30 MARCH 2015 WWW.TRAVELDAILYMEDIA.COM/ME TALLEST HOTEL EYE ON INDIA Bahrain improves visa option for visitors Dubai inspires design for world’s tallest hotel Latest news and views from the region UAE AIRLINES REVIEW COCKPIT POLICY Wake of Germanwings tragedy prompts rethink M THI ALL OR S E I AN NS D ID E EASIER VISA TRAVEL DAILY ASIA TRAVEL DAILY INDIA TRAVEL DAILY UK CRUISE NEWS UK www.traveldailymedia.com/me TRAVEL DAILY CHINA Monday 30th March 2015 ▶ P1 Introducing the How to Sell Thailand Guide CLICK HERE CLICK HERE Bahrain visa relaxation ahead of Grand Prix B ahrain has relaxed its visa rules ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix, according to oﬃcials. As of Wednesday, visitors to Bahrain from the GCC will be eligible for a one-month multiple-entry visa. While they will only be able to stay for two weeks at a time, the new rules also allow GCC residents to obtain three-month multiple-entry visas. The cost of the visa is unchanged at BD25 (US $66) and it is hoped the move will attract more investors and tourists. Sheikh Ahmed bin Isa Al Khalifa, nationality, passport and residence affairs’ assistant under-secretary, said “our goal is to support the businesses and tourism sector in Bahrain and Indian airline chief lambasts T1 at Dubai international A ir India’s regional chief has complained about the congestion at Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 1. Melwin D’Silva, Air India’s regional manager for the Gulf, Middle East and Africa, told 7Days, that oﬃcials should introduce better crowd management to increase passenger processing time. “With Dubai growing at the rate it is, they need to have more counters and staﬀ to regulate the flow of passengers,” he told the paper. He added that traveller could start picking Emirates over Air India because “passengers have begun caring more and more about their [airport] experience”. Air India Express operates out of Terminal 2 and D’Silva said there had been no issues with that facility. “We have already seen a rise in preference for our Air India Express flights, which land at Terminal 2 and they are able to get out much faster,” he stated. “So the overall experience does matter.” A spokesperson for Dubai Airports told 7Days that congestion issues will improve once construction at the terminal had finished. Advertise with TDME today! Email us at [email protected] the new visa policy will attract more visitors once it goes into effect from April, and mean GCC residents and businessmen can visit Bahrain more frequently”. Extensions will be possible through application and those who overstay will be given assistance before being punished. “We need to be competitive in the region,” Sheikh Ahmed asserted. Oil price slump could slow hotel development Yous ef Wahbah, M EN A head of t rans act ion real es tate at Erns t & Young T he region’s hotel sector could slow in the wake of tumbling oil prices, according to a report by Ernst & Young (EY). The report found that the next six to nine months will be “critical” for tourism in terms of establishing the impact of falling prices. Yousef Wahbah, MENA head of transaction real estate at Ernst & Young, said if occupancy rates are to remain the same or decrease, “the extra supply that is slated to enter the MENA hospitality market in 2015, coupled with unstable oil price, may have an eﬀect on the industry's growth rates over the coming year”. "Conditions may not be as vibrant as they were in 2014. There were over 4,000 keys expected to be delivered to the Dubai market in 2015, however we see the hotel developments construction pace slowing with delays in the scheduled opening dates of the hotels.” Wahbah added that in terms of transactions, the hospitality sector “could see a drop in the number of deals given the uncertainty in the market”. The UAE remained the top performer in the MENA region in terms of occupancy in 2014, according to the report. "Overall the MENA hospitality Travel Daily Middle East market continued to see stable rates wishestheits readers across peak tourism Season’s season which lasts until March. Greetings and a very We expect the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar markets Happy Newhospitality Year 2014 to maintain high occupancy and RevPAR levels," added Wahbah. Editor: Charmaine Fernz Associate Publisher: James Air | Editor-in-Chief: Mark Elliott TRAVEL DAILY ASIA TRAVEL DAILY INDIA TRAVEL DAILY UK CRUISE NEWS UK www.traveldailymedia.com/me TRAVEL DAILY CHINA Monday 30th March 2015 ▶ P2 How to sell Australia Read the guide now for a chance to win 4 nights stay on the Gold Coast CLICK HERE › Germanwings crash prompts UAE airlines review T he Germanwings tragedy has brought about a review of cockpit policy by UAE airlines. In keeping with carriers across Europe, the regions airlines have reacted to news that the co-pilot brought down the plane deliberately. “Although there is no international industry regulation that mandates this as a compulsory practice, Emirates has implemented a new operating policy where there would always be two crew members in the cockpit. This is eﬀective immediately. We are in the process of communicating this new policy to our flight and cabin crew teams,” asserted an Emirates spokesman. Etihad Airways also told Fiji Travel Specialist’s Guide to Happiness reporters that the company had “reviewed our operating procedures and will continue to do so in the light of this disturbing and tragic news from France”. “Safety is and always will be Etihad Airways’ number one priority,” the spokesperson added. Click here to find out more Gulf Air launches Jeddah opens first integrated tourist centre premium promotion Jeddah is look ing to m ake tour is m m ore acces s ible as a career choice G ulf Air is giving its premium passengers travelling from Frankfurt, London or Paris to Bahrain special airfares for travel between now and the latter half of 2015 when booking flights this April. For sale until 24 April only, Gulf Air’s return Falcon Gold (Premium) Class Frankfurt-based passengers can visit Dubai for EUR1,209 while the airline’s London-based passengers can visit Mumbai for £1,205. Paris-based travellers can book Gulf Air Falcon Gold (Premium) Class flights until 16 April 2015 from EUR1,489 to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. All prices quoted are return, including taxes and surcharges. 12345 67890 DAY IN NUMBERS Qatar Airways to increase capacity to Bengaluru J eddah has opened its first integrated tourist centre, according to Arab News. Inaugurated under the patronage of Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed, the director general of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Philippine Airlines takes over Dubai-Manila route $66 Amount for new Bahrain visa 381 Metres that will make the world’s tallest hotel in Switzerland 1 The terminal at Dubai airport that is annoying an Air India chief Antiquities in Makkah, Abdullah AlOmari said the centre helps provide visitors with a better understanding of the country's heritage. One of the goals of the centre is to provide opportunities in the tourism industry for young Saudis. A s of yesterday, Philippine Airlines has taken over the operation of the daily service between Dubai and Manila from PAL Express. All flight departure and arrival times in both Dubai and Manila are unchanged and PAL will continue to operate the Airbus A330-300 aircraft to Dubai. The all-economy class variant of the A330-300 will be retained, but PAL said it continually reviews its fleet plan and is aiming to eventually deploy its two-class A330-300 with business class cabin on the route. The company is currently restructuring so PAL flies all international routes and PAL Express operates domestic services. Frequency from and to Dubai will temporarily decrease by a day to six times weekly, with the Tuesday flight not operating from April 15 to November 30, as part of PAL’s flight operation optimisation. Abu Dhab’s daily service will drop to five times weekly from April 8 to November 29 (except on April 29), with the Wednesday and Sunday frequencies suspended during this period. Q atar Airways is increasing the capacity on its flights from Doha to Bengaluru from August 1, to meet the increasing Travel Daily Middle East passenger demand. wishes its readers The Boeing 787 with Season’s its 254 seats will be replaced by a Boeing Greetings and a very 777, with a capacity of 335 seats, which will connect more2014 than Happy New toYear 140 destinations worldwide via the airline’s hub in Doha. As of August QR572 will depart Doha at 8pm and arrive in Bengaluru at 2.45am. Flight QR573 will leave Bengaluru at 4.15am and arrive in Doha at 5.40am. BOOK NOW Advertise with TDME today! Email us at [email protected] Editor: Charmaine Fernz Associate Publisher: James Air | Editor-in-Chief: Mark Elliott TRAVEL DAILY ASIA TRAVEL DAILY INDIA TRAVEL DAILY UK CRUISE NEWS UK www.traveldailymedia.com/me TRAVEL DAILY CHINA Monday 30th March 2015 ▶ P3 X Click here to read complete Agents’ guide Oman Air notes 4% rise in revenues for 2014 O man Air has seen a 4% rise in its revenue for 2014, according to a report in Muscat Daily. The carrier noted 5.1 million passengers for the year, an increase of 200,000. Capacity also rose for the period, to 15.2bn available seat kilometres, with an average seat factor of 74.4%. India ﬁnally ready for in-ﬂight Wi-Fi QTA tells hotels not to hike prices The Indian government appears to be finally warming to the idea of in-flight Wi-Fi. Several years after other airlines started rolling out the service, India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation is reported to have approached the country’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to discuss in-flight Wi-Fi. The Economic Times cited an unnamed “senior oﬃcial” from the ministry as saying that a formal announcement is expected soon.“The DoT has already said the proposal is possible to implement,” the oﬃcial told the newspaper. Both Vistara and SpiceJet have expressed an interest in providing in-flight Wi-Fi services. At present, only international airlines like Emirates oﬀer in-flight Wi-Fi in India. Air India denies hijacking reports Air India has denied reports of a hijacking attempt on a flight from London. Flight AI 112 departed the UK capital’s Heathrow Airport for a flight to New Delhi on 17 March 2015, and media reports suggested that crew members became suspicious about the actions of a group of passengers. One man is said to have “feigned illness”, at which point another group of passengers – all reported to be Pakistani nationals – volunteered to help the man, and insisted on meeting the captain.But Air India has issued a statement saying the reports are “totally false”.“According to the report these doctors and the sick passengers were Pakistani national and were trying to get access to the cockpit. Air India would like to clarify that the above reports are totally false,” the national carrier said. “The passenger required medical assistance on aboard a London-Delhi flight and he was assisted by a lady passenger who came forward to help him.“There were no Pakistani nationals,” it added.Airports in India enhanced their security measures in January this year following a warning from intelligence agencies. P hoto by C hr is Pary pa P hotography I n an eﬀort to protect tourists visiting Qatar, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has told hotels not to hike rates dramatically, according to The Peninsula. The authority noted that certain hotels had increased rates by as much as 1200% beween March 10 and 23. QTA said it had created a special panel to investigate the issue and legal action will be taken against the erring facilities. "This illegal price increase has given a negative reputation about the tourism sector in Qatar and the national economy, especially when more tourists from other GCC countries are coming to the country," QTA said on Twitter. "This irresponsible act is damaging eﬀorts being made by QTA to promote tourism and attract families during weekends and holidays," it added. The authority had issued a circular to all hotels asking them to comply with the approved prices and correct if any changes were made. Qatar has 20,000 hotel rooms and another 3,700 will be added this year, with the opening of 20 new hotels. TRAVEL DAILY PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Travel Daily Media Group is expanding, and we are now seeking qualiﬁed licensees or joint venture partners for the following regions: Africa / South Africa UK Europe Russia India China USA / North America South America Middle East The ideal licensee / joint venture partner should have had commercial experience with a slant toward sales and or event management. Individuals/entities must possess entrepreneurial ﬂair and have a proven track record, ideally within the travel and or hospitality industries. Please send expressions of interest to: Gary Marshall Managing Director Travel Daily Media Group [email protected] Tel: +66 839 852 229 Advertise with TDME today! Email us at [email protected] airberlin gets trade sales boost in India airberlin will be able to increase its travel trade sales in India, having joined IATA’s Billing & Settlement Plan (BSP) in the country. Participation in BSP India enables all IATA-accredited travel agents to issue e-tickets for GDS bookings. Aviareps India, airberlin’s GSA for India, will manage the e-ticketing.“BSP is key to a strong distribution especially in a large country like India,” said Stella Warmuth, airberlin’s area manager for the Middle East, Asia Pacific & Africa.“By being present on this system we are positive that we will generate wider demand through greater service oﬀerings to our trade partners.“We have recently added Calcutta (Kolkata) to our list of codeshare destinations. This means we are now oﬀering daily connections in codeshare with our partner Etihad Airways to and from seven cities in India: Delhi, Bombay (Mumbai), Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Bangalore (Bengaluru) and Calcutta. Via Abu Dhabi, India is very well connected to airberlin’s worldwide route network, especially within Europe,” she added. airberlin already has interline agreements with Etihad for flights to India, which are connected to Berlin with double-daily flights via Abu Dhabi. Middle Indian wedding plannersTravel takeDaily fam trip toEast wishes its readers Season’s Thailand Thirty major Indian wedding planners are Greetings and a very visiting Thailand on a fam trip to learn Happy New more about the facilities the Year country2014 has to oﬀer. Organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the fam trip is running from 24-29 March 2015 and will oﬀer the wedding planners the chance to experience a series of destinations, including Bangkok, Pattaya, Koh Chang, Rayong and Hua Hin. The event will also include the ‘Wedding Industry Symposium’, where Thai companies will be briefed about the latest trends in the Indian wedding market and best ways to organise events that meet the demands of Indian guests. Sessions will also be organised that allow wedding planners and suppliers to meet face to face. “What makes Thailand unique for weddings is the warm hospitality, proximity to India, world-class hotels, choice of cuisines and value for money and ‘can do’ mind set. Thailand has a wide range of destinations to oﬀer for the entire wedding party, although we have noticed there is a distinct preference for the beach resorts,” said Runjuan Tongrut, director of TAT New Delhi. India is the one of Thailand’s biggest visitor source market, with a projected 1.05 million Indian visitors expected to visit the country in 2015. Editor: Charmaine Fernz Associate Publisher: James Air | Editor-in-Chief: Mark Elliott TRAVEL DAILY ASIA TRAVEL DAILY INDIA TRAVEL DAILY UK CRUISE NEWS UK www.traveldailymedia.com/me TRAVEL DAILY CHINA Monday 30th March 2015 ▶ P4 Get the news as it happens Follow us on twitter t w i t t e r. c o m / t d m e d i a g r o u p Dubai inspires world’s tallest hotel for Switzerland S witzerland is set to boast the world’s tallest hotel, thanks to inspiration from Dubai. Swiss entrepreneur Remo Stoﬀel along with US-based architect Morphosis, has unveiled the design of the structure to be situated in Vals, in the Swiss Alps, which is designed to reach a height of 381 metres. Once completed in 2019, it will eclipse the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai, which currently holds the record at 355 metres tall. According to Stoﬀel, who is Chairman of Dubai-based Farnek, the inspiration for the hotel came from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid the Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. “Due to my involvement with Farnek, I travel to Dubai on a regular basis and I am always amazed at how quickly the city grows and what it has achieved,” he asserted. “It is now home to the busiest airport in the world, tallest tower, tallest hotel, the largest shopping mall, largest man-made island, the list goes on.” Stoﬀel cited people’s initial uncertainty over whether Sheikh Mohammed’s vision for Dubai would ever be realised. “Undeterred, Dubai stuck steadfastly to its strategy and last year it welcomed around 12 million overnight visitors and is now planning to accommodate 20 million visitors by 2020,” he continued. “That inspired me to realise my own vision, by forming 7132 Ltd, commissioning this stunning design, which will be built in my home town of Vals within four years.” The new hotel and arrival is defined by three forms: a podium linking the building with neighboring structures; a cantilever containing a restaurant, café, spa, and bar – public amenities shared with the town; and a tower holding a sky bar, restaurant, and 107 guest rooms with panoramic views. QUOTE OF THE DAY “With a year-long special calendar of events planned as part of the Visit Philippines Year 2015 celebrations, there is absolutely no better time to visit than now.” Verna Buensuceso, officer-in-charge, market development group, Philippines Department of Tourism Four new outlets for Qatar Duty Free Emirates rolls out Wi-Fi to 100 aircraft Q atar Duty Free (QDF) has opened four new retail outlets at Hamad International Airport (HIA). Bazaar, Blush, PSG and Bein Sports are the latest additions to Qatar Duty Free’s premium portfolio of brands located within the airport’s 25,000m² duty free E mirates has now rolled out in-flight Wi-Fi to more than 100 of its aircraft. The Dubai-based carrier reached the milestone recently, as part of a US$20 million annual investment in its in-flight connectivity systems. A total of 106 aircraft now offer shopping area, which incorporates more than 70 retail outlets. Bazaar is based on the style of a traditional souk where guests can buy last-minute Middle Eastern and Qatari souvenirs and gifts before they leave Doha. onboard Wi-Fi, including 59 Airbus A380s and 47 Boeing 777s. In addition, mobile phone services are available on 75% of its fleet, while all aircraft are equipped with in-seat email, telephone and SMS services. Philippines returning to Riyadh Travel Fair T he Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) has confirmed its participation at the Riyadh Travel Fair 2015 edition, to be held from 14t to 19 April at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh. Verna Buensuceso, oﬃcerin-charge, market development group, Philippines Department of Tourism said the fair “proves an excellent platform for Philippine tourism leaders to meet with Saudi travel industry professionals and the general public to highlight the attractions, fun, special events and value-added campaigns designed exclusively for Middle Eastern visitors”. “With a year-long special calendar of events planned as part of the Visit Philippines Year 2015 celebrations, there is absolutely no better time to visit than now,” she added. In addition to its participation at the Riyadh Travel Fair the Philippines Tourism delegation will also be visiting Dammam to conduct a series of presentations and meetings with leading travel agencies from the kingdom’s Eastern Provinces. A total of 76,163 visitors from the G.C.C. visited the Philippines in 2014, resulting in a 10% increase compared to 2013 figures. Advertise with TDME today! Email us at [email protected] Travel Daily Middle East wishes its readers Season’s Greetings and a very Happy New Year 2014 Editor: Charmaine Fernz Associate Publisher: James Air | Editor-in-Chief: Mark Elliott TRAVEL DAILY ASIA TRAVEL DAILY INDIA TRAVEL DAILY UK CRUISE NEWS UK www.traveldailymedia.com/me TRAVEL DAILY CHINA Monday 30th March 2015 ▶ P5 Read TDME with Adobe Reader 10.1.3 Having trouble downloading TDME? Read our daily e-news magazine with the latest version of Adobe Reader – CLICK HERE to downloaded Adobe Reader 10.1.3 for free. VIPs on Oman Air’s inaugural Singapore flight V IP guests joined Oman Air’s inaugural flight from Muscat to Singapore yesterday on board an Airbus A330. His Highness Sayyid Taimur bin Asad Al Said, a member of the Royal Family of Oman, joined the flight as Oman Air’s chief guest. As a celebration of the new service, Oman Air is oﬀering promotional rates for flights between Muscat and Singapore. Economy Class returns are currently priced from OR 234.8 per person, with Business Class returns starting from OR 814.8. Carnival to add nine new cruise ships Sabre, SkyTeam arnival Corporation automate roundC has signed two new agreements that will add a the-world fares total of nine new cruise Contact us today Advertise Editorial Subscribe Travel Daily Media Group Managing Director, Publisher & Editor Gary Marshall [email protected] Editor in Chief: Mark Elliott [email protected] Travel Daily Asia Editorial: Mark Elliott [email protected] Sales: Paul Adams [email protected] Sales: Guy Allison [email protected] ships to its fleet. The shipbuilding deals with Italy's Fincantieri and Germany's Meyer Werft will lead to the new vessels joining Carnival's multibrand fleet over a four-year period from 2019 to 2022. “We’re excited to take this next step in our fleet enhancement plan with these two new agreements that are consistent with our longterm strategy of measured capacity growth over time,” said Arnold Donald, president & CEO of Carnival. “Our goal as a company is to exceed the expectations of every guest on every ship every day, and these new ships will further enable us to do just that. “These will be the most eﬃcient ships we have ever built and the great guest experience will create even more excitement around cruising – helping new cruisers realise the superior vacation experience and value that cruising oﬀers versus land-based vacations,” he added. While details of the new ships are yet to be announced, Carnival said S all nine would be "based on Carnival Corporation’s next-generation ship designs, which will produce the most eﬃcient ships in the company’s history". Once launched, the new ships will be deployed in North America, Europe and Asia, including China. The new vessels mark the continuation of Carnival’s fleet expansion strategy, which will see the launch of two new ships in 2015. P&O Cruises UK has already launched Britannia, while AIDA Cruises will welcome AIDAprima in the coming months. Carnival Corporation is the largest cruise company in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands including Carnival, Holland America, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Australia and P&O UK. abre has teamed up with SkyTeam to launch the first automated round-the-world (RTW) airfares. Until now, travel agents had to manually calculate the prices of each segment of a passenger’s journey. But the new Sabre technology automates this process, providing a complete fare price to the agent for the passenger’s entire journey. The tool is designed for itineraries that start and end in the same destination, but include more than one stop-over. “Booking RTW tickets has been a pain point for airlines and agencies for some time, and a challenge we have been eager to help solve,” said Jeremy van de Klundert, managing director of Sabre Pacific. “Using our latest technology… Sabre has established a new industry standard for purchasing RTW itineraries that makes it easier and more eﬃcient for everyone involved.” The new solution will be immediately available for SkyTeam’s Go Round the World (RTW) and Go Round Asia & Southwest Pacific fares. Click here for full story Pilot union chief slams media for Germanwings coverage Travel Daily UK Editorial: Amanda Greenwood [email protected] Sales: James Air [email protected] Travel Daily Middle East Editorial: Charmaine Fernz [email protected] Sales: James Air [email protected] Travel Daily India Editorial: Krupa Vora [email protected] Sales: Jay Shah [email protected] Cruise News UK Editorial: Amanda Greenwood [email protected] Sales: James Air [email protected] Advertise with TDME today! Email us at [email protected] T he head of a pilots' union has slammed the media for its "sensationalised" coverage of the Germanwings crash. Captain Jay Heppner, chairman of the United Master Executive Council Air Line Pilots Association, issued a statement urging the press to allow the crash investigation to be concluded before making Travel Daily Middle East assumptions about the cause of wishes its readers Season’s the incident. "The tragedy of Germanwings Greetings and a very Flight 9525 has touched all of us in the aviationNew industry," Happy Yearsaid 2014 Capt. Heppner. "Compounding this tragedy is the sensationalised media coverage and rampant speculation regarding the cause of the tragedy of Germanwings flight 9525. "We call on the worldwide media, the general public, and all interested parties to display patience while allowing the investigation of Germanwings flight 9525 to proceed without distraction or hindrance to a thorough and proper conclusion." Click here for full story Editor: Charmaine Fernz | Editor-in-Chief: Mark Elliott Associate Publisher: James Air Travel Daily ME is a publication of Travel Daily Media Limited (UK). All content is fully protected by copyright law. Written permission from the Editor-in-Chief Mark Elliott ([email protected]) is required to reproduce any material. While every care has been taken in the preparation of Travel Daily Asia no liability can be accepted for errors or omissions. Content is published in good faith. Responsibility for editorial comment is taken by Charmaine Fernz.