Shivani DDPPL

Travelport and Priceline extend technology and content partnership

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

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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Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum opens for GCC with expanded offerings

Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum has recently opened for GCC for the summer season with an expanded offering for guests. New villas and suites overlooking the Paradise Bay will be available, and more butlers will be on hand to maintain the resort’s reputation for excellent service. Guests can savour new menus at the resort’s award-winning restaurants and book its new Flavours of Bodrum accommodation package. Guests staying at Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum now have three new villas and the Bougainvillea and Royal Suites to choose from in addition to the existing selection of guest rooms, apartments, suites and villas. The Bougainvillea Suite, also known as the honeymoon suite, is in a secluded spot at the far end of resort. The 95-square metre retreat features a single bedroom and private swimming pool overlooking the Aegean Sea. The sea-view Royal Suite, with seven rooms, private garden and swimming pool is the largest on the Bodrum Peninsula with 533 square metres of space. Including its existing seven-room villa, the resort now offers large-scale family accommodation on the Peninsula. All suites and villas at the resort have infinity pools and private terraces overlooking the sea.

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VisitBritain launches exclusive holidays for GCC

For the first time, VisitBritain aims to promote the luxury horse racing itineraries to horse racing enthusiasts in the region and inspire them to book these experiences. Their recent ‘I Travel For…’ digital marketing campaign uses short-films and story-telling to market unexplored destinations in Britain, alongside its globally renowned landmarks and attractions. For centuries, horse racing has been linked with the English monarchy. It is called the sport of kings because of its strong association with royalty and nobility. The history of England is the history of horse racing, from its humble beginnings to today’s Royal family’s continuing passion and patronage of the sport. A day at the races is an opportunity to experience English history and tradition at its best.

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Oman Air exhibits offerings at Philippines Travel Expo

Oman Air recently showcased its products at the Philippines Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) Travel Tour Expo and the Thai International Travel Fair (TITF). Both events provided a platform for the airline to showcase its latest news and products. Some 335 companies exhibited at the SMX Convention Centre in Pasay City, where more than 140,000 people attended over the course of the three day PTAA event. The exhibition hosted key representatives from airlines, travel agencies, tour operators, hotels, food concessionaires, government agencies and tourist organisations from across the world. The event allowed Oman Air officials the opportunity to promote Oman as a world-class destination to the growing Filipino travel market. ‎The airline was able to educate its fellow industry officials and new guests on the airline’s aircraft, upcoming routes, flight networks and frequency in general.  

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Four Seasons to offer ‘Latin Escapes’ jet excursion by 2019

The latest offering by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is the unique 16-day adventure private jet itineraries to come to effect by 2019. This new journey is shorter than the 24-day around-the-world journeys, and takes travellers to Miami, Costa Rica, Buenos Aires, Bogotá and even includes an escape to the Galápagos Islands, all in the care of Four Seasons. The Four Seasons Private Jet allows travellers to fulfil their most extraordinary travel dreams aboard a custom designed aircraft, while enjoying personalised Four Seasons service. Guests can opt for a wide range of experiences in each destination and tailor their trip to their interests, discovering authentic flavours and connecting with local cultures and communities without the added stress of planning. The dedicated team on each Private Jet journey takes care of everything, including all air travel, ground transportation, planned excursions, all meals and beverages and luxurious accommodations at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. While visiting the remote Galápagos Islands during the Latin Escape itinerary, guests will stay at accommodations carefully selected by Four Seasons.

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Arab states look to expanding trade ties with Brazil

The Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) hosted the Brazil-Arab Countries Economic Forum on April 2, 2018 in São Paulo, Brazil in an effort to expand trade relations between the South American nation and the Arab world. The forum was held on the theme ‘Building the Future’ at Hotel Unique in partnership with the Union of Arab Chambers and the League of Arab States. High-level authorities, representatives from development agencies and specialists joined six thematic panels to talk about incentives, investment policies and opportunities that can be taken advantage of by both Brazilian and Arab companies, and organisations. Rubens Hannun, President, ABCC, said, “There are synergies still to be explored and plenty of room to grow in the flourishing relations between Brazilian and Arab organizations. The forum provided an ideal platform to discuss key avenues that would enable us to bring our ties to the next level of development. Bringing major stakeholders under one roof is definitely a step closer to our goal of strengthening further our cooperation to achieve mutually beneficial results.” Many leading sectors provide numerous collaborative opportunities for both Brazil and the Arab region, including construction, finance, renewable energy, food security, logistics, innovation, tourism, technology and investments. The panel discussions highlighted the growth potentials of some of these key areas.

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Abu Dhabi tourism concludes three-city roadshow in China

A tourism delegation led by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) visited three major cities in China this month, to help raise awareness about the emirate as a holiday destination for Chinese travellers. The delegation, which included Etihad Airways, hotels, tour operators and attractions, first visited capital city Beijing, followed by Nanjing and finally Guangzhou, for its annual roadshow. China is now the leading overseas source market for Abu Dhabi hotel guests, with the latest figures revealing a 40.9 per cent increase, year-to-date, from visitors from China compared to 2017. In the first two months of 2018, 86,400 Chinese visited the emirate, with February alone accounting for an impressive 83.6 per cent increase. The Department is targeting 600,000 Chinese hotel guests a year by 2021. DCT Abu Dhabi has been spearheading a number of delegations visiting the Chinese market on roadshows and promotional exhibitions. Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director Promotions and Overseas Offices, DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “With a diverse range of leisure, entertainment options, high-quality hotels and shopping malls, Abu Dhabi will continue to position itself as an attractive destination for Chinese travellers. Moving forward, we will continue to promote Abu Dhabi’s unique offerings focused on presenting the best culturally-enriching experiences to our Chinese visitors who are seeking to experience new cultures.”

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Etihad inaugurates Eco Residence for cabin crew in Abu Dhabi

Etihad Airways has opened its Etihad Eco Residence in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s first purpose-built, sustainable Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rated project for cabin crew accommodation. The project is the result of a unique partnership between Etihad and Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company. The Etihad Eco Residence was inaugurated in the presence of Khaled Al Qubaisi, Chief Executive Officer, Aerospace, Renewables & Information Communications Technology (ICT) for Mubadala and Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group.  The complex, which comprises 500 apartments in 11 buildings at the Masdar City development, was recently awarded ‘Sustainable Design of the Year’ at the 2017 Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) MENA Green Awards, and ‘Sustainable Construction Project of the Year’ at Big Projects Middle East Awards 2017. The residence offers comfortable, high-specification one and two-bedroom apartments which include furniture and white goods provided by Etihad Airways. Mana Mohamed Saeed Al Mulla, Chief Group Support Services Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “The opening of Etihad Eco Residence underscores not only the importance we place on providing superior housing to our cabin crew, but also our responsibility as part of the greater Abu Dhabi vision, to play a part in transforming the capital into a global leader in smart urban planning, clean energy and sustainability.”

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DXB welcomed 6.9 million passengers in February

According to the monthly traffic report, Dubai International (DXB) welcomed nearly 7 million passengers in February. The monthly traffic in February totalled 6,928,547 compared to 6,948,157 passengers recorded during the same month in 2017, down marginally by 0.3 per cent. The year to date traffic reached 14,888,693 passengers, down 0.6% compared to 14,985,165 recorded during the first two months of 2017. In terms of percentage growth, Eastern Europe was the fastest expanding market with traffic growing 17.6%, followed by South America (13.3%) and CIS (12.1%). India remained the top destination country by passenger volume with a total of 962,425 passengers during the month. The UK was placed second with 505,255 passengers, followed by Saudi Arabia with 490,058 and Pakistan with 336,875 passengers. London topped the list of destination cities with 305,768 passengers, followed by Mumbai (207,038 passengers) and Bangkok (201,077). Flight movements at DXB totalled 31,456 in February, down 3.2% compared to 32,486 during the same period in 2017. Year to date flight movements totalled 66,762 compared to 69,078* recorded during the first two months last year, down 3.4%. The average number of passengers per movement during February reached 228 compared to 223 during the corresponding month in 2017, an increase of 2.2%.

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