Sunday, 15 October 2017

Dana Air Partners Project PinkBlue on Cancer Initiative

Dana Air Partners Project PinkBlue on Cancer Initiative
Zainab Junaid Elesho

Dana Air and Project Pink Blue, a ‘cancer –fighting’ organization have hosted the Pink October Walk, Race and Cycle against cancer at LTV/Radio Lagos Arena, Ikeja, Lagos.

The 5km cancer walk which kicked off at LTV Arena, was led by breast cancer survivors, celebrities, officials of the Lagos state government and US Embassy in Nigeria.

Commenting on Dana Air’s support to the fight against cancer in Nigeria, the Communications Manager of Dana Air, Kingsley Ezenwa, said Breast cancer is said to be one of the deadliest of the cancers affecting women, and having constantly supported this fight against cancer for the past four years, only shows our commitment to the well being of our people.

Ezenwa said, ‘’the response today has been fulfilling and we are delighted to have touched many lives positively with our constant support and commitment to this fight against cancer in Nigeria. The whole essence of our support is to assist people to have access to the various screenings available free of charge and basically to ensure that more and more people are aware and to preach early detection.''

Executive Director of Project Pink blue, Mr Runcie Chidebe posited that "Most Nigerians don’t go to the hospital except they are carried to the hospital. This is a serious issue because some cancers do not show or have any symptoms. For instance, cervical cancer does not show any symptom till it’s at later stages III or IV. We have a strong believe that we can defeat cancer but we require the right support and Dana Air has led the way by constantly supporting this fight and we urge others to join this fight as this way, we can win the flight.’’

The airline has since its inception been involved in a lot of charitable projects as well as providing supports for Non Governmental Organizations that share same objectives.

Also for dedicating part of its resources to assisting the public, the airline bagged an award as airline with the best corporate social responsibility policy in the nation’s aviation industry.

Having flown over 2.7 million passengers in the last nine years of its operations, Dana Air is one of Nigeria’s leading airlines with daily flights from Lagos to Abuja, Port Harcourt, Uyo and Owerri. The airline is reputed for its unrivaled on-time performance, innovative online products and world-class in-flight service.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Genesys Summit to bang the digital drum as part of WTM’s tech programme

Genesys Summit to bang the digital drum as part of WTM’s tech programme
Zainab Junaid Elesho

Paul Richer, the well-respected founder and senior partner of Genesys Digital Transformation, will be discussing how technology could shape future travel and hospitality at the coming World Travel Market.

This was disclosed in a communique made available by Nathalia Hartmann, Portfolio Press and PR Executive, for the WTM.

In the communique, Simon Press-Senior Director, World Travel Market London, noted that the Genesys sessions at WTM are always well attended, with some of the most knowledgeable figures in the digital world willing to share their views and best practice.

“Paul Richer has long been an expert in the tech field and remains at the forefront of the latest digital developments. As such, this year’s Genesys Summit is a must-attend for anyone who wants to plan their medium-term strategy in order to retain a competitive edge in the fast-changing technology arena.

"First off, Richer will lead a thought-provoking debate entitled the Future of Technology in Travel and Hospitality. Organised in association with Travel Technology Initiative, speakers include Jose Murta, global head of hospitality at Trivago, who will give his take on how the industry is set to develop in years to come. The debate is on day one, Monday November 6, while the Genesys Summit is on day two Nivembern 7 of WTM London," he said.

Expressing his view on this development, Paul Richer said in the communique that the session will look at how, as technology continues to evolve, new opportunities present themselves to operate our businesses in an increasingly sophisticated manner.

“These opportunities also provide an entrance into our industry for new technology-led companies that are challenging the accepted orthodoxy – and revolutionising the way travellers connect with independent hotels, hotel chains and OTAs," he added.

Lufthansa partners UNILAG for Youth Impact Week

200 students to undergo 6-day coaching with international trainers

Zainab Junaid Elesho

Lufthansa is bringing its internationally acclaimed Corporate Social Responsibility project to Nigeria. 'Impact Week 2017' will be heldhold at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) campus in Akoka from October 20th to 26th.

Impact Week is a one-week program aimed at training participants to develop sustainable business models using different innovation techniques like the innovative 'Design Thinking'.

Speaking on this development,Robin Sohdi, Lufthansa General Manager Nigeria, said “We are excited to have a team of Unilag UNILAG professionals, Lufthansa international staff and other experts to come together with about around 200 students to develop their skills, broaden and take on the tasks of thinking about solutions for socio-economic challenges right here.”

Onnhis part, Dr. Sunday Adebisi, Director Entrepreneurship Centre, UNILAG, noted that it is exciting to have the Impact Week in Nigeria and more importantly in University of Lagos as it will bring a life changing experience for the teachers and students.

The Impact Week aims is aimed at coaches and students who generally have great untapped ideas, creative energy and an eagerness to learn and make things betterimprove things. This six6-days event will help participants on how to find, test, and develop business ideas with great innovation. It will further prepares and motivates students to engage in entrepreneurship and gives them platform to start their own business and find their role in the society. The focus is on seven core sectors (tracks) which affect daily life in Nigeria_Agriculture, Healthcare, Education, Alternative Power Generation, Information Technology, Transportation
and , Business Management.
The choice of University of Lagos was chosen isbased on its high rating amidst higher
institutions in Nigeria and its central location in Yaba, the “Silicon Valley” of Nigeria, which
provides proximity to talented students in Lagos. UnilagUNILAG is responsible for the selection of the participating students from a variety of faculties. The course will also empower UnilagUNILAG lecturers. The Ggoal is that the Impact Week will make it into the regular UnilagUNILAG curriculum and even go spread nationwide. The sustainability target is to handover the project completely to UnilagUNILAG at a later stage.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

MedView extends flights to West Coast Francophone Countries


Zainab Junaid Elesho

Amidst of having strong presence on the West Coast, Med-View Airline will on Monday, October 27, extend
its wings to Abidjan, Conakry and Dakar with an inaugural flight.

With the three new cities, the airline now has six destinations on the West Coast as Accra, Monrovia and Freetown are already on its network.

The flights to the new destinations will be three times a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday with early departures (7.30am) from Lagos.

The airline’s new generation aircraft -B737-800 is scheduled to service the route.

Fresh from Saudi Arabia, Medview CEO, Alhaji Muneer Bankole who successfully coordinated the 2017 Hajj in which the airline airlifted over 17,000 pilgrims declared, “our expansion programme is informed by research and planning.

“In the very near future, we will be operating to Johannesburg, South Africa; Lisbon, Portugal; Libreville, Gabon and Houston in the US,’ the CEO said.

He disclosed that the airline has already positioned for Dubai come November /December.

Lufthansa Group airlines to offer new destinations worldwide in winter 2017/18

The airlines of the Lufthansa Group — Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings — will become even more attractive in the winter season 2017/18.

Passengers can continue to enjoy the high level of service, quality and reliability of the Lufthansa Group on countless new routes – all from Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt via Frankfurt.

In the upcoming winter flight schedule for 2017/18, the airlines will be offering their customers precisely 24,922 weekly flights worldwide

Over the winter, they connect 288 destinations in 106 countries. In addition, there will be more than 18,000 codeshare flights with around 30 partner airlines supplementing the respective flight programs, offering passengers an almost worldwide network of routes.

The winter flight schedule of the individual Group airlines will come into force on Sunday October 29, 2017, and will be valid until Saturday March 24, 2018.

From November 8, 2017, Lufthansa will offer flights between Berlin and New York (USA) five times a week. Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, an Airbus A330-300 will take off heading west. Lufthansa will thus be once again basing a long-haul aircraft in the German capital, for the first time since 2001.

By resuming the Düsseldorf – Miami (USA) connection from this coming winter, Lufthansa is responding to the numerous requests of passengers from North Rhine-Westphalia. The service will begin on November 8, 2017, and flights will take off three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday).

The winter flight schedule will see Beijing (China) becoming a new A350-900 destination for flights from Munich. Lufthansa passengers can thus travel to the Chinese capital for the first time on the world’s most advanced and environmentally-friendly long-haul aircraft.

The Airbus A350-900 will take off four times a week from Munich. After Hong Kong, Beijing is By resuming the Düsseldorf – Miami (USA) connection from this coming winter, Lufthansa is responding to the numerous requests of passengers from North Rhine-Westphalia. The service will begin on November 8, 2017, and flights will take off three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday).

The winter flight schedule will see Beijing (China) becoming a new A350-900 destination for flights from Munich. Lufthansa passengers can thus travel to the Chinese capital for the first time on the world’s most advanced and environmentally-friendly long-haul aircraft.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Monkeypox Outbreak

W.H.O Monkeypox fact Sheet Date Posted:
04/Oct/2017

*Key facts*

Monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.

The monkeypox virus can cause a fatal illness in humans and, although it is similar to human smallpox which has been eradicated, it is much milder.

The monkeypox virus is transmitted to people from various wild animals but has limited secondary spread through human-to-human transmission.

Typically, case fatality in monkeypox outbreaks has been between 1% and 10%, with most deaths occurring in younger age groups.

There is no treatment or vaccine available although prior smallpox vaccination was highly effective in preventing monkeypox as well.

Monkeypox is a rare viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms in humans similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although less severe. Smallpox was eradicated in 1980.However, monkeypox still occurs sporadically in some parts of Africa.

Monkeypox is a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The virus was first identified in the State Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1958 during an investigation into a pox-like disease among monkeys.

Outbreaks

Human monkeypox was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then known as Zaire) in a 9 year old boy in a region where smallpox had been eliminated in 1968. Since then, the majority of cases have been reported in rural, rainforest regions of the Congo Basin and western Africa, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is considered to be endemic. In 1996-97, a major outbreak occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the spring of 2003, monkeypox cases were confirmed in the Midwest of the United States of America, marking the first reported occurrence of the disease outside of the African continent. Most of the patients had had close contact with pet prairie dogs.

In 2005, a monkeypox outbreak occurred in Unity, Sudan and sporadic cases have been reported from other parts of Africa. In 2009, an outreach campaign among refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo into the Republic of Congo identified and confirmed two cases of monkeypox. Between August and October 2016, a monkeypox outbreak in the Central African Republic was contained with 26 cases and two deaths.

Transmission

Infection of index cases results from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals. In Africa human infections have been documented through the handling of infected monkeys, Gambian giant rats and squirrels, with rodents being the major reservoir of the virus. Eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals is a possible risk factor.

Secondary, or human-to-human, transmission can result from close contact with infected respiratory tract secretions, skin lesions of an infected person or objects recently contaminated by patient fluids or lesion materials. Transmission occurs primarily via droplet respiratory particles usually requiring prolonged face-to-face contact, which puts household members of active cases at greater risk of infection. Transmission can also occur by inoculation or via the placenta (congenital monkeypox). There is no evidence, to date, that person-to-person transmission alone can sustain monkeypox infections in the human population.

In recent animal studies of the prairie dog-human monkeypox model, two distinct clades of the virus were identified – the Congo Basin and the West African clades – with the former found to be more virulent.

Signs and symptoms

The incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 16 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.

The infection can be divided into two periods:

the invasion period (0-5 days) characterized by fever, intense headache, lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph node), back pain, myalgia (muscle ache) and an intense asthenia (lack of energy);the skin eruption period (within 1-3 days after appearance of fever) where the various stages of the rash appears, often beginning on the face and then spreading elsewhere on the body. The face (in 95% of cases), and palms of the hands and soles of the feet (75%) are most affected. Evolution of the rash from maculopapules (lesions with a flat bases) to vesicles (small fluid-filled blisters), pustules, followed by crusts occurs in approximately 10 days. Three weeks might be necessary before the complete disappearance of the crusts.

The number of the lesions varies from a few to several thousand, affecting oral mucous membranes (in 70% of cases), genitalia (30%), and conjunctivae (eyelid) (20%), as well as the cornea (eyeball).

Some patients develop severe lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) before the appearance of the rash, which is a distinctive feature of monkeypox compared to other similar diseases.

Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 14 to 21 days. Severe cases occur more commonly among children and are related to the extent of virus exposure, patient health status and severity of complications.

People living in or near the forested areas may have indirect or low-level exposure to infected animals, possibly leading to subclinical (asymptomatic) infection.

The case fatality has varied widely between epidemics but has been less than 10% in documented events, mostly among young children. In general, younger age-groups appear to be more susceptible to monkeypox.

Diagnosis

The differential diagnoses that must be considered include other rash illnesses, such as, smallpox, chickenpox, measles, bacterial skin infections, scabies, syphilis, and medication-associated allergies. Lymphadenopathy during the prodromal stage of illness can be a clinical feature to distinguish it from smallpox.

Monkeypox can only be diagnosed definitively in the laboratory where the virus can be identified by a number of different tests:

- enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)

- antigen detection tests

- polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay

- virus isolation by cell culture

Treatment and vaccine

There are no specific treatments or vaccines available for monkeypox infection, but outbreaks can be controlled. Vaccination against smallpox has been proven to be 85% effective in preventing monkeypox in the past but the vaccine is no longer available to the general public after it was discontinued following global smallpox eradication. Nevertheless, prior smallpox vaccination will likely result in a milder disease course.

Natural host of monkeypox virus

In Africa, monkeypox infection has been found in many animal species: rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian rats, striped mice, dormice and primates. Doubts persist on the natural history of the virus and further studies are needed to identify the exact reservoir of the monkeypox virus and how it is maintained in nature. In the USA, the virus is thought to have been transmitted from African animals to a number of susceptible non-African species (like prairie dogs) with which they were co-housed.

Prevention:

Preventing monkeypox expansion through restrictions on animal trade

Restricting or banning the movement of small African mammals and monkeys may be effective in slowing the expansion of the virus outside Africa.

Captive animals should not be inoculated against smallpox. Instead, potentially infected animals should be isolated from other animals and placed into immediate quarantine. Any animals that might have come into contact with an infected animal should be quarantined, handled with standard precautions and observed for monkeypox symptoms for 30 days.

Reducing the risk of infection in people:
During human monkeypox outbreaks, close contact with other patients is the most significant risk factor for monkeypox virus infection. In the absence of specific treatment or vaccine, the only way to reduce infection in people is by raising awareness of the risk factors and educating people about the measures they can take to reduce exposure to the virus. Surveillance measures and rapid identification of new cases is critical for outbreak containment.

Public health educational messages should focus on the following risks:

- Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission. Close physical contact with monkeypox infected people should be avoided. Gloves and protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill people. Regular hand washing should be carried out after caring for or visiting sick people.

- Reducing the risk of animal-to-human transmission. Efforts to prevent transmission in endemic regions should focus on thoroughly cooking all animal products (blood, meat) before eating. Gloves and other appropriate protective clothing should be worn while handling sick animals or their infected tissues, and during slaughtering procedures.

- Controlling infection in health-care settings

- Health-care workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed monkeypox virus infection, or handling specimens from them, should implement standard infection control precautions.

Healthcare workers and those treating or exposed to patients with monkeypox or their samples should consider being immunized against smallpox via their national health authorities. Older smallpox vaccines should not be administered to people with comprised immune systems.

Samples taken from people and animals with suspected monkeypox virus infection should be handled by trained staff working in suitably equipped laboratories.

W.H.O Monkeypox Fact SheetMonkeypox Hits Bayelsa, Medical Doctor, 10 Others Quarantined

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

DANA AIR SUPPORTS NIGERIAN ECONOMIC SUMMIT 23

DANA AIR SUPPORTS NIGERIAN ECONOMIC SUMMIT 23

Zainab Junaid Elesho

Dana Air has announced its support for the Nigerian Economic Summit (NES), scheduled to hold from 10th to 12th October, 2017, at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
Themed: Opportunities, Productivity, and Employment: Actualizing the Economy Recovery and Growth Plan,’’ the annual Nigerian Economic Summit (NES), which is jointly organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, is the largest and most prestigious forum for policy makers and captains of industry from both private and public sectors of the Nigerian economy to interact and share thoughts on Key issues and challenges facing the Nigerian economy.
Commenting on the partnership, the Communications Manager of Dana Air, Mr Kingsley Ezenwa affirmed that for over five years, the airline has been supporting the Nigerian Economic Summit as a brand that is committed to the economic recovery plan of the Federal Government.
Kingsley said, "Nigeria is gradually coming out of recession and we commend the enduring efforts of the Federal Government and the Economic Team. What is more important now is how we can maintain the growth trajectory post-recession, to deliver a positive impact on Nigerian citizens in general. This is what this year’s summit intends to achieve and we are proud to be supporting again this year.’’
As part of its support to the Nigerian Economic Summit 23, Dana Air will be providing the Nigerian Economic Summit team with complimentary tickets while delegates will enjoy specials fares on the airline.

WTM Announces Finalists In The 2017 WTM Responsible Tourism Awards

WTM has announced the 12 finalists in the 2017 ATM Responsible Tourism Awards to be presented at ATM London on November oath 2017.

On the list of finalists this year is a game lodge in Botswana, a fynbos protected area in South Africa, a social enterprise in Vietnam, a tour operator working to benefit local communities in Limpopo, a European city, a group of guest cottages in Kangaroo Valley in Australia and a company enabling travellers to walk from village to village in rural India. The 12 finalists now need to wait until the Awards ceremony at WTM London to discover who this year’s chosen leaders are.

Six “Leaders in Demonstrating Responsible Tourism Impact” will be announced at WTM London on World Responsible Tourism Day. They will each represent the company, organisation or destination that the judges consider has shown the most significant impact across five categories, each of which is tied to one or more of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

For 2017, these categories are: Best for Carbon Reduction, Best for Accommodation, Best Community Initiative, Best for Communication, Best Tour Operator, and Best for Poverty Reduction.

The awards will be presented by Tanya Beckett, who presents Talking Business on the BBC News Channel.


Commenting on the standard of the finalists, Chair of Judges, Emeritus Professor Harold Goodwin said:

“This year we have discovered some new and innovative approaches to demonstrating the contributions which tourism makes to sustainable development.

“I was chair of the judges for the 13 years of the World Responsible Tourism Awards organised by responsibletravel.com. When they decided to cease running the Awards I was delighted that WTM London stepped up to continue them.

“This is a major year of change with a new organiser and a focus in the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development on the UN’S Sustainable Development Goals – we shall be publishing some great examples of how businesses have met the new challenge of transparently reporting their impacts and communicating them to stakeholders," he said.

The winners will be announced on Wednesday 8thNovember 2017 at a ceremony at WTM London, where over 500 tourism professionals, tourism ministers and media representatives are expected to attend.

WTM London, Senior Exhibition Director, and fellow judge, Simon Press also said: “Once again the World Responsible Tourism Awards will be a key part of the opening of World Responsible Tourism Day at WTM London. The stories of the winners and their achievements act as a benchmark and inspiration for what the global travel and tourism industry can achieve in responsible tourism practice.”

The WTM Responsible Tourism Day - Opening and Awards takes place from 11:00-13:00 on 8 November in WTM Global Stage - AS1050

The full list of 2017 finalists is:

v Chobe Game Lodge
v Crystal Creek
v Grootbos
v Green Tourism Business Scheme
v Kumarakom
v Ol Pejeta
v Marine Dynamics
v Sapa o Chau
v Ljubljana
v Transfrontier Parks Destinations
v TUI Cruises
v Village Ways

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Professor Borishade dies at 71

Former Nigerian minister of education, Prof. Babalola Borishade, dies at the age of 71.

He died in London on Wednesday (today) after a brief illness.

He was initially rushed to Reddington Hospital in Lagos, last week from where he was taken to London. The cause of death was lung and heart-related.

Borishade was born in Usi- Ekiti on March 7, 1946 into the Ebi Ilotin family.

He served as a minister for four times, between 1999 and 2011.

The electrical engineer was also a teacher and a political strategist.

Between February 2001 and May 2003, he served as the Minister of Education.

In recognition of his contributions to Education in Nigeria, Africa and the World at large, Borishade was elected the Vice- Chairman of the E9 Group of the United Nations, President of the UNESCO International Conference on Education, as well as Chairman Education for All (EFA) Forum of African Ministers of Education.

In 2004, Borishade was appointed as Minister of State, Power and Steel.

He initiated the ‘Gas to Power Project (G2P), a World Bank sponsored project designed to ensure sustained gas development and availability for power production to meet Nigerian electricity demands.

Between July 2005 and November 2006, Borishade was Minister of Aviation, during which a Civil Aviation Bill was passed to replace the 1964 Act and the direct flight between Nigeria and the United States of America was restored.

His initiation of various reforms and development in the aviation sector resulted in Nigeria scoring 93 per cent in the ICAO Universal Audit which made Nigeria a benchmark to African Aviation Industry.

SOURCE: NAN

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Qatar tourism growth to generates US$17.8 billion in visitor spending by 2030

Qatar tourism growth to generates US$17.8 billion in visitor spending by 2030

Zainab Junaid Elesho

Qatar Tourism Authority to highlight its experiential offering at Arabian Travel Market - culture and heritage to drive visitor numbers towards 10 million target
Experiential travel, the main theme of this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM), is driving tourism growth in Qatar, as the country works towards its 2030 ambitions to welcome 10 million visitors a year and generate US$17.8 billion in tourism receipts.

A research released ahead of ATM 2017, which will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre 24-27 April, has revealed that Qatar is looking up to generate 5.2% of its GDP through tourism over the coming years, creating 98,000 jobs and managing an inventory of 63,000 hotel rooms
.

"A perfect example of experiential travel is Souq Waqif in Doha, which offers several small shops lined along paths with an array of Middle Eastern merchandise, from spices and seasonal delicacies to perfumes, jewelry, clothing and handicrafts," the research says.

While the country’s culture and heritage remains of paramount importance, Qatar is also set to invest up to US$45 billion in new developments under the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030. These according to the release, includes US$2.3 billion earmarked for 2022 World Cup facilities and $6.9 billion for transport infrastructure and associated projects.

Speaking on this development, Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said: “Qatar’s well-paced National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 will steadily boost tourism numbers over the coming decade, with the first milestone of four million visitors a year by 2020, well on track.

“The government, hotel operators, airlines, and other stakeholders, are now beginning to see a return on their investment into the country’s tourism sector. Once again we see the leisure industry driving growth in another major GCC destination and this is a trend we expect to continue at least until the end of the decade.”

Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) predicts the tourism sector’s total economic contribution will reach QAR 81.2 billion (7.3% of its GDP) by 2026, up from QAR 48.5 billion in 2015.

In 2015, QTA says investment in travel and tourism activity comprised 2.2% of the country’s total funding, with this expected to rise by 8.6% per annum to 2026. The introduction of new demand drivers will be vital to supporting the continued rise in leisure spending, which is expected to reach values of QAR 44.9 billion in 2026, while business travel spending is expected to rise to QAR 17.5 billion in 2026.

Qatar is already the fastest growing destination in the region in terms of visitors arrivals, averaging 11.5% growth over the past five years, according to data from the QTA. The Authority’s Tourism Performance Summary, for the third quarter of 2016, recorded arrivals of 2.18 million visitors in the first nine months of the year, including more than one million GCC nationals.

Qatar’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) saw passenger traffic jump 20% in 2016, handling some 37.3 million passengers, a leap of 7.3 million from the previous year. The surge is partly attributed to the operator Qatar Airways’ fast growth, which included 14 additional destinations last year. The airline giant has also announced the world’s longest flight by duration - a 17+ hour route from Auckland to Doha"QTA says.

"Arrivals in 2017 will also receive a boost from the cruise season, running October 2016 to April 2017. It is expected up to 30 ships will dock in Doha during the current season generating 55,000 visitors. This could reach as many as 250,000 passengers by the 2018/19 season.

"In order to deal with the expected demand, Qatar currently has 22,921 hotel rooms with a further 15,956 rooms under contract, representing a 69% increase in total stock in the current pipeline. The country posted a decline in hotel performance across all key metrics over 2016, as overall occupancy dropped 12.2%, ADR fell by 7.5% and RevPAR fell by 18.8%.

"ATM 2017 will showcase exhibits from Qatar’s biggest tourism brands, including the Qatar Tourism Authority, Qatar Airways, Katara Hospitality, which operates its own hotel brands in Qatar and owns a number of heritage properties across Europe; Doha Marriott Hotel, Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, The Ritz Carlton Hotel, Qatar, and Hotel Royal Savoy, Lausanne,"
QTA maintained.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Tourism numbers increase 15% as Oman rolls out $billion investment plan
Total investment in travel and tourism set to hit $1.17 billion by 2026; Visitor numbers increase 15% through October 2016; Hotel occupancy rates forecasted to rise by 3% this year; Sultanate to go on charm offensive at Arabian Travel Market 2017
ZAINAB JUNAID ELESHO
Oman’s tourism and hospitality industry is building momentum, with total investment in the sector set to hit US$1.17 billion by 2026, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
The Sultanate returns to Arabian Travel Market (ATM) at Dubai World Trade Centre this year (April 24-27) to showcase its expanding hotel and tourism infrastructure pipeline following a successful 2016 with visitor numbers in the first ten months of the year growing to reach 2.5 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 15%.
Speaking on this development, Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, noted that “It is no wonder that Oman is so popular and was recently named as one of the top ten places to visit in 2017 by a selection of the world’s top media. The country boasts a fantastic mix of culture, history and adventure for travelers, while the $120 million Majarat Oman futuristic theme park, set to open in 2017, will add to the huge selection of options available for families.”
“A report from Colliers International said: “Although the country faces significant competition with other popular regional destinations, Oman has been able to distinguish itself as a unique tourism destination, being home to many eco, cultural and heritage attractions.”
The Colliers report also revealed that with the recent opening of the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre, which is expected to host around 28 exhibition events in 2017, the market is projected to see a slight recovery, with the hotel occupancy forecasted to close at 58%.”
Simon Press affirmed further that area of growth for Oman is through passengers arriving at the country’s airports, with a 17% increase in total airport arrivals through to the end of December 2017, while the new terminal at Muscat International Airport, which is expected to open this year, will have a capacity of 12 million passengers per annum.
“Salalah International Airport (SAIA) has a current capacity of one million travelers annually with the ability to increase this further by up to six million. And six other airports are either in planning or construction phase, including the new airport at Ras Al Hadd.
“Oman’s tourism industry continues to grow and its offering keeps expanding to cater for the diverse needs of today’s travelers. Experiential tourism is the spotlight theme of ATM 2017 and this is central to the whole tourism experience in Oman,” Press added
Among the Oman-based exhibitors already committed to participating at this year’s ATM include: Sex Senses Zighy Bay Resort & Spa, Al Bustan Palace Ritz Carlton, Anantara Jabal Akhdar Resort, Kempinski Hotel Muscat, Shangri_la Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa and Intercontinental Muscat.
Press maintained that, “ATM which is considered by many industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, witnessed a year-on-year visitor attendance increase of 9% to over 28,500 in 2016, with 2,785 exhibiting companies, signing business deals worth more than US$ 2.5 billion over four days.
ATM 2017 will build on its success with the announcement of an additional hall as Reed Travel Exhibitions looks to add to its record-breaking achievements of 2016.”

Friday, 17 February 2017

Saudi tourism to reach $81 billion by 2026

-New leisure facilities forecast to fuel domestic tourism at over 7.5% per year until 2020
-61,224 hotel rooms currently in the pipeline to meet projected demand from domestic and religious tourism
-Arabian Travel Market to showcase the best of the Kingdom’s tourist attractions

Zainab Junaid Elesho

Saudi Arabia’s travel and tourism sector is expected to contribute more than $81 billion to the country’s GDP by 2026. This was contained in a data from the World Travel and Tourism Council,just as exhibitors are preparing for what the Kingdom has to offer at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM).

ATM will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from April 23-27 2017.
This is being driven, in part, by domestic tourism - the number of local tourist trips inside Saudi Arabia, exceeded 47.5 million last year (2016) - a 2.3% rise compared to 2015.

Under the Saudi Government’s Vision 2030, plans are afoot to increase household spending on cultural and entertainment activities inside the country, from 2.9% to 6%.
Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM 2017, stated that “Plans are already well underway to achieve this target. The government has appointed the board of the General Entertainment Authority, and Six Flags has revealed exciting plans to expand into the country, with the first entertainment park scheduled to open as soon as 2020-21.

“Vision 2030 also seeks to double the number of UNESCO heritage sites to encourage more domestic tourism, while both Holy Mosques have large expansion plans, and Makkah and Madinah have major infrastructure works underway or in the pipeline that would assist with travel to and within these religious sites.”

Saudi exhibitors at ATM 2017 will highlight what the Kingdom has to offer and the exciting developments in the pipeline. As well as the possible Six Flags theme park, Riyadh is also expected to see the opening of two major shopping malls: Mall of Saudi, with 300,000 square metres of retail and entertainment space, a large snow park and hotels, and The Avenues Riyadh, a $1.9bn shopping complex. Another mega project that is bound to draw Saudi tourists includes Kingdom Tower in Jeddah – proposed to be the world’s next tallest building.

Also, Colliers International’s Saudi Arabia Hospitality Market report revealed domestic tourism in Saudi Arabia will grow by 7.5% per annum until 2020, compared to 6.1% for overseas visitors.
Earlier this month, Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, said Saudi Arabia will become ‘one of the biggest players’ in the industry. This followed news of additional government investment in tourism totaling $800 million.
To cope with the projected demand, there are an additional 61,224 hotel rooms in the pipeline across Saudi Arabia, despite major cities experiencing an overall drop in occupancy levels and average daily rates in 2016, as a result of low oil prices, precautionary corporate and overall government cuts in spending.
Leading global data benchmarking company STR said hotel occupancy levels in Saudi Arabia in 2016 was 59.5%, an overall drop of 4.8% on the previous year. Average daily rates (ADR) were also down 3.9% to SAR 764.08, while RevPAR stood at SAR 454.85, a fall of 8.5%.
“We expect 2017 to be more positive, with a particularly strong focus on leisure, religious and domestic tourism as the country looks to increase the contribution from the non-oil sectors,” added Press.
ATM - considered by many industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, witnessed a year-on-year visitor attendance increase of 9% to over 28,500 in 2016, with 2,785 exhibiting companies, signing business deals worth more than US$ 2.5 billion over four days.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, ATM 2017 will build on its success with the announcement of an additional hall as Reed Travel Exhibitions looks to add to its record-breaking achievements of 2016.