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09 APRIL 2016 ISSUE 335
04 GENERAL
05
SIX FLAGS IS COMING
TO DUBAI
LUXURY CRUISE
LINER CALLS IN
SHARJAH
08
MADINAT JUMEIRAH TO GET
NEW HOTEL
13 Airports
19 Who's Moved
23 Photo Album
MARKET UPDATE
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
TRAVEL TRADE PUBLICATIONS
MANAGING EDITOR
Mary Kammitsi
[email protected]
SAUDI PIPELINE
EXPANDS
ASSISTANT EDITOR
Maria Kazeli
SENIOR JOURNALIST
Rita Kasziba
JOURNALIST
Pauline Shahabian
CONTRIBUTOR
Ana Mladenovic
PRESS
Maria Demetriadou
Inna Armeanu
DESIGN & LAYOUT
Elena Stylianou
WEB & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Savvas Kammitsis
DIRECTORS
Andreas Constantinides
Mary Kammitsi
Abraj Kudai
HEADQUARTERS
T.T.W. Travel Trade Weekly LTD
P.O. Box 25255, Nicosia 1308 Cyprus
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WORLDWIDE REPRESENTATIVES
Representative for North, South & Central
America, and the Caribbean:
Neil Strickland
GlobeTM
Tel: +19542969515
[email protected]
Representative for Indian subcontinent:
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RMA Media
Tel: +912229253735
[email protected]
Representative for UK & Ireland and
Scandinavia:
David Simpson
Simpson Media
Tel: +447900885456
[email protected]
Mecca is leading the Saudi hotel sector’s development with 24,133 rooms
currently in the construction pipeline, according to a new report
commissioned by The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia.
R
iyadh follows with 10,053 keys and Jeddah with 6,980 units under development, with the
majority of rooms forecast to open to the public over the next five years.
Predictions that the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina are expected to exceed 17 million visitors by 2025, drive investors’ interest, according to Christine Davidson, group event
director, dmg events Middle East & Asia, who said, “With Abraj Kudai forecast to open in Mecca in
2019, adding 10,000 new rooms to the market, it is not surprising that Saudi Arabia leads the way
in hotel construction.”
MENA EXCHANGE RATES
as of
COUNTRY
2
OMAN AIR CARRIES
6.3 MILLION PASSENGERS
8.4.2016
CURRENCY 1USD=
Bahrain (BHD)
Dinar
0.37
Jordan (JOD)
Dinar
0.71
Oman (OMR)
Rial
0.39
Qatar (QAR)
Rial
3.64
Saudi Arabia (SAR)
Riyal
3.75
UAE (AED)
Dirham
3.67
Algeria (DZD)
Dinar
108.16
Egypt (EGP)
Pound
8.87
Iran (IRR)
Rial
30,277.32
Iraq (IQD)
Dinar
1,107.22
Kuwait (KWD)
Dinar
0.30
Lebanon (LBP)
Pound
1,510.03
Libya (LYD)
Dinar
1.36
Morocco (MAD)
Dirham
9.62
Syria (SYP)
Pound
219.86
Tunisia (TND)
Dinar
2.01
Yemen (YER)
Rial
215.05
Some 6.3 million people opted for Oman Air’s services in 2015, up from
5.1 million in 2014.
A
s a result, over 28,000 round trips were recorded as capacity rose to 20.5 billion available
seat kilometres, leading to an average load factor of 71.4 percent.
Notably, the Omani carrier’s revenues surged 14.1 percent, to OMR465.97 million
(USD1.2 billion).
“Oman Air has paid lower prices for our fuel, enabling us to reduce the company’s losses.
This, together with the major increase in the number of passengers carried, the amount of cargo
handled and the continued development of ancillary revenues, has put Oman Air on a positive
financial footing in 2015,” commented on the results Darwish Bin Ismail Bin Ali Al Balushi, chairman, Oman Air.
9 APRIL 2016
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
WEEKLY NEWS
Spa Tourism Invaluable in MENA
The value of wellness trips across MENA has reached USD7.3 billion, with health-focussed tourists
spending 130 percent more than regular travellers.
T
his is according to the Global Wellness Institute’s 2014 Global Spa and Wellness Economy Monitor report, which identified the region as the second fastest-growing market for spas globally, after sub-Saharan Africa.
Capitalising on this opportunity, the upcoming Arabian Travel Market (ATM)’s new Wellness & Spa Lounge will
host 25 exhibitors representing some of the world’s most recognised health and wellness hospitality destinations.
“[The report showed that] over nine percent year-on-year growth is forecasted for the next two years, which is a staggering 50 percent faster than overall global tourism,” said Nadege Noblet-Segers, exhibition manager, ATM.
H.
H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman, Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, announced a 12
percent year-on-year increase in figures at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) for 2015.
During the year under review, the venue welcomed 2.74 million delegates and attendees, along with 53,547
exhibitors from 185 countries, translating into a 17 percent boost in the volume of exhibiting companies.
“Backed by a prudent long-term expansion strategy with strategic diversification of the event calendar, DWTC business
has steadily grown in number of events, venue occupancy rates, visitation quality and volumes, and in building Dubai’s
international attractiveness for exhibiting corporates and trade delegates,” Al Maktoum added.
Dubai World Trade Centre
Record Results at
DWTC
Tourism: 7.2 Million New Jobs in 2015
A
ccording to World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)’s annual Economic Impact Report, the sector added 7.2 million jobs to the global economy
and contributed over USD7.2 trillion in GDP in 2015.
Despite economic uncertainties and specific challenges, the industry still managed to develop 3.7 percent, pinpointed David Scowsill,
president, WTTC.
With all areas of the world showing a positive development in travel and tourism contribution to the national GDPs in 2015, the Middle East was
the third fastest-rising region with a growth rate of 5.9 percent. Southeast Asia topped the list with a 7.9 percent improvement, followed by South Asia
which posted a 7.4 percent increase.
9 APRIL 2016
3
WEEKLY NEWS
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LUXURY CRUISE LINER CALLS IN
Sharjah
T
he vessel, managed by Hapag-Lloyd, is the latest to call at the emirate’s east coast ports which have been
witnessing remarkable development in recent years, especially since the launch of Kalba eco-tourism project and the announcement of new enhancements.
Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority aims to attract some 28 cruise trips with
72,000 passengers to Khorfakkan Port during the current season.
Russians
Flock to
Jordan
Aqaba Anticipates
Influx of Cruise
Visitors
J
Aqaba
A
qaba is set to welcome some
30,000 cruise passengers this
year, according to Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA).
As Sharhabeel Madi, commissioner,
economic development and investment
affairs, ASEZA, noted, the destination
has already received a large group of
European tourists by cruise ships, and
further arrivals are scheduled from Germany, the UK as well as the Gulf region.
Accordingly, special promotional
campaigns are underway to highlight
the port city as a key tourism location.
4
MS Europa 2 at Khorfakkan Port
REINFORCING SHARJAH’S POSITION AS
A KEY CRUISE TOURISM DESTINATION,
INTERNATIONAL FAVOURITE MS EUROPA 2
ARRIVED AT KHORFAKKAN PORT WITH MORE
THAN 500 TOURISTS ONBOARD.
ordan continues to gain
popularity among Russian
travellers as tourism tops the
agenda of the two country’s bilateral relations.
In just two months, some
5,000 new visitors from the Eastern European country headed to
Jordan, following Jordan Tourism
Board‘s televised and social media
promotional campaign in the Russian language.
Deeming tourism a top priority of cooperation, Imad Fakhoury,
planning and international cooperation minister, Jordan, described
Russia as a very important market.
To further strengthen links between the destinations, the country’s signed a protocol, which,
among others, includes a twinning agreement between Sochi,
the coast of the Black Sea and
Aqaba.
Muriya Introduces
Floating Water
Park
M
uriya announced the opening
of a new inflatable aqua park at
Jebel Sifah Marina.
Operated by Marassi Al Jissah, a company specialising in yachting, water sports
activities and sea excursions, the attraction boasts a fully-supervised experience
that is available to residents, Sifawy Boutique Hotel guests, day-trippers as well as
group visitors.
Open seven days a week, the park offers a choice of slides and swings, springy
trampolines, high and low jumps, plus a
climbing tower, bouncy bridge, slippery
balance beam and monkey bar.
9 JANUARY 2016
Water park at Jebel Sifah Marina
9 APRIL 2016
WEEKLY NEWS
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
Madinat Jumeirah
Welcomes New
Fort Island
Six Flags Is Coming
to Dubai
M
Fort Island
D
ubai Parks and Resorts will hold its first general assembly this month to seek approval from shareholders to raise AED1.68 billion (USD457.4 million) in additional
capital to finance the development of a Six Flags theme park.
Planned to open in the last quarter of 2019, the proposed Six Flags-branded venture
will be the fourth amusement park at the mega-entertainment destination which is slated
to launch in October.
Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi, CEO, Dubai Parks and Resorts, said, “The addition of a
Six Flags-branded theme park – the first in the region – will further establish Dubai
Parks and Resorts’ position as the Middle East’s largest leisure and entertainment
destination.”
Dubai Parks and Resorts
adinat Jumeirah held a launch
party at Fort Island to mark
the opening of the destination’s new outdoor events space.
Having been completed in October 2015, the new expansion is set over
1,750m2, thus, tripling the overall area’s
size.
According to Margaret Paul, resort
general manager, Madinat Jumeirah,
as one of the city’s most innovative and
exclusive outdoor venues, the redevelopment demonstrates the hotel’s commitment to continuously enhance the
guest experience and cater to a larger
and wider range of prestigious events
for the MICE industry.
Dubai Opera to Open Doors
This Year
Dubai Opera rendering
E
9 APRIL 2016
maar Properties will inaugurate Dubai Opera with a spectacular line-up of world-class performances later this year.
Located in Downtown Dubai, the city’s first purpose-built multi-format performing arts venue overlooks Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain and offers the flexibility of a proscenium arch theatre, an
acoustic concert hall and a 2,000m2 flat floor event space.
Welcoming a varied programme of cultural and lifestyle events, including operas, ballet, classical
performances, musicals, and more, Dubai Opera will pay tribute to the emirate’s cultural heritage taking design inspiration from vintage dhows.
Jasper Hope, CEO, Dubai Opera, said, “The Emiratis used to sing, as divers searched for pearls, and
[this year] visitors to Dubai will be able to seek out new cultural gems in a sensational home for the arts
in the heart of Downtown Dubai.”
5
WEEKLY NEWS
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
Virtual Museum Tours in
Riyadh
Aldar Jumpstarts
Al Jimi Mall Overhaul
Al Jimi Mall
R
A
ldar Properties awarded an
AED318 million (USD86.58
million) refurbishment and
expansion contract for Al Ain’s Al Jimi
Mall to Pivot Construction Company.
The investment will add an extra
leased space of 33,000m2, over 50
percent of which is already committed to new tenants.
Expected to be completed in the
first quarter of 2018, the project will
include an expansion to the west side,
adding 51 new units over three levels
for extra retail, and food and beverage options. The north side, the Retail
Park, will also be broadened.
The overhaul will also include the
refurbishment of the existing shopping centre, including the entrances
and public spaces, among more.
iyadh’s Al Musmak Museum
can now be experienced
through a virtual tour, which
offers 360-degree 3D camera imagery of the establishment’s interior in addition to detailed information on relics, photos and drawings
exhibited.
Launched by Saudi Commission
for Tourism and National Heritage,
the new app has been developed for
smartphones, and enables users to
enlarge photos, view inscriptions and
decorations on the museum walls and
more.
Al Musmak Museum is often frequented by Saudi state guests, visitors
and tourists to the capital, as well as
residents and students, as it presents
the unification story of the Kingdom.
DID YOU KNOW...
Al Jimi Mall is
currently fully
occupied with footfall
of eight million visitors
a year?
SCTH Boosts Al Qassim
Heritage Prospects
6
SCTH meeting
P
reparations are underway by Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage (SCTH)
to set up a specialised company for tourism and heritage related investment in Al Qassim
province.
The organisation falls under the interest of the state towards the development of national
cultural heritage.
The establishment of the dedicated body follows a meeting between H.R.H. Prince Sultan bin
Salman bin Abdul Aziz, president, SCTH, and Al Qassim-based businessmen, which was held on
the sidelines of the fifth Urban Heritage Forum in November 2015.
9 APRIL 2016
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
WEEKLY NEWS ACCOMMODATION
StayWell to Debut in Saudi Arabia
Australia-based StayWell Hospitality Group signed a management agreement to open and operate
two Park Regis properties in Mecca, marking the company’s entry into the Saudi market.
E
Mecca
xpected to be unveiled in the second quarter of 2018, in time for the Hajj season, the two establishments will
boast a combined inventory of 630 rooms.
“These two unique hotels will offer guests superb dining options as well as deluxe accommodation
within walking distance to the Grand Mosque in Mecca,” noted Simon Wan, CEO, StayWell Hospitality Group. “We
are looking forward to both hotels complementing our existing Park Regis Kris Kin and our upcoming Park Regis
Business Bay hotel, located in Dubai. We are also actively looking for further opportunities to expand our network
in the Middle East.”
Mövenpick Marks Foray
in Jeddah
I
n line with the growing demand for branded extendedstay accommodation in Jeddah, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts revealed plans to open its first hotel and apartment
property in the booming Saudi seaport city, in 2017.
Hadia Abdul Latif Jameel Group is to manage the 164unit Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Al Tahlia Jeddah, which
will be located on Hail Street, close to the destination’s major commercial, financial, consular and shopping districts.
Part of a high-profile mixed-use development, the
property will predominantly feature suites, an all-day dining outlet, a casual fine-food Indian restaurant, gym with
two spa treatment rooms and four meeting rooms.
9 APRIL 2016
7
WEEKLY NEWS ACCOMMODATION
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
Madinat Jumeirah to Get
New Hotel
J
Jumeirah Al Naseem
umeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah’s newest addition will launch this summer, marking the completion of
the resort, which already encompasses Jumeirah Al Qasr, the recently renovated Jumeirah Mina A’Salam and
the summerhouses of Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf.
The property is set in the midst of 2km of sand stretching from Jumeirah Beach Hotel in the east, to Jumeirah
Al Qasr in the west, overlooking Burj Al Arab and the Arabian Gulf.
The opening will signal the final chapter in the transformation of a part of Dubai’s coastline into a major touristic destination by Jumeirah Group.
With construction works on the 430-room establishment well underway, reservations are accepted for stays
from October 01 onwards.
The announcement of Aiana Makkah
Aiana Announces
Regional Plans
8
Centro Capital Centre Boasts
ISO Certificate
A
A
iana Hotels & Resorts unveiled the design and
architectural elements of Aiana Suites and Residences, a 180-key luxury property located in
Doha’s West Bay.
The company also announced its latest project, the
611-room Aiana Makkah which is set to open in the
third quarter of the year. The development will become
the hotelier’s first property to welcome guests, and its
first venture in Saudi Arabia.
Strategically located near Mecca’s city centre with
direct connectivity to Masjid Al Haram, Aiana Makkah
will offer clear views of the Hajj ritual site.
Including the Saudi hotel, the company has seven
properties in the pipeline across the Middle East and
the Indian sub-continent.
fter a year of preparation and six months of monitoring and
evaluating the hotel’s performance, Centro Capital Centre,
Abu Dhabi obtained the ISO 14001:2004 certificate, an international standard with a set of requirements for environmental
management systems.
“Being the first Centro Brand within Rotana hotels to get this important certification, we have been always dedicated to maintaining quality and a high level of service to exceed guest expectations,
including in the areas of high-quality food safety and environmental management,” said Ayman Ashor, general manager, Centro Capital Centre, attributing the success to his team.
Ayman Ashor (second left) with team members
9 APRIL 2016
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
WEEKLY NEWS ACCOMMODATION
Residence Collection,
Al Habtoor City on Sale
Millennium Kuwait
Unveils New Business
Offering
M
Al Habtoor City
W
ith delivery expended for mid-2017, Al Habtoor Group announced the sale
of the three-towered Residence Collection, Al Habtoor City.
According to Mohammed Al Habtoor, vice chairman, Al Habtoor Group,
the development adds value to the overall project.
“Everything residents need is on their doorstep – from restaurants to gourmet cafés and stylish boutiques and the regions first-ever permanent water-themed production by Dragone, which is exclusively choreographed for the City,” said Al Habtoor.
Brian Etemad, CEO, Tamleek Real Estate, revealed that the initial interest has been
strong.
“This is because the development provides the end-user with ultimate lifestyle
choices. [...] It also marks the first time international investors can purchase a property
on Sheikh Zayed Road and the Dubai Water Canal,” he explained.
9 APRIL 2016
illennium Hotel & Convention Centre
Kuwait launched a new executive
lounge to better facilitate international business by providing visitors with exceptional amenities and services throughout
their stay.
Located on the 17th floor, the new venue
boasts the latest technology and provides
guests with complimentary gourmet snacks
and coffee, airport transportation, late checkout privileges and other exclusive perks.
Dani Saleh, area general manager, Kuwait,
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, commented,
“We are ideally located and well-equipped to
satisfy the full range of business needs. The Executive Lounge compliments our broader corporate offering and aims to place Millennium Hotel
& Convention Centre as the preferred choice for
those seeking to conduct business in Kuwait.”
9
WEEKLY NEWS ACCOMMODATION
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
The Address
Unveils High-Tech
Guest Experience
JW Marriott Dubai
Reports Strong Growth
I
n an effort to deliver superior guest
service, The Address Hotels + Resorts
is drawing on the power of advanced
in-room automation technology with
the launch of iGENIE, which is now available at all properties.
Assuring a full breadth of guest offerings at the tap of the finger, the new
tool enhances the user experience.
From booking leisure and recreation appointments from the comfort of
the room to ordering services, such as
concierge, housekeeping, engineering,
and surfing the Internet for information and entertainment, iGENIE is facilitated through in-room iPads provided to
guests.
iGENIE
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
J
W Marriott Marquis Dubai experienced an inventory surge of 22 percent
during 2015, nevertheless, occupancy levels across the property’s 1,608
rooms remained constant in excess of 73 percent.
Throughout the year, the hotel recorded 100 percent occupancy on more
than 45 occasions.
“Supply in the city rose 6.7 percent, whilst overall demand grew only 4.3
percent. This is stark contrast to JW Marriott Marquis, which witnessed an
increase in demand of more than 12 percent in 2015. As a result, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai continued to drive room revenues by 13 percent over the
course of the year. These positive figures further cement our position as a market leader in the region,” enthused Bill Keffer, general manager, JW Marriott
Marquis Dubai.
Tamani Marina Dubai
Predicts Growth
10
Tamani Marina Hotel
A
ccording to Walid Al-Awa, general manager, Tamani Marina Hotel, Dubai, the establishment witnessed an increased demand from all GCC countries during the first quarter of the year.
Al-Awa indicated that the UAE’s safety, security and upcoming major projects are the key
variables fuelling interest especially from the family tourism sector.
“[The UAE] has become a popular destination [...] for the GCC and the world in the light of
deteriorating security situation in many countries,” he said, predicting an increase in Gulf family
tourism in the near future.
As Al-Awa noted, the growing number of new hotel rooms in the market contribute to the
promotion of the destination and the improvement of service levels; a fact, that, according to
him, is reflected in the rising occupancy levels.
9 APRIL 2016
WEEKLY NEWS AIR
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
Qatar Airways Expands UK Network
Qatar Airways inaugurated its fourth UK gateway with direct flights between Doha
and Birmingham.
Birmingham
T
he carrier will serve the European city eight times a week with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Akbar Al Baker, group CEO, Qatar Airways, noted, “This vibrant and economically powerful region represents an important addition to our worldwide network and is a testament to our commitment to the UK.
Passengers now have access to more than 150 global destinations, accessed via 73 flights per week from the UK,
facilitated by smooth transfers through our home and hub, Hamad International Airport.”
RAK
Welcomes
Air India
Express
A
ir India Express launched
four-weekly flights between Ras Al Khaimah and
Calicut.
The new route, which is expected
to become a daily service in the near
future, was long awaited, indicated
H.E. Salem bin Sultam Al Qasimi,
chairman, RAK International Airport.
“There was much need for this
connectivity, but we also believe that
this route may require more than a
daily frequency to satisfy the growing
demand. We would therefore urge
the authorities to consider the needs
of the passengers and increase seat
allocations for high-demand sectors,”
said Al Qasimi.
Likewise, Mohammed Qazi,
CEO, RAK International Airport, expressed hope to see Air India Express further grow its footprint in
the Northern Emirates both in terms
of frequencies and routes.
9 APRIL 2016
Emirates
Boosts
Birmingham
Capacity
E
mirates marked the start of
its brand-new Airbus A380
aircraft service to Birmingham Airport.
Based on strong demand in
the region for the carrier’s offerings, the European city now welcomes three daily flights from
Dubai. The carrier has been serving the UK destination for well
over a decade, with its first daily
flight launched in December 2000.
The new itinerary, which will
be operated in a two-class configuration with a total of 615 seats,
increases daily capacity on the
route by 261 passengers.
11
WEEKLY NEWS AIR
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
Emirates Touches Down in
Philippines
Emirates’ delegation
E
mirates launched its Dubai – Clark International Airport – Cebu circular route, marking the addition of the
airline’s second and third gateway, respectively, in the
Philippines.
“We are confident that our new service will have a positive impact on the development of tourism and trade in the
Philippines’ regional economies,” commented Adnan Kazim,
divisional senior vice president, strategic planning, revenue
optimisation and aeropolitical affairs, Emirates.
He added that the carrier’s extensive global network
of over 150 destinations will help enhance connectivity for
the two destinations, providing a broader reach for regional
products and additional opportunities for inbound tourism.
Alitalia Returns
to Jordan
KLM Brings Dreamliner
to Muscat
K
LM introduced its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on
the Abu Dhabi – Muscat daily route, with the Omani
capital becoming the third GCC destination to be
served by the aircraft.
With a total capacity of 294 passengers, the plane
offers fully-flat seats, privacy and direct access to the aisle for
business travellers, as well as new seats enabling 40 percent
more recline in economy class.
Gilles Roche, general manager, Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Iran
and Pakistan, Air France-KLM, commented, “Muscat is a key
route and destination for KLM, as we develop our services for
passengers based in Oman and across the GCC region. The
daily flight from Muscat to Abu Dhabi and then Amsterdam
provides the ideal gateway into our global network.”
Gulf Air and IGA Address
Classified Information
A
litalia relaunched flights between Rome and Amman offering
up to five services a week during the summer period.
The itinerary is one of the fastest growing links for the Italian
carrier, with 25,000 passengers having travelled on the route between
April – October 2015, marking a 20 percent year-on-year improvement.
The new connection between the capitals will be operated by Airbus
A320 medium-haul aircraft, allowing passengers to experience Alitalia’s
new service and cabin interiors. The airline’s medium-haul fleet renovation is expected to be completed by the end of this month.
I
n a bid to raise awareness and facilitate the understanding of the protection of state information and documents, Bahrain’s national carrier, Gulf Air together with
the Information & eGovernment Authority (IGA) conducted
a knowledge-sharing session.
“It is of critical importance that Gulf Air’s management
team and the airline’s entire workforce, have the capabilities
and knowledge to collect, classify and maintain information
securely and responsibly - protecting and securing the airline’s information in all its forms to ensure there is no misuse,” noted Maher Salman Al Musallam, acting CEO, Gulf Air.
“Such knowledge sharing sessions help us work together to
secure all Gulf Air information and ensure the airline’s compliance with information handling requirements.”
12
9 APRIL 2016
WEEKLY NEWS AIRPORTS
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
Abu Dhabi: 1.86 Million Passengers
in February
“T
raffic between India, UK, Thailand, Australia, US and a number of others, all witnessed increased passenger figures from [the airport],” said Ahmad Al Haddabi,
chief operations officer, Abu Dhabi Airports, adding that Etihad Airways’ partner network played a big role in the rise.
Notably, aircraft movements reached 13,307, up 3.5 percent over February 2015.
BAC Committed
to Safety
QAIA Welcomes
Pegasus Airlines
Signing ceremony
A
B
ahrain Airport Company (BAC) hosted the
Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Excellence Safety Review at Bahrain
International Airport.
Recognising its commitment to the ACI
Airport Excellence in Safety Programme, BAC
signed a declaration of commitment and collaboration with the global entity.
Mohamed Yousif Al-Binfalah, CEO, BAC,
praised the initiative, the efforts of the safety
review team members and all airport staff and
partners involved in adhering to the best practices in their respective areas who consequently
help BAC further its mission of sustaining the
hub’s reputation as an efficient and safe worldclass environment.
9 APRIL 2016
Abu Dhabi International Airport
Abu Dhabi Airports registered an 8.7 percent year-on-year surge in figures at Abu Dhabi
International Airport in February, with 1.86 million people having travelled through the hub.
irport International Group (AIG) celebrated the landing of the first
Pegasus Airlines flight at Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA).
The arrival of the Turkish carrier corresponds with AIG’s ongoing efforts to expand its network and develop route incentive schemes that encourage
airlines to operate through the Jordanian hub.
As Kjeld Binger, CEO, AIG, pinpointed, the company’s endeavours support the
Kingdom’s national tourism strategy objectives.
The low-cost carrier operates three weekly services between Amman and
Esenboğa International Airport in Ankara.
13
WEEKLY NEWS INTERNATIONAL
Riu Plaza New York Times
Square Opens
Starwood: First US Hotelier to
Return to Cuba
R
Shangri-La’s Hotel Jen Signed
for Kuala Lumpur
14
K
Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort
S
ecluded on a private island in the Quirimbas
Archipelago off the coast of Mozambique, Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort reopened following
extensive refurbishment.
The 12-villa, adults-only African hideaway now features refreshed décor, luxury accommodation upgrades
and new signature experiences, including a Robinson
Crusoe-style star bed.
Adding to the wide range of ocean experiences, the resort’s new dhow sailing boat lesson offers couples a 90-minute experience on the waters of the Indian Ocean.
The resort aims to become the first African island resort
to use 100 percent solar energy.
uala Lumpur will welcome its first Hotel Jen in
2019, following a deal between Shangri-La International Hotel Management and Concorde Arch.
Located close to the city’s landmark Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower, the property is the brand’s second venture
in the country, following Hotel Jen Kota Kinabalu in Borneo.
“The announcement of Hotel Jen Kuala Lumpur reinforces our interest and expansion in Malaysia, in the country’s capital city, where we will now increase the group’s
presence with our third hotel and newest brand Hotel Jen,”
said Greg Dogan, president, Shangri-La International Hotel
Management.
Hotel Jen is promoted as fresh, friendly and fuss-free.
Hotel Jen Kuala Lumpur rendering
Anantara Medjumbe
Re-emerges
IU Hotels & Resorts inaugurated Riu Plaza
New York Times Square, its first property in
the metropolis.
Located in the heart of Manhattan, the newlyconstructed USD310 million hotel spreads over 29
floors and features 647 rooms, a restaurant, bar
and two conference rooms, among more.
“This opening is a dream coming true. It took
us nearly 10 years to find the most appropriate
opportunity to invest in the right location in New
York, in addition to the three years it took to prepare and build the hotel,” enthused Luis Riu, CEO,
RIU Hotels & Resorts.
Riu Plaza New York Times Square
Hotel Inglaterra
S
tarwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide penned three
new deals in Cuba, becoming the first US-based hotelier to enter the market in almost 60 years.
The Luxury Collection will welcome Havana’s iconic Hotel
Inglaterra, as well as Hotel Santa Isabel, while Hotel Quinta Avenida will re-emerge flying the Four Points by Sheraton flag.
“With Cuba’s rich history, natural beauty and strong
culture, there is no question the entire US hospitality industry has watched Cuba with great interest, and we are
thrilled to lead the charge and bring our sophisticated,
high-end brands into the market at this inflection point,”
enthused Thomas Mangas, CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Worldwide.
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
9 APRIL 2016
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
RENDEZVOUS
some allowing direct access to the sea,
others with jaw dropping tree-top vistas of the jungle and beach.
Q & A with
TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: What makes
the hotel an eco resort?
TOMAS ANDERSEN
GENERAL MANAGER, BUNGA RAYA ISLAND RESORT & SPA AND
GAYANA ECO RESORT
TUCKED AWAY ON A TRANQUIL AND HIDDEN
BAY, MAXIMUM PRIVACY IS GUARANTEED
JUST OFF THE COAST OF BORNEO, PERFECT
FOR GUESTS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST, AS
TOMAS ANDERSEN, GENERAL MANAGER,
BUNGA RAYA ISLAND RESORT & SPA AND
GAYANA ECO RESORT, EXPLAINS.
TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: Please tell us about the properties’ unique location.
TOMAS ANDERSEN: We are located on Gaya Island, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, in
a mass of jungle, fringed by mangroves and skirted by coral reefs. On this virtually uninhabited island, we manage two private five-star resorts offering luxurious villas on the tropical hillside and perched on stilts over the clear waters of
the South China Sea. Handcrafted by local tradesmen, reflecting the traditional
simplicity of the Borneo architectural style, accommodation ranges from one- to
three-bedroom villas, 65 to 153m2 in size; all with private balconies or terrace,
9 APRIL 2016
TOMAS ANDERSEN: More than just
using sustainable construction techniques and promoting environmentally-friendly best practises, we play an
active role in the preservation
of our marine environment.
Gayana Eco Resort on Gaya Island is the only one of its kind
in Borneo and is considered
to be a pioneer in the field of
environmental protection. Its
outstanding facilities include
the Marine Ecology Research
Centre, which, among other
things, is concerned with cultivating coral, giant clams and
endangered fish species from
the waters around Borneo.
We offer complete learning experiences for adults and
children alike, including the
opportunity to become a marine biologist for a day, working alongside the professionals
[…].
Since the opening of the
Marine Ecology Research Centre in 2007, we have successfully cultivated 500 giant clams of seven different species and 8,000 coral fragments
in our ocean nursery through our inhouse guest participation programme.
[…]
TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: What percentage of your guests originate
from the Middle East?
TOMAS ANDERSEN: Before undertaking any public relations activities in the
Middle East, we did not have any guests
from the region. In 2015, about five percent of our guests were from the region,
both locals and expatriates. We attended
Arabian Travel Market for the first time
in 2015 and were overwhelmed by the
interest. We then decided to extend our
public relations activities into sales, appointing a local agent to support the
hotels and we [welcomed] our first travel
agent familiarisation visit this April. […]
We have had guests [from the Middle East] in most of the room types, but
the two-bedroom villas are popular for
those coming with their families. This
gives them both space and privacy, as
they generally like to relax on the island
rather than undertaking any excursions.
TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: What activities can they undertake on the
island?
TOMAS ANDERSEN: We are in the heart
of the jungle, so there is no escape from
getting up close and personal with the
local wildlife on occasions. We have a
Gayana Eco Resort
tree-top experience and jungle walk,
and then there are the water-based activities. Guests can snorkel the house
reef with an underwater camera or take
a kayak trip into the mangroves, explore
mudskippers and hermit crabs or trek
into the dense jungle bursting with butterflies, birds, cicadas and endless flora.
The resort also houses a dive centre certified by the Professional Association of
Diving Instructors […].
TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: What are
your plans for the coming months
regarding the Middle East?
TOMAS ANDERSEN: We welcomed our
first media group from Dubai to the resorts in late 2015, and [hosted] travel
agents from the region. We are also
planning personal sales calls in the region and will continue working closely
with the Malaysian tourism offices to
promote the destination. Guests from
the region tend to book at the last minute, so we will be launching some promotional packages for school holiday
periods, the Eid [break] and the summer
to tap into this market.
15
WEEKLY NEWS INTERNATIONAL
ONYX Expands Presence
in Hong Kong
Best Western Grows
in Malaysia
A
ccommodation establishments remain the most important source of sustenance for online travel agencies in the
US, according to Phocuswright.
The total market is projected to grow six percent this year,
reaching USD361 billion, thus, lodging continues to be the leading driver of development as hotels enjoy record average daily
rates driven by high demand. This has helped accommodation
surpass air in 2015 to become the US travel market’s largest
segment.
In 2015, 45 percent of bookings were made online in the
country, slightly under the 47 percent rate reported from Europe.
By 2017, online and offline channels will surge at the same rate,
as the US online travel market hits USD171 billion.
16
Hong Kong
NYX Hospitality Group entered into a new management
agreement for a project in Hong Kong, paving the way for
the company’s first Mosaic Collection property in the city.
Slated to open in the last quarter of the year, the 24-storey 61room Hotel 108 is located at 108 Soy Street Mongkok in the heart
of the Kowloon Peninsula, surrounded by a variety of dining and
entertainment options.
“ONYX continues to spread its footprint beyond its established
Thai roots and is committed to being a leading hospitality provider in the region. Hotel 108 is not only a key milestone for our
ongoing growth, but also an expansion of our portfolio offering
to visitors staying in Hong Kong,” said Simon Dell, vice president,
North Asia, ONYX Hospitality Group.
Adelaide Convention Centre
Boosts Engagement
A
delaide Convention Centre launched Australia’s largest
Google Virtual Tour, becoming the country’s first conferment facility to adopt the technology across the entire
building to assist clients in their event planning process.
The tool incorporates 316 panoramic photos, built from 3,792
separate images of the centre and showcases all 15,000m2 of the
interior over three levels, including external views of the North Terrace and the Riverbank precinct.
Visitors can also inspect the venue’s proximity to major hotels,
shopping areas as well as BioMed City, a health research unit.
As Alec Gilbert, CEO, Adelaide Convention Centre, noted, the
360-degree navigation technology allows complete control of the
viewer experience.
Adelaide Convention Centre
US Hotel Demand Outgrows
Supply
O
BEST WESTERN PLUS Kuching
B
est Western Hotels & Resorts is further enhancing its portfolio in Malaysia with its first project in Kuching.
Scheduled to welcome its first guests
in 2018, BEST WESTERN PLUS Kuching will
feature 200 rooms and suites, a restaurant,
swimming pool and event space.
Speaking about the new midscale hotel,
Olivier Berrivin, managing director, international operations, Asia, Best Western Hotels &
Resorts, noted that Kuching has now established a firm presence on the map for both
leisure and business travel.
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
9 APRIL 2016
RENDEZVOUS
Q & A with
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
SIMON CASSON
service.
Far before they check in, guests
are keen to discover everything they
can about us online. This way, our social media accounts help us create anticipation and convey the true spirit of
[Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah
Beach, of which I am the general manager], through glimpses of our beautiful property. In many cases, guests also
use these channels to communicate to
us any special or urgent requests that
need our attention and we are always
excited to share relevant updates such
as offers on spa treatments and dining
as well as events. In the past, we have
also invited social media celebrities and
influencers to contribute to our social
media stories – a step that was received
quite well by our fans and followers.
And of course, it is always nice to learn
more about the aspects of our property
and services that guests are enjoying
during their stay with us – through the
lovely imagery they capture and share
online.
TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: What are the
main benefits and risks of these social media channels?
SIMON CASSON: Social media is realtime engagement, so we waste no
energy in analysing the good and the
bad. We know it is here to stay so we
embrace it and do our best to leverage it positively. Naturally, opinions
can be subjective and a dissatisfied client may at times exaggeratedly misuse
the power of social media, but people
are now smarter in their approach and
tend to evaluate comments more critically than before. Moreover, we look at
social media as an opportunity to break
down the previously-existing barriers
in communication and if applicable,
rectify, or respond to feedback almost
immediately.
TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: How do you
think social media will transform the
industry over the coming years?
SIMON CASSON: I do not think it will
transform it. Fundamentally, our business is experiential in nature and thrives
on real human-to-human interactions
which cannot be replicated in the digital space. However, owing to the range
of customer insights it can offer, social
media will remain an important tool for
us, contributing to the growth of our
brand in general and ultimately helping our bottom line – as we continue to
welcome feedback on the experiences
we create for our guests.
REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT, FOUR SEASONS HOTELS AND RESORTS
SOCIAL MEDIA HAS NOT ONLY
TRANSFORMED THE WAY PEOPLE
COMMUNICATE BUT ALSO THE WAY
BUSINESSES REACH OUT TO EXISTING
AND POTENTIAL CLIENTS, ACCORDING
TO SIMON CASSON, REGIONAL VICE
PRESIDENT, FOUR SEASONS HOTELS
AND RESORTS.
TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: What makes social media an essential tool for
hoteliers?
SIMON CASSON: Social media has completely changed the way we communicate with each other as individuals and how businesses reach out to their customers. Having a presence on social media is no longer optional but a requisite
for continued growth. As a brand that has always placed the greatest emphasis on guest experience, engaging actively with new and potential customers
online, social media for Four Seasons is a natural extension of our legendary
9 APRIL 2016
17
DIRECTOR OF
SALES AND
MARKETING, THE
SUN SIYAM IRU
FUSHI, MALDIVES
EVGENIA BOYANKOVA
“We are honoured and humbled to be recognised [at the
Food & Travel GCC Tourism
Awards] as the best four-star
hotel among all the GCC properties. The award is a confirmation that we are fulfilling our
promise to our stakeholders
and at the same time, an inspiration to further improve and
innovate.”
CHAIRMAN,
ACTION HOTELS
Our resort […] will be
hosting the film festival
“We are excited to be launching Following the Equator,
the first international tourism
film festival in the Maldives,
which will be held at The Sun
Siyam Iru Fushi between July
10 – 12. […] Our resort […]
will be hosting the film festival with a VIP grand opening,
concert, art exhibitions, yoga
and pilates master classes
and a grape and food academy, in addition to a film
competition […]. We will be
sharing more details about
Following the Equator with
our tour operator partners,
with special rates and promotions planned for July.”
CHAIRMAN,
OMAN AIR
SHEIKH MUBARAK AL-SABAH
GENERAL
MANAGER,
SWISS-BELHOTEL
SEEF, BAHRAIN
[It] is a confirmation
that we are fulfilling
our promise
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
DARWISH BIN ISMAIL BIN ALI AL BALUSHI
HERVE PEYRE
TRAVEL TALK
The opening […] is
a big step towards
achieving our goal
“We are very excited about
the opening of our first hotel in Brisbane. [ibis Styles
Brisbane Elizabeth Street]
is a high-quality three-star
hotel and is well located for
both business and pleasure
customers which will drive
occupancy from day one. The
opening of this, our largest
hotel, is a big step towards
achieving our goal of 5,000
rooms by 2020.”
Oman Air remains on
track to achieve its
stated aim
“The level of support provided to Oman Air by the government was reduced in 2015
to OMR54 million (USD140
million). Furthermore, our increased revenues, continued
expansion and lower financial loss have meant that we
are able to request a further
reduction in the level of financial support for the coming year. Oman Air remains
on track to achieve its stated
aim of reaching an operational break-even point by the
end of 2017.”
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
[email protected]
18
9 APRIL 2016
PUNEET DHAWAN
WHO’S MOVED
ROGIER HURKMANS has
been appointed opening
general manager at Wyndham Dubai Marina.
A hospitality veteran with
over two decades of experience, Hurkmans brings a
wealth of expertise and valuable know-how to Wyndham
Hotels & Resorts’ first UAE
property.
Having served a number of
reputable hotel chains, he
was involved in various preopenings and launches.
In his new role, Hurkmans
will oversee the management
team, set strategic plans to
meet budget goals and exceed revenue targets, ensure
maximum guest satisfaction
and support the staff to deliver first-class standards at
the property.
GEORGES EL KHOURY
ROGIER HURKMANS
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
GEORGES EL KHOURY has
joined Yas Island Rotana and
Centro Yas Island in Abu Dhabi
as director of business development.
El Khoury’s 11-year career with
prestigious hotels in Lebanon,
Kuwait and Oman has provided him with a wealth of knowledge in the hospitality industry, which will now be utilised
to support the advancement
of both properties’ position in
the market.
In his new capacity, he will oversee and lead the sales team
of both establishments with a
particular emphasis on the implementation of new strategies.
Prior to moving to the UAE
capital, El Khoury served as
director of sales and marketing at Salalah Marriott Resort
in Oman.
PUNEET DHAWAN has been
named vice president of operations, economy and midscale
properties, for the Gulf and
Levant regions at AccorHotels
Middle East.
Dhawan brings with him a
wealth of experience gained
while working for the hotelier
in Asia Pacific, in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam
and India.
Having accumulated considerable international management expertise, Dhawan now
joins the expanding Middle East
team where he will be instrumental in further strengthening the economy and midscale
operations. He will look after
more than 30 hotels with over
7,500 rooms. In addition, he will
be also in charge of 2,500 new
units that will be launched over
the coming years.
Dhawan brings with him
a wealth of experience
9 APRIL 2016
19
TRAVEL TALK
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
CHIEF OPERATING
OFFICER,
CITYMAX HOTELS
We will embark on an
aggressive marketing
campaign
“In line with the new brand
identity, our key objective is
to raise inbound tourism by
20 percent this year. We will
embark on an aggressive marketing campaign which will
promote Ajman as a tourism
destination in select international markets. We will continue supporting our feeder
market which is the GCC and
will tap potential international
markets such as India […].
With our diverse offerings, we
can target a large number of
visiting friends and relatives
travellers […] as well as middle-income families.”
PRESIDENT,
MIDDLE EAST
AND AFRICA,
MARRIOTT
INTERNATIONAL
RUSSEL SHARPE
“This [year was] the first participation for City Centre Rotana
Doha at Earth Hour, which
[came] out of our eagerness
to interact with the global
community to curb excessive
consumption of energy and to
send a message to tackle global warming and environmental
problems in the world. At Oryx
Rotana, we are keen to participate annually in this global
event to send a message about
environmental issues and create awareness that lead to actions in order to preserve the
environment and to reflect the
interest of the management in
increasing attentiveness of climate variables.”
Citymax aims to be a
hospitality innovator
ALEX KYRIAKIDIS
GENERAL
MANAGER, AJMAN
TOURISM
DEVELOPMENT
DEPARTMENT
FAISAL AL NUAIMI
CLUSTER DIRECTOR,
MARKETING AND
COMMUNICATIONS,
ORYX ROTANA DOHA
AND CITY CENTRE
ROTANA DOHA
LANA JWAINAT
We are keen to [...]
create awareness
“Citymax aims to be a hospitality innovator and create
exceptional experiences for
each and every guest who
passes through our properties. It is our vision that each
of our Citymax delighters
demonstrates ‘go beyond’
[employee engagement initiative] behaviour to consistently delight our guests and
our teams. Our aim is to turn
our guests into our ambassadors and our fans. Asking for
more loyalty, starts with giving more loyalty. Together we
have the potential to build a
brand that becomes a benchmark and source of inspiration for many.”
We are committed to
[...] craft new travel
experiences
“Dubai is a natural choice for
the Cultural Game Changers
[forum]. If you look at the vibrancy and the multicultural
scene and the energy in the
art, film, media and fashion
world, it is extremely creative. It is changing the game,
which is what Dubai does.
We are committed to evolving our brands to meet the
expectations of our millennial guests, and the ideas
shared among these leading
influencers at Cultural Game
Changers are a great inspiration to us as we craft new
travel experiences.”
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
[email protected]
20
9 APRIL 2016
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
AGENT CORNER
AGENT’S INSIGHT
When and how did you get involved
in the tourism industry?
I have been in the tourism industry for
more than 20 years and for the past five
years I have been operating my own
destination management company. We
have offices in Mauritius, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines.
We specialise in tours all over India, and
offer international holiday packages,
cruises, events, destination weddings
and film shootings. Besides tourism, we
are international line producers assisting film production. Due to our contact
with all international tourism boards,
we can also assist film producers with
subsidized rates on accommodations
and logistics to any international destination. We also have special Bollywoodrelated tours in Mumbai.
What are the most important attributes of a good tour operator?
We give our clients the holiday experience of a lifetime. That is our mission as
well as our vision.
What is the most frequently asked
question that your company receives
from customers?
As we have offices in six countries and
do worldwide holidays and cruises, our
clients ask us to suggest options based
on their budget. For film shoots our clients mostly ask for the destination that
can give them the best incentive and
that have the best locations. For destination weddings, the venues in hotels
for different ceremonies is always the
prime concern.
Which destination is on your bucket
list?
I want to focus more on niche and unexplored destinations and also promote
very strongly Myanmar and Cambodia.
For film shoots we want to promote
countries in Africa like Rwanda, Namibia, Kenya, South Africa as they too
have started giving incentives. For destination weddings we want to strongly
focus in Mauritius and Thailand.
9 APRIL 2016
Terence Cardoz
NAME:
POSITION: Managing director
COMPANY: Divine Holiday Management
LOCATION:
India
WEBSITE:
www.divinehm.com
Carriers Take Over OTAs
A
irline websites have achieved major gains over online travel agencies (OTAs) in the last few years and
now account for about three quarters of online
bookings, according to Phocuswright’s US Airlines: At Cruising Altitude report.
According to the study, online air bookings – including
desktop, mobile, direct and intermediated – continue to
grow slightly faster than air overall.
“While it appeared that airlines’ website growth was
unstoppable, they actually have maxed out their online direct booking gains for the time being,” elaborated Maggie
Rauch, senior research analyst, Phocuswright. “Airlines have
optimised their advantage selling ancillaries [...], and now it
is the OTAs' turn to grow airline revenue based on new merchandising capabilities.”
21
TRAVEL CHANNELS
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
IATA BACKS WILDLIFE
INITIATIVE
ELAF HOSTS
MOROCCAN FOOD
FESTIVAL
O
n behalf of the aviation industry, the International Air Transport Association
(IATA) signed a declaration aimed at reducing the illegal trafficking of wildlife
and underlining the sector’s commitment to sustainability.
The United for Wildlife initiative, created by the Royal Foundation of The
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, invited representatives of
the transport industry to Buckingham Palace in London to pledge their support. IATA, along
with several other key industry influencers signed commitments for raising awareness of
the trafficking issue among passengers, and training staff to recognise and report suspicious packages and behaviour.
“[The declaration] marks a step forward for environmental protection – a commitment
that we take very seriously.” said Tony Tyler, director general, IATA. “We will collaborate in
support of government enforcement authorities to put an end to this evil trade.”
The inauguration of the event
E
laf Group organised Moroccan Food Festival at
Elaf Jeddah Hotel with celebrity chefs from the
North African country joining the property’s
kitchen team to serve a gastronomic feast of authentic and distinctive dishes to guests.
As Abdullah Bakri, vice president, hotels, Elaf Group,
explained, the happening was in line with the company’s
strategy to offer unforgettable dining experiences and exemplary services while promoting international cuisines.
“The event [highlighted] the rich diversity of exotic
Moroccan cuisine which is fast gaining popularity among
citizens and tourists of Saudi Arabia. We have planned to
make food festivals integral part of our annual events with
an aim to bring tastes and flavours from various regions of
the world to the table of our guests,” he added.
CENTRO SHARJAH GOES DARK
FOR EARTH HOUR
D
emonstrating its commitment to environmental protection, Centro Sharjah participated in Earth Hour for the fourth consecutive year.
In support of the Worldwide Wildlife Fund for Nature initiative, the hotel went
dark in back-of-the-house areas and also dimmed the lights in public spaces, restaurants as well as on the exterior, and guests were also encouraged to join the
programme.
“Centro Sharjah will remain devoted and committed in pursuing initiatives that alleviate
the effects of climate change, not only through Earth Hour but also through other environmental corporate social responsibility activities like tree planting, green project implementation, and use of recycled products to name a few,” said Michael Kasch, general manager,
Centro Sharjah.
R
RAMADA AJMAN EMBARKS
ON WATER EFFICIENCY
SCHEME
amada Hotel & Suites Ajman unveiled an allnew reverse osmosis plant which is set to reduce the establishment’s water waste by 60
percent leading to annual savings of approximately AED290,000 (USD79,000).
The property’s daily water supply currently stands at
67,000 gallons, of which, 17,000 gallons go to waste due
to high level of total dissolved solid (TDS). Through the
new project, approximately 10,000 gallons will be filtered
and treated to bring down the TDS level and make the water suitable for use in the hotel’s gardens and urban farm.
Iftikhar Hamdani, general manager, Ramada Hotel
& Suites Ajman, commented, “Apart from the monetary
benefit, this initiative entails impact on the precious use
of water.”
Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman‘s Reverse Osmosis plant
22
9 APRIL 2016
PHOTO ALBUM
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
Emirates SkyCargo flew Dubai World Cup winner,
California Chrome, home to the US
Abu Dhabi International Airport and Etihad Airways welcomed the
one millionth passenger at the airport's US preclearance facility
Take
a Shot!
Share with us the latest images of your
activities and let your colleagues know
what you have been up to.
Mall of the Emirates in Dubai launched
its Spring-Summer fashion campaign,
SHINE
Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman and Ramada
Beach Hotel Ajman celebrated Earth Hour
9 APRIL 2016
Send your photos to
[email protected]
Because a picture is worth a thousand
words...
English pop star Tulisa Contostavlos
bonded with animals at Emirates Park Zoo
and Resort
Two employees from Park Inn Muscat received the
professional barista certification from Fling Bar Service
23
NEWS & EVENTS
ibtm arabia
Delivers
Maximum ROI
H
aving delivered maximum return on investment (ROI) to buyers and exhibitors, this year‘s
ibtm arabia proved to be a
success.
The event format featured a combination of networking programmes, a
one-to-one buyer-to-exhibitor ratio and
a mutual match appointment system.
“Each year we strive to provide a
platform for the meetings industry in the
Middle East to connect with the world,
whilst also creating a personalised experience for every hosted buyer and exhibitor who walks through the door so
that the event is 100 percent valuable to
everyone. This is what makes ibtm arabia
stand out from other events,” commented on the event that was held at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi, Shinu
Pillai, exhibition manager, ibtm arabia.
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
EVENTS
RIYADH TRAVEL FAIR
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
April 12 – 15
www.riyadhtravel.net
Attracting leading travel and
tourism companies from Saudi
Arabia and the GCC, the event is
a platform for introducing new
tourist products and services, and
making investments.
BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL
AIRPORT DEVELOPMENT
FORUM
Muharraq, Bahrain
April 13 – 14
bahrainairportforum.com
A business platform for the
global airport fraternity to meet
senior decision-makers from
Bahrain Airport Company and
Bahrain International Airport
to ensure a market share in the
hub’s development project.
FITUR: A Hit
on Social
Media
IMEX
T
he latest instalment of FITUR exhibition achieved
its best results in the digital
domain on social media,
having garnered 62 million users
who shared content through the
official #FITUR2016 hashtag during
the five days of the event.
A growing audience prompted
the Spanish trade show, together
with HEY AV agency, which is
responsible for FITUR’s digital
strategy, to launch a survey of
travel trends and consumer habits
through the Are you a 3.0 tourist?
application.
Among the findings was that
48.8 percent of FITUR followers
search for trips through travel
blogs and 36.1 percent use downloadable travel guide apps to help
get by on holidays.
24
Frankfurt, Germany
April 19 – 21
www.imex-frankfurt.com
A landmark exhibition for
professionals working in the
MICE industry where global
decision-makers meet with
3,500 suppliers for three days of
business.
ARABIAN TRAVEL MARKET
Dubai, UAE
April 25 – 28
www.arabiantravelmarket.com
A major event where global
tourism destinations showcase a
diverse range of accommodation
options, tourism attractions,
travel technology and airline
routes.
9 APRIL 2016

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