Category Archives: Agents

Launch of Revolutionary Content Curation Layer (CCL) for Travel Agencies Highlights Travelport’s AI Strategy

Travelport announced the debut of the Content Curation Layer (CCL). The CCL uses AI to power search while trawling billions of trip options, helping agencies find the perfect match for their customers. As the latest enhancement to the innovative Travelport+ platform, CCL uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML) to quickly deliver the right range of accurate, highly intuitive search results to its travel agency partners worldwide. “Travelport’s role in the increasingly complex travel industry is to take millions of pieces of disparate information and make it simple for both travel agencies and providers to understand, search, sell and service,” said Greg Webb, Chief Executive Officer at Travelport. “We believe AI and machine learning are powerful tools to do just that. The Content Curation Layer will allow travel agencies to provide travelers the right range of normalized, enriched, bookable content at speed, via a singular search screen. Used for all content sources (LCC, EDIFACT, NDC, hotel, car, etc.), the CCL allows agents to compare apples to oranges in an apples-to-apples way.” Travelport’s Content Curation Layer is a powerful tech-enabler that uses AI and ML to sift through aggregated, multi-source content and returns search results faster than the average airline search response time. It identifies the most relevant offers for each traveler to create a faster, more intelligent search experience for the agent. This technology layer simplifies the delivery of retail-ready content to agencies and helps them curate options that are most desirable for the travelers. One of the key features of the CCL is the Content Optimizer, a new Travelport+ product that offers agency customers greater control over all content types, including both traditional and NDC content. With the ability …

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HBX Group announces its Sustainability Report, highlighting key strategies through 2026

HBX Group presented its Sustainability Report, including the initiatives developed to date and the key elements of its ESG strategy for the next three years, focusing on the positive impact potential of the tourism industry. HBX Group, with over 3,700 employees and present in more than 170 countries, has established a plan with over 75 actions linked to fulfilling various ESG commitments. To achieve this, HBX Group conducted a double materiality analysis, where consultation with its stakeholders was crucial in aligning the plan with their expectations. The company has also established a new framework for work and result reporting that considers multiple current regulations and certifications. In this context, HBX Group has recently joined the United Nations Global Compact, which sets out the 10 principles guiding companies to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies. HBX Group has also initiated a three-year plan to align its reporting with the new European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which analyses the impact of the company and its entire value chain. This has been based on the identification of over 4,000 key performance indicators, enabling the implementation of concrete and tangible changes in environmental protection. Collaboration in the tourism Industry As an example of our objective to work collaboratively with partners and clients to achieve a greater positive impact, HBX Group has implemented a Sustainable Hotels Programme. This programme aims to highlight the most environmentally, socially, and community-respectful actors. It already includes over 40,000 properties with official sustainability certifications. Thanks to awareness- raising actions carried out in collaboration with multiple partners, the number of hotels with a no- single-use plastics policy has increased from 500 to 5,000 in just one year. Elena Pérez, Chief …

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CVS Middle East opens doors for hotel site inspections with Chinese Travel buyers

The China Visitors Summit (CVS) with TravTalkME as media partner, scheduled for September 5-6 in Dubai, is set to provide a pivotal platform for hotel properties across the UAE. This unique event will welcome over 120 Chinese travel agents, tour operators, MICE managers, corporate travel planners, wholesalers, luxury agents, and media representatives. This year, the summit has expanded its program to include an extensive schedule of hotel site inspections. These sessions are designed to give Chinese buyers a comprehensive, firsthand look at the participating hotel properties’ amenities and services. Groups of buyers, typically ranging from 20 to 25 individuals per session, will have the exclusive opportunity to be hosted by hotels, offering them an in-depth onsite experience. Since its inception in 2008, CVS has successfully attracted highly qualified Chinese travel buyers from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. These paying delegates actively seek to establish connections with local travel suppliers including hotels, attractions, museums, shopping centers, and other destinations. Unlike traditional conferences and exhibitions, CVS facilitates direct, experiential interactions between travel buyers and suppliers at the actual hotel properties. This immersive approach is unparalleled in its effectiveness for showcasing hotel offerings directly to decision-makers in the travel industry. There is no better way to market and promote your hotel property than to demonstrate its value firsthand to this select group of influential buyers.

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35% increase in international bookings from the UAE in July and August 2024 : dnata Travel

dnata Travel reported a 35% increase in bookings for international travel across July and August 2024, compared to the same timings last year. As one of the busiest weekends forecasted for travel fast approaches, the travel agency is supporting thousands of travellers with pre-booked itineraries and last-minute requests across its multiple channels, including 14 retail outlets across the country. For July and August, dnata Travel’s most popular destinations for international travel from the UAE are Thailand, Maldives, Mauritius, Turkey, and the UK, respectively. Compared to trends released earlier this summer, Mauritius has emerged to enter the ‘top three’ most-booked holiday destinations. Across summer 2024, the island country is one of the fastest-growing holiday locations for dnata’s travellers, alongside Germany and Malaysia. International trips are on the agenda for this popular time for summer travel, dominating a 90% majority of overall bookings this year, compared to 10% for UAE staycations. In comparison, the split was reported by dnata Travel experts as 65% international and 35% staycations over the Eid al-Adha break for 2024, with demand for outbound travel witnessing a significant increase. Meerah Ketait, Head of Retail and Leisure UAE at dnata Travel, commented: “International travel is in high demand this summer, with destinations including Mauritius, Malaysia, and Germany witnessing some of the strongest growth we’ve seen this year. Mauritius and Malaysia offer the chance to stay on world-class beaches and in exceptional resorts at affordable prices. Kuala Lumpur is also a popular destination in Asia for a city break for its impressive skyline, and opportunities for shopping and dining. Meanwhile, Germany’s vibrant cities are popular this month, as travellers seek to soak up the action of the UEFA European Football …

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Al Rostamani Travels and BluSmart unveil region’s pioneering eco-travel partnership

Al Rostamani Travels announced a partnership with BluSmart, UAE’s first 100% electric full-stack premium limousine service to launch eco-friendly travel solutions in the region. Driven by Al Rostamani Group’s values of Commitment, Care, and Vision, this unique collaboration sets a new standard for sustainable travel. BluSmart’s chauffeur driven luxury service with Audi e-tron fleet delivers a premium experience while significantly reducing CO2 emissions, contributing to a cleaner environment. This partnership will offer sustainable travel services, including airport transfers, city tours, and intracity travel, supporting the UAE’s Green Mobility Strategy 2030 to decrease fossil fuel reliance and enhance energy security. BluSmart’s premium fleet service will help Al Rostamani Travels achieve its environmental goals, showcasing its commitment and dedication to sustainability and reducing carbon emissions in the travel industry. Bimal Jain, General Manager of Al Rostamani Travels, commented, “Being the first travel company in the UAE and the region to partner with BluSmart is a significant step towards our goal of providing sustainable travel solutions. We are excited to offer our clients an eco-friendly alternative that aligns with our commitment to environmental stewardship.” “As the benefits of electric vehicles become more widely recognized, this partnership sets a new benchmark for sustainable travel combined with premium services in the region” he added. Sreejith Hrishikesh, VP – Business and Country Head – UAE, BluSmart added, “This partnership with Al Rostamani Travels is the first of many such travel collaborations in the region. We provide our riders convenient, reliable, and environmentally conscious transportation options, while also contributing to the UAE’s vision of building smart, sustainable cities.” Al Rostamani Travels and BluSmart are leading the charge in promoting green mobility, supporting the UAE’s vision. For more …

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Geof Travel wins top seller award in Philippine Airlines and Sabre EmQuest campaign

Geof Travel has been named the overall winner among Dubai and Northern Emirates travel agencies of the recently-concluded Philippine Airlines and Sabre Emquest’s Top Seller Campaign. Geof Travel will receive a trip for two to Palawan, Philippines, which includes two round-trip tickets and two nights of hotel accommodation.The contest ran from March 20 to May 31, 2024. “EmQuest was delighted to award Geof Travel with a voucher for a 2 night stay in Palawan. Geoffrey Salatan, CEO of Geof Travel, is a loyal EmQuest customer and Sabre user. We couldn’t be happier that the winner of Season 2 – EmQuest/Sabre & Philippines Airlines Top Seller Campaign – was won by such a good partner. Congratulations!”, Andrew Dowling, Emquest General Manager said. “Philippine Airlines is pleased to award Geof Travel with the top recognition in this year’s sales campaign. Geof has been a consistent Philippine Airlines supporter and this is yet another testament of the agency’s trust and confidence in booking their passengers to Philippine Airlines, the Heart of the Filipino”, Josh Vasquez, PAL Regional Head-EMEA quoted.

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SalamAir promotes Khareef Salalah across its network

SalamAir announced its network-wide social media engagement campaign to celebrate the enchanting Khareef season in Salalah, Oman. This campaign aims to gather travelers from around the world in a collective celebration and promotion of Salalah as a must-visit destination during the summer months, renowned for its refreshing cooler weather and stunning natural beauty. We invite all our passengers to capture and share their favorite moments from Salalah during Khareef for a chance to win a free return ticket to any of our destinations! “We are thrilled to reveal this interesting social media campaign, designed to harness the power of our vibrant community of travelers and showcase the enchanting Khareef season in Salalah. By encouraging our passengers to share their personal experiences, we highlight Salalah’s unique beauty and create a deeper connection with our audience and community. This strategic initiative aims to magnify Salalah’s appeal as a premier summer destination, leveraging user-generated content to inspire and attract more visitors to experience its refreshing cooler weather and captivating landscapes.” said Sherif Hosny, Director of Marketing and Digital Sales at SalamAir. This campaign is more than just a contest; it’s an opportunity to join a community of travelers who appreciate the unique charm of Salalah during Khareef. Salalah transforms into a verdant city with cooler temperatures, offering a refreshing escape from the summer heat. By sharing your experiences, you stand a chance to win exciting prizes and contribute to showcasing Salalah as a premier summer destination. Your photos and stories will inspire others to discover the hidden gems of this beautiful city, and promoting it as a must-visit location will aid local businesses, events, and communities to prosper. Now, SalamAir connects Salalah with …

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Amadeus and Vistara conclude successful promotion with travel partners in Oman

Amadeus and Vistara Airlines successfully collaborated on a joint promotion to support the travel industry during the typically slow period last Ramadan which boosted travel bookings, saw an overwhelming positive response from travel partners and resulted in healthy flight loads and increased incremental segments. As part of the highest seller incentive, six top-performing travel partners were rewarded with attractive prizes including Apple Watches, Lenovo Tablets, Vistara Premium Economy and Economy tickets, and shopping vouchers. The incentive was designed to motivate and appreciate the hard work of the travel agencies during this period. Both Vistara and Amadeus expressed their deep gratitude to their travel partners for their unwavering support. This gesture was met with enthusiasm and appreciation from the travel partners, who reaffirmed their commitment to a long-term partnership with both companies. The collaboration with travel partners has not only bolstered travel bookings has also strengthened relationships with key industry players. The positive feedback from travel partners underscores the success of the promotion. Among the top-performing travel agencies were Akbar Travels Middle East, Alhashar Travels, Bahwan Tourism LLC, Khimji’s House of Travel, Satguru Travel and Tourism Services and Zahara Travel & Service Bureau LLC. These agencies demonstrated exceptional sales performance, contributing significantly to the promotion’s success.

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HBX Group and PerfectStay join forces to offer roll out B2B2C travel packages globally

HBX Group announced a strategic partnership with PerfectStay. This collaboration aims to create a new global leader in B2B2C package travel solutions. This partnership marks a significant milestone in HBX Group’s journey towards innovation. Some of the brands currently working with HBX Group and PerfectStay include Air France, Emirates, Transavia, and American Express. Kenya Airways is the latest addition to this client portfolio, highlighting the growing influence and reach of both companies. Since 2023, HBX Group has been collaborating with PerfectStay to offer innovative packaging solutions for airlines, hotels, and banks in EMEA. With the successful commercialisation phase, HBX Group is now accelerating the global rollout of HBX Group & PerfectStay curated travel experiences to a wider selection of clients, enabling them to offer unique and monetisable travel experiences directly to their customers. PerfectStay is recognised for its exceptional ability in curating unique travel experiences, providing comprehensive travel inventories that include hotels, transfers, car rentals, excursions, flights and activities. With great technological capabilities and advanced dynamic packaging, PerfectStay offers clients bespoke travel solutions. The partnership will also enhance customer loyalty programmes and consumer platforms. Leveraging advanced technology and data, HBX Group and PerfectStay will boost revenue and improve user experience. Both companies’ digital marketing expertise will drive traffic and increase conversion rates, ensuring a seamless and rewarding travel experience for customers. PerfectStay’s technology, combined with HBX Group’s global presence and local touch, will ensure the best deals negotiated by destination experts. Nicolas Huss, CEO of HBX Group, says: “According to sector research, there is growing demand for both personalised and organised travel experiences, which is why HBX Group saw in PerfectStay the best partner possible. We are excited to bring …

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Safarak travel experienced 76% surge in MICE inquiries

Safarak Travel and Tourism, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) has recorded remarkable growth in its MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) division, contributing significantly to the emirate’s economic development. Safarak has experienced a 76% increase in MICE enquiries year-on-year, with a conversion rate of 28% in the first quarter of 2024, surpassing the industry average of 20%. This surge in activity has resulted in AED 25.5 million being injected into the emirate’s economy, aligning Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) vision to establish the emirate as a premier MICE destination. Ras Al Khaimah has established itself as an easily accessible destination in the Middle East, serving as an ideal hub between Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. In addition, new direct flights from Qatar Airways and IndiGo have been pivotal in increased international air connectivity, making Ras Al Khaimah even more accessible, further adding to the emirate’s MICE appeal. Its draw as a MICE destination is enhanced by unique venues and stunning natural landscapes, from the UAE’s highest mountain range to its vast desert and 5-star beachside hotels on the Persian Gulf. Safarak has been continuously exploring new venues to expand its portfolio, guaranteeing a robust and diverse selection for event planners. Recent additions include the highest boardroom in the UAE, Jais Sky Room, offering breathtaking views of the Hajjar mountain range, and the historic Al Jazeera Al Hamra Heritage Village, providing an authentic local cultural setting for events. The Ras Al Khaimah Cultural Centre continues offers a space for large groups, whilst the Design Gallery has increased in popularity for intimate bookings. The first quarter of 2024 has seen Safarak handling a diverse range of events across various …

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