Category Archives: Agents

AVIAREPS launches online payment


AVIAREPS has launched AVIACOLLECT, an online payment solution that allows small to medium offline airlines, hospitality brands, including standalone hotels and resorts, Destination Management Companies (DMCs), and providers of travel services, such as visa application, ground transportation, airport lounge access, car hire, attractions, sightseeing and travel insurance, to economically and effectively extend their international consumer and travel agent sales networks around the world. AVIACOLLECT was launched in response to the urgent business development needs of many small to mid-size tourism related companies to extend their sales distribution channels and presence internationally, in a manner that respects their unique brand, and is cost-effective to ensure a return on investment given limited resources. The payment solution can be used as a white label solution for AVIAREPS clients, allowing them to accept payments in targeted countries with local bank connections and in local currencies. As an AVIAREPS product AVIACOLLECT is naturally supported with in-market on the ground proactive promotion and distribution management by AVIAREPS professionals to established consumer and travel trade networks. AVIACOLLECT is also tailored to the needs of consumers and local travel agents seeking an online one stop information and payment platform, as visitors to the site can book all types of services for travel around the world; including accommodation, airport transfers, tours, airport lounge access and more, and then pay for them all in one online credit card payment. Each AVIACOLLECT portal is also tailored to the consumers and travel agents of each particular market, so that language, currency payments and even visa and other information is specific to that specific country or region. Clients too can tailor seasonal and promotional offerings to each individual market.

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Medical tourism conference to strengthen Brand UAE


The 3rd Annual Conference on Health and Medical Tourism – Brand UAE, organised by Thumbay Hospital and Gulf Medical University, was held at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Dubai. The theme for this year was nurturing partnerships and exploring opportunities. Spokesperson from Gulf Medical University reiterated that they are making efforts to create a new workforce in this sector in keeping with the vision of the government of Dubai to make it a destination or a hub for health tourists from around the world. Chief Guest for the event was H.E. Dr. Amin Al Amiri; Assistant Undersecretary for Medical Practice and License Sector Ministry of health, UAE with Guest of Honour was Thumbay Moideen; Founder President, Thumbay Group UAE. At the event leading medical tourism experts from UAE were honoured with special awards of honour and recognition and the third batch of graduates from the medical tourism facilitator course also received their certificates at the event.

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VFS launches France Visa Application Centre in Muscat


Residents of the Sultanate of Oman can now apply for visas to France at the visa application centre launched for the Embassy of France in the capital city of Muscat. Applicants can visit VFS Global’s centre to submit visa applications and enrol for biometrics. The Muscat centre is conveniently located in main city centre at Level 1, Tilal Office, Muscat Grand Mall, Dohat Al Adab Street, Al Khuwair, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Services at the centre commenced on 08 November 2016. With France being a popular tourist destination with Omanis, the launch of this new centre will bring added convenience and ease to applicants through quicker and more streamlined application processes. Furthermore, the new centre joins 5 other client governments served at the same premises, making it more convenient for travellers planning multiple business or leisure trips abroad. The Sultanate of Oman is the fourth country in the Middle East, after Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, from where applicants can apply for a visa to France. Since commencing visa processing operations in the Sultanate of Oman in 2005, VFS Global now serves 9 client governments in the country. VFS Global has been serving the Government of France since 2004, and currently serves the client in 15 countries from 52 visa application centres globally. Some of the key features of the centre include: Convenient and centrally-accessed location, professional staff with local language capability to handle queries and applications, well-appointed centre for enhanced comfort of applicants, automated queue governance for smooth flow of applicants, dedicated website for easy access to information including visa categories, requirements, check-list and applicable fees, 100% secure handling of passports, documents and personal information, door-step delivery of …

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50 per cent rise in ME medical tourists to Korea


Medical tourists from the Middle East region to Korea increased by over 50 per cent annually, with UAE patients averaging medical expense (per patient) is $13,560, which is comparatively higher than average medical expense per patient of $1,970, stated officials from the Korean National Tourism Organization. This year the Korea National Tourism Organisation, the state-run tourism organisation, in cooperation with the Financial News, a leading South Korean newspaper company, opened a two day event at the Intercontinental hotel Abu Dhabi “the Korea Medical Tourism Convention,” a medical tourism exhibition which gathered 16 Korean health establishments, government departments and medical agencies to promote attractive and reasonable medical & travel combo packages for patients wishing to seek medical treatment in world-class healthcare facilities in South Korea. The slogan for the event was ‘Care by Heart, Visit Medical Korea!’ According to the Korea National Tourism Organization, South Korea hosted 296,889 medical tourists from over 190 countries in 2015, reflecting an increase of 11.4 per cent from the 266,501 patients in 2014 and the 211,218 patients in 2013. The growth complements the plan of receiving one million international patients by the end of 2020. Korea offers a blend of high-quality care with high-tech techniques and procedures at prices far less than its counterparts in Europe, Japan and the United States (US). The country has become one of the leaders in organ transplants and cancer treatments throughout the world due to its superior techniques in curing severe conditions such as brain disease, cardiac disorders and cancer. Korea is also ranked the highest for five-year survival rates of cancer treatment patients over Canada, Japan and the US. The health industry in Korea also surpass the US …

Read More » launches online visa in UAE

musafir-2 has launched the online visa application service. Tourist visas to the UAE and 14 other destinations can now be directly applied on and have their travel documentation processed and completed with no hassle. They are the first travel provider in the GCC region to introduce this service online. Under the simplified procedure, applicants submit their application documentation and payment directly on to the website post which the visa will be processed and emailed back to the customer, ready to be shown at the immigration section of the airport. This new product is expected to increase in inbound as well as outbound travel. This new product launch aligns with the UAE’s ambitious Vision 2021 that encompasses all elements that lay the foundation of a smart city, inclusive of the smarter travel industry. With the recent change in the UAE visa norms for GCC expats, travellers into the UAE from the GCC countries will now have to apply for their visa prior to their travel. With this product flexibility, there will be a noticeable shift of visa applications online.

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SCTDA on roadshow drive in India


Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) and Hamriyah Free Zone both launched new marketing roadshows targeting India during the past few days, building on a busy year of promotion activities by Sharjah authorities. The SCTDA kicked off a four-city roadshow in Mumbai this week, which also visits New Delhi, Chandigarh and Bengaluru (Bangalore). The roadshow introduces seven Sharjah hotels, two destination management companies, plus leading budget carrier Air Arabia, to key Indian outbound tour operators and other industry contacts. Trade, investment and tourism from India have become a top priority for Sharjah, as its trade promotion organisations campaign widely to capitalise on growing interest in the emirate. Meanwhile, a delegation from Hamriyah Free Zone, headed by Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, Director of Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA) and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone), met with business leaders in Delhi a few days ago. Hamriyah Free Zone and SAIF Zone have both organised an extensive calendar of trade and investment promotion campaigns in India this year, visiting all major commercial centres in the country. Benefits such as 100 percent ownership, tax exemptions and allowing companies to repatriate 100 percent capital and profits have made the free zones very popular with Indian businesses. According to official estimates, about 7,000 of the 15,000 companies operating out of the two free zones are owned and controlled by Indian investors.

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Qatar Airways & Orange County hold seminar for agents


Over 50 travel agents and tour operators from Dubai and Sharjah attended the Educational seminar session conducted by Qatar Airways and Orange County. The event took place at Raffles Dubai in association with AVIAREPS the representative for ME region for Orange County. They shared the importance of the destination and the many facilities, language, social etiquette etc to welcome guests from the ME region. Glenn Johnston, Vice President Corporate Communications & Public Relations, GM, UAE/Middle East, AVIAREPS, reiterated key ways to reach out to the clients with the many value added options with the one year partnership with Qatar Airways. They also launched the special privilege e-card for the travel agents and tour operators.

Read More » opens branch at DIFC


The UAE’s first premium-experience travel website inaugurated a new flagship branch at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). With a specific focus on the corporate travel segment, the new branch located in the heart of Dubai’s financial district is expected to increase’s corporate travel bookings by 35 per cent over a period of next six months. With the recently upgraded online corporate tool that helps organisations manage their employees travel with ease, expects to see tremendous growth in their corporate clientele.  This follows 60 per cent growth in’s corporate travel bookings since January 2015. The new store was inaugurated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman of the Department of Statistics and Community Development and Co-founder of, in the presence of Sachin Gadoya, Managing Director and Co-founder of, and Saleh Al Akrabi, CEO of DIFC. The inauguration marks the 12th store opening for in the UAE – one of six new store openings lined up before the end of 2016 –and represents a key milestone in the travel provider’s ambitious regional expansion strategy.

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Travelport signs multi-year deal with Egypt-based travel group


Travelport has signed a new multi-year agreement with East West Travel Group, an Egypt-based travel agency. The East West Travel Group has over 30 years of operational experience, and specializes in corporate travel. The East West Travel Group has also now become the sole representative of BCD Travel in Egypt. BCD Travel is a leading global corporate travel management company with over 13,000 employees worldwide and total sales in 2015 of $25.4 billion. To mark the occasion Travelport sponsored a partnership event with East West Travel Group and BCD Travel in Egypt at the Baron Palace Garden, a historic attraction in the suburb of Heliopolis, Cairo. The event brought together some of the leading players from the Egyptian travel industry from the airline, hotel and government spaces.  The event was attended by His Excellency Mohamed Yehia Rashed, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism. As a result of the agreement, East West Travel Group and BCD Travel will now be able to access and utilize Travelport’s unrivalled travel content – including the branded fares and ancillaries from the world’s leading airlines and low cost carriers, as well as over 650,000 hotel properties, all from within the travel agent’s workflow. Travelport has established itself as a key technology partner in the Egyptian travel industry and today’s announcement with East West Travel and BCD Travel further reinforces Travelport’s brand awareness in the region.

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Etihad Aviation Group & TUI in talks to create new airline group


Etihad Aviation Group and TUI AG have confirmed they are in discussions to create a strong European leisure airline group, focused on point-to-point flying to connect key tourist markets. It is proposed to contribute the touristic operations of the airberlin group and the German TUIfly company, including the aircraft currently operated by TUIfly for airberlin under a wet-lease agreement, into a new airline group established by TUI and Etihad Aviation Group. This new airline group would serve a broad network of destinations from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The leisure airline group will be supported by the expertise of Etihad Aviation Group, the fastest-growing aviation group in the world, and utilise TUI’s state-of-the-art distribution capacity. TUI AG, Etihad Aviation Group and Air Berlin PLC intend to finalise an in-principle agreement in due course. Any agreement entered into will be subject to all necessary corporate and regulatory approvals.

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