Ryan McGredy (left) of Moraga Travel, ASTA president and CEO Zane Kerby and Jason Coleman of Jason Coleman Inc. network at IDE. // © 2013
From April 4-7, travel agents descended upon the city of Dubai for ASTA’s annual International Destination Expo (IDE), which was held at the Madinat Jumeirah Dubai. The goal of IDE is to connect travel agents with local suppliers for a networking and destination immersion experience that helps further agents’ ability to sell the region.
During the event, travel agents gained firsthand knowledge of the area on sightseeing tours as well as pre- and post-event fams; met with local suppliers; and earned ASTA Dubai Destination Specialist Certifications. Seminars included topics such as luxury travel in Dubai, high-end shopping trips, desert and watersports activities and cultural landmarks. While free sightseeing excursions covered both Old Dubai and the modern part of the city, agents could further explore the destination on paid tours, incuding a desert safari and Bedouin dinner, a tour of Abu Dhabi, a Burj Al Arab dining experience and more. Post trips took agents to Oman and to Cairo and Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Next year’s IDE will take place in Merida, Mexico, March 27-30, 2014.