flydubai looks to boost trade and tourism links with India | Travel Daily ME

Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO, flydubai

Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO, flydubai

India will soon witness increased focus on growing trade and tourism links from UAE. The recent flydubai inaugural flight highlighted this trend with its new connections to Delhi, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.

There has been consistent and positive growth of Foreign Tourist Arrivals FTA from the Middle East to India over the last three years. This has primarily been as investment, tourism and trade ties continue to strengthen between the two regions.

Sudhir Sreedharan, senior vice president – commercial GCC, Subcontinent and Africa for flydubai said: “Tourism, investment and trade between India and UAE are important economic drivers. Since we started flying to India in 2010 there has been strong demand for our flights.”

His Excellency Mohamed Sultan Abdalla Al Owais together with business leaders attended a dinner in Delhi to mark the commencement of flights. Business Class will be available on all three new routes in India too.

via flydubai looks to boost trade and tourism links with India | Travel Daily ME.

KSA & UAE travellers are top mobile online users in Middle East – Zawya

Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions

50% of Saudi Arabian and 35% of UAE travellers use smart phones to access online services

mark_2014_04_29The Arabian Travel Market’s (ATM) Travel Technology Theatre which runs alongside the ATM exhibition from Monday 5 to Thursday 8 May 2014 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, will focus its attention on the effect mobile and internet penetration is having on the regional travel industry.

Sponsored by Sabre, the travel technology solutions provider, this year’s series will feature four sessions that will specifically examine the effect of mobile devices on regional online booking patterns and the action and future direction that marketing professionals need to take.

Commenting about a report on travel trade website Tbnooz.com, Mark Walsh Portfolio Director at Reed Travel Exhibitions, the organiser of ATM, said:

“Of the regional travelers who generally plan their trips online, 48% had used a smart phone during the previous 12 months to carry out travel-related activities, a figure that rises to 69% if tablets are included. Indeed, 50% and 35% of Saudi and UAE travelers respectively access online services via their smart phones, presenting travel professionals with tremendous marketing opportunities, using mobile channels.”

However, the Middle East’s online, let alone its mobile travel market, is only scratching the surface. Given the region’s demographics, in particular a young growing population, and the fact according to Cisco, the number of mobile devices in the Middle East and Africa will rise exponentially from the current 133 million to 598 million devices by 2017, the trend is likely to accelerate in the years ahead.

One session, ‘The impact of mobile in travel’ which is being moderated by Nick Hall from the digital tourism think tank, will no doubt intensify the competition between regional and national tourism organisations, which will have to maintain a competitive edge when creating their digital marketing strategies. To that end an innovative “fish tank” interactive debate will engage global thought leaders to identify the opportunities and solutions that will help secure the future of tourism destinations.

An interesting seminar run by PhoCusWright Inc, entitled ‘Middle East travel online today, mobile tomorrow’, will look at several local and global brands already competing in the emerging online travel space, as well as highlighting that the mobile channel is almost virgin territory and travel companies need to create loyalty or risk being left behind such is the pace of change. Globally more than 40% of online traffic related to travel enquiries now come from mobile devices including tablets, says HeBS Digital, while tablets are preferred for booking future travel according to Mobiquity research.

‘How airlines and other travel companies have approached and are succeeding on mobile’ is a dedicated session presented by Kara Moddemann, industry manager, travel MENA at Google, for the airline and related travel agency sector. This will make delegates aware of how travelers use mobiles to research, book and share their travel experience, as well as how to reach them with relevant marketing messages. Typically 44% of travellers will use their smart phone to research travel while they are actually travelling, according to a JiWire travel report.

‘Mobile in today’s online experience’ is the final panel discussion that will examine how travel organisations can adapt to mobile marketing, such as ensuring websites are mobile optimised, as well as learning some tips of how to use social media platforms that are prominent in the mobile space. According to Atmosphere research Group, a shopper will visit 22 websites before booking a trip.

“The growing travel technology trend is also evident on the exhibition floor with a record 72 exhibitors participating this year, covering more than 2,000 square metres of floor space, a 22% increase over last year,” remarked Walsh.

In total the Sabre Travel Technology Theatre will cover 18 hi-tech sessions, with 34 industry experts voicing their opinion, through a series of presentations and panel discussions.

via KSA & UAE travellers are top mobile online users in Middle East – Zawya.

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Condor Travel keen to cash in on Middle East market | Travel Daily ME

Condor Travel having well-established itself as a leading tour operators for the South America market is now keen to explore the potential of the Middle East. With 36 years of experience of selling South America, Condor Travel has a strong regional and global presence in markets such as Europe, America and Asia Pacific.

Talking to Travel Daily Middle East about the global marketing plans, Sammy Niego, president and chief executive officer of Condor Travel said: “Asia Pacific is a big market for us as around 30% of our business comes from this region. India is growing but we want to expand our services and educating emerging markets on South America. We adopt a very proactive approach in all our markets as we understand that Latin America is a new market.”

Condor Travel in a bid to expand its offerings in the Middle East has tied up with Phoenix International FZC managed by Darshana Manglani. The objective of having a presence in the region was to expand sales into South America. “I have visited several countries in the Middle East to understand which Latin America product will work well. Having tied up with Phoenix International, we are optimistic about enhancing our presence in the region. We do have some business coming out of the region. However, it is a small percentage which has the potential to grow.”

MARKET FOCUS

Uae-flag

Uae-flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With regional Middle East carriers connecting into South America, the connectivity exists. The next step is to provide a platform for awareness among the travel trade. “We are confident that we have a product line within Condor that oriented to the Middle East clientele. The products on offer range from the standard to infinity which is our luxury brand.”

Elaborating further Manglani said: “The response from the market has been excellent. Most aganets are aware of Condor Travel due to their regular presence at the ATM for the last few years. This partnership gives them an added edge with a local presence, easy information accessibility and competitive rates. The objective going ahead is to be working hand-in-hand with the travel trade, enhancing awareness, educating customer facing staff and above, facilitating the planning and access to all services and products in South America.”

via Condor Travel keen to cash in on Middle East market | Travel Daily ME.

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Abu Dhabi hotel ratings to go social in 2014 | HotelierMiddleEast.com

Abu Dhabi skyline

Abu Dhabi skyline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Feb 24, 2014

Abu Dhabi may soon become the first tourism authority to integrate social media ratings into its official hotel classification system, as the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) works to stress the importance of social media to the UAE capital’s hotels.

TCA Abu Dhabi, which has been working on a new set of hotel classification guidelines since the authority’s rebranding from the old Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) in February 2013, is considering monitoring hotel social media ratings and using them to hold operators accountable for bad reviews and negative feedback.

It has also revealed plans to introduce a new category for the emirate’s hotels, specifically for hotels and resorts which are deemed to be outside the normal five-star criteria.

When approached by Hotelier Middle East, a TCA Abu Dhabi spokesperson said: “TCA Abu Dhabi is currently revising its accommodation classification system and an upgraded version will be launched early in the New Year and social media use may form part of the criteria for some categories.

“As an authority we are fully behind the use of social media in promoting a destination and we are also in the process of compiling a guide to social media promotion for use by our stakeholders,” they added.

This potential move by TCA Abu Dhabi follows in the footsteps of the Organisation of German Hotels and Restaurants (DEHOGA) and Hotelleriesuisse, the Swiss hotel industry parent organisation, who have both used social media analysis to influence hotel star classification.

However, TCA Abu Dhabi would become the first tourism authority to adopt the same system and integrate social media reviews into an official classification system.

Social Strikes Back

The rising importance o

f social media and guests reviews in the Middle East hospitality industry has been mirrored by the increasing prominence of user generated reviews on social media sites Facebook and Google.

One recent change was the Facebook’s decision to move its user review and rating system for public places, businesses, and organizations so that it is visible just below each page title.

When approached by Hotelier for comment, a spokesperson from Facebook said: “Currently people can sort by star ratings when they are using the ‘nearby’ feature on a mobile. For example, if they are looking for restaurants close to their location they have the option to arrange by star rating.

“Currently page administrators can manage their pages and deal with spam comments by removing them and banning the posters. In the case of genuine negative reviews, we would advise companies to seek to address their customers’ complaints,” they added.

via Abu Dhabi hotel ratings to go social in 2014 | HotelierMiddleEast.com.

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Ukrainians love to travel to Dubai: 29 percent increase shows – eTurboNews.com

“Between January and September 2013, about 49,000 Ukrainian tourists were hosted by Dubai hotel establishments. Dubai airport recorded 62.4 per cent rise in Ukrainian passengers. Dubai’s trade with Ukraine also rose by over 87 per cent during this period,” added Saleh Al Geziry, director of Overseas Promotions at Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

The number of Ukrainian tourists to Dubai in 2012 rose by 29 per cent compared with the previous year’s 54,520 tourists, said a top official.

He was speaking at the second annual Congress of Natalie Tours was held recently at Jumeirah Group hotel in Dubai.

via Ukrainians love to travel to Dubai: 29 percent increase shows – eTurboNews.com.

The Travel Marketing Digest: Congratulations to Dubai for EXPO 2020, New findings from Facebook, “The 21st Century Traveller” report from Euromonitor, BCG & TripAdvisor report on Chinese Tourism

Dubai Expo CongratulationsFirstly, we would like to congratulate Dubai and its premier sponsors and bid supporters from around the world for their successful bid to host the EXPO 2020. This edition draws attention to three insightful studies: Facebook have released some new findings on their impact on travel plansEuromonitor have released a report on the trends of \”The 21st Century Traveller\”Boston Consulting Group and Trip Advisor have released a report on the explosion of Chinese Tourism and how to capitalise on it In addition, Amadeus announce a new travel start up venture fund, Twitter announce their first entry into advertising and we provide a summary from CMOs InTravel, our blog site.

via Congratulations to Dubai for EXPO 2020, New findings from Facebook, “The 21st Century Traveller” report from Euromonitor, BCG & TripAdvisor report on Chinese Tourism.

Travellers want more from their mobile | GulfNews.com & Cleartrip.com

CleartripClearTrip have targeted to reach a million downloads of their mobile application by the end of the year, Tarique Khatri, Senior Vice- President Business Development at the online and mobile travel site said.

Speaking at The Global Travel Marketing Forum in Dubai last Wednesday, Khatri told Gulf News the company had significant growth in mobile application downloads.

“We’re very bullish on this and have seen half a million downloads already with just the one product,” he said.

ClearTrip launched their mobile application in July 2013 on the iPhone application store and followed with launches on other platforms. Khatri said the ClearTrip application had been downloaded 500,000 thousands since its launch.

via Travellers want more from their mobile | GulfNews.com.

Winning Expo 2020 will boost Dubai’s image in global job market | GulfNews.com

Dubai: Expo 2020 would significantly boost Dubai’s image in the international job market as a destination for talented professionals if the emirate is successful in his bid, Hany Mwafy, Managing Director at Brand Finance Middle East said.

Brand Finance is an independent valuation firm that assesses the value of brands and recently released a study that said the UAE brand value would increase by $8 billion (Dh29.4 billion) if Dubai is successful in its bid later this year.

Mwafy, speaking on the backdrop of The Global Travel Marketing Forum — an event that brings together global travel marketing heads — in Dubai on Wednesday, said a winning bid would “enforce the reality that Dubai is one of the global talent magnets”.

via Winning Expo 2020 will boost Dubai’s image in global job market | GulfNews.com.

Abu Dhabi and TUI join forces to target buoyant Indian market

ABU DHABI – Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and TUI, one of the world’s leading leisure travel companies, have teamed up to stage a month long destination campaign in New Delhi to further bolster Indian visitor numbers to the emirate. It is the first large-scale consumer facing activation for TCA Abu Dhabi in the Republic since opening its dedicated promotions office there early this year and reinforces the two organisations’ commitment to the Indian market – the largest overseas catchment for the emirate this year in terms of hotel guests. Dubbed ‘Abu Dhabi Month’, the campaign, which runs throughout August in the dedicated TUI flagship store at the Indian capital’s hugely popular Select Citywalk Mall, will see a number of marketing and online activations staged, including in-store branding and collateral as well as Abu Dhabi banners on the TUI website and a joint e-marketing campaign. – See more at: http://www.traveldailynews.com/news/article/56246/abu-dhabi-and-tui-join#sthash.uA2MqIER.dpuf

via Abu Dhabi and TUI join forces to target buoyant Indian market.

Emirates becomes the first Airline in the Middle East to use Google Now™ | Emirates United Arab Emirates

DUBAI, U.A.E., 6th August 2013: Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines today announced that it will start to roll-out Google Now™ cards for their passengers who book via Emirates.com.

A feature of the Google Search™ app, Google Now is available and fully integrated for Android™ (devices running Android 4.1 and above) and iOS (iPhones and iPads).

via Emirates becomes the first Airline in the Middle East to use Google Now™ | Emirates United Arab Emirates.

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