By Monika Canty
ATN presents our handy guide to the event.
ATN presents our handy guide to the event.
The Business Travel Show Middle East (BTSME) takes place at the
end of this month bringing together suppliers of business travel solutions, and
the Middle East’s high-spending travel buyers.
The show is the only dedicated event in the region for those
who arrange and buy travel on behalf of their organisation.
Airlines, TMCs, hotels, ground transportation and technology
suppliers will have the opportunity to network with PAs, managers, and company directors
from small businesses to major corporations. This year the show has launched a Hosted
Buyer programme promising to deliver 100 senior-level travel buyers to the show,
all with an annual travel spend of over US $2million.
A two-day education programme will run alongside the exhibition,
organised by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE). ACTE has put
together a series of keynote sessions, seminars and round-tables on the hot topics
in corporate travel, ranging from the “must-have” features of a travel policy, to
the latest in travel tech advancements, through to issues surrounding transparency
in the travel sector.
Paul Grinnall, events director, BTSME said: ‘ACTE is recognised
as being the worldwide authority in education for the business travel sector. Obviously
we are delighted that they are working so closely with the event.”
This year BTSME is also going live with its first ever ‘On-line
Meeting Service’, which means exhibitors and visitors can pre-schedule their visit
by setting up appointments online. “This service will significantly optimise and
maximise the value and benefit of attending the show for both exhibitors and visitors,”
“We have long been believers that business is best done face-to-face,
particularly in challenging times, and streamlining the efficiency of this process
makes it even easier to achieve this and really get the best out of the event”.
Exhibitors at this year’s event include airlines Virgin Atlantic,
United Airlines, Air France, Air Charter International, Empire Aviation Group, while
the hotel sector makes a showing with Jumeirah Hotels Group, The Address Hotels
& Resorts, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts and Premier Inn.
Ground transportation will be represented by Europcar and Hertz,
whilst travel management companies will have an impressive presence through big
names such as Dnata, Alshamel, Travelport, Asuna Travel and Orient Travel.
Plan your time carefully and follow ATN’s handy guide to the
top exhibitors to meet and we’ll make sure you come away with all the latest innovations
in business travel, having heard the hot topics debated and networked your way through
the top industry contacts.
Al Shamel Travel
Top TMC Al Shamel Travel will be unveiling its brand new corporate
website at the show that promises to allow for a much more interactive dialogue
between TMC and clients. It will also be showcasing its full service travel solution
from budgeting and policy design to payment and expense management.
Tim Waddell, director of marketing, says the TMC wants to show
corporates how the company can drive savings for clients – such as with its fully
automated expense management solution.
“Positioning the Alshamel brand as a trusted provider of ‘total
travel solutions’ is the key, as well as introducing visitors to the tools, techniques
and people that can provide considerable savings to any corporate travel program,”
He adds: “For us, our participation at BTS is about knowledge
sharing as much as selling. We will be actively involved in the presentation theatre
sessions as well as the seminar program, presenting a session debunking some of
the ‘myths’ around Travel Management and another where one of our clients will discuss
Best Practice implementations in the Middle East.”
Kanoo Travel will be unveiling a bevy of exciting travel technology
solutions at the show - including its brand new corporate self-booking tool, an
enhanced business intelligence tool, and an online travel procurement system.
Kanoo will also introduce clients to its network of state-of-the-art
corporate contact centres, and announce a raft of exciting green initiatives such
as paperless procurement tools and carbon emission calculators.
“Together with our international partner American Express Travel
Services, we hope to offer existing and potential customers the best available travel
management solution that suits their business needs,” says Abdulla Abu Khamseen,
executive general manager, Kanoo Travel. “We have made several investments with
the objective of improving our service offering to corporate travellers, ranging
from training our associates to investing in travel technology and infrastructure.”
One of the region’s top TMCs, Orient Travel will be using the
show to announce new developments at the company, including its new associations
with Egencia, and ATPI International, which it is representing in the UAE.
Part of the Expedia group, Egencia is the fifth largest travel
management company in the world, while ATPI is a long-established travel management
consortium headquartered in the UK.
Following the successful acquisition of Instone International in July 2009, the
company now has 40 offices worldwide and revenues in excess of US$ 1 billion.
Orient will also be launching a new booking module for corporates
which will allow companies to manage their bookings online.
“We will be showing our presence as one of the top corporate
management companies in the UAE,” said Asim Arshad, CEO, Orient Travel. “Being part
of Expedia, which itself is the biggest travel company in the world, gives us the
cutting edge in technology and our associations with Egencia and ATPI has given
us the edge over our competitors.”
The UK’s tourism
board VisitBritain has teamed up with airline Virgin Atlantic and the Morgan Hotel
Group from London to highlight what’s on offer for
business travellers heading to the UK.
“Partnering with Virgin Atlantic at this year’s Business Travel
Show in Dubai gives us a unique opportunity to showcase
not only as a great leisure destination but as a destination where business and
leisure can be combined,” explains Carol
Maddison, UAE manager, Visit Britain.
“We will have a full range of options available with key contacts
among the hotel, theatre, exhibition and ground service industries.”
She adds: “We will also be able to discuss travel trade education
as part of our ongoing programme to cement Britain’s position as a must-visit destination
for business and leisure travellers,”
VisitBritain also plans to use the Business Travel Show as a
platform to launch its promotion of the 2012 London Olympics with a brand new brochure
especially for the travel trade entitled 2012 - Great Reasons to Sell London and
Britain containing the top ten reasons to visit Britain in 2012.
Hertz Middle East and Africa
will have the opportunity to fully showcase its services as the world’s largest
car rental brand, in its capacity as official transportation provider for the event.
Hertz will be providing transport for all Hosted Buyers, as well as offering special
rates on car rental for visitors.
Gina Costa, commercial director, Hertz Middle East and Africa says Hertz offers tailored solutions for business travellers. “We
provide international businesses a one-stop-shop for their transportation requirements. Within the region we can offer customised
packages for business travellers that includes car rental, leasing and personal
She adds: “We’re taking part in the Business Travel Show to reach
out to business travellers from around the world who regularly visit the region
so they understand how we can support them with a full transportation solution.”
British Airways will be showcasing its First Class Suite at the
show; bringing an actual cabin in to the venue so that visitors will have the chance
to experience it first hand.
The carrier re-vamped its First Class back in February with a
US $155million (£100 million) overhaul. New features include a bed that is 60 percent
wider, a personal wardrobe and electronic blinds with ambient mood lighting.
“We believe the new cabin offers the right combination of luxury,
privacy and style whilst retaining a classic feel,” says Paolo de Renzis, BA’s Middle East commercial manager. “We are very pleased with
our customers’ response to the product and look forward to offering people the opportunity
to view and experience it first-hand.”
De Renzis says the investment
into the premium product will help ensure growth for the airline in the long-term.
“We have great confidence in a strong recovery for long-haul premium travel, but
also recognise that if we are to retain and grow our premium customer base, then
we need to invest in market-leading products and services. It is for these reasons
that we’ve chosen to unveil our new First cabin this year. This investment proves
our commitment to our highly valued premium customers, and represents a key part
of our strategy to grow our share of long-haul premium sales.”
He adds: “While the market has begun to show gradual improvement
in both numbers and price for long-haul premium travel, and these increases are
encouraging, there is still a strong need for continued restructuring and innovation
if airlines are to safeguard their long-term future.”
Address Hotels + Resorts
As the official hotel sponsor of the Business Travel Show, the
Address Hotels + Resorts will have a prime opportunity to showcase its five Dubai properties to Hosted
Buyers as well as talk about future developments.
The brand recently signed management contracts for properties
in Morocco and France, and other upcoming destinations include Egypt, Indonesia,
Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Turkey,
Kuwait, UAE, China,
UK and USA.
Seema Pande, area director of sales and marketing, Address Hotels
+ Resorts says the business travel sector is showing a healthy growth from the Chinese
and Indian markets.
“In a significant trend, the market is witnessing strong interest
the subcontinent and the Gulf countries, and we are confident that the travel industry
will record robust growth in the coming months,” says Pande. “The travel and tourism
sector is integrally linked to the overall performance of the economy and with countries
like China and India recording
healthy growth, there are positive trends in business travel too.”
Luxury hotel group Mandarin Oriental will be out in force at
The Business Travel Show with representatives
from properties in Europe, Asia and America all present
at the event to chat to visitors about their business travel offerings.
Diana Banks, VP of sales and marketing, EMEA explains that the
brand is strongly committed to targeting business from the Middle East: “Mandarin
Oriental hotels have received a considerable increase in bookings for both business
and leisure travel year-on-year from the GCC region, and we are showing our commitment
to the GCC by investing resources in our increased presence in the region.
“Having seen an increase in room nights, average length of stay
and spend in Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group from the Middle
East region in 2010 over 2009 and 2008 we have a positive outlook for
Private Jet company, Royal Jet is introducing its new corporate
recognition program - Royal Jet 100 Club
– at the show.
“The 100 Club unlocks the benefits and advantages of private
jet travel, offering corporates an immediate discount of five percent off our standard
charter rates,” explains John Morgan, vice president commercial, Royal Jet. “Unlike
many other private jet schemes, the 100 Club requires no upfront payment or commitment.”
Royal Jet will also be highlighting the recent additions to its
fleet. It has added a sixth Boeing Business Jet, making it the world’s largest independent
operator of this aircraft. “The jet offers a ‘home-away-from-home’ luxury for up
to 18 guests including a stateroom complete with shower,” says Morgan. Royal Jet
has also added a brand new Lineage 1000 aircraft, (which it manages on behalf of
the AI Habtoor Group). The Lineage 1000 is capable of carrying 19 passengers non-stop
from the UAE to London or Singapore.
Morgan adds that Royal Jet is keen to push the ‘value-for-money’
message of private jet travel: “A recent study found that for any regional business
trip involving several senior executives, a private jet will almost always be more
cost effective than commercial airlines, when taking into account the value of wasted
executive time. The Royal Jet 100 Club provides companies with a flexible and no
risk way to harness the cost-effectiveness, flexibility and convenience of private
Empire Aviation Group
Empire Aviation Group (EAG) operates one of the region’s largest
managed fleets of executive jets. EAG will be exhibiting at the show to introduce
its new bespoke luxury travel division ‘Lifestyle@Empire’. The service combines
a charter jet service with an online hotel booking service provided by Booking.com,
so private jet customers can search Booking.com’s database of 78,000 hotels in 76
countries at preferential rates. The service is available in 31 languages.
EAG has partnered with some of the world’s leading luxury hotels
to promote jet-inclusive travel packages to destinations such as the Maldives; Jaipur; Mauritius;
Sharm El Sheikh and Bali.