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5 MAY 2012

ISSUE 130

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5 MAY 2012

ISSUE 130

ONYX Introduces Amari to Qatar ONYX Hospitality Group is to debut its Amari brand in the Middle East.

flydubai has commenced services to the Yemeni capital, bringing the airline's regional network to 20 destinations.

11 Rezidor to Expand in Saudi Arabia The Rezidor Hotel Group is to open a 350-key hotel in Saudi Arabia in 2014.

11 IN THIS ISSUE MARKET UPDATE

04

WEEKLY NEWS

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ACCOMMODATION

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AIR NEWS

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WHO'S MOVED

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TRAVEL TALK

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AGENT'S CORNER

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TRAVEL CHANNELS

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RENDEZVOUS

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NEWS & EVENTS

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flydubai Introduces Sana’a to its Network

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MARKET UPDATE

TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY MANAGING EDITOR Mary Kammitsi mary@traveltradeweekly.travel JOURNALISTS

Abu Dhabi International Airport: Q1 Raises Hopes Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) has announced that more than 3.4 million passengers passed through Abu Dhabi International Airport during the first quarter (Q1) of the year.

Stefanie Saghbini Rita Kasziba Dominique Christou SALES & MARKETING Maria Demetriadou Brighite Ess DESIGN & LAYOUT Elena Stylianou DIRECTORS Andreas Constantinides Mary Kammitsi 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 EMAILS info@traveltradeweekly.travel sales@traveltradeweekly.travel editorial@traveltradeweekly.travel

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his figure represents an increase of 21.2 percent compared to the same period in 2011. Moreover, between the months of January and March, the airport welcomed 29,123 flights while cargo traffic was also on the rise, with an increase of 11 percent throughout the three months. March particularly witnessed a significant surge in traffic with passenger numbers reaching 1,196,000; equivalent to a 22 percent growth in comparison to the same month in 2011 Doha, Bangkok, London, Manila, and Jeddah registered the highest traffic from Abu Dhabi International Airport during the first quarter of the year, whilst the entire Far Eastern region ranked first, generating 39 percent of the airport traffic, followed by the Middle East with 25 percent, and Europe with 22 percent.

Abu Dhabi International Airport

According to Harib Al Hameli, vice president, operations, Abu Dhabi International Airport, ADAC, these results, alongside the forecasted increase in aircraft movements and passenger traffic in the coming months, are expected to lead to another record breaking year for the airport.

MENA EXCHANGE RATES Accurate as of

03/04/2012 Currencies shown in red are fixed against the US Dollar

COUNTRY

CURRENCY

1USD=

UAE (AED)

Dirham

3.67

Egypt (EGP)

Pound

6.05

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

57.45

Kuwait (KWD)

Dinar

0.28

Qatar (QAR)

Riyal

3.64

Oman (OMR)

Rial

0.38

Tunisia (TND)

Dinar

1.54

Morocco (MAD)

Dirham

8.48

Iran (IRR)

Riyal

12,238.00

Yemen (YER)

Rial

215.50

Algeria (DZD)

Dinar

74.29

Libya (LYD)

Dinar

1.25

Royal Jet: Record Q1 Performance Royal Jet reported a 15 percent increase in revenue this year over the corresponding period in 2011, marking the private jet operator’s best first quarter (Q1) business performance in its history. “The strongest growth was in our jet charter business, driven by our aggressive sales strategy. Our brokerage, Medevac, aircraft management, and fixed base operation divisions also performed well. We have fed this growth through to the bottom line through continued tight cost controls, although there is still serious pressure from fuel costs and uncertainty in global markets,” commented Shane O’Hare, president, Royal Jet. “We are continuing to build strongly on our benchmark global service platform this year with the investment of USD10 million in the interior refurbishment of another of our six Boeing Business Jets,” he continued, adding that the upcoming sporting events are likely to further drive demand for Royal Jet’s flights, which in 2011 recorded a 226 percent increase in net profit.

5 MAY 2012


WEEKLY NEWS Sowwah Island Re-Named The Municipality of Abu Dhabi City has announced the re-naming of Sowwah Island as Al Maryah Island, in manifestation of the UAE’s historical and environmental values as well as to showcase the economic and urban importance of the island. The re-naming of the island is said to come in the context of the continued focus to embed the emirate's heritage and

Abu Dhabi Duty Free Increases its Sales Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) has released the retail revenue generated by Abu Dhabi Duty Free (ADDF) for the first quarter (Q1) of the year, which revealed record breaking sales reaching some AED200 million (USD54.5 million). Moreover, ADDF posted a 32.2 percent year-on-year increase in revenue against traffic growth of 21 percent in Q1. Commenting on the record sales, Mohammed Al Bulooki, chief commercial officer, ADAC, said, “The dynamic growth of Q1 is due to a combination of factors. The completion of Terminal 1’s refurbishment in the fourth quarter of 2011 has significantly increased the width and breadth of the range in the terminal, which is now at parity with the quality of the retail offer in Terminal 3. Moreover, ADDF continuously focuses on providing value for money across its business, as well as a comprehensive range to meet all consumers’ expectations.”

5 MAY 2012

cement the pillars of the public legacy, besides culminating the areas with deeply rooted historical worth across the country. It is also set to echo the efforts made to revive the districts and regions to measure up to the development drive seen by Abu Dhabi in all walks of social, economic, and urban life. Al Maryah Island is located between the emirate’s current business area and the forthcoming futuristic projects.

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WEEKLY NEWS

Pegasus Launches RezView Intelligence Pegasus Solutions, the technology and services provider for hotels and travel distributors, has introduced RezView Intelligence, a business intelligence platform created to help hoteliers maximise revenue potential. Hoteliers are offered the option to fully customise content, deployment and report management, and monitor booking trends on a daily basis, as Mark Peacock, chief information officer,

explained. "Everyone has access to data, stacks of reports and Excel spreadsheets that summarise reservation activity, but they are not able to easily identify the revenue opportunities therein," he said, adding that customers can now quickly assess those opportunities with RezView Intelligence, which is fully integrated with Pegasus Rezview's central reservations system and available to all customers.

Egypt: 32 Percent Increase in Visitor Volume Based on data released by the Egyptian Tourist Authority, during the first quarter of the year, the country received over 2.5 million visitors suggesting that the Egyptian tourism industry is well on its way to recovery. According to Amr El Ezaby, chairman, Egyptian Tourist Authority, these results, which show a robust 32 percent increase over the corresponding period in 2011, reflect the gradual rebound witnessed by the tourism sector in the country, which has managed to reduce the negative consequences of its sensitive situation, over the past 12 months. During the three-month period, 4,883 Emiratis visited Egypt, marking a 15.4 percent year-on-year increase, while overnight stays amounted to 61,000. Overall, the number of Arab tourists reached 483,834, representing a notable growth of 62.9 percent, with overnight stays climbing to 7.4 million, up 84.4 percent.

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WEEKLY NEWS

NATS Increases Presence in ME NATS, a global leader in air traffic services and solutions, recently participated in the inaugural Global Aerospace Summit, Abu Dhabi, to discuss the pivotal role air traffic management must play in shaping the future of the aerospace, aviation, and space sectors. “As domestic and international air travel increases across the region, now is the time for countries to implement effective, efficient air traffic management systems to ensure this growth occurs in a

safe, environmentally responsible and sustainable manner,” commented Paul Reid, services managing director, NATS. Having previously worked with Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the UAE to support safety, efficiency, and environmental performance of their airspace, NATS recently appointed John Swift as director of NATS Middle East, to establish a permanent presence in the region.

Seychelles Takes Part in Routes Asia 2012 A group of delegates from the team of Routes Africa 2012’s host country, Seychelles, recently travelled to China to represent the islands at the 10th Routes Asia, which took place in Chengdu on April 15 - 17. Similar to Routes Africa, this event provided the islands with the perfect opportunity of being showcased as a holiday destination and to be promoted as the future host of Routes Africa 2012, this according to Elsia Grandcourt, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board. Furthermore, she described the event as the ideal platform for the tourism board to attract and encourage potential routes development professionals to take part in Routes Africa 2012 in July. “Seychelles’ participation at Routes Asia 2012 opened the door to further discussions on air accessibility between Asia and Seychelles as the islands are looking into the possibility of being linked to the Asian region,” Grandcourt concluded.

5 MAY 2012


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WEEKLY NEWS

IATA Appeals for Sustainable Cooperation International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged increased cooperation from governments to maximise the aviation industry’s ability to sustainably drive global socio-economic development. Speaking at the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) International Air Transport Symposium, Tony Tyler, CEO, IATA, highlighted the significant role played by the aviation sector in economic development and job creation. Besides ICAO’s important part in delivering solutions that ensure the industry’s sustainability, infrastructure, user charges, fees and taxes, and regulations are among the most pressing issues, as Tyler further pinpointed, who also called upon governments for a globally coordinated approach to manage aviation’s two percent contribution to manmade CO2 emissions, and cut net emissions in half by 2050.

Qatar Holding to Acquire Sardinia Properties Qatar Holding has signed an agreement to acquire Smeralda Holdings, the owner of luxury hotel resorts in Sardinia, from the US-based Colony Capital. Under the agreement, Qatar Holding will take over four luxury hotels including Cala di Volpe, Pitrizza, Romazzino, and Cervo, with a total of 372 rooms, as well as the Porto Cervo Marina, the Porto Cervo Shipyard, the Pevero Gold Club, a 51 percent interest in 2,290ha of adjacent undeveloped land and other real estate assets in Costa Smeralda. “We intend to continue supporting the on-going development programme which will see Costa Smeralda strengthen its position as a top luxury resort destination,” commented Ahmad Mohamed Al-Sayed, CEO, Qatar Holding. Upon completion, the existing management team of Smeralda Holding will remain in place and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will continue to manage the hotels.

5 MAY 2012


Accommodation

ONYX Introduces Amari Doha ONYX Hospitality Group is to expand its Amari brand to the Middle East for the first time after entering into an agreement with Gulf Trading and Contracting (GTC) to operate a 120-room hotel in Doha. Located just 15 minutes from the international airport, Amari Doha is scheduled to welcome its first guests in September, marking another milestone in the Thailand-based company’s expansion drive, noted Peter Henley, president, Onyx Hospitality Group. With a plan to bring the personalised guest services and experiences to the region, which are a key attribute of the Amari brand, the unique Amari Doha will boast genuine Asian hospitality with a modern twist, this according to Henley, who further promised business and leisure travellers premium quality, creative packages, and exceptional services.

5 MAY 2012

WEEKLY NEWS

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Rezidor to Expand in Saudi Arabia The Rezidor Hotel Group is to open a 350-key hotel in Saudi Arabia in the fourth quarter of 2014, bringing the total number of the company’s properties in the kingdom to 10. Located on the Al Madinah Road, Park Inn by Radisson Jeddah will feature 250 rooms and 100 serviced apartments, along with two restaurants, a lounge, 500m2 of meeting space, a fitness centre with an outdoor swimming pool, and a business centre. “Saudi Arabia is a key development market for Rezidor,” highlighted Kurt Ritter, president, The Rezidor Hotel Group. “Its strong domestic market, its important religious sites in addition to a strong real estate sector and a healthy hospitality market, call for a strong hotel presence.” With the addition of the upcoming property, the hotel group’s portfolio in Saudi Arabia now includes 2,400 rooms in operation and under development.


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WEEKLY NEWS

Accommodation

EddéSands Receives ISO 9001 Bureau Veritas, the international audit company, has awarded EddéSands Hotel & Wellness Resort the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification 9001:2008, after the resort successfully completed the audit for Quality Management; a first for Lebanon’s hotel sector. With a quality policy focus on providing customers with exceptional products and services by recruiting and training

competent team members and consistently striving to exceed customer expectations, EddéSands Hotel & Wellness Resort has earned what is being hailed as one of the most important quality standards systems in the world. ISO 9001’s ultimate goal is to embed a quality management system within an organisation, increase productivity, reduce unnecessary costs, and ensure quality of products and services.

Hilton Presents its Properties Hilton Worldwide kick-started the 15th edition of its annual GCC Sales Roadshow with a successful event in Riyadh, which drew in more than 120 delegates, showing a 50 percent increase in attendance over the previous event in 2011. The roadshow, which was organised by Hilton Worldwide’s Dubai-based sales office, took place from April 21 – 29, covering the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, where a series of strategic meetings and events took place in Riyadh, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. According to Julien Bonafous, director, international sales, Arabian Peninsula, Hilton Worldwide, this event helps to foster relations with clients thus provides hoteliers with a more powerful platform to develop links with key decision-makers in the market. “Hilton was the first major hospitality company to launch a sales roadshow and over the years, we have developed a harder, better, stronger and faster system to represent our properties in an impactful format,” he concluded.

5 MAY 2012


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WEEKLY NEWS

Bahrain Air Returns to Thiruvananthapuram Bahrain Air has resumed flights to Thiruvananthapuram. The carrier initially commenced services to the Indian city in March, offering four flights a week with plans to increase to seven services per week by the summer. “We would like to extend our heartiest gratitude to all the officials from Bahrain and India who were involved with their honest efforts for making Bahrain Air resume its operations to Thiruvananthapuram,” Ibrahim Abdulla Alhamer, managing director, Bahrain Air, expressed.

Air News

Etihad Airways: Record Cargo Carried Etihad Airways registered a record 31,700 tonnes of cargo in March, marking a 14 percent increase over February and a sharp 20 percent growth over the same month in 2011. According to David Kerr, vice president, cargo, Etihad Airways, the airline had a record month in terms of cargo carried and revenue generated, thanks to increased capacity as a result of the delivery of a B777 freighter at the end of 2011, and from opening new passenger routes.

Accommodating Demand to Tripoli Lufthansa has increased its services between Frankfurt, Germany, and Tripoli, Libya to daily flights, to serve growing demand and offer passengers onward services to a global route network of 216 destinations covering 83 countries. Frank Van den Steen, regional manager, North Africa, Malta, and Senegal, Lufthansa, said, “Libya is a key market in the North African region and our aim is to increase services to accommodate the demand for travels between Tripoli and our global hub, Frankfurt.”

5 MAY 2012


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WEEKLY NEWS

Gulf Air Partners with Safi Airways Gulf Air and Safi Airways have signed a codeshare agreement covering the Kabul and Bahrain route; a deal which will see both airlines working jointly to market and promote the services operated between the two destinations. With Gulf Air’s addition of another flight to its schedule, both the Bahraini and the Afghan carriers will now offer six weekly services on the route. “Kabul is a key market for Gulf Air, where we have been witnessing a high-demand since we launched our service in June 2011 and we hope to further develop the market to cater to the fast-growing traffic from Kabul by connecting across the entire Gulf Air network,” highlighted Samer Majali, CEO, Gulf Air, adding that the route serves a large migrant Afghan population worldwide that extends from the US to UK, Germany, and the UAE.

Air News

flydubai Introduces Sana’a to its Network flydubai has commenced services to Sana'a, the capital city of Yemen, with four weekly flights, bringing the airline’s global operational network to 48 destinations across 29 countries. Commenting on the launch, Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO, flydubai, said, “With the addition of Sana’a, we now fly to 20 destinations across 11 countries in the Middle East alone, and I would like to personally thank everyone who has been involved in making our flights to Yemen a reality. flydubai hopes that this new service will play a significant role in developing business opportunities and open the door to more exports between the two nations.” Waed Abdulla Batheeb, minister of transport, Yemen, also expressed enthusiasm for the new service, “We are delighted to receive the low-cost carrier’s inaugural flight here in Sana’a today. We are confident that flydubai’s direct flights to our capital will boost relations between the two countries and create new areas of collaboration in the future.”

5 MAY 2012


International

Hotel Indigo Opens Second Property in San Diego Hotel Indigo, InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) upscale boutique brand, has announced the opening of Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar. Following a multi-million dollar renovation and rebranding, the 94-room hotel boasts a full-service day spa, two swimming pools, and a bistro-style restaurant, among a plethora of other amenities. “The Hotel Indigo brand is a perfect fit for this location. Del Mar is community-driven with charming and sophisticated offerings for visitors and residents alike, and the Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar seamlessly complements the local surroundings,” commented Mary Dogan, director, brand management, Hotel Indigo, the Americas, IHG. Further commenting on the opening, Susan Knapp, general manager, Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar, indicated, “Aligning with Hotel Indigo was a natural fit. Not only does the hotel’s new design incorporate community staples like the beach and the racetrack, but the friendly service makes guests feel welcomed in a neighbourly setting.”

5 MAY 2012

WEEKLY NEWS

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Introducing Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London, is slated for inauguration in the heart of Knightsbridge in June and is set to pay tribute to Bulgari’s silversmith origins and Great Britain’s noble manufacturing traditions. The property will comprise 85 rooms and suites, a spa open exclusively to members and guests, two boardrooms, two private offices, two private dining rooms, and a ballroom, with a prefunction room catering for up to 136 guests, as well as a restaurant and bar. The property will also pride itself with a 47seat screening room, offering more than 500 new and classic films to guests of the hotel, and is also capable of hosting press events, advanced screening film premières, and is also available to hire for private screenings.


WHO'S MOVED

Hibba Bilal Hibba Bilal has been named director of public relations at Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the First Residence. Bilal joined the company in 2004 and was heading the public relations team at Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza. As part of the opening team, she played a key role in the hotel’s success-

ful launch and positioning. Prior to that, she gained experience in the UK, before becoming director of public relations at Palm Hills Development. Drawing from a vast pool of contacts, Bilal will focus on affirming the property’s position in the market and create the “talk of the town” spirit.

Philippe Georges Zuber Philippe Georges Zuber has been appointed general manager of The Address Downtown Dubai. Zuber, who brings extensive international expertise in hotel management to the position, has been mandated with the day-to-day management of Emaar Hospitality Group’s property. Besides identifying strategic opportunities to further improve the hotel’s business, footfall, and market outreach, Zuber has been also entrusted with driv-

5 MAY 2012

ing the teams and integrating various functions to maximise productivity. Zuber’s previous experiences include key positions with international hotel chains in various locations, including Seoul, Paris, Berlin, Casablanca, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles. He holds a master’s degree in Finance and Management in Hotel Industry from The Strasbourg Graduate School of Management, as well as a degree from the Hotel Management School, Strasbourg.

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Vincent Wee Vincent Wee has been named managing director for the GCC and India at The Ascott Limited. Wee concurrently serves as deputy CEO of Ascott Residence Trust Management Limited (ARTML). Prior to joining ARTML in July 2011, Wee, who has more than 18 years of experience in the real estate industry, held vari-

ous senior executive positions, related to risk, acquisitions and commercial operations, at Australand Property Group. In his new role, he is responsible for developing growth strategies and managing the company’s business. He holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Cranfield Shool of Management, UK.


TRAVEL TALK

travel talk is your space

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Nikos Kardassis

James Hogan

CEO, Jet Airways.

President, Etihad Airways.

“Each department operates with great precision and focus, helping us to achieve on-time departures. Our [best rates] on-time performance bears testimony to the unwavering dedication, commitment, and integrated action of our employees. The services rendered by our team of highly talented professionals, have helped us in emerging as an efficient and responsive organisation, sensitive to the changing needs of our domestic and international passengers.”

“On the strength of our success, two new freighters have been ordered for delivery in 2013 and 2014. We have capitalised on more freighter flights into Central Asia and Libya and made better use of the belly hold capacity of our newer passenger routes, such as Düsseldorf, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Tripoli. We also continue to leverage our new partnerships with Air Seychelles and airberlin by putting our networks together to offer more choice to cargo customers.”

5 MAY 2012


AGENT'S CORNER

AGENT'S INSIGHT NAME: C. Madhu Kumar POSITION: Vice president COMPANY: Bonton Tours & Travels LOCATION: Dubai, UAE WEB: www.bontontours.com Who are you? I am the vice president of Bonton Tours & Travels. As part of our expansion drive, we plan on having our own hotel in Dubai in the near future and have already established Bonton Tours in India. What is your favourite thing about working in this industry? Firstly, it helps me experience different cultures and understand how they look at travel. Moreover we deal with people seeking a joyful experience, and when I see the faces of satisfied customers, I get a huge sense of satisfaction. When is the best time to visit Dubai? From October to March, however, the summer months offer many shopping discounts which tourists can benefit from. Where would you like to travel to for your next holiday? I plan to visit the north of India. Why should people come to you for travel advice? We are a customer-focused company that provides value for money and we understand the customers’ requirements.

5 MAY 2012

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Awarding Top Middle East Regional Wholesalers and Tour Operators Traders Hotel, Dubai, recently held its ‘Star of Excellence Award Night’ at the hotel’s new venue, 88 Ultra Lounge. The award recognised and rewarded high potential regional wholesalers and tour operators in the GCC for their outstanding and continuous support in promoting Dubai as a destination as well as Traders Hotel, Dubai. “The ‘Star of Excellence Award Night’ is a valuable opTraders Hotel, Dubai portunity for us to express our gratitude and appreciation towards our top producers and preferred business partners across the region. It signifies the solid partnership that has been created over the year, due to exceptional service and genuine care for our guests,” commented Mohamed Taher, director of sales and marketing, Traders Hotel.


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TRAVEL CHANNELS

VISIT FLORIDA Joins Brand USA VISIT FLORIDA has become a founding partner of Brand USA, a public-private marketing entity created in 2010 with the aim of encouraging travel to the US. The official tourism marketing corporation for Florida joins Marriott International, The Walt Disney Company, and Best Western International as founding travel partners of Brand USA, which, through an integrated campaign including global advertising and marketing partnerships, plays an integral part in the US’ ambitious goal to significantly increase international visitor volume to the country. “We are incredibly proud and grateful that these iconic brands have chosen to invest at such a significant level in Brand USA. This is more than an investment in a marketing programme; it is an investment in job creation and economic growth for hundreds of visitor destinations across America,” commented Jim Evens, CEO, Brand USA. Chris Thompson, CEO, VISIT FLORIDA, believes that the partnership will contribute to the tourism authority’s vision of becoming the world's number one travel destination.

Singapore Gears up for Gulf Influx Mohamed Hafez Marican, area director, Middle East and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board (STB), has emphasised that he expects at least a 10 percent spike in the number of Gulf visitors to the country this summer season. Singapore already welcomed over 14,000 visitors from the UAE during the first quarter of the year; equivalent to an 18 percent increase compared to the same period in 2011. As large investments into entertainment infrastructure are now rapidly beginning to pay off and world-class luxury airline and hotel brands better promote themselves across the region, Gulf visitors are being offered a truly differentiated holiday, a new Singapore, this according to Marican. “We are optimistic that our visitor numbers from this region will increase at least by another ten percent this summer over 2011, and we are excited to show our Middle Eastern vacationers what Singapore has to offer,” he added.

5 MAY 2012


RENDEZVOUS

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Q & A with Ahmad Hashem Designed with the ancient Egyptian concept, Palma Beach Resort & Spa offers not only the experience of traditional Arabian hospitality, but also stands as a true haven in the emirate of Umm Al Quwain. Ahmad Hashem, general manager, Palma Beach Resort & Spa, talks about the resort’s future plans.

Travel Trade Weekly: The resort features a wide spectrum of indoor and outdoor amenities to make guests’ stay as memorable as possible. What are the latest additions to the property’s offerings?

Ahmad Hashem General manager, Palma Beach Resort & Spa

Ahmad Hashem: We will be soon opening a non-smoking lounge as well as numerous conference facilities in a luxurious ambience. Our highly motivated staff is committed to giving VIP services, focusing on total guest satisfaction at all times.

Travel Trade Weekly: Is Palma Beach Resort & Spa participating in any of the upcoming travel-related shows to widen your pool of potential guests?

Travel Trade Weekly: How would you summarise the past 12 months? Ahmad Hashem: I can say that business in 2010 was better than in 2011. We actually experienced a decrease of three percent in total performance levels. With regards to our main feeder markets, the largest percentage of our guests were Indians, followed by a significant contribution from Emiratis. All-in-all, the resort welcomed travellers from a wide range of nationalities.

ment and upgrades of the resort’s facilities and amenities, and the guestrooms in particular, represent a significant part of our development drive. Travel Trade Weekly: Which markets do you wish to attract?

Travel Trade Weekly: What are your plans for the upcoming months in terms of marketing and promotional initiatives? Ahmad Hashem: This year, we are poised to target basically all the possible clients in the market. We focus on repackaging, based on the different market segments, to enhance the connection both with the local and international markets. Our main goal is to increase customer awareness through very different advertising channels. Furthermore, the continuous enhance-

5 MAY 2012

Ahmad Hashem: The drive to penetrate both local and international markets is one of the priorities of the new management team. The local market extends to institutions such as schools, organisations, clubs, corporate, and other groups; whether for pleasure or business, we can surely extend various services at a very satisfactorily level.

The drive to penetrate both local and international markets is one of the priorities of the new management team

Ahmad Hashem: The new team is very much eager to attend any possible trade shows and exhibitions, as part of our marketing promotion drive. The whole year’s schedule is yet to be finalised. We will, however, surely proactively promote Palma Beach Resort & Spa. Travel Trade Weekly: What does your professional industry background include? Ahmad Hashem: Having worked with a number of internationally recognised hotel companies, I have 14 years experience in the industry. I began my career at Grand Hyatt Amman and then continued at InterContinental Jordan, InterContinental Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, Emirates Palace by Kempinski, Abu Dhabi, Kempinksi Dead Sea Hotel Ishtar, and Crowne Plaza, Amman, as well as Hilton Hurghada Long Beach Resort. Besides extensive experience in food and beverage services, I also got the chance to widen my knowledge in various fields, including business development, sales, and marketing as well as openings and expansions, before recently taking on my current position.


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NEWS & EVENTS

ADAC Focuses on Highest Standards Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) has released its waste recycling report for 2011, which reveals that ADAC recycled 23.6 percent of the waste generated at Abu Dhabi International Airport and the company’s headquarters, by the end of 2011. Throughout the year, the type of materials that were recycled included wood, plastic, paper, and cardboard with the latter amounting to the highest figure after general waste, averaging 85,600kg of cardboard being recycled every month, followed by paper with an average of 43,446kg, and timber at 36,760kg. The report also revealed that engine oil, cooking oil, and metal were also among the most wasted materials in the airport, all of which had either been reused or transferred to other organisations. The company is currently working in conjunction with Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi and in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group to continuously improve its sustainability performance.

Snow, Mountains, and New Technologies New communication technologies, particularly the Internet, have been game-changers for the tourism sector, highlighted Taleb Rifai, secretary general, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), at the 7th World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism, which recently took place in La Massana. A record of 400 participants from 32 countries gathered to discuss the strategies available for snow and mountain destinations, with a special focus on the role of new technologies and how they are transforming the tourism sector and providing a powerful tool in the development and promotion of destinations, as Rifai indicated. “Mountain destinations are proving to be ‘highly innovative’ and are increasingly making use of new technologies to diversify products and markets and remain competitive,” he further commented, and this was demonstrated in a number of case studies from established and emerging snow and mountain destinations.

EVENTS GTM Germany Travel Mart (GTM) Leipzig, Germany, May 13 – 15, 2012 (www.germany.travel) The largest incoming workshop in Germany where German providers can meet key buyers from the international travel industry.

Beijing International Tourism Expo (BITE) Beijing, China, June 15 – 17, 2012 (www.bitechina.com.cn) A mega tourism event that showcases destinations, tourism attractions, travel packages, products, and services.

The Hotel Show Dubai, UAE, May 15 – 17, 2012 (www.thehotelshow.com) An exhibition providing a unique networking and sourcing platform within the region with over 14,800 professionals.

The Americas Meetings & Events Exhibitions (AIBTM) Baltimore, US, June 19 – 21, 2012 (www.aibtm.com) A leading exhibition for the meetings and events industry, bringing together professionals from all around the world.

IMEX Frankfurt, Germany, May 22 – 24, 2012 (www.imex-frankfurt.com) The show where the global meetings industry continues to do business while maximising connections and networking opportunities.

China Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (CIBTM) Beijing, China, September 12 – 14, 2012 (www.cibtm.com) China’s leading meetings, incentives, and business travel show providing the ultimate platform for the world’s top suppliers to the MICE industry.

International Travel Expo (ITE) Hong Kong, June 14 – 17, 2012 (www.itehk.com) A travel fair with impressive profiles of international exhibitors, buyers, and regional trade visitors.

PATA Travel Mart Manila, Philippines, September 25 – 28, 2012 (www.pata.org/events/pata-travel-mart-2012) Asia Pacific’s premier travel trade show offering networking and contracting opportunities for hundreds of international buyers and sellers.

5 MAY 2012


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Profile for T.T.W. Travel Trade Weekly LTD

Travel Trade Weekly Issue 130  

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

Travel Trade Weekly Issue 130  

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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