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Wed 6 Feb 2008 03:54 PM

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France focuses on Middle East market

Tourist organisation Maison de la France is to embark on a region-wide road show in an attempt to introduce the local travel trade to different regions of the country.

Tourist organisation Maison de la France is to embark on a region-wide road show in an attempt to introduce the local travel trade to different regions of the country.

The organisation has an office in Dubai and is looking to promote France to eleven countries in the MENA region, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

"We have done workshops in the past - the last ones in Jeddah, Riyadh and Kuwait in 2007 - and in April we will be travelling to Jordan, Syria and Qatar, with Egypt to follow after that" explained Chahine Mikdam, PR and marketing manager, Maison del la France.

General manager of Al Mousim Travel Group in Saudi Arabia, Roshan Pillai, who recently participated in a Maison de la France familiarisation trip to French ski resort Courchevel, said that France has always been popular, but the local market needed to be informed about destinations other than Paris.

"Generally France is conceived as only Paris, Nice, Cannes and a few other areas. What needs to be done and what we are trying to do is introduce new products," he said.

And Maison de la France is looking to provide agents with the contacts and knowledge to introduce these new products, according to Mikdam.

"We will also be visiting individual travel agents in their offices to show them what France has to offer," he concluded.

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