Tag Archives: Middle East

Radisson Hotel Group cements presence in Middle East with a growing portfolio of 77 hotels in operation and under development in Middle East

The Group announced tenacious expansion plans as it sets to add over 5,000 keys to its expansive portfolio in the next five years. After two successful years of record-breaking signings and key developments, Radisson Hotel Group continues to focus on the Middle East region, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and United Arab Emirates (UAE) remaining its core markets. The Group has ambitious plans to sign at least five hotels and open more than 1000 keys within the next 12 months. In the UAE, Radisson Hotel Group is set to open the highly-anticipated resort Radisson Beach Resort Palm Jumeirah this year, following the successful opening of Radisson Resort Ras Al Khaimah on Marjan Island, earlier this year as the first Radisson Resort in the Middle East. As part of the Group’s aim to strengthen its resort portfolio, the property will open its doors at West Beach, Palm Jumeirah, one of the most buzzing destinations in Dubai. The most recent opening of Radisson Hotel Riyadh Airport marked the Group’s first Radisson branded property in Riyadh, KSA. June saw the opening of Mansard Riyadh, A Radisson Collection Hotel, which is the luxury lifestyle brand’s second hotel in the city, further enhancing its collection of city and leisure hotels across Riyadh. With a robust pipeline in place, the Group now has over 25 hotels and serviced apartments in operation and under development in the Kingdom, including the upcoming openings of Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh Convention and Exhibition Center, and Park Inn by Radisson hotels in Makkah’s Thakher City Development. Commenting on the Group’s expansion plans in the region, Elie Milky, Vice President Development for the Middle East, Pakistan, Cyprus and Greece, Radisson …

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Middle Eastern airlines’ traffic rose 246.5% in June compared to June 2021

According to the latest passenger data shared by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for June 2022 shows that the recovery in air travel remains strong. Middle Eastern airlines’ traffic rose 246.5% in June compared to June 2021. June capacity rose 102.4% versus the year-ago period, and load factor climbed 32.4 percentage points to 78.0%. Total traffic in June 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was up 76.2% compared to June 2021, primarily propelled by the ongoing strong recovery in international traffic. Globally, traffic is now at 70.8% of pre-crisis levels. Domestic traffic for June 2022 was up 5.2% compared to the year-ago period. Strong improvements in most markets, combined with the easing of some Omicron-related lockdown restrictions in the Chinese domestic market, contributed to the result. Total June 2022 domestic traffic was at 81.4% of the June 2019 level. International traffic rose 229.5% versus June 2021. The lifting of travel restrictions in most parts of Asia-Pacific is contributing to the recovery. June 2022 international RPKs reached 65.0% of June 2019 levels. “Demand for air travel remains strong. After two years of lockdowns and border restrictions people are taking advantage of the freedom to travel wherever they can,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. Asia-Pacific airlines had a 492.0% rise in June traffic compared to June 2021. Capacity rose 138.9% and the load factor was up 45.8 percentage points to 76.7%. The region is now relatively open to foreign visitors and tourism which is helping foster the recovery. European carriers’ June traffic rose 234.4% versus June 2021. Capacity rose 134.5%, and load factor climbed 25.8 percentage points to 86.3%. International traffic within Europe is above pre-pandemic levels in …

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Middle East record +157% strong growth: UNWTO

According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourism saw a strong rebound in the first five months of 2022, with almost 250 million international arrivals recorded. This compares to 77 million arrivals from January to May 2021 and means that the sector has recovered almost half (46%) of pre-pandemic 2019 levels. The strong growth in the Middle East (+157%) and Africa (+156%) remained 54% and 50% below 2019 levels respectively, and Asia and the Pacific almost doubled arrivals (+94%), though numbers were 90% below 2019, as some borders remained closed to non-essential travel. Here, the recent easing of restrictions can be seen in improved results for April and May. Rising tourism spending out of the major source markets is consistent with the observed recovery. International expenditure by tourists from France, Germany, Italy and the United States is now at 70% to 85% of pre-pandemic levels, while spending from India, Saudi Arabia and Qatar has already exceeded 2019 levels. In terms of international tourism receipts earned in destinations, a growing number of countries – the Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Seychelles, Romania, North Macedonia, Saint Lucia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania, Pakistan, Sudan, Türkiye, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Mexico, Croatia and Portugal – have fully recovered their pre-pandemic levels. “The recovery of tourism has gathered pace in many parts of the world, weathering the challenges standing in its way”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. At the same time, he also advises caution in view of the “economic headwinds and geopolitical challenges which could impact the sector in the remainder of 2022 and beyond”.

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Top 12 hotel booking revenue makers of 2021 in the Middle East revealed by SiteMinder

SiteMinder, the world’s leading open hotel commerce platform unveiled the lists of distribution channels that over the past year brought the highest booking revenue to hotels in the Middle East and more than 20 other of the world’s most popular tourism destinations. The list for the Middle East—in line with global trends—reveals a more holistic online commerce strategy, consisting of both new and established methods, is being taken by hotel businesses to reach new customers and produce revenue. This holistic commerce strategy consists of a greater balance between direct and indirect revenue streams, with direct bookings retaining the third position in the Middle East. Globally, direct bookings now rank as one of the top two revenue drivers in more than half (12) of global markets—up from five markets last year and two in 2019—driven by increased investments in booking engines, hotel websites, metasearch, frictionless payments, support from hotel consultants and specialist applications designed for conversion. This year’s lists also feature 29 new distribution channels—including TBOHolidays and Airbnb in the Middle East—reflecting the current aptitude among hotels to embrace new revenue streams in their pursuit of new customers. Additionally, the lists increasingly feature Airbnb, which debuted in the Middle East’s list and two others, and rose in 12 additional markets, in spite of the channel being made available to traditional hospitality businesses only four years ago. Other major findings supporting a greater adoption of a holistic hotel commerce strategy included: The maintained relevance of regional channels, particularly in locations with ongoing reduced international travel. This was exemplified in the Middle East by Dubai-headquartered Destinations of the World by WebBeds. The ongoing importance of wholesalers for many accommodation providers, with leading bedbank …

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Botswana Tourism sets eyes on the Middle East Market at the Expo 2020 Dubai

Amidst optimism and hope in reviving the tourism sector, Botswana Pavilion, on 19th January 2022, held official press briefing to announce the Botswana Tourism Month at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Set to be on display until the 8th  of February 2022, the one-of-a-kind showcase promises to highlight the Southern African country as a globally competitive force in tourism with a rich natural resource base and investment potential. The exhibition will shine a spotlight on Botswana’s diverse culture, its food, song, dance and the long-standing principles of sustainability. Participating delegates included Botswana’s Honourable Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Ms. Philda Kereng, her Permanent Secretary Dr Oduetse Oldman Koboto alongside Botswana Tourism Organisation’s Acting Chief Executive Officer – Ms. Tshoganetso Carl-Ponoesele. Also present on the occasion were officials from Botswana’s government entities and Botswana’s finest tourist operators hoping to share the travel packages on offer and potential investment projects with investors and travellers seeking to learn about the country’s opportunities first-hand. Speaking at the engagement, The Honourable Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Ms. Philda Kereng said, ‘Botswana is known for its exclusive experiences, dramatic wildlife encounters, picturesque landscapes and off-grid vacations. The country boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Tsodilo Hills with the rock art filled spiritual sites, and the Okavango Delta which is the desert’s unexpected wetland wonder.’’ It is not by coincidence that Botswana hosts the world’s largest elephant population. The country’s high-value and low-volume tourism escapades are focused on minimising the negative environmental impacts. Botswana has also seen substantial growth in business and investment opportunities due to its stable political environment. Furthermore, in the advent of COVID-19, the Government of Botswana together …

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Muslim-friendly travel app promoted by Tourism Authority of Thailand

To welcome visitors back this winter, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced a fresh redesign of their Thailand Muslim Friendly App.  With a redesigned interface the app has now expanded its offering, adding 110 new restaurants, 70 new mosques, 75 new hotels, 10 healthcare facilities, 19 education centres, 20 shopping locations, 17 travel destinations, and five additional video clips. Pichaya Saisaengchan, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand for Dubai and the Middle East said, “In 2019, Thailand welcomed over 550,000 visitors from the Middle East and we are excited to introduce a modern version of the Thailand Muslim Friendly App. As we prepare to reopen our borders for tourism, we want to ensure that our Muslim visitors from the Middle East are able to enjoy a vibrant stay in Thailand in accordance with their faith as we continue to develop halal tourism in the Kingdom.”

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Hilton offers customised programmes for Indians travelling to ME and Africa

‘Namaste’, Hilton’s guest offering designed to deliver a truly tailored experience for guests travelling from India to Middle East & Africa offers services for destination weddings, bollywood shoots and meetings. ‘Namaste’ is a one of its kind programme ideal for the up and coming Indian globetrotter. Wall-to-wall sunshine, a rich cultural history and massive investment in tourism have put the Middle East on the world tourist map. Across the Middle East, tourism is seen as one of the most viable tax-raising alternatives for oil-producing nations as those revenues start to decline. The United Arab Emirates, for example, is aiming to reduce the hydrocarbon sector’s share of GDP from its current 30 per cent to 20 per cent by 2021, predominantly by boosting income from tourism. Dubai and a few more cities in the UAE, besides Europe, the US and the UK, are among the top destinations for Indian tourists, according to tourism industry officials. Apart from the Middle East, South Africa is also targeting Indian tourists after relaxing its visa rules. The Number of Indian travellers arriving in South Africa has been on the rise over the years, with a surge of 21.7 per cent recorded during the previous years. The demographics too have displayed a noticeable curve, with more and more young persons below 30 years of age opting for South Africa as the destination for adventure tourism, replacing the earlier market of family vacations. “Direct flights to Johannesburg and visa on arrival have further improved the arrivals and the tourism industry in Africa, and we have already seen strong demand from India as a result,” said Jan Van Der Putten, Vice President Operations, Africa and Indian Ocean, Hilton.

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Wyndham Hotels & Resorts introduces La Quinta to EMEA market with hotel in Istanbul

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announced the debut of La Quinta by Wyndham in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa) market with the opening of the 404-room La Quinta by Wyndham Istanbul Gunesli, bringing the brand to travellers outside of the Americas for the first time.  La Quinta by Wyndham is a leading upper-midscale brand at over 900 hotels across North and Latin America, offering contemporary design, thoughtful amenities and friendly service. Wyndham acquired La Quinta’s hotel franchise and hotel management businesses in 2018, further building upon the company’s diverse family of hotel brands and offerings around the world. La Quinta by Wyndham Istanbul Gunesli is one of the latest additions to Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ presence in Turkey, where the company is the largest international hotel group with over 80 hotels all across the country. Dimitris Manikis, President & Managing Director for EMEA, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said, “We are thrilled to welcome La Quinta and its long-standing reputation for delivering quality, reliability and a great guest experience to the EMEA region, further expanding our offering of brands in such an important market like Turkey. With a record of over 13 million international visitors in 2018 alone and an incredible variety of historical, cultural and business sites, Istanbul is one of the world’s most attractive cities for travel, making it the perfect fit for La Quinta’s European debut.”

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Hyatt announces five new properties in the Middle East

Hyatt announced the growth of its portfolio of lifestyle hotels across the Middle East. The planned expansion includes the opening of the first Hyatt centric branded hotels in the United Arab Emirates, the State of Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the first Andaz branded hotel in Dubai, and the second Alila branded property in the Sultanate of Oman. These lifestyle properties will provide luxury and adventurous travellers with unique experiences in hand-picked destinations and are expected to add more than 1,300 keys to the region, bringing the number of Hyatt lifestyle hotels in the Middle East to seven by 2023. There are currently two Hyatt lifestyle hotels in the Middle East; Alila Jabal Akhdar, a luxury boutique resort perched 6,562 feet (2,000 metres) above sea level in the Al Hajar Mountains of Oman, and Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi, located in the iconic Capital Gate building, the world’s furthest leaning hotel at an impressive 18-degree incline. Kurt Straub, Vice President of operations for the Middle East, Africa and South West Asia for Hyatt, said, “The Middle East is seeing a rising demand for lifestyle hotels. At Hyatt, we aim to grow with intent. The five planned openings in the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Qatar and the Sultanate of Oman cement our commitment to the region and will provide an enhanced lifestyle experience for our guests.” The expected growth includes the debut of Hyatt’s fastest-growing lifestyle brand across three countries, with the projected openings of Hyatt Centric Dubai La Mer (2020), Hyatt Centric West Bay Doha (2020), and Jabal Omar Hyatt Centric Makkah Hotel and Residences (2023). Located in the heart of …

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ME to pay extra for a ‘personalised’ travel experience: Sabre

New online research by Sabre Corporation has revealed that 59% per cent of Middle Eastern adults would pay between $101 – $500 on extras that personalise their travel journeys. The report also provided insight into the pain points, trends and opportunities for the Middle Eastern travel industry. The research highlighted a significant retail opportunity for travel providers of the 3,090 people surveyed. The study, which compiled insights from 3,090 people online across five countries in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Jordan and Lebanon) was revealed at Sabre Space Jordan, an industry event that brought together experts and leaders from airlines, travel agencies and government officials from across the Middle East to network and learn about the latest travel and technology trends. Salman Syed, Vice President EMEA at Sabre said, “To align with today’s travellers, airlines, hotels, travel agencies and even corporate buyers must think and behave like true retailers. They need to analyse consumer behaviour and market data to better target future offers and fulfill as many of the traveller’s needs as possible.”  Sabre’s research showed that 43% of the Middle Eastern adults want personalised travel offerings and services around their needs, expectations and previous experiences. When thinking about what this personalisation looks like, the majority (40%) of those surveyed wanted recommendations based on their budget, whilst 30% wanted suggestions of holiday extras that would be of genuine interest to them when asked what they would want airlines to do for them in the next 5 years. Sabre’s report showed a significant opportunity within the online travel space in the Middle East, as 48% of those surveyed would look online for travel inspiration for flights or hotels, which may …

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