Zhiwa Ling Heritage in Paro joins the RARE Community

Zhiwa Ling Heritage in Paro, which is one of Bhutan’s few Bhutanese-owned luxury hotels, has joined the RARE Community, which consists of some of the finest conscious luxury owner-run hotels, retreats, lodges and camps in the Indian subcontinent. Set on a 10-acres estate in the beautiful Paro Valley, Zhiwa Ling, meaning ‘Place of Peace’, is the first fully Bhutanese-owned 5-star hotel in Bhutan. Famed for its spectacular Bhutanese architecture, authentic experiences and sustainability endeavours, Zhiwa Ling Heritage blends traditional Bhutanese architecture with modern design. From its traditional Bhutanese architecture to its elegant temple made with 450-year-old timbers to its Swedish under-floor heating, Zhiwa Ling Heritage seamlessly combines past and present in all areas of operation. Over sixty local artisans worked on Zhiwa Ling’s interiors and design, featuring ornate wooden carvings, cornices, hand-knotted rugs, intricate stonework, local art and crafts. Regarding their association with RARE India, Zhiwa Ling Heritage’s Managing Director Mr Kezang Dorji said, “We are excited to announce our partnership with RARE India. As a hotel committed to authenticity and mindfulness, we believe that RARE’s focus on conscious travel and unique solutions aligns perfectly with our values. Through this partnership, we will have access to their specialized expertise, increase our efficiency and productivity, save costs, and reach out to new markets. We look forward to working together and offering our guests an even more exceptional experience.” RARE India is a sales & marketing, communications and PR company that focuses on telling compelling stories and building value along the chain – from stakeholders of the destinations to tour operators, curators and designers right down to the travellers – about stand alone, owner powered, authentic brands in the Indian subcontinent. The RARE Community hotels offer transformational experiences that create value for the …

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Kanoo Travel and Desert Adventures Tourism form Joint Venture to provide the most comprehensive destination services in Saudi Arabia

GCC-based travel conglomerate Kanoo Travel and premium destination management company Desert Adventures Tourism have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a joint venture in Saudi Arabia at Arabian Travel Market 2023. The collaboration brings together two of the largest and most reputable travel trade organisations in the Middle East, aiming to create the most comprehensive destination services company in the region. The joint venture marks a significant milestone in both companies’ history as they combine their expertise, resources, and capabilities to provide travellers with unparalleled travel experiences in Saudi Arabia. Desert Adventures Tourism, managed by Thomas Cook India Group and wholly owned by Fairfax Financial Holdings Canada, has been a leading company and partner of choice for many worldwide tour operators with 25 years of experience in destination management in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Oman. Thecompany has developed a reputation for providing stability, consistency, and quality of service that its partners have come to trust.  Kanoo Travel, an esteemed travel company with a legacy spanning over eightdecades, offers the most comprehensive and reliable travel solutions. With a focus on corporate travel, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE), leisure and holiday travel, airline representation, and marine travel, Kanoo Travel has established itself as a leader in the travel industry. The company’s commitment to delivering exceptional solutions and services has been consistently acknowledged, resulting in numerous regional industry awards. Peter Payet, CEO of Desert Adventures, expressed excitement about the new venture, saying, “We are delighted to partner with Kanoo Travel to provide the most comprehensive destination services in Saudi Arabia. With their extensive local knowledge and resources and our international expertise, we are confident that this joint venture …

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Tourism Malaysia returns to ATM for the 29th year

Tourism Malaysia’s efforts to publicize its comprehensive promotional activities continues to the Middle Eastern region. The Malaysian delegation is led by the The Honourable Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia, to participate once again in the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai from 1st to 4th May 2023 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). The four-day ATM offers Malaysia as an excellent platform to market and promote the latestattractions and destinations for shopping, family fun, eco-adventure, honeymoon, luxury holidays, as well as safe travel destination. ATM 2023 also marks the 29th anniversary of Malaysia’s participation in this prestigious event, which is a strong testimony to the country’s support to the event and its commitment in attracting more Middle Eastern tourists to Malaysia.   As in previous years, this prestigious annual event sees the participation of a strong Malaysian delegation from 76 organizations comprising hotels and resorts, travel agents, tourism products owners, representatives from various state governments, including Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), Penang Global Tourism, Sabah Tourism Board, Sarawak Tourism Board, Tourism Melaka, Tourism Pahang, and Tourism Johor. The mission aims to reinstate and enhance the commitment to establishing good tourism cooperation, engaging in future collaborations, and cooperation with the travel and tourism industry in the region. Honourable Khairul Firdaus said during the launch, “In line with the Visit Malaysia in 2025, Tourism Malaysia will strive to attract more tourists from the Middle East to Malaysia. We are confident that we will be able to achieve our target to put Malaysia as the top destination for Muslim travelers,”. Throughout the event, the Malaysian delegation is scheduled to meet up with the top management of a few …

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Generative AI and sustainability are driving investment in the tourism technology segment, Plug and Play experts tell attendees at ATM 2023

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) andenvironmental, social and governance (ESG) activities are attracting the highest levels of investment in travel technology at present, according to innovation specialist, Plug and Play. Experts from the Silicon Valley-headquartered firm shared a range of insights into the latest investment trends on the Travel Tech Stage at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023, which will conclude today at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). Speaking on the third day of the show, innovation specialists explored how travel startups are being affected by macroeconomic headwinds and fears of a global recession as part of the ‘Investment Trends Leading Travel Tech’ session. Kristie Choi, Early Stage Tech Investor at Plug and Play, noted that venture capital (VC) investment witnessed a “dramatic pullback” in the second half of 2022, a trend that continued into Q1 2023. “While this looks pretty scary, there are still billions of dollars of dry powder out there to be gained,” she told attendees. “Travel tech round dynamics tend to follow similar patterns as the wider tech market, and we are seeing an increased focus on profitability and cash efficiency in this segment.” Choi said that the travel sector was leading the curve in terms of generative AI investment and adoption. This technology is being leveraged to enhance the customer experience by facilitating trip planning, automating refunds and back-office processes, and supporting content creation. ESG is also a major focus for the travel technology sector, she explained, with sustained investments in transparent data reporting and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) serving to bolster the growth of responsible tourism. The influencer economy, meanwhile, is “driving business away” from online travel agencies (OTAs), according to Choi, as companies look to …

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ATM hosts annual ITIC Middle East Tourism Investment Session

The ITIC Middle East Tourism Investment Session has presented their annual ATM Investment Summit meeting at ATM 2023.Exploring the economic outlook for regional tourism, the session also delved into the relationship between sustainability and investment in the sector as well as the growing opportunities for women in the Middle East, focusing on Oman as a case study. Hosted by Gerald Lawless, Director ITIC Ltd, Invest Tourism Ltd and Ambassador WTTC, the summit opened with Nicolas Mayer, Global Tourism Leader PWC and Nicholas Maclean, Chairman and Managing Director CBRE Middle East. Sharing an optimistic view on the market Maclean said: “One of the key asset classes which is attracting special interest, particularly in the GCC is the opportunity for investors to capitalise on the hospitality industry. The profile of investors in the GCC is much more long term than in other markets around the world.” Saudi Arabia is a particular growth area for the GCC region with the Kingdom recording 93.5 million tourists in 2022. Commenting on the investment situation in Saudi, Mayer said: “In Saudi Arabia there is an acceleration of not just hotels and rooms, but the creation of entire destinations which entails a number of different asset classes, be it in entertainment, human capacity building or experiences. The tourism industry is seen as a transformational sector when it comes to meeting sustainability goals and the sustainability aspect is now front and centre when it comes to investment in the Kingdom.” The sustainability segment of the ITIC session was moderated by BBC Anchor Sameer Hashmi and the speakers for this session included: Amr El Kady, CEO, Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board; Dr. Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, Managing Director of Jordan …

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Sri Lanka Targets 2-million Indian Travelers by end of 2023

As part of its ongoing bilateral and cultural ties with its Indian counterparts, Sri Lanka Tourism organised a series of Road Shows in key South Indian cities. These series of roadshows were conducted with an aim to promote the destinations and tourism products of the serene island nation. The first road show was held at Chennai on 24th April, followed by at Cochin on 26th Apriland ended at Bangalore on 28th April. A delegation of over 30 Sri Lankan Travel Agencies and hotels participated at this event. The delegation was led by the Hon. Harin Fernando, Minister of Tourism and accompanied by Mr. Chalaka Gajabahu, Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Mr. Thisum Jayasuriya, Chairman Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, Ms. Shirani Herth, Junior Manager, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and ​Ms. Malkanthi Welikla, Manager – Marketing, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau. Hon. Harin Fernando, Minister of Tourism, said “Sri Lanka is experiencing a significant rise in tourist arrivals, particularly from India, which has now secured the top spot. In the first three months of 2023, we welcomed 46,432 Indian tourists. With an ambitious promotional campaign underway, we are aiming to attract 2 million Indian tourists this year. This increase in visitors has had a positive impact on tourism earnings, with Sri Lanka earning around 530 million U.S. dollars in the first quarter of 2023, compared to $482.3 million in the same period last year. We expect to generate a total of $3 billion in tourism revenue this year.“ He further added, “Sri Lanka values the Indian outbound market since it has been instrumental in driving tourism to our country. The country features a varied range of attractions and offerings, …

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