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Middle East and North Africa Edition

RADISSON RENOVATES Radisson Blu Hotel Muscat has unveiled details of its major renovation plan, while remaining tight lipped on a secret new facility for the hotel.

With less than 100 days to go before its opening date, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi has revealed its full range of facilities. The Yas Island theme park will feature 20 rides and attractions, including the world’s fastest roller coaster. Inside, Travel Trade Weekly brings you full details of the park.

4 QATAR CORPORATE Qatar Airways is seeking to corner the nascent corporate jet rental industry in the Middle East, adding long range capability to its fleet of private jets.

6 In This Issue Market Update Accommodation News Air Travel News International News Agents’ Corner Travel Tips Travel Talk Who’s Moved Rendezvous Events JULY 24, 2010


2 4 6 8 10 11 12 14 15 16

Ferrari World ABU DHABI 3

Financing Deal with Jordan Commercial Bank Signals Expansion for Rum Group

TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY Deputy Editor Laura Warne Journalist Louis Dillon Savage

Rum Group, a major Jordanian tourism and travel group, has signed a financing deal with the Jordan Commercial Bank (JCB).

Design & Layout Elina Pericleous Sales & Marketing Marianna Tsiamas Evelina Hadjigeorgiou Directors Andreas Constantinides Mary Kammitsi Headquarters P.O. Box 25255 Nicosia 1308 Cyprus Tel: +35722820888 Fax: +35722318958 Website Emails


nder the terms of the agreement, JCB will act as Rum’s financial advisor and underwrite capital expansion up to JOD14 million (USD19.8 million). Rum will use the capital to generate 5.3 million new shares, which will be distributed through private placement to existing shareholders. JBC will issue five million bonds to increase the company’s investment exposure in the air cargo industry and for its subsidiary,

Petra Airline. Petra Airline has announced plans to expand its operations in the Jordanian tourism sector. Rum stated that the expansion has been planned to take advantage of recent developments in aviation regulation in Jordan. According to Rum, a new open skies policy on the part of the Jordanian government is set to increase the number of tourists and tour services, which will stimulate growth opportunities for the company.

BA, AA, Iberia Deal Receives US Approval British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia have cleared the final administrative hurdle to joint transatlantic operations. The three airlines have received approval from the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to form an alliance that, once instituted, will allow MENA Exchange Rates Accurate as of 22/7/2010

Travelport Expands ME Presence, Takes over Distribution Operations in Bahrain

Currencies shown in red are fixed against the US Dollar COUNTRY UAE (AED) Egypt (EGP) Saudi Arabia (SAR) Lebanon (LBP) Bahrain (BHD) Jordan ( JOD) Syria (SYP) Kuwait (KWD) Qatar (QAR) Oman (OMR) Tunisia (TND) Morocco (MAD) Iran (IRR) Yemen (YER) Algeria (DZD) Libya (LYD)


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

operational synergies and shared routes. Under the joint business agreement, the three airlines will co-operate commercially on flights between the United States, Mexico and Canada, and the European Union, Switzerland and Norway.

1USD= 3.69 5.70 3.75 1501 0.37 0.70 46.7 0.29 3.64 0.38 1.47 8.66 10,003 230.65 74.86 1.29

Travel technology provider Travelport has taken over distribution of its products in Bahrain, following the lapse of its prior agreement with Middle East Computer Services. A new wholly owned base of operations has been established in Manama, the country’s capital, offering full sales and support services. The changeover is being managed by Ghulam Saleh Al Balooshi, director in the lower Gulf region for Travelport. According to Al Balooshi, the new

operation will bring Travelport closer to the users of its products. “As a result of this new distribution structure, we are well positioned to respond to the growing needs of the travel trade and nurture our long-term presence in Bahrain,” he said “We look forward to having a direct relationship with local travel agents and injecting innovation, competition and value to the local landscape.” Travelport already has direct distribution operations in place in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. JULY 24, 2010

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi Unveils Attractions With less than 100 days until opening, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi has revealed its range of rides and attractions.


ore than 20 attractions will be spread beneath the park’s 200,000m² roof on Yas Island. Mohammad Al Mubarak, chairman of the park’s operating company, Farah Leisure Parks Management, said the park would appeal to a wide range of visitors. “The opening of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will revolutionise the way visitors and people in the region spend their leisure time,” said Al Mubarak. “It is a great testament of Abu Dhabi’s capacity and the region’s potential as a world class tourist destination.” Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will open on October 28, 2010. The full range of rides and attractions includes: n Formula Rossa: The world’s fastest roller coaster, reaching speeds of 240 kmph. n Speed of Magic: A fantasy 4D journey. n Made in Maranello: A virtual trip behind

Junior GT

the walls of the famous Ferrari factory in Maranello. n V12: A flume ride to the heart of a 12 cylinder engine. n G-Force: A tower ride that will shoot thrill-seekers through the red roof and 62m in the air. n Scuderia Challenge: Racing simulators similar to those used by the drivers of the Scuderia Ferrari in training. n Viaggio in Italia: A virtual aerial voyage over Italy’s cities and their main monuments, mountains and coasts. n Fiorano GT Challenge: A dueling rollercoaster with Ferrari F430 Spiders. n Bell’Italia: A miniature recreation of Italy’s most famous locations. n Paddock: A re-creation of the Ferrari motor home including garages, transporters and hospitality suites. n The Pit Wall: An interactive theatre that allows guests to test their judgment in racing scenarios. n Galleria Ferrari: The world’s largest

Formula Rossa

Ferrari gallery outside Maranell. n Junior GT: A driving school for children featuring reduced scale F430 GT Spiders. n Junior Grand Prix: A race track for scaled down Ferrari F1 racers. n The Racing Legends: A ride through Ferrari’s greatest racing moments. n Driving with Champions: an interactive 3D show. n Cinema Maranello: Ferrari World’s own theatre showing Coppa di Sicilia, a short film that tells a story from the life of Enzo Ferrari. n Junior Training Camp: An interactive play area for children where they can engage with a waterless car wash, become custom constructors, climb up the grandstand, pilot remote cars, paddle their own miniature Ferrari and play with an F1 car made of soft foam. n Carousel: Featuring never-before-seen Ferrari prototypes. n Dining and Shopping: Including Italian concept restaurants and cafes.

The opening of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will revolutionise the way visitors and people in the region spend their leisure time

Jordan Targets Social Media Users to Promote Tourist Swap Campaign Jordan’s Queen Rania Al Abdullah has launched the country’s new Twisit Jordan campaign, using social media site Twitter’s video application, TwitVid. The tourist swap promotion will swap two people from Jordan with two international tourists for one week. As part of the entry process, tourists JULY 24, 2010

from around the world have been asked to submit videos, stating what they would like to experience in Jordan. Similarly, Jordanians have been asked to submit videos showing how special Jordan is as a tourism destination. The campaign is a continuation of Queen Rania Al Abdullah’s work in cross

cultural dialogue, which includes a YouTube project and her book, The Sandwich Swap. According to the campaign’s organisers, tourists are a country’s best ambassadors; this project hopes to show the beauty and culture of Jordan through the eyes of its own people. 3

- Accommodation

Domestic Tourism Boosts Dubai’s Hotel Demand Hotels and hotel apartments across Dubai have noted increased demand for rooms following the end of the FIFA World Cup, with many recording increases of up to 15 percent.


he growing demand has affected all sectors, from budget and mid-range to luxury hotels, and is being attributed to a boost in domestic tourism, fuelled by holiday packages and promotions. Hoteliers across the emirate have also pointed to Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) as a strong drawcard for hotel guests. Moin Sarhaan, general manager of Tamani Marina, and Daniel Hajjar, general manager of Layia Hospitality, both said that while the FIFA World Cup had hampered early summer figures, trade has now picked up considerably. “The demand for rooms has been very visible since the start of DSS, with an increase of 10 to 15 percent compared to

other periods,” said Sarhaan. “A notable factor was the high number of guests from other emirates.

We have seen large groups of guests, especially families that take advantage of combined offers and packages “The FIFA World Cup did have a negative impact on occupancy rates, but we expect the remaining part of DSS to be much better.” Occupancy rates are widely estimated at 75 percent currently, with many hoteliers expecting that figure to rise to 80 and 90 percent over the remaining summer months. Midhat Barsoom, general manager of

Capitol Hotel, pointed out that family tourism could be expected to continue the upward trend. “A majority of hotel guests are from other emirates and this is a welcome factor for domestic tourism,” he said. “We have seen large groups of guests, especially families that take advantage of combined offers and packages. “We expect a positive outcome during the rest of the summer as schools have closed and this in turn will encourage families to travel.” Dubai

Radisson Blu Muscat Targets New Level of Growth with Renovation Radisson Blu Hotel Muscat has unveiled details of its major renovation plan, while remaining tight lipped on a secret new facility for the hotel. Work on all 156 guestrooms and corridors will be carried out in two phases, completely renovating the rooms and public spaces. The hotel, including all food and beverage outlets and other facilities, will be in full operation during the renovation. Michael Kuhn, director of sales and marketing for Radisson Blu Hotel Muscat, said the renovation would

reflect the brand’s identity of being different and innovative. “The hotel has earned the loyalty and love of guests over the past 10 years,” said Kuhn. “Now it is time to bring the property to the next level; a modern business hotel fully focused on serving and hosting our guests. “Being the leading first class business hotel in the city is our aim; offering the best product, at a great location with our outstanding service is what our clients expect from Radisson Blu.” Kuhn added that there would be an

additional development at the hotel, but would not give away any details at this time. “Apart from upgrading our rooms a new facility will be introduced,” he said. “Further details about this new facility are still kept a secret.”

Radisson Blu Hotel Muscat

Gloria Hotel Opens in Dubai Media City Gloria Hotel, a serviced apartment property featuring one and two bedroom suites, has opened in Dubai Media City. Apartments are available in four different 4

styles – Classic, Californian, Modern and Mediterranean. The hotel is targeting long stay travellers by offering yearly and monthly rates.

Apartments are serviced three times weekly and bonus features include free local calls and unlimited internet access. JULY 24, 2010

- Air Travel

Qatar Grows Corporate Fleet with New Jets Qatar Airways is seeking to corner the nascent corporate jet rental industry in the Middle East, adding long range capability to its fleet of private jets.


ccording to Qatar Airways, the corporate jet market in the Middle East has grown at an average of 13 percent a year since 2000 and is now worth between USD500 million and USD700 million per year. As part of a strategy to capitalise on the growing sector, Qatar Airways has expanded its fleet with the order of two new Bombadier Global 5,000 jets at the Farnborough Airshow. The Bombadier 5,000 is a large long range business jet, commonly configured to include a conference room and office. The jets will allow non-stop flights from the airline’s base in Doha to all of Europe and most destinations in Africa or Asia. According to Akbar Al Baker, CEO of the airline, as legacy airlines trend towards competing with low cost carriers, a niche has opened in to the high spend segment. “While low cost carriers in the region are pushing budget travel, we are doing the opposite and targeting high end travellers,” he said.

Akbar Al Baker

“We launched Qatar Executive last year because we had identified a huge gap in the market and are now well on the way to filling that void.” Qatar Airways has released figures showing that individual wealth in the Gulf region is expected to increase by more than 50 percent by 2012, when compared with 2008 levels. This would raise the level of private funds from USD2.1 trillion to around USD3.8 trillion, according to the management consultancy firm Oliver Wyman, who provided the data to Qatar Airways. Al Baker said that private jets were an attractive option for corporations to

whom time was a critical factor. “Despite the current global economic climate, there remains a strong need for corporations to conduct face to face business meetings in the shortest possible time and with a hassle-free travel experience,” he said.

While low cost carriers in the region are pushing budget travel, we are doing the opposite and targeting high end travellers

Boeing Adds 30 Aircraft to Orderbook Following Deal with Emirates Emirates has laid the groundwork for further fleet expansion, placing an order with Boeing for 30 new 777-300ER aircraft. Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes said Emirates and the 777 had each contributed to the other’s commercial success. “Emirates is today one of the world’s leading airlines thanks in part to the 777. Its ambitious expansion plans have established itself as a global force in the aviation sector,” he said. 6

“Emirates has played an important role in the 777’s success with its significant support of the programme and valuable feedback over the years.” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, CEO of Emirates Group, said the new additions would contribute to the carrier’s ambitions for global leadership. “Emirates is the world’s largest operator of 777s and this latest order, adding to 71 777-300ERs previously ordered, affirms Emirates’ strategy to become a world leading carrier and to further

establish Dubai as a central gateway to worldwide air travel,” he said “Our latest deal signals Emirates’ confidence in the growth of the thriving aviation sector and our commitment to building a modern, environmentally efficient fleet for tomorrow.” The latest purchase adds to Emirates’ substantial list of standing orders, which include 79 Airbus A380s, 70 Airbus A350s and seven Boeing freighters. The orders are worth more than USD67 billion, on top of USD9.1 billion for the 777-300ER fleet. JULY 24, 2010

- Air Travel

Etihad Announces Flights to South Korea Etihad will commence flights to South Korea in December, pinning its hopes for the route on growing economic ties between that country and the UAE.


ccording to James Hogan, CEO of Etihad, Korea and the UAE have been increasingly engaged in recent times, improving the viability of a direct connection. He pointed to the contract awarded to a South Korean consortium for the construction of four nuclear power plants

in the UAE as an example of increasing commerce between the two nations. “South Korea is emerging as a key partner for the UAE and the decision to commence services to Seoul reflects this strengthening partnership,” he said. “Over the past two years, Korean business has been building a strong presence in the UAE, particularly in the clean energy sector, construction, technology and

small to medium enterprises.” Hogan also predicted that increased business ties would begin to establish more organic connections between the UAE and Korea. “We expect the increasing trade relations between the two countries will lead to growing numbers of business travellers, as well as people from both regions visiting friends and relatives,” he said.

Air Arabia Launches Shuttle Bus Service between RAK and Sharjah Air Arabia has begun operating shuttle buses between Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) and Sharjah International Airport. Transport will be charged for and can be booked directly through Air Arabia or via specified travel agents. The service will operate twice daily, with one shuttle departing at 9am and another 6pm, with pick up points at Al Hamra Mall and the Air Arabia sales office on Oman Street. The morning service is timed to connect with flights between Sharjah and Chittagong, Bangaldesh; Alexandria, Egypt; Kathmandu, Nepal; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Kochi, India; and Sana’a, Yemen. The second is timed for flights to Bangalore, Calicut, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Jaipur, Kochi, Mumbai and Hyderabad in India; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Istanbul, Turkey; Assiut, Egypt; and Damascus, Syria. AK Nizar, head of commercial operations at Air Arabia’s Sharjah hub, said the service was intended to increase convenience for passengers from RAK, who make up a significant number of the carrier’s customers. JULY 24, 2010


- International

Indian Ocean Destinations Target Shared Tourism Tourism authorities in the Indian Ocean say they are keen to pursue joint tourism opportunities, rather than focusing solely on their individual destinations.


lain St Ange, CEO of Seychelles Tourism Board, said a complementary group approach could be more effective than competitive market behaviour among the popular Indian Ocean destinations of Seychelles, Mauritius and the Maldives. “Yes, there is a certain amount of competition for a certain slice of the market, but beyond that, we have somewhat different products,” said St Ange. “At the moment we are exploring a

number of twin-hub holiday possibilities with other destinations. “Seychelles also believes that the Indian Ocean islands complement each other and this will become more apparent when we all work together to push the Indian Ocean tropical islands as a destination in itself.” A spokesperson for Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority said joint tourism was already underway in the country, taking in the African continent as well as the Indian Ocean islands. “The country is developing an Indian Ocean product with Mauritius as the

regional tourism hub and it is looking at possible avenues to collaborate with neighbouring islands to translate ideas into tourism products,” said the spokesperson. “Some tour operators offer Mauritius as a twin destination with East African safaris and, more recently, with the cruise line circuit.” Travel agents in the Middle East say tourism to all three Indian Ocean destinations has remained stable throughout 2010, with Seychelles enjoying strong tourism growth in the first half of the year.

Japan Tourism Agency Backs Inaugural Luxury Travel Trade Event Hiroshi Mizohata, commissioner of Japan Tourism Agency, has added his support to the upcoming Blossom Japan ehibition, which will be the first travel trade event for the luxury tourism market in Japan. The event will host 200 travel professionals from around the world, with strong emphasis on networking with Japanese luxury travel providers.

The government of Japan has renewed its focus on tourism policy and adopted a new economic growth strategy, which actively targets tourism growth. In response, Japan Tourism Agency has revised its target numbers of foreign visitors to 15 million in 2013, 20 million in 2015 and 25 million in 2019. Mizohata said the high end tourism market and international high net worth

individuals had been identified as high priorities. “I strongly hope that this event [Blossom Japan] will be successfully held and will provide Japan with a precious opportunity to drastically improve its recognition among the global luxury travel experts,” he said. Blossom Japan will take place in Tokyo between January 18 and 21, 2011.

Amara Holdings Enters Thai Market with New Bangkok City Hotel Amara Hotels and Resorts, a subsidiary of Amara Holdings Limited, has signed an agreement to develop its first hotel in Thailand. The company already operates several successful hotels in Singapore; the new property in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, will feature 272 rooms. Amara Hotels has also signed an agreement with Thailand Crown Property Bureau, a quasi-government agency. Albert Teo, CEO of Amara Holdings Limited, said the location of the new hotel, on Surawong Road, was a strong 8

selling point for the property. “With all of the amazing activities and attractions and brisk commercial traffic in the area, we see a need for the quality accommodation that Amara provides,” said Teo.

We aim to capture the imagination of our guests “The central location of our new hotel in Bangkok, and its proximity to the other parts of the city, coupled with easy access

to the airport expressway will offer maximum convenience to tourists and business travellers alike.” The hotel is scheduled to open in 2012, targeting both business and leisure markets, as well as MICE events. “Customers are more discerning and well travelled and as such are looking for an emotional aesthetic experience with attentive service, individual style and a personal touch,” said Teo. “We aim to capture the imagination of our guests and offer them all of these in a great location.” JULY 24, 2010

Jordan’s Green Arrow Tours Becomes General Sales Agent for Jordan’s Green Arrow Tours has been chosen by as the general sales agent (GSA) for the company’s online reservations system. Ala'a Abu Dayyeh, sales manager in Jordan for Hoojoozat, described the agreement. “Green Arrow is to address all sales and marketing matters for the site reservations, offering the best prices, especially in Lebanon, Cyprus, Syria and the Gulf States as well as Europe and the Maldives,” he said. Firas Dakkak, managing director of Green Arrow Tours, said his company had been selected as GSA for Hoojoozat based on their forward looking approach. “Green arrow was assigned exclusively as the sales general agent due to its vision in enhancing services bookings and deliver to a wider customer base, a role we are elusively keen to meet as part of our everlasting work in hope of proving the most suitable ways to create a unique tourism experience for our clients,” he said. Hoojoozat, whose name means ‘booking’ in Arabic was launched in 2007, offering online bookings for both businesses and consumers, focusing on the Arab market.

Mannai Holidays Signs Exclusivity Deal with European River Cruise Operator Mannai Holidays has been appointed the exclusive sales agent for Brilliant Cruises in Qatar. Brilliant Cruises operates river cruises throughout Europe, with stops including Vienna, Prague, Budapest and Amsterdam. The company includes guest speakers and lecturers on all its tours, to provide historical insight into the countries that they pass. Brilliant’s fleet currently comprises six vessels, with a seventh due for delivery in 2011; cruises range from eight to 21 days in length. According to Mannai, the deal has been struck in response to growing demand for cruise holidays in the Qatari outbound market. Brilliant Cruises: MS Amadeus Classic

Agent’s Insight Mirieille Kelzi Sales Manager, Aeolus Travel, Lebanon Who is coming to Lebanon at the moment? This is not really my department, so I can’t tell you for sure. We do a lot of business in cruises however, and unfortunately this year there has not been a lot of cruise business for the inbound market. It has been fair, but not good.

What makes a good travel agent? The service; but if a travel agent wants to be successful in Lebanon, they should focus on packages with hotels and tours not just airline tickets.

When will business return to pre-downturn levels? I don’t know. Who can say? When the situation becomes more stable. I can say that this year has been very good for outbound travel; we have done very good work selling trips for Lebanese people and there have been a lot taking cruises, but from European ports.

Where do you take your own holidays? I would like to go to Hong Kong or Singapore; I have been to Australia and would also like to see Mexico.

Why did you become involved in the travel industry? Because I like it! When I studied for my MBA the title of my thesis was Touristic Marketing, and I have worked for KLM and Swissair.

If a travel agent wants to be successful in Lebanon, they should focus on packages with hotels and tours, not just airline tickets 10

JULY 24, 2010

There’s No Place like (Someone Else’s) Home With travellers becoming more adventurous and independent, experiential tourism is growing.


nline social networks are one of the most popular tools for connecting people to places and for many, the personal touch is the attraction of these media. However, this can make them difficult to compete with in a commercial setting. Keeping track of the trends is the best way to keep up with the rapidly developing market for products with a social element. One development that is gaining steam within the travel sector is the popularity of peer-to-peer hotels and accommodation providers. These are specialised social networks,

JULY 24, 2010

built to connect guests with hospitable households across the world., HomeExchange, and UN sanctioned Servas are all examples of peer-to-peer accommodation providers. Methods range from the micro bed and breakfast, for profit applications; to entirely free hospitality driven by reciprocity. The peer-to-peer accommodation movement provides unrivalled access to local life; allowing travellers to experience a destination from the perspective of a resident. Although the segment remains largely noncommercial, peer-to-peer accommodation offers fertile ground for businesses

interested in integrating social experience with traditional travel packages.


Obeid Al Mazrouei

Stefan Simkovics

Director, Liwa Date Festival "The overwhelming number of visitors to the festival is an evidence for the great success of the event; despite the hot weather and rising temperature people are still coming to the middle of the desert to witness the lovely authentic Emirati heritage. This is evidence that the festival has become an important tourist event."

General Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Beirut “Our concierge team doesn’t just understand the Lebanese scene, but is also a part of it. From the latest restaurants to the greatest clubs, chic shops to tickets to the most exciting cultural shows, you can bet that if it’s recommended by the concierge, then it’s a guaranteed hit.”

Despite the hot weather and rising temperature people are still coming to the middle of the desert to witness the lovely authentic Emirati heritage

If it’s recommended by the concierge, then it’s a guaranteed hit

The concierge team at Four Seasons Hotel Beirut Liwa Date Festival

Curtis Grad CEO, Airport International Group (AIG) "The mid-year results show that Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) is indeed making substantial strides towards its objective: developing a robust and sustainable regional hub. QAIA is steadily emerging as the airport of choice in the Levant region and these results demonstrate the resilience of the Jordanian market and the effectiveness of the strategies implemented by AIG and its partners."

QAIA is steadily emerging as the airport of choice in the Levant region

Queen Alia International Airport

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 12

JULY 24, 2010

Wissam Suleiman

Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi

Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, has appointed Wissam Suleiman as executive assistant manager. Suleiman has spent more than 15 years in the hotel industry, including six years within Kempinski Hotels’ managerial team. During his time with the brand, he has worked at Kempinski Hotel Amman, Kempinski Hotel Ishtar – Dead Sea and Kempinski Hotel Aqaba. Prior to joining Kempinski, he worked with the Mövenpick brand in Jordan.

Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi has appointed Wissam Abou Jaoude as director of front office. Abou Jaoude previously spent eight years working with the Hilton chain in Paris. He holds an MBA in hospitality management. The hotel has also appointed Ayman Fathy as director of business development. Fathy holds a bachelor’s degree in tourism and hotel management and has previously worked for Hilton at several hotels in Egypt, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Ayman Fathy

Wissam Abou Jaoude

Sabre Airline Solutions

Wissam Suleiman

Nancy Jindy Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel, Beirut, has appointed Nancy Jindy to the position of sales and marketing manager. Jindy has been promoted from her previous roles with the hotel – duty manager and guest relations manager. She began her career in 2001 in the front office department, while studying for her degree in hospitality management. Jindy has since worked in several hotels and resorts in Beirut. 14

Technology provider Sabre Airline Solutions has made a number of new appointments to its global senior management team, following the company’s recent growth. Sanjay Nanda has been appointed as senior vice president of consulting and solutions delivery. He will oversee the implementation and delivery of all airline solution projects, including the migration for LAN, AeroMexico and Volaris onto the Sabresonic Customer Sales and Service (CSS) reservation suite. Mark Silagy has been appointed as senior vice president of customer care and support. His most recent role was with Sabre Travel Network, where he worked as senior vice president of services and operations solutions. Previously, Silagy spent 12 years with American Airlines. Peter Morowski joins the team as senior

vice president of airline products development. He previously held senior positions at Borland Software Corporation, Dell, Tivoli Systems and Novell. Ellen Ehrlich, a 28 year Sabre veteran, has taken over the role of senior vice president of SabreSonic CSS. The role was previously held by Jim Barlow, who has moved on to become senior consulting partner for airline solutions. Finally, Chris Serafin has been appointed as senior vice president and programme executive, responsible for leading and executing key business initiatives for Sabre Airline Solutions. Serafin was previously senior vice president for product and solutions development, supporting both Sabre Travel Network and Sabre Airline Solutions. JULY 24, 2010

Q&A with Albert Tjoeng Security is a leading concern for the aviation industry today, representing a major cost for many businesses. Travel Trade Weekly spoke to IATA spokesperson Albert Tjoeng about initiatives to make the skies safer for passengers and more profitable for airlines. Travel Trade Weekly: How is security handled in the aviation industry? Is it the responsibility of local law enforcement, the airlines, the airport, or a combination of these? Albert Tjoeng: Aviation security is a state responsibility. Regulators set the policies which airlines and airports have to adhere to. But the lack of global standards has led to an unco-ordinated mess.  Airlines pay USD5.9 billion a year, and yet passengers are still being hassled. Governments can enhance the effectiveness of aviation security regulations by ensuring that they are compatible with infrastructure and business processes, and adapting to emerging threats, expected passenger numbers and cargo volumes. Better security can only be achieved by working collaboratively with governments, airlines, and manufacturers. IATA and other industry stakeholders are working to define risk management standards for security and facilitation.

This can contain personal sensitive data, leading to data protection and privacy concerns. Some bilateral agreements have been reached between the EU, US and other countries on the provision of PNR data to address privacy issues, but this does not address all requirements globally.  IATA is developing a standard format for PNR data to encourage harmonisation and reduce costs

Better security can only be achieved by working collaboratively Travel Trade Weekly: Are there international standards for airline security? If so, how are they decided, and what happens if a country is unable to comply? Albert Tjoeng: The International Civil

Aviation Organisation (ICAO) sets the standards and recommended practices for aviation security for states to comply with. Travel Trade Weekly: Do security IATA is also advocating the requirements change depending on implementation of Security Management the destination and/or country of Systems (SeMS), which provides airlines origin? with a risk based framework to create a Albert Tjoeng: Yes, security security culture. requirements can vary from state to state.  Already, 225 airlines have implemented Take carry-on liquids as an example. SeMS, and it is included as part of the Despite the global approach on liquids IATA Operational Safety Audit.  and gels, mutual recognition of standards Regulators are also increasingly making is very limited. SeMS part of their national aviation Millions of bottles of liquids are still security policy. confiscated from international passengers crossing jurisdictions even though those Travel Trade Weekly: Are there ever bottles have been screened and carried on mismatches between the flight security requirements of different countries? If board. Many governments are also requiring access so, how are they usually handled? Albert Tjoeng: Despite the existence of to Passenger Name Record (PNR) data.  JULY 24, 2010

Albert Tjoeng

global ICAO standards for aviation security, often states choose to go beyond ICAO standards and develop enhanced or different security measures from the ICAO baseline. Such situations can be problematic for airlines and cause confusion among passengers. This is why IATA recommends that states compare each other’s security measures and, where they are deemed to be equivalent, conclude recognition agreements that can lead to facilitation processes such as one-stop security. One-stop security is the process whereby passengers and bags that have been screened adequately at departure, are not re-screened again at airports where they have a connecting flight. One out of four passengers at the world’s top 120 airports are connecting traffic, yet many states still insist that they should be re-screened. In many cases, re-screening passengers and bags is an unnecessary strain on resources. The introduction of one-stop security in France in 2009, for instance, will save USD 30 million per year. 15

Boys Toys Event to Target Growing Luxury Market in Abu Dhabi The rising number of designer shops, high end hotels and shopping malls in the UAE is stimulating travel by high net worth individuals from the Middle East and internationally, according to Biju Jayaraaj, CEO of Artaaj Events. “With a wave of new malls and hot fashion brands set to hit Abu Dhabi, the capital is making a big splash into the luxury retail market, which will continue to fuel its tourism and retail revenues,” said Jayaraaj. Artaaj plans to target these high net worth individuals at its upcoming event, Big Boys Toys, which will be held in February 2011. The exhibition will bring luxury sector exhibitors together to display their goods

to the consumer market. The expanded 2011 edition of the show will comprise seven existing zones: Drive, Ride, Off Road, Marine, Aviation, Digital and Lifestyle, as well as three new zones: Fitness, Fashion and Adventure. “As [Abu Dhabi] carries on with its fast ascent towards becoming one of the largest luxury retail capitals of the world, Big Boys Toys will bring the world’s top luxury brands to the emirates, in line with our aims to satiate the desire for local high net worth individuals for only the best products and services,” said Jayaraaj. He added that recent estimates by bankers and industry players had predicted a marked increase in spending patterns and overall market confidence.

“With indicators underlining the optimism of GCC based high net worth individuals on their own economies as well as on the global market, luxury goods are poised for growth,” he said. Big Boys Toys will be held in Abu Dhabi at ADNEC from February 2 to 5, 2011.

With a wave of new malls and hot fashion brands set to hit Abu Dhabi, the capital is making a big splash into the luxury retail market, which will continue to fuel its tourism and retail revenues

Events Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Conference Los Angeles, US, September 22-24 ( Forum for the global medical and wellbeing tourism industry. Outdoor Adventure Dubai Dubai, UAE, October 8-10 ( Adventure sports, outdoor clubs, equipment specialists and holiday destinations. GITEX Technology Week Dubai, UAE, October 17-21 ( Technology solutions for hotels, businesses and consumers. Hotex Fair Syria Damascus, Syria, October 19-22 ( Fair for Arabic and foreign companies in tourism and travel, including hotels, restaurants and equipment suppliers.


World Travel Market London, UK, November 8-11 ( Global event for the travel industry – four day business to business event promoting a range of destinations and industry sectors to international travel professionals. World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi, UAE, November 22-24 ( Inaugural eco-tourism exhibition, featuring tourism authorities, urban city planners, hotels and resorts, property developers, airlines, tour operators, green product suppliers, universities, museums and heritage site organisations. Blossom Japan Tokyo, Japan, January 18-21,2011 ( A new invitation-only luxury travel exhibition focusing on the Japanese market.

JULY 24, 2010

Travel Trade Weekly Issue 37  

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