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Middle East and North Africa Edition

May 7, Issue 78

ERBIL’S NEW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT The new USD365 million Erbil International Airport (EIA) has continued to record increasing passenger numbers and welcomed yet another carrier, Turkish Airlines.

Abu Dhabi achieved a 10 percent rise in hotel guests in the first quarter of this year compared to 2010 and also recorded increases in guest nights, occupancy levels, revenue and length of stay.

6 CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES LAUNCHES 100 TH SHIP Carnival Cruise Lines celebrated the launch of its 100th ship, the Carnival Magic, with a ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, where the vessel was built.

34 In This Issue

Market Update Weekly News Accommodation News Rezidor Supplement International News Cruising News Air Travel News Agents’ Corner Travel Talk Who’s Moved Travel Channels Rendezvous Events

MAY 7, 2011

4 6 16 17 30 34 36 38 40 41 42 43 44 ISSUE 78

UAE Capital’s

Hospitality Thrives

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Marriott International: Strong Performance in Q1

TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY Managing Editor Mary Kammitsi mary@traveltradeweekly.travel Journalists Rita Kasziba Duncan MacRae Marianna Keen Design & Layout Elina Pericleous Sales & Marketing Dimitris Thomaidis Directors Andreas Constantinides Mary Kammitsi Headquarters P.O. Box 25255 Nicosia 1308 Cyprus Tel: +35722820888 Fax: +35722318958 Website www.traveltradeweekly.travel Emails info@traveltradeweekly.travel editorial@traveltradeweekly.travel sales@traveltradeweekly.travel

Marriott International has recorded sound financial results in the first quarter of the year with increasing net income and revenues, despite circumstances in the Middle East and Japan.

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he company’s net income totalled USD101 million, representing a compelling increase of 22 percent over the same period in 2010. Revenues reached nearly USD2.8 billion compared with USD2.6 billion in the first quarter of 2010, while diluted earnings per share (EPS) rose 18 percent to USD0.26. J.W.Marriott, chairman and CEO, Marriott International, attributed the success to the mending economic conditions. “We achieved strong financial result in the 2011 first quarter, benefiting from improved economic climates in most markets around the world, strong unit growth and continued operating efficiencies across our company. We are optimistic about the future. Overall business transient demand is very strong and corporate group

demand is building. Our outstanding brands continue to lead in their respective market segments as reflected by our substantial RevPAR index premiums to competitor hotels.” Despite lower lodging demand in Bahrain and Egypt as a result of the regional turmoil, international comparable systemwide RevPAR increased 11.2 percent, with a 5.9 percent growth in average daily rate. During the first three months of the year, 100 new properties and more than 14,200 rooms were added to the company’s global portfolio, half of them representing the AC hotels brand. “We have nearly 631,000 rooms in over 3,600 hotels around the world and we continue to attract new hotel owners and developers. We expect to open approximately 35,000 new rooms in this year alone, amounting to over onethird of our worldwide development pipeline of 95,000 rooms,” added the CEO.

Mövenpick: Marked Turn-Around in 2010 MENA Exchange Rates Accurate as of 5/5/2011 Currencies shown in red are fixed against the US Dollar COUNTRY UAE (AED) Egypt (EGP) Saudi Arabia (SAR) Lebanon (LBP) Bahrain (BHD) Jordan ( JOD) Syria (SYP) Kuwait (KWD) Qatar (QAR) Oman (OMR) Tunisia (TND) Morocco (MAD) Iran (IRR) Yemen (YER) Algeria (DZD) Libya (LYD)

4

CURRENCY Dirham Pound Riyal Pound Dinar Dinar Pound Dinar Riyal Rial Dinar Dirham Riyal Rial Dinar Dinar

1USD= 3.67 5.95 3.75 1,502.5 0.37 0.71 47.47 0.27 3.64 0.38 1.35 7.68 10,47 215.5 71.12 1.19

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has recorded a successful year with positive EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) and increased sales. After the severe impact of the global economic crises on the hospitality industry and in line with the sector’s recovery, Mövenpick has posted positive results for 2010, with EBIT of CHF12.2 million (USD13.9 million), compared with CHF2.3 million (USD2.6 million) in 2009. Total sales rose by 11.6 percent from CHF802.1 million (USD913.4 million) in 2009 to CHF895 million (USD1.02 billion). The strong growth was mainly driven by the five new hotel and resort openings alongside the sound recovery of Mövenpick’s core European market, including 24 properties across the continent. Additionally the company signed six new management agreements, three in Thailand and one each in China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Despite the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, Mövenpick projects a positive outlook for the current financial year with several upcoming hotel openings. The new properties in Accra and Ankara are expected to open this year, while the Thai hotels and resorts will welcome their first guests early in 2012 (Chiang Mai and Koh Samui), and in 2014 (Pattaya and Bangkok). The Shanghai and the Dharamshala properties are due for completion in 2013, and the company has already announced its plans to debut in Singapore and the Philippines. MAY 7, 2011


Erbil’s New Airport Showcased The new USD365 million Erbil International Airport (EIA) has continued to record increasing passenger numbers and welcomed yet another carrier, Turkish Airlines.

S

ince the recent opening of the new airport and terminal, average monthly passenger figures have continuously grown by 47 percent, while the total traffic movements rose by 22

percent. Talar Faiq Salih, director, EIA, presented the compelling results at the ‘Airport Expansion, Cargo and Logistics’ Conference and Exhibition in Erbil. “The airport has undergone major expansion and we are now proud to have

one of the longest runways in the world at 4,800 m. EIA works closely with 13 carriers serving 23 destinations. In 2010, we recorded over 454,000 passengers, which marked an increase of 178 percent in passenger traffic compared with 2006. This also reflects the high safety and security standards that we adhere to, as well as our ambitious plans to be on par with the world's leading airports by offering stateof-the-art facilities.” The latest carrier to operate scheduled flights to the airport was Turkish Airlines after commencing services in the middle of April. “Turkish Airlines brings an important link for us, allowing access to their extensive international network from Istanbul. The choice and competition they bring will be of great benefit to passengers travelling to and from the region. EIA wishes to underline its commitment to providing a first class service for Turkish Airlines and its passengers. We welcome them and look forward, in the years to come, to a safe, prosperous and fruitful partnership based on our shared commitment to customer service and excellence,” concluded Salih. EIA opening ceremony

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MAY 7, 2011


Tunisia Tourism Plan Gets Strong Support The United Nations World Trade Organisation (UNWTO) has given its backing to a recovery plan designed by the Ministry of Tourism of Tunisia to revive the country’s tourism sector.

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aleb Rifai, secretarygeneral, UNWTO, recently met with interim president Fouad Mebazaa, Mehdi Houas, minister of tourism, and representatives from the private sector to discuss the best ways to support tourism in Tunisia. A new advertising campaign to be launched by the Ministry of Tourism in early May was top of the agenda, along with travel advisories and public and private partnerships. Mebazaa described Tunisia’s tourism as a basic sector of the country’s economy. Rifai, meanwhile, expressed his full support for the Tunisian tourism sector.

8

“Tunisia is, and will continue to be, a leading tourism destination. Tourism is not in crisis in Tunisia, rather it is living the natural impact of the significant changes that have occurred in the country. It is now time to show the world the real situation of Tunisia and the world will see that Tunisia is ready to receive its visitors.” The temptation to encourage short term recovery with lower prices should be avoided, Rifai added, stressing that medium and long term prospects for the tourism sector in Tunisia are even more positive than before. “The new environment can create new open and transparent conditions for investment in tourism, namely foreign

Taleb Rifai

investment, and unlock significant local business potential.”

MAY 7, 2011


Muriya’s Integrated Tourism Complex to be Revealed Muriya is poised to unveil the first of its major projects in Oman with the soft-opening of the integrated tourism complex, Jebel Sifah, in July.

M

uriya’s developments include an exclusive eco-lodge on As Sodah Island, City Walk in Muscat and two integrated

tourism complexes namely Salalah Beach and Jebel Sifah, with the latter scheduled for soft-opening in July. Nestled amongst the scenic Hajjar mountain range and white beaches, within close proximity to the capital city

of Muscat, Sifawy Boutique Hotel in Jebel Sifah boasts an ideal tranquil haven in which to unwind. With the construction phase reaching its final stage, the property, which will feature 55 rooms, including 30 suites and 25 apartments, is set to welcome its first guests within months. The hotel, which represents a unique blend of Middle East traditions and innovative Omani luxury, will set new standards, commented Daniel Fanselow, general manager, Sifawy Boutique Hotel. “Many hotels can be relaxing, but here we focus on providing our guests with their detailed needs. We provide butler service, pillow menus, and even games in the guest’s room. Our service is customised to each guests’ tastes.”

Many hotels can be relaxing, but here we focus on providing our guests with their detailed needs The first ships to Jebel Sifah landmark marina, as part of Muriya’s great project, will provide an even wider range of choices to guests, while the 18-hole PGA golf course is expected to welcome its first guests in October. Jebel Sifah will feature a retail venue with a wide range of shops, banks, pharmacies, travel offices, various entertainment and nightlife outlets, luxurious freehold apartments and villas. 10

MAY 7, 2011


Maldives to Build Floating Islands Maldives in collaboration with Dutch Docklands plans to build five floating islands in the Indian Ocean. The mega-project includes a convention centre and a golf-course.

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esides the likely benefits for the investing company, the imposing development in Male Atoll is expected to boost the local economy and diversify the tourism industry. Paul van de Camp, CEO, Dutch Docklands, elaborated on the opportunity. “This project will cost more than USD500 million. The government of Maldives will not have to spend a single cent for the investment. We have agreed for the project because we have full certainty that this project will be a huge success.” convention centre island with indoor The development features a star-shaped spaces hidden under green-roof terraces,

The government of Maldives will not have to spend a single cent for the investment. We have agreed for the project because we have full certainty that this project will be a huge success 12

Floating docks

interior pools and beaches, and the world’s first 18-hole floating golf course that will be managed by Troon Golf. The facility will draw on the company’s expertise and will demonstrate revolutionary solutions, including underwater tunnels. Bruce Glasco, managing director, Troon Golf Europe, Middle East and Africa, commented on the project. “We are thrilled to be involved in such a truly groundbreaking project in the Maldives. Dutch Docklands is a hugely successful and innovative company and we are excited at the prospect of working closely with them and helping them realise the golf aspect of their vision.” The groundbreaking project is scheduled for completion in 2015.

Floating golf course MAY 7, 2011


UAE Capital’s Hospitality Thrives Abu Dhabi achieved a 10 percent rise in hotel guests in the first quarter of this year compared to 2010 and also recorded increases in guest nights, occupancy levels, revenue and length of stay.

A

ccording to the latest Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) figures, more than 510,00 guests stayed in the city’s hotels in the first three months of this year producing 1.56 million guest nights, up by 25 percent compared to 2010. March alone achieved a nine percent increase in hotel guests with almost 181,000 visitors checking into the emirate’s hotels. While domestic guests seized the main market, the UK came in as the top overseas producer with 37,710 guests during the first quarter and India rose to be the second with 23,614 guests followed by the US in third place with 23,190 guests.

14

Lawrence Franklin, director strategy and policy, ADTA, commented that it has been a terrific first quarter performance, much of which can be attributed to the dynamic programme of events, both business and leisure, which have taken place in the emirate over the past three months. “These, combined with the pull of the Yas Island weekends which are serving up an

enticing mix of entertainment, hotel deals, golf and visits to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, have kept the momentum going with the impact evident in the 13 percent rise in average length of stay to just over three nights. We have also benefited from our reputation as a safe and stable destination during the period of uncertainty being experienced by some Arab nations.”

MAY 7, 2011


HMH Signs Four New Hotels in Sudan Hospitality Management Holdings (HMH) announced on May 5, the launch of four new hotels in Sudan, operated under three brands. Coral Niyala, Khartoum, Corp Burj Al Noor, Khartoum, EWA Port Sudan and EWA Nile Tower, Khartoum will add 532 rooms to the group’s existing 400 rooms in the country.

M

ichel Noblet, president and CEO, HMH, remarked on the group’s decision to expand in Sudan, fuelled by robust demand for high-quality hotels. “Sudan enjoys a strategic location in North East Africa. There is a strong demand in the country for quality accommodation and our brands are well positioned to cater to this growing demand. Coral Hotels & Resorts have had a long standing presence in Sudan. We are now glad to introduce Corp and EWA brands and we look forward to successful

MAY 7, 2011

Coral Hotel - Aden

collaboration with all our owners and associates.” At the new hotels guests can expect deluxe amenities, high-tech features,

extensive meeting and leisure facilities and HRH’s signature hospitality. In addition, HRH entered into Yemen with the soft launch of Coral Hotel, Aden.

15


- Accommodation

Peacock to Thrive in the Middle East Peacock International Hotel Management is set to strengthen its presence in the Middle East and worldwide.

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he company, which already manages several hotels in the GCC and in the Middle East under various brands, aims to be recognised for its excellent service and value for money. Hani Jaber, director of business development, Peacock International Hotel Managmenet, comments on the position of the company. "Peacock International Hotel Management will contribute to the centralisation and modernisation of the delivery of fundamental services to the Middle East and GCC region as our services are essential elements in the socioeconomic development of these countries.

Moreover, it is our ultimate aim to expand our business activities beyond the rapidly growing Middle East market and be able to establish a strong presence in other high-potential areas around the world.”

It is our ultimate aim to expand our business activities beyond the rapidly growing Middle East market Peacock’s strategy draws upon solid corporate structures and operational systems as well as tailor-made services to ensure maximum revenue to the owner

Hani Jaber

companies amid certain situations. The company strives to utilise the opportunities of the flourishing hospitality industry of Dubai, which experienced a compelling six percent increase both in terms of revenues and number of guests in the first three quarters of 2010.

Steiner Leisure to Manage New Spa in Egypt Chavana Spa, the spa brand of Steiner Leisure, has entered into an agreement to manage a facility at the soon-to-open Coral Sea Sensatori Resort in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. In terms of the 10-year agreement, Chavana Spa will offer its unique treatments, including both local and Balinese therapies at the resort. The spa will feature a reception and a retail area, along with eight single and two double treatment rooms providing spectacular views over the Red Sea. Additionally, guests can enjoy a hamman, steam room, sauna, indoor pool and multiple relaxation areas. Both the 470-room property and the spa are scheduled to open in May. Leonard Fluxman, president and CEO, Steiner Leisure, commented on the favoured tourist destination. “We are excited to open our Chavana Spa in this great tourist destination. This opening will be our fifth Chavana location since launching the brand 18 months ago, and our first operation in Egypt.”

This opening will be our fifth Chavana location since launching the brand 18 months ago, and our first operation in Egypt 16

MAY 7, 2011


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& copyright by T.T.W. Travel Trade Weekly LTD - 29 design &design copyright by T.T.W. Travel Trade Weekly LTD - 27


- Accommodation

Accor Signs Direct Connect Partnership with Destinations of the World Accor has entered into a direct connect partnership with Destinations of the World (DOTW) to give their customers access to the hotel group’s global inventory and rates.

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n terms of the agreement, DOTW partners will gain access to most of the 4,100 Accor hotels worldwide. Christophe Landais, managing director of the hospitality group commented on the partnership. “Today’s digital-savvy generation are increasingly booking their hotel stays online. This behaviour has led us to adapt quickly by providing our trade customers with easy online access to our best available rates. Our direct connect partnership with DOTW enables us to be at the forefront in servicing this market. We’re delighted to be able to provide their

MAY 7, 2011

150,000 strong customer base instant access to the latest availability and dynamic pricing across our hotels.” Via the online reservation system, DOTW customers will be able to connect to Accor-branded hotels such as Sofitel, Pullmann, MGallery, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Mercure, Adagio and ibis, across 90 countries. This will allow them to take advantage of rate visibility, including Best Available Rates (BAR), and Advance Purchase Rates (APR). The partnership further extends the benefits of DOTW’s platform, highlighted Keith Fernandez, group managing director, DOTW.

“We are delighted to supplement our distribution of Accor hotels with the addition of dynamic rates and inventory distribution. Our partnership with Accor provides our customers with seamless access to a world-renowned hotel operator and its wide-ranging offering of hotels globally – from luxury to budget – as well as the best available rates. This direct connect partnership with Accor is another significant step towards our goal to add an additional 50,000 hotels to our portfolio, and best meet the needs of a planned increase in distribution to more than 450,000 points of sale globally, by the second quarter of 2011.”

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- International

Hilton Signs Three Management Agreements with New Huadu Industrial Group in China Hilton Worldwide revealed on April 21, that it has signed three management agreements with New Huadu Industrial Group for a Waldorf Astoria branded resort and two Hilton properties in China.

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he new additions to the Hilton Hotels & Resorts portfolio will be situated in Hainan and Hunan, scheduled to open between 2013 and 2014. Waldorf Astoria Hainan Baoting Resort, Hilton Hainan Baoting Resort and Hilton Changsha East, will add 930 hotel rooms to Hilton Worldwide’s pipeline in China. Chen Fashu, chairman, New Huadu Industrial Group, commented on the partnership. “Hilton Worldwide is a leader in global hospitality and the most influential and well-known hotel brand in

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China. Hilton Worldwide is undoubtedly the best partner for a collaboration in China’s luxury hospitality market.”

Hilton Worldwide is a leader in global hospitality and the most influential and well-known hotel brand in China Hilton Worldwide currently operates 17 hotels and resorts under four brands across China. Dispersed across nine cities in the country, properties include Waldorf

Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and DoubleTree by Hilton. Hilton also has more than 70 properties under various stages of development across its portfolio of brands in China. “As the capital of Hunan province, Changsha’s continued urbanisation and importance as a major port and a commercial and industrial centre bode well for hospitality development. The Hainan government has also recently announced its plan to develop the island, dubbed the ‘Hawaii of China’, into an international tourism island,” added Fashu.

MAY 7, 2011


- International

US Airline Takes Action After Poor Financial Results Delta Airlines has announced it will retire its least efficient aircraft in an effort to recover from a USD318 million net loss in the first quarter of this year. The American airline will phase out 130 aircraft over the next 18 months, including the DC9-50 and Saab turbo-prop fleets and 60 50-seat regional jets. Blaming rising fuel prices, the firm revealed plans to raise fares on domestic flights and introduce international fare surcharges. It will also reduce its capacity plans for the second half of the year. The company is targeting reductions in markets where revenue improvements have not kept pace with rising fuel costs. Richard Anderson, CEO, Delta Air Lines, praised the company’s staff for doing everything possible to improve the airline’s situation. “Fuel is the biggest challenge facing this industry and Delta is actively reducing capacity, implementing fare actions, hedging our fuel needs and attacking our cost structure in order to offset fuel's impact on our earnings. These actions would not be possible without the dedication and determination of Delta people worldwide, who are working every day to build the best airline in the world for our shareholders, our employees and our customers.”

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MAY 7, 2011


- Cruising

Cruise Company Prepares For 2012-13 Season Royal Caribbean International has announced its 2012-13 Caribbean cruise offerings that will give vacationers more options for an exciting vacation.

S

even of its ships, including some of the largest and most revolutionary cruise ships at sea, will continue sailing a range of Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries year-round, from five convenient drive-market ports. Six additional ships will provide even greater flexibility with four to 12-night Caribbean itineraries, departing from four more US ports in winter 2012-13. Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of marketing, Royal Caribbean International, commented that Royal Caribbean’s cruises are perfect settings for families and couples of all ages to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas

“Our unmatched ships, amazing onboard staff and crew, and exciting itineraries are all part of the royal advantage that we deliver to guests on every cruise. There’s something for everyone onboard, from relaxing in the solarium to participating in the DreamWorks character parade to attending a Broadway musical, to enjoying a multitude of dining options, all of which create opportunities to bond and grow.”

The company’s recently launched Oasis-class ships offer guests a wide array of innovative onboard amenities, accommodation, dining and entertainment options. On board, guests can even enjoy the exclusive DreamWorks Experience, which feature programs and interactive sessions with DreamWorks Animation’s characters from Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon.

Carnival Cruise Lines Launches 100th Ship Carnival Cruise Lines celebrated the launch of its 100th ship, the Carnival Magic, with a ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, where the vessel was built. Carnival Corporation, toasted the brand’s achievement by offering free champagne to all guests sailing aboard its 100 ships on April 29. More than 227,000 guests across the company’s 10 cruise brands took part in the celebrations, thought to be the largest of its kind at sea. Following the party, Carnival Magic made its debut voyage on May 1, with a nine-day Mediterranean cruise from Venice to Barcelona. The ship amenities include a Caribbean-inspired pub with its own private label draught beer, an Italian restaurant and an expansive open-air recreation complex with the first ropes course and outdoor fitness area at sea. Micky Arison, CEO, Carnival Corporation, commented that the launch of the ship was a proud and exciting moment. “It is particularly meaningful that delivery of Carnival Corporation 100th ship is for the Carnival Cruise Lines brand, which provided the foundation upon which Carnival Corporation was established and, ultimately, grew into the largest cruise operator in the world with 10 global brands.” 34

MAY 7, 2011


- Air News

Egyptair Operates Non-Stop to Guangzhou on New Boeing 777 Egyptair announced on April 22, the initiation of non-stop flights between Cairo and Guangzhou, China, operated with the airline’s new B777-300ER.

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he new route comes in line with Egyptair’s expansion strategy aimed at linking the world through the Cairo hub, using a modern fleet. Marty Bentrott, vice president-sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Middle East, Russia and Central Asia, remarked on the significance of the expansion. "The Middle East is one of the world's fastest growing aviation markets and Egyptair is well positioned to take advantage of this growth with its plans for fleet expansion and modernisation.

The Boeing 777-300ER has the payload range capability, economic efficiency and passenger comfort to support Egyptair’s goals for growth, profitability

and world-class service." The B777-300ER provides 346 seats and will offer customers in China many onboard facilities and services.

Air Arabia Maroc Targets Spain Air Arabia Maroc has extended its partnership with AVIAREPS and appointed the global aviation and tourism management company as its representative in Spain to further strengthen its presence in the European country. In terms of the agreement, AVIAREPS will be responsible for all sales, marketing, public relations and ticketing activities of the airline, which currently operates three weekly services to Barcelona from its hub in Casablanca. AVIAREPS, which already represents the low cost carrier in several European markets, including Germany, Switzerland, Benelux, Italy and France, will locate its Spanish office in Madrid and will be headed by Gustavo Vaca, general manager.

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MAY 7, 2011


- Air News

Etihad Partners with ADTC for UAE Employment Development Programme Etihad Airways announced on April 20, that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council (ADTC) to enhance the airline’s recruitment strategy for UAE nationals.

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nder the agreement ADTC will support Etihad in providing UAE nationals with a wide range of job opportunities and career development programmes with the airline, which will be provided on the ADTC database. ADTC will also support Etihad in providing training for job seekers so that it meets employment standards in the various Emiratisation programmes offered. Both parties anticipate that the agreement will pave the way for further high quality partnerships and collaboration. James Hogan, CEO, Etihad Airways, commented on what the agreement will bring to the airline. “As the national airline of the UAE, it is our duty and our privilege to provide the very best career opportunities within our airline through our

MAY 7, 2011

Emiratisation program. This partnership will allow us to expand our reach to UAE nationals across the country so that we may bring their unique experiences and

understanding of the region to Etihad.” The total percentage of UAE nationals working for Etihad Airways is currently 13 percent of the measured workforce.

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Planet Group Launches Global Travel Planet Group, one of the leading travel service providers of the UAE, has established Global Travel & Tourism LLC, a one-stop travel shop, portraying the terms of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The new company, which will provide a wide range of travel services to both retail and corporate clients, meets all the requirements of IATA. George M. Moussa, chairman, Planet Group, elaborates on the newly formed company. “Due to the new rules of IATA, and since we are the GSA of several airlines, Planet Travel could not accommodate other airlines requests except for the airlines that we represent. Now with Global Travel & Tourism, all the travel requirements of our customers can be provided with the help of our highly experienced and knowledgeable staff.” The newly established company reaches out to a wide scope of clients. “The main office is also centrally located in Dubai which makes it convenient for customers to access our services. We are planning on opening offices in several locations to better serve the needs of our customers,” concluded Moussa. Global Travel & Tourism offers various services including flight bookings, hotel reservations andholiday packages.

Agent’s Insight Name: Tarek Mousa Position: Chairman, CEO Company: Egypt & Beyond Travel Location: Egypt

Tarek Mousa

Who are you? My name is Tarek Mousa. I am an Egyptian-Australian and I have been in the industry for 25 years, 15 years of which were spent in Australia, doing outbound travel. At my current company, Egypt & Beyond Travel, which was established in 2005, we focus on tailor-made itineraries, absolute personal services and small special interest groups. What is your favourite thing about working in the travel industry? Getting to meet our happy clients from all around the world who visit our destinations. When is the best time to visit Egypt? I would suggest visiting the country between October and mid April. Where would you like to travel to for your next holiday? I hope to visit Jordan and Syria really soon. Why should people come to you for travel advice? At Egypt & Beyond, we base our business on quality service, quality product selection and a lot of personal touch. Our impeccable attention to detail, rigid quality control standards, and our highly trained staff ensure that every trip with Egypt & Beyond is smooth, trouble free, unforgettable and full of wonder. The secret of our unparalleled service is in our attention to detail and the subtle extras which ensure clients’ comfort and safety. Egypt & Beyond staff are well trained to exceed our client expectations and will do everything in their power to guarantee that clients returning from Egypt and surrounding countries are completely satisfied with their time spent with Egypt & Beyond Travel.

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MAY 7, 2011


Peter Baumgartner

James Hogan

Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Airways

CEO, Etihad Airways

“We are proud to promote the UAE’s most impressive holiday packages through our new Hala Abu Dhabi brochures. We have been working very closely with our partners at Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, our suppliers and selected travel agencies to design one of the most comprehensive holiday brochures in the market."

“Our seventh anniversary celebrations highlight the significance of Bangkok to Etihad’s operations. The Thai capital was one of Etihad’s first long haul destinations. Today, Bangkok is Etihad’s number one  destination in Asia with the greatest deployment of seat capacity of 824 seats per day.” 

We are proud to promote the UAE’s most impressive holiday packages

Our seventh anniversary celebrations highlight the significance of Bangkok to Etihad’s operations Peter Baumgartner

James Hogan

Travel Talk is your space – this is a casual forum for travel industry professionals to discuss current issues and share stories. We want to hear from you, so send your comments, questions, frustrations and observations to editorial@traveltradeweekly.travel

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MAY 7, 2011


Olivier Jacquin

Oussama El Rahbani

Olivier Jacquin has been promoted to head of global sales organisation for Rezidor Hotel Group and Carlson. Jacquin has led Rezidor’s global sales, marketing, distribution and CRM organisation since August 2003, with additional responsibilities and territories in line with the hotel group’s global strategy. He began his career as assistant general manager in Senegal, before moving to the French West Indies and taking on the role of executive assistant manager. After returning to France in 1994, he joined Concorde Hotels at the sales and marketing head office, where later he was promoted to director of sales and marketing at Concorde Le Fayette, Paris. Prior to joining Rezidor, he held the position of global sales director at Europcar International. In his new role he will focus on consolidating Rezidor’s leading position and delivering profitable growth in all markets and all segments across its brands.

Oussama El Rahbani has been promoted to cluster director of sales at Holiday Inn Kuwait Downtown and the soon-to-open InterContinental Kuwait. El Rahbani joined InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in 2009, following experience in Lebanon, Jordan and the UAE. Using his extensive knowledge and understanding of the Kuwait market, he will be responsible to drive the sales operations of the two properties. InterContinental Kuwait is scheduled to open in 2012.

Oussama El Rahbani

Olivier Jacquin

MAY 7, 2011

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Tourism growing in UAE and Saudi Arabia The UAE and Saudi Arabia will experience some of the world’s strongest inbound tourism growth over the next five years, according to research by Euromonitor International Travel.

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he Travel and Tourism Global Overview report indicates that Saudi Arabia will have one of the largest compound annual growth rates in the world growing at 12.3 percent with arrivals during 20102015, which will resulting in an additional 9.3 million visitors to the country. This growth will mainly be driven by religious tourism to Mecca and Medinah, supported by infrastructure developments in air transportation and travel accommodation. The UAE will experience an annual increase in arrivals during the forecast

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review period of 6.9 percent, resulting in 3.6 million new arrivals. This growth is being influenced by significant infrastructure developments that are expected to contribute to the growing number of arrivals to the country. Dubai is also set to seal its position as a global air transportation hub upon the opening of the world’s largest airport, Al Maktoum Airport, with a capacity of 160 million passengers a year. Simon Press, exhibition director, World Travel Market, noted that the Middle Eastern tourism industry should take heart from these generally positive findings.

Mecca

“Euromonitor International’s research shows the region’s travel and tourism industry is a strong position and will grow in global importance.”

MAY 7, 2011


Q & A with Mohab Ghali Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) has emerged as a leading destination, for successful new hotels. Mohab Ghali, country manager Ras Al Khaimah, Hilton Worldwide, talks about the group’s latest properties and changing demands. Travel Trade Weekly: What new developments have occurred both in your company and in RAK’s tourism industry? Mohab Ghali: RAK has already established itself as one of the region’s top family, weekend and international leisure destinations, thanks to the quality of its tourism and hospitality industry. Overall, visitor numbers are steadily increasing as the industry and government work in tandem to promote RAK as a destination globally, attracting niche segments like adventure tourists, cultural tourists and the MICE industry. High-profile events such as the RAK Halfmarathon, one of the richest marathon races in the world, has definitely raised RAK’s credentials in the global and regional market and helped to place RAK on the map. The emirate’s rising stature in the global industry has also led to new brands, including our Waldorf Astoria and DoubleTree by Hilton entering the market. The Waldorf Astoria RAK is scheduled to open later this year and Doubletree by Hilton, RAK opened its doors on April 1.

property will feature 112 apartments that are designed to re-create the comforts of home. The brand is renowned for its ‘Culture of CARE’ (Caring, Attentive, Responsive and Empowered service) and we are excited to be the first to introduce the iconic brand to the region Waldorf Astoria RAK is designed as a palace and located in the newest and most upscale area of Al Hamra, west of RAK, approximately 40 minutes away from Dubai International Airport. It is part of a mixed-use development that includes an 18-hole championship golf course, a 600m private beach, a convention centre with capacity for 3,000 people, and 10 restaurants and bars, of which four will offer fine dining.

Travel Trade Weekly: Have you noticed any changes in client behaviour? Mohab Ghali: Client behaviour changed considerably over the past few years amidst the paring down of travel budgets. There has been a general shortening of booking windows and a renewed interest in customer loyalty

Mohab Ghali

programmes like Hilton HHonors. The GCC has always had a strong intraregional travel market, but this has increased recently with residents from Dubai and Abu Dhabi enjoying short affordable breaks in RAK and not always looking to jet off abroad. In terms of source markets, Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Denmark and Finland, as well as Eastern European nations like Ukraine, emerged as our strongest source markets in 2010.

Travel Trade Weekly: What is coming up for you in 2011? Mohab Ghali: We opened the first DoubleTree by Hilton property in UAE – the DoubleTree by Hilton, RAK and are gearing up to launch the Waldorf Astoria RAK later this year. Doubletree by Hilton, RAK offers distinctively designed full-service upscale hotels and suites. The hotel, which will be competitively priced, features 126 rooms, of which 56 are deluxe rooms, 42 are studios (14 with kitchenette) and 28 are one-bedroom suites. In addition, the MAY 7, 2011

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City of Kyoto Welcomes Blossom Japan 2012 As the 2011 Cherry Blossom season comes to an end, Blossom Japan, a Lucioles event, is preparing for its second debut in Japan next year. The City of Kyoto will welcome Blossom Japan 2012, February 13-16, offering a ‘real Japan’ experience. The invitation only event will bring together buyers from 39 countries, presenting them with exciting new products and providing a new dynamism for the whole luxury travel industry. Daisaku Kadokawa, major, Kyoto, remarked on the choice to host the event in the Japanese city. “For more than a millennium, Kyoto has

been the destination of choice for those seeking the true essence of Japanese luxury, culture and refinement. The city’s many exclusive restaurants, private galleries, secret gardens and temples, and myriad magical experiences continue to

draw the most elite and discerning travellers from around the world.” Blossom Japan 2012 aims to offer the perfect environment for buyers of affluent travel to meet with exceptional international and Asia Pacific sellers.

Events Indaba Durban, South Africa, May 7-10, 2011 (www.indaba-southafrica.co.za) The event showcases the widest variety of Southern Africa's best tourism products. German Travel Market Cologne/Bonn, Germany, May 8-10, 2011 (www.germany-travel-market.de) An event and workshop for incoming tourism to Germany.

IMEX Frankfurt, Germany, May 24-26, 2011 (www.imex-frankfurt.com) A worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events. Asia Luxury Travel Market Shanghai, China, June 13-16, 2011 (www.altm.com.cn) An event showcasing the world's most sought after destinations and travel experiences to travel buyers from across the Asia Pacific.

The Hotel Show Dubai, UAE, May 17-19, 2011 (www.thehotelshow.com) A hospitality event for the MENA, GCC and emerging markets.

CITY FAIR The European Cities Travel Workshop London, UK, June 20, 2011 (www.cityfair.travel) A one day event of pre-scheduled appointments dedicated to the sector of city tourism.

International Pow Wow San Francisco, US, May 21-25, 2011 (www.ustravel.org/events/international-pow-wow) An international marketplace and the largest generator of Visit USA.

AIBTM Baltimore, US, June 21-23, 2011 (www.aibtm.com) A US event for the business travel and meetings industry.

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MAY 7, 2011

Travel Trade Weekly Issue 78  
Travel Trade Weekly Issue 78  

Travel Trade Weekly is a leading news provider for travel industry professionals in the Middle East and North Africa, delivered every Saturd...

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