Shivani DDPPL

Ascott secures second Citadines branded property in Turkey

The Ascott Limited (Ascott) has secured a second property under the Citadines brand in Turkey: Citadines Maslak Istanbul, scheduled to open in Q2 2019. The newly built serviced residence is in Maslak 1453, one of Europe’s largest lifestyle developments and one of Istanbul’s main business and leisure districts. This is the same development as Somerset Maslak Istanbul – Ascott’s first property that opened in Turkey, last year. The property is ideally located in the city’s major commercial hub, which is home to many multinational corporations, such as Ericsson, Cisco and Ford, as well as educational institutions including Nisantasi University and Istanbul Technical University. Popular leisure destinations close to the the property include the mall Istinye Park, which offers 291 retail stores and food bazaar, sports stadium Türk Telecom Arena that houses football club Galatasaray SK; and the Istanbul Sapphire, an integrated development comprising retail and residential components. “Istanbul is a thriving city, for both business and leisure,” says Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s Regional General Manager for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. “It has increasingly become an attractive destination for investors and multinational corporations as a regional hub, and the number of tourists visiting is on the rise. Our research shows that occupancy levels have been gradually recovering since 2017. This, when coupled with the current deficiency in quality serviced apartments in the region, gives us confidence that Citadines Maslak Istanbul can meet the demands of the mid-market hospitality sector.”

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Travelport signs agreement with Qantas to provide flexibility to agents

Travelport has announced the signing of a multiyear agreement with Qantas Airways that includes distribution of the Australian national carrier’s content and integration into Qantas’ recently announced NDC platform, the Qantas Distribution Platform (QDP). Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding merchandising solution has been deployed, giving over 65,000 of Travelport-connected travel agencies globally access to images of cabins and meals. These agents will also be able to book ancillaries such as extra legroom seating. Stephen Shurrock, Chief Commercial Officer, Travelport commented, “This agreement is testament to Qantas’ commendable forward-looking vision. Whether it’s the deployment of Rich Content and Branding or our new NDC capabilities, Travelport is uniquely equipped to support Qantas in optimizing content distribution globally.” Travelport is the first operator of a global distribution system to be granted the highest certification by IATA for its New Distribution Capability (NDC) airline distribution technology. With this, Travelport is well-positioned to support the QDP, improving the flexibility of content distribution, as the airline becomes one of the first to deploy NDC content later this year. It is the only such company to be cited by Qantas as an early adopter.

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Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort to open in November

Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi’s new luxurious beachfront resort, will open on November 11, 2018. Surrounded by natural beauty, the  beachfront resort is just 10 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi and 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport. Located on a stunning island, overlooking turquoise waters and protected sand dunes, the 293 room hotel values sustainable tourism and will be plastic bottle and plastic straw free. In partnership with Trust Your Water, the hotel will provide solutions to eliminate the need for single use plastic water bottles. Proposed measures include complimentary, reusable plastic bottles for all guests who will be encouraged to refill at water stations throughout the hotel. In addition, local filtered water will be served in glass bottles throughout the resort. The modern and light rooms feature expansive sea views and six panoramic suites offer floor-to-ceiling glass walls which can open up to take advantage of the sea breeze. The eight food and beverage outlets include the chic all-day dining venue White for buffets and live cooking stations; Mare Mare for fresh and authentic Italian summer food; Levantine inspired TEAN for mezzes and grills next to the beach and Al Majilis for a cup of rich roasted coffee and patisseries.

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Turkish adds Krasnodar, Russia to its flight network

Turkish Airlines has added Krasnodar in Russia to its flight network as the 303rd destination, which currently operates its flight to Moscow, St. Petersburg , Sochi, Rostov, Kazan, Ekaterinburg, Voronezh, Samara and Ufa in Russia. Krasnodar flights will be operated five times per week in both directions. At the opening ceremony, Ahmet Olmuştur, Chief Marketing Officer, Turkish Airlines stated that, ‘’Turkish Airlines flying to the most countries of the world; continues to work on growth plans by adding new aircraft to its fleet and expanding its flight network. With the flights that we launched to Krasnodar, we have presented Turkish Airlines quality and service concept to this beautiful city. We will operate direct flights to Krasnodar from İstanbul 5 times a week in both direction . So , we are glad to launch flights to Krasnodar which has become the 10th destination in Russia’’. Round trip fares are available from Istanbul to Krasnodar starting at $280, including all taxes and fees.

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Tencent partners with Dubai tourism for smart tourism

Tencent has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) to jointly enhance Dubai’s reputation as a sought-after destination and spearhead smart tourism along the route of the Belt and Road Initiative. Poshu Yeung, Vice President,Tencent International Business Group (IBG), and Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), signed the MoU as a continued commitment to promoting Dubai tourism. Making use of Tencent’s expertise in Chinese consumer engagement and Dubai Tourism’s influence and network in Dubai, the partnership aims to foster the development of the tourism industry in Dubai through elevating Dubai Tourism’s marketing outreach efforts to China consumers, enhancing Chinese visitors’ travel experience in Dubai with Tencent’s leading digital platforms in China as well as deepening local merchants’ understanding of Chinese travelers’ consumption behavior via WeChat user insights. With more than 1.04 billion monthly active users as of Q1 2018, WeChat and Weixin offer an excellent integrated platform to raise brand awareness among Chinese travelers. Tencent IBG’s “Social Ad Solutions” will enable Dubai Tourism to optimize the return on media investments and reach out to the key target audience segments. Tencent also provides support to other stakeholders in formulating in-market solutions that are customized to fit specific brand objectives.

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AVANI Hotels & Resorts introduces online pre-arrival check -in

Travellers can now expedite the check-in process at any AVANI Hotels & Resorts property around the world as the hotel group has just launched its latest online check-in available prior to arrival. With each completed booking at www.avanihotels.com, guests will receive an option to complete a pre-arrival online check-in. The online check-in process is swift and secure – guests will arrive at the property to find their room and key card ready for immediate occupancy. At select AVANI properties, a dedicated lane will be available for those who completed the online process for an even faster check-in. Some properties have special welcomes for guests who complete their check-in online, at AVANI+ Luang Prabang, there will be special welcome cocktails, served by the pool, under a hundred-year-old Banyan tree; at AVANI Riverside Bangkok, guests can relax with a welcome drink at the comfy living space by reception before going to their room where they will find special room amenities. Guests can also take make additional requests during their online check-in to ensure the perfect stay. Whether it is extra down pillows, airport transfers, or exploration tips, AVANI can ensure a seamless arrival experience. AVANI Hotels & Resorts currently operates 23 properties in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, most recently debuting in Australia, New Zealand, and Laos. The brand has a strong pipeline of new properties under development including in new destinations such as South Korea, Tunisia, the Maldives, Mauritius, and Oman.

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‘Dubai Cruise Terminal’ approved as main hub for cruise tourism in Dubai

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has said that mega projects being implemented in the UAE are reinforcing the country’s profile globally as a model for sustainable growth driven by diversification, innovation and productive partnerships with the private sector. He also said the tourism sector is key to the development of the UAE’s economy, due to the value it adds through key projects and its ability to attract millions of visitors every year. “We welcome visitors from across the world and provide them with an exceptional tourism experiences. We want them to leave with lasting memories that they can share in their countries and communities. The continuous development of infrastructure has enabled our country to be a destination of choice in the region. Supported by the talent and creativity of our people, I am confident that we will be able to establish global leadership in several sectors. The UAE will continue to be a symbol of progress and prosperity,” Sheikh Mohammed added. His remarks came as he approved the ‘Dubai Cruise Terminal’ as the main hub for cruise tourism in Dubai. His Highness also attended the signing ceremony of a strategic partnership agreement between Meraas and Carnival Corporation & plc that aims to transform Dubai into a major regional maritime tourism hub.

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Saudi Arabia to witness a major rise in online travel

A recent report on ‘Middle East Consumer Travel Report 2018’ co-sponsored by Amadeus, explored an overview of the travel industry in Saudi Arabia and the latest highlights entailing consumer activities and mobile trends in the Middle East. Travellers from Riyadh showed an increase in mobile bookings in the Kingdom with 32%, followed by Jeddah with 31%. More than 40% of travellers in the region organise their trips online, 33% travellers today “actively search” for discounts online during the shopping process and 57% of travellers in the region book their flight fares only a week prior to their travel dates. The report acknowledges that the Middle East travel market is incredibly diverse when it comes to travel patterns. While value is a key driver in travel decisions, more people admit to being more influenced by friends, family and colleagues (53%) than by search engines and review sites (47%) or actual travel agents (31%). Eng. Nashat Bukhari, General Manager, Amadeus Saudi Arabia said, “We are pleased with the significant rise in the consumer’s online travel trend in the region and as the industry continues to evolve, we will continue the deliver the latest cutting-edge technology dedicate to alter the shape of the travel industry in the region.”  

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Khimji’s House of Travel renews partnership with Amadeus

Amadeus has announced the renewal of its partnership with Khimji’s House of Travel, a leading travel agency in Oman. The agency will be able to leverage Amadeus’ flagship products to deliver a superior level of service experience to their customers, making their journeys seamless during the whole trip process. Amadeus will provide Khimji’s House of Travel with solutions such as Amadeus Fare Optimiser, enabling travel agents to discover the best flight fares; Amadeus Online Corporate Traveller to manage corporate travellers, reduce business travel costs, increase policy compliance, and streamline the travel management processes; Amadeus e-Power to drive its online aspirations and provide rich contents 24*7 to customers; and Amadeus Travel Alerts Notifier, which keeps travellers informed about their booking up to their arrival back home, and more. Cashio Vettom, General Manager, Khimji’s House of Travel, said, “With this partnership, we are expanding our core capabilities to provide the best experience to our customers by using automated systems and programmes that increase our own efficiencies. We’re looking forward to sharing the benefits of this partnership with consumers across the Sultanate.” According a recent report revealed by the Colliers International, Oman’s tourism industry is expected to grow by 13 per cent between 2018 and 2021.

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Dubai showcases business events at IMEX Frankfurt

Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau and a division of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), has recently showcased Dubai’s dynamic business events offering and services to more than 9,000 international meetings, events, and incentives industry professionals at IMEX Frankfurt, held at Messe Frankfurt. Alongside its co-exhibitors, DBE is showcasing the latest developments in Dubai’s world-class offerings which include state-of-the-art facilities, infrastructure and the city’s renowned hospitality sector, further cementing the city’s status as a major business events destination. DBE has brought 24 stakeholders and partners to the global trade show as co-exhibitors, including Emirates Airline, Expo 2020 Dubai and Jumeirah Group, offering a holistic view of Dubai’s business events infrastructure as the city engages with the industry on the international stage. Expanding on these efforts, DBE continues to successfully host global activities, including immersive roadshows hosted in markets around the world, which create a unique platform to meet and engage with decision makers and executives in the meetings, associations and events industry. So far, DBE conducted roadshows across Europe, China, Southeast Asia and North America, while a number of future missions are planned to take place across India, Northeast Asia, the UK, Scandinavia and Russia over the course of the year.

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