Issuu on Google+

Travel Trade Weekly proudly enjoys readers on average per day

04 MAY 2013

ISSUE 182

Abu Dhabi to Build World-class Souk The Municipality of Abu Dhabi City revealed intention to develop a heritage souk, adding to the capital’s growing number of tourist attractions.

InterContinental Hotels Group has continued its expansion in Oman with the opening of the 213-key Crowne Plaza Duqm.

08 Novotel Dubai Al Barsha to welcome first guests this summer Located along Sheikh Zayed Road, the 42-storey property will comprise 465 rooms, including over 100 interconnecting family rooms.

10 IN THIS ISSUE MARKET UPDATE WEEKLY NEWS ACCOMMODATION AIR WHO’S MOVED TRAVEL TALK AGENT’S CORNER TRAVEL CHANNELS RENDEZVOUS NEWS & EVENTS

04 06 10 12 15 16 17 18 19 20

Crowne Plaza Duqm Opens

10


4

MARKET UPDATE

TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY MANAGING EDITOR Mary Kammitsi mary@traveltradeweekly.travel JOURNALISTS Stefanie Saghbini Rita Kasziba Dominique Christou Maria Kazeli

RJ Turns Net Loss into Profit A notable growth in earnings and relative decline in costs enabled Royal Jordanian Airlines (RJ) to reverse 2011’s net loss of JOD57.9 million (USD81.71 million) into a JOD1.1 million (USD1.56 million) net profit in 2012.

T

PRESS

he flag carrier’s total earnings amounted to JOD802 million (USD1.01 billion), marking a nine percent year-on-year rise, while its operation expenditure dropped one percent to JOD722.8 million (USD1.12 billion), and gross profit surged 968 percent to

Maria Demetriadou Pauline Shahabian DESIGN & LAYOUT Elena Stylianou DIRECTORS Andreas Constantinides Mary Kammitsi

JOD79.2 million (USD111.77 million). As Nasser Lozi, chairman, RJ, asserted, the company aims to execute a vision that includes a number of strategic plans in order to optimise the value of RJ, including increasing its capital from JOD84.3 million (USD118.97 million) to JOD184.3 million (USD260.09 million).

HEADQUARTERS T.T.W. Travel Trade Weekly LTD P.O. Box 25255, Nicosia, 1308, Cyprus Tel: +357 22 021607, Fax: +357 22 210466 WEBSITE www.traveltradeweekly.travel

Kuwait: Increasing Corporate and Leisure Demand

EMAILS

Hotels in Kuwait registered notable growth in both occupancy and average room rate (ARR) driven by strong demand from both the corporate and leisure segments, as TRI Hospitality Consulting’s HotStats report for February revealed. Occupancy rose 6.4 percentage points to 60 percent, while ARR climbed 7.5 percent to USD273.92, as the city hosted this year’s Hala February festival and celebrated the national day, encouraging local spending and further boosting hotel performance levels. RevPAR surged 20.4 percent to USD164.27, food and beverage revenues increased 46.6 percent, lifting total RevPAR by 23.8 percent to USD350.43 and gross operating profit per available room by 34.9 percent to USD161.97.

info@traveltradeweekly.travel sales@traveltradeweekly.travel editorial@traveltradeweekly.travel

MENA EXCHANGE RATES Accurate as of

30/04/2013 Currencies shown in red are fixed against the US Dollar

COUNTRY

CURRENCY

1USD=

UAE (AED)

Dirham

3.67

Egypt (EGP)

Pound

6.93

Saudi Arabia (SAR)

Riyal

3.75

Lebanon (LBP)

Pound

1,504.00

Bahrain (BHD)

Dinar

0.37

Jordan (JOD)

Dinar

0.71

Syria (SYP)

Pound

70.10

Kuwait (KWD)

Dinar

0.28

Qatar (QAR)

Riyal

3.64

Oman (OMR)

Rial

0.38

Tunisia (TND)

Dinar

1.61

Morocco (MAD)

Dirham

8.51

Iran (IRR)

Riyal

12,272.00

Yemen (YER)

Rial

214.50

Algeria (DZD)

Dinar

78.71

Libya (LYD)

Dinar

1.27

Egypt: Continued Recovery

E

gypt’s hotel sector posted positive results in February according to TRI Hospitality Consulting’s latest HotStats report. In Sharm El Sheikh, occupancy levels rose 7.7 percentage points year-onyear to 56.8 percent, while average room rate (ARR) and RevPAR increased 9.7 percent and 26.9 percent to USD40.78 and USD23.13 respectively, leading to a 71.2 percent growth

in gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) to USD15.27. In Cairo occupancy levels remained largely unchanged at 42.6 percent, ARR however rose 10.9 percent to USD112.69 boosting RevPAR by 12.3 percent to USD47.96, and GOPPAR by 9.1 percent to USD33.7. The overall improvement in hotel performance in both cities is largely attributed to the growth in leisure demand, mainly from Europe. 4 MAY 2013


6

WEEKLY NEWS

ETOA and Athens to Boost Tourism The European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) and Athens Development & Destination Management Agency (ADDMA), the city’s official tourism entity, joined forces to stimulate the sector. The business-to-business event, branded Travel Trade Athens, comes in line with the ADDMA’s endeavours to promote the Greek capital to the international business tourism market. On April 22, a delegation of nearly 60 professional touroperator-buyers, recruited by ETOA, visited Athens for a familiarisation trip and to take part in the two-day workshop where each buyer had a series of up to 32 meetings with local suppliers, including hotel and visitor attaction representatives. George Broulias, president, ADDMA, confirmed that the agency’s cooperation with ETOA, has proven to be a valuable asset to the city’s effort to showcase Athens effectively and reliably to the international tourism professionals’ community.

DNA Health Corp to Open on Saadiyat Island Heralding a new era of personalised healthcare, DNA Health Corp is to launch its global flagship integrative medicine and wellness centre, within The Collection complex of The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi, this month. Established with the ethos of transforming the current health paradigm to an integrative 21st century model of preventive care, the DNA Center for Integrative Medicine & Wellness will provide high levels of healthcare for the treatment of chronic diseases, healthy aging and lifestyle management. Its four-day ‘DNA 4 Life’ all-inclusive medical programmes and hospitality packages will include return limousine airport transfers, resort accommodation, personalised main meals, as well as spa and leisure activities; while the ‘DNA 4 Life Healthy Transformations’ packages will span over a three-month clinical period to provide flexibility to guests who may not require accommodation.

lowcostbeds Ventures into the Middle East Targeting the lucrative Middle East market, lowcostbeds is set to make its debut in the region after appointing Discover the World Marketing as its exclusive representative in the area. The global bed bank, which offers over 150,000 hotels from beach and city options to long-stay properties, will attend the upcoming Arabian Travel Market in order to establish partnerships with prominent regional and international travel agents, who, as Paul Riches, group director of sales, lowcosttravelgroup, explained, are looking for good rates and a relevant hotel inventory. He added, “We are confident we are hitting the right market as both inbound and outbound business in the Paul Riches, group director region is showing a healthy increase.” of sales, lowcosttravelgroup 4 MAY 2013


8

WEEKLY NEWS

Abu Dhabi to Build World-class Souk The Municipality of Abu Dhabi City has revealed its intention to develop an integrated heritage souk, adding yet another project to the capital’s growing number of tourist attractions. Located on the outskirts of the historic gate of Abu Dhabi Island, opposite Al Maqtaa Tower, the project will cover a total area of 150,000m2, and will constitute a unique touristic and heritage destination showcasing the rich Emirate heritage and authentic Arab traditions, further enriching the emirate’s cultural provision and enhancing its standing as a leading touristic and recreational destination. The project forms part of the municipality’s endeavours aimed at serving the community and offering investment prospects in order to ensure a superior quality of life and sustainable environment.

Yas Flow League at Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi It is aquatic antics all the way for flow-boarding enthusiasts at Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi’s brand new Yas Flow League. From testing their balance and basic flow-boarding skills to body-boarding and advanced wave riding, flow-boarders can now learn the tricks of the trade from world flow-boarding champion Clayton Barker, as part of a fun programme that is open to all skill levels. The Yas Flow League sessions take place at Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi every Wednesday and Saturday, and include three hours of ride time with skill-based training and supervision on FlowRider and FlowBarrel, with Barker and coaches on hand to provide expert coaching to both seasoned flowboarders and those wet behind the ears.

Yas Flow League

4 MAY 2013


10

WEEKLY NEWS

Crowne Plaza Duqm Opens InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has continued its expansion in Oman with the opening of the 213-key Crowne Plaza Duqm. The hotel boasts an extended outdoor pool area, fitness centre, and five restaurants and lounges, in addition to a 780m2 event centre along with two ballrooms, a boardroom, a business centre, and four separate meeting rooms. “Duqm is fast becoming a hotspot for travel and business within Oman. With the hotel’s location on the beachfront combined with its premium business facilities we are confident that Crowne Plaza Duqm is an attractive offering for business and leisure guests alike,” asserted Ali Salih, general manager, Crowne Plaza Duqm.

Accommodation

JA Resorts & Hotels to Go Global JA Resorts & Hotels, one of the UAE’s longest-standing hotel brands, is to make its international debut within months. Boasting 10 exclusive villas, designed to reflect the unique heritage of the Seychelles Islands with modern day comforts, Enchanted Island Seychelles will offer a hideaway for honeymooners and couples looking for a private holiday experience in a natural environment in the middle of a designated National Marine Park. In a bid to further establish the company’s presence on the global stage, JA Resorts & Hotels is already looking for other options, including in the Maldives and Mauritius. In the UAE, besides the traditionally strong British, German, and Russian and CIS markets, the management aims to further increase guest volumes from lucrative new markets, including the Nordic countries, India, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as the Americas.

Enchanted Island Seychelles

Novotel Dubai Al Barsha is set to welcome its first guests this summer Located along Sheikh Zayed Road, in close proximity to the city’s major business hubs and tourist destinations, the 42-storey property will comprise 465 rooms, including over 100 interconnecting family rooms and 89 fully furnished suites, and will host five restaurants and bars, a fitness and spa facility with seven massage rooms, and an outdoor swimming pool. Additionally, the hotel will offer nine meeting rooms along with a business centre. Philippe Montaubin, general manager, Novotel Dubai Al Barsha, said, “When it comes to the hotel itself, the volume, quality and value of our bedroom product has already generated much interest in the market from our corporate and travel trade partners, our meeting facilities are first class and we look forward to tempting guests with our unique food and beverage offerings."

Novotel Dubai Al Barsha

4 MAY 2013


WEEKLY NEWS

Accommodation

Ayla Hotel Gives Back to the Community Ayla Hotel, in Al Ain the first property of Ayla Hotels and Resorts, organised a clothes collection throughout the month of March, with all donations to be given to UAE Red Crescent. “At Ayla Hotel we place high value on giving back to the community. I am very proud that our team has come together in this way to help to the Red Crescent in helping others,” commented Mohamed Soussan, general manager, Ayla Hotel. The collection, which resulted in 14 large sized boxes full with clothes and shoes, formed part of Ayla Hotel’s socially responsible initiatives and was one of numerous activities throughout the year, which also included energy and water saving endeavourds, waste management practices, as well as the hotel’s participation in Earth Hour.

11

The Ritz-Carlton Dubai’s New Wing Officially Inaugurated The Ritz-Carlton Dubai has celebrated the unveiling of its eagerly anticipated new wing with an event set along the Arabian Gulf. Herve Humler, president, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, was joined by more than 300 distinguished guests from across the globe to be part of what Humler described as a poignant moment that marks the company’s 15th anniversary in the UAE. The hotel, which opened in 1998, was one of the first luxury beachfront resorts in Dubai, and its new wing, named ‘Shorooq’ after the Arabic term for sunrise, features 148 new guestrooms and suites including two beautifully appointed Royal Suites, Club Lounge, sophisticated dining venues, a brand new spa concept, additional swimming pools, lush gardens, and expansive inHerve Humler, president, door and outdoor events spaces.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates Introduces New Culinary Experiences Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, now welcomes guests with a completely revamped restaurant in the lobby area allowing them to enjoy a wide variety of flavours and tea and coffee specialties, in a contemporary yet classic atmosphere. At Aspen by Kempinski , guests can now easily make their selection by scrolling down on the digital menu on an iPad, taking customer service to the next level. Located on Sheikh Zayed Road, next to Mall of the Emirates, the 393-unit hotel offers 365 days of sunshine and snow at the same time with the Ski Chalets boasting unique views of the slopes of Ski Dubai and the swimming pool on the other side. Ski Chalets 4 MAY 2013


12

WEEKLY NEWS

Air

Emirates Upgrades Dubai-Dakar Route

Emirates

Emirates has inaugurated its new Airbus 340-300 aircraft on its Dubai – Dakar route, which was previously serviced by an Airbus 330-200, giving more than a 16 percent boost to seat capacity. “With the additional capacity, we will help to satisfy the growing demand, while providing more opportunities for travel between Dakar, Dubai and beyond to our network of more than 130 destinations across the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, Asia and the Far East through our hub in Dubai,” said Jean Luc Grillet, senior vice president, commercial operations, Africa, Emirates. The new aircraft has 262 seats in a three-class configuration offering 11 luxurious first class seats, 42 seats in business class and generous space for 209 passengers in economy class. All classes of the new aircraft are equipped with Emirates’ ’ice’ entertainment system with hundreds of channels on-demand entertainment to choose from, including movies, television programmes, games, audio books and music from across the world.

flydubai Launches Flights to Juba flydubai recently made its maiden flight to Juba, the capital city of South Sudan. Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO, flydubai, said, “We are delighted to have started flights to Juba today which is our 56th destination in operation across our route network. We are excited about the trade and travel opportunities that this new route brings to both South Sudan and the UAE.” The addition of Juba to the route map further broadens flydubai’s network in Africa and opens up more routes to previously underserved markets. The carrier now serves six points in the continent, including Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Djibouti, Juba, Khartoum, and Port Sudan. “We would like to take the opportunity to thank the authorities for the warm welcome. The affordable, reliable and high quality service we offer will enable passengers to travel more frequently between our two nations and onwards via one stop in Dubai aviation’s hub,” added Al Ghaith.

flydubai

4 MAY 2013


14

WEEKLY NEWS

Wi-Fi Usage on Oman Air Flights Increases Oman Air has announced major growth in uptake by passengers of its in-flight mobile phone and Wi-Fi connectivity. Within a year, the airline experienced a 130 percent increase in Internet package sales and 180 percent rise in connectivity revenues. The Muscat-London Heathrow service saw the greatest use of in-flight connectivity, while the most popular method of accessing the Internet was via smartphones, indicating usage for leisure, rather than work purposes. “The increase in passengers’ use of the service in 2012 underlines their growing expectation that similar levels of connectivity should be available in the air as they are on the ground,” commented Wayne Pearce, CEO, Oman Air.

Air

Etihad Airways to Offer Belgrade Services Etihad Airways is to commence daily nonstop flights between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade, from June 15. Jat Airways, Serbia’s national carrier, will place its JU code on the new service, as well as on flights to 21 destinations on the Etihad Airways network, while the UAE airline will place its EY code on 23 of Jat Airways’ European flights. The announcement was made on April 15 at a media conference in Belgrade, where James Hogan, president, Etihad Airways, admitted that the airline’s strategy of working with local partners in new markets has brought impressive results.

Air Arabia to Launch Abha Flights Low-cost carrier, Air Arabia announced the start of nonstop services from Sharjah to Abha, Saudi Arabia, the airline’s eighth destination in the Kingdom and 85th worldwide. Beginning May 22, the carrier will offer three weekly flights to Abha, operating on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Commenting on the news, Adel Ali, group CEO, Air Arabia, said, “Since launching operations to the Kingdom in 2004, Air Arabia has been determined to using its infrastructure to organically grow its operations into many cities across the Kingdom.”

4 MAY 2013


WHO'S MOVED

Ossama Kachkouche Ossama Kachkouche has joined Radisson Royal Hotel Dubai as director of corporate sales. Having worked over 20 years in the region’s hospitality industry, Ossama brings solid background to the role. He began his career within various food and beverage, and sales positions in Dubai, and served

Marriott International for nine years before joining Monarch Hotel, currently known as H Hotel. He then moved to Hyatt Regency Dubai and The Galleria Dubai to take on the position of associate director of sales, while most recently he worked as director of sales, MICE, at Millennium Plaza Hotel Dubai.

Dany Cherfane Dany Cherfane has been named director of sales and marketing at Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City. Cherfane brings extensive knowledge of the Middle Eastern corporate sales market and over 10 years of experience to the role. Cherfane started his career in the hospitality industry in 2003 as sales executive at Gefinor Rotana, Beirut, where he was quickly promoted to sales manager. In 2007, he transferred to Ro-

4 MAY 2013

tana Hotels UAE to become assistant director of sales in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. He later joined Radisson Royal Hotel Dubai and Radisson Blu Resort Fujairah as cluster director of sales, corporate, his most recent position. In his new role, he will be responsible for developing and coaching the sales executives and managers at the hotel, and aim to strategically take the property to the next level.

15

Alaa Farraj Alaa Farraj has been appointed director of sales at Le Méridien Amman. Farraj has more than nine years of sales and marketing experience in the hotel industry, five of which he worked with international brands. Over the past years, he has held various positions with renowned companies,

including Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts, Golden Tulip Hotels, Suites and Resorts, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. In his new position at Le Méridien Amman, Farraj’s main focus will be to support the hotel’s sales and marketing initiatives at the highest level.


TRAVEL TALK

travel talk is your space

16

Joanne Zarifé

Hans-Peter Leitzke

Marketing communications manager, Eddé Sands Hotel & Wellness Resort, Lebanon.

Managing director, Rosewood Corniche.

“The Ministry of Tourism’s attempt to encourage tourism through the 50/50 campaign was somehow positive but not enough by itself. Tourists are more and more price-sensitive but they mostly base their holiday’s destination choice on the quality of the product, the price, and the overall security of the country. Nevertheless, whatever effort made to promote Lebanon as a destination will create a positive dynamic.”

“I was overwhelmed by the response we had from our team [who helped overhaul a section of the Jeddah Autism Centre]. This time of year, is one of our busiest times, and this year we saw a 99 percent occupancy rate at the hotel. Despite everyone working long hours, we had a great number of staff who dedicated their personal time to make this great difference to the Jeddah Autism Centre and the children they look after.”

4 MAY 2013


AGENT'S CORNER

AGENT’S INSIGHT NAME: Caroline Gabriel POSITION: Operations manager COMPANY: Exit To Nature LOCATION: Lebanon WEB: www.exittonature.com Who are you? I am the operations manager of Exit To Nature. Exit To Nature unites outdoor activities, cultural excursions, and eco-tourism in one professional organisation. We operate in many fields related to adventure travel and outdoor activities. Exit To Nature’s tours are tailor-made tours. They combine activities such as paragliding, trekking, rock climbing, caving, mountain biking, abseiling , 4x4 off road , snowboarding, igloo building, and cross-country skiing, with cultural excursions to various regions of Lebanon. We also operate a paragliding school and in addition propose tandem flights which have become very popular; people get to experience a new adventure and view Lebanon from the skies. What is your favourite thing about working in the travel industry? Definitely the public relations. You get to meet and interact with lots of people from different backgrounds. This can only broaden and enrich your understanding of the various cultures you get to meet. When is the best time to visit Lebanon? 365 days a year! Lebanon’s geographical location and meteorological conditions allow us to offer our activities and packages throughout the year. Every season differs with respect to the visitors; some come for summer vacations, and others opt for skiing and winter games and outings. Every season has its own charm and fans. Where would you like to travel to for your next holiday? Personally I would like to visit the Galapagos Islands and Peru. Why should people come to you for travel advice? We listen to our customers’ needs and expectations and cater to them with the best packages that will make them enjoy and get the maximum out of their trip. We meet people as clients and they leave us as friends.

4 MAY 2013

17

Travelport Renews Agreement with UT&T Travelport announced the renewal of its long-term operator agreement with Universal Travel & Tourism (UT&T). In terms of the new multiyear deal, UT&T, which operates 12 offices across Yemen, will remain Travelport’s distributor of Galileo technology and services to travel agencies in the country, further consolidating the two parties successful and longstanding cooperation. "We are delighted to continue our mutually beneficial relationship with UT&T in Yemen. During their time as Travelport’s distributor partner, UT&T has built up a solid track record of effectively delivering our

products and services to the travel agent community, and we look forward to sharing their continued success,” said Rabih Saab, president, Middle East and Africa, Travelport. Under the new agreement, Galileo customers in Yemen will continue to benefit from UT&T’s regional expertise and Travelport’s latest products and solutions including Travelport Smartpoint App, the next generation booking tool. “We have enjoyed a highly successful partnership with Travelport over several years and continue to see a strong future for Galileo in Yemen,” concluded Omar Mohammed Omar, vice chairman, UT&T.


18

TRAVEL CHANNELS

Airline Industry Adapting to Changing Conditions The global air travel map is being redrawn as new markets evolve, traditional markets decline, and the airline industry reshapes itself to accommodate changing conditions, according to James Hogan, president, Etihad Airways.

S

peaking in Abu Dhabi at the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit, which took place between April 9-10, Hogan addressed over 800 senior travel executives with a speech declaring the crucial need to change the way in which legacy airlines do business if they are to progress. In addition to the ongoing challenges of economic instability and uncertainty surrounding fuel prices and supply, Hogan stated that the rapid growth and development of air travel in markets such as India, Africa, and the Middle East meant that airlines would need to reshape their networks to accommodate changing traffic flows. In order to participate in the new world of air travel, Hogan attested that the next generation of airlines would need what he described as the vision and willingness to be different, in order to explore cost-effective opportunities, improve productivity, find affordable ways of accessing new markets, and source and train staff for this new growth.

Promoting the Traditional Culture and Crafts of Saudi Arabia Saudi-based travel agencies participating in this year’s edition of the Al Jenadriyah Heritage and Cultural Festival have expressed strong support for the country’s move to promote the traditional culture and crafts of Saudi Arabia. During the festival, Elaf Group of Companies successfully sponsored a Makkah Pavilion which provided visitors with firsthand experience of the Kingdom’s rich and diverse national heritage and culture. As Ziyad Bin Mahfouz, president, Elaf Group, stated, the company continuously strives to implement the government’s policies and directives, and always seeks to contribute to the development of the tourism sector, in line with Elaf Group’s role in the society and as part of its efforts towards helping achieve the goals of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities.

Showcasing Sharjah’s Culture and Heritage

Sharjah

Culture and heritage are central to promoting Sharjah as a global tourism destination and the policy reflects itself in the Sharjah Heritage Days festival and all events and activities hosted by the emirate, claimed H.E. Mohamed Ali Al Noman, chairman, Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), at the opening of the Sharjah Heritage Days festival, which took place on April 3. The event, which was held under the theme ‘Folkloric Knowledge is the Foundation of Heritage’, celebrated the national heritage, culture, traditions, lifestyle, cuisine and a lot more. According to Al Noman, SCTDA believes in the importance of these occasions to promote a cultural and distinctive heritage of Sharjah and with the emirate having taken huge, progressive strides on all fronts, it remains true to its cultural roots, traditions, and heritage. “This is the unique selling point and most distinguishing feature of the emirate. This is why UNESCO designated Sharjah as the Cultural Capital of the Arab and Islamic world in 1998. And this is why it has recently been chosen as the Capital of Arab Tourism by Arab nations,” Al Noman further emphasised.

4 MAY 2013


RENDEZVOUS

19

Q & A with Janet Abrahams Following a challenging period, the Lebanese tourism industry welcomes the summer season with a plethora of exciting and prestigious events, as Janet Abrahams, cluster director of sales and marketing, Phoenicia Hotel and Le Vendôme Beirut, InterContinental Hotels Group, reveals.

Travel Trade Weekly: For Lebanese tourism, 2012 proved a year of challenges. How would you describe the past 12 months? Janet Abrahams: 2012 saw significant changes in our business. Our clients from some markets increased counteracting decreases in other geographic markets and segments. Overall 2012 was a positive growth year in occupancy driven by an increase in corporate and meetings business for which Phoenicia Beirut is perfectly positioned as the first choice due to an established reputation of service and the widest flexibility and scale of facilities. During the year there were many highprofile events, regional congresses, luxury product launches taking place in Beirut and as the home to head of states, celebrities and captains of industry, Phoenicia Beirut benefitted from these events. […] We have also benefitted and continue to see growth in the energy segment as Beirut gears up for one of the greatest offshore energy projects commencing end of this year. Travel Trade Weekly: Which are your main target markets at the moment? Janet Abrahams: [This year] we will continue to expand in the European and regional markets. Our core business at Phoenicia Beirut is meetings, conferences and social events and therefore we wish to maintain and grow our clients in these markets, particularly in light of the positive trend we have experienced where new clients leave as new ambassadors advising us Lebanon ‘over-delivers’. The standards we can deliver are world class; the relative proximity in travel time from Europe and regional hubs at

4 MAY 2013

Janet Abrahams Cluster director of sales and marketing, Phoenicia Hotel and Le Vendôme Beirut, InterContinental Hotels Group

less than a four-hour flight, the unique new destination experience and the authenticity of the country in culture, landscape, architecture and legendary hospitality and nightlife provide limitless choices whilst at the same time, the proximity of mountains to beach, designer shopping to antiquities enables a taste of Lebanon within a short programme. We also launched our programme [in April] specially tailored to the energy segment. Travel Trade Weekly: What are your plans for the upcoming summer season? Janet Abrahams: We [just had] the Beirut news story of the year unfolded with the opening of La Petite Maison in April at Le Vendôme. Already renowned in Nice, London and Dubai this is the first time La Petite Maison is located within a hotel. Spring and summer season welcomes

a bustling Beirut social scene. The musical calendar is legendary and ranges from renowned DJs to pop, rock and classical. The cultural diversity continues through to autumn with international trade fairs, including The Beirut Art Festival. We had a successful season in 2012 attracting many returning Lebanese and newcomers to the country and we will expand our luxury leisure offerings this year. Utilising our Live The Experience programme, we can offer guests the glamourous landmark of Phoenicia or the discreet timeless elegance of Le Vendôme, a combination of both and a programme that fulfils all their priorities for a short summer or city break. This year is the launch pad for Lebanon’s offshore energy project and benefits gained from visitors in 2012 will expand, as we reach the final tenders stage. [...] Travel Trade Weekly: What are your expectations for the remainder of the year? Janet Abrahams: Lebanon as a destination is perfection for the tourism industry and clients from around the globe. This year we will continue to expand our ‘Ski and Sea 2’ centre packages promoting short breaks for the perfect ski Mzaar area combined with Mediterranean sunshine in Beirut. For spring and summer we are focusing our tourism promotional activities to the region and Europe [promoting Lebanon] as a shortbreak destination. [...] There is a growth in Lebanese living outside Lebanon and a vast expatriate community in our region. Coming home to Lebanon is rarely complete without a visit to Phoenicia and with our Live The Experience packages, it makes it easy to combine Phoenicia and Le Vendôme into their holiday break.


20

NEWS & EVENTS

Hahn Air Lines Hosts IATA Conference For the first time, Hahn Air Lines hosted the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) European Regional Coordination Group conference at the company’s training centre and event location, ‘The Aircraft at Burghof’ in Dreieich, Germany, in April. At the conference, the 28 attendees discussed issues related to air traffic safety, security and management, as well as airport development in Europe. Hahn Air Lines is known as a specialist of passenger airline ticketing and airline distribution worldwide. Present in virtually all markets around the globe the German-based company enables travel agents to issue e-tickets for the vast majority of airlines in all global distribution systems.

ILTM AFRICA Closes The first International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Africa, which ran between April 8-9 in Cape Town, has set the scene for the continent’s luxury travel industry, in a niche event that focused on two days of business. The programme opened with a forum that brought speakers from the continent to discuss such diverse issues as the economic and political overview of South Africa and what faces the African luxury travel industry of the future, including their needs and the expectations of the international consumer. This was followed by intense one-to-one meetings between 71 suppliers of elite African product and the global buyers with some 2,591 appointments over the two days. “Strategically this first event has delivered what we wanted to create for our buyers and suppliers. However, there is more to come and we are now planning for 2014 on the back of so many satisfied exhibitors,” commented Alison Gilmore, exhibition director, ILTM Portfolio, on the event’s success.

EVENTS Arabian Travel Market (ATM) Dubai, UAE, May 6 – 9, 2013 (www.arabiantravelmarket.com) A prestigious travel and tourism event unlocking business potential within the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals.

International Luxury Travel Market Asia (ILTM Asia) Shanghai, China, June 3 – 6, 2013 (www.iltm.net/asia) A leading ‘by invitation only’ event for the luxury travel community of the Asia Pacific, presenting the world’s most sought after collection of luxury experiences.

World Travel Fair (WTF) Shanghai, China, May 9 – 11, 2013 (www.worldtravelfair.com) Over the past eight years, WTF has become one of the most influential purchasing platforms in the Chinese tourism industry.

The Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM) Chicago, US, June 11 – 13, 2013 (www.aibtm.com) A three-day event focusing on the Americas’ meetings and events sector, where no time is wasted and where deals get done.

IMEX 2013 Frankfurt, Germany, May 21 – 23, 2013 (www.imex-frankfurt.com) A show that innovates, inspires, and presents new opportunities for the global meetings industry.

Beijing International Tourism Expo (BITE) Beijing, China, June 21 – 23, 2013 (www.bitechina.com) One of Asia’s leading travel and tourism events, which will showcase a range of destinations, tourism attractions, travel packages, and services.

4 MAY 2013


Travel Trade Weekly Issue 182