DUSIT TO DEBUT IN SAUDI ARABIA AND QATAR

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DUSIT TO DEBUT IN SAUDI ARABIA AND QATAR
25 APRIL 2015
ISSUE 285
NAKHEEL REVEALS NEW
MEGA PROJECTS
AFTER MORE THAN A DECADE OF OPERATING HOTELS IN
THE MIDDLE EAST, DUSIT INTERNATIONAL ENTERED INTO A
COOPERATIVE VENTURE WITH DYAR HOTELS AND RESORTS
TO DEVELOP PROJECTS IN SAUDI ARABIA AND QATAR.
08
ROTANA MAKES ITS FORAY
INTO NIGERIA
09
IN THIS ISSUE
MARKET UPDATE
02
PERFORMANCE
04
ACCOMMODATION
09
AIR
14
RENDEZVOUS
17
INTERNATIONAL
18
AGENT CORNER
19
TRAVEL TALK
20
TRAVEL CHANNELS
21
WHO’S MOVED
22
PHOTO ALBUM
23
NEWS & EVENTS
24
DUSIT TO DEBUT IN
SAUDI ARABIA AND QATAR
10
MARKET UPDATE
TRAVEL TRADE PUBLICATIONS
MANAGING EDITOR
Mary Kammitsi
[email protected]
ASSISTANT EDITOR
Maria Kazeli
SENIOR JOURNALIST
Rita Kasziba
Jazeera Airways Group: Record
Q4 Performance
Jazeera Airways Group registered record fourth quarter (Q4) results in 2014,
earning pre-transaction net profit of KWD3.8 million (USD12.6 million).
T
CONTRIBUTORS
Dominique Christou
Ana Mladenovic
PRESS
Maria Demetriadou
Pauline Shahabian
DESIGN & LAYOUT
Elena Stylianou
WEB DEVELOPER / IT
Soteris Constantinou
DIRECTORS
Andreas Constantinides
Mary Kammitsi
HEADQUARTERS
T.T.W. Travel Trade Weekly LTD
P.O. Box 25255, Nicosia 1308 Cyprus
Tel: +357 22 021607, Fax: +357 22 103670
WEBSITE
www.traveltradeweekly.travel
EMAILS
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
his marks an increase of 47 percent
on the same period in 2013.
The company’s full-year revenue
totalled KWD68.8 million (USD228.7
million), up 4.9 percent year-on-year,
with pre-transaction net profit rising 4.4 percent to KWD17.4 million (USD57.8 million).
The group’s cash position will soon be further enhanced through the sale of 15 Airbus
A320s for USD507 million, as part of a strategic
move to exit the aircraft leasing business and
focus on Jazeera Airways, which has historically generated 80 percent of the company’s
net profit.
Oman Air Development Plan Pays Off
Oman Air reported a revenue of OMR398 million (USD1.03 billion) for 2014, up
four percent year-on-year, reducing its losses by four percent to around OMR96
million (USD249 million).
MENA EXCHANGE RATES
As of 24/4/2015
Currencies shown in blue
are fixed against the US
Dollar
2
COUNTRY
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
98.25
Egypt (EGP)
Pound
7.62
Iran (IRR)
Rial
28,336.43
Iraq (IQD)
Dinar
1,156.39
Kuwait (KWD)
Dinar
0.30
Lebanon (LBP)
Pound
1,496.55
Libya (LYD)
Dinar
1.36
Morocco (MAD)
Dirham
9.92
Syria (SYP)
Pound
188.93
Tunisia (TND)
Dinar
1.94
Yemen (YER)
Rial
214.89
D
uring the year, the airline carried 5.1 million passengers.
Capacity rose to 15.2 billion available seat kilometres,
with an average load factor of 74.4 percent.
As H.E. Darwish Bin Ismail Al Balushi, chairman, Oman
Air, pinpointed, the carrier is guided by a development
plan endorsed in 2013.
“This has seen our company invest significantly in new narrowbody and widebody aircraft, new destinations, technology and staff.
The size of our fleet is expected to increase [...] to 50 aircraft by 2018,
with a further increase to 70 aircraft being achieved by 2020,” said Al
Balushi.
25 APRIL 2015
TECHNOLOGY WEEKLY NEWS
Destinia Sets Up New Website and App
O
nline travel agency, Destinia.com has launched a revamped website featuring fully integrated search tools and a completely responsive design,
adaptable to all devices. The company has also introduced a new mobile
app, allowing travellers to easily rent vehicles and manage their bookings.
The new platforms provide a personalised user experience by detecting
customers’ language preferences and currency, and choosing trending topics.
“Adapting to the preferences of each market, and offering interesting recommendations for them is a key element in our service,” reinforced Amuda
Goueli, CEO, Destinia.com, adding that the company sees a responsive website as an obligation rather than an option.
Virry Application
Launched at
Al Ain Zoo
The signing of the memorandum
F
ountain Digital Labs has introduced Virry, an application designed for children
eager to explore the animal kingdom which offers hours of entertainment and learning via smart
technology.
Children with special needs in
the UAE are granted free access
to the newly-launched application as the company has recently
inked a memorandum of understanding with Zayed Higher Organization at a ceremony at Al Ain
Zoo, during the debut of the app.
Virry has been created in collaboration with child development researchers, and the resulting innovative ways of interacting
within the game aim to make
learning more effective.
25 APRIL 2015
3
WEEKLY NEWS HOTEL PERFORMANCE
Riyadh Hotel Performance Grows,
Jeddah Witnesses Slowdown
F
our- and five-star properties in Riyadh recorded an increase in performance levels
for the month of February compared to the
same period in 2014. A simultaneous rise in occupancy of 6.3 percentage points to 76.9 percent
and in average room rate (ARR) of 2.1 percent to
USD252.54 resulted in a double-digit 11.2 percent
growth in RevPAR.
However, the increase in total RevPAR was
partially weighed down by weak food and beverage revenues.
Conversely, hotels in Jeddah witnessed demand slowing down as occupancy declined by
1.7 percentage points to 77.6 percent and ARR
dropped by a marginal 0.3 percent to USD251.44.
As a consequence, RevPAR depreciated by 2.5 percent for the period, a trend which was also reflective
of year-to-date results. A similar decline witnessed
in other revenue streams such as conferencing and
food and beverage further dampened total RevPAR by three percent to USD309.07, forcing gross
operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) to
contract by 12.3 percent to USD127.77.
According to the latest data from HotStats,
Saudi Arabia presented a mixed picture
in February with dissimilar results in
Riyadh and Jeddah, whereas Manama
and Sharm El Sheikh did not perform as
expected either. On the other hand, Abu
Dhabi registered a pleasant surprise with
average room rates rising 27 percent.
Average Room Rates Surge in
Abu Dhabi
H
oteliers in Abu Dhabi were able to capitalise on
higher demand levels in February, as ARR increased by 27.1 percent to USD206.32, while occupancy levels grew 3.4 percentage points to 84 percent.
The significant rise in ARR helped RevPAR climb 32.5
percent, translating it to a double-digit improvement in
total RevPAR to USD26.36. The room rates boost, in addition to stronger food and beverage revenues, drove a major growth in bottom-line performance as GOPPAR surged
by 43.9 percent to USD132.91.
4
Mixed Results for Manama and
Sharm El Sheikh
B
ahrain capital city’s hotel market experienced downward pressures on RevPAR in
February as occupancy fell 7.3 percentage points to 54.2 percent and ARR remained
stagnant at USD185.56. The 11.6 percent decline in RevPAR impacted total RevPAR which
contracted by 3.6 percent, although to a lesser
degree due to increased food and beverage demand. As a result of lower top-line revenues, the
profitability of Manama hotels fell with GOPPAR
contracting by 4.9 percent to USD57.50.
After a strong period of growth achieved in
the previous months, hotels in Sharm El Sheikh
also reported a drop in RevPAR of four percent
to USD19.02 in February. Although ARR increased by 13.1 percent to USD37.49, it was not
sufficient enough to offset a nine percentage
point decline in occupancies to 50.7 percent
and subsequent reductions of food and beverage revenue. The softer overall revenue levels
impacted total RevPAR which contracted by 8.7
percent, resulting in GOPPAR levels falling to
USD3.65.
25 APRIL 2015
WEEKLY NEWS
UAE Tourism Credentials Promoted
in India
National Council for Tourism and Antiquities conducted a road show in India
to promote the UAE’s products and services, specially tailored to meet Indian
travellers’ needs.
H.
UAE delegation
25 APRIL 2015
E. Mohammed Khamis bin
Hareb Al Muhairi, director general, National Council for Tourism and Antiquities, deemed India to be
one of the major markets contributing to
the tourism industry’s growth worldwide,
and in the UAE in particular due to the geographical proximity and the ancient cultural ties between the two regions.
The initiative was organised under the
hashtag #VisitUAE, and the Emirati delegation visited three locations, namely New
Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
USD27.2 Million
Image Deal for Dubai
Parks and Resorts
D
ubai Parks and Resorts
inked an agreement
with image solutions
provider, Picsolve International
to create one of the world’s largest photography integrations at
Dubai’s upcoming tourist destination.
The deal, which is expected
to bring some AED100 million
(USD27.7 million) in revenues
over a five-year period, will see
the technology expert managing
a full-range of digital, video and
image capture solutions that will
allow guests to enjoy a seamless
photo record of their visit.
5
WEEKLY NEWS
KFIA Officially
Launches Cargo
Village
Sharjah Showcased in Saudi Arabia
K
I
Riyadh Travel Fair
n line with its strategy to highlight Sharjah’s tourism potential both within
and outside the region, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) participated in the recently concluded Riyadh Travel Fair.
The SCTDA delegation used the event to further consolidate the emirate’s position as a preferred destination for visitors from the Kingdom, which
represents a large share in annual visitor figures.
A host of prominent events organised in celebration of Sharjah’s Capital of Arab Tourism title were highlighted, along with the most anticipated
projects.
The authority also aimed to widen the horizons for joint cooperation and
attract more tourism opportunities from the Gulf market.
ing Fahd International Airport (KFIA) unveiled its
500,000m2 Cargo Village, a
facility designed to position KFIA
as a multimodal shipment and
clearance destination. The village
offers direct access to Saudi Arabia
and bypasses the need for cargo
to transship through neighbouring
countries.
Yousef Al-Dhahri, director general, KFIA said, “With our continued
partnership with Changi Airports International and their efforts, we are
on track to becoming one of the region’s leading aviation hubs serving
both passenger and cargo traffic.”
Ajman
Tourism Transport Operations to
Improve in Ajman
R
epresentatives of the Ajman Tourism Development
Department (ATDD) and Ajman Public Transport
Corporation (APTC) came together to discuss ways
of developing tourism transport services in the emirate.
During the meeting, Farooq Mukhtar, head of tracking
systems division, APTC, highlighted the organisation’s role
in registering tourism transport companies and providing them with permission to work in Ajman, in addition to
monitoring their activities in cooperation with ATDD.
Tourism transportation forms part of the second stage
of ATDD’s project on classification of tourism related sectors, which also focusses on travel agencies and tourist
restaurants.
6
25 APRIL 2015
WEEKLY NEWS
Dubai Metro’s Red Line Approved
Nakheel Reveals New Mega
Projects
Dubai Metro’s Red Line
N
H.
H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,
ruler of Dubai, has approved the Masar 2020
project which extends Dubai Metro’s Red Line
from Nakheel Harbour & Tower metro station to the site of
Expo 2020. Once completed, the new line will stretch over
15km with seven stations.
As Mattar Al Tayer, chairman, Roads and Transport Authority, noted, Masar 2020 will ensure smooth mobility.
“It stands out as a vital transit corridor linking various
Dubai districts with Al Maktoum International Airport, an
icon of a new important development phase in the history
of Dubai, and a symbol of sustainability, advancement and
creativity for current and future generations,” added Al Tayer.
akheel announced a range of new retail, residential
and leisure developments in Dubai’s Deira Islands,
Dragon Mart and Ibn Battuta Mall, with a combined
built-up area of over two million square metres.
The projects, which are set to further boost the destination’s shopping, living, business and tourism credentials, include a 604,000m2 residential, retail and hotel extension for
Dragon Mart with a 250-unit accommodation establishment;
a new 437,000m2 complex at Ibn Battuta Mall with a four-star,
370-key hotel, among others; and a 1.1 million square metres,
16-tower community at Deira Islands.
Nakheel developments
A
Yas Marina
Saudi Online Travel Sales Increase
in 2014
new report published by Euromonitor International for The
Hotel Show Saudi Arabia revealed that online travel sales in
Saudi Arabia grew by a record 40 percent in 2014 and are to
reach SAR6.5 billion (USD1.73 billion) this year, with the figure set
to double by 2019. The UAE ranked as the most popular destination
in 2014.
Saudi Arabia is third globally in terms of smartphone ownership
with a penetration rate of nearly 73 percent, and as a result mobile
sales for hotels experienced a 28 percent increase in 2014.
The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia will be held in Jeddah between
May 03 – 05.
8
25 APRIL 2015
ACCOMMODATION WEEKLY NEWS
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Rotana Makes its Foray into Nigeria
Rotana has signed its first property in Nigeria under the Centro brand.
L
ocated in an exclusive part of the country’s largest
city, Lagos, in close proximity to major landmarks and
business districts, the 200 plus-key hotel and serviced
apartments property will be launched in partnership with
Topwide Ventures.
Commenting on the introduction of Centro Lagos, Omer
Kaddouri, president, Rotana, said, “Despite being home to a
flourishing hospitality industry, Lagos has the highest average rates on hotel accommodation in Africa. Centro Lagos
fills this major gap in the industry and heralds a potential
paradigm shift in the city’s hospitality scene.”
Omer Kaddouri (left) and Annie Okonkwo, chairman, Topwide Ventures
Four Seasons Riyadh Delights
Business Commuters
W
eekly business commuters heading to the Saudi capital can
indulge in an even more rewarding stay at Four Seasons Hotel
Riyadh at Kingdom Centre with the property’s new executive
business package which includes luxurious accommodation in one of the
hotel’s 274 rooms and suites, and a slew of perks to maximise productivity
and efficiency.
“Convenience is key when travelling for business,” stressed Anthony Tyler,
general manager, Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre, reaffirming
the management’s commitment to meeting these travellers’ individual needs.
St. Regis Debuts in Turkey
S
tarwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has unveiled Turkey’s first St. Regis-branded property.
Nestled in the sophisticated Nişantaşı neighbourhood, The St. Regis Istanbul is surrounded by designer boutiques and art galleries. It sits atop
Maçka Park and boasts 118 guestrooms and suites.
Michael Wale, president, Europe, Africa and Middle East, Starwood Hotels
& Resorts Worldwide, described Turkey as a burgeoning destination for luxury
travellers and one of the key growth markets for the company.
To celebrate the hotel’s debut, St. Regis partnered with Hollywood star
John Malkovich, who wrote and directed A Postcard from Istanbul, an original
short film.
25 APRIL 2015
9
WEEKLY NEWS ACCOMMODATION
Swiss-Belhotel Takes Over
First Abu Dhabi Hotel
Tilal Liwa Hotel Eyes Growing Markets
S
10
Tilal Liwa Hotel
T
ilal Liwa Hotel’s management is determined to capture a fair share of the
region’s most lucrative markets at this
year’s Arabian Travel Market.
The property’s delegation will focus on
attracting clients from China, Russia, France,
Australia and Saudi Arabia, along with the
traditionally strong UK and German-speaking
markets.
The team of the UAE’s secluded hideaway
resort will target the weekend, leisure and
group segments, as Khaled Sharabassy, general manager, Tilal Liwa Hotel, revealed.
“This season, we have organised more adventure activities like stargazing, desert football, volleyball and other outdoor entertainment and sports activities in the desert,” added
Sharabassy.
wiss-Belhotel Corniche Abu Dhabi
has officially become Swiss-Belhotel
International’s first property in the
UAE capital.
Noel Massoud, vice president, operations and development, Middle East, SwissBelhotel International, commented that the
hotel enjoys an advantageous location given its proximity to the city centre and other
key sites in the capital.
“This hotel’s uniqueness lies in the spacious rooms and suites, and its location in
the heart of the city in close proximity to
Abu Dhabi attractions and the beach,” he
said.
The new property brings the group’s
portfolio in the Middle East to 11 hotels, following the most recent addition of SwissBelresort Ghantoot, Dubai in 2014.
25 APRIL 2015
ACCOMMODATION WEEKLY NEWS
DUSIT TO DEBUT IN SAUDI ARABIA AND QATAR
After more than a decade of operating hotels in the Middle
East, Dusit International entered into a cooperative venture
with a local partner in Saudi Arabia, Dyar Hotels and Resorts.
A
signing ceremony was held to formally establish a joint
hospitality management company.
The new entity is already off to a solid start, with three
hotel projects in the pipeline confirmed. One will be located in Jeddah under the Dusit Thani label, while the two
others, to be situated in Jeddah and Doha, will come under the chic
and contemporary dusitD2 brand.
A further five properties are currently under negotiation in the
Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina.
The launch of the collaboration
Wyndham Opts for
Sabre’s Reservations
Solution
W
yndham
Hotel
Group is to move
its central reservations systems to Sabre’s SynXis
solution.
The deal expands on a strategic property management
services agreement forged
in 2014, to migrate 4,500
Wyndham-branded properties to Sabre’s software-as-aservice management system,
SynXis Property Manager. The
first hotel to participate under
a successful pilot is Days Inn
Raleigh Downtown in North
Carolina, US.
“Wyndham Hotel Group’s
commitment to leveraging
the most advanced technology solutions from Sabre for
its franchisees will help drive
profitability and maximise
yield,” said Tom Klein, president, Sabre.
25 APRIL 2015
Central Hotels to
Showcase Centre
of Hospitality
C
entral Hotels is preparing
to promote its flagship First
Central Hotel Apartments at
the upcoming Arabian Travel Market
(ATM) in Dubai, and will also unveil
new projects including two new
properties in the Burj Khalifa district,
two on Palm Jumeirah, one in Palm
Deira and one in the TECOM area.
“With real estate development
at the core of our business, our
participation in this year’s ATM will
highlight First Central Hotel Apartments […] and will reveal upcoming projects that will cater to a mix
of travellers,” said Ahmad Abdulla Al
Ansaari, chairman, Central Hotels.
First Central Hotel Apartments
11
WEEKLY NEWS ACCOMMODATION
Coral Beach Resort Sharjah to Tap into
the Chinese Market
Mövenpick to Debut in
Dubai Media City in 2017
Coral Beach Resort Sharjah
M
12
L
ooking to capture a fair share of the burgeoning Chinese market, Coral Beach Resort Sharjah participated in the recentlyheld China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market in Beijing.
Jean Pierre Simon, regional general manager, Northern Emirates, Coral Hotels & Resorts, noted that as the Capital of Arab
Tourism for the current year, Sharjah generated increased interest
these months.
“During the past few years, the interest of Chinese and Asian
tourists in Sharjah and other parts of the UAE has been consistently growing [...]. It is important for us to tap this massive market,”
concluded Simon.
övenpick Hotels & Resorts has
revealed plans to open its first
property in Dubai Media City
in 2017.
Standing adjacent to the AED4.5 billion (USD1.23 billion) innovation hub announced by the government, Mövenpick
Hotel Dubai Media City will boast 251
units, four restaurants and lounges, a spa,
gym, swimming pool and a ballroom with
four meeting rooms.
As Andreas Mattmüller, chief operating
officer, Middle East and Asia, Mövenpick
Hotels & Resorts, noted, the cutting-edge
innovation project is set to significantly
expand the district’s appeal and the new
hotel, which will take the company’s Dubai
portfolio to eight properties, will be wellplaced to cater to the increased demand.
25 APRIL 2015
ACCOMMODATION WEEKLY NEWS
Park Inn by Radisson in Al Rigga to Open in May
C
arlson Rezidor Hotel Group is gearing up for the launch of Park Inn by Radisson Hotel Apartments Al Rigga in Dubai, scheduled to welcome its first guests this May. The mid-market property will offer 149 studios and apartments, two restaurants, a banquet hall, a health club and
an outdoor pool.
“Relaunched as a contemporary and compelling brand for young and youthful travellers, Park Inn
by Radisson is a great addition to the city’s hospitality market,” said Wolfgang Neumann, president,
The Rezidor Hotel Group, adding that the new property will allow the company to capture additional
guest segments like families.
DUKES Oceana
DUKES Collection to Debut in Dubai
L
uxury property developer and holding company,
Seven Tides has unveiled its latest upscale project, the five-star DUKES Oceana, Dubai hotel and
residences.
Set on Palm Jumeirah, the first international property for the DUKES Collection brand is scheduled for
delivery in the first quarter of 2016.
According to Abdulla bin Sulayem, CEO, Seven
Tides, the project will bring quintessential British
charm and style to the UAE.
The 273-room hotel will offer a private beach,
indoor pool and outdoor infinity pool plus state-ofthe-art gym, along with a number of restaurants. The
adjacent property will comprise 227 studio and onebedroom apartments.
25 APRIL 2015
13
WEEKLY NEWS AIR
Emirates Boosts Links to India and Bangladesh
Emirates has increased its operations to Dhaka, Bangladesh and
Kolkata, India to 21 and 23 weekly flights respectively.
T
he Dubai-based airline also added capacity on its Kolkata route by deploying a
Boeing 777-200 aircraft and offering first class cabins to passengers flying to the
Indian city.
As Ahmed Khoory, senior vice president, commercial operations, West Africa and
Indian Ocean, Emirates, noted, with the additional frequencies, travellers can enjoy
greater travel options and seamless connections to other routes on Emirates’ extensive
global network.
Qatar Airways Enhances S7
Partnership
Q
atar Airways has further strengthened its relationship with fellow oneworld member S7 Airline
with the implementation of additional codeshare
routes across its network.
The Qatari carrier first teamed up with the Russian airline in late 2014, providing passengers travelling from Doha
with seamless connections to various domestic destinations
served by S7 Airlines.
The expansion of the agreement will now enable the
Middle Eastern carrier’s customers to continue their journey
to more locations including Kaliningrad, Tomsk, Ufa and Volgograd, to name just a few.
14
25 APRIL 2015
AIR WEEKLY NEWS
Multan to Join Air Arabia
Network
Emirates: Second Daily
A380 Service to Zürich
flydubai Steps Up
African Operations
M
E
f
ultan is the next destination to be
added to Air Arabia’s fast-expanding
route map.
Starting May 1, the carrier will operate
four weekly flights to the Pakistani city from
Sharjah on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and
Sundays, bringing the number of locations
served by the airline in the country to six.
As Adel Ali, group CEO, Air Arabia, noted,
with a population of more than 180 million
and within just a few hours flight time from
the UAE, Pakistan has always been a promising
market for the company.
“We look forward to further investing in
increasing our reach in Pakistan by offering
more destinations and flights in the near future,” added Ali.
mirates announced a second daily Airbus A380 flight to Zürich, adding 945
seats a week on the route, 280 of which
will represent first and business class seats.
As of October 1, Emirates will upgrade
the current Boeing 777-300ER serving the
route, after the introduction of the first A380
in January 2014.
“We anticipate that adding a second
daily A380 to Zurich will not only enhance
the travel experience of our passengers, but
also stimulate trade and tourism between
Switzerland, the Middle East, Africa and
the Far East,” commented Hubert Frach, divisional senior vice president, commercial
operations, west, Emirates.
lydubai is increasing frequency on a
number of its African routes.
As part of its new summer schedule, the low-cost carrier now operates daily
services to the capital of South Sudan, Juba,
and three weekly flights to Bujumbura in
Burundi.
In response to high demand, Zanzibar
will be served four times a week, while Alexandria in Egypt will be linked to Dubai thrice
a day from June.
Launched in September 2009, Djibouti
was flydubai′s first destination in Africa and
today, the airline serves 12 points on the
continent. With the increased frequencies,
passengers will be able to take advantage of
78 Dubai – Africa flights per week.
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25 APRIL 2015
Zanzibar
15
WEEKLY NEWS AIR
Emirates SkyCargo
Launches Bali Service
Air Malta
to ServeLebanon
Oran Services
Emirates
Upgrades
E
mirates SkyCargo will soon add Bali
to its Asia Pacific operations, opening up a new trade lane between
the destination and its network of more
than 140 destinations.
Following the development, Emirates
SkyCargo will operate four daily flights to
Indonesia, offering 294 tonnes of capacity per week both ways.
Nabil Sultan, divisional senior vice
president, cargo, Emirates, commented,
“[This] opens up new opportunities for
businesses on the island as well as for
those across our network […]. Our hub,
Dubai, which is strategically located between east and west, enables us to offer
our customers in the Asia Pacific region
access to markets in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.”
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mirates is reinforcing its commitment to Lebanon by upgrading both of its
aircraft serving Beirut to an all Boeing 777 operation.
The airbus 330-200, which is currently deployed on one of the two daily services to the Lebanese capital, will be replaced by a larger Boeing 777-200LR
from June 1, translating into a 12 percent boost in capacity. This will be followed
by the second flight upgauge in January 2016 to a Boeing 777-300, resulting in a
53 percent increase in available seats.
Qatar Airways Expands Deal
with Asian Partners
Jetairfly Expands in Algeria
Q
16
Constantine
J
etairfly has commenced operations from Brussels South Charleroi Airport (BSCA) to Tlemcen
and Constantine in Algeria.
With this move, travellers can now fly to five Algerian cities from Charleroi, while the total number
of destinations available with the Belgian carrier from
the airport rose to 23.
“The excellent partnership that binds Jetairfly
and Charleroi means that we can offer our passengers a wide range of major destinations at very reasonable prices,” noted Jean-Jacques Cloquet, CEO,
BSCA, further adding that the hub offers now the second largest number of routes available with Jetairfly.
w. .
atar Airways further enriched its collaboration with Cathay Pacific Airways
and Japan Airlines, both being oneworld
members.
The extended deals offer new routes from Doha
to Muscat and São Paulo, as well as 24 domestic
codeshare itineraries with the Japanese carrier.
“Becoming a member of oneworld in October 2013 was a significant landmark in Qatar
Airways’ relatively young history [...]. The joining of this alliance, and the addition of these
new codeshares, enables our passengers to
avail of additional travel options, with ease,
across routes that encompass the entire globe,”
commented Akbar Al Baker, group CEO, Qatar
Airways.
25 APRIL 2015
RENDEZVOUS
TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: In your
opinion, what are travellers booking
a luxury holiday looking for? What
makes Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh
the ideal choice for these discerning
guests?
ANTHONY TYLER: Luxury travellers
these days are looking for experiences
that raise the emotional bar. Guests
today seek experiences over tangible
goods; a blissful spa visit or a one-of-akind gastronomical experience is more
important than the square footage of
a bathroom. Today’s luxury travellers
are also looking for a more intimate exploration of a destination’s culture and
people, and it has become increasingly
apparent that high-end travellers seek
out the hotels that can provide them
with memories that will last a lifetime.
To meet our guests’ expectations
of luxury at Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh, we strive to understand how our
guests spend their time, which allows
us to tailor our service approach to a
guest’s individual needs.
For business travellers this often
means helping them maximise their
time and effectiveness to achieve the
purpose of their trip through convenient, time-saving services such as our
one hour pressing service, 24-hour
room service, in-room technology that
is easy to use and house cars equipped
with wireless Internet access.
For our leisure guests, value is
about experiencing opportunities for
relaxation that are unique, customised,
authentic and unforgettable, delivered through thoughtful gestures and
seamless service. With four exquisite
dining options, a newly refurbished
men’s spa, a women-only floor The
Pearl and a spectacular new duplex
Kingdom Suite, the hotel is the ideal
environment for discerning consumers that seek discreet experiences of
luxury without compromise.
Q & A with
Anthony Tyler
GENERAL MANAGER,
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL RIYADH AT KINGDOM CENTRE
25 APRIL 2015
TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: As hotel
amenities in the region continue
to improve and become more and
more personalised, what is next for
the regional luxury travel market?
ANTHONY TYLER: As consumers continue to become more digitally savvy
and selective, hotel brands must find
ways to naturally insert themselves
into the digital habitat of the luxury
traveller by providing a virtual brand
experience that reflects their products
and services.
In the near future, many of the current room features considered luxury
in hotels will become standard, and
brands will seek in-room technological innovations to enhance the guest
experience and further differentiate
their offerings from their competition.
Alarm clocks that wake up guests by
increasing the light in a room, floors
with built-in sensors to light the way
for guests, televisions that work via
voice recognition and room doors that
can be unlocked via mobile phone
interface are all innovations that are
today being introduced around the
region.
WHEN IT COMES TO HOTELS, DISCERNING
TRAVELLERS EXPECT THE VERY BEST; THIS,
HOWEVER, MEANS FAR MORE THAN EXQUISITE
DECOR AND GOURMET DINING OPTIONS,
AS ANTHONY TYLER, GENERAL MANAGER,
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL RIYADH AT KINGDOM
CENTRE, EXPLAINS.
TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: How would
you describe a typical luxury traveller?
ANTHONY TYLER: Luxury travellers
nowadays have an insatiable curiosity for new experiences and value
technology, identity, design and adventure. They are looking for intrinsic
value and a deeper relationship with
the brands they choose to support and
with which they interact.
Travel for the luxury traveller is
about hands on, high-touch experiences, about growing, learning and
understanding the history of their destination. They want ultimate personalisation but simple, seamless service
delivery.
Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre
TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: The Middle East is already home to some of
the world’s most luxurious hotels.
Is there room for more establishments?
ANTHONY TYLER: Even in times of
political uncertainty, the economic
growth in the Middle East has remained steady. The region is considered an important gateway for
business and leisure tourism and is
emerging as a magnet for MICE and
large scale events.
In response to this growth, many
new projects are at various stages of
development.
In some markets there might be
short term imbalance between the offer and demand, but with ever growing
numbers of guests travelling to and
around the region, our industry is at
the heart of reinvigorating and reshaping the Middle East.
17
WEEKLY NEWS INTERNATIONAL
Carlson Rezidor Plans to
Exceed 170 Hotels
in India
-
BWI Introduces
Two Brand New
Products
B
Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi
C
arlson Rezidor Hotel Group aims to
strengthen its position in India by
boosting its presence in state capitals
and accelerating its growth in emerging cities, with particular focus on the southern and
western parts. The company is to enlarge its
India portfolio to over 170 hotels within the
next five years.
“We intend to have a hotel in every major city in India with landmark hotels in every
state capital,” said Raj Rana, CEO, South Asia,
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.
18
est Western International (BWI) launched
two new global hotel products – Vîb, an
urban boutique hotel concept, and the
BW Premier Collection, a soft brand targeting
upscale and luxury independent hotels.
“We believe that the stylish design of Vîb
combined with the concepts business model
and low cost to build will be very appealing
to developers and investors throughout Asia,”
said David Kong, president, BWI.
The first Vîb to be developed is a 148-room
new construction project in Seoul, South Korea.
Commenting on the BW Premier Collection, Kong said, “We think the unique pay-forperformance fee structure of the BW Premier
Collection will be very attractive to independent hoteliers.”
Swiss-Belhotel
Announces Georgian
Debut
S
wiss-Belhotel
International
penned a deal for the 182room Grand Swiss-Belhotel
Batumi, Georgia in partnership with
Azerbaijan-based ADO-G Group of
Companies. The hotel, which will open
in 2016, is to include a 1,300m2 casino.
Gavin Faull, president, SwissBelhotel International, said, “Grand
Swiss-Belhotel Batumi will be the
city's new address for luxury and entertainment. With a sky bar, specialty
restaurants and tastefully developed
rooms, it will provide this rapidly
changing coastal city on the Black
Sea with a unique and iconic 111m
high cubical structure.”
BWI's new Vib concept
25 APRIL 2015
AGENT CORNER
Agent’s Insight
NAME:
Milena Efremova
POSITION:
Managing director
COMPANY:
Atlantic Tour
LOCATION:
Bulgaria
WEBSITE:
www.atlantictour.bg
Saudi OTA Partners with Wego
Who are you?
Atlantic Tour is an inbound tour operator and destination management company
serving Bulgaria and Romania. We provide a full range of travel services in both
countries, from the most simple hotel bookings to tailor-made trips, escorted
tours, incentive programmes, event organising, guiding services and ground
transportation. Our clients come from Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, US, UK, Spain,
Portugal, Germany and other countries.
What is your favourite thing about working in the travel industry?
Our work is our hobby. We love what we do and therefore we do it with passion.
When is the best time to visit Bulgaria?
We have four seasons and each season offers a specific charm. However, the period between April and October is generally the most pleasant.
Where would you like to travel to for your next holiday?
Latin America.
Why should people come to you for travel advice?
At Atlantic Tour you will get a professional and comprehensive travel advice.
25 APRIL 2015
S
audi Arabia-based online travel agency (OTA), Almosafer has teamed up with meta-search website
and travel application provider, Wego to benefit from
a host of hotel deals and popular local payment options.
As Ross Veitch, CEO, Wego, noted, with the shift adoption of online travel planning and booking, the Kingdom has
established itself as one of the company’s fastest growing
markets.
Wego estimated the MENA online travel market’s total
value at around USD29 billion in 2014, with Saudi Arabia being the largest individual contributor to the amount.
19
TRAVEL TALK
It is important for public
and private sectors to
focus on specific areas
HUMAID AL
DHAHERI
Acting CEO, Abu Dhabi
National Exhibitions
Company (ADNEC)
“One of the key competitive
advantages of Abu Dhabi as a
meeting and event destination
is its strategic geographical positioning at the crossroads of
many fast-growing economies
in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Given this advantage, we
are able to continue attracting
international events [...]. We believe it is important for public
and private sectors to focus on
specific areas identified by the
Abu Dhabi Economic Vision of
2030 and align strategies towards achieving the defined
goals.”
Sharjah reflects the true
image of Arab tourism
MICHAEL
KASCH
General manager,
Centro Sharjah
We cannot wait […] to
continue the fan
engagement activities
PETER
BAUMGARTNER
Chief commercial
officer, Etihad
Airways
“The Pepsi Indian Premier
League is recognised as one of
the most exciting competitions
in world sport, with the Mumbai Indians [being] its biggest
team, so it is great news for Etihad Airways to be named as the
team’s joint airline partner and
principle sponsor alongside our
friends at Jet Airways. We cannot
wait […] to continue the fan engagement activities, particularly
in social media, which were so
popular in 2014.”
“Celebrated as the Cultural Capital of the UAE, Sharjah reflects
the true image of Arab tourism. A remarkable opportunity
for the industry is reinstated in
the emirate’s title as the Capital of Arab Tourism for the year.
Sharjah boasts authentic Arab
heritage, historical sites, golden
beaches and sunny weather all
year round. […] Such an accolade [recognises] the admirable
efforts taken by Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority to bring the
emirate global eminence. Sharjah will always be the epitome
of Arab Tourism [...].”
Technology and Internet
are key fundamentals
needs of business
travellers
RABIH
ZEIN
General manager, Park
Inn by Radisson Muscat
and Park Inn by
Radisson Hotel &
Residence Duqm
“These days, technology and
Internet are key fundamental
needs of business travellers. As
a hotel, of course we are present on social media platforms
which help us to engage with
our guests. We are now living
in the age of mobile web. We
are offering a free high-speed
Wi-Fi Internet throughout the
hotel, which is the basic and
fundamental need of a business
traveller. Our goal is to provide
the best service to our valuable
guests and meet their expectations.”
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
25 APRIL 2015
TRAVEL CHANNELS
Etihad Marks World Health Day
In celebration of the World Health Day, Etihad Airways hosted a health and wellness fair for more than
1,000 employees and their families.
O
rganised at the airline’s Abu
Dhabi headquarters, the event
aimed to raise health awareness while also providing education sessions and screening.
Participants enjoyed an array of activities
including live cooking demonstrations,
nutrition advice, full medical and dental
check-ups, safety demonstrations, screening services and weight, skin and hair
analysis.
As Nadia Bastaki, vice president, medical services, Etihad Airways, explained, the
company’s medical centre provides convenient and free-of-charge services to improve employees’ wellbeing.
Sharjah’s Heritage Village Enthralls Kids
Family Fun Health and Wellness Fair in Abu Dhabi
Lunar New Year Travel Adds to
Strong Air Traffic Growth
I
Children’s Heritage Village
M
ore than 4,000 young visitors joined the celebrations
during the first five days of the 13th edition of Sharjah
Heritage Days.
To appeal to the younger generations, a dedicated Children’s
Heritage Village was set up offering a plethora of activities, including various workshops. Bands from Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan performed interactive music and dance routines on
stage, while folk stories about Emirati traditions and culture were
presented in the Tales Camp to, as Abdul Aziz Al Musallam, chairman, Sharjah Heritage Institute, said, help kids connect with their
heritage.
25 APRIL 2015
nternational Air Transport Association (IATA)’s data for
February show a strengthening in demand growth
compared to the same month of 2014.
Total revenue passenger kilometres rose 6.2 percent
year-on-year, with the Lunar New Year holiday having a
positive effect of the results. In addition, February’s available seat kilometres (ASK) increased 5.6 percent while load
factor rose 0.5 percentage points to 78.5 percent.
As per IATA’s report, Middle Eastern carriers’ demand
climbed 8.7 percent and African airlines’ traffic fell two
percent, while ASK slipped 1.7 percent, resulting in a 0.2
percentage point dip in load factor to 63.5 percent, which
was the lowest for any region.
21
WHO’S MOVED
BASSEM
AL HAJJ
NEVINE
NOUR
22
Bassem Al Hajj has been appointed director of sales and
marketing at Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a Kuwait.
Al Hajj is no stranger to Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, having previously held various
positions within the company, including director of sales
and marketing at Mövenpick
Hotel & Resort Yanbu, and the
same role at the Mövenpick
Hotels & Resorts’ international sales office in charge of the
Northern Gulf countries.
All in all, he was more than 12
years of sales experience from
across the luxury hospitality
industry in the Middle East.
In Kuwait, Al Hajj will be responsible for the execution
of all of the hotel’s sales and
marketing strategies and activities, including events and
conferences.
Nevine Nour has taken on the
position of director of sales for
Amadeus Egypt.
Nour will be in charge of
managing and directing the
company’s sales in Egypt and
ensuring that Amadeus maintains its reputation in the market.
Having been in the travel industry for more than 15 years,
Nour has extensive expertise.
After gaining experience as an
account manager at Egypt's
British Airways offices between 1995 and 2006, she
joined Amadeus in 2010 as an
account manager and was later promoted to sales manager
in 2013.
Over the past years, Nour has
played a key role in building
customer relations in this important market and achieving high customer satisfaction.
CHRISTIAN
PALACIN
VINCENT
HOOGEWIJS
Christian Palacin continues as
the new general manager of
City Seasons Hotel Dubai.
Palacin holds a management
diploma from a French hotel
school and a master’s degree in
hospitality management from
Cornell University. Having held
various operational and managerial positions with renowned
international companies such
as Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Worldwide and Golden Tulip,
Palacin has over 20 years of experience. He played a vital role
in a number of large renovation
projects and hotel openings.
This is Palacin’s second stint
in the UAE, having previously
worked in Abu Dhabi.
At City Seasons Hotel Dubai, he
will oversee the refurbishment
work at the hotel and he will
also be in charge of the successful launch of new food and
beverage outlets.
Vincent Hoogewijs has been
chosen to lead the team at
Four Seasons Hotel Amman as
the new general manager.
From Bangkok and Tokyo to
Mumbai, Mexico, Canberra
and Rabat, Hoogewijs has
held executive-level positions
in a myriad of destinations and
more than a dozen countries.
Now, as regional vice president and general manager, he
will put his experience to work
on a top-to-bottom renovation at the Jordanian property.
He first joined Four Seasons
Hotels and Resorts in 2004 as
hotel manager at Four Seasons
Hotel Bangkok, where he later
served as regional vice president and general manager.
Before heading to Jordan, he
worked as general manager at
Four Seasons-branded hotels
in Mexico City, Mumbai and
Sydney, among others.
25 APRIL 2015
PHOTO ALBUM
Take a Shot!
Share with us the latest images of your activities and let your colleagues
know what you have been up to.
Send your photos to [email protected]
Because a picture is worth a thousand words...
flydubai captain performs an inspection of the fan blades before
the Boeing 737-800 gets ready to take off
Novotel, ibis and Adagio Fujairah′s team helped to clean
Wadi Wurayah National Park, home to more than
800 species of plants and animals
These young Air Arabia fans prove that it is
never too early to start a career in the industry
25 APRIL 2015
Golf buggy converted into a wedding car by
JA Resorts & Hotels′ team
Mövenpick Kuwait Hotel offered cooking classes for
kids and children from Alfossha Nursery
Songkran celebrations at Dusit Thani Dubai with Thai dishes, dances and
cultural programmes
23
NEWS & EVENTS
Turkey to Host Largest
Halal Tourism Event
T
urkey has been selected as the host
country of this year’s Halal Tourism
Conference (HTC), which will bring
together professionals from across the
globe. Some 1,000 delegates from over 50
countries, including industry experts, international speakers, specialists and tourism
suppliers, are expected to attend the event,
which will take place between December 01
– 03 in Istanbul. Under the theme of Developing The Global Future of Halal Tourism, this
year’s edition will focus on Europe’s role in
the future of the industry, which is estimated to worth some USD150 billion.
Seychelles Sponsor
Dubai Bride Show
S
eychelles Tourism Office Middle
East, in partnership with Enchanted Island Resort and Air Seychelles, participated in the Dubai Bride
Show, held in March, as silver sponsors.
Now in its 18th year, Dubai Bride
Show concluded a successful event in
which thousands of visitors were given
the opportunity to shop and interact
with a number of suppliers that cater to
wedding needs, such as planning, dresses, accessories, jewelleries and wedding
and honeymoon destinations.
24
EVENTS
THE HOTEL SHOW SAUDIA
ARABIA
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
May 03 – 05
www.thehotelshowsaudiarabia.com
Now in its third year, the
event addresses hospitality
professionals in terms of
technology, supplies, interiors
as well as food and beverage
offerings.
ARABIAN TRAVEL MARKET
Dubai, UAE
May 04 – 07
www.arabiantravelmarket.com
Arabian Travel Market has
provided a place to do face-toface business with companies
from around the globe for the
past 21 years, and this year′s
edition promises to be even
larger.
CHINA GUILIN INTERNATIONAL
TOURISM EXPO (CGITE)
Guilin, China
May 29 – 31
www.cgite.com.cn
Part of Conference & Exhibition
Management Services’ travel
and tourism portfolio, CGITE
brings together Chinese and
international buyers and
exhibitors in one dynamic
marketplace.
25 APRIL 2015

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