By Tim Coombs
Opening signals the first of many planned for 2008.
Kanoo Travel has announced the opening of a new office in Business Square in Burj Dubai, Dubai.
"The travel industry in the Middle East is growing at a rapid pace in both the consumer and corporate segments. To keep up with this growth, we have been expanding our network by opening new offices around the region," said Kanoo Group deputy chairman Mishal Kanoo.
"The new office marks our commitment to our customers and partners and will cater to the travel needs of residents and businesses in the area."
He said the Burj Dubai office was the first of many the company planned to open this year.
Kanoo Travel central marketing manager Tuan Burah added: "We will be targeting the corporate segments as they look for a single point of contact for all their travel requirements."
Last month ATN reported that Kanoo Travel was in the process of "re-engineering" its business in a bid to run operations more smoothly.
The company has employed Julian Knott as divisional manager - business development & re-engineering, Kanoo Travel, charged with the task of reviewing the business with a particular focus on the leisure division.
"Julian has joined us to see how we can most efficiently run our corporate and leisure operations," explained Kanoo senior general manager Nabeel Kanoo .
"From a leisure point of view it's been a disappointing year - not in its performance, that's been successful enough - but it's not been successful in terms of the plans we had to move it forward as a division.
"We plan to inject some more resources and strategic thought - do we move it forward through the internet or by working with third parties, for example."
Knott said the time was ripe to engineer the business because "that's what you do when you are number one".
"We are the largest travel company in the Middle East - the time to re-engineer is when you are ahead of the pack. It's a confident statement but we believe we do add value to our business partners," he said.
"We have taken a very honest and open assessment of what's happening at Kanoo Travel - from a business standpoint not a travel agent standpoint. We have set out our strategy going forward and we have very ambitious plans for the future - not just in terms of expansion, but to make ourselves more efficient."
Outlining plans for the corporate division, Knott added: "We have listened to what our clients want and they are looking for a professional travel service. It's not just about the price, but the value."
Travel agents have to be careful not to take advantage of companies by thinking they have fools for directors and bill them heavily like they did in the west. Here they booked their clients in the most expensive hotels, rented the most expensive cars and booked them in first class seats, etc. Soon the companies caught on and withdrew their accounts. On the private side why dont they promote cold climate countries, skiing holidays, and Rainforests excursions of British Columbia, I am sure that after seeing all that dessert brown, greenery white bears and oceans would be welcome. Or African Safaris!!