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Middle East and North Africa Edition

June 11, Issue 83

HERTZ LAUNCHES LOYALTY PROGRAMME IN UAE

dnata’s luxury hotels division has enhanced its deluxe hotel offering with the addition of Zitahli Resort & Spa in the Maldives.

Hertz UAE has introduced its Hertz #1 Club Gold service programme at Abu Dhabi International Airport, the first loyalty programme of its kind from any car rental company in the Middle East.

3 DUBAI LAUNCHES WORLD DISCOVERY FESTIVAL World Discovery Fest will offer unique multicultural experiences and feature the world’s best holiday destinations, cuisines, lifestyle trends and entertainment.

14 In This Issue Market Update Weekly News Accommodation News Air Travel News Who’s Moved Travel Talk Agents’ Corner Travel Channels Rendezvous Events JUNE 11, 2011

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dnata Adds

Maldives Resort

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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

Abu Dhabi Hotel Performance Remains Strong Abu Dhabi remains on course to improve performance across guest numbers, guest nights, occupancy revenue and length of stay, according to figures from Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).

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he number of guests staying in Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments rose by 10 percent in the first four months of this year compared with the same period in 2010, indicates ADTA research. Guest nights rose by 26 percent to 2.1 million, while room nights increased by 21 percent to 1.6 million. The solid all-round performance communicated by ADTA also indicates occupancy levels of 72 percent and average-length-of-stay of just over three nights (a 14 percent expansion). The rise in numbers is anticipated to continue, commented Lawrence Franklin, strategy and policy director, ADTA. “We look to maintain [strong performance] over the coming months with our six-week Summer in Abu Dhabi festival incentivising visitors,

particularly those from within the GCC, with a range of headline entertainment, activities, discounts and value-add deals across attractions and hotels.” In terms of traditional European source markets, figures show that France provided the greatest increase in guests, with a 35 percent rise year-on-year, although UK and Germany still represent the highest guest numbers from the region, at 50,846 and 24,958 respectively (both having risen by 19 percent). Russia produced 50 percent more guests than in the first four months of 2010 to stand at 5,459 while India rose 29 percent and is now ranked as the emirate’s second-largest international market, with 33,073 guests in the period. ADTA indicates that Saudi Arabia stands as a key performer from within the region with the number of guests from the Kingdom having climbed 46 percent year-on-year to 19,375.

Record Alliance Revenues Reported by oneworld MENA Exchange Rates Accurate as of 9/6/2011 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)

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

1USD= 3.67 5.94 3.75 1,515 0.38 0.71 47.43 0.27 3.64 0.39 1.36 7.78 10,608 214.50 71.56 1.20

oneworld alliance revenues reached a record USD850 million in 2010, experiencing their fastest growth since the alliance was launched in 1999. According to the alliance, revenues from fares, corporate contracts and other alliance sales activity grew by 34 percent in 2010. Returns from corporate contracts - sales deals with multinationals involving at least seven oneworld member airlines - more than doubled, with more and more international businesses seeking deals with alliances rather than with individual airlines. Money generated by the eight million passengers transferring in 2010 to one of oneworld alliance's member airlines from another also reached their pre-recession levels, at USD2.2 billion, up 17 per cent year-on-year. Achievements in the alliances breakthrough year include the launch of a transatlantic joint business between American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia after gaining long-awaited anti-trust immunity in both the US and Europe. Approval was also achieved from authorities in both the US and Japan for a joint business between American Airlines and Japan Airlines covering their services in North America and Asia, while British Airways and Iberia concluded their merger agreement, completed early this year. JUNE 11, 2011


Hertz Launches Loyalty Programme in UAE Hertz UAE has introduced its Hertz #1 Club Gold service programme at Abu Dhabi International Airport, the first loyalty programme of its kind from any car rental company in the Middle East.

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ustomers will gain exclusive benefits through their membership, including faster reservation, a faster vehicle collection and handover process as well as privileged treatment to avoid long waiting in queues. Nigel Johnson, managing director, Hertz UAE, commented on the courtesy. “The Hertz #1 Club Gold programme is all about excellent service and efficiency. Air travel has become more and more time consuming lately because of security requirements and administration, and we want to make the car travel part of the journey as seamless as possible.” Customers who have rented from Hertz at least three times during a calendar year are entitled to Hertz #1 Club Gold membership. The most loyal, frequent renters will be rewarded with extended benefits, including recognition and incentives with Hertz #1 Club Gold Five Star and Hertz #1 Club Gold President’s Circle, including free car upgrades and free rental vouchers.

Τhe Hertz #1 Club Gold programme is all about excellent service and efficiency Hertz UAE, part of Al-Futtaim Group, currently serves customers at 15 locations across the UAE. Bader Al Rashedi, head of car park and transportation services, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), the owner and operator of Abu Dhabi International Airport, highlighted the importance of gradually setting new quality standards. “ADAC is always enthusiastic about supporting its partners within the airport community to enhance their facilities and further deliver quality services to our passengers. These initiatives support our vision to become one of the world’s leading airport groups.”

Universal Studios Singapore Opens to Public Resorts World Sentosa has held a red carpet gala dinner to celebrate the opening its new attraction, Southeast Asia’s first-and-only Universal Studios theme park. Construction of Universal Studios Singapore on Sentosa Island began on April 2007, with it officially opening its doors to the public on May 28 this year. There is already a Universal Studios theme park in Japan, although Universal Parks & Resorts has stated that the park in Singapore will be the only one of its kind in Southeast Asia for the next 30 years. The attraction is made up of differently themed zones, including Hollywood, New York, Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt, Lost world, Far Far Away and Madagascar. Also on site are five rollercoasters, two water slides, more than 30 restaurants and food carts, as well as 20 unique retail stores and carts located around the park. The celebratory gala dinner was attended by VIP guests, including martial arts expert Jet Li, TV actress Vicki Zhao, film star Maggie Cheung and American Idol judge Paula Abdul.

Hertz UAE Gold Club JUNE 11, 2011

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- Accommodation IHG: Two More UAE Staybridge Suites

dnata Adds Maldives Resort

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has entered into an agreement with Action Hotels to develop two Staybridge Suites in Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi. The 80-suite Staybridge Suites Ras Al Khaimah is slated for opening in 2012, following the conversion of an existing building. The second announced property, located in the capital city’s prominent new area, Staybridge Suites Abu Dhabi Rawdhat is expected to cater to both business and leisure guests once it opens in 2014. Kirk Kinsell, president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, IHG, elaborated on the proposed developments. “These new signings reflect our commitment to growth in the Middle East. We entered this market more than 50 years ago with the InterContinental brand. Since then we’ve introduced a further four brands, including Staybridge Suites in 2009 which opened on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.” H.E Sheikh Mubarak Abdulla Al Mubarak Al Sabah, chairman, Action Hotels, commented on the upcoming openings. “This brings the number of IHG properties currently under development with Action Hotels to three with the 176-room Holiday Inn Seeb in Muscat, Oman set to open in mid 2012.” The signing of the two hotels follows IHG’s recent announcement to develop the first Staybridge Suites branded property in Dubai, scheduled to open in 2012.

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JUNE 11, 2011

dnata’s luxury hotels division has enhanced its deluxe hotel offering with the addition of Zitahli Resort & Spa in the Maldives. itahli, owned and managed by AAA Hotels and Resorts, comprises of two separate properties, namely Zitahli Kuda Funafaru and Zitahli Dholhiyadhoo, and is planned to open in June. Lisa Balsom, manager, dnata, commented on

the new product. “This region has always been a popular destination of choice in the GCC market. Many of our customers are repeat visitors to the area and the signing of the Zitahli properties will provide further variety and choice for our customers.”

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- Accommodation

Accor Expansion in Saudi Arabia Incorporates Saudisation Plan Accor plans to expand its portfolio to meet demand in the booming tourism industry of Saudi Arabia, providing 1,412 new job opportunities for Saudi nationals in the next five years.

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ccor will open three new hotels by the end of 2012 and has signed management contracts for a further two hotels. Novotel Dammam Business Park is due to

open this year, while Ibis Riyadh Olaya Street and Ibis Yanbu are scheduled to open in 2012. A multi-segment property in Jeddah, which will include Ibis Jeddah Malik Road and Adagio Jeddah Malik Road, will be completed in 2014.

Accor has worked closely and actively with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) towards a nationalisation plan for Accor hotels in the Kingdom. The 2015 Accor Saudisation plan details that within the next five years, Accor hotels in the Kingdom will recruit an excess of 1,412 Saudis, making up a total of 1,757 Saudi nationals. Christophe Landais, managing director, Accor Middle East, believes that the programme will be a significant step for the country’s hotel industry. “We fully support the Saudisation programme in its endeavour to solve the growing unemployment in the country and we strongly believe that sustainable hotel development will succeed only through the development of Saudi Nationals.”

We strongly believe that sustainable hotel development will succeed only through the development of Saudi Nationals The company currently operates 10 hotels in Saudi Arabia, representing 2,190 rooms in five different cities. The current network of Accor hotels in the country are under the brands Sofitel, Novotel and Mercure. Following a boom in religious tourism, the Holy Cities of Mecca and Madinah constitute strategic targets for the development of the hotel brands. 6

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- Air News

Gulf Air Resumes Alexandria Flights Gulf Air has restarted its services between Alexandria and Bahrain in response to the likely growing demand for flights between the two countries in the summer season.

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ffective form June 9, the national carrier of Bahrain operates four services per week to the new Borg Al Arab Airport in Alexandria. Yaqoob Al Hajiri, area commercial manager, Middle East, Gulf Air, commented on the re-launched route.

“Alexandria has always been a popular destination for our customers, and come summer, the demand will be even higher. So we are back to this great city with four flights a week to meet the summer rush.” Ahmed Ali Ramadhan, commercial manager Egypt, Gulf Air, noted that Alexandria has long been one of Egypt’s

most favoured holiday and cultural hotspot. “Alexandria is a favourite summer destination for most Arabs for its Mediterranean climate, historic sites and beautiful beaches. It is equally popular among westerners for the same reasons.” The resumed services bring the total number of Gulf Air’s weekly flights to Egypt to 14. In the upcoming weeks the carrier will add three new destinations to its route map, including Kabul, Copenhagen and Nairobi.

Connections Between Egypt and South Africa To Improve Egyptair has revealed that it will increase its flight schedule to South Africa from this summer onwards. From June 30, the airline will boost its number of non-stop flights from Cairo to Johannesburg to five per week. The flights will operate on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the use its Airbus 330/200 on the route. The airline also recently announced that it will start operating a daily non-stop flight between Dubai and Alexandria starting on June 20. Its Airbus 320/200 will be used for these flights, providing 145 seats for each journey. The flights will be operated to Nozha Airport in downtown Alexandria. 8

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- Air News

Etihad Airways and American Airlines Extend Cooperation Etihad Airways and American Airlines will build on their existing codeshare agreement by offering passenger the opportunity to earn frequent flyer miles on flights booked on each company’s network, made effective from June 1.

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he codeshare agreement between the airlines, in place since August 2009, delivers a combined codeshare network of more than 50 destinations worldwide. Following the agreement, in booking eligible flights, members of Etihad Airways’ Etihad Guest frequent flyer programme and American Airlines’ AAdvantage programme will be able to earn miles from each airline. James Hogan, CEO, Etihad Airways, expressed the positive implication of the extended agreement for the airline and its

passengers. “American Airlines has a widereaching destination network and a highly loyal customer base, making them an ideal partner for us in expanding our global reach for our customers beyond the destinations we serve directly, while offering new services to our partner’s customers. Through our new frequent flyer agreement, I look forward to providing a more rewarding travel experience for AAdvantage members on our network.” The airlines plan to expand the agreement later this year to include mileage redemption across the two airlines’ networks.

Qatar Airways Launches Flights to Third Iranian City Qatar Airways has launched twice weekly flights to the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, marking its third destination city in Iran. Flights from the airline’s Doha hub to Shahid Dastghaib International Airport in Shiraz began on June 5, enhancing the airline’s commitment to Iran. Akbar Al Baker, CEO, Qatar Airways, suggested that the move represents the airline’s push to exploit market opportunities. “Iranian expatriates number between four and five million people, with many living in Europe and North America. We have good connections from these continents to Shiraz through our Doha hub, so facilitating travel for this expatriate community is now made much easier. As the route to Shiraz develops, we will also look to add frequency and capacity to improve connectivity even further.”

Emirates Touches Down in Geneva Emirateshas added yet another destination to its expanding global network after launching daily flights to Geneva, Switzerland. Besides multi-national passengers from all over the world, including Australia, Ethiopia and Mauritius, Emirates’ VIP delegation and a number of special guests joined the carrier’s maiden flight to the second most populous city of the European county. Tim Clark, president, Emirates Airline, explained the new route’s great significance. “This launch, in particular, has a strong international feel about it – linking Dubai, as a global aviation hub and centre for business and tourism with Geneva, a home to so many international organisations and an important financial and banking centre. On the back of our robust financial results, the airline continues to drive forward – connecting key cities around the world.” Francois Longchamp, president, board of Geneva Airport, highlighted the values Emirates adds to the city’s aviation industry. “We are very pleased to welcome Emirates to Geneva. The airline is a worldwide reference in terms of reputation and quality of service.” The route will be served with a combination of Boeing 777200LR and Boeing 777-300ERs with three-class configuration. Geneva represents Emirates’ second destination in Switzerland after commencing services to Zurich in 1992. JUNE 11, 2011

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Zaidan Khalifat

Rami Taim Rami Taim has joined Dusit International as senior regional sales manager, Middle East. In his new role, Taim will focus on developing both inbound and outbound operations in the Middle East, where Dusit’s business experienced 20 percent increase in 2010. Taim will oversee all sales activities of Dusit’s existing five properties in the region, which will reach six later this year with the opening of Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi. In addition, he will be in charge of the organisation of trade shows and setting up familiarisation trips. Most recently Taim held the position of business development manager for the GCC and Middle East at Shangri-La Dubai, where he was responsible for both the corporate and leisure sectors. Prior to that, he worked in a similar position at Tamani Hotel Marina, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts Sofitel City Centre Hotel and Al Ain Rotana.

Zaidan Khalifat has been appointed as director of quality and safety for Safi Airways, the international airline of Afghanistan. Khalifat has solid experience in the aviation sector that spans over 35 years in a number of countries, including the US, UK, Jordan and Nigeria. Previously he held managerial positions at Arik Air and Royal Jordanian Airlines. In his new position, he will work closely with both local and international regulators to ensure that the carrier’s operations meet all quality standards. He will also participate in regular audits to approve safety protocols and assure all published procedures and requirements of the Zaidan Khalifat regulatory author are met.

Rami Taim

Boris Guerov Boris Guerov has been appointed as director of operations at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah. In his new role Guerov, who in the last 10 years has held a number of senior positions with Hilton across the globe, will oversee all operations at the hotel. Most recently he worked as director of operations at Waldorf Hilton in London. Guerov described his relocation to the Middle East as a natural step in his hotel career. Boris Guerov JUNE 11, 2011

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Toufic El Tal

Michel Noblet

Managing Director, Bliss 3000

President & CEO, HMH

“We are pleased that one of our premier developments has found its place in such worthy hands. Cristal Hotels is a welcome addition to Lebanon’s hospitality community, not only because of the high quality of facilities and services attached to its name, but because of its commitment to various social and environmental causes. Bliss 3000 SAL is also working on other key projects with Cristal Hotels as it strengthens its presence in Lebanon and internationally.”

We are pleased that one of our premier developments has found its place in such worthy hands

Toufic El Tal

“We have continued to execute our expansion strategy in the region irrespective of the difficult times. The bottom line is you need to know how to market your hotels, and that is the only way to be successful in today’s challenging business environment.”

The bottom line is you need to know how to market your hotels Michel Noblet

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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Agent’s Insight Name: Amr Medany Position: Assistant Planning Manager Company: National Travel Service Location: Egypt Who are you? I am Amr Medany and I work as assistant planning manager for National Travel Service (NTS). I joined the group in 2006 as a tour operator and succeeded in a couple of years to move to the planning department, which is responsible for potential markets and business volume. NTS was founded in 1989 and currently owns and operates a fleet of five-star super deluxe and deluxe as well as cruises the four-star Noria Resort in Sharm El Sheik.

What is your favourite thing about working in the travel industry? The travel industry is a very interesting field, especially in Egypt as it has many faces including classic, cultural, leisure, religious, golf, safari, diving, corporate, incentives and many others. The thing that makes the job very challenging is that selling a product that may appeal to travellers from all over the world is not an easy task. In addition, I am fond of attending international tourism fairs because they give the chance to represent new products and services to a targeted audience, and the B2B meetings foster relationships with both current and potential partners.

Qatari Agents Get More Online Support Travel technology firm Amadeus has launched an online support tool for travel agents to browse support information, resolve problems and log cases in the Amadeus Help Desk. The Amadeus e-Support Centre is currently used in Australia, Austria, Benelux, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Gulf, Hong Kong, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, US and is now available in Qatar. It contains more than 1,000 knowledge solutions, tips and support guidelines. The wide range of resources and educational material can be searched by keyword, topic and specific system error message. Wafiq Al-Wahidi, general manager, Amadeus Qatar, noted that online search technology and self service have become part of our daily lives. “Amadeus has worked closely with customers to create new online support tools that are designed to make their lives easier. This investment in new technology will provide customers with better access to information and new and innovative ways to get the support they need when and where they need it.” Future enhancements of the online portal will include an online Format Finder to help agents find the right Amadeus entry quickly and other features designed to push information to travel agents in the event of an ongoing problem.

When is the best time to visit Egypt? Clients from Western Europe, Russia, US and Latin America enjoy winter time between October and May while travellers from the Gulf, Middle East and Eastern Europe prefer the summer season due to its quiet and peaceful atmosphere, which grants the chance to visit sights without hassle. Personally I believe that Egypt is ideal for memorable vacations and tours throughout the whole year.

Where would you like to travel to for your next holiday? Marsa Alama or Taba as I yearn for relaxation and quietness.

Why should people come to you for travel advice? NTS has experience and profound knowledge of more than 70 markets worldwide. Together with our very professional staff we have been able to handle various types of businesses. Furthermore, NTS’s excellent relationship with hotels across Egypt ensures convenient rates, upgrades and constant availability. Under the slogan ‘customer satisfaction first’ NTS group is very keen on affordable elite services in terms of quality and safety measures. JUNE 11, 2011

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Dubai Launches World Discovery Festival, Exhibiting the Best Consumer Offerings Across Cultures World Discovery Fest will offer unique multicultural experiences and feature the world’s best holiday destinations, cuisines, lifestyle trends and entertainment.

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aunched on May 31 by International Conferences & Exhibitions (IC&E), and supported by the Government of Dubai and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, the festival intends to draw in a large number of nationals as well as expatriates from around the region. It will be held at The Meydan Grandstand, Dubai's newest hospitality and tourism venue, on November 3 - 5, coinciding with the Eid holiday period. Anselm Godinho, managing director, IC&E, elaborated on the decision to hold the multicultural event in Dubai. “World

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Discovery Fest takes inspiration from the many cultures and nationalities that wonderfully co-exist in the UAE, while reinforcing the country's growing reputation as a haven for luxury, entertainment, tourism, shopping and culinary excellence. The Festival will offer a fresh outlook of various products, services and value-added offerings in a truly multicultural, relaxing and uniquely engaging atmosphere. World Discovery Fest will showcase a series of activities, attractions and live demonstrations spread out across the four dedicated show segments: Travel and Leisure Zone, Entertainment Zone, Food

and Beverage Zone, and Retail Therapy Zone.

World Discovery Fest takes inspiration from the many cultures and nationalities that wonderfully co-exist in the UAE The Travel and Leisure Zone will feature competing airlines, cruise operators, tour operators, travel agencies, spas, hotels and resorts, exhibiting a range of hospitality offerings and leisure destinations across the world.

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Q & A with Chris Atkin With innovations in technology pushing the travel industry to constantly evolve, smart applications are transforming the hotel market for industry players and visitors. Chris Atkin, chief operating officer and regional director UAE, iRiS Software Systems, talks about the dissemination of the iRiS Personal Valet application, the significance of its implementation in the hotel market, and possibilities for the future. Travel Trade Weekly: The iRiS Personal Valet is revolutionising guest services, with guests able to book a spa treatment, browse and book city tours or shop online, all in the privacy of their room. What is expected to be the next step in the comprehensive mobile strategy in the hotel market? Chris Atkin: There are a number of ways

coming months. Our objective is to have over 2,500 rooms in the region by the end of the year.

the Personal Valet application. Firstly, they can drill down and create very specific applications for clearly defined services at property level. For example fine-dining restaurants can utilise our eSommelier application to enable diners to browse through the cellar and compare the wines, prices and offers. Additionally they can read tasting notes or even information about the region or grower. The restaurateur can now provide more expertise to more diners at the same time thus reducing waiting times for the sommelier. On the other hand hotel operators can move beyond a single property and provide applications that offer information about all of their properties and enable guests to book rooms, restaurant tables and find out more about the destination.

of these devices in markets such as the UAE adds to the need for iRiS to invest in the region. However, our proposition does not rely solely on users of these devices. The majority of customers looking to implement our iPad solution understand the value of having these devices deployed in all of their guest rooms to ensure their message reaches all their guests and not just those who decide to download the application. In fact for many of the hoteliers the deployment of iPads is part of an ongoing strategy to reduce their paper and print consumption.

Chris Atkin

Travel Trade Weekly: Do you think the upscale image of destinations such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is likely to attract more smartphone users and, therefore, more users of such applications? that hoteliers can go with applications from Chris Atkin: Certainly, the penetration

Travel Trade Weekly: How much demand has the iRiS iPad application attracted in the Middle East hotel market? Chris Atkin: We are still in the early stages of our trials, but already the major international chains, local chains and independents are all watching closely and gearing up to move forward. We have a number of very high profile opportunities in the pipeline and we expect to be able to announce some significant projects in the JUNE 11, 2011

Travel Trade Weekly: IRIS Software Systems conducted a workshop on mobile technology at the Hotel Show at the Dubai World Trade Centre on May 19, which explored the integration of mobile technology into hotel operations. How much interest did this innovative market attract at the show and do you think the hotel market across the Middle East and North Africa is ready for further technicality? Chris Atkin: The workshop was designed to offer hoteliers a glimpse of where we are going with the integration of other systems and applications such as online table reservations and room controls. Certainly those who attended

are now engaging us to discuss in more detail how they can use applications such as ours to simplify how they offer services to guests. The beauty of what we do is that we make everything visual and easy to understand whatever nationality you are or language you speak and read. The iRiS Personal Valet is like flicking through the pages of your favourite magazine, except you can interact with it.

Travel Trade Weekly: Several studies show that people prefer planning and booking online. Do you think that this will take the important personal touch away from customer service and hospitality in hotels? Chris Atkin: On the contrary. These systems help people do the things they want to do when they want to do them. We are no longer constrained to the working hours of the travel agent or the airline. What we are seeing particularly in our sites is that the hotels are able to capture more information about guests’ likes and dislikes and can tailor their products and services more appropriately. 15


Chinese Exhibition a Hit with Travel Trade A total of 235 exhibitors from 55 different countries took part in the China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market (COTTM) on April 13. They each took the opportunity to showcase their destinations and travel services to 3,300 outbound tour operators from all over China. The seventh edition of the show welcomed brand new destinations, such as Canada, Malaysia, Morocco, South Africa, Turkey and Zambia. Matt Thompson, project director, COTTM, was pleased to see the event grow in

popularity. “COTTM exceeded expectations by attracting worldwide destinations in greater numbers and from more countries than before, emphasising the strong growth in the region. The large number of serious outbound tour operators who attended the show is very encouraging and a sign of good things to come.” One of the highlights of the show was the high-calibre seminar programme, for both visitors and exhibitors, according to organisers. Visitors were able to find out more about exhibitor products and services while

exhibitors learned about outbound tourism trends, future challenges, commercial opportunities and government policies. A key topic this year was using social media and digital marketing to reach out to and engage affluent Chinese consumers.

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. World Health Tourism Congress Murcia, Spain, June 17-19, 2011 (www.spain.healthtourismcongress.com) The most established and longest running health and medical tourism event in the world

China Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition Beijing, China, August 30-September 1, 2011 (www.cibtm.com) A leading event for the meetings, incentives, business travel and events industry in China and Asia. PATA Travel Mart New Delhi, India, September 6-9, 2011 (www.pata.org) Asia Pacific’s premier travel trade show with networking and contracting opportunities.

Top Resa, International French Travel Market Paris, France, September 20-23, 2011 CITY FAIR The European Cities Travel Workshop (www.iftm.fr) London, UK, June 20, 2011 France’s international travel and tourism trade fair for (www.cityfair.travel) networking, doing business, innovating and keeping abreast of A one day event of pre-scheduled appointments dedicated to market developments. the sector of city tourism. AIBTM Baltimore, US, June 21-23, 2011 (www.aibtm.com) A US event for the business travel and meetings industry.

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Cityscape Dubai Dubai, UAE, September 26-29, 2011 (www.cityscape.ae) A business-to-business networking exhibition and conference for emerging real estate markets globally.

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Travel Trade Weekly Issue 83