Category Archives: Agents

Companies of the FTI GROUP file for insolvency

FTI Touristik GmbH, the parent company of the FTI GROUP as the third largest tour operator in Europe, will file an application for the opening of insolvency proceedings at the Munich Local Court on Monday, 3 June 2024. Initially, only the tour operator brand FTI Touristik is directly affected by this. Subsequently, however, corresponding applications will also be filed for other Group companies. Windrose Finest Travel GmbH with the luxury brand WINDROSE will continue its business. The independent companies Euvia GmbH and its travel shopping channel sonnenklar.TV as well as the franchise system of Touristik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH (TVG) with its brands sonnenklar.TV Reisebüros, 5vorFlug Reisebüros and Flugbörse do not belong to the FTI GROUP. After a lengthy and complex investor process, the entry of a consortium of investors was announced in April 2024. Since then, however, booking figures have fallen well short of expectations despite the positive news. In addition, numerous suppliers have insisted on advance payment. As a result, there was an increased need for liquidity, which could no longer be bridged until the closing of the investor process. The filing for insolvency has therefore become necessary for legal reasons. Information for customers of the FTI GROUP Supporting travelers affected by the consequences of the insolvency is now a top priority for the FTI GROUP. A support website has already been set up at www.fti-group.com/en/insolvency as well as a support hotline at +49 (0) 89 / 710 45 14 98. All relevant information can be accessed here and German- and English-speaking contact persons are available for individual questions. In addition to the full focus on customer support, the FTI GROUP will also keep its guests regularly informed together with …

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Dubai’s Al Rais Rent A Car expands portfolio with America’s U-Save Car Rental master franchise for UAE

Al Rais Travels owned Al Rais Rent A Car announced its latest strategic expansion by securing the master country franchise for U-Save Car & Truck Rental in the United Arab Emirates. The new partnership enhances Al Rais Rent A Car’s offerings and underscores its commitment to aligning with Dubai’s visionary economic and environmental goals. Established in 2002 as part of Al Rais Investment, Al Rais Rent A Car has distinguished itself in the UAE’s competitive car rental market. With its roots tracing back to the establishment of Al Rais Investment in 1976, the group has been at the forefront of various pivotal sectors such as general trade, travel and tourism, real estate, logistics, business services, and car rental. This rich history sets a robust foundation for Al Rais Rent A Car’s newest venture. U-Save Car & Truck Rental, a renowned American brand known for its comprehensive range of auto rental services, was acquired in 2022 by the environmentally-focused international car rental brand Green Motion. Al Rais Rent A Car has already been successfully operating as the master franchisee for Green Motion in the UAE since 2019. This addition of U-Save to its portfolio is expected to further enhance its market presence and appeal to a broader international customer base. Mohamed Jassim Al Rais, Chairman and CEO of Al Rais Investment, said: “Securing the U-Save master franchise aligns perfectly with our strategic vision to broaden our horizons while enhancing the mobility services we provide. “This partnership not only signifies growth but also reinforces our commitment to adopting sustainable practices that contribute positively to our community and the environment.” Richard Lowden, President of U-Save International, said: “We are thrilled to expand our …

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Holidayme unlocks 100,000+ curated sightseeing and attraction options with Servantrip

Servantrip announced a global strategic partnership with Holidayme dedicated to empowering travel agents and service providers worldwide under the Traveazy Group. The partnership will provide Holidayme – which has 10,000+ travel agent clients in over 50 countries and is based in Dubai – with full access to Servantrip’s portfolio via an API connection. As such, the clients of Holidayme will have access to a portfolio of 100,000+ curated tours & activities experiences in the main destinations Holidayme is selling. In addition, users of Holidayme can gain access to the wider Servantrip portfolio of 700,000 exceptional experiences catering to diverse travelers. Meanwhile Servantrip’s many supplier partners benefit from strengthened distribution through Holidayme’s 10,000+ travel agencies, giving them access to incremental, hard-to-reach, real-time bookings. In addition, Holidayme’s travel agent clients gain a cross-selling opportunity through the functionality that Servantrip offers that allows users to make several bookings in the same reservation. Anand Srinivasan, Chief Business Officer, Holidayme said: “Our travel agents rely on us to deliver the finest and most exclusive products at competitive prices. After a thorough market evaluation, we found Servantrip to be the ideal partner. This collaboration ensures that our travel agents can access an unparalleled selection of tours and activities, enhancing the value and experience we offer to our clients.” Manuel Núñez, CEO at Servantrip added:  “We are hugely excited to be working with such a well-known brand that is so dedicated and passionate about giving its travel agent clients the best of everything. At Servantrip we understand the importance for frontline travel agents of having the right tours & activities products and how that in-destination part of the package can make or break a sale, whilst also making someone’s …

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Accor introduces HERA – a new loyalty and rewards program for travel advisors

Accor announced the launch of HERA, Accor Travel Advisor Program – a new worldwide loyalty and rewards program exclusively for travel advisors. Available now at HERA.Accor.com, the new program includes more brands, more features, and more capabilities as well as an enhanced digital experience with easy and efficient online tools for booking, tracking and reviewing activity. Other key features of HERA include informative and educational resources on Accor’s participating luxury and luxury lifestyle brands and hotels – including those sitting within the global lifestyle collective Ennismore. The new program generously rewards travel advisors for bookings while allowing them to increase their productivity, performance, and client satisfaction. “We are beyond excited to introduce HERA, a competitive and differentiated program that delivers the capabilities, personalization and rewards that the travel advisor community both needs and wants,” said Pascal Visintainer, Senior Vice President Global Sales, Luxury & Lifestyle, Accor. “Our aim is to inspire loyalty among leading travel professionals, by equipping them with all the resources they need to seamlessly create bespoke luxury travel experiences for their clients and granting them valuable Reward Points to use freely on their own time. With easy-to-use tools for travel planning, an efficient booking system, and plentiful rewards, we are confident that HERA, and therefore participating hotels sitting within Accor’s Luxury & Lifestyle division, will be a top choice of travel advisors around the globe.” HERA takes Accor’s ability to support and recognize travel agents up a notch and replaces the Group’s former Famous Agents program, with all previous travel advisor data, history, and Reward Points seamlessly migrated to the new platform. Using their personalized HERA member ID, travel advisors will earn Reward Points with each room …

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ME witness strongest growth of travellers with 4% increase from Q1 2023

The Middle East saw the strongest relative growth, with international arrivals exceeding by 36% pre-pandemic levels in Q1 2024, or 4% above Q1 2023. This follows an extraordinary performance in 2023, when the Middle East became the first world region to recover pre-pandemic numbers (+22%). UN Tourism shared that international tourist arrivals reached 97% of pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2024. According to UN Tourism, more than 285 million tourists travelled internationally in January-March, about 20% more than the first quarter of 2023, underscoring the sector’s near-complete recovery from the impacts of the pandemic. In 2023 international tourist arrivals recovered 89% of 2019 levels and export revenues from tourism 96%, while direct tourism GDP reached the same levels as in 2019. UN Tourism’s projection for 2024 points to a full recovery of international tourism with arrivals growing 2% above 2019 levels. In line with this, the newest data released by the UN specialized agency for tourism show that: Yet it also recalls the need to ensure adequate tourism policies and destination management, aiming to advance sustainability and inclusion, while addressing the externalities and impact of the sector on resources and communities Europe, the world’s largest destination region, exceeded pre-pandemic levels in a quarter for the first time (+1% from Q1 2019). The region recorded 120 million international tourists in the first three months of the year, backed by robust intra-regional demand. Africa welcomed 5% more arrivals in the first quarter of 2024 than in Q1 2019, and 13% more than in Q1 2023. The Americas practically recovered pre-pandemic numbers this first quarter, with arrivals reaching 99% of 2019 levels. International tourism is experiencing a rapid recovery in Asia and the Pacific …

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Yalago reveals Dubai, Riviera Maya, and Bali trending with Chinese travellers in 2024

Whilst exhibiting at ITB China Shanghai, Yalago – revealed the latest hotel booking trends and the top destinations with Chinese travellers in 2024. In order of popularity, the choices are Dubai (UAE), Riviera Maya (Mexico), Bali (Indonesia), Singapore (Singapore), and Abu Dhabi (UAE). Yalago is recording the UAE as the most popular country for international hotel bookings from China in 2024 so far, with a 11% growth in booking value this year compared to January – May 2023. With 54% of global bookings from Chinese travellers for five-star hotels, its travel experts attribute this growth to the UAE’s access to luxury properties across a variety of landscapes, close to world-class attractions. Astrid Kastberg, General Manager at Yalago, commented: “China represents one of our fastest-growing source markets for international travel. With the luxury segment prominent, we are finding Chinese travellers booking a more extensive range of five-star hotels, including across the UAE’s cityscapes, islands, and beaches. Through our industry experience and global partnerships, we aim to support worldwide travel companies in offering significant savings to customers, with expertise in destinations including the UAE, and Indian Ocean. We are excited to improve the booking process to the Maldives, as we aim to promote this destination for a standalone stay, or as part of a wider trip.” As luxury beach breaks emerge as on trend, Yalago is launching a new system function to improve the booking process for Chinese travellers seeking to experience the islands of the Maldives in 2024. Yalago’s trade partners can now book a travellers’ hotel stay inclusive of its leading rates, alongside the domestic transfers by seaplane or speedboat required for onward travel, all in one sitting. One of …

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ITB China kicks off in Shanghai with 650 tourism companies

With TravTalk ME as media partner ITB China and the ITB China Conference kicks off today in Shanghai. The three day networking event expects over 650 tourism companies gather together this year. ITB China will play a crucial role in reconnecting global travel suppliers with the resurgent Chinese market, forging a collective path forward for the industry. As Chinas premier B2B travel trade show, ITB China will once again reflect the entire travel trade spectrum, with suppliers from around the world covering Leisure Travel, MICE, Business Travel, and Travel Technology. In view of the increasing demand from buyers, MICE will gain in importance as a key topic, and more in-depth presentations and discussions will take place on stage of the ITB China Conference 2024. Furthermore, the China Inbound Tourism segment will be relaunched this year. The rising popularity of Custom-themed Travel in the Chinese market and the profound impact of Travel Technology guarantee a rich variety of content sessions, activities and awards, complemented by insights from experienced travel professionals and forward-thinking opinion leaders.

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Sharaf Travel Services and Suha Hospitality partner for new experiences

Sharaf Travel Services and Suha Hospitality officially launched a strategic partnership to enhance travel and hospitality experiences. This collaboration aims to offer customers exclusive packages and premium services, combining Suha Hospitality’s luxury accommodations with Sharaf Travel’s exceptional travel solutions, ensuring unforgettable journeys and superior customer satisfaction. The partnership ceremony, held with great enthusiasm, marked a significant milestone for both companies. Key executives highlighted the mutual benefits and future opportunities this alliance brings. Attendees celebrated the union with a cutting cake, symbolizing the beginning of a prosperous collaboration.

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Riyadh Travel Fair to kick off in the Saudi capital from 27-29 May

Riyadh Travel Fair 2024 (RTF 2024) will once again be held in the capital Riyadh from 27 to 29 May. The B2C exhibition will host a range of diverse tourism products from a few key markets aiming to support development and sustainability opportunities in the tourism sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The B2C exhibition provides the general public to learn about the latest tourism offers and special deals around the world, as well as providing an opportunity for exhibitors to display and present their products. The Executive Director of Riyadh Exhibition, Mr. Bandar Al-Quraini, said, “The exhibition performs great services to the Saudi tourism market, and a vital role to bring and attract everything related to travel and tourism, and participation in the exhibition revolves around exploring new markets and sectors, marketing products, services and destinations, entering into long-term transactions, identifying the most important international buyers in the region and the possibility of concluding sales deals, getting to know existing customers and partners in areas related to the tourism, travel and hotel sectors, adding new agents and distributors, and launching New products and packages, conduct market testing and get continuous feedback on exhibition performance evaluation. “More than 200 exhibitors will participate in the exhibition under different names such as: government tourism, travel agencies, car rental companies, branded hotels, hotel suppliers, tour operators, online booking systems, tourism companies, medical health tourism, companies, spas and airlines, youth tourism and education abroad, in addition to some new products and activities related to travel and tourists .Riyadh Travel Expo 2024 brings together the most prominent travel and tourism companies and exhibitors representing tourism promotion bodies and tourism companies at the Arab and …

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Dubai receives 140,000 Chinese visitors per month

Latest data revealed at the China Global Traveller Market update and seminar shared that there are 140,000 Chinese travellers visiting Dubai per month accounting to 1.7million per year. In terms of flight arrivals, there are 13 to 17 daily direct flights with 4000 plus seats a day. Alexander Glos – CEO i2i Group revealed in his opening statement that China is one of the biggest markets in the world, at a special semianr conducted to share how agents and hotels can attract more visitors from China to the UAE. In his comprehensive presentation he shared the various avenues available to conduct business with Chinese travellers. A key statement he made was that the Chinese travellers have evolved from pre-covid times. More on this story in our next TBN.

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