Category Archives: Associations

58% growth in bookings for Ireland from the UAE: dnata Travel

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Travel from the UAE to the island of Ireland has seen strong growth from January 1st until June 30th, according to travel statistics released by dnata Travel. Compared to the same period (H1) in 2018, UAE locals and residents have been visiting Ireland in greater numbers, drawn to its diverse landscape full of lush greenery and vast natural beauty.  Over the first two quarters of the year, 58 per cent more bookings to Ireland were made through dnata Travel’s platforms, and room nights booked have also increased by 72 per cent. Antonio Fellino, Vice President of Retail and eCommerce for dnata Travel UAE, commented: “Trips to Ireland with dnata Travel offer UAE travellers unique opportunities including the chance to stay in a grand castle, or a small cottage at the heart of a colourful local village, or to explore rugged, scenic landscapes that follow in the footsteps of their favourite Game of Thrones characters.” Additional data indicates that sales of trips and accommodation to Ireland increased nearly two-fold during Eid Al Fitr alone, as compared to last year. This correlated to the travel provider noting that online searches for holidays to Ireland have seen a 675% augmentation in the first six months of this year. The most preferred destination for travellers from the UAE market was to Dublin, with 95 per cent of hotel bookings made through the dnata Travel platform favouring the capital city, followed by the cosmopolitan city of Cork. Visitors from the region have been found to reinforce their preference for luxury accommodation whilst abroad, as 47 per cent of hotels booked were for 5-star properties, followed by 4-star and 3-star hotels respectively. The ever-strengthening relationship between …

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ITB China becomes strategic partner of the 2019 World Culture and Tourism Forum

ITB CHINA

ITB China, the largest B2B exclusive travel trade show in China, has become the strategic partner of the 2019 World Culture and Tourism Forum to be held on October 22-25 in Xi’an, China. Under the topic “Integrating Culture and Tourism to Build an Intelligent Future”, more than 1,000 industry experts will explore new marketing ideas for inbound tourism, destinations and attractions, while promoting the East-meets-West culture and thinking in the mission of developing global tourism for a new era. The conference will be hosted by Xi’an Municipal People’s Government and Ctrip Group. ITB China is organising a senior delegation of international and Chinese travel industry representatives to visit the forum and enjoy four days of exploring new marketing ideas for inbound tourism in China. Hand-picked senior buyers from the established ITB Berlin Buyers Circle will attend the forum this year, representing the international tourism industry. The majority of the buyers are coming from Europe and Asia, covering the MiCE, Corporate and Leisure travel sectors. David Axiotis, General Manager of ITB China, said, “The partnership between Xi’an and ITB China will further promote the city’s amazing culture and tourist offerings beyond China and thus increase Xian’s ties with international travel professionals”. “Being one of the ‘Culture Cities of East Asia’ in 2019, Xi’an has accelerated its evolution into an international metropolis with its rich history and diverse culture backed by cultural confidence and consciousness,” noted Xu Mingfei, Deputy Mayor of Xi’an People’s Government, at the Forum of the Culture City of East Asia. In its 4th year ITB China, taking place from May 13 to 15, 2020 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre, has already established itself as …

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Tamil Nadu Travel Mart focuses on Middle East market

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The second edition of the Tamil Nadu Travel Mart will be held from September 19 to 22, 2019 at the Chennai Trade Centre in India. S Sundar, Honorary Secretary, Tamil Nadu Travel Mart Society, shared, “Tamil Nadu Tourism will be taken to the next level after this second edition and Middle East agents will get to know more about Tamil Nadu and increase their business opportunities for further mutual benefits. The main objective is to sell Tamil Nadu as a destination bringing together the many touristic attractions available for different types of tourists from around the world. To tell the world Tamil Nadu is not only a pilgrim destination but we have various other leisure products as well. It is purely a Tourism Mart like Kerala Travel Mart but this year CII is organising a Medical Value Mart along with this whereby both buyers will have a seamless entry to both venues using the same buyer ID.” Tamil Nadu Travel Mart is one of the biggest global events that focuses on marketing the destination of Chennai as not just a pilgrim and heritage site but also promotes the various other offerings that are important to  travellers from around the world. Middle East has always been a close ally of the destination mainly due to its connectivity and one of the most famous tourism partnerships is travel for medical tourism.

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Dubai Association Conference 2019 to be held in December 

Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice President of International Relations at Dubai Chamber

Momentum is building towards the second edition of the Dubai Association Conference, with more details being unveiled about the event’s rich programme, built around the core theme of ‘Driving change: The societal impact of associations’. Taking place from December 9-10, 2019 at Dubai World Trade Centre and organised by Dubai Association Centre, the agenda of the conference will offer a blend of panel discussions, expert briefings, and interactive sessions, all centred around the core theme and four sub-themes: Community Well-Being, Knowledge and Research, Business and Opportunity, and Creativity and Innovation. The conference, being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, will serve as a platform to facilitate discussions on the value proposition of associations that go beyond direct and indirect economic benefits. The programme will be structured by four different pillars that further support the facilitation of these discussions: Impact and Legacy, Designing an Impact Management and Measurement Programme, Organisational Resilience and Foresight, and the Art of Collaboration. Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said, “Along with being a catalyst for business opportunities within a thriving ecosystem, associations have the power to fuel innovation and creativity which ultimately contributes to the wellbeing of society.” Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice President of International Relations at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, “Associations are important building blocks for society. They create influential platforms for sharing opinions, they provide fertile ground for the exploration and dissemination of new ideas, and they establish unified codes and procedures.”

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Global Investment in Aviation Summit 2019 to be held from January 27-29

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Global Investment in Aviation Summit 2019 is all set to take place from January 27-29, 2018 at the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City with brainstorming on challenges and investment in aviation being the core objectives. The required modernisation of aviation infrastructure expansion, development, and modernisation to cater to anticipated increase in passenger and freight air traffic demand will reach USD 1.8 trillion by 2030. GIAS 2019 is an initiative of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), which was established to create a leading, safe, secure and sustainable civil aviation system in the country. According to a report published by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), global aviation will have to cater to over 14 trillion passenger traffic and 466 billion tonnes of freight traffic by 2034. This projection will show an increase of 14.5 per cent RPK and 4.2 per cent FTK, per annum respectively. The projected growth in global aviation industry will generate at least 99 million jobs and will contribute USD 5.9 trillion in GDP, a 122 per cent increase from 2014, according to the same IATA report. The UAE is investing substantially in upgrading the aviation infrastructure. HE Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General, UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, said, “Aviation has been an important part of the UAE’s economic growth. One of the nation’s vigorous strength is its rapidly-expanding infrastructure, with spending of USD23.16 billion, including USD8 billion for expansion of Al Maktoum International Airport, USD7.6 billion for Phase IV development of Dubai International Airport, and USD 6.8 billion for expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport. Collectively, the UAE increases its fleet per month by approximately 4-5 per cent and the total number of aircraft will …

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HSMAI hosts maiden ‘Revenue Optimization Conference’ in Dubai

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For the first time, over 180 sales and marketing professionals in the hospitality industry came together at the Madinat Jumeirah for the region’s inaugural ‘Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC)’ hosted by Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association (HSMAI). This was ROC’s fifth global event of the year, with other ROC locations including The United States, The Netherlands, Singapore, and Brazil. The conference brought together revenue management, distribution, sales and marketing executives in the hotel industry with a programme comprising education, collaboration and innovation. Robert A Gilbert, CHME, CHA, President and CEO, HSMAI, said, “The Middle East is one of the most rapidly expanding markets for hospitality and we’re pleased to bring timely insights into revenue optimisation to the region’s hotel professionals.” The conference featured an opening keynote presentation on global consumer trends by Lorraine Sileo, SVP, Research and Business Operations, PhocusWright. Other programmes throughout the day included panels on pricing strategy, digital marketing, key revenue management topics, and did not miss on covering MiCE and the value proposition of hotel restaurants and bars. HSMAI ROC Middle East also featured an impressive partner showcase; Gold Partners included Almosafer, Cendyn and Duetto; Silver Partner included Illusions, iWTX, Jumeirah and Tajawal; among other 19 Bronze and support partners. Mona Faraj, Managing Director, HSMAI Middle East Chapter, said, “HSMAI is delighted that ROC has been so well received by both our regional and international attendees, and we are excited to showcase an even more compelling line up of speakers and discussions next year. HSMAI is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and we are the industry’s leading advocates for intelligent and sustainable hotel revenue growth. We look forward to further engaging with the …

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RAK hosts AITO Annual Conference

ICONS of Rugby 2018

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) recently hosted the UK’s “Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO)” annual conference. The conference welcomed 120 of the UK’s top specialist travel companies to the UAE’s northern Emirate and introduced them to the destination with its diverse and spectacular offering. The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) is an umbrella organisation that represents Britain’s best independent tour operators. Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said, “The United Kingdom has held its position as one of the top four key source markets for Ras Al Khaimah Tourism over the past few years and continues to show huge potential for further growth. In the first ten months of 2018, Ras al Khaimah saw visitors from the UK increase by 11 per cent over the previous year. RAKTDA aims to increase the number of the UK visitors in 2019 by 20 per cent through increased marketing and trade partnerships.” Derek Moore, Chairman, AITO, commented, “We’re thrilled to have been invited by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourist Development Authority (RAKTDA). It has been particularly exciting for AITO members to visit such a fascinating destination that is on the cusp of change in terms of tourism.” Gemma Antrobus, Chair – AITO Specialist Travel Agents, commented, “This is a destination with enormous potential for AITO Specialist Travel Agents, who are always on the lookout for somewhere a little different from the mainstream. It offers the perfect balance of beach, activity, history and culture, providing the variety that many of our discerning clients seek and that AITO agents enjoy selling!”

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dnata expands operations in the United States

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dnata has launched operations at Los Angeles International Airport and now provides quality and reliable ground handling and cargo services at 20 airports in the country. To establish operations in Los Angeles, dnata has invested $8 million in infrastructure and resources, creating more than 350 local jobs. Serving six airlines, including Austrian Airlines, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines and Qantas, dnata will initially handle 4,600 flights a year. The company commenced ground handling and cargo operations in the United States by the acquisition of industry players in 2016. Since then, it has invested more than $35 million in facilities, equipment, training and technology. Having won over 45 new contracts in the past 12 months, dnata now serves over 60 airlines in the United States. David Barker, Chief Executive Officer, dnata USA, said, “We are thrilled to be launching operations at one of the world’s leading international airports. Adding Los Angeles International Airport to our growing network underlines our strong commitment to the US market, where we have significantly expanded our operations through massive investments in our facilities and resources in the past two years. We see an opportunity to create a step change in service excellence for our customer airlines at this important gateway.” Joerg Mnich, Vice President, Commercial Airport Infrastructure, Lufthansa Group, said, “As a premium airline, the Lufthansa Group is excited to grow the North American relationship with dnata into other major hubs like Los Angeles. With our positive service experience from destinations like Boston, New York-JFK, San Diego and Tampa, we are looking forward to providing first-class service to our customers with our handling partner at Los Angeles International Airport.”

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Over 1150 senior industry specialists meet for 57th ICCA in Dubai

Helal Saeed Almarri

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) is hosting its 57th chapter in Dubai. Running till November 14, the four-day conference is being attended by over 1,150 senior industry professionals and association meeting planners from across 75 countries. Congress delegates have descended on the city from across the world to experience a dynamic programme of education, networking and business opportunities. ICCA and Dubai Business Events have collaborated to create an exciting offering of forward-thinking education sessions, site visits to Dubai’s most innovative enterprises and a social programme showcasing the best of Emirati cultural delights and local hospitality. Welcoming delegates to the congress, His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said, “Business events are a crucial part of not only our tourism strategy, but our wider economic development. Whether through the year-round calendar of home-grown trade shows or major congresses like the ICCA congress that we successfully bid for – we understand and use the power of meetings and conferences to facilitate the rapid transition to a knowledge economy, and to grow scientific advancement and key industry sectors in Dubai and the UAE.” Nina Freysen-Pretorius, President, ICCA, said, “I would like to once again thank ICCA for selecting Dubai to host this congress, and to the Local Host Committee and all stakeholders involved for their role in planning. Our thanks also go to all the sponsors and supporting organisations of this event. The number of international association meetings has doubled every ten years since the establishment of ICCA 55 years ago, and we have identified the Middle East as an important growth area. In fact, we now have a dedicated seat for the region on our board, a permanent regional …

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RAKTDA to showcase Sustainable Tourism Vision at the 12th UNWTO-PATA Forum

Haitham Mattar presenting at the UNWTO- PATA conference

In its 12th edition, an event is being organised by World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in partnership with Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), providing a platform for global tourism practitioners and policy makers to share best practices, analyse and explore opportunities and challenges that will affect the future of sustainable development goals. As part of the event, Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA, delivered his address on “Sustainable Tourism Development – an overview and vista towards 2030”, where he delved into the key areas of focus and implementations that Ras Al Khaimah is undergoing. Ras Al Khaimah’s journey towards being a sustainable tourism destination was formally communicated in January 2016 – when RAKTDA launched Destination 2019, a detailed tourism strategy for the Emirate which was produced after extensive research and analysis. In partnership with the Waste Management Authority, RAKTDA has put recycling guidelines in place for the Emirate’s hotels, as part of the Emirate-wide initiative to reduce landfill waste by 75 per cent by 2021.

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