Category Archives: Agents

Seed Group partners with South Korean hospitality tech startup ONDA to advance travel industry in MENA

Seed Group has taken a significant step towards revolutionising the travel industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through its strategic partnership with Seoul-based hospitality tech startup ONDA. With a strong presence in South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan, ONDA is transforming the labor-intensive hospitality industry with digital and data. ONDA supports the continuous growth of the hospitality industry, providing both digital transformation solutions and B2B platforms that enable properties around the world to increase their online sales and operational efficiency. Hisham Al Gurg, CEO of Seed Group, expressed his excitement about this partnership, saying, “We are delighted to collaborate with ONDA, a forward-thinking hospitality technology company with an impressive track record. Seed Group is committed to identifying and partnering with innovative companies that can bring positive changes to the Middle East market. ONDA’s expertise and technology will undoubtedly redefine the landscape of the MENA travel industry, enhancing the guest experience and operational efficiency for accommodations across the region.” “We are incredibly enthusiastic about our partnership with Seed Group, a pivotal advancement in ONDA’s global journey. This venture not only symbolises a significant opportunity for us to showcase our leading-edge hospitality technology but also marks the beginning of providing our innovative solutions to newly launching hotels in the MENA region. We are confident that this collaboration will redefine the hospitality landscape, underscoring ONDA’s commitment as a key driver behind the industry’s technological evolution.” Established in 2016, ONDA embarked on its journey as a B2B hospitality tech startup. ONDA now distributes 700,000 properties from vacation rentals to luxury hotels and resorts across 60 online channels globally. ONDA also drives digital transformation in the hospitality industry, providing operational solutions to …

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Philippine Airlines UAE posts 53.8million dollars revenue in passenger sales in 2023: RH PAL

At a special interview with TTME, Josh Vasquez – Regional Head – EMEA Region Philippine Airlines disclosed that 2023 had posted  53.8million dollar revenue in terms of passenger sales in the UAE and 70% of which came from the travel agents their most important channel. Vasquez reiterated, “we are celebrating Philippine Airlines UAE Mabuhay Night, this is the second installment of this event, we will be recognizing our top travel agents who have contributed to Philippine Airlines UAE passenger sales for 2023, we have also invited our Filipino community partners and our media friends who have been instrumental in the Philippine Airlines success in the UAE for 2023. In 2023 Philippine Airlines UAE passenger sales posted a revenue of 53.8 billion dollars and  70% of that came from the most important channel which is the travel agents and this event is to recognize them for their major contribution to that bottom line. ”    

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Safarak Travel and Tourism joins ICCA, expanding its global footprint in the meetings industry

Safarak Travel and Tourism, the premier destination management company based in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), is thrilled to announce its recent membership with the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the renowned global community and knowledge hub dedicated to the international association and governmental meetings industry. As RAK emerges as a growing Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) destination, Safarak Travel and Tourism’s collaboration with ICCA is a strategic move to bring world-class association events to the region. This aligns seamlessly with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority’s (RAKTDA) long-term vision to position Ras Al Khaimah as a preferred destination for international meetings. “The affiliation with ICCA is a significant milestone for Safarak Travel and Tourism. It opens doors to a global MICE community and allows us to showcase Ras Al Khaimah as a strong contender for hosting international events.” said Cathy Mead, General Manager of Safarak Travel and Tourism With RAK gaining prominence in the MICE sector, this partnership with ICCA enables Safarak Travel and Tourism to play an active role in a global business networking platform. The collaboration provides opportunities to educate the international community about Ras Al Khaimah while fostering connections with planners who might be already familiar with other Emirates such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Senthil Gopinath, CEO of ICCA, commented: “ICCA is thrilled to witness Safarak Travel and Tourism’s continued commitment to excellence in the industry. Their recent endeavors, especially the strategic collaboration with ICCA, exemplify their dedication to shaping Ras Al Khaimah as a premier destination for international meetings. This alliance not only showcases Safarak Travel and Tourism’s prowess but also underlines the growing significance of Ras Al Khaimah in the global Business …

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14k visitors attend inaugural Saudi Travel Mart 2024

The inaugural Saudi Travel Mart successfully concluded with TravTalk ME as media partner with 14k plus visitors. The fruitful three days witnessed the travel trade flocking from around the globe to connect with 135 exhibitors from 20 countries. Speaking with TTME, Mohamed Al Harbi CEO of Saudi Travel Mart shared, “my intention is to position Saudi Arabia as one of the most visited countries in the world and promote inbound travel to the Kingdom. We lacked a B2B platform for our travel trade partners to connect with the new companies that have risen in the kingdom over the past few years. Hence we planned this three day exhibition with some of the big names in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors so that they will have an opportunity to connect, network and talk business with new partners. We are thankful to all our partners who joined us and had faith in us as we started a journey together to position Saudi Arabia as one of the most sought after destinations and for the next edition, we hope to bring in more players together.”

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80% sales from travel agents: Philippine Airlines CM KSA

Ricky Pacquing – Country Manager Philippine Airlines at a special interview with TTME shared that 80 per cent of their sales come from the travel agents in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “we owe a lot to the travel trade so we incentivise them as much as we can providing them back end and front end support.” Participating at the first ever B2B exhibition Saudi Travel Mart in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, Philippine Airlines showcased their many connectivity options to attract the Saudi market which consist both locals and expats. Pacquing reiterated that they will be celebrating their 83rd anniversary this year and they will be hosting the top performing agents across the globe to a special award ceremony in Manila next month to recognise their efforts and commitment to bring in the numbers.

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AVIAREPS and the Shanghai Government launch ‘game-changing’ B2B Platform “SmoothTravel” to boost global business with the Chinese Travel Market

AVIAREPS together with the Shanghai Municipal Government announced the launch of Shanghai’s official online B2B travel platform, SmoothTravel. SmoothTravel serves as the official gateway for the global travel industry to connect with both inbound and outbound Chinese travel agencies, tour wholesalers, online travel agencies (OTAs), and MICE agents in the East China market. SmoothTravel aims to seamlessly link international travel businesses with the thriving Chinese travel market. The platform is designed for all segments of the travel industry around the world, including major destinations, receptive tour operators, hotel groups, retailers, attractions, rental car agencies, cruise lines, and more, all eager to broaden their business outreach to the Chinese market. Key Features of SmoothTravel: • China Partner Search: SmoothTravel empowers overseas members to identify new inbound or outbound China travel trade partners. Members can easily connect with Smooth Travel’s Member Matching Manager, facilitating introductions to highly-qualified Chinese travel trade partners based on their specific requirements. • Risk Mitigation: Addressing differences in payment practices, SmoothTravel provides a unique payment guarantee system to minimize risks associated with new China travel industry partners. A comprehensive travel insurance program is also offered for Chinese members to ensure risk reduction for both outbound and inbound sectors. In addition, a bilingual mediation system to resolve any disputes is provided at no cost to members. • China Outbound Market and Consumer Insights: Leveraging extensive China government and industry resources, SmoothTravel delivers the latest research on China’s outbound travel market, industry trends, and consumer preferences. This includes surveys, interviews, focus group discussions, workshops, and on-site visits. • Training and Support: SmoothTravel offers a comprehensive two-way training platform with specialized courses for both overseas and Chinese members. All members can …

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Oman promotes luxury tourism

Ministry of Heritage and Tourism Oman hosted the third edition of the “Global Travel Week – Middle East” with 94 tourism specialists from various countries and 31 Omani tourism establishments in addition to hotels. This B2B event is aimed at promoting luxury tourism in Oman. Haitham bin Muhammad al Ghassan, Director General of Tourism Promotion at the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, said: “This event is a valuable addition to the list of luxury tourism companies and has proven through its previous editions that it adds high value to businesses and companies.” The Director General of Tourism Promotion at the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism added that the hosting of this event will strengthen international cooperation in the field of luxury tourism, exchanging experiences and knowledge, and strengthening the position of the Sultanate of Oman as a luxury tourist destination on the global stage. This event enjoys wide participation from experts and specialists in the field of luxury tourism from various countries of the world. (Oman News Agency)

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Gold partners for the first B2B event in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Saudi Travel Mart is on a journey to enhance business potential from the Saudi Arabian market. Speaking with TTME; media partner for Saudi Travel Mart,’s Vice President Sales Zaheer Jeddy reiterated, “’s participation in the Saudi travel market marks a strategic move to expand its presence in the region. By engaging in this B2B event, gains invaluable opportunities to network with key industry players, showcase its services, and establish lucrative partnerships. This participation promises fruitful business prospects and enhanced market penetration.” The event opened doors with 135 exhibitors from 20 countries seeking Saudi Arabia as a key source market due to its volume of business which has great potential in leisure, business, MICE catering to luxury and high spender travellers from the Kingdom. On the second day of the show, many visitors were seen from across the globe checking the various facilities and opportunities of business in the Kingdom.

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Inaugural B2B edition of Saudi Travel Mart kicks off in Riyadh

The inaugural B2B edition of Saudi Travel Mart with TravTalkME as media partner kicked off in Riyadh yesterday with over 135 companies from 20 countries. It will provide a platform for key exhibitors from Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world to showcase their many offerings within a period of three days from 25th to 27th February 2024. Opening the event Naif A. Alrajhi – Vice Chairman of Board of Directors Riyadh Chamber of Commerce shared, “Today is an important event to have this first ever B2B event in Saudi Arabia, having 135 companies from 20 countries which shows the importance of being in Saudi  Arabia and this is very good for later stages as Saudi Arabia aims to achieve a high number of tourists from across the globe. Saudi Arabia has a lot of opportunities with thew commitment of the government as they have set a target with the vision 2030 aimed at attracting the highest number of  tourists by 2030 and with all the foreign investments happening in the Kingdom this will give rise to the tourism sector in the Kingdom.” Mohammed Al Harbi, Chief Executive Officer Saudi Travel Mart in his opening remarks shared, “we consider the Saudi Travel Market to be one of the important exhibitions through which we intend to place the Kingdom on the list of major tourist destinations in the coming years. As the first B2B exhibition in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we aim to attract the largest international companies to the Kingdom and make it the first and best choice for everyone.”  

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Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi Highlights Focus on Excellence through Sustainability Conference and Quality Certification System

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and the Department of Economic Development Competitiveness Office of Abu Dhabi held a conference to discuss various themes contributing to tourism excellence to further build capacity in the emirate’s tourism sector,  in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization’s Academy (UNWTO Academy). Aiming to further build capacity in the emirate’s tourism sector, DCT Abu Dhabi and UNWTO Academy also recently introduced the UNWTO.QUEST Certification for quality assurance in the industry, and the UNWTO. TedQual Certification, a programme which aims to enhance the quality of tourism education, training and research programmes in UAE universities. Titled ‘Sustainability and Competitiveness: Tourism Potentials and Challenges’, the conference brought together experts in sustainability and tourism, and helped attendees develop an understanding of the role of diversity, equity, inclusion, sustainability, and strategic leadership in enhancing destination competitiveness. The conference agenda discussed practices and strategies that could be adopted by tourism stakeholders to contribute to the development of more a competitive and responsible tourism destination. Among the attendees were H.E. Hala Khaled Al Ameri, Executive Director of the Competitiveness Office of Abu Dhabi (COAD) at the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development; H.E. Hanan Ahli, Director of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre; and Mr. Ammar Anwar Sajwani, Director of Tourism Development Department, UAE Ministry of Economy. H.E. Saeed Ali Obaid Al Fazari, Executive Director of Strategic Affairs at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Through various initiatives, we are enabling industry-wide discussions that contribute to a sustainable tourism future. With a focus on education, we are keen to deliver continued tourism excellence, channelling innovation through a fresh lens. Encouraging these vital discussions is key to creating enduring, …

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