Category Archives: Associations

RAKTDA completes 15,000 room nights over summer with shortcations

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) is pleased to announce the success of its ‘Shortcation’ staycation campaign which ran from 7 June – 31 August. Together with its hospitality partners, RAKTDA created a special summer package inviting UAE residents to take a well-earned break and enjoy the Emirate’s exceptional beaches, outstanding hospitality, thrilling adventure attractions and authentic cultural experiences for the ultimate ‘Shortcation’. Guests staying for three or more nights at any of Ras Al Khaimah’s participating 4 & 5 star hotels enjoyed a series of value-adds for a unique and memorable stay, including the Suwaidi Pearls farm, the iconic ‘Jais Adventure Peak’ with the Jebel Jais Flight, the world’s longest zipline; the Jais Sky Tour featuring seven ziplines and a 15m sky bridge; and the Jais Sky Maze, a suspended obstacle course of rope swings, wobbly bridges and swinging loops. 15,000 room nights were generated during the first 12 weeks of the ‘Shortcation’ campaign.Grand Summer Raffle – all ‘Shortcation’ guests automatically entered a weekly raffle hosted by RAKTDA, to win a number of high value prizes, including the grand prize of a brand-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2020 automobile, courtesy of Gargash Enterprises.Despite the regional effects of the pandemic, Ras Al Khaimah leads in RevPAR in the UAE and is second in the GCC, after Riyadh. Ras Al Khaimah became the first city in the world to be certified as safe by Bureau Veritas and the first Emirate to receive the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels Stamp. RAKTDA partners with the National Crisis & Emergency Management Authority and Ras Al Khaimah Preventive Medicine Department provide free COVID-19 PCR testing for all hospitality staff in the Emirate. All …

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HSMAI focus on new age of hospitality post COVID

Hospitality Sales & Marketing International Middle East (HSMAI) is preparing for the future with training and events ready to further the skills of its hospitality professionals across the Middle East. HSMAI Middle East has prepared a comprehensive plan to focus on the future, with panel discussions, training workshops, surveys, and interviews on thought provoking topics. “We recognise that ‘life must go on’ and whilst we are holding ROC@Home with a focus on recovery, we also want to emphasise past trends that will return as an important part of our industry,” said Mona Faraj, Managing Director of HSMAI Middle East. ROC@Home, a full day experience taking place on Wednesday, June 17 will include live sessions from the Middle East, Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, and is designed to fuel industry recovery and revitalisation efforts. The exclusive toolkit offers an opportunity to engage with teams, as well as regional live expert sessions designed for hotel professionals to reset, refocus and reenergise. ‘Demystifying Distribution’ will kick off the 4-session series on Monday, June 29 and is suitable for both General Managers and Marketing Managers who should understand distribution in today’s world. A trend that is steadily growing is the Chinese traveller, with annual growth in the double digits across areas of the Middle East pre COVID-19. This trend is anticipated to recover, and what better time to start planning to attract this active market. How to tap into the China Market will start with the foundations and continue with digital platforms, ending with advance digital and marketing essence. This series of three sessions will start from Wednesday, July 22. “We have received a strong response to date from industry colleagues globally for ROC@Home, …

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Etihad to waive flight change fees for Australian residents

Australia is a key and highly valued market in the global network of Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, with the three largest cities, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane all served daily. In response to the country’s devastating bushfires, Etihad Airways will waive flight change fees for Australian residents affected by this ongoing national emergency. The waivers will apply for travel to or from Australia. UAE-based Australians, or those in Australia seeking changes to their Etihad flights as a result of the fire emergency, should contact Etihad Guest Services in the UAE. In addition to passenger fee waivers, the airline will also work in partnership with Emirates Red Crescent to raise funds within the UAE to help support bushfire relief. As part of its international workforce, Etihad is the proud employer of more than 300 Australian nationals outside Australia, who, with their families, number more than 1,000. Most reside in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, where the airline is based.  In total, some 16,000 Australian nationals live and work in the UAE.

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Digital Venture partners with Amadeus

Digital Venture has signed an agreement with Amadeus to become the exclusive distributor for its innovative and unique media solutions inventory for Amadeus travel itinerary documents and CheckMyTrip for all advertising demands in the GCC, Levant, Egypt & Italy regions. Digital Venture will work directly with advertisers and agencies in the regions. Through these Amadeus media solutions products, Digital Venture will provide its clients with direct access to engage with global confirmed passengers before, during and after their trip experience, with points of sale in the exclusive regions. Amadeus’ media solutions advertising products are travel documents issued by travel agencies and CheckMyTrip mobile app, which help brands with specialised targeting criteria to deliver personalised offers to booked travelers. These criteria include language, booking class, business category, origin, destination, connection, connection duration, trip duration, booking dates, class of service, trip elements booked, trip companion, affluence, gender, trip purpose and many more. Commenting on this strategic alliance, Sami Hamade, CEO, Digital Venture, said, “Travellers are attentive and receptive to their trip context. Interaction at these key stages increases brand recall. The aim is to offer relevant content at the time and place when the audience demands it.” Sol Freixa, Global Director for Travel Advertising Sales & Marketing, Travel Channels, Amadeus, said, “With one of the fastest growing online travel sectors in the world, it is no surprise that the region is deeply committed to digital transformation. Travel advertising plays a key role in this as it allows retailers to reach travellers in new, interactive ways, at the right moment.”

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

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, 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

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 

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

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

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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