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Travel World of Saudi Arabia ❒ Riyadh Tourism De- velopment Council Approves the Execu- tive
Travel World of Saudi Arabia
Riyadh Tourism De-
velopment Council
Approves the Execu-
tive Plan of Tourism
Development Strat-
egy.
A number of companies are co-sponsoring
the Forum of Saudi Travel and Tourism
S
Investment, STTIM 2009, organized by
Qatar Airways an-
nounced plans to launch
scheduled flights and
further expand its oper-
ations with new routes.
the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiqui-
ties (SCTA) in Riyadh, under the patronage of
His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz,
Amir of Riyadh.
All the sponsors were unanimous in their opinion
that this meeting is an important step in support-
ing the progress of tourism and it is an opportu-
nity to exchange views and ideas on the develop-
ment of tourism industry in the Kingdom.
Expressing their gratitude to the President of
the SCTA, His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin
Salman for the establishment of such a forum in
Riyadh, which will see its second session soon, they
stressed that the forum is a major tourist event in
the Kingdom, and it will be a pool of tributaries
of the strengths and capabilities for the revital-
“This is a timely intro-
duction to the market”,
says Fahad Al Guthami,
Chief Operating Officer
of American Express
(Saudi Arabia) Limited.
ization of tourism and the promotion of national
tourism in the Kingdom.
Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Hazmi, Assistant Executive
General Manager of Marketing of Saudi Arabian
Airlines - Official transporter of the Forum - said
that Saudia’s participation in the forum comes as
its social responsibility as well as the approach to
its marketing strategy.
This event is an important opportunity as the
His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman
tourism sector is one of the vital sectors to the na-
tional economy, in addition to the achievement of
success of this Forum last year.
Switzerland Tourism in-
augurated lately its new
tourist season in the
Kingdom headed by Mr.
Jörg Krebsattended and
attended by the Swiss
General Counselor.
“We very much look for-
ward to our presence at
STTIM as it is an ideal
platform to highlight
Travelport’s investment
in Saudi Arabia and the
important role that GDS
technology can play in
helping the Kingdom
achieve its ambitious trav-
el and tourism goals,” said
Fazal Muhammed.
M any of the biggest Saudi travel agents had attended the annual agency award party of Lufthansa/
SWISS which was held lately at the Sheraton hotel in Jeddah.
Mr. Abdulaziz Mangera, Manager of the Western province welcomed his guests in presence of Dr. Mi-
chael Zickerick, the German Consul General and Mr. Adrien Evequoz, The Consul General of Switzer-
land. The party was ended by a delicious dinner after the Two Tails trophies was awarded to the top 15
Travel Agents who worked very hard with Lufthansa/SWISS last year. Seen Hassan Zahrany and Fahd
Khan from the Lufthansa/SWISS team.
last year. Seen Hassan Zahrany and Fahd Khan from the Lufthansa/SWISS team. TW/saudia.indd 1 4/8/09 5:07:40

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last year. Seen Hassan Zahrany and Fahd Khan from the Lufthansa/SWISS team. TW/saudia.indd 1 4/8/09 5:07:40
last year. Seen Hassan Zahrany and Fahd Khan from the Lufthansa/SWISS team. TW/saudia.indd 1 4/8/09 5:07:40
last year. Seen Hassan Zahrany and Fahd Khan from the Lufthansa/SWISS team. TW/saudia.indd 1 4/8/09 5:07:40

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last year. Seen Hassan Zahrany and Fahd Khan from the Lufthansa/SWISS team. TW/saudia.indd 1 4/8/09 5:07:40
last year. Seen Hassan Zahrany and Fahd Khan from the Lufthansa/SWISS team. TW/saudia.indd 1 4/8/09 5:07:40

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❒ FIRST PAGE 2 Travel World of Saudi Arabia HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal Chairs

FIRST PAGE

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❒ FIRST PAGE 2 Travel World of Saudi Arabia HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal Chairs 5th

Travel World of Saudi Arabia

❒ FIRST PAGE 2 Travel World of Saudi Arabia HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal Chairs 5th

HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal Chairs 5th meeting of the Council of Tourism Development of Taif Province

H is Royal Highness, Prince Kha- lid Al Faisal Amir of Makkah

province, chaired the 5th meeting of the Council of Tourism Develop- ment of Al Taif province, which was in presence of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Salman, the Pres- ident of SCTA. Addressing the council, Prince Khaled underscored the council’s efforts to improve tourist facilities in the city. “Taif is considered the Kingdom’s No. 1 tourist center,” he said, adding that the government would do its best to meet Taif’s tourism requirements. He urged the Taif Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Saudi businessmen to make use of tourism investment opportunities in the city. “We will go ahead with the project to develop the historic Okaz Souk and the Al-Hada and Al-Shafa ar- eas of Taif by providing them with advanced tourism facilities. Souk Okaz will boost intellectual and cul- tural movements in the Kingdom,” he said. Prince Khaled said it was time to execute projects.

SCTA foresees investment opportunities in the area of Health Tourism

H ot Springs” sites in the Al Kho- ba Center in Jazan are gaining increasing recognition for their

therapeutic value. As a direct fall out, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) is close to completion of technical studies for the development of this unique site into a Health Tourism investment opportunity. A team of SCTA experts visited Al Khoba recently to collect additional in- formation and latest updates on the Hot Springs development project in the re- gion. The team, headed by the Director- General, Tourism Sites Development, Eng. Osama bin Saeed Al khalwee, ac- companied by the project consultants met with the Governor of Al Harth Mu- nicipality along with the Village Assem-

of Al Harth Mu- nicipality along with the Village Assem- bly’s Chief in Al Khoba administration

bly’s Chief in Al Khoba administration center for the perceptions and expecta- tions of the initial development of the site, the existing markets and the qual- ity of the anticipated projects. Eng. Al

Khalwee said that the process of meet- ings with the officials of the region will continue to evaluate the Al Khoba Hot Springs as an investment opportunity for Health Tourism.

T he National Project for the Development of Tourism Human Resources in Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) completed a number of train-

ing programs for a number of crafts in various areas recently. According to the plan in the first quarter of the year, a training and rehabilita- tion programs for 72 female professionals was implemented. A training program in tailoring trade for 15 women in collaboration with the charitable institution in Bilgerishi was concluded which lasted for three weeks. In the village of Hail region Al Sninae, a program ‘Alsdo’ was conducted for 20 women participants, which lasted for three weeks, another difficult training pro- gram concluded on a trade called ‘the cat’ in Riyadh, which lasted for two weeks for a batch of 16 women and a program in ‘Leather Industries’ concluded in coopera- tion with King Abdul Aziz Historical Center for 21 women, which continued for two weeks. All of these programs come under the program of investment in human re- sources and support for handicraft industries. Dr. Abdullah Bin Al Washeel, Director General of the National Program of Tourism Human Resources Development, said that, programs aim at training and qualifying a group of female artisans in a num-

ber of handicrafts in accordance with the approved training plan.of programs.”

SCTA trains 72 women- professionals in a number of work-areas

Riyadh Tourism Development Council Approves the Executive Plan of Tourism Development Strategy

Approves the Executive Plan of Tourism Development Strategy TW/saudia.indd 2 I n the presence of His

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I n the presence of His Royal Highness, Prince

Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, President of

SCTA, HRH Prince Dr. Abdulaziz Bin Moham-

mad Bin Ayyaf Al Moqrin Secretary General of Ri- yadh province, Chairman of the Tourism Develop- ment Council of Riyadh province, has chaired the 4th meeting of the council at the headquarters of SCTA in Riyadh. HRH Sultan Bin Salman, stressed the methodology that is adopted by SCTA and its partners in Provin- cial Tourism Offices (PTOs) for targeting the local tourists as well as exerting enough efforts for achiev- ing their expectations through providing advanced tourism services in the first place and to make ef- forts to achieve the aspirations of the provision of advanced tourism services, he pointed out, “Local tourism is witnessing great turnout, and local tour- ists have vast knowledge about the levels of inter- national tourism services and events, and this will add more challenges to the local tourism investors to provide tourist services which meet the standards and aspirations of this large market.” HRH said, in his speech at the meeting, that Ri- yadh province is wide open for developing tourism industry, because it is enjoying an economic weight, as well as its natural, historical, and urban heritage potentials which attract tourists in droves. Besides, the capital is distinguished for business, confer-

ences, exhibitions and shopping tourism. He added that, Saudi society is more receptive to tourists more than ever. He emphasized that, tourism strategies and plans are targeting the national tourism market and the Saudi tourist, he said: “Saudi tourist is the first target” of SCTA. He stressed that the SCTA’s vision depends on a tourist activity with the religious and social values and added that the development of tourism will not be at any cost will not prejudice the religious values and social customs.” He indicated that, SCTA had already signed a con- tract of “Strategic evaluation, restructuring and in- stitutional plan of the Commission.” HRH also hoped that, the expected plan would be applicable to execu- tion, providing new initiatives to the national tourism industry, as well as making quality shift during the next three years, in maximum estimate. “We see the role of SCTA as the partner who leads tourism devel- opment, organize tourism sector and integrate it into the economic sector in the Kingdom. In this respect we expect some decisions to be made,” he added. On his part, HRH Prince Dr. Abdulaziz Bin Mo- hammad Bin Ayyaf Al Moqrin, Secretary General of Riyadh province and the Chairman of the Tourism Development Council of Riyadh province, praised the “Institutional work” of SCTA under the leadership of HRH Prince Sultan Bin Salman towards developing national tourism.

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Travel World of Saudi Arabia NEWS ❒ 3 The STTIM Forum will Strengthen Tourism Industry

Travel World of Saudi Arabia

NEWS ❒ 3
NEWS
3
Travel World of Saudi Arabia NEWS ❒ 3 The STTIM Forum will Strengthen Tourism Industry in

The STTIM Forum will Strengthen Tourism Industry in the Kingdom

A number of companies are co-sponsoring the Fo-

rum of Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment, ST-

TIM 2009, organized by the Saudi Commission for

Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) during 16 - 20 April 2009 in Prince Sultan Hall of Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh, un- der the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Amir of Riyadh. All the sponsors were unanimous in their opinion that this meeting is an important step in supporting the prog- ress of tourism and it is an opportunity to exchange views and ideas on the development of tourism industry in the Kingdom. Expressing their gratitude to the President of the SCTA, His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman for the es- tablishment of such a forum in Riyadh, which will see its second session soon, they stressed that the forum is a major tourist event in the Kingdom, and it will be a pool of tribu- taries of the strengths and capabilities for the revitaliza- tion of tourism and the promotion of national tourism in the Kingdom. Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Hazmi, Assistant Executive General Manager of Marketing of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) - Official transporter of the Forum - said that Saudia’s participation in the forum comes as its social responsibil- ity as well as the approach to its marketing strategy. This event is an important opportunity as the tourism sector is one of the vital sectors to the national economy, in addi- tion to the achievement of success of this Forum last year, saying: “Saudi Arabian Airlines is keen to participate in this event as the official carrier of the speakers, lecturers and participants for the second consecutive year. Tour- ism has become an essential element and it depends on a strong economy like in every State. In the Kingdom it is in the stage of development and growth, and we are confident in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman, the head of this important body it will rise and grow rapidly.” In the same context, chairman of Al Tayyar Travel Group, Dr. Naser Bin Ogail Al Tayyar, indicated that, holding such forums “would work to transform the objectives of growth and advancement of this industry into reality. This is in the interest of the homeland and the citizen and the Saudi economy, and we look forward to the interaction of government agencies with the results of the Forum, par- ticularly as the SCTA has attracted international speak-

ers of high potential.” On the other hand, Mr. Khaled Bin Abdullah Al Doghaither, member of the board of directors and General Manager of Riyadh Company for Construc- tion, explained that, “The interest of my company to be in the Forum is for several reasons, notably the geographi- cal size of the Kingdom, its size of population and its con- centration, its religious significance, its strength of tour-

ist destinations and the weight of its tourist-time, which is significant compared to the models of tourism throughout the world. Therefore these projects and these aspirations and attitudes are there to create a tourist industry in the Kingdom which is worthy of support and participation, also, because it has a promising direction in the national economy and productivity. Al Doghaither continued, “Our first experience in par- ticipating in the forum last year, had brought positive re- sults, which has resulted in our keenness to be present this year also.” He pointed out that there are benefits to derive

a great company to participate in this constructive forum,

which is dependent on the diversity of investments between the transport and distribution, real estate, and so on. Mr. Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Rashed, General Manager of Corporate Development Group of resorts explained that his participation in the Forum comes from being the head of the Jeddah Chamber of Tourism, as well as being the vice-chairman of the National Tourism Committee. He emphasized his support to the forum since it embodies con-

cepts that reflect the reality that deserves the prestige of the Kingdom, including the success it had achieved last year. He wished to attend the Forum this year also to enrich his experience in the economic vision and the ethics of tourism that can promise future of tourism in the Kingdom. As for Mr. Mohammad Al Sehli, chief executive of Al Safowa Company for Real Estate Investment and Develop- ment Company, he said that his concerns form the forum stem from the importance of its success last year and as it

is being held under the auspices of the SCTA and follow-up

by its officials, saying: “Our sponsorship of this Forum is our duty as a company specialized in “timeshare” and we expect success in terms of its visions and ideas, as well as in terms of how participants were eager to identify the com- panies working in the travel and tourism sector, including companies in the market to contribute to the time, a sys- tem that we have been waiting a long time to evolve since its legislation. The Commission’s commendable coopera-

its legislation. The Commission’s commendable coopera- His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman tion from its

His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman

tion from its partners is very encouraging that led to enter into this area, and we wish all the investors involved will lead to advancing the development and prosperity of the Kingdom. “ On his part, Mr. Khalid Bin Abdul Mohsin Al Hokair, deputy general manager of Al Hokair Group said that the Forum of Travel and Tourism Investment is of great importance to the workers in the field of tourism in the kingdom. In the same context, Mr. Ziyad Ahmed Bin Mahfouz, Chairman of the ELAF Group of Tourism and Travel ex- pressed optimism about the Forum that will produce re- sults in travel and tourism investment, saying: “Being a company specialized in hotel management and tourism and travel we are interested as the Forum is convening global a forum of international speakers, who carry a great deal of experience and will discuss on how to develop the tourism sector in the Kingdom. All of which goes in the promotion of the national tourism.”

of which goes in the promotion of the national tourism.” CHINESE COMPANIES TO BUILD MAKKAH MONORAIL

CHINESE COMPANIES TO BUILD MAKKAH MONORAIL

S audi Arabia and China have signed a raft of agreements, including a deal

to build a monorail in the Holy City of Makkah. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and Chinese President Hu Jintao, who arrived in Riyadh on Tuesday, with a mission to strengthen strategic ties be- tween the two countries, signed bilateral agreements, especially in the oil and pet- rochemical sector. The agreements included cooperation in oil, gas and mining; in the field of health; on quality inspection and stan- dards of goods and services and a memo- randum of understanding (MoU) to set up a chapter of King Abdulaziz Public Library in China, besides the rail plan. The agreement on the Makkah mono- rail project was signed by Prince Miteb, Minister for Municipal and Rural Af-

fairs, with the China Railway Company. The project will link the holy sites in Makkah, Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah. It will cost SR6.65 billion and will be implemented in two years. Thirty-five% of the project’s capacity would be used during the next Haj and the full capacity two years later. King Abdullah expressed his desire to further strengthen Saudi-Sino relations. “China was the first country I visited after becoming the king,” Abdullah told the Chinese President. Hu commended King Abdullah’s efforts to strengthen relations. “We appreciate the continuous contacts between leaders and officials of the two countries,” he added. The two leaders called for a just and comprehen- sive Middle East peace settlement that would ensure the Palestinians an inde- pendent state.

SAUDI ARABIA SEES HUGE DEMAND FOR HOTEL, FURNISHED APARTMENTS

H otels and furnished apartments in Saudi Arabia have achieved an oc- cupancy rate of 50.6 percent and 58 percent respectively during 2008

against 50.8 percent and 50 percent the previous year, the Tourism Informa- tion and Research Center of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiqui- ties (SCTA) said in its annual accommodation statistical report. The report said 24,016,916 hotel and 24,749,543 furnished apartment rooms were occupied last year against 24,960,318 hotel rooms and 15,629,404 fur- nished apartment rooms in 2007. According to the report, hotel occupancy during January, which coincid- ed with the pilgrimage season in 2008, reached 57 percent with 2,246,513 rooms fully booked. Occupancy of furnished apartments reached a peak of 64.2 percent last August because of the summer vacation. The report said, Makkah came first with about 15.6 million rooms, Madinah second with 3.7 million rooms, Riyadh third with 1.6 million rooms and the Eastern province fourth with 1.2 million rooms. Makkah maintained its lead position in the occupancy (59.1 percent) of furnished apartments with 9.8 million rooms occupied followed by the East-

ern province (56.8 percent) with 3.2 million rooms occupied. Madinah came third and Riyadh fourth.

(56.8 percent) with 3.2 million rooms occupied. Madinah came third and Riyadh fourth. TW/saudia.indd 3 4/8/09

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(56.8 percent) with 3.2 million rooms occupied. Madinah came third and Riyadh fourth. TW/saudia.indd 3 4/8/09
(56.8 percent) with 3.2 million rooms occupied. Madinah came third and Riyadh fourth. TW/saudia.indd 3 4/8/09

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(56.8 percent) with 3.2 million rooms occupied. Madinah came third and Riyadh fourth. TW/saudia.indd 3 4/8/09
(56.8 percent) with 3.2 million rooms occupied. Madinah came third and Riyadh fourth. TW/saudia.indd 3 4/8/09

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❒ ❒ 4 AMERICAN EXPRESS Travel World of Saudi Arabia A Warm and Timely Welcome

❒ ❒ 4

❒ ❒ 4 AMERICAN EXPRESS Travel World of Saudi Arabia A Warm and Timely Welcome given

AMERICAN EXPRESS

Travel World of Saudi Arabia

❒ ❒ 4 AMERICAN EXPRESS Travel World of Saudi Arabia A Warm and Timely Welcome given

A Warm and Timely Welcome given by Corporate Travel Agencies

A Warm and Timely Welcome given by Corporate Travel Agencies Fahad Al Guthami, Chief Operating Officer

Fahad Al Guthami, Chief Operating Officer of American Express (Saudi Arabia) Limited

I n the current global economic cli- mate they say ‘cash is king’ but saving ‘time’ and ‘money’ is key to Travel Agents and their corporate clients. Financial experts are in agreement

that for most companies in the Mid- dle East, travel and entertainment is often the third largest operating ex- pense, of which air travel is the larg- est cost item. These experts add that, travel agencies spend a great deal of money extending credit facilities to their clients. With the recent changes in BSP the actual cost in time, resources and the cost of funding has resulted in Travel Agents having their revenues greatly reduced. Cash flow for travel agencies is re- ducing daily, as they wait for extend- ed periods before companies settle their outstanding and often overdue credit accounts. In a bid to support the travel trade in Saudi Arabia, American Express has launched their Corporate Travel Account (CTA). ‘It is a product that allows travel agencies to breathe again’, said one travel agency. “The Corporate Travel Account

(CTA) is a cardless lodge account solution for Corporate Travel Agen- cies helping them to free-up valuable cash-flow that would otherwise have been used to fund their clients credit accounts. “This is a timely introduc- tion to the market”, says Fahad Al Guthami, Chief Operating Officer of American Express (Saudi Arabia) Limited. Mr. Al Guthami, further added that, “we have been very busy responding to requests from companies that are aware that we have introduced this product in Saudi Arabia. Everyone benefits, we become the supporting financial arm to the Travel Agency and provide a single point of contact for client reconciliation queries”. He added, “ Travel Agents are now bet- ter equipped to focus on what they do best “being travel experts and servicing their clients” without hav- ing to act as a bank as well.

Travelport KSA Invests in Aspiring Travel Professionals GDS provider partners with local universities to prepare young Saudi nationals for career in travel trade

The Team
The Team

R iyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: xx April, 2009 – Travel- port GDS, one of the world’s leading providers of global

distribution systems (GDS), operating both the Galileo and Worldspan platforms, has announced that is strategically in- vesting in travel technology training to prepare Saudi nation- als for a career in the travel trade. Recognizing the importance of education within the King- dom’s growing travel sector, Travelport is working with sev- eral local colleges and universities to equip the next generation of Saudi travel professionals with essential skills in the latest GDS technology. As part of the initiative, students enrolled in travel and tour-

ism programmes at major educational institutions including King Abdul Aziz University, Prince Sultan College, Al Alamiah Institute and the College of Technology, are being offered spe- cialized training courses in travel technology, including Trav- elport’s flagship Galileo platform. Through the development of these important skills, Travel- port believes that Saudi nationals can enhance their employ- ability within the Kingdom’s evolving travel industry, which

is leveraging advanced GDS technology to create operational efficiency and better serve customers. “Travelport is committed to skills development and employ- ment among Saudi nationals and aims to empower local com- munities by developing a productive workforce armed with the right tools to succeed,” said Fazal Muhammed, Travelport GDS’s Senior Director, Saudi Arabia. “GDS technology is vital to the travel industry and therefore it is important that young Saudi graduates are up-to-speed with the latest systems so that they can enter the industry seamlessly and excel in their new careers,” he added. With one of the youngest and fastest-growing populations in the world, providing employment opportunities for youth has become a top priority within Saudi Arabia, with new initia- tives being introduced by the government to help integrate the Kingdom’s young citizens into the labour force. One of the world’s leading providers of global distribution systems (GDS), Travelport boasts state-of-the art training cen- ters across the Kingdom and provides direct service and sup- port to KSA travel agents, including a 24/7 help desk.

Galileo Set for Major Presence at Saudi Travel & Tourism In- vestment Market 2009

Leading GDS provider to showcase travel technology at annual forum

GDS provider to showcase travel technology at annual forum R iyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Ara- bia:

R iyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Ara- bia: 8 April, 2009 – Travelport,

one of the world’s leading providers of global distribution systems (GDS) and operator of the Galileo plat- form, has announced its participa- tion in the Saudi Travel & Tourism Investment Market (STTIM) 2009. Taking place in Riyadh from April 12-16th under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman Ab- dulaziz Al Saud, Governor of Ri- yadh, the annual forum will bring together leaders from the global travel industry to focus on oppor- tunities within Saudi Arabia’s fast- growing travel and tourism sector. Marking its debut at the event since it began direct operations in Saudi Arabia, Travelport will be highlight- ing the power of its renowned Galileo booking system, as well as the com- prehensive training and support the company provides to the Kingdom’s travel agent community. Lending his expertise in travel technology, Mr. Fazal Muhammed, Travelport’s Senior Director in Saudi Arabia, will deliver a presen- tation April 14th on the importance of technology within the Kingdom’s travel sector, exploring how agen- cies can leverage the power of the GDS to create a seamless travel ex- perience. “We very much look forward to our presence at STTIM as it is an ideal platform to highlight Travelport’s investment in Saudi Arabia and the important role that GDS technology can play in helping the Kingdom achieve its ambitious travel and tourism goals,” said Muhammed. The Galileo by Travelport stand at STTIM will be located in the main exhibition hall, where senior execu- tives from the company will be on hand to meet with customers and members of the travel trade.

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Travel World of Saudi Arabia NEWS ❒ 5
Travel World of Saudi Arabia
NEWS
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Travel World of Saudi Arabia NEWS ❒ 5 TW/saudia.indd 5 5:07:48 PM 4/8/09

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❒ AVIATION 6 Travel World of Saudi Arabia ‘BEST BUSINESS CLASS’ SKYTRAX AWARD FOR ETIHAD

AVIATION

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❒ AVIATION 6 Travel World of Saudi Arabia ‘BEST BUSINESS CLASS’ SKYTRAX AWARD FOR ETIHAD AIRWAYS

Travel World of Saudi Arabia

❒ AVIATION 6 Travel World of Saudi Arabia ‘BEST BUSINESS CLASS’ SKYTRAX AWARD FOR ETIHAD AIRWAYS

‘BEST BUSINESS CLASS’ SKYTRAX AWARD FOR ETIHAD AIRWAYS

‘BEST BUSINESS CLASS’ SKYTRAX AWARD FOR ETIHAD AIRWAYS E tihad Airways, which began fly- ing less

E tihad Airways, which began fly- ing less than six years ago, has won the award for having the

best business class in the world following a global poll by 16 million air travellers. The national airline of the UAE also won the world’s best business class catering award. The annual World Airline Awards, run by UK-based consultancy Skytrax, was conducted during a 10-month period among 97 different nationalities from around the world. The public poll took into account all as- pects of the air travel experience - on the ground, at the airport and on-board - as well as the quality of customer service delivered by each airline’s staff. Etihad’s business class was placed fifth

in the 2008 Skytrax survey and tenth in 2007. The 2009 award was presented to the Abu Dhabi-based airline at a special ceremony held in Hamburg, Germany. Edward Plaisted, chief executive of Skytrax, said: “For Etihad Airways to win the accolade of having the best busi- ness class experience when the airline flew its first aircraft just over five years ago is a remarkable success. This cat- egory of the awards is one of the most closely contested, and an area of great competition amongst the world’s lead- ing airlines. “These awards clearly demonstrate the huge value of Etihad’s desire to focus and invest in quality customer service. “At a time of global financial crisis and its inherent impact on the airline indus-

try, it is heartening to see that Etihad are seeking to build passenger loyalty by creating a raft of quality product and service standards that a customer will genuinely want to come back to.” Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ chief commercial officer, said: “In the last year, Etihad has invested sub- stantially in its business class product and service, both in the air and on the ground, and we are justifiably proud to know that the award was selected by the airline industry’s most important audi- ence - its customers.” During the last 18 months, Etihad Air- ways has progressively introduced a new in-flight service style, seeking to provide the airline’s premium customers with service individually tailored to their needs. Etihad Airways’ business class cabin offers passengers a fully flat bed on ev- ery aircraft in the airline’s fleet of 29 wide-bodied aircraft. Mr Baumgartner added: “Whilst our flatbed and new inspired service are clearly the focal points, we believe it is the consistency and high quality of the end-to-end travel experience we are able to offer our business class customers that really make us stand out.” Business class passengers can take ad- vantage of an in-seat massager and more than 600 hours of on-demand entertain- ment provided via 15 inch screens.

SAUDIA TO HAVE EXTRA 131 FLIGHTS

S audi Arabian Airlines had- operated 101 extra domestic

flights and 30 international flights as part of its 11-day “Spring Vaca- tion” operation plan. The plan endorsed by Khaled A. Almolhem, Saudia Director Gen- eral, aims to meet the growing de- mand for seats by holidaymakers, Abdullah Bin Mushabab, Assis- tant Director General for Public Relations, said. He said the plan drawn up by the Sales Department covers 101 extra domestic flights to Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Jizan, Abha and Qas- sim besides 30 international flights from Riyadh-Jeddah to Kuwait, Cairo, Alexandria and Beirut. He said the total accommodation ca- pacity of the extra domestic flights is 24,396 seats and 8,936 seats on international flights. He said in drawing up its operation plan, the airlines not only eyes financial re-

turns, but also passenger demand during vacation seasons. The de- mand for seats, he said, increases during the half-term school break as many families exchange visits and also perform Umrah and visit the Prophet’s Mosque.

KKIA to reflect the economic importance of the Kingdom and the grandure of Riyadh

K ing Khalid International Airport of Riyadh will be redeveloped to reflect the economic importance of the Kingdom and the grandeur of the Riyadh region,

as disclosed by His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), stressing on the importance of developing the King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh to transform the city into a hub of integrated economic services and to achieve the aspirations of the ben- eficiaries of the services worthy of the Kingdom and its capital city, Riyadh. These initiatives follow the directions of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Prime Minister and HRH the Crown Prince, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General and the Chairman of the Board of Civil Avia- tion, and His Royal Highness the 2nd Deputy Prime Minister. In this connection a meeting was held on Thursday (April 2) in the capital by His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman President of SCTA who is also a member of the Governing Council of the Civil Aviation Authority, and chairman of the su- pervisory committee for the development of King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh. Present in the meeting were the officials of the Maintenance of King Khalid International Airport, attended by the Director of the airport, Eng. Saad Al Tasan and the President of the executive company Saudi Arabian Aircraft Industry, Ali Mul’at, the Director of Maintenance, Eng. Nader Khalawi, and a number of officials in the management of the airport. HRH was briefed during his tour of the interior spaces of the airport facilities, including the services and equipment and aircraft maintenance, about the future needs for the management of aircraft maintenance and the airport. HRH also held another meeting with the Director of the airport along with other departments’ of- ficials. The Prince said that the supervisory committee for the development of King Khaled International Airport is working in partnership with a number of actors on the de- velopment of the airport, on the basis of a signed contract with the Fraport AG, which is developing the airport and its operation in cooperation with the Depart-

ment of the airport during the transitional period in preparation for the transfer of the airport to an independent entity operating on commercial basis. He pointed out that the development process represents a qualitative leap for the airport as a destination of the economic capital of the Kingdom of civilization.

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Inaugural Bahrain Air flight arrives at Abu Dhabi International Airport

Air flight arrives at Abu Dhabi International Airport A bu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 30 March

A bu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 30 March 2009: Abu Dhabi International Airport has welcomed the first Bahrain Air passenger plane at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The airline will initially operate nine flights per week

from Abu Dhabi, with plans to increase frequency to double daily in the medium term. The aircraft touched down at 17.10, March 29, and was saluted by water can- nons to the delight of its passengers. To mark the occasion, ADAC hosted a welcome event attended by dignitaries, in- cluding the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Bin Hamad al Khalifa, Bahrain Air Chairman. Mohammed Al Bulooki, Vice President, Airline Marketing and Aeronautical Rev- enue, reiterated ADAC’s commitment to support airlines wishing to establish opera- tions from Abu Dhabi International Airport. He said: “As Abu Dhabi’s diverse population continues to grow, so does the de- mand for air travel. At ADAC, our aim is to offer our guests choices and options on different airlines with different products. Having competitive airlines at our airports further boosts our ability to better serve Abu Dhabi and the UAE. We are delighted that Bahrain Air has chosen Abu Dhabi, as the airline perfectly complements our current mix of services and destinations”.

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Travel World of Saudi Arabia AVIATION ❒ 7 Singapore Airlines set to increase frequency to

Travel World of Saudi Arabia

Travel World of Saudi Arabia AVIATION ❒ 7 Singapore Airlines set to increase frequency to Abu

AVIATION

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Travel World of Saudi Arabia AVIATION ❒ 7 Singapore Airlines set to increase frequency to Abu

Singapore Airlines set to increase

frequency to Abu Dhabi Airport by 133%

A bu Dhabi Airports Company, the operator of Abu Dhabi Interna- tional Airport, has welcomed today’s announcement by Singapore

Airlines that from 15 March 2009, daily flights will link the UAE capital and the Asian city-state of Singapore . The carrier’s existing three-times a week service between Singapore and Abu Dhabi will go daily as part of plans that will also see Singapore Airlines extend its network, through Abu Dhabi , by offering flights to Kuwait City four-times a week - on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. While the aviation business in other regions of the world are experi- encing slowing growth, the Middle East region, and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in particular, continues to outperform global trends as its avia- tion infrastructure provides the platform for the sustained and robust growth. This is reflected in Abu Dhabi International Airport ’s consistent 30 per- centile average growth of passenger traffic over the last two years. “Clearly, the increased frequencies demonstrate the confidence airlines have in Abu Dhabi ’s grow- ing status as a natural connecting point between East and West, as well being a key regional hub for international airlines. ADAC continues to make every effort to increase the number of airlines and frequencies operated from the airport in order to better serve all our passengers and partners.” added Bulooki. Lim Meow Seng, General Manager Gulf of Singapore Airlines said: “Singapore Airlines is happy to be able to increase our frequency on the Abu Dhabi-Singapore route to daily, while also adding Kuwait to our destination network.

daily, while also adding Kuwait to our destination network. NEW MUSCAT AIRPORT TO BE READY BY

NEW MUSCAT AIRPORT TO BE READY BY 2011

M uscat is working on a $1.4 billion airport to meet the burgeoning passenger traffic.

The airport will be ready by 2011. Plans for the new project include a northern runway, taxiway system, aprons, roads, a termi- nal building, a 90 metre air traffic control tower and ancillary buildings. In 2008, passenger traffic through Muscat International Airport increased to about 3.2 million, up 18% over 2007. The new airport is expected to accommodate around 12 million passengers. The existing runway will be upgraded and

supplemented with a new runway which will be able to take the world’s largest passenger plane, the Airbus 380. The terminal will be built be- tween the airport’s runways. It will have a floor area of 290,000 square metres and connected to the existing terminal by a rail link. Six firms have been shortlisted by the Ministry of Transport and Communications to build the $1.4 billion airport terminal. It has been reported that the low bidder is a consortium of the local Galfar Engineering & Contracting Company and India’s Larsen & Toubro.

MALAYSIA AIRLINES REDUCES

INTERNATIONAL FUEL SURCHARGE

S ubang: Malaysia Airlines has slashed fuel surcharg-

es on international flights by as much as 73% after

taking into account the decline in fuel prices, com-

petitive pressures and the need to boost air travel during this period of economic slowdown. Effective 30 January, the national carrier will remove fuel surcharge from its Singapore and Brunei flights. There has also been a worldwide reduction of up to 54% in fuel sur- charge to/from across ASEAN. In addition, by 1 February fuel surcharge on flights from China will be reduced up to USD100, flights from Austra- lia and New Zealand reduced up to USD210, and flights from Middle East will see a drop of up to USD150. Africa and North America flights will also see a reduction of up to USD160 and USD185 respectively. Malaysia Airlines’ Commercial Director, Dato’ Rashid Khan said, “We have always offered competitive fares that are benchmarked against our competitors on a route by route basis. The latest revision in fuel surcharge is to en- sure even more competitive pricing. “Our stand is this: the total amount the customer pays must be competitive, whether it’s the fares alone or fares in combination with the fuel surcharge. What’s important is the total sum of the parts.”Malaysia Airlines had reduced fuel surcharge for domestic travel within Malaysia on 14 January and earlier reduced fuel surcharge for interna- tional travel from Malaysia to Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Paris, Germany and from other points of sales to various destinations. Oil prices have fallen by almost three-quar- ters since hitting a record high in July of USD147 per bar- rel. Yesterday, jet fuel which is higher priced compared to crude oil was trading at USD55 per barrel. Despite this, Malaysia Airlines’ fuel costs are still higher compared to when surcharge was first introduced in 2004. “Fuel remains our biggest cost and our fuel bill for FY2008 will be higher than FY2007 as the fuel surcharge only covers about 30% of the fuel cost,” he said. Malaysia Airlines currently operates 2X weekly flights between Jeddah and Kuala Lumpur on Mondays and Thursdays.

between Jeddah and Kuala Lumpur on Mondays and Thursdays. Frankfurt Airport Summer Timetable 2009: FRA is

Frankfurt Airport Summer Timetable 2009:

FRA is Your Gateway to 304 Destinations in 106 Countries

E ffective March 29 when Europe changes to daylight saving time, Frankfurt

Airport’s Summer Timetable 2009 will feature 4,400 passenger and 210 cargo

flight departures per week. This represents a slight 4.0 percent reduction in

the number of flight offerings compared to last year’s summer schedule. However, passenger flights will decline by only 3.4 percent and intercontinental traffic will slip by only 0.6 percent – remaining almost at the same level as in 2008. Absent from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) for many years, Pakistan International Air-

lines will reintroduce scheduled services twice a week to Lahore and Karachi, while Air Seychelles will fly once a week to Mahe, the capital of this island nation in the Indian Ocean. Air India is extending its daily Mumbai-Frankfurt and Delhi-Frank- furt flights to New York (Newark) and Chicago. Air India has recently designated FRA as its European hub. Condor will suspend its flights this summer to Recife, Brazil. Eritrean Airlines will cancel its weekly connection to Asmara, thus ending its service to Germany completely. However, Lufthansa will continue serving the Eritrean capital thrice weekly via Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, Lufthansa will offer nonstop flights from FRA to Ethiopia’s capital of Addis Ababa in the Horn of Africa. In European traffic, the Belgian-based carrier VLM will fly to FRA for the first time, offering 17 flights per week to the new destination Antwerp (www.antwerpen. be) on the North Sea coast. Lufthansa will add two new Polish destinations to its FRA timetable: Rzeszow (www.erzeszow.pl) five times per week and Poznan (www. poznan.pl) daily. Sun Express will offer daily flights to the new Sabiha Gokcen Air-

will offer daily flights to the new Sabiha Gokcen Air- port in Istanbul, Turkey. Carpatair will

port in Istanbul, Turkey. Carpatair will discontinue its service to Timisoara, Roma- nia, thus ending its representation in Frankfurt. Estonian Air will also stop flying to FRA this summer, but Lufthansa will continue to offer daily flights to the Estonian capital of Tallinn. Air France will delete Lyon from its FRA schedule, but the French metropolis will remain linked to FRA via four daily Lufthansa flights. Particularly noteworthy will be Lufthansa’s expansion of flight offerings to the Arabian Peninsula from 30 to 47 connections per week. At the start of the 2009 Sum- mer Timetable, Lufthansa will serve the Saudi Arabian cities of Jeddah and Riyadh with daily nonstop connections. Flights to Muscat, Oman, will also be offered this summer via Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

Flights to Muscat, Oman, will also be offered this summer via Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. TW/saudia.indd

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❒ AVIATION 8 Travel World of Saudi Arabia LUFTHANSA EXPANDS ROUTE NETWORK FOR SAUDI ARABIA

AVIATION

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❒ AVIATION 8 Travel World of Saudi Arabia LUFTHANSA EXPANDS ROUTE NETWORK FOR SAUDI ARABIA Rolf

Travel World of Saudi Arabia

❒ AVIATION 8 Travel World of Saudi Arabia LUFTHANSA EXPANDS ROUTE NETWORK FOR SAUDI ARABIA Rolf

LUFTHANSA EXPANDS ROUTE NETWORK FOR SAUDI ARABIA

Arabia LUFTHANSA EXPANDS ROUTE NETWORK FOR SAUDI ARABIA Rolf Koller B ucking the downward trend, Luf-
Rolf Koller
Rolf Koller

B ucking the downward trend, Luf-

thansa announced that it is in-

creasing the capacity on its routes

from Saudi Arabia to Germany by al- most double as per March 29. The addi- tional frequencies will allow Lufthansa to fly daily from Riyadh and Jeddah to its hub in Frankfurt with the beginning of the summer schedule. Together with Swiss International Air Lines, the total frequency per week ser- vicing passengers from Riyadh and Jed- dah is upped to 11 for each destination with seven from Lufthansa and four

Abdulaziz Mangera
Abdulaziz Mangera

from SWISS. This augurs well for cus- tomers from the Kingdom as the air- lines offer more flexibility and choices of flights to its hub in Frankfurt and Zu- rich to onward destinations in Europe and Intercontinental. Both Lufthansa and SWISS, operat- ing a total of 29 flights from Saudi Ara- bia and Bahrain, are the only European carriers which jointly connect all major gateways in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dam- mam in KSA and in Bahrain. All flights operate with a three-class onboard ser- vice.

In addition to this growth, Lufthansa will be operating three extra weekly flights from Dammam to Frankfurt dur- ing July and August. Rolf Koller, General Manager Luf- thansa/ SWISS, Saudi Arabia and Bah- rain said: “Our confidence in the Saudi Arabian market is in an all-time high as evidenced by the increase in our opera- tions, taking into account that there is a global economic slowdown. We are an- ticipating a healthy growth in air traffic demand between KSA, Germany and Switzerland. There is no better way to reiterate our strong market position in the Saudi market but now.” The uniqueness of travelling via Luf- thansa/SWISS is that passengers of ei- ther airline from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can benefit from a combinable price structure. Apart from the price, passengers are assured of a wide net- work which translates to more choices, good products, trusted brand, fleet of modern aircraft and an exceptional fre- quent flyer programme. Travellers from the Kingdom can also avail of the new offer from Lufthansa - “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” return ticket travel offer in Economy Class from Jeddah or Riyadh to select destinations in Europe. Starting from SAR 2390, individuals can fly to Germany, London, Manchester, Paris and Vienna and for SAR 2590 to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Dub- lin, Geneva, Innsbruck, Linz, Madrid, Milan, Nice, Paris, Prague, Salzburg, Venice and Zurich, prices exclude taxes and surcharges. Booking and sales peri- od is effective from now till 15 April 2009 and valid for travel from 29 March to 30 May. Passengers can book their tickets through travel agents or online.

AIR ARABIA NET PROFIT UP 35.6%

A ir Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC), has announced

its financial results for 2008. The company achieved a net profit of Dhs510 million for the financial year ending December 31, 2008, up 35.6% over Dhs376 million in 2007. The carrier posted a turnover of Dhs2.066 billion in 2008, up 61%. Passenger average load factor -- passengers carried as a proportion of available seats -- stood at 85%. The airline carried 3.6 million in 2008, +33% over 2007. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia, said: “2008 was a landmark year for Air Arabia, and this is reflected in our robust financial re-

sults. Therefore, the Board of Directors has proposed distrib- uting a 10% cash dividend to the company’s sharehold- ers, which allows them to share in Air Arabia’s success while maintaining sufficient capital to ensure the imple- mentation of the carrier’s long-term growth strategy.”

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OMAN AIR TO SPREAD WINGS

O man Air will fly non-stop to four more destinations in Europe and Asia this year. They include Frankfurt and

Paris in the West and Colombo and Male in the East. Chief executive officer Peter Hill said August marks the com- mencement of our wide-body fleet acquisition plan when we take delivery of the first of seven brand new Airbus A330 air- craft. “With the introduction of these services we will be providing a massive increase in capacity from Europe to Oman, designed to boost the country’s rapidly growing appeal to the discern- ing traveler,” he said. This year Oman Air will take delivery of two Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a two-class business and economy layout, and two Airbus A330-300 aircraft featuring first, business and economy classes. Airline’s vice-president commercial Barry Brown said we will commence flights to Frankfurt on September 17 initially with six services per week and we will inaugurate services to Paris on October 11 with four flights per week. “Sri Lanka and the Maldives will commence on October 12 with four weekly services offering convenient connections to not only Paris and Frankfurt but also our daily London Heathrow flights.

ETIHAD EXTENDS CODESHARE WITH BRUSSELS AIRLINES

E tihad Airways is to extend further its expanding global network by

providing its customers with access for the first time to destinations in Spain, following the expansion of its existing codeshare agreement with Brussels Airlines of Belgium. Under the deal, which comes into effect on March 29, the Abu Dhabi- based airline will place its two-letter ‘EY’ code on Brussels Airlines’ flights from the Belgian capital to the Span- ish capital city of Madrid as well as the Catalan city of Barcelona. The agree- ment also includes the city of Birming- ham in the United Kingdom. In turn, the extended codeshare agreement will give air travellers from the three European cities access, via Brussels, to Etihad’s home base of Abu Dhabi and beyond it to many inter- national destinations on the airline’s global network in the Middle East, Af- rica, Asia and Australia. James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “Brussels Airlines rep- resents one of our most established and successful codeshare agreements. Over time, the agreement has evolved in line with our own ambitious expansion plans, opening up markets to which our airline has previously not had ac- cess.

MALAYSIA AIRLINES IN CODE-SHARING WITH INDIA’S JET AIRWAYS

M alaysia Airlines (MAS) expects to capture about 10 percent of

the untapped traffic potential val- ued at RM10 million to RM12 mil- lion (RM1=US$0.2736) annually from India to Kuala Lumpur following a code-sharing agreement with India’s Jet Airways. “If you look at the over- all multiplier effect of the such agree- ment, beyond Kuala Lumpur and India, it can bring in between RM30 million and RM40 million for MAS in revenue,” said MAS chief executive of- ficer Idris Jala. The airline’s total interline revenue was RM680 million per annum, he said. The Jet Airways-MAS partner- ship will work towards expanding and strengthening the hub and spoke net- work and allow MAS to capture un- tapped traffic from secondary points in India through the Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad on MAS’ network, Idris told report- ers after signing the agreement here Wednesday. The code-sharing and network-wide reciprocal frequent flyer partnership sealed after two years of discussions will take effect from March 3 while tickets can be purchased from Feb 25 onwards. Arrivals from India last year amounted to 550,000, a 34 percent in-

crease from 2007.

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Travel World of Saudi Arabia AVIATION ❒ 9 QATAR AIRWAYS UNVEILS ROBUST EXPANSION PLANS Carrier

Travel World of Saudi Arabia

AVIATION ❒ 9
AVIATION
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Travel World of Saudi Arabia AVIATION ❒ 9 QATAR AIRWAYS UNVEILS ROBUST EXPANSION PLANS Carrier Lines

QATAR AIRWAYS UNVEILS ROBUST EXPANSION PLANS

Carrier Lines Up Six New Routes For Northern Winter 2009 Schedules Sydney, Melbourne, Goa And Amritsar Come On Line During Year European Network Boosted With Two Additional Routes

Q atar Airways announced plans to launch scheduled flights to Australia and further expand

its operations in India and Europe with new routes from the start of the North- ern Winter 2009 schedules.

Flights to the Australian cities of Syd- ney and Melbourne, together with new services to Goa and Amritsar in India, and two new European services are being earmarked over the next nine months. In addition, the Doha-based carrier will increase frequency to selected des- tinations across its global network from the beginning of the Northern Summer

2009 schedules on March 29. The expan-

sion was announced today at ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel and tourism show being held in the German capital

this week.

Qatar Airways will also step up its Eu- ropean presence with two new routes, which are currently being finalised. The airline’s first new route launch of

2009 will be daily flights between Doha

and Houston which, at just under 17 hours, will be one of the longest non-stop flights in the world. Beginning March 30, the Houston route will feature Qatar Airways’ new fully flat Business Class seats deployed on its two Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft, which the airline took delivery of over the past six weeks.

The award-winning Doha-based airline currently has on order more than 200 new Airbus and Boeing aircraft worth over US$40 billion. “Qatar Airways’ robust expansion is continuing undeterred by the current economic climate,” said Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, addressing a packed press conference on the opening day of ITB Berlin. “Sydney and Melbourne have been on our radar screen for many years. We can finally look forward to entering the Australian market with vigour as we will have the aircraft to serve this highly popular market non-stop from Doha. Al Baker said Europe was strategically important for Qatar Airways, highlight- ing the need to widen its market pres- ence with the addition of two new routes over the next nine months. “Our tremendous growth is part of a long-term strategy to significantly build up our portfolio of routes and fleet size,” he added. “Qatar Airways continually identifies new opportunities around the world to better serve the travelling public and is able to easily shift capacity according to market conditions. As a network hub airline, Qatar Airways does not rely on traffic from any specific markets, so we are largely immune from the circum- stances surrounding the current global

from the circum- stances surrounding the current global economic meltdown. “With new aircraft joining our fleet

economic meltdown. “With new aircraft joining our fleet at an incredible rate of one a month for the foreseeable future, we are confident go- ing forward, able to consolidate our po- sition by increasing frequency on exist- ing routes and introducing new routes to give passengers greater choice. “Qatar Airways is well poised to face the challenges ahead. We have a long- term vision demonstrated by today’s an- nouncement to build on our highly suc- cessful young operation – a remarkable feat for an airline which launched just 12 years ago.” In addition to the route expansion, Qatar Airways is gradually stepping up

capacity from March 29 to eight cities – Geneva, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, La- gos, Muscat, Mashad (Iran), Tunis and Algiers. The frequency increases will see the Philippines capital of Manila being served with two daily flights, up from the current 11 services a week; Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos going from five services a week to daily; and capac- ity to the Omani capital of Muscat rising from 15 to 21 flights a week. With the opening of the New Doha In- ternational Airport scheduled for 2012, Qatar Airways plans to increase its glob- al network to beyond 100 cities world- wide.

its glob- al network to beyond 100 cities world- wide. Emirates to launch A380 service to

Emirates to launch A380 service to Bangkok and Toronto

E mirates airline today announced it will introduce its double decker A380 aircraft on its Bangkok and Toronto routes.

Effective 1st June 2009, the aircraft will debut in Canada while the new Thai route extends the aircraft’s presence in Asia after the successful launch of the A380 on Sydney and Auckland in February. “We are extremely pleased to announce the introduction of the A380 for our Toronto and Bangkok services. Our Toronto route has had consistently high demand since the thrice weekly service was launched two years ago. The A380 will allow Emir- ates to address some of the unmet need in Toronto while on Bangkok, the A380 will help support the Thai government’s new tourism initiatives,” said Emirates President Tim Clark. The change on both services will provide a capacity increase of about 30% for each route. The new aircraft routes also offer strengthened support for popular transit markets- with the A380 now servicing London Heathrow, UK tourists travelling to/from Thailand can enjoy a seamless A380 experience while for Canada, the change means increased access to Dubai and the Gulf region. Emirates A380’s ground-breaking inflight product include onboard shower spas in the First Class cabin featuring signa-

ture products by the airline’s premium spa brand, Timeless Spa. The onboard lounge for First and Business class custom- ers mirrors the ambience of an executive club and includes a bar with a wide range of beverages and canapés.

With flat-bed massage-equipped private suites in First Class, a new generation of intelligent seating and flat-beds in Busi- ness Class, mood-lighting, and a second-to-none inflight enter- tainment system featuring over 1,000 channels of on-demand entertainment, the Emirates A380 introduces a new level of comfort and luxury. It is set in a three-class configuration (14 First, 76 Business and 399 Economy Class seats) and spread over two levels with the upper deck dedicated to First and Business class passen- gers. Services to Toronto on EK 241 depart Dubai at 09:55 hours, arriving in Toronto at 15:45 hours. EK 242 departs Toronto at 21:40 hours arriving in Dubai at 18:35 hours on the next day. Services are offered on EK 241 and 242 on Mondays, Wednes- days and Fridays. Services to Bangkok on EK 372 depart Dubai at 09:40 hours, arriving in Bangkok at 19:00 hours. It turns around as EK 373 departing Bangkok at 21:25 hours, arriving in Dubai at 00:30 hours the next day. The Bangkok service operates daily.

Effective 1st June 2009, Emirates will operate five A380s on the following routes: Dubai-London Heathrow (daily), Dubai- Sydney/Auckland (daily), Dubai Toronto (three times weekly) and Bangkok (daily). The airline will accept another four A380 aircraft into its fleet in the financial year of 2009/2010 and has announced it will introduce services to Seoul in December.

announced it will introduce services to Seoul in December. TW/saudia.indd 9 DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM TUNISIA’S DJERBA

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DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM TUNISIA’S DJERBA ISLAND TO GENEVA, ZURICH AND NANTES

T unis, March 5, 2009 - Djerba’s international airport is getting a

facelift. In addition to the setting up of moving walkways, the airport’s VIP lounge will also benefit from a renovation program. All in all, some 13 million dinars have been earmarked for the air- port’s refurbishing. Direct flights will link Djerba to the cities of Gene- va, Zurich and Nantes. Djerba Inter- national airport, one of Tunisia’s 9 airports provides 20% of Tunisair’s traffic. The airport which is used by 66 airlines has witnessed a traffic esti- mated at 25,288 flights in 2008. The number of passengers going through the airport has reached 2 million 624 thousand in 2008. A leading tourist destination in Tunisia, the island of Djerba was ranked in 2008 as the world’s best tourist destination by the American travel guide, Trip Advi.

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❒ NEWS 10 Travel World of Saudi Arabia Mosaid Travel signs GDS agreement with Travelport

NEWS

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❒ NEWS 10 Travel World of Saudi Arabia Mosaid Travel signs GDS agreement with Travelport Renowned

Travel World of Saudi Arabia

❒ NEWS 10 Travel World of Saudi Arabia Mosaid Travel signs GDS agreement with Travelport Renowned

Mosaid Travel signs GDS agreement with Travelport

Renowned Saudi Travel Agency Converts to Galileo GDS

J eddah, Kingdom of Saudi Ara- bia: 5 April, 2009 – Travel- port, one of the world’s lead-

ing providers of global distribution systems (GDS), has announced that Mosaid Travel, one of the most well- established travel agencies in Saudi Arabia, has converted to its Galileo

GDS.

Under the multi-year agreement signed with Travelport, Mosaid will subscribe to the GDS provider’s world-class Gali- leo booking platform, tapping into some of the best airline, hotel, and car content on the market to meet the needs of the agency’s growing customer base. Headquartered in Jeddah, Mosaid Travel & Tourism has built a strong rep-

utation for its extensive group tour ser- vices within the Kingdom, with a special focus on providing customized packages for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages. “We are relying on the efficiency of the Galileo system to source the widest range of travel options for our custom- ers and are confident that this is the right GDS to help support our business in the Kingdom,” stated Mr. Nadir Ali Kazal- bash, General Manager, Mosaid Travel & Tourism Services. With a significantly enhanced local presence following the set-up of its di- rect Galileo operations for travel agents, Travelport now has a full training and support structure in place to serve all of its customers throughout the Kingdom. “Our extensive customer service capa-

the Kingdom. “Our extensive customer service capa- Khalid Binshakir, Commercial Director Travelport Saudi

Khalid Binshakir, Commercial Director Travelport Saudi Arabia

bilities in Saudi Arabia have helped us secure major new clients such as Mosaid Travel, which are benefiting from the seamless delivery of Galileo products through our one-stop-shop service,” con- cluded Fazal Muhammed, Travelport GDS’s Senior Director, Saudi Arabia.

Al Qaseem and the National Festival of the Palm and Dates

T he Tourist Development Council, Qaseem has sought to develop the Al Qaseem region in the framework of profes-

sionalism in the management of tourism activities to contrib- ute to the promotion of tourism development and to achieve better economic returns for the region. On the recommendation of the Tourist Development Council Qaseem at its second meeting, the panel was held to develop the festivals in Qaseem. The first meeting was chaired by His Highness, Prince Dr. Faisal bin Saud bin Mishal bin Abdu- laziz, Deputy Emir of Al Qaseem region, Vice-Chairman of the Board of the region’s tourism development, in his office at the Dewan of the Principality in the city of Buraida on Monday 23rd March, 2009. The meeting discussed the events of the recent festivals of dates and discussed the strengths and attractions and their role in the development aspects. The meeting was attended by the Tourist Development Council and government agencies in charge of the Dates festival in addition to agricultural associa-

tions and the private sector as well as the international expert of tourism events development Mr. Bil Autel. Executive Director of Al Qaseem PTO, Dr. Jaser Al Hurbash, emphasized that, the meeting has brought out many recom- mendations, most important of them were to support the per- ceptions of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) in the implementation of the National Festival of the Palm and dates; the formation of a working group to imple- ment the recommendations contained in the proposal which should meet periodically to oversee the implementation of this proposal. the most important of which is to conducting joint festival in the name of the National Festival for Date and Palm in Al Qaseem region with the launch of a widespread campaign of its marketing and advertising. He mentioned at the same time, the continued support of the His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz and HRH President of the SCTA for all assistance in the development of the tourism sys- tem for the over all economic development in the region.

MAKKAH-MADINAH RAILWAY PROJECT ON FAST TRACK

T enders for the design of stations on the Makkah-Madinah Rail

Link (MMRL) project will be accepted by the middle of this year, Abdul Aziz Al-Hoqail, president of the Saudi Rail- way Organization (SRO) announced yesterday. Tenders for constructing rail tracks and installing electricity, communica- tion and signaling systems as well as for the import and operation of bullet trains will be accepted in the last quar- ter of this year, he added. Speaking to reporters after attending a meeting of SRO’s board of directors, Al-Ho- qail said the first phase of the project would be ready by April 2012 and the second phase by December 2012 which will mark the experimental operation. He said work on the project would start in April. The Al-Rajhi consortium has won the SR6.79 billion contract for the civil works of MMRL or Haramain Railway project that will link the two holy cit- ies of Makkah and Madinah with the business and port city of Jeddah. The project includes construction of elec- tric railway lines with a total length of 450 kms, complete with signal and communication systems and five sta- tions. Transport Minister Jabara Al-Se- raisry said the MMRL with high- speed trains would be an ideal solution to transportation problems faced by millions of pilgrims each year. Al-Ho- qail said the expected journey time on the proposed 300 km per hour bullet trains would be half an hour between Makkah and Jeddah, and two hours between Madinah and Jeddah.

FREE SIGHTSEEING IN SAUDI CAPITAL DURING SPRING BREAK

T he Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) launched

sightseeing tours around the most prom- inent landmarks in the Riyadh city dur- ing the spring break, in cooperation with the Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company. Mr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Jassas, the Ex-

ecutive Manager of Riyadh PTO, said that two sightseeing tours per day will start from Prince Salman Science Oasis on King Abdullah road. Each bus will be accompanied by a tour guide to explain the landmarks. The tours included many landmarks such as shopping centers (Riyadh Gal- lery/ Al-Aziziyah Mall/ Garnada), Old Dir’iyah, the Kingdom and Al-Faisaliah towers, King Abdul-Aziz Historical Cen- ter, Al-Masmak Palace, and Zal tradi- tional market. Moreover, tourism publi- cations and maps will be distributed to the visitors.

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Galileo Launches Ladies Training

visitors. TW/saudia.indd 10 Galileo Launches Ladies Training J eddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: xx, January 2009

J eddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: xx, January 2009 – Travelport GDS, one of the world’s leading providers of global dis- tribution systems (GDS) and operator of the Galileo booking platform, held the first ever women-only training program for travel agencies in Jeddah earlier this year.

Recognizing the importance of training for the Kingdom’s female travel agents, Travelport is providing a three-day beginners course for females, which includes essential skills in the latest Galileo GDS technology. At the end of the course, a certificate was issued to every candidate. “At Travelport, our aim is to always be by our customer’s side. To help and assist, whenever we can, which is why we orga- nized the first training session exclusively for women working in travel agencies in Jeddah,” said Fazal Muhammed, Travelport GDS’s Senior Director, Saudi Arabia. The training program helps familiarize women with the Galileo system and introduces them to Travelport’s operations in the Kingdom. Women travel agents are trained in travel software as well as basic travel agent procedures, including ticketing, seat booking, seat confirmation, ticket refund, booking of cars and hotels. One of the world’s leading providers of global distribution systems (GDS), Travelport boasts state-of-the art training centers across the Kingdom and provides direct service and support to KSA travel agents, including a 24/7 help desk.

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Travel World of Saudi Arabia NEWS ❒ 11 Hong Kong Tourism Board Celebrates a Successful

Travel World of Saudi Arabia

NEWS ❒ 11
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Travel World of Saudi Arabia NEWS ❒ 11 Hong Kong Tourism Board Celebrates a Successful GCC

Hong Kong Tourism Board Celebrates a Successful GCC Travel Mission

Tourism Board Celebrates a Successful GCC Travel Mission T he Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), are

T he Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), are celebrating the success

of its first ever GCC travel mission which was held from the 01st to the 04th March, taking in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha (Qa- tar), Manama (Bahrain) and Dammam in Saudi Arabia. In total 18 suppliers from Hong Kong participated in the five city travel mission, namely; Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, HS Travel, Intercontinental Grand Stan- ford Hong Kong, Island Shangri-La Hong Kong, Jetway Express Ltd, Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel, Ngong Ping 360 Ltd, Ocean Park Hong Kong, PC Tours and Travel, Plaza Premium Lounge, Royal Plaza Hotel, Southsea Tours Ltd, Stay- ingAsia Destination Management Com- pany Ltd, The Peninsula Hong Kong, Travel Asia Ltd, Unicorn Travel Manage- ment, Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Each city saw a significant turn out of agents and local press, with the larg- est congregation attending the Dubai workshop which also included trade participants from Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. Lasting for about 2.5 hours each, the workshops were conducted in a free-flow format, allowing the agents to freely net- work and learn more about the products of each of the suppliers. Hong Kong Tourism Board Director of Marketing for the Middle East, Mr. Si- mon Mills said; “As it was our first travel mission in the GCC, we were delighted to be joined by such a large number of Hong Kong partners. The events themselves saw a strong turnout of operators and agents and we received such positive feedback across the region and that this is now likely to become an annual event”.

Al Tayyar Travel signs multi-year agreement with Travelport GDS

Group to be served by Galileo’s newly es- tablished direct operation for travel agents

R iyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: 4 March, 2009

– Travelport GDS, one of the world’s leading providers of global distribution systems (GDS), operating both the Galileo and Worldspan plat- forms, has announced today that it has signed a multi-year agreement with Al Tayyar Travel Group for its Galileo

GDS. One of the most well estab- lished travel agencies in the Kingdom, Al Tayyar Travel has business interests span- ning travel, tourism and car- go, with a strong reputation not only in Saudi Arabia, but throughout the Arab World. By joining forces with Trav- elport GDS, Al Tayyar will subscribe to a world-class IT platform offering some of the

subscribe to a world-class IT platform offering some of the TW/saudia.indd 11 best airline, hotel, and

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best airline, hotel, and car content on the market, help- ing the group stay competi- tive and meet the growing de- mands of its customers. “Galileo is able to provide highly efficient products and solutions so that our team can, in turn, provide excel- lent customer service. We were very impressed by what Galileo offered and confident that the system will help grow our business over the com- ing years,” stated Ossama Maayeh, Group Director, Op- erations and Airline Affairs, Al Tayyar Travel Group. The agreement follows Trav- elport’s recent multi-million dollar investment in its new direct Galileo operations for travel agents in the Middle East, with a new support

structure in place to serve the GDS provider’s customers in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt. “Our agreement with Al Tayyar Travel Group is not only a testament to our lead- ing technology and solutions, but validation of our new customer service capabilities as a direct operation,” said Fazal Muhammed, Travel- port GDS’s Senior Director, Saudi Arabia. Travelport’s new country hub offices based in Jeddah provide services and support direct to travel agents includ- ing a 24/7 help desk, training facilities and leading tech- nology and solutions. The company also boasts further branch offices in Riyadh and Dammam.

also boasts further branch offices in Riyadh and Dammam. RI and KSA to Boost Bilateral Ties

RI and KSA to Boost Bilateral Ties by Addition- al Flight Frequencies

C onsul General of Republic of In-

donesia Gatot Abdullah Man-

syur said that flight reservation

Gatot Abdullah Man- syur said that flight reservation to and from Indonesia this summer no more

to and from Indonesia this summer no more become problem for those want to visit the country, since Government of Republic of Indonesia and Govern- ment of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has signed MoU of Implementation of bi- lateral air services agreement on May 22, 2008. Because the agreement mentioned that both countries shall have the right to designate in writing to the other con-

tracting party one airline or more for the purpose of operating the agreed services. It enable another carrier besides Garuda and Saudia to fly to Indonesia. The agreement also mentioned that Indonesian airlines will operate in Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh while Saudian Airlines will operate to Jakarta, Surabaya (East Java), Medan (North Sumatera), Makasar (South Sulawesi) and Denpasar (Bali) Indonesiaand Saudi to operate 21 scheduled flight round trip weekly passenger flights to and from route schedule and 7 round trip weekly cargo flight without any restrictions imposed on aircraft type to and from points specified in the route sched- ule as well as additional frequencies. Both countries agreed to incorporate Madinah Point in the Route Schedule once Airport capacity expansion plan is implemented and all technical requirements has been met. Until such time, the designated airlines can operate Hajj and umroh flight to and from Madinah point on charter basis or extra flight subject to Madinah airport capacity. Bambang Sudaryono, Head of Transportation Affairs in the consulate said that the agreement was signed based on wishing to further develop friendly and cooperative relations existing between the two countries

based on equality and mutual benefit. As most populous muslim country, Indonesia is big market for inter- national airlines, he said that more than 12 airlines in the Kingdom are flying to Jakarta regularly to serve more than 650.000 Indonesian in- cluding hajj and umroh pilgrimage yearly. Senior General Manager of Garuda Indonesia for Middle East and Eu- rope, Nasrizal said that Garuda currently operates twelve flights weekly from Jeddah to Jakarta, with seven non stop flights to Jakarta and other flights via Riyadh. To implement the signed MoU, Garuda already made a planning to add more traffic to Jeddah and also to fly Medina to accommodate de- mand from umrah market. Extra flights have been planned as well that based on market demand. He said that Garuda also has planned to bring in 25 new Boeing 737- 800 Next Generation (B-737NG) aircraft, which it has ordered from the Boeing Company. These planes will join the Garuda Indonesia fleet in several stages:

eight units in May-December 2009, ten units in January-October 2010, five units in August – December 2011, and two in January – February

2012.

As well, ten Boeing 787 series 8 (B-787-8) Dreamliner aircraft, which the Boeing Company began, producing in 2006, will join the fleet start- ing in 2011. He said that Garuda has successfully completed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and has been added to the IOSA registry since June 2008. The IOSA program is the first global standard to include eight ma- jor aspect of an airline’s ability to deliver as safe operation consist of or- ganization and management, flight operations, operational control and flight dispatch, aircraft engineering and maintenance, cabin operation, aircraft ground handling, cargo operations, and operational security. These eight sections comprise more than 900 standards that an airline is audited to, and in order to achieve IOSA registration, the airlines must satisfy them all.

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an airline is audited to, and in order to achieve IOSA registration, the airlines must satisfy
❒ 12 SWISS ROAD SHOW Travel World of Saudi Arabia A Successful Swiss Road Show

12 SWISS ROAD SHOW

❒ 12 SWISS ROAD SHOW Travel World of Saudi Arabia A Successful Swiss Road Show in

Travel World of Saudi Arabia

❒ 12 SWISS ROAD SHOW Travel World of Saudi Arabia A Successful Swiss Road Show in

A Successful Swiss Road Show in the Kingdom

Swiss destinations and hotels welcomes the Saudi Travelers

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S witzerland Tourism inaugu-

rated lately its new tourist sea-

son in the Kingdom in a press

conference and travel agents gather- ing held in Jeddah Movenpick hotel, attended by HE Adrien Evequoz, the Swiss Consul General with some of the Consulate staff, in addition to a large number of different media rep- resentatives. A detailed presentation of all the beautiful Swiss tourist areas was giv- en, during the conference, included an explanation of how to get the visa and highlights of the different tourist attractions in Switzerland. The conference also included a word by the Swiss Consul General in

which he welcomed the attendance and praised the mutual relationship between the two countries. Then the representatives of Swit- zerland Tourism took turns to pres- ent and demonstrate in details the different Swiss tourist areas such as Dolder Grand, Fairmont, Geneva, Interlaken, Lausanne, Matterhorn, Lucerne, Montreux, Ticcino and many more. It is worth mentioning that Switzer- land Tourism made a promotional tour in Saudi Arabia from the 21st to 25th of February 2009. This tour witnessed the participation of repre- sentatives to different Swiss tourist areas and deluxe hotels in order to

assert the success of last year’s Swiss promotional campaign in the King- dom which reflected in the increase of Saudi tourists’ number in Switzer- land. This year’s campaign aimed at maintaining last year’s success and doubling the number of Saudi tour- ists to Switzerland this year. Switzerland is known of its won- derful diversity in its tourist product and charming beauty of its different areas that ensure its visitors an un- forgettable experience. The Swiss delegation was headed by Jörg Krebs, Switzerland Tourism (1) and joied by Thomas Allemann, Crans-Montana Tourism, Kevin Kunz, Zermatt Tourism/Seiler (3),

H. Simon Bumann, Saas Fee Tourism (5), Maurus Lauber, Zürich Tourism (4), Michel Cavadini, Ticino Tour- ism, Walter Loser, Lausanne Tour- ism (5), Andreas Frizzoni, Geneva Tourism, Tawfik Melli, Switzerland Tourism, Hugo Furrer, Swiss Travel System (1), Stefan Pfister, Jungfrau Railways (6), Eugenio Genazzi, Swit- zerland Tourism, Stefan Ryser, In- terlaken Tourism (6), Lukas Ham- mer, Luzern Tourism (6), Eric Seiler, Royal Plaza Montreux, Hans Jörg John, Montreux Vevey (5), Beat Sigg, Victoria Jungfrau Collec. (6), Daniel Szeleny, The Dolder Grand (2 with M. Al Wadi) and Henk Van Beveren, Fairmont Palace Montreux.

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Travel World of Saudi Arabia NEWS ❒ 13 Lufthansa/SWISS Travel Agents annual party M any

Travel World of Saudi Arabia

NEWS ❒ 13
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Travel World of Saudi Arabia NEWS ❒ 13 Lufthansa/SWISS Travel Agents annual party M any of
Travel World of Saudi Arabia NEWS ❒ 13 Lufthansa/SWISS Travel Agents annual party M any of

Lufthansa/SWISS Travel Agents annual party

M any of the biggest Saudi travel agents had attended the annual agency award party of Lufthansa/SWISS which was held lately at the Sheraton hotel in Jed-

dah. Mr. Abdulaziz Mangera, manager of the Western province welcomed his guests in presence of Dr. Michael Zickerick, the German Consul General and Mr. Adrien Evequoz, The Consul General of Switzerland. “This joint award function goes back to 4 years where Luf- thansa/SWISS acknowledge and honored the contribution of

our travel partners. The criteria for the awards are our top 15 best producing for Lufthansa/SWISS. The award is very signifi- cant, symbolically and also in sense of well deserved achieve- ment.” said Mr. Mangera. Mr. Mangera added that the company has managed to write

Innsbruck

good figures during the last year due to very strict management controls and also rigid cost controls. The party was ended by a delicious dinner after the Two Tails

trophies was awarded to the top Travel Agents who worked very hard with Lufthansa/SWISS last year.

Seen Mohamed Garrer from Ace travel, Mohamed Zaheer from TTS, Alawi from Attar Travel, Nizar from Swiss cargo, Mohamed shorbagi from Al Tayar travel, Khalid Alfadal from ITC travel, Zameer from Portfolio with the German Council sun Max.

Zameer from Portfolio with the German Council sun Max. TW/saudia.indd 13 Lufthansa and Swiss Western province

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Lufthansa and Swiss Western province team
Lufthansa and Swiss Western province team
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❒ 14 LAST PAGE Travel World of Saudi Arabia IMEX goes greener in 2009 I MEX

Travel World of Saudi Arabia

❒ 14 LAST PAGE Travel World of Saudi Arabia IMEX goes greener in 2009 I MEX
IMEX goes greener in 2009 I MEX continues to assert its leadership on environmental Ray
IMEX goes greener in 2009
I MEX continues to assert its
leadership on environmental
Ray Bloom
issues within the global meet-
Chairman
H is Royal Highness Prince Sul-
tan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz,
President of the Saudi Commission
for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA)
chaired a review meeting to delib-
erate on the Commission’s perfor-
mance during the 1st Quarter 2009,
in the presence of various depart-
mental and project managers of the
Commission.
HRH during the meeting, discussed
the functioning of the body and mea-
sured the performance of the depart-
ments against the approved plan set
earlier.
Various obstacles detrimental to the
progress of the plans were examined
and several measures were propound-
ed to sort them out. The meeting also
discussed the performance of current
projects. It also examined the memo-
randa of cooperation signed with the
government sectors and private bod-
ies and reviewed indicators of tour-
ism activity across the Kingdom.
HRH emphasized the importance
of redoubling the efforts to revitalize
the tourism sector in the Kingdom,
stressing on the importance provid-
ing the integrated tourism experi-
ence with its full elements to the lo-
cal tourist who is considered the first
target of SCTA through its different
programs.
HRH indicated that SCTA is rely-
ing on provinces as major centers
for executing tourism development
through Provincial Tourism Orga-
nizations throughout the Kingdom.
He further emphasized the necessity
to create tourism services at the cul-
tural and heritage sites befitting the
status of the Kingdom as well as the
expectations of its nationals.
Abouelwafa Badour
ings industry with a number of new
“green” initiatives for the award-
winning trade show in 2009, taking
place 26-28 May in Frankfurt.
Its continued commitment to envi-
ronmental improvement is demon-
strated in the recent completion of
IMEX’s first ever independent envi-
ronmental audit. Conducted by The
Carbon Consultancy, the audit found
that IMEX managed to reduce its per
delegate carbon emissions output by
6.3% last year, despite an increase in
delegate numbers. Other reductions
were achieved in the areas of Hosted
Buyer air travel, IMEX staff travel
emissions and waste reduction. Or-
ganisers, Regent Exhibitions, will use
the Report’s findings to further re-
duce their carbon footprint through-
out the coming year.
In 2008 IMEX became the first in
its sector to use hydroelectric power
together with 21,000 fully recycla-
ble and compostable plastic visitor
badges.
In common with many other trade
shows, IMEX traditionally used to
print plastic badges and the same
number of plastic badge holders. By
switching to 100 per cent recycled
paper badges using a corn-starch
polymer coating, organisers saved
the equivalent of five grown men in
sheer weight of plastic.
In 2009 IMEX will be the first to
introduce badge lanyards made en-
tirely from plant silk - a completely
organic product made from waste
grain fibres.
Other green practices for 2009 will
include biodiesel courtesy buses,
reuse of surplus food through lo-
cal farms and the use of sustain-
ably-sourced materials for bags and
printed items in particular. Last year
IMEX succeeded in reducing its total
waste output by 20% and expects to
exceed this figure come May. IMEX
will also be encouraging those who
are able, to travel by train to Frank-
furt. Last year this led to a 70%
reduction in the number of flights
booked by German hosted buyers
and a 30% increase in European
buyers booking train travel.
Each year IMEX presents the Cor-
porate Responsibility Centre, which
is run in partnership with the Green
Meeting Industry Council (GMIC)
for the benefit of visitors and ex-
hibitors. It provides a host of useful
resources and advice for meetings
industry operators interested in im-
proving their green and socially re-
sponsible credentials. For the first
time the Centre will be offering green
workshops led by Tamara Kennedy,
Executive Director, Green Meeting
Industry Council and Fiona Pelham,
Founder Member, Positive Impact.
The twice-daily workshops will focus
on “Steps to sustainability - how to
get green” and will cover the latest
ways in which the industry is posi-
tively influencing the global environ-
ment, local community and business
economics.
IMEX will again present its Green
Awards in 2009, also in partnership
with the GMIC. These high profile
acknowledgements include a Green
Meetings, Green Supplier, Green
Exhibitor and Commitment to the
Community Award. All are designed
to showcase and celebrate a positive
approach to environmental and CSR
improvements across a number of
industry sectors.
IMEX also undertakes regular
global research into green issues, all
of which is published free of charge
online at the IMEX Global Data Ex-
change. (www.imex-frankfurt.com/
dataexchange.html).
Says Carina Bauer, IMEX Market-
ing and Operations Director, “From
our own experience we know it can
be hard to distinguish fact from fic-
tion when it comes to ‘going green’.
Research shows that people want two
particular types of help: tools and
practical support. As a result of our
experience plus working with some
market-leading partners over the
past few years, we are in a position
to pass on this kind of knowledge
to buyers, visitors and exhibitors.
Above all, IMEX 2009 will offer its
participants practical tips and ideas
that don’t involve high level policy
or behavioural changes so that ev-
eryone - at every level - can partici-
pate in reducing their environmental
impact if they so choose.”
TRAVEL WORLD OF SAUDI ARABIA
Published by Travel World Publications Ltd. - UK
Publisher: Eman Shaaban
UK: The Meridian, 4 Copthall House, Station Square, Coventry, West Midlands, UK CV1 2FL
Switzerland: Res. L’Argentine 11, CH-1854 Leysin / T +41 24 494 59 94 , F +41 21 963 27 48
Egypt office: 13 Abdalla Taher st. - Nasr City - Cairo / T & F
+ 20 02274 35 13
Chief editor: Abouelwafa Badour
E-mail: a.badour@yahoo.com
e-mail: travelworld@bluewin.ch

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