Shivani DDPPL

10th Riyadh Travel Fair opens with 300 exhibitors from 55 countries

Riyadh Travel Fair 2017

Riyadh Travel Fair (RTF) 2018 opened doors for the tenth consecutive year in Riyadh, with more than 300 exhibitors from 55 countries. The fair, organised by ASAS Exhibition and Conference Organising Company, is being held at Prince Sultan Grand Hall, Al Faisaliah Hotel, from April 10-13, 2018. The fair was inaugurated by Hamad Ali Alshowair, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Riyadh Chamber. The four-day event will become the focus of business networking opportunities, insightful seminar sessions, discussions and recognition of the tourism industry’s achievements. Bander Algryni, General Manager, ASAS Exhibitions, said: “The 2018 edition is the largest Riyadh Travel Fair to date, thereby extending our prominence as the leading travel and tourism exhibition in the kingdom. More than 270 exhibitors from tourism boards, airlines, tour operators and hotels from more than 60 countries are currently present in the exhibition. It’s been a year of growth for not only the tourism and hospitality industry in the Kingdom, but also for RTF.” RTF 2018 show holds its strong Middle East support with 60 per cent of exhibiting companies from the GCC region including Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Government of Sharjah (Commerce & Tourism Development Authority), Ministry of Tourism Bahrain, Oman Tourism, besides featuring many firsts for the travel trade and consumer show.

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Rove Dubai Marina opens doors for next-gen travellers

Rove dubai marina

Rove Hotels has launched Rove Dubai Marina, the fifth hotel in Dubai that celebrates the inspired setting of its waterfront location. With its central location and tech-savvy environment for the socially connected new generation, Rove Dubai Marina brings a new hospitality choice to visitors to the city with its stylish marina-front setting. A joint venture between Meraas and Emaar Properties PJSC, Rove Hotels currently has four operational hotels in key locations in Dubai – Rove Downtown, Rove City Centre, Rove Healthcare City and Rove Trade Centre. Several Rove Hotels are being planned in other locations within the city. Rove Dubai Marina has 384 rooms that present a design-influenced lifestyle choice for value-conscious leisure and business travellers. Located centrally in one of the region’s largest waterfront developments, the hotel offers leisure guests the ease of accessing Dubai’s popular beaches as well as a vibrant marina. The Dubai Marina Mall, with a vivid array of retail and leisure choices, is located nearby as well as the Dubai Marina Yacht Club that serves as a prestigious address for marina enthusiasts and The Beach, an upbeat urban waterfront destination created by Meraas.

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UAE’S first 179-key Wyndham Garden opens in Ajman

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Wyndham Garden opened its doors recently under R Hotels in Ajman Corniche under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman; His Highness Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman; and His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Ajman Municipality and Planning, and Chairman of R Holding. The new hotel is the first Wyndham Garden to open in the UAE. Boasting sweeping views of the Arabian Gulf, the property features 179 rooms and suites, all facing the beachfront. It will also showcase an executive lounge on the top floor, and state-of-the-art leisure facilities including a modern spa, fitness club, outdoor swimming pool with Jacuzzi, and kids’ club. Al Nuaimi remarked, “The emirate of Ajman welcomes Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche, a new landmark to showcase exceptional Emirati hospitality to the rest of the world. This is another testament on the continuous growth of the tourism sector in the emirate.” Sumair Tariq, Managing Director, R Hotels, commented, “With the solid performance of Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman and Ramada Beach Hotel Ajman over the years, we are confident that the hotel will deliver the highest standards of service to all the guests, with its seasoned and professional team.

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Tune Protect inks deal with Jordan’s Pan North Insurance Agency

Arijit munshi JPG

Tune Protect recently partnered with Pan North Insurance Agency along with Jordan French Insurance to market travel insurance products in Jordan. The partnership further extends Tune Protect’s reach within the EMEIA region, after establishing itself in Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, India and Iraq. “We are excited with the prospects of our partnership with Pan North Insurance Agency. We are confident that the partnership will further strengthen our position as a leading travel insurance provider in Jordan,” said Arijit Munshi, General Manager, Tune Protect, EMEIA. Pan North Insurance Agency will be managing the marketing of various travel insurance products facilitated by Tune Protect, EMEIA, underwritten by JOFICO, through the online or digital channels managed by Tune Protect. “Jordan, with its rich history and robust tourism sector, is an important market for travel within the region. The innovative travel insurance products and solutions though our partnership with Tune Protect will allow Pan North Insurance Agency to offer more value-added services to the travel community in Jordan to serve the travellers coming into Jordan from anywhere in the world and traveling from Jordan, globally,” said Haya Al-Khalidi, General Manager, Pan North Insurance Agency.

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Etihad partners with Abu Dhabi Cultural Summit 2018

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Held in Abu Dhabi’s Manarat Al Saadiyat from April 8-12, CultureSummit brought together global leaders from the fields of arts, media, public policy and technology to discuss the role of culture in building bridges and promoting positive change in society. Steering Committee member HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said, “As the world’s first high-level summit of leaders across the arts, technology and policy, convening figures from every corner of the world is no small feat. It wouldn’t be possible without the support and global reach of Etihad Airways, which in this case truly lives up to its mission of ‘Bringing the world together.'” Mohammad Al Bulooki, Executive Vice President – Commercial, Etihad Airways, said, “With the recent opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi, in addition to a number of major events held throughout the year, Abu Dhabi is quickly establishing itself as a vibrant hub for the arts and culture. The CultureSummit Abu Dhabi 2018, which is set to welcome approximately 500 participants from 80 countries, is a unique opportunity to showcase Abu Dhabi to the world, and Etihad Airways is honoured to play a role in bringing the world together for this inspiring event.” The theme for CultureSummit Abu Dhabi 2018 is ‘Unexpected Collaborations: Forging New Connections Between Heritage and Innovation, Near and Far, Creativity and Purpose.’

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GNTB now accepts Crypto currencies as payment method

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Starting immediately, services of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) can be paid in Crypto currencies such as bitcoin. The GNTB wants to test the underlying blockchain technology of Crypto currencies in their finance department to use it for their international payment traffic. Petra Hedorfer, Chair of the Board, GNTB, explains, “Within our digitalisation strategy, we continuously test newest technologies and trends to see if they could be useful for our company. Through accepting Crypto currencies as a payment method and the possible medium term implementation of the blockchain technology in our finance sector, our international company wishes to set ourselves apart as an innovator and instigator within the tourism industry.” The blockchain technology offers interesting perspectives in regards to speed, transparency and security. Experts are expecting enormous improvements and saving potentials with, for example, international transactions.

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VFS Global to take over full ownership of VFS TasHeel

VFS GLOBAL

VFS Global has agreed to take over 100 per cent ownership of its joint venture with the TasHeel Group – VFS TasHeel and Vasco, as per a binding agreement signed between both parties. As the outsourced visa services partner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, VFS TasHeel manages Saudi Arabia visa application services across 30 countries since 2013. VFS TasHeel is currently a joint venture between the TasHeel Group and VFS Global. The transaction will enable VFS TasHeel and Vasco to benefit from operational efficiencies and synergies with VFS Global in terms of further development of services and solutions, and improve the overall service it provides to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and Saudi Arabia visa applicants around the world. Subject to customary approval from the competition and regulatory authorities, the transaction is expected to complete later in 2018. There will be no change in the management core team or processes of VFS Tasheel and Vasco. The company will continue to fulfill all its obligations in accordance with its MoFA service contract. Zubin Karkaria, CEO, VFS Global Group said, “We are pleased to take over complete ownership of VFS TasHeel and Vasco. It will enable us to accelerate the further development of the business and improve overall performance through greater synergies.”  

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Cebu Pacific to cancel Caticlan and Kalibo flights from April 26

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After the Philippine government ordered to close Boracay Island for tourist activities, Cebu Pacific (CEB) is set to cancel flights to and from Caticlan and Kalibo from April 26 to October 27, 2018. To ensure continuity of commerce in Northern Panay Island and support local residents, CEB will still operate flights for Kalibo and Caticlan during the same period, stated a spokesperson for the carrier. Affected passengers will be compensated either by getting a full refund, rebooking the flight, or a rerouting to any domestic destination.

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Travelport and Priceline extend technology and content partnership

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Travelport and Priceline.com have signed a long-term renewal agreement for Travelport to continue providing pricing, booking and ticketing technology and content to Priceline. The renewal comes approximately 20 years after the two companies signed their first agreement for Priceline to process reservations through Travelport’s GDS. Throughout the past two decades, Travelport and Priceline have worked together to make the process of buying and selling travel easier for customers seeking great travel deals. “Travelport has proven to be a valued partner over the last 20 years in helping Priceline customers find and book the best deals,” said Brigit Zimmerman, Senior Vice President of Flight, Hotel and Packages, Priceline.com. Jason Clarke, Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Agency Commerce, Travelport, added, “We are committed to supporting Priceline with our industry-leading search and pricing capabilities, as well as offering Priceline new technologies that offer faster connections, greater content and more relevant choices.”  

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Dusit International to launch ASAI Hotels for millennial travellers in 2019

ASAI Hotels

Dusit International has introduced ASAI Hotels for the curious, millennial-minded travellers with authentic local experiences in vibrant cities and resort destinations worldwide. Set to launch in Q1 2019 with its first hotel in Bangkok’s renowned Chatuchak Market, ASAI Hotels embraces a sustainable, community-focused concept, with each property designed to reflect the culture and heritage of its location through collaborations with local artisans. In line with the four core pillars of the brand – Thoughtful Essentials, Common Areas, Locally Inspired and Connected Community – each hotel will feature compact rooms, whose contemporary design will emphasise on key features like superior quality beds and high pressure rain showers. A large mixed-use space, meanwhile, will include a cosy and efficient work space, a leisure area, and a restaurant concept curated by local chefs who champion sustainability. The Chatuchak hotel includes an eatery developed by Bangkok-based chefs and restaurateurs, Jarrett Wrisley and Paolo Vitaletti, whose own restaurants, Soul Food Mahanakorn and Appia, are renowned for their sustainable approach to cooking. Their menu at ASAI Chatuchak will highlight produce from Thailand’s Royal Projects. Each ASAI hotel worldwide will leverage technology to streamline the booking and stay experience. This includes the implementation of self check-in kiosks, and exclusive online guides that link guests with authentic local experiences and lesser-known.

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