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e-scooters and e-bikes are the new environmentally friendly transport for Jeddah and Riyadh Season for visitors and residents

TIER has officially launched its e-scooter and e-bike service in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in partnership with Sela Sport Company in Saudi Arabia. The partnership was initiated by SoftBank Investment Advisers in Riyadh following SoftBank’s investment in Tier in November 2020. TIER e-scooters and e-bikes are available to visitors during Jeddah Season, a citywide art, culture and entertainment festival which promises 2,800+ events over the course of two months, as well as across various areas in Riyadh, following a successful 2021 Riyadh Season. With a unified mission to strengthen the region’s lifestyle and offering, the Jeddah Season festival is part of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, a set of social and economic reforms that will enhance the quality of life for citizens and residents. The launch is in line with TIER’s strategic plan to supply micro-mobility solutions in all major cities and hubs across the Middle East. Amir Melad, General Manager, Middle East of TIER, comments, “This is yet another significant milestone for TIER. To enter another country in the Middle East and provide residents and visitors of the Jeddah Season and Riyadh with an accessible, reliable transport method, is directly in line with our continued mission to change mobility for good. This launch has been made possible thanks to our strategic partnership with Sela Sport Company, allowing us to provide TIER e-scooters and e-bikes at the Jeddah Season and in Riyadh, following a successful Riyadh Season 2021. Our launch in Saudi Arabia has come at the right time as TIER’s e-scooters and e-bikes allow residents to travel longer distances using a sustainable transport method. This is just the beginning for Saudi Arabia, as we are aiming to launch e-scooters …

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WTTC publishes new report on destination resilience

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) published a new report on practical guidelines and case studies to support destinations in becoming more resilient and sustainable at its Sustainability and Investment Forum taking place in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The report, ‘Enhancing Resilience to Create Sustainability in Destinations’, jointly created with ICF, WTTC’s industry partner and a renowned global consultancy and digital services provider, provides practical, structured insights, for destinations as they consider their resilience and sustainability. Following the last two years of chaos brought on by the almost complete halt to international travel, no tourism destination has been untouched by the impact of COVID-19. And, many destinations have also been affected by major shocks, such as extreme weather. To support and guide destinations, this innovative analysis builds on real life case studies and presents a range of resilience actions for destinations before, during or aftershock events. The report provides five elements destinations should focus on to build both resilience and long-term sustainability: environment, infrastructure, energy, economic, and societal resilience. It offers four phases to analyse the shock and its aftermath: ‘understand the risk’, ‘prepare for shocks’, ‘respond to shock’, and ‘longer term strategies’. The report presents case studies illustrating how destinations which rely heavily on tourism, whether they are cities or islands, deserts or tropics, apply resilience awareness. Puerto Rico is one of the destinations featured as a case study, highlighting the string of environmental crises and economic challenges that have made resilience a cornerstone of their tourism strategy. Key learnings underline the importance of small businesses, identifying risks and implementing initiatives to handle any potential crisis. Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “COVID has had a devastating …

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VFS Global becomes the first visa services company to receive a PMM Level 5 certification

VFS Global has successfully completed the highest level of the KPMG People Maturity Model (PMM) assessment at Level 5 (Innovative), becoming the first visa services company to reach this milestone. The certification was awarded following a rigorous assessment conducted by KPMG. The PMM certification represents the organisation’s commitment to continuously improving people process maturity and practices in consonance with the organisational business objectives. KPMG’s PMM takes various elements that cover the latest trends in HR system process maturity and practices, focusing on enterprise-level improvements. VFS Global had already achieved the  People Capbility Maturity Model (PCMM)  Level 5 appraisal in 2019. In 2018, VFS Global achieved the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Service Excellence maturity level 3, reflecting the organisation’s importance on the quality of work produced. The PMM Level-5 certification is a testament to the well-established set of human capital management practices at VFS Global, ensuring we attract, develop, motivate, organise and retain the required talent, guiding and assisting them in establishing a culture of excellence. The newly achieved PMM certification further reinforces the organisation’s commitment to sustainability, backed by a strong workforce and expansive network. VFS Global employs over 8,000 people at its Visa Application Centres and offices in more than 140 countries worldwide. Globally, 116 nationalities work with VFS Global, bringing the benefit of a wide variety of world views. At VFS Global, we have also maintained our gender balance with an overall female: male ratio of 58:42 at the end of 2021. The company remains dedicated to engaging, upskilling and improving its workforce policies, practices and capabilities in alignment with its business performance and objectives. Nirbhik Goel, Chief Human Resources Officer, VFS Global, said, “Our people are …

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Kuwait Airways launches flights to Vienna

As part of the continuous efforts to expand its network of destinations and develop its services to the highest levels of quality, Kuwait Airways announced the launch of its first scheduled commercial flight to Vienna, the capital of Austria, commencing from 12th June 2022, with two flights a week on Sundays and Thursdays. On this occasion, the Director of Corporate Communication and Public Relations at Kuwait Airways, Khalid Al-Bustan stated, “Kuwait Airways is pleased to launch its first flight to Vienna, which is among the most important destinations, due to its distinction as one of the largest cities in Europe for tourism and is well-known for its historical and cultural attractions such as palaces and museums, along with its musical legacy and renowned restaurants. The selection of this destination came after systematic research and also considering the preferences of customers to travel to this destination, especially during the summer season, mainly due to its moderate climate.” Al-Bustan indicated that Kuwait Airways was successful in implementing its plans to expand its network as it recently launched several destinations, primarily Casablanca, Manchester, Alexandria, Sharm El-Sheikh, Sohag, Trabzon, Bodrum, Izmir, Mykonos, Salalah, Sarajevo and most recently to Madrid and Malaga, which will be followed shortly by operations to Nice in France. This is also in addition to commencing operations to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Kathmandu, Nepal in the coming months. He explained that Kuwait Airways was steadily progressing towards digital transformation, and to attain the best levels of excellence. Moreover, he pointed out that customers could make their reservations through different channels, starting with the Kuwait Airways website and KAC application. In addition, customers can receive assistance or make enquiries through KAC’s WhatsApp, …

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HRH Minister of Energy and H.E. Minister of Tourism signs MoU with Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) to fulfill vision 2030 of sustainability

In the presence of HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Minister of Energy, Chairman of the Supervisory Committee of the Oil Sustainability Program (OSP), and H.E. Ahmed AlKhateeb, Minister of Tourism, Secretary General of the Board of Directors of Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), the Oil Sustainability Program (OSP) signed an MoU with Diriyah Gate Development Authority to promote collaboration in using sustainable polymer materials in the latter’s projects, provide the required technical and logistic support, and collaborate with relevant entities in this field. The MoU was signed by Eng. Mohammad Hitham AlTayyar, Program Director of OSP, and Mr. Jerry Inzerillo, Chief Executive Officer of Diriyah Gate Development Authority. This MoU reflects the interdependence and integration of the Saudi Vision 2030 programs, given that OSP and DGDA are outcomes of this vision. The OSP aims to sustain and grow demand on hydrocarbons, whether as a competitive energy source or raw materials used to produce various important products, while maintaining the highest levels of economic and environmental efficiency. Meanwhile, the DGDA is carrying out projects that rely on sustainability principles and environment protection. It is noteworthy that this MoU aims at building a strategic cooperation between the OSP and DGDA on hydrocarbon-based materials. This includes identifying opportunities that would improve the construction and operation processes in DGDA’s projects and developing plans to assess and implement these opportunities, as well as to develop awareness strategies to highlight common goals. The cooperation also includes providing the required technical information and support for materials evaluation, coordinating between manufacturers, suppliers and relevant entities, and providing the required support when implementing these opportunities. The Oil Sustainability Program (OSP) was launched in 2020 with …

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Spa InterContinental opens at InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa

The idyllic island getaway InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & Spa has announced the opening of Spa InterContinental. A sanctuary for the senses amongst the mountains, desert, and sea of Ras Al Khaimah, the holistic wellness retreat combines eastern and western treatments and techniques to promote a healthy mind, body, and spirit, all using the finest products from Aromatherapy Associates, Proverb and Maison D’Asa. Overlooking the Arabian Gulf and surrounded by lush green landscapes, Spa InterContinental features ten treatment rooms, two of which are for couples, separate relaxation areas for men and women, and an expansive Turkish Hammam. Inspired by its surroundings, each of the treatment rooms has been designed in the shape of a pearl, an homage to the Emirate’s rich pearl diving history, whilst immersive experiences include treatments that are unique to the destination. Escape the everyday with the Spa’s signature ‘Ras Al Khaimah Escape’, a uniquely curated 2-hour 30-minute treatment that rejuvenates, refreshes and resets the body from head to toe. The ritual includes a body scrub, a luxurious essential rose oil body wrap, a cooling mint foot ritual, an organic argan oil hair cleanse, followed by a 60-minute full-body massage with warm stones, and closed by a Maison D’Asa mini-facial. Tension relieving aromatherapy is offered in the form of the UAE Massage (Ultimate Aromatherapy Experience) with the finest in essential oils carefully paired by the Spa therapists to match mood and stress levels. Lavender, peppermint, geranium, vanilla, wild chamomile, and frankincense are expertly combined to respond to individual guests’ needs and stimulate their nervous system accordingly. Guests can also treat themselves to instant glow-up facials, such as the  Argan Ageless Facial which purifies, …

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Popular ‘German.Local.Culture’ Campaign returns as influx of GCC tourists expected following easing of travel restrictions

Following a successful debut last summer, the German National Tourism Board’s ‘German.Local.Culture’ campaign returns highlighting more of the many ways to experience the country’s national traditions. As a result of the encouraging news that visitors to Germany no longer require a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or negative PCR test, the country’s tourism board is looking forward to a rise in arrivals from the GCC and the opportunity to offer them a variety of cultural experiences and insights into the country’s customs. “Our German.Local.Culture campaign encourages visitors to focus on unique elements of Germany’s culture; experiences you simply cannot get in other countries,” said Yamina Sofo, director of sales and marketing at the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), the regional office of GNTB. “Germany has a rich tapestry of traditions ready for tourists from the GCC to enjoy – from industrial architecture and traditional craftmanship to local festivals.” Below are just a small selection of some of the sights and experiences on offer, with a specific insight for each of the German.Local.Culture campaign’s four pillars: Green: Hiking with a View in Baden-Baden Shining a light on Germany’s sustainable travel options, Baden-Baden is filled with stunning valleys and incredible views. The Panorama Trail is an ideal way to see as much of the city as possible. Venturing through beautiful gardens filled with plentiful flowers, across the Geroldsau waterfall, and through the Rhine Valley, the 45km trail is known for being one of the most breath-taking in all of Germany. Craft: Glass Art in Harz Mountains Glass art in Germany is steeped in history, dating back as far as the 17th Century. Visitors to the country can enjoy one of the few places still …

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Atomize partners with ExploreTECH to support hotels in driving growth in the Middle East

As part of its continued support of hotels in the Middle East, Atomize partners with ExploreTECH to help drive growth and digital transformation in the region. Hotels in the Middle East are leading the global recovery from the pandemic and are boosting their revenues and growing their market share with the help of price automation. Atomize’s solution matches the region’s high demand for lean and easy-to-use revenue management tools that do not require hours of training to use. This is reflected in the company’s recent customer signings. In the last couple of months alone, Atomize has expanded its Middle East footprint with the addition of hotel groups such as JA Resorts & Hotels with its 10 luxury properties representing 1,500 rooms in Dubai, Maldives and Seychelles, Gulf Court Hotel, with the ambition to do a full roll-out across the group’s portfolio and Dubai-based SUHA Hospitality with its four luxury hotel apartment properties in Dubai. As part of Atomize’s increased presence in the region, they have recently partnered with ExploreTECH, the rapidly expanding marketplace platform that presents the knowledge, resources and technology required to fully optimize business performance in the hospitality and travel sector across the Middle East. “The partnership with ExploreTECH is a natural and important step in our continued support of hotels in the region. Not only are Middle East hotels leading the global recovery but they are also embracing price automation to leverage as much as possible from market demand and reach superior results.”, says Alexander Edström, CEO at Atomize. “It is a great pleasure to welcome Atomize to the ExploreTECH family. By providing an innovative revenue management solution for the hospitality industry, Atomize will provide considerable value …

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Kuwait Airways launches flights to Madrid and Malaga

In its continuous efforts to expand its network of destinations and develop its services to the highest levels of quality, Kuwait Airways announced the launch of first scheduled commercial flights to the cities of Madrid and Malaga in Spain, with three flights per week on Saturdays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, commencing from 11th June 2022. Kuwait Airways CEO, Eng. Maen Razouqi stated, “Kuwait Airways is pleased to launch its flights to Madrid and Malaga in Spain, which are among the most important destinations for our customers, and the commencement of operations is in response to the significant and growing requirements of customers in Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf region.” Razouqi added, “Kuwait Airways is steadily progressing in its strategic plans to expand its network, as it has recently launched a number of destinations, foremost of which are Casablanca, Manchester, Alexandria, Sharm El-Sheikh, Sohag, Trabzon, Bodrum, Izmir, Mykonos, Salalah, and most recently to Sarajevo, which will be followed shortly by operations to destinations such as Nice in France, and Vienna in Austria. This is also in addition to commencing operations to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Kathmandu, Nepal in the coming months.” Razouqi explained that the Airbus A330neo, which was recently included to Kuwait Airways’ fleet of aircraft was designated to facilitate the travel of passengers to Madrid and Malaga, due to its unique technological features and characteristics, spacious seating arrangements, which are in accordance with its latest features present in the air transport sector. The inaugural ceremony for the commencement of operations to Madrid and Malaga was attended by Kuwait Airways CEO, Eng. Maen Razouqi, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to the State of Kuwait, H.E Miguel Jose Aguilar and …

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The Red Sea Development Company adds three Globally Renowned Hotel Brands to its Luxury Portfolio

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) confirmed at the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh, that three new hotel management agreements have been signed with international hotel brands to operate resorts in the first phase of development at The Red Sea Project.  These include Ritz Carlton Reserve and Miraval hotels – the first to operate in the Middle East – and Rosewood, a global luxury hospitality company. This announcement demonstrates industry confidence in The Red Sea Project, with a total of 12 hospitality brands now confirmed, and signifies a growing appetite from global leaders to participate in the expansion of the Saudi Tourism market. With two brands now entering the region for the first time, I believe the future of tourism in the Kingdom is bright, said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC. “Together with our collection of globally recognized and respected partners, we are excited to play our part in opening up this unique and undiscovered part of the world, setting new benchmarks for sustainable development along the way.” Ritz Carlton Reserve is situated at the destination’s idyllic Ummahat Islands, whilst Miraval and Rosewood are located on Shura Island, the main hub for the resort. The new collection of hospitality brands collectively feature nearly 500 hotel keys of the total 3,000 planned for Phase One. The luxury hotel companies join a stellar line-up of globally renowned brands that have already confirmed they will operate at The Red Sea Project, including: EDITION Hotels and St Regis Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International; Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts and SLS Hotels & Residences, part of global hospitality group Accor; Grand Hyatt, part of Hyatt Hotels Corporation; Intercontinental Hotels & …

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