TAKING GREEN TO THE MAINSTREAM: World Green Tourism    experts argue it’s time to take sustainable travel to the mass mark...
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VOLUME 07 ISSUE 01                                                                                                 THE KNO...
NEWSDnata Travellaunches Indiaoperation                                                                                   ...
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NEWS    GOING UP                                                                                                     $23,0...
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analysis                                                  Experts argue that large multi-                                 ...
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VIEWPOINT    A New Year but    whats in store?                                                                            ...
VIEWPOINT    RE: WORLD TRAVEL           golf courses, but they arent     price there then Im sure a                   RE: ...
AGENT ACTIONTOP TIPS                                                                                                      ...
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2012 FORECAST                                                                                                             ...
2012 FORECASTNaz Nizari                                                                      What are your business fore- ...
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition
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Arabian Travel News Jan 2012 Edition

  1. 1. TAKING GREEN TO THE MAINSTREAM: World Green Tourism experts argue it’s time to take sustainable travel to the mass market January 2012 Vol. 07 Issue 01 An ITP Business Publication News and analysis for Middle East travel agents and tour operators www.hoteliermiddleeast.com ET P36 HOW TO SELL: p12 2012 FORECAST N IndustryCALIFORNIA experts reveal S. what lies aheadDREAMING N p18 INTERVIEW: IAA travel agent fam trip gets a taste of the luxury life D Dubai brand A Auris Hotels reveals Din the Sunshine State of California plans for expansion N EI p03 NEWS: : Swedish charters .W boost RAK tourism 10 W p48 AGENT OF THE MONTH: Raghda W Top new hotels Omar in 2012 takes the p22 top spotWFAM REPORT: IRELAND p46 PACKAGE PLANNER Holiday Factory agents plan their Agents feel perfect honeymoon itinerary the call of the wild in Coun- ty Donegal NEW IN ABU p42 Our pick o DHABI f the hottes new Abu Dh t abi hotels p4 0
  2. 2. Terms & Conditions ApplyW W W .W EI N D IA N S. N ET
  3. 3. VOLUME 07 ISSUE 01 THE KNOWLEDGE ET 36 “LA is a very happening and vibrant destination” 29 ROUND-UP A comprehensive round- up of product and sup- N plier news to help you sell more travel, from destinations, hotels, S. airlines, cruise and travel technology. N 36 CALIFORNIA DREAMING Agents get a taste of IA the luxury life in the Sunshine State. D 40 THREE OF THE BEST Our pick of the top three Abu Dhabi hotel UPFRONT FEATURES openings to get excited about. N 02 NEWS 12 WHAT’S IN 42 CALL OF THE WILD IN IRELAND Dnata expands into In- STORE FOR 2012? Travel agents take to the saddle in a EI dia; Swedish charters Industry experts remote part of County Donegal. boost RAK tourism; from across the Al Futtaim to roll out Middle East travel .W Thomas Cook brand sector reveal their in the Middle East; predictions for the MSC discounts debut year ahead. Gulf cruise; MMI sells Olympics packages at $3,500; Sharaf Travel launches new W branch in Dubai’s Emirates Towers. 18 A HOME-GROWN HOTEL BRAND 46 PACKAGE PLANNER 06 ANALYSIS The team behind new Two Holiday Factory agents W Louise Oakley reports from World Green 4% Dubai brand Auris Hotels is gearing up plan their ideal honey- moon itinerary. Predicted growth in Tourism where world outbound trips to take the brand in 2012 experts debate how to region-wide. 48 AGENTW More on page 12 take green travel to the OF THE MONTH mass market. Raghda Omar is nomi- nated for her passion 08 VIEWPOINT 22 TOP 10 NEW and enthusiasm. Editor’s letter; plus ATN readers share HOTELS IN 2012 their views with us. We pick the hot- test new openings TAKING GREEN TO THE MAINSTREAM: World Green Tourism experts argue it’s time to take sustainable travel to the mass market January 2012 Vol. 07 Issue 01 THIS MONTH’S COVER: An ITP Business Publication News and analysis for Middle East travel agents and tour operators www.hoteliermiddleeast.com 12 CHECK IN expected to hit CALIFORNIA p12 2012 FORECAST Industry experts reveal what lies ATN JANUARY 2012 DREAMING ahead p18 INTERVIEW: Rezidor expands its Middle East regional the Middle East A travel agent fam trip gets a taste of the luxury life Dubai brand VOL 07 ISSUE 01 in the Sunshine State of California Auris Hotels reveals plans for expansion p03 NEWS: Swedish charters boost RAK tourism office and we meet Ahmed Adam, market this year. 10 Top new hotels in 2012 p22 Raghda Omar takes the top spot AGENT OF p48 THE MONTH: FAM REPORT: IRELAND p46 PACKAGE PLANNER director of sales, Saudi Arabia for Rezidor. Holiday Factory agenrs plan their Agents feel perfect honeymoon itinerary the call of the wild in Coun- ty Donegal NEW IN ABU p42 Our pick of DHABI the hottest new Abu Dhabi p40 hotelswww.hoteliermiddleeast.com Arabian Travel News January 2012 1
  4. 4. NEWSDnata Travellaunches Indiaoperation ETD ubai-based Dnata expand gradually into other areas of N Travel, which is the travel industry including: retail/ owned by the Emir- leisure travel, online and MICE. ates Group, has of- A partnership has been established S. ficially launched its with Cox & Kings Global Servicestravel services operation in India in (CKGS) — a subsidiary of Cox &partnership with Hogg Robinson Kings — to provide visa processing NGroup (HRG). and Marhaba Meet and Greet Servic- Dnata has opened two offices in es for Indian travellers visiting DubaiIndia, located in Noida in Delhi and and Sharjah.Mumbai, and has initiated its Indianoperations with 100 employees. Dnata plans to offer corporate trav- The partnership, referred to as CNKMDV, will offer visitors the chance to arrange and pre-purchase IA D“As a rapidly expanding economy, Indiais a market of strategic importance to Nthe travel business on the whole.” EIel solutions in India with services in- Marhaba services and assist with pro-cluding a 24-hour contact centre for cessing of tourist and transit visas.reservations, online corporate book- CNKMDV has opened 11 Dubai .Wing tools, visa services, travel insur- Visa Marhaba application centresance, car rentals, event management, across India, with specialised salesincentives and VAT reclaim. coordinators on hand to provide ad- Gary Chapman, president, Dnata vice and make customer bookingssaid: “As a rapidly expanding econo- for Marhaba services and assist with Wmy, India is a market of strategic im- processing visa applications.portance to us and the travel business “This is the beginning of what weon the whole. Our expertise lies in believe to be a very fruitful relation- Wsourcing, supplying, distributing and ship with Dnata” said Sanjay Bhaduri,promoting the best in travel products CEO, CKGS. Our partnership willfrom around the world and making surely benefit Indian travellers andthem easily accessible. their families providing them with aW “Cutting-edge technology coupled seamless travel experience to Dubai.”with skilled and professional staff 100that can deliver travel-related prod-ucts and services to internationalstandards are what will set Dnataapart from its competitors in India.” While Dnata has launched in the Dnata staff employedcorporate travel sector it plans to at its India offices HAVE YOUR SAY... DO YOU HAVE PLANS TO EXPAND INTO INDIA THIS YEAR?2 Arabian Travel News January 2012 www.hoteliermiddleeast.com
  5. 5. NEWS 5000 Swedish tourists to visit RAK on charter flights ET N Tourists from Sweden arrive on the first charter flight to Ras Al Khaimah. Al Futtaim is planning to roll out the Thomas Cook brand across the region. S. Swedish charter flights Al-Futtaim to rollout boost RAK tourism Thomas Cook in region N Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Investment and Development Dubai-based Al Futtaim Travel is finalising plans to roll Authority (Ras Al Khaimah TIDA) has signed an agree- ment with Swedish tour operator Apollo — part of the IA Swiss Kuoni Group — to bring a weekly charter flight from out the Thomas Cook brand (Europe’s second biggest tour operator) across the Middle East next year in part- nership with Thomas Cook Egypt. D Sweden to the emirate throughout the winter season. Al Futtaim Travel — preferred sales agent (PSA) of The weekly 221-seat charter will see an additional Thomas Cook Egypt — said its “vision for 2012” was to 5,000 tourists visiting RAK between November 2011 launch Thomas Cook Holiday shops in Dubai; B2B and N and April 2012; spending over 150,000 room nights. B2C online booking channels and a Dubai-based 24/7 The Apollo agreement is the second charter flight call centre. Expansion of the brand to strategic locations service to be introduced by RAK TIDA in the last few across the GCC will take place over the next three years. EI months. In September the authority signed an agreement Details of the plan are still being finalised, including with German Tour Operator, Reise Service Deutschland the number of Thomas Cook/Al Futtaim branches to and Dubai- based DMC World of Travel to introduce five be opened. A spokesperson for Al-Futtaim Travel said: .W weekly charter flights from Germany and one weekly “The vision we have for Thomas Cook is to launch the charter flight from Austria to Ras Al Khaimah. brand in the region. It’s a work in progress and we are The deal resulted in a substantial increase in room still finalising it, so we can’t reveal the full details without revenues and hotel occupancy with figures for October everything being signed off .” 2011 showing a 7% increase in hotel occupancy and an Al Futtaim said Thomas Cook would become a seri- W increase of US$ 1.7 million in beach hotels and resort ous contender in the market to Emirates Holidays — the room revenues compared to the previous year. tour operating arm of Emirates Airline as “the GCC mar- The weekly charters bring visitors from various des- ket seriously needs another, more competitive and profes- W tinations in Germany including Hamburg, Frankfurt, sional tour operator to compete with Emirates Holidays.” Dusseldorf, Berlin, Munich and the Austrian capital, Vi- The company insisted that Middle East consumers enna and will continue until June 3rd, 2012. would still have confidence in Thomas Cook holiday prod- “The introduction of charter flights into Ras Al ucts, despite the tour operator’s current financial troubles.W Khaimah is proving to be a huge success in reaching our The debt-stricken tour operator has blamed the Arab main objective of doubling our visitor number to 1.2 mil- Spring for a slump in sales to the Middle East. It was Dnata Travel has lion by 2013,” said Victor Louis, COO, RAK TIDA. forced to arrange a US $311million credit facility with opened its first office in Louis added that more charter flights to additional 17 bank lenders in a bid to recover from an annual net Delhi and one in Mumbai. destinations would be added in 2012, and RAK TIDA loss of $808million; and last month confirmed that it was also setting up a “dedicated charter operation com- would close 200 of its 1,300 travel agencies in Britain, pany specialising in Tour Operators Business under the resulting in up to 1,000 job loses as part of a major cost- Ras Al Khaimah Airport operation. ” saving UK restructure plan. EMAIIL MONIKA.CANTY@ITP.COM OR VISIT WWW.HOTELIERMIDDLEEAST.COMwww.hoteliermiddleeast.com Arabian Travel News January 2012 3
  6. 6. NEWS GOING UP $23,036 Platinum package Doha with closing cer- emony tickets World Travel Awards (WTA) will host its grand final cer- ET emony in Doha on January 11 for the first time — mark- ing a major moment for Qatar’s tourism sector. N The MSC Lirica is the first cruise ship to homeport in Abu Dhabi. Mayank Dhingra, MMI receives the appointment from the UAE NOC. Tom Cruise S. Dubai hotels Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and the Burj MSC discounts debut MMI sells Olympic Khalifa make their big Arabian Gulf cruise packages at $3,500 N screen debut in Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. MSC Cruises has slashed the prices for its debut winter MMI Travel said it has already achieved 25% of its forecast- season of cruises in the Arabian Gulf in a bid to stimu- ed sales on packages to the 2012 London Olympic Games, QE2 The QE2 is the setting for IA late late interest from the local market. The promotion includes a rate of US$ 200 per person per week including port charges over the Christmas sailing period; and US$ and expects to have sold over half by the end of January. The official Olympics ticket reseller in the UAE is sell- ing packages starting at US$3,428 (AED12,593) up to D an exclusive New Year’s Eve 300 per person per week for New Year sailing. $23,036 (AED84, 615) for two people, including flights, party - the ship’s first public Cruise lines have traditionally found it tough to en- hotel accommodation, game tickets and transfers. outing since it was pur- courage the local market onto Gulf cruises and are reliant Silver packages, which include economy-class flights N chased by Dubai in 2008. on sourcing passengers from outside the region. from Dubai, three-nights accommodation and tickets Ashok Kumar, managing director, Cruise Master - for the equestrian event on August 7, start from $3,428 Middle East said: “Local contribution for cruises within (AED12,593) for two. Gold packages, including tickets EI Xmas Trees Arabian Gulf has been insignificant for various reasons, for the athletics events on August 5 start from $4,875 Emirates Palace Hotel people living in the region have been travelling within the (AED17,910) for a six-night package; and a nine-night scaled down it’s tree this Gulf and wish to explore new regions; there are no major Platinum package, with tickets to the closing ceremony .W year after a barrage of criti- school holidays during the cruise season here. and business class flights costs $23,036 (AED84,615). cism for last year’s $11m “The current economic climate in Europe may have A spokesperson for MMI said: “Tickets have been on jewel-encrusted effort. hurt the occupancy levels, which has resulted in MSC of- sale since the beginning of November but we only made fering such low pricing in order to stimulate local traffic the announcement a couple of weeks ago. We haven’t yet from this late booking market.” started actively promoting or advertising the tickets or W Ferrari World Royal Caribbean said its Gulf cruise for the Christmas packages, so it’s still early days, especially for the UAE The Abu Dhabi theme park and New Year season was sold out. The price for a 7-night which is known to be a late booking market. has slashed staffing levels cruise on Brilliance of the Seas for the rest of the season starts “We’re pleased with the response so far. Enquiries about W to meet its newly reduced from around $ 600 per person on double occupancy. equestrian and athletic events are probably the highest.” opening hours. SHARAF TRAVEL OPENS EMIRATES TOWERS BRANCHW Nakheel Sharaf Travel has expanded in Dubai dedicated consultants. The Dubai developer has with a new branch at the Emirates “This branch is manned by expe- banned more than 1,300 Office Towers. Located in the boule- rienced and highly trained travel residents Palm Jumeirah vard area, the branch will service the professionals who will endeavor to residents from using beach- travel requirements of business and provide seamless service to all our es, pools and gyms in a leisure travellers in and around the esteemed clients visiting this loca- controversial plan to charge towers. The opening on December tion,” said Salah Sharaf. for use of the facilities. 4 was timed to celebrate the UAE’s Sharaf Travel now has 13 branch- 40th National Day said Salah Sharaf, es across the UAE and Oman, in- GOING DOWN chairman, Sharaf Travel. cluding nine branches in Dubai, as V. Jayaram, managing director, Sharaf Travel. The branch is staffed by a team of well as one in Mumbai, India.4 Arabian Travel News January 2012 www.hoteliermiddleeast.com
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  8. 8. analysis Experts argue that large multi- nationals need to adopt sustain- ability for change to happen ETTaking greentourism Ninto the S.mainstream NLouise Oakley reports from World Green IATourism in Abu Dhabi, where it was time Dto challenge the myth that sustainabletravel is only for the wealthy few N EIN o longer just the preserve of eco retreats or nature reserves, sus- change can actually happen.” Responsible Tourism said it was vital tainable tourism must be embraced by the mass travel and hos- In November Thomas Cook an- that multi-national companies start .W pitality sectors and promoted to consumers at the right price if nounced a new group-wide vision for making serious strides to be sustain- it is to really make a difference. a sustainable future entitled Travel the able. Small-scale initiatives — re- This was the premise behind several of the discussions at world without costing the earth. The aim ferred to Goodwin as ‘cul-de-sacs’World Green Tourism in Abu Dhabi last month. The conference did away with is for every holiday Thomas Cook sells and ‘by-ways’ — should be confinedpreconceived ideas of sustainable tourism and focused on addressing the core to be sustainable, not just a smatter- to the past as tour operators look to Wissue of how to offer sustainable products to the mass market and — impor- ing featured in an ‘eco’ brochure. The mainstream sustainable options.tantly — on whose responsibility it was to do so. group runs 93 aircraft and reaches 23 “Eco-tourism was a cul-de-sac, it Ruth Holroyd, group head of sustainability at The Thomas Cook Group million customers worldwide and has was a mistake. It was about saying Wquestioned whether an eco-lodge — accessible only to the wealthy few — was some ambitious targets — including ‘we’ll green the tourism industry byreally more sustainable than a large but low-impact hotel for the mass market. a 20% reduction in electricity across focusing on 1 or 2% of it’. I still hear“Why should sustainable tourism only be for small groups of wealthy people?” the entire group and 12% improve- people saying that eco-tourism is theasked Holroyd. “Others are entitled to it as well and in fact it is the mass form of ment in efficiency across its airlines. fastest-growing sector of the industryWsustainable travel that will really make a difference to destinations.” — it is these sort of awful myths that “Mass tourism done well can be sustainable as long as it’s done in conjunction Taking ‘green’ mainstream actually frustrate change.with customers, hoteliers and destination governments. This is what is needed Professor Harold Goodwin, direc- “There is no doubt in my mindto create a sustainable industry and the sooner that’s accepted the faster the tor of the International Centre for that progress can only be made by big “Why should sustainable tourism “Eco tourism was a cul-de-sac, it only be for small groups of was a mistake” wealthy people?” Ruth Holroyd, group Professor Harold Goodwin, director of the head of sustainability at The Thomas Cook Group International Centre for Responsible Tourism 6 Arabian Travel News January 2012 www.hoteliermiddleeast.com
  9. 9. analysis coming out asking if people will pay more for responsible tourism. We’re painting ourselves into a corner. Why should responsible or more thought- ful tourism be more expensive? Why should using local guides or fresh ET food, saving costs on energy, water and waste, be more expensive? It doesn’t need to be more expensive. “As the movement develops the choice increases. It’s maturing as a N marketplace. I wish those in the in- dustry who commission research ask- ing ‘would people pay more?’ would S. stop. It’s not doing us any service.” Goodwin also slated carbon offset- ting as a “terrible mistake”. “It took the N pressure off the airline to de-carbo- nise its form of transport. We know there are significant changes that can IA be made on new technology but cur- rently there is no incentive other than the rising price of oil to force the in- D dustry to do that,” he claimed. Tackling scepticism N Green Globe director of communica- tions Bradley Cox said a major issue was the need to draw a distinction between EI “being sustainable and going green”.companies mainstreaming significant “At the heart of responsible tourism travel industry to engage travellers in “Scepticism is the major issue inchange towards sustainability.” is taking responsibility, the problem is the mass sustainable mission? the consumer market that we face — .W “It was very convenient for the that it’s everybody’s and it’s nobody’s. Justin Francis, chief executive and 75% of us say we’re sceptical when amainstream industry to focus on eco- We need to challenge companies to co-founder, ResponsibleTravel.com hotel claims to be green, the othertourism because they just left that to a take responsibility for their impact.” was blunt about the level of consumer 25% just don’t believe it so there is afew small companies. The change that demand for sustainable travel. huge ingrained scepticism.has come out of the adoption by TUI The role of the consumer “There is a lot of data that shows “The reason is that most of the lan- Wand Thomas Cook of sustainability as But how can consumers make sense growing interest in responsible tour- guage is termed around ‘going green’.part of their strategy is where we need of the terms ‘eco’, ‘sustainable’ and ism. But I want to get very real about You have to be sustainable. If you stopto be going globally,” said Goodwin. ‘green’? Do they understand the cer- the market. No research has ever been making claims about green and you W Goodwin argued that it didn’t mat- tifications? And is it down to the published that shows social and envi- start to be sustainable you will findter whether there was a list of sustain- ronmental impacts are the most impor- many activities occurring within yourable criteria that everybody agreed tant factors in choosing a holiday. It’s al- business that are actually authentic 75%on, just that the primary issues — of ways the right product at the right price.” and legitimate that you can commu-Wcarbon emissions, greenhouse gases, Francis stressed that the industry nicate to your consumers.waste, water and local economic de- should stop expecting consumers to cov- “Stop talking about being greenvelopment — were acted upon, and of travellers are sceptical when er the cost of companies “going green”. and show them what it is to be a sus-that companies are held to account. a hotel claims to be ‘green’ “I’m fed up with research that keeps tainable business,” Cox concluded. “I’m fed up with the research “The reason there’s scepticism is asking if people will pay more for that most of the language is termed responsible tourism” Justin Francis, chief around ‘going green’” Bradley Cox, director of executive and co-founder, ResponsibleTravel.com communications, Green Globewww.hoteliermiddleeast.com Arabian Travel News January 2012 7
  10. 10. VIEWPOINT A New Year but whats in store? Registered at Dubai Media City PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE Tel: 00 971 4 444 3000 Fax: 00 971 4 444 3030 Web: www.itp.com Offices in Dubai & London ET After the year we’ve just had, who would dare to hazard a guess ITP BUSINESS PUBLISHING what lies ahead in 2012... CEO Walid Akawi Managing Director Neil Davies As the voice of the Middle East travel trade, we want to hear your news and views. Managing Director, ITP Business Karam Awad Deputy Managing Director Matthew Southwell Email the editor at monika.canty@itp.com Editorial Director David Ingham T N EDITORIAL— rying to come up with predictions line grabbing news — all of which have led to me Group Editor Louise Oakley Tel: +971 4 444 3475 email: louise.oakley@itp.com about what may be in store for the conclude that what might happen this year could Editor Monika Canty S. Tel: +971 4 444 3413 email: monika.canty@itp.com travel sector in the year ahead is always be anyones guess. ADVERTISING a traditional way to kick off our first edi- But despite the trepidation in the air about what Publishing Director Diarmuid O’Malley tion of the year at Arabian Travel News. may or may not be in store; there are many reasons Tel: +971 4 444 3568 email: dom@itp.com Sales Manager Irene Fernandez N This month we’ve asked 11 experts from across to be cheerful and optimistic about the regional Tel: +971 4 444 3721 email: irene.fernandez@itp.com the industry to look back on their highs and lows of travel sector. The continued expansion of the re- STUDIO 2011 and try to make some guesses about what lies gions airlines means new destinations and new Group Art Editor Dan Prescott ahead. But one thing that’s come across is how futile crystal ball gazing probably is these days. Looking back on the past year theres no way any- IA markets continue to open up. Forecasters are par- ticularly excited about the remarkable growth of Chi- nese travellers and welcome them with open arms. Designer Adrian Luca Tel: +971 4 444 3565 email: adrian.luca@itp.com PHOTOGRAPHY Chief Photographer Jovana Obradovic Senior Photographer Efraim Evidor one could have predicted the dramatic and unfore- And local travel firms say they are finally getting D Staff Photographers George Dipin, Juliet Dunne, Lester Ali, Lyubov Galushko, Mosh Lafuente, Mur- seen events that resulted in having such a massive to grips with the technology revolution. We antici- rindie Frew, Ruel Pableo, Ruel Pableo, Rajesh Raghav, Shruti Jagdesh, Stanislav Kuzmin, Verko Ignjatovic impact on the international world of travel. pate that 2012 will be the year when we finally wit- N The protests, conflicts and revolutions in Arab ness new online booking channels and a push from PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION Group Production & Distribution Director Kyle Smith countries at the start of the year that brought tour- the regional travel sector to move ahead with long Deputy Production Manager Mathew Grant Production Coordinator Radomir Medojevic ism to a virtual standstill in some parts of the region awaited technology developments. EI Tel: +971 444 3788 radomir.medojevic@itp.com (while conversely having the complete opposite ef- And they are not the only ones. Arabian Travel Distribution Manager Karima Ashwell Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami fect on destinations such as the UAE viewed as ‘safe News is not being left behind — this year will see CIRCULATION havens’); the tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan; the magazine launch our very own dedicated web- Head of Operations & Database Gaurav Gulati .W the Eurozone debt crisis and the political and eco- site just for you. So look out for that, as if nothing MARKETING nomic dramas in Greece, then Italy — these were else its sure to be the highlight of the year ahead. Head of Marketing Daniel Fewtrell Marketing Manager Annie Chinoy just some of the top stories in a year full of head- Monika Canty, Editor ITP DIGITAL General Manager Peter Conmy W ITP GROUP Chairman Andrew Neil Mailbox Managing Director Robert Serafin Finance Director Toby Jay Spencer-Davies Board of Directors K.M. Jamieson, Mike Bayman, STAR Walid Akawi, Neil Davies, Rob Corder, Mary Serafin W Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4 444 3000 RE: Emirates Airline gets tough LETTER Certain images in this issue are available for purchase. Please contact itpimages@itp.com for further details or visit www.itpimages.com. on late passengersW Printed by Atlas Printing Press L.L.C. Dubai Subscribe online at www.itp.com/subscriptions Controlled Distribution by Blue Truck Perhaps Emirates wouldnt have wouldnt have to take a hit on The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers to reduce the convenience of its extended check-in times if the are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the reader’s particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof passengers, especially those who aircraft was actually parked at the may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review. are Gold members of their frequent gate as opposed to a 20 minute bus *BPA Worldwide Audited Average Qualified Circulation flyer program if it kept its promise ride to the far-end of the airport 4,983 (July - Dec 2010) that all Emirates flights depart and parking spots. Even LCCs at Terminal arrive at the brand new Terminal 2 are much closer to the gate than Published by and Copyright © 2011 ITP Business Publishing, a division of ITP Publishing 3 in Dubai. Maybe passengers this. Disappointed Emirates passenger Group Ltd. Registered in the B.V.I. under Company Registration number 1402846.8 Arabian Travel News January 2012 www.hoteliermiddleeast.com
  11. 11. VIEWPOINT RE: WORLD TRAVEL golf courses, but they arent price there then Im sure a RE: TIME FOR AAWARDS FINAL TO BE "great" by any stretch of the lot more people would be UNITED TOURISM EFFORTHELD IN DOHA imagination. If you could attracted to the sport. I am inclined to believeDoha is making great golf for a more reasonable John Doe that a UAE destinationstrides in the development marketing campaign mightof its tourism sector. First wield significant weight. Online at ETthe FIFA World Cup and Most countries withnow the World Travel developed tourism marketsAwards. I am sure with TOP 5 TRAVEL STORIES have proper multi-events like these business 1. Top 20 Travel Agencies language portals to informtourism is going to boom 2. PHOTOS: Westin launch goes with a bang visitors to whats available Nin Qatar. Debbie throughout the country. 3. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi Not everyone wants to slashes staffing levels RE: ABU DHABI SEEKS lay around on the beach S.SLICE OF $17 GOLF 4. Dubai’s Metropolitan hotel all day! VisitJordan.com,TOURISM to be demolished VisitSweden.com are twoAbu Dhabi needs to lower 5. Dubai hotel makes good examples of what can Nthe prices to get more big screen in Mission be achieved with countrypeople out golfing. Impossible marketing.Abu Dhabi has a lot of nice Baxster IA WHAT DO YOU THINK? LOG ON TO WWW.HOTELIERMIDDLEAST.COM OR EMAIL MONIKA.GRZESIK@ITP.COM TO JOIN THE DEBATE D N EI The market leader in mass door-to-door .W of magazines within the UAE. W requirements. W distributors).W Tel. +971 4 238 1555 Fax. +971 4 238 2325 e-mail info@bluetruck.ae www.bluetruck.ae Asso iate Award winning memberwww.hoteliermiddleeast.com Arabian Travel News January 2012 9
  12. 12. AGENT ACTIONTOP TIPS CHECKIN’FOR JOB- IN/ CHECK-SEEKERS IN’ OUT ET1. Keep your CV to justtwo pages long. AHMED ADAM, ASHRAF EL ZAHED Four Seasons HotelsRemember to always Director of Sales, Saudi Arabia, Rezidor and Resorts has ap-use a simple layout. pointed Ashraf El Zahed What is your career background? established very good ties over the years as the new director of N2. Know what you are I have worked for the last 11 years in the with many of the local travel agents and hotel marketing Middleapplying for. Compose travel industry with international hotel wholesalers. I’m very keen to develop East. El Zaheda clearly-stated job ob- companies in KSA, Qatar and the UAE. these relationships and extend all support will oversee S.jective. State what you Before moving to KSA, I spent the last to our business partners. One of the main the mar-want to do, for whom, six years in the UAE where I worked very reasons to establish the office is to have a ketingwhere and at what level closely with travel agents, tour operators local contact in the market for all our cli- functions Nof responsibility. as well as the corporate segment. ents so that they have even easier of existing Travel and hospitality is not access to information and as- and upcom-3. Stand out from the only a career it is my passion. sistance whenever required. ing Four Seasonscrowd. Instead of justlisting your job skills,describe the benefits What attracted you to the role at in KSA? IA What will be the biggest challenge? hotels and resorts in the Middle East and Egypt towards an integrated Dand results of your I have always wanted to I think the most challeng- and sustained corporateperformance. For each grow within The Rezidor ing part is creating interest focus on the Middlepermanent job or staff- Hotel Group. Besides that, the for new destinations that the East region as an im- Ning assignment develop Saudi market is not new to me and market is not accustomed to, as portant growth marketa list of major accom- has unlimited potential. I was fortunate to it is challenging to change perceptions. for Four Seasons.plishments, placing the be chosen for such a challenge. EIgreatest emphasis on What do you love most about RICHARD NUTTALLrecent achievements. What are your main objectives your job? Bahrain’s second airline and responsibilities? I love having the opportunity to meet dif- Bahrain Air has ap- .W4. Companies value My responsibilities include the setup of ferent people from various cultures and pointed Richard Nuttallemployees who en- the global sales office that will overlook the fact that you can actually help people as its new chief execu-hance their profits and the entire Saudi market. I will handle getting what they want and need from tive officer. Nuttall ex-save them time and key accounts for inbound and outbound travel, be it business or leisure. pressed his enthusiasmmoney — use your CV business and promote Rezidor’s various for his new assignment Wto explain how you can brands, alongside other activities includ- What are you most proud of in by saying: “Iachieve this. ing organising fam trips and coordination your career so far? am both of road shows and events etc. I’m proud of every job I have ever done in honoured W5. Always proof-read. my life no matter how big or small. I be- and ex-Make sure your CV and How do you plan to work with lieve once you invest your time and effort cited to becover-letter are error travel agents in your role? in something it always pays back — not given thisfree, avoid jargon and The Rezidor Hotel Group has already always straight away but it will eventually. opportunity.Wuse plain English. Whilst 2011 has been an extremely challenging year for airlines operat-REZIDOR EXPANDS MIDDLE EAST REGIONAL OFFICE ing within the MiddleThe Rezidor Hotel Group marketing manager, regional team is in-line group; in 2011 key proper- East, Bahrain Air hashas announced four new Aline Barhouche as with the current and ties have opened across come a long way in itsappointments in the Mid- regional HR manager future growth plans the region, including the three years of operation.dle East regional office. The and Ahmed Adam, for Rezidor in the first Hotel Missoni in the We have a great teamnew additions are: Stuart director of sales for Middle East. Middle East (Kuwait) plus and our goal now isAllum as purchasing man- Saudi Arabia. The region is a three new properties under to become Bahrain’sager for the UAE, Stephanie The substan- crucial market the core brand Radisson airline of choice withinAboujaoude as regional tial growth of the for the hotel opened in the UAE. the region.”10 Arabian Travel News January 2012 www.hoteliermiddleeast.com
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  14. 14. 2012 FORECAST ET N S. N IA D Industry experts from across the Middle East travel sector look back on 2011 and reveal their hopes, fears and predictions for the year ahead… N EINabeel Kanoo What are your aspirations for 2012? customers and skip the middle man i.e. ‘the agent’, which will result in .WDirector, Kanoo Travel We expect to complete a few of our major technology develop- lower revenue streams than we are traditionally used to. Agencies need ment projects in 2012 which will to be creative and adapt to new improve our service deliverables to income generating streams such asHow was 2011 for many passengers fleeing our important customers. MICE, selling ancillary services, Wyou? Despite minor troubled regions and cor- green tourism and corporate travelsetbacks in Bahrain porate customers demo- What will be the biggest advisory services.and Oman in early bilising teams at short challenges facing the travel W2011 due to the po- notice. Our front-line sector in 2012? Our customers What will be the stand-outlitical situation we teams managed the situ- are changing. They are mobile, trend for the industry in 2012?are proud that all our ation extremely well and technology savvy and demand Technology developments andstatistics remain posi- were able to assist hundreds personalised service at the click of social media have changed theWtive except for compara- of businessmen and families to a button. Despite having minimal landscape of our business forever.tively low volumes in leisure travel travel with little hassle. One project impact to date in this region in Agents must realise this fact or riskthis summer compared to previous we handled was the movement of terms of revenue, unmanaged travel being isolated in the old era.years. We look forward to ending a large group of corporate travel- procurement will rise next year.the year on a positive note and hope lers from a financial institution and With smart phones, travel applica- What’s your New Year’s resolu-the 2011 experience will help us their families at very short notice to tions and the launch of many OTAs tion?plan better in the years to come. a safer location, which included a in the last 18 months, the reality is I want the business to be transpar- total travel arrangement including that the travel industry will need ent, honest and professional. InWhat were the most memora- apartment and hotel reservations, to invest and manage this transi- 2012 we will see a much strongerble events of the year for you? ground transportation, travel insur- tion carefully. Another important emphasis on positioning KanooOur operational capabilities were ance, visas and flight tickets for factor to keep an eye on is the move Travel as a trusted and reputedtested to its limits in 2011 with nearly 100 passengers in total. by many airlines to go direct to brand for travel!12 Arabian Travel News January 2012 www.hoteliermiddleeast.com
  15. 15. 2012 FORECASTNaz Nizari What are your business fore- 4% casts for the year ahead? We have planned for our mar-Senior Vice President, EmQuest ket share to grow using a mix of products, commercial options and utilising our relationships. We have Growth is predicted in world ETHow was 2011 for you? 2011 What are your aspirations for increased our resources and have outbound trips in 2012 — accordingwas a year of growth for EmQuest. the year ahead? geared up for increase in business. to the ITB World Travel Trends Report— despite the uncertainWe grew our customer Introduction of Sabre in political and economic situation,base, renewed 99% of East Africa is slated for What do you predict will be and experts say they are “cautiously optimistic” for the year aheadour contracts, and 2012. This will see the stand-out trend for the Nconverted our cus- EmQuest activity travel industry in 2012?tomers to the latest grow in Africa where For EmQuest innovations inSabre Red platform. growth is expected technology will be the focus. These What’s your New Year’s reso- S. to be at much more innovations for which Sabre won lution? To focus on deliveringWhat were the most optimistic levels. an international award have signifi- innovation, superior customermemorable events cant benefits for our customers in service, increase staff training and Nof the year? I would say the What will be the biggest productivity, ease of use, on-line to strengthen the relationships weunveiling of the new Sabre Red challenges facing the travel and increased options on leisure. have with all our customers.Workspace was the highlight. The sector in 2012? The deterioratingintroduction of Sabre in Southernand Western Africa by EmQuesthas also been a great milestone and economic climate in Europe, the Arab spring, the slowdown in India and China will all create challenges. IA “The deteriorating economic climate in Europe, the Arab spring, the slowdown Dhas opened up many exciting op- If the fuel price goes up this will putportunities for us. pressure on airlines and yields. in India and China will all create challenges in 2012.” N EIAli Abu Monassar be ambassadors to promote the destination. Also DTCM and We always forecast to do better and I can say that despite all dif- .WFounder & chairman, ADTA with the private sector have worked together promoting ficulties we manage to obtain what we forecast. I am again confidentThe Vision Destination Management the UAE in new markets with that business in 2012 will be the new business models such as free same or may be a little better by tickets and free stays for children, 10%. The reason is very simple - W adding value to their stay. we increase our market share, ourHow was 2011 for you? “I am confident that clients, we improve our services2011 was great in spite of the business in 2012 What will be the biggest chal- and we deliver experiences and Wregional uprisings. In fact many lenges facing the travel sector satisfy our clients, and in returnstable countries with good and will be the same in 2012? The travel industry we expect to increase our revenueready infrastructure benefited. or maybe a always has challenges. For 2012 and profit.The UAE gained greatly with little better it’s mainly keeping updatedWmore tourists from Europe and by 10%.” with all the changes in the What do you predict will bethe GCC when historically they world and in the industry, the stand-out trend for thewere going to Egypt, Morocco and better than 2011. cost cutting and increas- travel industry in 2012?Syria; and Abu Dhabi and Dubai Visitors that came ing value to clients on Innovation is a must if we want towitnessed a return to occupancies in 2011 had very reduced margins. continue to exist and to gain ourand rates of 2007 despite the room good experi- Also searching new clients’ confidence. Technologyinventory having almost doubled. ences and en- markets for clients. is speeding forward and the tour- joyed Arabian ism industry must invest in newWhat are your aspirations for hospitality in What are your technology tools. The Arab Spring2012? I am always optimistic a safe, stable business fore- will continue to split the marketswhen it comes to the UAE and am country and casts for the between those that are affectedvery confident that 2012 will be they will year ahead? and those that benefit.www.hoteliermiddleeast.com Arabian Travel News January 2012 13

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