Shivani DDPPL

13th International Travel Expo in Vietnam from Sept 7-9

ITE Sep10 058 (640x424) (2)

The 13th International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City (ITE HCMC) 2017 is scheduled to be held from September 7-9 at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center (SECC). The expo will provide marketing opportunities and backdrop to enhance participant’s brand equity in the eyes of the travel trade professionals and discerning end consumers. Hundreds of exhibitors and regional and local tourism stakeholders have benefitted from this largest global tourism platform in the Mekong region through the extensive networking opportunities, exclusive access to major stakeholders and gain key business insights in this growing industry. The event is only open for travel trade professionals on September 7 and 8.

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Dubai Parks and Resorts unveils its new season line up

MOTIONGATE Dubai Main Gate

Dubai Parks and Resorts, Middle East’s largest theme park destination, has announced its new season line up, featuring the premiere of the Lionsgate zone at MOTIONGATE™ Dubai and a series of exciting events on the river at Riverland™ Dubai. The Lionsgate zone at MOTIONGATE™ Dubai features the world’s first rides and attractions inspired by the international blockbuster movie series ‘The Hunger Games’.Riverland™ Dubai, the themed dining, retail and entertainment district at the centre of Dubai Parks and Resorts has also announced its season line up of free events including Circus on the River in November and Pets on the River in December and a host of new events during public holidays. Effective from September 1, 2017, international visitors ticket prices have also been announced for the winter season, with day tickets ranging from AED 235 /Rs 4,100 per park or AED 285/ Rs 4,980 for two parks. The seasonal tickets will give the guests the opportunity to experience over 100 rides and attractions at the destination. Ticket prices are the same for adults and children, with kids below the age of 3 entering free. David Loiseau, Vice President of Sales & Distribution, said: “This is Dubai Parks and Resorts first full winter season and our focus is on delivering new experiences and competitive prices to bring visitors back time and again. This season, The Hunger Games fans from across the globe will be able to experience rides inspired by the blockbuster movie franchise that have never been seen anywhere in the world before. We are joining communities across the UAE to celebrate national holidays with free events along the river at Riverland™ Dubai. We have also created our very own …

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Traveltek launches Middle East operation

TRAVELTEK

Traveltek Group has launched its Middle East operation. The UK-based firm, which counts global travel brands such as Virgin Holidays, Flight Centre and dnata, as well as its sister companies, Imagine Cruises and Global Travel Group, amongst its roster of big-name clients, has established an office in Dubai and appointed two highly-experienced travel technology professionals to lead its Gulf expansion strategy. Vinod Singh comes on board as Regional Manager, Middle East and India and Vivek Katheriya joins the team as Regional Sales Manager, India and MENA. Both recruits bring vast Middle East travel technology experience to their roles, having worked for reputable industry players. Between them, Singh and Katheriya are targeting the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, all markets where travel agents, tour operators and wholesalers in are in urgent need of sophisticated travel technology to help drive efficiencies, boost sales and meet the complex demands of their customers. “Given our proven track record delivering a powerful and successful selling platform to the international travel trade, we are well positioned to harness the healthy growth of the GCC travel and tourism industry, ” said Peter Whittle, Global Sales Director, Traveltek. “Our global expertise, combined with the market and technology experience demonstrated by Vinod and Vivek, will ensure we can cater to the needs of the region’s travel trade now and in the future, particularly as demand for dynamic packaging and cruise booking solutions grows at a rapid rate. The web-based technology enables agencies and tour operators to package and sell complex itineraries that include flights, hotels, tours, transfers, car rental, cruises, attractions tickets and more. Companies can also package their own stock, third-party stock, or a mixture of …

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VFS Global acquires visa service provider TT Services

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VFS Global has completed the acquisition of visa service provider TT Services (TTS). The transaction enables VFS Global to leverage on core competences and brands and to further enhance operating performance. TT Services is a provider of integrated visa processing solutions with global presence and a comprehensive portfolio of services. TT Services is headquartered in the United Kingdom and has a strong and long-lasting relationship with its client governments and with a commercial partner. The company operates 51 application centres in more than 35 countries and has 216 employees. TTS offers a full range of high quality visa services for its client governments, partners and applicants. Zubin Karkaria, CEO, VFS Global Group, commented: “TT Services has, like VFS Global, extended industry experience of more than 15 years and is a trusted service delivery partner for its clients. I see a strong fit by TTS joining VFS Global. This will enable us to further enhance and extend our services towards our client governments and visa applicants.” The change of control will have no bearing on the business operations of the parties and act as a catalyst to improved services and enhanced client and customer satisfaction.

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Emaar rolls-out 28th Address hotel project

Architects - Adrian Smith / Skidmore Owings & Merrill

Emaar Hospitality Group, the hospitality and leisure business of Emaar Properties PJSC, has announced the roll-out of its 28th upcoming hotel project – the Address Fashion Avenue. It is located directly opposite the iconic Burj Khalifa and linked to the Fashion Avenue in The Dubai Mall that is currently being expanded. Address Fashion Avenue, featuring the 167-room Address Fashion Avenue hotel and Address Residences Fashion Avenue with only 78 high-end residences, also marks the Group’s 20th hotel project under its premium luxury brand Address Hotels + Resorts, and the 12th Address project in Dubai. With two other hotel brands, the upscale lifestyle Vida Hotels and Resorts, and the contemporary Rove Hotels, Emaar Hospitality Group now has 11 operational hotels and 28 hotel projects in the pipeline in Dubai and international markets including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and Turkey. Address Fashion Avenue stands out for its spectacular location next to Burj Khalifa, and near the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard. Linked directly to the Fashion Avenue, a veritable showcase of flagship outlets by the world’s leading fashion brands in The Dubai Mall, the project is one of the last developments in Downtown Dubai.

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Hospitality training experts participate in Dubai College of Tourism HR Forum

Participants at DCT Forum

More than 100 human resources experts from Dubai’s hospitality sector attended the 2nd Dubai College of Tourism HR Forum organised recently by the Dubai College of Tourism (DCT). The Forum was designed to provide recruitment and training specialists in hotels the opportunity to get a better understanding of UAE’s labour laws and find solutions to various work-related challenges. DCT, an institution established by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism),  plays a key role in human resources development in the emirate’s tourism industry and serves as a crucial link between Dubai Tourism and the trade to further enhance the quality of tourism services and the overall visitor experience. During the event held at The Address – Boulevard Hotel, speakers from government and private sector entities addressed the gathering of human resources professionals, covering topics such as Emiratisation, labour laws, and recruitment of staff. The participants were able to glean useful information and get advice from experts during the Q & A session that followed each presentation. Olivier R. Harnisch, CEO of Emaar Hospitality praised the work done by DCT and highlighted the fact that its Emiratisation objectives align with that of Emaar Hospitality. Major Majid AlZarouni, Head of Licensing Department, Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA), a unit of Dubai Police that is responsible for the training of security guards, spoke on issues related to the hiring of security guards including their visas and salaries.

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Cebu Pacific waives fee on booking corrections

Effective August, Cebu Pacific Air guests who make booking changes within 24 hours from the time of ticket purchase will no longer be charged a rebooking or cancellation fee. Previously, passengers who made changes to their bookings such as flight dates and sequences were required to pay for the PHP1500 rebooking fee for domestic flights, or PHP2300 and PHP2800 for short haul and long haul international flights, respectively. Now, penalty fees are waived for booking corrections on flight sequence of city pairs, e.g., from Manila-Cebu to Cebu-Manila; and for changes on Sum of Sectors (SOS) bookings or connecting flights treated as one, e.g., Virac-Manila-Cebu to Cebu-Manila-Virac. Rebooking fees will also be waived for direct flights changed to SOS booking and vice-versa. While the rebooking and cancellation fees are waived, however, passengers who make such flight changes will still need to shoulder the fare difference. The waiver on the rebooking and cancellations fees is applicable across all booking channels of Cebu Pacific—whether through a travel agent, ticket office and call center. Ancillary services, such as seat selection, baggage allowance and pre-ordered meals, are also fully transferrable to other guests and flights at no extra cost.

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RAK Airport movements soar over 18%

RAK Airport CEO image

After a record-breaking 2016, this year is looking just as promising for Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. Passenger volume to date has increased 6% over 2016. On the cargo front, volumes are up 30.2% on prior year as the long-term strategy for the sector, which included additional routes coming on stream, comes to fruition. This growth has also impacted overall aircraft movements which are up 17.6% year-on-year. Mohammed Qazi, CEO, RAK International Airport, who has been driving the strategy, noted, “Year 2017 started strongly as we continued our focus on promoting Ras Al Khaimah as the fastest-growing tourist destination regionally as well as the specialist cargo centre in the regional market, but summer was something we wanted to target this year as an indicator of our growing success. Even though the summer success has seen us breaking previous records, we have already finalised our winter charters schedules and are introducing further new scheduled routes, such as Romania, starting from December.” The continuing growth that’s been experienced means that all passenger, movements and cargo tonnage records since the airport’s original inauguration have now been surpassed. Charter flights have been running throughout the summer for the first time as Ras Al Khaimah moves towards being a year round destination for tourists. In addition the airport’s first scheduled direct service to Europe kicked off with a connection to Prague. “While the commercial performance has been at its strongest in our history, we have also invested in infrastructure with a new departures terminal and we’ll be completing our cargo expansion by the end of the year,” Qazi added. Technological innovation has also been at the heart of this year’s success. For smaller airports such as …

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Emirates adds flights to KSA for Hajj

Emirates a380

Emirates will be operating 45 additional flights to Jeddah and 12 additional flights to Medina from August 17 until September 11 to help serve 2 million pilgrims expected to travel to the Holy City of Mecca during Hajj this year. These services will run in parallel with Emirates’ regularly scheduled services to Jeddah. The airline will also be operating its A380 to Medina which will also support the increased demand during this period. The additional services are available to travellers holding a valid Hajj visa. This year, top inbound destinations Emirates is expecting Hajj pilgrims to come from are Yangon, Manchester, Mauritius, Jakarta, Karachi, Lagos and Nairobi. Adil Al Ghaith, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Gulf, Middle East and Iran, Emirates, said, “With a sizeable increase in demand for air travel during this period, Emirates is helping to make the journey more seamless for the scores of pilgrims making their way to the Holy City of Mecca. Whether it’s in the air or on the ground, Emirates aims to provide all its customers with the best experience in line with their faith, particularly at this significant time and important journey.” On the ground, Emirates has appointed a dedicated group of airport staff to seamlessly facilitate the passenger ground experience for Hajj. In addition, dedicated check-in counters have been set up for Hajj passengers in Dubai. In the air, several initiatives have been planned in keeping with the values and traditions that pilgrims uphold when travelling for Hajj. Extra provisions will be made to accommodate Hajj traveller needs such as performing ablutions, advising passengers about Al Miqat and Ihram (the phase when pilgrims enter a state of sanctity) and other arrangements …

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