Category Archives: Agents

1st Outbound Travel Bazaar in Abu Dhabi

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The first Outbound Travel Bazaar was held in Abu Dhabi at InterContinental Hotel on September 21, 2017. The brainchild of travel expert Mario Anthony, Proprietor, Luxury Connections, the event saw participation from buyers hailing from Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The Ambassador of Finland stated that this was the first time that Finland was promoting the destination for MICE sector and that they were able to have many buyers with genuine inquiries as the destination is currently an emerging market for the UAE. The show started off with an interactive session with two experts in the field of travel followed by B2B sessions. The B2B meetings were a closed door event and allowed ample time for both buyers and sellers to connect.

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‘Dubai Expert’ training programme now in 12 languages & 40 countries

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Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), has launched its “Dubai Expert” online training initiative for travel agents in 12 languages and 40 countries, taking this innovative game to a wider travel trade audience internationally, as part of efforts to highlight the multiple experiences that await visitors to Dubai across leisure, shopping, cuisine, culture, family entertainment, and more. The development and roll-out of the Dubai Expert initiative was managed by the Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), an institution of Dubai Tourism. The tool features an engaging interface that includes information on Dubai’s tourism attractions, allowing travel agents to develop their skills and keep up to date with the latest tourism developments in Dubai. The training platform also helps agents to provide potential tourists with customised and unique experiences. ‘Dubai Expert’ was introduced in English during this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in April, attracting an overwhelming response from travel agents. Following the positive feedback shown by travel companies around the world, Dubai Tourism developed the tool in a further 11 languages – French, Mandarin, Russian, German, Italian, Bahasa, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Czech, and Spanish – and launched it in 40 countries alongside the English version. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said, “Dubai Expert was developed to assist the international travel trade in keeping up to date with all the destination updates in Dubai and ensure that all travel agents and tour operators have a sound knowledge of the emirate that they are trying to promote. Dubai Expert is also part of our continued investment in new technology and facilities that could help boost tourist arrivals in line with our strategic goal of …

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Traveltek launches Middle East operation

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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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First Diana Travel strengthens its Middle East presence with Travelport

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Travelport announced a new agreement with First Diana Travel which will get the leading Lebanese travel agency access to Travelport’s unrivalled choice of travel content. By connecting to the Travelport platform, First Diana will now have intelligent, fast and accurate searching and booking tools to offer to its customers. It would be able to provide content from more than 400 airlines, including low cost and network carriers, more than 650,000 hotel properties and more than 37,000 car rental locations around the world. Bookers at the leisure and full service corporate agencies can use Travelport Smartpoint as their desktop tool to search beyond rate and availability while purchasing personalised travel packages, to drive performance and to increase revenues. Elcheikh Mohamed Ghouzayel, President and Owner of First Diana Travel, commented, “This is an exciting time for First Diana Travel and we’re thrilled to sign our debut deal with Travelport. Having recently extended our operation outside the Lebanese borders, into the Gulf region and Asia, we look forward to differentiating our offerings by utilising Travelport’s technology to provide our customers with a more personalised booking experience.”

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The Q announces cruise trip to Antarctica, especially for UAE travel enthusiasts

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Antarctica is slowly emerging as one of the most sought-after destinations by UAE’s cruise travellers, who are always on the search for something exotic and different. To help those who are still on the lookout for a tour operator that could take them to this new dream destination, India-based ‘The Q Experiences’ has announced a trip to Antarctica on a luxury cruise, starting from December 9, 2017. This will be an 11-day curated trip to the exotic, ice crowned continent, also rightly known as the White Continent. Speaking about this new adventure trip in the offing, Vasim Shaikh, founder of The Q Experiences said, “We have received tremendous response for this trip from the GCC countries. At The Q, it is our constant endeavour to create memories that last a lifetime for all our travellers; we are keen on creating a similar experience for our Gulf travellers as well, and we are hopeful to see more travellers from this region to join us in this trip of a lifetime”.

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tajawal launches Visa Checkout in KSA

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After its successful attempt at integrating the Visa Checkout facility with its tajawal.ae domain in January 2017, the Dubai-based travel-booking website has further collaborated with Visa to provide Visa Checkout to its customers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. tajawal is now rolling out the service across multiple markets to provide its users in the region with the most convenient booking process possible. Visa Checkout offers cardholders a simple and secure digital payment method that allows for registered users to complete their purchase at the click of a button. By logging into their Visa Checkout account, payment and billing information are automatically populated, eliminating the step to manually enter the information with every purchase. Ahmed Gaber, Visa’s General Manager for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain, said, “Innovations like Visa Checkout help to remove friction from the e-commerce payment process, bringing significant benefits to both the customer and the merchant. With Visa Checkout integrated into its systems, tajawal can now offer its customers an online payment experience that is as easy, convenient, and seamless as swiping a Visa card in a traditional retail setting.” To promote Visa Checkout as a payment option on tajawal.sa, a special offer has been introduced on all flight and hotel bookings that can be availed by registered users who choose to pay with Visa Checkout on tajawal.sa until August 18, 2017.

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Abu Dhabi is UK’s latest favourite holiday destination: Gold Medal

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Gold Medal, a leading UK travel company, has heralded Abu Dhabi as one of the most popular destinations for this summer, following a surge in the number of British holidaymakers visiting the United Arab Emirates this year. Offering a variety of online travel services and products, including airfares, hotel reservations and car rentals to travel agents, Gold Medal has reported a 294 per cent year-on-year increase in the summer 2017 holiday bookings than 2016 holiday bookings from the UK to the UAE capital. British travel agents will get to sample for themselves the many attractions of Abu Dhabi when Etihad Airways and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA) host a large familiarisation visit to the emirate in September. They will be able to sample the cultural attractions, beaches, sports facilities and excellent hospitality for which Abu Dhabi is increasingly renowned.

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Kulwant Singh wins the Face of the Future award

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At the glamourous Arabian Travel Awards held a few hours ago in Dubai, the dynamic and globally acclaimed Kulwant Singh, Founder and Managing Director, Lama Group, was felicitated with the Face of the Future award. Singh, with his hard work, business acumen and conviction, nurtured a small company of a few people to grow into an empire of 500 professional and skilled employees, spread across Europe, Russia, China, India, the Philippines and the CIS countries. Even within the GCC, he has offices in Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Taking his business beyond core travel and tourism, he has now successfully ventured also into marketing, representations, hotels and restaurants. Recently, his company has launched new products, namely, Luxury Yacht Cruises, Dhow Cruises, Hummer Safaris and Explore Arabia – a day long encounter in true Arabian style.

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Maiden Arabian Travel Awards leaves ME tourism tigers spellbound

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Recognising and applauding the tourism tigers of the Middle East, DDP presented the first-ever Arabian Travel Awards on July 4, 2017, at the JW Marriott Hotel Dubai in Deira. Over 150 notable personalities of the Middle East travel and tourism sector were present to honour and acknowledge the achievements of their brightest gems. Dr Tanushree Pandey, Gladrags Mrs India, along with SanJeet, Mentor, Arabian Travel Awards, and Sumeera Bahl, Director, Durga Das Publications, handed out the awards to the winners. Due recognition was given to each sector in the industry through 48 categories of awards. Welcoming the guests, SanJeet, said, “With Arabian Travel Awards, we aim at identifying and encouraging talent of all kinds in the tourism sector. Owing to these stars, the graph of the Middle East tourism industry has touched remarkable heights. It is our pleasure to honour them for their achievements. This initiative will help encourage more talent to develop and take this vibrant industry to a much higher level.”

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