism activities properly,” describes Noredah Othman. This strategy towards local communities is paying off. According to Othman, positive results have been registered in areas such as the Kadamaian area in Kota Belud, now well known for water adventure and rafting; Kiulu in Tuaran which developed farmstays; or Ranau with rafting products ITB ASIA NEWS • Monday 28 October 2019 www.itb-asia-news.com

AROUND THE WORLD REGION 15 ART NOUVEAU SPLENDOURS FOR BUDAPEST NEWEST FIVE-STAR HOTEL Dorothea Schäffler International Marketing, Saxony Tourism (TMGS) Growing Asian inbound markets to Saxony For Dorothea Schäffler, International Marketing for Saxony Tourism (TMGS), Asia remains a priority market and ITB Asia was the perfect place to highlight what the Eastern German state can provide in terms of tourism attractions and activities. “Asia is a fast growing market with China and Japan being our top incoming Asian sources. We also see a growing number of Southeast Asian travellers. We are lucky to be well positioned near the borders of both the Czech Republic and Poland, halfway between Berlin and Prague. This makes our region an ideal stop for multi-country circuits,” she explains. Culture remains the top motivation to visit Saxony with its historical towns, palaces, cultural institutions as well as local traditions. Local christmas markets or classical music in prestigious locations such as the Semper Opera House in Dresden are part of the permanent marketing offer of the Land of Saxony. “We however know that we also need to adapt our image to specific wishes of Asian clientele. Luxury products are for example part of our communication towards Asian markets. We emphasise the visit of Meissen and its world-famous porcelain manufacture, the luxury watch brand Glashütte and also the production sites for Porsche and BMW that can be visited. We promote as well general shopping in Dresden and Leipzig,” adds Schäffler. In the coming years, Saxony tourism representatives want to emphasize more secondary destinations, particularly smaller cities which often correspond more to the Asian perception of romance. “Bautzen or Goerlitz are true architectural jewels. They are a perfect setting for the wedding market for example’, tells Schäffler. This year, UNESCO listed the Ore Mountain Mining Region (Montanregion Erzgebirge) on its world heritage list with its 800-year old industrial heritage landscape. The area has numerous monuments and collections related to the historic mining industry of the region. It is also a chance to discover the traditional Ore Mountain folk art produced for Christmas with its wooden smoking figures, Christmas pyramids and candle arches Present for the first time at ITB Asia, Budapest Parisi Udvar Hotel is a spectacular five-star property which helped revitalise one of the most impressive Art Nouveau buildings in the heart of the Hungarian capital. Parisi Udvar is a majestic building standing on the Pest side of the city which was achieved in 1871 by the Hungarian architect Mihaly Pollack for Baron Jozsef Brudern. One of Budapest’s first passages with shops, the building was reconstructed in the years 1909-1912 in the new eclectic style of the time, Art Nouveau (locally known as Jugendstil). Abandoned for many years, Parisi Udvar has been fully restored and transformed into a luxury hotel, which is now part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt and is managed by Mellow Mood Hotels. The magnificent property blends Arabic, Moorish and Gothic architectural details, a testament to Hungary’s rich history. The original façade, staircases and decorative tiles have been carefully preserved. Inside the hotel, the lobby is The renovated Parisi Udvar hotel in Budapest located where shops used to be, giving a feeling of grandeur to the structure. Visitors are likely to be puzzled by the majestic glass ceiling dome and the veuve The hotel’s 110 guestrooms have been elegantly designed by Hungarian contemporary artists and designers, inspired by Gothic, Moorish and Oriental styles with tailor-made Hungarian-crafted furnishings. There are 18 luxurious suites and two Royal Residencies. The hotel offers two dining options, each with their own style and space. The hotel’s main restaurant, the Párisi Passage Cafe & Brasserie, serves international cuisine but also local and international wines in a cosmopolitan dining area. It is made complete with an open kitchen, allowing guests to interact with the chefs in a relaxing yet lively atmosphere. The Patisserie & Café, best known for its signature Parisi kocka dark chocolate dessert, serves fresh juices, artisan coffee and traditional Hungarian pastries. The hotel also has a spa, a fitness centre and 300 sq m of meeting facilities ITB ASIA NEWS • Monday 28 October 2019