Monday, May 7, 2012



Kids lap up five-star luxury

The rise in demand for family facilities at luxury resorts was highlighted at an Arabian Travel Market seminar yesterday where senior hotel representatives concurred in the need to provide more than just electronic games to keep younger guests amused.
According to Bernard Bohnenberger, president of Six Senses Hotels & Resorts, resorts such as Zighy Bay in Oman operate with nannies for younger children and offer a teen club programme that focuses on adventure and learning: “It is all about the destination, from feeding the resident goats to mini safaris, trying out Arabic cookery or meeting with local children,” he said.

Summarising the lively and informative session, Stephanie Bleakley, marketing executive at Reed Travel Exhibitions, commented: “Some hotels in Europe have opened adult only resorts in recognition of the growing trend for this concept, while other resorts have broadened their dedicated offering to cater for both couples and families.”

“Dedicated registration and check-in areas have also been dedicated to children, they can also have their own mini-bars, turndown service and parents can connect instantly with the family concierge via walkie talkies to check on their little ones.
“Another growing trend popular with Asian families especially, is the family activity programme, particularly those which focus on pursuits encouraging families to participate together, such as kayaking, cooking or even golf,” added Bleakley.


ISO and HitchHiker team up at ATM

Germany’s ISO Travel Solutions and HitchHiker have partnered up at Arabian Travel Market to enable travel companies, especially those in the Middle East, to check out one of the most sophisticated full service solutions for the tourism industry, which includes multiple wholesale content and flight in one package.

Both companies have been partnering and exhibiting together at the annual industry showcase for several years, and have seen an increasing number of customers from the region opt to put their trust – and commit budget – into the companies’ Made In Germany Software.
In addition to its existing web-based PACIFIC tourism suite and EMERALD CRM system, ISO Travel Solutions is showcasing developments in the area of Dynamic Recommendation, which enables tourism companies to include up-and cross-selling logic in their central reservation systems, as well as the B2B and B2C web-front end.
HitchHiker includes offline flight content and an automatic re-booking robot, which enables prospective customers to benefit from a large pool of regular and low-cost carriers, in combination with highly advantageous cost-saving elements.


Hotels urged to take the green path

According to Bradley Cox, Communications Director, Green Globe Certificate: “Green travel is no longer a niche but a pathway to better travel experiences. Well over 80 per cent of tourists want a green solution to their travels and more than 40 per cent of them are prepared to pay more for it.

The biggest challenge facing hotel management when they actively seek to ‘become’ green is user skepticism. More than three in four people are disbelieving of ‘green’ claims posted on hotel websites. But the GGC counteracts this negativity with a marketing reach of over 1 billion consumers worldwide, Cox said.

With the majority of international travellers more conscious today than previous generations of their carbon footprint, veritable sustainable initiatives present the travel and tourism industry with huge business potential.

“The travel experience itself becomes a tangible expression of the travellers desire to be sustainable, and hotels need to match this in order to sustain their future development.
“The GGC, with its exacting protocol, is recognised as the premier worldwide sustainability stamp for the tourism industry and more than 800 businesses in 50 countries signed up to the initiative,” added Cox.

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