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03 DECEMBER 2011

Dubai Airshow: USD63.3 Billion Worth of Orders The Dubai Airshow closed its doors after seeing USD63.3 billion worth of deals and a record number of visitors.

ISSUE 108

Mรถvenpick Beach Resort Al Khobar has officially opened, providing a new luxury option for family holidays on the Arabian coast.

04 Warwick to Open in Lebanon Warwick International Hotels is to open its first hotel in Lebanon.

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IN THIS ISSUE MARKET UPDATE WEEKLY NEWS ACCOMMODATION AIR NEWS TRAVEL INTERNATIONAL WHO'S MOVED TRAVEL TALK AGENTS' CORNER TRAVEL CHANNELS RENDEZVOUS NEWS & EVENTS

02 04 06 08 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Mรถvenpick Beach Resort Al Khobar: Ideal Family Resort

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MARKET UPDATE

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

Eurostar: Solid Q3 Performance Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service between the UK and mainland Europe, has posted sound results for the third quarter of the year (Q3).

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SALES & MARKETING Maria Demetriadou Brighite Ess Dominique Tennant WEB & LAYOUT Elina Pericleous DIRECTORS Andreas Constantinides Mary Kammitsi HEADQUARTERS T.T.W. Travel Trade Weekly LTD P.O. Box 25255, Nicosia, 1308, Cyprus Tel: +357 22 820888, Fax: +357 22 318958 WEBSITE www.traveltradeweekly.travel EMAILS info@traveltradeweekly.travel sales@traveltradeweekly.travel editorial@traveltradeweekly.travel PRINTED IN CYPRUS Cyprint Plc P.O. Box 58300, CY-3732, Limassol, Cyprus Tel: +357 25 720035, Fax: +357 25 720123 Email: info@cyprint.com.cy

MENA EXCHANGE RATES Accurate as of

29/11/2011 Currencies shown in red are fixed against the US Dollar

COUNTRY

CURRENCY

UAE (AED)

Dirham

3.67

Egypt (EGP)

Pound

6.01

Saudi Arabia (SAR)

Riyal

3.75

Lebanon (LBP)

Pound

1,505.50

Bahrain (BHD)

Dinar

0.37

Jordan (JOD)

Dinar

0.71

Syria (SYP)

Pound

50.07

Kuwait (KWD)

Dinar

0.28

Qatar (QAR)

Riyal

3.64

Oman (OMR)

Rial

0.38

Tunisia (TND)

Dinar

1.47

Morocco (MAD)

Dirham

8.38

Iran (IRR)

Riyal

10,895.00

Yemen (YER)

Rial

213.06

Algeria (DZD)

Dinar

74.31

Libya (LYD)

Dinar

1.23

1USD=

uring the three-month period, Eurostar’s sales revenue climbed seven percent from GBP183 million (USD288 million) in 2010 to GBP197 million (USD310 million). Year-to-date total sales revenue figures have grown by five percent from GBP588 million (USD926 million) in 2010 to GBP617 million (972 million). The total number of passengers travelling on Eurostar services between January and September totalled 7.3 million, up one percent over the corresponding period of 2010. Nicolas Petrovic, CEO, Eurostar, elaborated on the figures. “We have delivered a solid performance during both the third quarter and the year as a whole, although the tough trading environment across Europe demands a cautious watching brief. Since the beginning of the year

Eurostar

we have seen growth in both our sales revenues and passenger numbers, reinforcing our popularity with regular and new travellers alike.” International passenger numbers are up 21 percent for the year-to-date, and up 15 percent for Q3, due to the UK’s increasing popularity with European travellers.

Boeing Reports Strong Third Quarter Results Boeing has reported successful third quarter results, including earnings per share (EPS) of USD1.46 on revenue of USD17.7 billion. An operating margin of 9.7 percent reflects continued strong performance across the company's businesses. Boeing's quarterly operating cash flow was USD0.4 billion, with strong operating performance more than offsetting continued investment in development programmes and discretionary pension funding of USD0.5 billion. Also reflecting strong performance, the company increased its 2011 EPS guidance to between USD4.30 and USD4.40 per share. Total company revenue in 2011 is narrowed to between USD68 and USD70 billion. Cash and investments in marketable securities totalled USD9.2 billion at quarter-end, up from USD8.8 billion at the beginning of the quarter. Debt balances grew to USD12.4 billion, up from USD11.6 billion, due to the issuance of new debt at Boeing Capital Corporation. Jim McNerney CEO, Boeing, commented on the company’s recent expansion and resilience. "We strengthened our foundation for accelerated growth by completing development and certification of the 787-8 Dreamliner and 747-8 Freighter, launching the new 737 MAX, and continuing our disciplined ramp up in commercial airplane production rates. Our improved outlook for earnings reflects confidence in our market positions, and our team's relentless focus on productivity and disciplined execution."

3 DECEMBER 2011


4

WEEKLY NEWS

Dubai Airshow: USD63.3 Billion Worth of Orders The Dubai Airshow closed its doors after seeing USD63.3 billion worth of deals and a record number of visitors. Despite global economic challenges and regional uncertainly, the event generated a total of USD63.3 billion worth of orders for aircraft, maintenance services and flight training programmes. Among others, Emirates Airlines placed the single largest aircraft order in dollar value in Boeing’s history, worth approximately USD18 billion, with additional options included valuing at USD8 billion. Meanwhile, Qatar Airways ordered 88 Airbus aircraft and two Boeing freighters. With visitor numbers reaching 56,548, the 12th edition of the event proved to be the most successful Dubai Airshow to date.

Dubai Airshow

Besides a number of large scale business deals, the event saw the signing of several significant agreements between organisations, including a pact sealed between the Fujairah Aviation Academy and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), to develop the facility as an IATA-approved training centre for high school graduates. The event exceeded all expectations, Alison Weller, managing director, F&E Aerospace, commented. “We promised a Dubai Airshow that would be bigger and better than ever and we did not disappoint. The event has been notable for its buoyant crowds, spectacular aerial displays and astonishing order announcements. As the show comes to an end, it will be time to take stock of the successes and the challenges, in preparation for Dubai Airshow 2013 at Dubai World Central.”

Royal Caribbean: 30 percent Rise in Bookings Royal Caribbean Cruises has experienced a significant increase in bookings from the Middle East for its three global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises. From January through to October, guest volume from the region increased by more than 30 percent. The most popular destination with cruisers from the Middle East was reported to be Europe (70 percent), followed by the Caribbean. Cruising has been undoubtedly gaining ground in the region, commented Lakshmi Durai, executive director, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, Middle East. “We are very pleased to see that the interest in cruising in the Middle East is growing year-on-year. All markets in the region have contributed well to the success and even countries such as Bahrain and Egypt, which both faced many challenges due to the unrest, showed positive growth compared to 2010. Being able to showcase our ship Brilliance of the Seas, which is sailing in the Gulf now for the third season, to travel agents, media and corporates, had a great impact on bookings and further strengthened the positioning of cruising as a holiday option for Middle Eastern guests.”

2013 Global Summit in Abu Dhabi Hosted by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and Etihad Airways, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) will hold its 13th Global Summit in Abu Dhabi, in April/May 2013. Due to Abu Dhabi’s accessibility, green tourism and the enthusiasm of its government and industry agencies, WTTC made the decision to hold the event in the emirate. WTTC’s Global Summit is the most influential travel and tourism event of the year, bringing together almost 1,000 industry leaders, to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing travel and tourism today. David Scowsill, CEO, WTTC, commented on the announcement. “I am very pleased that Abu Dhabi will host our 2013 Global Summit. With its distinctive Arabian hospitality and world class infrastructure, Abu Dhabi will be an enchanting destination for our top level delegates.”

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6

WEEKLY NEWS

Accommodation

Mövenpick Beach Resort Al Khobar: Ideal Family Resort Mövenpick Beach Resort Al Khobar has officially opened, providing a new luxury option for family holidays on the Arabian coast.

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arking the ninth hotel to be opened by Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts in Saudi Arabia, the resort is a 45 minute drive from Dammam International Airport and 25 minutes away from the shopping and entertainment options of Al Khobar. Mövenpick Beach Resort Al Khobar offers 36 three-bedroom duplex villas, including two Royal Villas, each with a spacious majlis. Additional facilities include two restaurants, a spa and fitness centre, a free-form swimming

pool, a kids club, and a spectacular private beach. Azure restaurant offers contemporary gourmet seafood amid magnificent views of the resort’s private marina, while The Clubhouse offers all-day dining. Within The Clubhouse is the Retreat Wellness Centre & Spa for those seeking relaxation. The property provides distinctive features to the region, commented Markus Marti, general manager, “This resort is truly unique and perfect for families that enjoy holidays in an exclusive, relaxed environment. There

Warwick to Debut in Lebanon Warwick International Hotels (WIH) is to consolidate its presence in the Middle East and open its first hotel resort in Lebanon. Following extensive renovations, Warwick Pangéa Beach Resort & Spa, Beirut, is set to open its doors on May 15, 2012. The hotel, located south of the Lebanese capital city and just 15 minutes away from the international airport, currently comprises 20 villas. Upon opening, the resort will boast another 70 rooms, and feature a completely redesigned lobby and outdoor area. Other facilities being added to the existing space include a new restaurant, a fitness centre, tennis and squash courts, a spa and a sea activities centre. To accommodate corporate traveller and group needs, meeting facilities will also be available. WIH’s debut in Lebanon comes after the company signed a management contract with Pangéa. Warwick’s first property in the Middle East, Winter Valley Warwick Resort & Spa on the Dead Sea in Jordan, which is due to open by the end of the year. Jamal Serhan, chief operating officer, WIH, commented on the presence. “We are very pleased with the signing of this management contract and we are planning to actively pursue our expansion in this area. For this reason, we will soon establish an office in the region.”

This resort is truly unique and perfect for families is nothing like this resort in the entire Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Everything has been designed to the highest possible standards offering a seaside experience that is exceptional and comforting.”

STR: Improving MEA Results The Middle East and Africa region’s hospitality industry closed the month of October with mostly positive results, based on data compiled by STR Global. With an increase of 7.3 percent, the region’s average daily rate (ADR) stood at USD169.42, while revenue per available room (RevPAR) rose 3.6 percent to USD107.37. With a slight decrease of 3.4 percent, occupancy levels fell to 63.4 percent. Elizabeth Randall, managing director, STR Global, remarked on the improving metrics. “Across the Middle East, demand continued to improve with a 12 percent growth against October 2010, while supply growth remained around the five percent mark. Northern Africa’s trading continued to be difficult with declining demand resulting in declining occupancy and average room rates.” While Abu Dhabi achieved a double-digit increase in occupancy (+10.5 percent to 76 percent), both Cairo and Amman witnessed notable decrease sin that metric. The largest ADR growth was reported from Riyadh, followed by Jeddah, whereas Abu Dhabi and Cairo ended the month with the largest decline. Three markets achieved double-digit RevPAR growth: Jeddah, Dubai and Muscat. Cairo at the same time experienced a massive decrease in that metric.

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WEEKLY NEWS

Air News

Gulf Air Expands Codeshare Network The expansion marks an important milestone in our growing relationship with our long term partner American Airlines

Gulf Air

Safi Airways’ Growing Route Map As of January 5, 2012, Safi Airways, the leading international airline of Afghanistan, will offer four weekly direct flights from Abu Dhabi to Kabul on its newly added Airbus A320. Safi Airways plans to expand its route map in order to uphold the airline’s commitment to its customers. Hamid Safi, CEO, Safi Airways, noted that with the addition of the A320, the airline is determined to keep introducing more routes under its destination list which will establish Safi Airways as the ideal Afghanistan airline. Online, and through major global distribution systems with all IATA agents, travellers can now purchase their tickets for the upcoming KabulAbu Dhabi route. “The new flight to Abu Dhabi shows our commitment of Safi Airways’ growth within the GCC region,” commented the CEO.

Following the 40 destinations that are already part of Gulf Air’s and American Airlines’ codeshare agreement, a further 22 cities have been added to the partnership, resulting in Gulf Air presently offering more than 500 daily fights to 62 cities on the American Airline network. The new cities available on Gulf Air’s network are Birmingham, Huntsville, Pascagoula, Montgomery, Colorado Springs, Little Rock, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Shreveport, Jackson, Biloxi, Oklahoma City, Waco, Amarillo, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Killeen, Laredo, Lubbock, McAllen, Midland and Norfolk. Karim Makhlouf, CEO, Gulf Air, commented on the extended partnership. “The expansion marks an important milestone in our growing relationship with our long term partner American Airlines. We aggressively seek to offer as many travel choices as possible through partnerships in markets where Gulf Air does not fly.” Gulf Air has the largest network in the region for travellers from the US to the Middle East, offering more than 670 flights weekly, and now Gulf Air Frequent Flyer members are additionally able to earn and spend their miles on American Airlines' flights.

Royal Jordanian Returns to Tripoli Royal Jordanian has resumed its regular direct operations between Amman and Tripoli. The airline’s decision to restart services to the Libyan capital city comes two months after its return to Benghazi. The carrier had earlier suspended all its flights to the unrest-stricken country, but has now received all the necessary approvals from the Libyan authorities as well as from the international airports. The resumption of flights between the capital cities of Jordan and Libya facilitates the direct movement of citizens between the two countries. In this first stage, the airline operates five flights a week on the route, however will examined increasing the number of services to cope with anticipated demand. In addition, Royal Jordanian now operates three weekly flights to Benghazi, as opposed to the two services it provided prior to halting its services.

Royal Jordanian

3 DECEMBER 2011


10

WEEKLY NEWS

International

Hyatt Hotels Corporation Debuts in Danang Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the opening of Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa on Vietnam’s central coast. Located between Hoi An and the city of Danang, the resort lays a 15 minute drive from Danang International Airport. The 200-room hotel boasts Vietnamese style architecture with 182 luxurious residences and 27 private ocean villas with private pools. The hotel's VIE Spa offers guests a variety of therapies and signature treatments. A fitness centre, swimming pools, tennis courts, badminton courts and the Camp Hyatt for younger guests is also present at the resort. Will Martin, area vice president, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, commented on the new property. “Vietnam is fast joining the ranks of the region’s most popular tourist destinations as well as becoming an increasingly important centre of business.” Functions can be held in the hotel's Regency Ballroom, which accommodes up to 400 people for meetings. In addition, its seven function rooms cater to between 40 and 80 guests. “Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa is the second Hyatt hotel in Vietnam, joining the award winning Park Hyatt Saigon, and we believe the resort will further strengthen our brand portfolio in south East Asia,” concluded Martin.

Swimming Pool, Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa

Rezidor to Debut in Greece The Rezidor Hotel Group is set to open its first hotel in Greece by rebranding the existing Athens Park Hotel as Radisson Blu Park Hotel Athens. Greece is set to become the 65th country in the group’s extensive portfolio when the 152-room Radisson Blu Park Hotel Athens opens its doors by mid December. Although Greece is facing an extremely difficult situation, the country still holds great prospects, according to Kurt Ritter, CEO, Rezidor. “Despite the recent crisis and still challenging times in Greece, hotels in the capital city Athens perform well. We are glad to arrive in the country and that we are able to further strengthen the development of our core, upper upscale brand Radisson Blu in South East Europe.” Vassilis and Mary Deverikos, owners of the property, expressed their delight at Rezidor’s arrival. “Our hotel is a leading deluxe property in Athens, having operated for 35 years. The unique, modern and innovative design is inspired by an urban nature concept. We look forward to joining the Radisson Blu family and to starting a fruitful international cooperation.” Besides 152 rooms, the property features two restaurants, a bar and two conference rooms. Guests can also enjoy a rooftop swimming pool with alluring views over Athens and the famous Acropolis.

Bangkok’s Tranquil Experience Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa recently opened in Bangkok covering 44,515m2 of exotic landscape grounds. The resort is within close proximity to Bangkok’s cosmopolitan and cultural attractions. The property, which holds 407 rooms, including 97 suites, boasts a cultural Thai interior, with garden and river views. Guests can enjoy 24-hour in-room dining, an in-room bar and internet access, along with other elite amenities catering to their needs. A spa, fitness centre, swimming pool, heated jacuzzi, cocktail bar and kids club are present at the resort. Guests can sign up for Thai cooking classes or opt for one of the resort's many restaurants serving a wide variety of cuisines. For an exclusive dining experience, visitors can collaborate with a personal chef and dine at a location of their choice with the resort's Dining by Design concept. The resort offers business meeting venues and facilities and further provides services for weddings and functions in indoor venAnantara Bangkok Riverside ues and riverside spaces. Resort & Spa

3 DECEMBER 2011


WHOS' MOVED

Wolfgang Maier Wolfgang Maier has been appointed general manager of Hilton Abu Dhabi. Maier, who has been with Hilton for more than 40 years, has invaluable international hotel management experience. Previously he has held positions across Europe, Australia, the Middle East and several locations in Asia, including the Philippines and China. Most recently, he worked as cluster general

manager of Hilton Jeddah and Qasr Al Sharq in Saudi Arabia. He started his career with Hilton as an apprentice in hotel administration in Germany. He took on his first Middle East assignment in 1977 to join Hilton Kuwait. He then continued to gain experience at 13 different Hilton properties across five continents. Maier’s latest move marks his second spell at Hilton Abu Dhabi.

Adam Harvey Adam Harvey has been formance of Radisson Blu and named director of sales and Park Inn Abu Dhabi hotels on marketing, Grand Millennium Yas Island. Al Wahda. Having worked for more than 13 years in the Having worked for more hospitality industry, Harvey than 13 years in the brings in-depth expertise and hospitality industry, extensive experience to MilHarvey brings in-depth lennium & Copthorne’s propexpertise and extensive erty. He moved to Abu Dhabi experience to Millenin 2007, and has since played nium & Copthorne’s a major role in the successful property launch and consequent per-

Isam Moursy Isam Moursy has been named general manager of GE Aviation’s Middle East and Africa markets. Moursy, with more than 20 years experience, will be in charge of strengthening the aviation business of the company by developing and expanding customer relationships and establishing long-term public and private partnerships. Moursy, will also focus on localised lead-

3 DECEMBER 2011

ership training with the aim to develop a strong resource base of professionals. His diverse background in general management, sales, service and engineering, includes a position as regional manager for GE Aviation in Africa. He previously worked as general manager of GE’s Enterprise Solutions in the Middle East and Africa and also led GE’s healthcare and energy businesses.

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Helen Marano Helen Marano has been appointed director of government and industry affairs at the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Effective from January 2, 2012, Marano will be in charge of all aspects of WTTC’s liaison with governments, other trade associations and industry bodies. She currently works as head of the national tourism office in the US Department of Commerce. She has

been with the organisation for 17 years and currently oversees policy and advocacy issues affecting the travel and tourism industries. She also manages the statistical centre for international travel and tourism for the country. Marano brings a strong international perspective on the collaboration between governments and the private sector for advocacy and regional growth strategies.


TRAVEL TALK

travel talk is your space

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Tareq Derbas

Jörg Hauri

General Manager, The St. Regis Doha.

General manager, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi.

“We are delighted to welcome Jazz at Lincoln Center to its new home at The St. Regis Doha. We have promised our customers unmatched luxury and a rich range of entertainment options, and we believe that our signature venue, Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha, will delight and inspire our guests. I would like to thank our owner and the team responsible for beginning this exciting new era for jazz in the Middle East.”

“With the opportunities presented to us, Beach Rotana always grabs those that will pave the way for the happiness of the less fortunate ones. We therefore take pride in organising events to contribute funds to organisations such the Ability Centre for Special Needs. This event is made yearly with much success, most especially the recent one in October.”

Lois Jane Hall

Debrah Dhugga

Reed Travel Exhibitions Manager, GIBTM.

General manager, Dukes London.

“The business and corporate travel community is an intrinsic part of the meetings industry and has been expanding steadily. In 2012, we are to make business travel a key focus at GIBTM. With the UAE witnessing a five percent increase in air traffic this year and recording the largest number of hotel rooms under way in the Middle East and Africa region, we expect to see even greater growth in the business travel sector.”

“While London is a popular summer destination for our Gulf clients, the city really does offer a uniquely different experience during the winter months, and our Christmas Sparkle promotion enables Middle Eastern visitors to enjoy London’s festive spirit at its best. Our central Mayfair location means that many guests choose to stay with us to take advantage of the endless retail opportunities in the immediate area, so we have also created several other seasonal promotions.”

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

3 DECEMBER 2011


AGENT'S CORNER

AGENT'S INSIGHT NAME: Yassar Kiwan POSITION: General Manager COMPANY: Allied Tours LOCATION: Syria

Who are you? My name is Yassar Kiwan, the general manager of Allied Tours. Allied Tours is Syria’s foremost respective tour operator providing travel services to international wholesaler tour operators for clients visiting Syria. Our commitment of more than 30 years includes travel services, FIT hotel accommodation and packages, group and incentive arrangements, a fly and drive offering and ready made packages What is your favourite thing about working in the travel industry? Working in the tourism sector means hospitality, which is based on making people happy and bringing fun and joy into their lives. If you have the power to make people happy you have a vital key to your own success. Making profit is part of the business, but satisfying the tourists is the priority and the real profit. It is very touching to see your guests, on the last day of the tour, smiling and feeling satisfied. Even if you had to lose some money, you will be the winner in the end. When is the best time to visit Syria? Spring is the best time to visit as temperatures are mild. Autumn is the next best choice, whereas summer is very hot. If you are going to Palmyra, winter can be very unpleasant on the coast and in the mountains where the temperatures drop and there is a lot of rain. Where would you like to travel to for your next holiday? For my next holiday, I would like to visit somewhere new, maybe South America. Why should people come to you for travel advice? We love our business and we enjoy serving our guests. Allied Tours is very experienced and we care for our guests. We have a very good reputation because we do not spare any efforts on achieving our aims.

3 DECEMBER 2011

13

Saudi Arabian Airlines Enhances Ties with Travelport Saudi Arabian Airlines has renewed its partnership with Travelport, to provide Galileo and Worldspan-connected travel agents with real-time availability of fares. The enhanced functionality guarantees travel agents realtime connectivity to the carrier’s fare inventory, and ensures lastseat availability, instant booking conformations, information on current pricing and rules, and provides them with full e-ticketing capabilities. In addition, Travelport’s dropthrough functionality allows approved agents within the Kingdom and across the world to service and ticket bookings previously conducted within Saudi Arabian

Airlines’ reservation system, ensuring a more convenient and seamless booking process. Will Owen Hughes, senior director of airline services, Middle East and Africa, Travelport, commented on the enhanced connectivity. “Complementary solutions, such as inside availability and drop through, offer airlines the opportunity to boost operational efficiency by enhancing their distribution capabilities. We are delighted to offer our trade partners greater functionality both within the Kingdom and globally, including key enhancements that will ensure a truly seamless booking experience.”


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TRAVEL CHANNELS

Advanced Economies Overtake Emerging Ones International tourist arrivals grew by a healthy 4.5 percent in the first eight months of the year, according to the latest data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

T

he Northern Hemisphere summer peak season months of July and August showed encouraging results, with growth at close to four percent over the same period of 2010. At 118 million, July had the highest number of international tourist arrivals ever recorded in one month. Since the UNWTO report for the first half of the year, growth in arrivals from advanced economies (+4.9 percent) has overtaken emerging ones (up four percent), due largely to the

particularly strong results of Europe (up six percent), which this year benefited from the shift of travel away from the Middle East (down nine percent) and North Africa (-15 percent). In contrast with growing economic uncertainty, European Union destinations (up six percent) benefited strongly from this growth, bringing some relief for those destinations facing major economic challenges such as Greece (+14 percent), Ireland (+13 percent), Portugal (+11 percent) and Spain (up eight percent).

Destinations in South-East Asia (+12 percent) and South Asia (+13 percent) remained the rising stars of the continent, which had an overall increase of six percent compared with 2010, according to the report. Meanwhile, arrivals slowed in North-East Asia and in Oceania. In spite of the current situation in the Middle East, some destinations such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE continue to grow steadily. Results of recent months (July and August) also show an improvement in arrivals to Egypt.

3 DECEMBER 2011


RENDEZVOUS

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Q & A with Hussein Hachem After a hiccup following the global economic downturn, Dubai appears once again to be on a course of rapid growth, offering a secure and entertaining environment to visitors. Hussein Hachem, cluster general manager, Al Bustan & Murooj Rotana Dubai, tells of the changes experienced in the emirate’s hotel industry.

Travel Trade Weekly: How has Al Bustan & Murooj Rotana Dubai remained competitive? Hussein Hachem: At Al Bustan Rotana Dubai, continuous developments are a key part of our strategy, helping to ensure our strengthened position in the market. Whether these developments involve food and beverages (F&B), our room packages or banquet and MICE offers, we continue to evolve and showcase new offers to all our guests from various market segments. In F&B, for example, we recently launched our Indian Night every Friday, in view of the huge number of Indian expatriates in Dubai. With regard to catering and events, a wedding campaign is currently ongoing, targeting European, Asian and Arabic clientele. In addition to that, we continue to offer fantastic deals for our MICE clients.

Hussein Hachem: There was definitely an increase in the influx of Russian and Chinese guests this year, and I must say Dubai has been affected positively by the unfortunate turmoil in the Arab world. Tourists from all over the world tend to come to the UAE instead of other Arab countries. In terms of guests from the Arab world, we have strengthened our market share and have actually seen an increase in Arab guests checking into the hotel.

Hussein Hachem Cluster general manager, Al Bustan & Murooj Rotana Dubai

Travel Trade Weekly: How has the hotel performed so far this year, compared with the same period of 2010? Hussein Hachem: I am pleased to say that Al Bustan Rotana is doing well compared with 2010. There is a generally positive result in business, with us achieving a five percent increase in occupancy as compared with last year’s figures, while our revenue per available room (RevPAR) has increased by 12 percent. This is indeed a better year and I am very positive about how the rest of the last quarter will unfold in terms of business. Travel Trade Weekly: Have you noticed any change in main visitor markets or occupancy since the start of turmoil in the Arab world?

3 DECEMBER 2011

Travel Trade Weekly: Has any increase or decrease in business travel guests been noted? Hussein Hachem: There was definitely an increase from the business travel segment as manifested by the increase in occupancy and RevPAR. We have hosted a number of exhibitions, business groups and MICE this year.

Travel Trade Weekly: What unique options does your hotel offer with regard to MICE tourism? Hussein Hachem: Al Bustan Rotana is an ideal MICE destination for a number of reasons. First and foremost, we are located merely five minutes from Dubai International Airport, which is a great advantage in terms of convenience and accessibility to MICE clients. Second, we have our own convention centre inside the hotel, which features approximately 3,800m2 of meeting space through 12 meeting rooms, the Grand Rashidiya Ballroom that can accommodate up to 1,500 guests as well as spacious pre-function and Majilis areas. Finally, I need to include that our experience and good reputation to successfully host events has made its mark in the industry, leading to us winning important accolades for events.

There was definitely an increase in the influx of Russian and Chinese guests this year, and I must say Dubai has been affected positively by the unfortunate turmoil


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NEWS & EVENTS

World Travel Market Goes to Latin America

Reed Travel Exhibitions is launching World Travel Market Latin America at an exciting time for the Brazilian and wider Latin American travel industry

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is to launch World Travel Market (WTM) Latin America, the first global event dedicated to this important market. The inaugural WTM Latin America will take place in São Paolo, Brazil, in April 2013. With the Brazilian and Latin American travel and tourism industry developing apace, the event aims to fill a gap in the industry by creating an ideal marketplace for networking and conducting business. Richard Mortimore, managing director, RTE, commented on the launch. “RTE is launching WTM Latin America at an exciting time for the Brazilian and wider Latin American travel industry. WTM Latin America gives the Latin American internal and outbound travel industry the perfect shop window to heighten its already growing profile in the global tourism industry. It will be the region’s only global marketplace

to conduct business, negotiate deals and sign the contracts which will see it grow to one of the most important regions in the tourism industry.” Being the largest market in South America and the host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil and São Paolo’s profiles are on the rise, noted Caio Carvalho, president, Sao Pãolo Tourist Board. “We are sure that the event will be an absolute success, with the creation of much new business; with visitors being surprised by the cultural environment, the variety and quality of gastronomy and the diversity of attractions offered.” With the World Travel & Tourism Council predicting an impressive surge in visitor volume to Latin America (from 33,127,000 this year to rise by 5.2 percent annually to 55,191,000 in 2021), the region’s travel and tourism industry is forecasted to enter an era of prosperity.

EVENTS World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi, UAE, December 5 – 7, 2011 (www.worldgreentourism.com) A three-day event that is supported by ADTA and EAD, and the only one in the region dedicated to the promotion of sustainable tourism.

FITUR Tourism Trade Fair Feirade Madrid, Spain, January 18 – 22, 2012 (www.ifema.es) A meeting point for tourism professionals, in which they can establish lines of action, strategies and business alliances.

ILTM Cannes, France, December 5 – 8, 2011 (www.iltm.net) A unique event that is ideal for buyers and suppliers working within the international luxury travel sector, who strive to provide the ultimate customised experience.

Horeca Kuwait Kuwait City, Kuwait, January 22 – 24, 2012 (www.horeca-kuwait.com) A trade exhibition for the hospitality and food service industries with live workshops, networking and social events.

Ferien-Messe Wien Vienna, Austria, January 12 – 15, 2012 (www.ferien-messe.at) The leading public access tourism trade fair in Austria, which is attended each year by more than 100,000 consumers.

SATTE New Delhi, India, February 10 – 12, 2012 (www.satte.in) India’s leading business-to-business travel and tourism event, which will host more than 6,000 travel agents and tour operators from all over India and its neighbouring markets.

3 DECEMBER 2011

Travel Trade Weekly Issue 108  

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

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