Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

Arab Tourism to Egypt accounts for 36.3% of total traffic

ETA at Arabian Travel Market 2017

Travellers from Arab countries account for more than one third of the total tourist traffic to Egypt in 2016, and forecasts for 2017 are positive and are in continuous growth. H.E. Yehia Rashed, Minister of Tourism in Egypt, said: “Arab tourism to Egypt in 2016 represented 36.3 percent of the total tourist traffic to Egypt, which is more than one third of the total traffic. Saudi Arabia ranked first amongst incoming Arab tourists, with a total of 507 thousand tourists visiting Egypt, followed by Jordan, with 180 thousand tourists, and Kuwait with about 150 thousand tourists and Lebanon with nearly 86 thousand. The total number of travelers from Arab countries to Egypt reached 2 million tourists in 2016, compared to 1.7 million Arab tourists in 2015, which marks an increase of 13.2 percent, whereas in the first quarter of 2017, the number of Arab tourists increased by 38.8 percent when compared to the same period last year.” The Ministry of Tourism of Egypt and Egyptian Tourism Authority announced their participation at the Arabian Travel Market, taking place in Dubai from April 24-27. The participation is in line with both of their efforts to highlight Egypt’s enormous tourism potential and focuses on the various destinations that attracts tourists from all over the world, especially Arabs. “Our participation at the Arabian Travel Markets primarily aims at engaging and communicating effectively with our partners and stakeholders in the region and to enhance the efforts to attract Arab tourists to Egypt. The Arab market represents one of the most significant markets exporting tourism to Egypt. This is due to several reasons, most importantly because of the proximity to many Arab countries and similarity of …

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Saudi Arabia inks deal to boost tourism vision 2030

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Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage represented by the Tourism Routes Program, signed a media cooperation agreement with Eye of Riyadh with the aim of marketing the program, raising national awareness about it and contributing to support the tourism sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in accordance with the vision of 2030 aiming at upgrading this sector to the highest levels of what contribute supporting the economic development of the country. Commenting on the agreement, Abdullah Mataen, the General Supervisor of Tourism Routes Project in the commission, clarified that one of the most important objectives of the program is to discover Saudi Arabia in its real image, through identifying the most beautiful diverse and dazzling places and by motivating the citizens and the residents to see them through several amazing tourist routes. He confirms saying: “Our agreement today with Eye of Riyadh is to move forward to expand the circle of tourism knowledge, so that every citizen and resident in the Kingdom should have the sufficient knowledge that in Saudi Arabia he can go to the desert, climb mountains, catch fish, dive into the surprises, coexist with the history and civilizations of various eras, taste the best food, and learn the most beautiful folk arts and dances.” “Our confidence in Eye of Riyadh is what motivated us to choose them to be our media partners in our next phase, by using their expertise in marketing, media and advertising alike” Mataen added. Abdullah Al Harbi, CEO, Eye of Riyadh, stressed the idea of exploiting the features of Saudi Arabia in promoting all types of tourism available in it, whether it is recreational, sports or shopping, and even the events …

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RAK Tourism’s 6th international office opens in Riyadh


Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, has expanded its presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the opening of a new representation office in the country’s capital, Riyadh. Marking its sixth international representation office, the Riyadh opening will support the tourism body’s promotional activities and trade partnerships to penetrate the Kingdom’s high potential outbound market. A team of dedicated trade promotion, MICE and business development staff will manage various in-market promotions and initiatives to drive further awareness of Ras Al Khaimah as a multi-faceted business and leisure destination to Saudi travellers. The move comes as Saudi Arabia produces more hotel guests to the emirate than ever before. According to recent RAKTDA data, tourist arrivals from Saudi Arabia increased by 71.28 per cent year-to-date, with further growth expected during the course of 2017. Commenting on the new office opening, RAKTDA CEO Haitham Mattar said: “This market on our door-step is extremely important to us. The UAE has long been a favourite destination for Saudi tourists and our new our new representative office will further cement our promotional presence in the Kingdom. Through this representation we will build upon current travel trade partnerships, explore further opportunities and continually position Ras Al Khaimah as a year-round destination through targeted campaigns.” RAKTDA’s policy of positioning the emirate as more than a sun, sea and sand destination, driven by the implementation of the Destination Ras Al Khaimah 2019 strategy, has resulted in attracting 820,772 visitors in 2016, placing it in a strong position to achieve its target of one million visitors by the end of 2018.

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Almosafer launches flight booking service


Saudi Arabia-based Almosafer has released its new flight reservation feature for both their web and mobile App platforms. The service is valid for customers travelling to and from the Kingdom through more than 500 airlines globally. Farooq Aljeraisy, the founder and CEO of Almosafer, said, “The Kingdom is currently undergoing a revolutionary transformation under the leadership of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to achieve sustainable development to build a brighter economy. One of the key sectors witnessing this change is travel and tourism. We are in sync with all the progress in this sector and are positioning Almosafer as a spearhead in this development. ” Aljeraisy confirmed that users can now compare flight rates and instantly get the best possible rates through the mobile application, making it easier, safer and more convenient than traditional booking channels. Once the booking is confirmed, customers will instantly receive their ticket and confirmation through email. The portal also provides a call center to re-confirm any amendments and address any inquiries about the booking. Since it was established in 2013, Almosafer has successfully enabled customers across the world to choose from over 500,000 hotels and resorts seamlessly in the most convenient manner through its website, call center (920000997) and other digital platforms. Customers have also taken advantage of the “book now and pay later” service the portal offers, which has disrupted the e-booking service across the industry.

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Sabre Technology Day series kicks off in Saudi Arabia


Sabre Corporation has launched its 2017 Technology Day series in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, offering a view into the top technology trends and innovations impacting the travel industry and what Sabre is investing in for the future.  The series started off with two dedicated sessions for travel companies in Riyadh, which were offered the opportunity to hear and discuss trends, challenges and opportunities shaping the future of travel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region, including the important role of online, mobile, and personalisation. Other sessions were conducted around the Kingdom in Jeddah and Khobar. “Diversifying economies and investing in different industries are the best strategies to overcome the economic challenges we are facing in the Middle East,” said Daniel Naoumovitch, CEO, Saber Travel Network, Middle East. “The Saudi vision 2030 realizes the importance of the travel and tourism sector and its role to support the country’s GDP. Our investments and efforts in Saudi Arabia will continue to be aligned with the Saudi directions and it remains a priority for us to provide the industry’s stakeholders with latest solutions and innovations that will enable them to attract more customers, increase revenue and compete on a global level which will result in contributing to the success of this vision.” Naoumovitch also spoke about the latest trends, emerging technologies and Sabre’s investments in this field. He said:  “Mobile, online and emerging technologies such as virtual reality and artificial intelligent are having a profound impact on travel, and in the next few years, we’re going to see a lot of changes to how traveler’s needs are met. Saudi travelers are fast adaptors of latest technologies and they are leading the …

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GCC hotels to come with ‘handy’ smartphones

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Tink Labs Limited, Hong Kong-based start-up, is bringing its mobile travel solution handy to the GCC as part of its global expansion. handy is an innovative smartphone provided as a complimentary amenity in partner hotel rooms, integrating with hotel services and offering travellers unlimited connectivity on the go, as well as tailored travel guides. The hand-held device helps to deliver hassle-free travels and meet a growing demand for Internet connection services from hotel guests. In the GCC, handy engaged in a pilot project with luxury hoteliers in Dubai with plans to launch in the rest of the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, among other markets in the region. In each market, handy helps to connect travellers with their destination by revealing local gems while on the go and tools they need to travel like locals. handy’s mission to make travel easier and destinations more accessible means it perfectly complements the smart tourism projects underway in gateway GCC cities, such as Dubai. “After proven success in international markets from Hong Kong to London, we see a tremendous opportunity to create more travel-friendly experiences and help boost tourism in key destinations in the GCC,” said Terence Kwok, Founder and CEO, Tink Labs. “Facilitating enduring, fun connections between tourists and their host cities plays a crucial role in creating an enriched experience for travellers and hoteliers and in boosting the city’s reputation as a must-visit tourist destination. This is why, in 2017, we plan to offer handy to travellers in dozens of new markets, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha among others,” he said. Spearheading launch operations in new markets and responsible for the business in the Middle East is Tink Labs Limited …

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Ascott signs new property in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia

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The Ascott Limited (Ascott) will manage another Citadines-branded property located in central Al Khobar in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).  Citadines Al Khobar will comprise 54 one-bedroom apartments with various layouts. Managed and operated by Ascott, facilities will include a breakfast area, residents’ lounge and fully equipped gym, making it an excellent choice for accommodation amongst business and leisure travellers. “We are delighted to have signed an agreement to manage Citadines Al Khobar,” commented Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s Country General Manager of Middle East & Turkey. “KSA remains a highly significant growth market and this latest signing will not only expand our presence in KSA but also reinforces our leadership position in the Middle East.” “Citadines Al Khobar is the third property, together with Citadines Abha and Somerset Al Khobar, that we will be working with developer AREIC (the real estate arm of Al Mutlaq Group) and we are pleased to strengthen our partnership with them.” Citadines Al Khobar is situated in central Al Khobar, in a highly sought after location between King Salman and Prince Fawaz streets on the 4th main street in Al Khobar Al Shamaliah, which offers numerous dining, shopping and leisure options.

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Rezidor Group appoints Saudi Arabia’s 1st woman GM

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The Rezidor Hotel Group has marked a new milestone in its history by appointing its first Saudi female General Manager in the company and the hospitality industry. Maram Kokandi will be the General Manager of a new Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, scheduled to open later this year. The appointment complements the Saudi Vision 2030 launched last year, which emphasizes the significance of Saudi women and their role in leading the development of both social and professional growth of the Kingdom. Wolfgang M. Neumann, President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group, said, “We are very proud to be part of this historic appointment. We are committed to empowering our women in leadership at Rezidor, and this announcement is a momentous achievement, not only for our group but for the hospitality industry worldwide. We are confident that this milestone, the appointment of the first Saudi female General Manager, will inspire other women across the region to pursue their career aspirations in hospitality.” Kokandi studied hospitality management in the United Kingdom before moving back to the Middle East region, taking up various hospitality roles in Saudi Arabia. She takes on the responsibility of launching the new Park Inn by Radisson Jeddah Madinah Road as its General Manager.

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Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh opens in Saudi Arabia

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The Ascott Limited (Ascott), the world’s largest serviced residence owner-operator, is strengthening its presence in Saudi Arabia with the opening of its latest luxury executive residence, Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh. The 234-apartment luxury executive residence opened on March 12, 2017 in the financial heart of KSA’s capital. The exclusive serviced residence will provide guests with luxurious lifestyle facilities, within an elegant environment and complete with efficient business support services. With a soft opening scheduled for March, Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh is an ideal choice for short, medium and long-term visitors who want the luxury of an internationally-branded hotel, with the flexibility and privacy of an apartment. The property is located close to King Abdullah Financial District – the city’s prime financial centre – and 15 minutes’ drive from Riyadh King Khalid International Airport, making it highly convenient for business travellers. The onsite business centre ensures executives have everything they require, from meeting rooms and AV equipment to secretarial and courier services. Additional facilities include a residents’ lounge, prayer rooms, boutiques and a selection of restaurants and cafes. There is also an outdoor terrace, swimming pool, gymnasium, steam and sauna room, separate day spas for men and women and a children’s playroom. “We are delighted to welcome guests to Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh, our first serviced residence to open in the Saudi capital,” says Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s Country General Manager, Middle East & Turkey. “The Ascott brand is renowned for providing attentive and highly personalised service which is exactly what travellers need to enjoy a hassle-free stay in this busy and dynamic city.”

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Flynas on Travelport platform


Travelport and Flynas, a low-cost carrier from Saudi Arabia, have announced the signing of a multi-year, full content agreement. Launched in 2007, Flynas operates nearly 1,000 weekly flights to 30 destinations within and outside Saudi Arabia. The new agreement will see Flynas’ full content and inventory, including its branded fares and ancillaries become available to over 68,000 travel agencies, across 180 countries through Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform. Furthermore, the airline now joins over 180 airlines which are currently live on Travelport’s merchandising technology solution for airlines, Travelport Rich Content and Branding. Through Travelport, the airline will be able to effectively promote Flynas’ products and services, including its dedicated Business Class Cabin, which has seen a significant investment from Flynas since 2013. Agents will also be able to access naSmiles, the frequent flyer program of Flynas, through which travellers can earn SMILE Points when booking flights and ancillaries. Also, Rich Content and Branding will enable the airline’s content to appear on travel agents’ screens, with rich, graphical product descriptions, boosting upselling opportunities for the travel agent community at the time of booking. Paul Byrne, Chief Executive Officer at Flynas, commented: “This new agreement with Travelport will provide the platform for our business to further improve our customer service, expand our presence across the globe and grow our revenues. Travelport’s industry leading Travel Commerce Platform has impressive capabilities and we are pleased to have signed this partnership. “ Matthew Powell, Managing Director, Middle East and South Asia, Travelport said: “We are delighted that Flynas has seen the value in our innovative Travel Commerce Platform. Our platform enables travel providers and their evolving technologies to deliver the widest choice of relevant content for …

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