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Middle East and North Africa Edition

July 23, Issue 89

Al KhozAmA hotel Brand to deBut in medinA

Viceroy Hotel Group has been awarded the contract to operate Yas Hotel on Abu Dhabi’s key leisure and entertainment destination.

Al Khozama management Company (AKmC), a luxury commercial property development, investment and management company, has signed a management agreement for Al Khozama hotel, medina, due to open in october.

5 First JW mArriott ProPerty oPens in turKey marriott international’s luxury hotel brand, JW marriott, has announced the opening of its first hotel in turkey.

10 In This Issue Market Update Weekly News Accommodation News Air Travel News International Who’s Moved Travel Talk Agents’ Corner Travel Channels Rendezvous Events July 23 2011

2 3 5 7 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 issue 89


to Operate Yas Hotel


TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY Managing Editor mary Kammitsi Journalists rita Kasziba duncan macrae marianna Keen

Etihad: Record First Half Year Etihad Airways has recorded its most successful first half year (H1), with increased revenues and positive EBITDAR, driven by solid performances in both passenger and cargo operations.


he airline’s revenues increased by 28 percent from usd1,342 million in h1 2010 to usd1,720 Sales & Marketing million. This, coupled up with a dimitris Thomaidis two percent reduction in costs maria demetriadou per available seat km, resulted in positive Directors eBitdAr (earnings before interest, taxes, Andreas Constantinides depreciation, amortisation and rent) in the six mary Kammitsi months from January 1 for the first time. Headquarters Passenger revenues grew by 21 percent driven by P.o. Box 25255 a 14 percent increase in passenger numbers to 3.8 nicosia 1308 Cyprus tel: +35722820888 million and five percent rise in passenger yield. Fax: +35722318958 despite the ongoing political unrest in parts of the middle east and the Japanese earthquake, the Website airline’s seat factor rose to 72.9 percent. The sound results amid the difficult operating Emails conditions and fragile economy, mark another milestone towards the airline’s goal of moving into sustainable profitability in 2012, noted Design & Layout elina Pericleous

James hogan, Ceo, etihad Airways. The launch of new services to two Chinese cities, Chengdu and shanghai, and the addition of malé and the seychelles to etihad’s network, will further move the airline towards achieving its aim. “We are determined to build a schedule which increases customer choice and attracts local point-to-point traffic in line with the Abu dhabi 2030 plan. Also, we will continue to connect our high growth and emerging markets to Abu dhabi and the world by linking them through the uAe capital while at the same time expanding our high value premium markets and traffic flows.” With 32 percent increase in revenues, cargo operations have also closed a successful h1. “etihad Crystal Cargo plays a hugely important part in the ongoing success of the airline as it now contributes 20 percent of our direct operating revenue,” added hogan.

Marriott: Growing Portfolio, Increasing Income

MENA Exchange Rates Accurate as of 21/7/2011 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)


CURRENCY dirham Pound riyal Pound dinar dinar Pound dinar riyal rial dinar dirham riyal rial dinar dinar

1USD= 3.67 5.97 3.75 1,515 0.37 0.71 47.45 0.27 3.64 0.38 1.37 7.93 10,608 213.75 73.04 1.21

Marriott International has recorded yet another successful quarter with increased net income and revenues and significant expansion in its portfolio. The company’s second quarter (Q2) 2011 net income accounted for usd135 million with an increase of 13 percent compared with the same period of 2010. Worldwide comparable system-wide revPar grew by 7.7 percent, while average daily rate rose 4.5 percent. diluted earnings per share (ePs) showed an increase of 19 percent and totalled usd 0.37. during the three-month period, marriott repurchased 10.6 million shares of the company’s common stock for usd375 million and continued to grow its portfolio with 32 new properties (4.512 rooms). At the end of Q2, the company’s worldwide pipeline of hotels under construction awaiting conversion or approval for development grew to more than 100,000 rooms, of which nearly 44,000 rooms will be opening outside north America. J.W. marriott, Jr., chairman and Ceo, marriott international, remarked on the company’s steady expansion. “Around the world, we’ve never been more excited about our opportunities. now in 71 countries, the marriott international brand portfolio, already the broadest in the industry, is growing rapidly. We expect to add over 200 hotels to our system in 2011, leveraging the hospitality and local know-how of our associates with our global size, systems, and guest loyalty programs. emerging markets provide especially attractive opportunities.” July 23, 2011

Viceroy to Operate Yas Hotel Viceroy Hotel Group has been awarded the contract to operate Yas Hotel on Abu Dhabi’s key leisure and entertainment destination.


ituated at the heart of the famous yas marina Circuit, the five-star hotel welcomed its first guests for the inaugural Formula one race in 2009, and has since hosted a number of high-level events and was recognised as the ‘World’s Best new hotel’ at the World travel Awards in 2010. Viceroy hotel Group was chosen by property development, investment and management company, Aldar Properties, following a comprehensive selection process. mohamed Khalifa Al mubarak, deputy Ceo and chief commercial oďŹƒcer, Aldar Properties, commented on the new operator.

“i am delighted to announce the appointment of Viceroy hotel Group to operate the yas hotel. Their reputation for delivering returns for owners and operating unique ‘experience’ hotels make them the perfect fit for this important asset. As the owner of seven hotels on yas island, Aldar plays a unique role in capturing synergies and creating economies of scale across these assets for the benefit of both ourselves and our hotel operators. in addition, we continue to coordinate eorts to further increase the attraction of yas island as a destination through our operations, marketing and continued development.â€? The latest addition to Viceroy’s portfolio,

which includes santa monica, Anguilla, miami and snowmann, marks the company’s debut in the middle east, remarked Brad Korzen, Ceo, Viceroy hotel Group.

We continue to coordinate eorts to further increase the attraction of Yas Island “We are thrilled to be adding this incredible property to our expanding management portfolio of ultra luxury hotels. it is only fitting that Viceroy's first property outside north America is in Abu dhabi, the home of our international headquarters.â€?

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Best Western Opens Island Resort Best Western International has added another property to its everexpanding portfolio with the opening of Best Western Marina Island Resort Pangkor in Malaysia.


he 170 luxurious hotel apartments form part of a large development that includes residential, commercial, leisure and entertainment facilities. located on marina island Pangkor, one of malaysia’s premier man-made islands, the resort offers value-for-money accommodation at the coast for both business and leisure travellers. Thong Keng tong, general manager, Best Western marina island resort Pangkor, comments on the addition. “The resort is a welcoming sanctuary for both holidaymakers and business travellers. it’s destined to become the address of choice in the area for those seeking relaxation and a place to spoil the senses.”

Best Western Marina Island Resort Pangkor, Malaysia

The resort, built just a stone’s thrown away from blue waters, features an on-site restaurant, bar, conference and meeting rooms. it also offer an array of leisure activities such as water sports, diving, fishing, island tours, a waterfront shopping complex, international cruise liner jetty as well as a yacht and sport club. A bridge connecting the island to the Perak mainland or a five minute boar ride provides guests seamless connectivity.

Expedia Launches New Portal Online travel company, Expedia has launched a new platform, expedia Access, designed to help travel agents manage their expedia Affiliate account. expedia Access was developed to support the expedia travel Affiliate Program (tAAP), which enables travel agencies to access expedia’s broad selection of travel products and services. The new portal delivers an array of benefits to more than 15,000 tAAP-affiliated travel agencies in one user-friendly platform. it ensures quicker access by easier log in procedures and reporting as well as simplified personalisation and rebranding capabilities by easily manageable download of invoices and itineraries. The advanced activity reports allow travel agents to regularly monitor bookings and commissions, while other applications enable the smoothly scanning of news, promotions and incentive status. in addition, expedia Access helps agencies to further build up their own website with embeddable technical specifications. diego Pedrani, global head, tAAP, elaborated on the new platform. “The expedia Access platform reflects the close consultation we have had with travel agents. We have included as many agent requests as possible in the system. Personalising itineraries and invoices with the agents’ own logo is a request we have heard often, as is the ability for agents to check their commissions at a glance. We have developed these and many other features that are designed to streamline the administrative process.” 4

Dubai Prepares for 10th Ramadan Forum Dubai’s Department of tourism and Commerce marketing (dtCm) has begun preparations for the 10th ramadan Forum. The event is aimed at developing a better cultural understanding among various nationalities and cultures living side by side in the uAe. The theme of this year’s forum is Faith and security and will reflect islam’s teachings in these aspects of life and society. Ahmed bin mohamed bin rashid Al maktoum, chairman, mohamed bin rashid Al maktoum Foundation, emphasised the importance of the event. “Another ramadan has dawned upon us in which we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the inception of The ramadan Forum, which has become one of the most important religious events during this holy month, not only in dubai and the uAe, but in the entire region.” Khalid A. Bin sulayem, directorgeneral, dtCm, explained that he was looking forward to hosting the event in its 10th anniversary, and commented on this year’s Faith and security theme.“The selection of this theme is so relevant. it reflects the living styles and conditions of uAe people and expatriates who live in safe and secure environment.” The forum, which comprises a series of lectures on religious and cultural aspects of life and society, begins on August 11.

It reflects the living styles and conditions of UAE people and expatriates who live in safe and secure environment July 23, 2011

- Accommodation

Al Khozama Hotel Brand to Debut in Medina Al Khozama Management Company (AKMC), a luxury commercial property development, investment and management company, has signed a management agreement for Al Khozama Hotel, Medina, due to open in October.

Great Hotels of the World Removes its Booking Fees Hotel sales and marketing alliance, Great hotels of the World, has removed all booking and credit card fees from its website. The alliance believes that this will help to increase the number of reservations made on its site, and give it an edge over its competitors. sonia Giaimo, leisure sales manager, Great hotels of the World, explained that the removal of fees was a response to developments in the industry. “in the light of market changes, we have decided to remove all booking and credit card fees, which we believe will enable us to stand head and shoulders apart from our competitors. in light of the recent criticism surrounding companies who utilise large credit card and booking fees, we have decided to take action and allow customers to feel at greater ease when making a reservation through us.”


he hotel, owned by trading real estate Company, will represent AKmC’s second luxury property in Al madinah Al munawara. located in the western periphery of the mosque of Prophet muhammad PBuh, the hotel features 140 guest rooms including 20 executive suites. musaed Al said, Ceo, AKmC, commented on the latest addition to the company’s portfolio. “AKmC's business strategy is two-fold: to expand our hospitality portfolio in key growth areas in the Kingdom, and to further develop the well-regarded Al Khozama and Al Faisaliah brands. This latest management contract to operate Al Khozama hotel, medina meets both objectives, and we look forward to introducing an unrivalled hospitality service to our valued guests in medina.” AKmC strives to set new standards in services and guest satisfaction, noted Al said. “one of our objectives at AKmC is to ensure the highest standards of hospitality are available throughout the Kingdom. This commitment is being recognised globally, with AKmC garnering more than 22 national and international awards for excellence in hospitality in the past two years alone. The expansion of our portfolio with properties such as Al Khozama hotel, madina offers us additional opportunities to highlight this service excellence.” Al Khozama hotel, medina, designed with a unique fusion of classic and contemporary style and equipped with hi-tech luxuries, includes two restaurants, a lobby and a wellness centre, and offers convenient access to Al-rawda Al-sharifa and the Green dome mosque.

In the light of market changes, we have decided to remove all booking and credit card fees, which we believe will enable us to stand head and shoulders apart from our competitors Great hotels of the World frequently runs 72 hour limited time sales with its member properties. Any reservation made during these special sales will also have the fees removed. July 23, 2011


- Air Travel

Emirates Partners with Arik Air Emirates has entered into an interline agreement with Nigerian carrier, Arik Air to provide passengers seamless connectivity to Nigeria and West Africa.

Air Arabia Adds to Saudi Offering with Flights to Gassim


n terms of the agreememt, travellers will be able to fly on the airlines’ network by booking a single, joint emirates-Arik Air itinerary, that will enable them to connect from emirates’ double daily services to lagos onto a range of destinations beyond, including Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Port harcort and enugu. in addition, passengers will enjoy a range of benefits, including special fares and an extra 10kg baggage allowance on economy class, pointed out Jean luc Grillet, senior vice president, commercial operations for Africa, emirates. “our new partnership with Arik Air opens up a wide range of West African destinations for emirates customers, making travel more easy and convenient than ever before. What’s more, customers will enjoy better value for money when

they purchase their emirates and Arik Air flights together.” The partnership marks a major step in the nigerian carrier’s global expansion strategy, noted Kevin steele, vice president commercial, Arik Air.

Our new partnership with Arik Air opens up a wide range of West African destinations for Emirates customers “emirates is one of the industry’s leading airlines with an extensive global network. This agreement will undoubtedly provide new travel opportunities for our customer base as well as further developing Arik Air into a truly global airline.”

Air Arabia has introduced a new destination in saudi Arabia to its portfolio, operating flights from sharjah to Gassim four times per week. Beginning on July 15, the additional route to saudi Arabia is anticipated to make travel to the Kingdom easier and more convenient for Air Arabia passengers. AK nizar, head of commercial department, Air Arabia, expressed his delight in offering the new service just before ramadan. “We are extremely pleased to introduce our new service between sharjah and Gassim, which marks the fifth destination in saudi Arabia reachable via Air Arabia. As we approach the holy month of ramadan, we are pleased to offer one more way to help bring friends and families together for the holidays.”

Our new service between Sharjah and Gassim marks the fifth destination in Saudi Arabia reachable via Air Arabia

Egyptair Express Introduces New Route from Cairo to Port Said Egyptair Express will operate a new service from Cairo to Port said in north east egypt, effective from July 17. The airline will offer two flights per week July 23, 2011

on sunday and Thursday, using its embraer 170 aircraft. The route will open new options for passengers travelling to the egyptian

city. egyptair express is a member of star Alliance through the affiliation of parent company egyptair into the global alliance in 2008. 7

- Air News

American Airlines and Cathay Pacific Extend Partnership oneworld alliance partners, American Airlines (AA) and Cathay Pacific, have expanded their codeshare agreement to enable them to offer new services.


he additional routes feature Cathay Pacific’s new daily service between Chicago o’hare international Airport and hong Kong international Airport, as well as the Asian airline’s existing daily flights between hong Kong and ho Chi minh City. The extra services, available for travel from september 1, bring the number of routes included in the codeshare agreement to 23 markets in north America and eight markets in Asia. The newly added routes further strengthen American Airline’s presence in southeast Asia, emphasised Virasb

Vahidi, chief commercial officer, AA. “our partnership with Cathay Pacific gives American’s customers expanded access to destinations in China and the rest of Asia. With this codeshare expansion, our customers now have more options for travel between north America and Asia.” The extended relationship gives greater options to both American and Asian passengers, noted ivan Chu, chief operating officer, Cathay Pacific. “We are very pleased to be able to extend our cooperation with American Airlines, one of our important partners in the oneworld alliance. This new arrangement will offer more choices and greater

convenience for passengers from the us and will help to ensure the success of the new Cathay Pacific service between Chicago and hong Kong, which will launch on september 1.”

This new arrangement will offer more choices and greater convenience for passengers from the US American Airlines and Cathay Pacific’s long established relationship dates back to the signing of the first codasharing agreement in 2003.

Qatar Airways Increases Doha-Kuwait Services in Ongoing Expansion Qatar Airways has launched an additional daily flight between Kuwait and doha in order to provide passengers with more flexibility on the popular route. Akbar Al Baker, Ceo, Qatar Airways, highlighted the benefits the move will bring to travellers. “We are committed to offering our passengers with the best travel experience and now customers in Kuwait have even more convenient access to our network of over 100 global destinations. similarly, passengers from across our international network now have a greater choice of flights to Kuwait via our doha hub.” Qatar Airways now operates five flights daily between Kuwait City and the airline’s doha hub taking the frequency up to 35 weekly services on the route. “As part of our growth strategy, we will continue to step up frequency on existing routes, which is a strong lever to facilitate development in the business and tourism sectors,” added Al Baker. during the second half of this year, Qatar Airways is set to expand in saudi Arabia, operating four weekly flights to the holy city of medina starting from July 14. other new services include daily flights to Calcutta from July 27; to the Bulgarian capital sofia on september 14; to the norwegian capital oslo from october 5; to entebbe in uganda from november 2; to Azerbaijan capital, Baku on november 30; and to the Georgian capital tbilisi, also on november 30. 8

July 23, 2011

- International

Pullman Opens its First Hotel in Brazil Pullman has opened its first hotel in Brazil, the Pullman São Paulo Ibirapuera, as part of its rapid expansion throughout Latin America.


he property from the upscale brand of the Accor group is located in an exclusive residential area near ibirapuera Park and the city’s main business centre. With conference facilities and meeting rooms on two floors, including an auditorium that can

accommodate up to 200 people, the Pullman são Paulo ibirapuera prides itself on offering a fully equipped business centre. The opening forms part of Pullman’s goal to open a hotel in all of latin America’s major cities over the next few years. it also comes following the brand’s plan to debut in six new countries this year. in addition to

Brazil, Pullman will open properties in the netherlands (eindhoven), indonesia (Bali and Jakarta), new zealand (Auckland), Vietnam (hanoi) and india (Gurgaon). Frédéric Fontaine, senior vice president, global brand marketing, Pullman, remarked on the company’s strategy. “in the long term, the brand will have 150 hotels worldwide, with a focus on locations in the centre of large cities, near major airports or close to key tourist attractions.”

First JW Marriott Property Opens in Turkey Marriott International’s luxury hotel brand, JW marriott, has announced the opening of its first hotel in turkey. JW marriott hotel Ankara is managed by ozkar insaat As and epitomises the very best of the JW marriott brand, according to Amy mcPherson, president and managing director, europe, marriott international. “it is one of the world’s fastest growing luxury hotel brands. As we continue to grow our portfolio throughout europe, we are eager to add more JW marriott hotels in premier destinations and gateway cities such as Ankara, and are confident that this spectacular hotel will attract discerning travellers and groups from all over the world.” The 24-storey, 413-room luxury hotel, is located in the heart of the political and business centre of Ankara. it offers easy access from Ankara esenboga Airport, convention venues and Ankara culture and education centres. 10

July 23, 2011

Thierry Dongier

James Farrow

Thierry dongier has been appointed as regional sales director, key accounts, menA at Amadeus. he takes on the role after holding various positions over the last three years at Amadeus sophia Antipolis, France. his previous roles included sales manager, Western europe toPs (travel agency produces solutions) and most recently it and global account manager for global customer it solutions (GCis). in his new position, he is responsible for improving the region’s top 20 accounts and developing a new GCis/regional sales strategy in collaboration with general managers and sales teams, while benefiting from his experience in it solutions in numerous areas such as advertising, travel expense management and travel disruption solutions.

James Farrow has joined Chi hotels & resorts (Chi) as senior vice president of sales, in charge of the company’s portfolio of managed hotels under the Corinthia, Wyndham and ramada Plaza brands worldwide. Based in london, the industry specialist will spearhead James Farrow Chi’s entire sales operation, including the monitoring of individual hotels’ activities and the management of the regional sales offices throughout europe, Africa and the middle east. Farrow brings vast experience to his new role that spans over 23 years with hilton and its owning company, where he gained expertise in managing sales forces. Prior to his senior positions, he held general managerial roles with various companies, including Quality international hotels and Prince of Wales Group.

Samantha Watson

Samantha Watson

samantha Watson has joined AlFuttaim travel as marketing and sales manager. Watson brings more than 12 years of experience to her new role at the corporate and leisure travel management company. Previously, she worked for emirates Airlines and etihad Airways in charge for top performing leisure accounts including online travel agents such as and she embarked on her career in the uAe as sales manager for etihad holidays before moving to safar travel as head of the holidays, miCe and adventure divisions. most recently, she held the tourism marketing manager position at The dubai mall. Watson holds a degree in european tourism management.

Dipak Paul dipak Paul has been appointed as general manager of ramada downtown dubai. he brings to his role vast experience that spans over three decades and includes positions with leading international hotel brands, including starwood and interContinental. Besides india, he has worked in Kenya, nepal, Dipak Paul singapore and across the middle east. he joined ramada downtown dubai in november 2010 following three successful years in nairobi where he oversaw the opening of Crown Plaza hotel. July 23, 2011


Karim Makhlouf

James Bennett

Chief Commercial Officer, Gulf Air.


“Gulf Air is always known for its pioneering traditions having introduced a number of innovative products and services. This year we wanted to offer our customers a more luxurious experience during the Bahrain summer Festival and so we have joined hands with leading fivestar hotels in Bahrain to offer a night’s stay along with flights at a very affordable, all-inclusive price.”

“As partners in the development of Abu dhabi, every government agency or company in the emirate has a responsibility to actively participate and contribute to creating a sustainable eco-system. Planning around environmental sustainability contributes directly to the economic success of any company while benefiting and preserving the planet and its resources, which makes AdAC a proud member of the Abu dhabi sustainability Group.”

This year we wanted to offer our customers a more luxurious experience during the Bahrain Summer Festival

Karim Makhlouf

James Bennett

Planning around environmental sustainability contributes directly to the economic success of any company

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


July 23, 2011

Sabre Debuts in South Africa Sabre Travel Network, the technology solution provider to the global travel industry, has embarked on the next phase of its expansion by entering the south African market. Based in Bedfordview, Gauteng, the company will provide both leisure and corporate travel agencies with a new alternative, noted dean Bibb, vice president, sabre travel network. “sabre is a strong global brand, and today we enter the market as a fresh alternative for travel companies who want a partner that can provide global expertise, local knowledge, innovation and a passion for customer service.” to better serve the local market, sabre partnered with travel distribution company, emQuest, part of emirates Group, and Africanbased rogers Aviation, which will act as the main distributor. “our collaboration with emQuest and rogers Aviation means south African agencies will profit from sabre’s global reach and the partnership of a local specialist. We want to work with travel agents whose priority is impeccable customer service and sustained growth,” added Bibb. “The travel industry in south Africa has grown in recent years, and travellers have a burgeoning appetite for new tools such as mobile services and social media. every year sabre invests hundreds of millions of dollars in developing and delivering innovative technology that helps agencies accelerate their business and enhance customer service,” concluded Bibb. sabre will provide agents its sabre red total travel solution, a dedicated tool to manage their entire business and south African agencies will become the first ones to use the highly configurable platform, sabre red Workplace, designed for shopping, booking and managing travel in a new graphical view. in addition, sabre will also launch a range of mobile, social media, business intelligence, travel security and efficiency tools. sabre’s south African launch follows the company’s full-content agreement with south African Airways. July 23, 2011

Agent’s Insight

Gabor Arany

Name: Gabor Arany Position: General manager Company: Al Azure Tours Location: Oman Who are you? my name is Gabor Arany and i am the general manager of omani agency, Al Azure tours. Although i studied agricultural engineering, it soon turned out that it wasn’t the right profession to me. my real passion has always been outdoor adventures like camping, canoening, fishing and off road driving. i have been living and working in oman for six years. First, i started with one of the local tour operators and then three years ago, with an omani partner, i opened my own company, Al Azure tours. our agency can arrange private chartered tours to anywhere in oman. Al Azure tours is known for fresh ideas, and we do our utmost to provide clients with the best services according to their special requirements and interest. influenced by the season of the year, we will suggestions to customers activities that can range from cultural experiences to pure adventure.

What is your favourite thing about working in the travel industry? meeting people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds and providing them with a memorable holiday experience of a lifetime.

When is the best time to visit Oman? From october until April happens to be the ideal season as the average temperature remains moderate during these months. usually the temperature starts increasing during may and it might reach as high as 40 degrees. however, options of outdoor activities do exist along the coast and we can cater and mould the packages to suit customers’ requirements anytime. in addition, during the summer season (may-september) the south of oman (salalah) attracts a lot of tourists simply because of the monsoon rains. This is very rare and salalah happens to be the only part of the middle east that experiences the monsoons. it really is a marvelous experience.

Where would you like to travel to for your next holiday? i hope to visit mongolia really soon.

Why should people come to you for travel advice? For us, travel is more than just getting from here to there; it's about the journey itself, the people you meet and the incredible discoveries along the way. our local tour leaders will take you beyond the guidebooks and off the busy tourist trails, introducing you to some of our favourite destinations on the map. We know where to go and what to do. on many of our trips customers can choose to join a small international group or have a private departure. All our tours are guided by local experts, ensuring the best possible is knowledge available to clients, after all this is their own backyard. on our safaris we travel in small groups making the trip much more enjoyable and avoiding a negative impact on the environment and local communities. our real specialty is camping, when we travel along tracks and ancient camel routes to the heart of true oman – to a land where time seems to have stood still. 13

Australia Experiences Renewed Trend in Hotel Leasing Hotel leases are making a comeback in Australia, due to very few new hotel developments being in the pipeline and a positive trading outlook across most hotel markets in the country.


his new trend is in contrast to the past few years in Australia, according to Anthony Corbett, executive vice president strategic advisory, Jones lang lasalle hotels. “in the years leading up to the global financial crisis (GFC) when hotel trading performance and outlook was strong, leases on hotels were gaining popularity as hotel operators were becoming increasingly prepared to consider taking the business risk under the terms of a lease in order to expand their portfolios. This


abruptly stopped during the GFC due to weaker trading market conditions and a heightened level of uncertainty.” leases differ from management agreements as the operator pays the owner a fixed or nominated rent and has full discretion in the running of the property and keeps any profit generated by the business. “While leases are more prevalent for serviced apartments, recently a number of our developer clients have been approached by operators offering to lease new hotels. in the right location this suits hotel operators as new management

opportunities continue to be rare with limited new hotel development and very limited opportunities to convert brands on existing assets,” Corbett added.

While leases are more prevalent for serviced apartments, recently a number of our developer clients have been approached by operators offering to lease new hotels

July 23, 2011

Q & A with Toufic Tamim With countless hotels opening in popular holiday destinations in the Middle East, competition is at the same time rising. Toufic Tamim, vice president sales and marketing - Middle East, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, talks to travel trade Weekly about the chain’s strategy in the region and its plight for all properties to be environmentally and socially responsible. Travel Trade Weekly: Mövenpick the outlook for Mövenpick Hotels Hotels & Resorts is aiming for 20 & Resorts in the Middle East? percent of its hotels, resorts and Toufic Tamim: We are positive about cruises to be Green Globe Certified by the future. We have many business the end of this year. Which Mövenpick locations throughout the region which properties in the Middle East region continue to be relevant for the demands are expected to be next in line for of both intra-GCC and international business travellers. certification? Toufic Tamim: A total of eight leisure-wise, the countries in which we mövenpick hotels & resorts in the middle east have received Green Globe Certification. in addition to our five properties in Jordan, mövenpick hotel & Apartments Burj dubai, mövenpick hotel doha and mövenpick hotel Jeddah have received this premier global certification for sustainability. All hotels were recently audited and measured in over 350 norms and standards, and achieved outstanding results. This summer, eight more hotels will be audited, including mövenpick tower & suites doha and seven properties within saudi Arabia.

operate have some of the most enduring tourist attractions in the world. our goal is to work closely with the local tourism boards and support their sales and marketing efforts in order to bring travellers to the holiday destinations in the middle east on a sustainable basis. We firmly believe that, despite the political situation, the middle east continues to be one of the most sought-after destinations.

about it, as most of our teams have already started the process to accomplish this meaningful goal. This strategy is part of a company-wide programme to establish a common global approach to environmental, employer and social sustainability.

developing swiftly. opening this summer, the mövenpick Beach resort Al Khobar will mark our ninth property in saudi Arabia. This fivestar resort will be located on the shoreline of the Arabian Gulf, just 45 minutes from dammam international Airport and 25 minutes from Al Khobar’s city centre. The hotel will offer 36 duplex villas, including two royal villas, each featuring three

Travel Trade Weekly:Which are expected to be the most significant and strategic of Mövenpick’s openings in the Middle East in the coming years, and why? Travel Trade Weekly: All Mövenpick Toufic Tamim: We currently operate 24 properties are anticipated to be hotels in the middle east and we have 12 stamped with Green Globe credentials hotels and resorts under construction in within two years. Do you think this the region, including properties in the will be achieved in the Middle East uAe, saudi Arabia, syria and oman, market? which represent 4,236 rooms. All our Toufic Tamim: We are very positive planned openings are moving ahead and

Travel Trade Weekly:With current events challenging the market, what is July 23, 2011

Toufic Tamim

separate bedrooms, a complete kitchen and both living and dining rooms. it is set to become a favourite retreat for families. in addition, we are opening four properties in dubai in the coming months, including the mövenpick residences at The square dubai, which will offer 180 serviced apartments. This property is located in the quiet surroundings of Al mamzar in dubai’s eastern district of deira, and will cater to both short-term and long-term guests. Further openings include the 293-room royal Amwaj resort & spa, a stunning and ultra-luxurious resort in Palm Jumeirah, with the remoteness, serenity and wistfulness of an island retreat, yet offering all the benefits of dubai. The fivestar mövenpick hotel & residences Jumeirah lakes towers is also scheduled to open this year, featuring 168 rooms and 307 apartments, as well as a private residence club. Finally, we will witness the opening of the contemporary oceana hotel & spa, a resort located on dubai’s Palm Jumeirah. We have already opened the beach club and the popular restaurant-bar West 14th. Both the club and the restaurant opened for business during the summer of 2010. 15

Madrid Hosts First International Congress on Ethics and Tourism Spain and the World tourism organisation (unWto) have teamed up to host the first international Congress on ethics and tourism, which will address some of the most pressing ethical issues currently facing the tourism sector. The Global Code of ethics for tourism, a set of guidelines and principles for the international tourism sector, will set the tone for the event in madrid on september 15-16. sessions will focus on responsible tourism, fair tourism and poverty reduction, equality and exploitation. The role of the private sector in responsible and sustainable tourism will also be addressed. Joan mesquida, secretary general of tourism and domestic trade, spain, commented on his efforts to educate

companies about the code of ethics. “The spanish Council of ministers has officially accepted the Global Code of ethics for tourism and is committed to disseminating it among the public and private tourism sectors. in order for its impact to be as wide-reaching and international as possible, we are collaborating with unWto to fully achieve our objectives.” taleb rifai, secretary general, unWto, noted that the event will instigate important discussions. “We are extremely happy to be partnering with spain to organise this landmark event. it will open an important debate on issues which are key to achieving a more sustainable and responsible tourism sector – a sector investing in green practises, gender equality and ethical behaviour.”


The Spanish Council of Ministers has officially accepted the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and is committed to disseminating it among the public and private tourism sectors

Events Sports and Events Tourism Exchange Cape Town, South Africa, July 27-29, 2011 ( An event that focuses on south Africa’s facilities and services for all top level international events and the exchange between sports tourism and the events industry. China Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition Beijing, China, August 30-September 1, 2011 ( 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 ( Asia Pacific’s premier travel trade show with networking and contracting opportunities.


Top Resa, International French Travel Market Paris, France, September 20-23, 2011 ( An international travel and tourism trade fair for networking, doing business, innovating and keeping abreast of market developments. Cityscape Dubai Dubai, UAE, September 26-29, 2011 ( A B2B networking exhibition and conference for emerging real estate markets globally. Kazakhstan International Tourism Exhibition Astana, Kazakhstan, September 27-29, 2011 The eighth Kazakhstan international tourism exhibition in Astana, which caters for both the B2B and B2C markets and features a vibrant mix of inbound and outbound destinations.

July 23, 2011

Travel Trade Weekly Issue 89  

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