BRUSSELS – Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA) to boost European outbound tourism to Ras Al Khaimah. The agreement was signed in Ras Al Khaimah on 11th April 2019 by Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and Michel de Blust, Secretary General ECTAA.
As per the agreement, ECTAA pledges to promote Ras Al Khaimah as its Preferred Destination among the 70,000 travel agents and tour operators across Europe, while showcasing the Emirate’s 64km of beautiful beaches, historic forts, scenic mountains, terracotta deserts and some of the most diverse and enchanting landscapes in the region – all just 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport.
The Preferred Destination Programme involves two semi-annual meetings; the first which will be held in Poland during the first week of June 2019 and will see Haitham Mattar take the stage as one of the main speakers, while the second meeting will be hosted in Ras Al Khaimah in mid-December 2019 – enabling the European trade members to discover the destination while showcasing Ras Al Khaimah’s world class Meetings, Incentives and Conference Events offering. Moreover, ECTAA will become an essential partner in the travel and tourism promotion programme outside of Ras Al Khaimah by fostering relations between European travel agents and tour operators with the local destination management companies, travel agents and other partners.
Commenting on the partnership, Haitham Mattar CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority said: “We have seen significant growth in European Markets during 2018, who contributed to double digit visitor number growth year on year. As we look towards our goal of 1.5 million visitors by the end of 2021 and 3 million by 2025, it’s important that we maintain this momentum and as such we are keen on building strategic relationships with key players in the travel and tourism sector to allow us to showcase the unrivaled experiences Ras Al Khaimah has to offer. Our incredible experiences such as the world’s longest zip-line have helped put Ras Al Khaimah on the world map, but we need to continue to showcase the diversity of the destination to our core audiences in this part of the world.”
Michel de Blust, Secretary General ECTAA said: “Ras Al Khaimah is a popular tourist destination amongst Europeans due to its year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches, rich cultural history and authentic Arabian experiences. We are confident that this partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority will showcase the diversity of the Emirate’s offering and increase visitor numbers to this beautiful Emirate”.
ATPCO launches new rich content format: Structured UPAs
DULLES, VA – ATPCO launched a new format of Routehappy Rich Content: Structured UPAs (Universal Product Attributes). With the introduction of Structured UPAs, airlines and channels now have greater flexibility in how they display essential retailing content using more comparable, concise, and sortable data that can be presented to emphasize objective content over images.UPAs were…
DULLES, VA – ATPCO launched a new format of Routehappy Rich Content: Structured UPAs (Universal Product Attributes). With the introduction of Structured UPAs, airlines and channels now have greater flexibility in how they display essential retailing content using more comparable, concise, and sortable data that can be presented to emphasize objective content over images.UPAs were originally created to introduce visual content in flight shopping displays, and have since been adopted by dozens of channels worldwide. Given the evolving needs of travelers amid the pandemic and the immediate success of Reassurance UPAs, ATPCO found – based on consistent feedback from its industry partners, including Serko and Expedia Group’s Brand Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Cheaptickets, Hotels.com, eBookers, and Wotif – that the messaging component of UPAs are equally as valuable to flight shoppers as the visual component of UPAs. This feedback prompted the introduction of Structured UPAs as a way to deliver a more standardized version of data that channels can adapt to meet their customers’ need for information that can be scanned quickly during flight shopping to help with the decision-making process.Structured UPAs consist of an icon, a headline, and a description, and channels can choose to integrate all or some of these attributes. Structured UPAs also have a primary field that supports multiple standardized data inputs (e.g., yes/no) that enable sales channels to craft the messaging according to the data but using their own channel voice as desired. This new rich content format is currently available for over 300 airlines and includes five objective, standardized topics:Cleaning: whether airlines are using disinfectants to clean aircraft and how often, and if that information is availableMasks: whether there is a mask or face covering requirement; specifying if a medical-grade mask is requiredTemperature check: whether there is a pre-flight temperature check requirementBlocked seats: whether an airline is blocking adjacent or middle seats, or if only some seats are blockedCapacity: whether an airline is limiting the capacity on flights to ensure physical distancingStructured UPAs will initially focus on reassurance topics and will expand in the future to meet market needs and flight shopper demand for information. Structured UPAs will be delivered via the Routehappy API and can be targeted at a granular level to focus on the airline and cabin, book-by dates, origin and destination, and more.“The crisis reinforced how critical UPAs are in giving travelers the information they need to feel safe and protected when they fly. Now our airline and channel partners are relying on ATPCO to deliver this content in more flexible ways,” said Jonathan Savitch, Chief Commercial Officer at ATPCO. “Visuals are still important as they enable consumers to better understand, at the time of booking, the airline experience they will receive. But after many hours of consultation with thought-leading airlines and channels, we realized they need more options, including the ability to filter and sort based on key health information.” Expedia Group, which will be one of the first channels to integrate the new rich content format, worked hand-in-hand with ATPCO to quickly bring this functionality to market. “Right now, it is so important that travelers have the cleanliness and safety information they need when considering travel, particularly air travel. Each situation is different, and this structured content gives us the flexibility to tailor, localize, and test messaging to help travelers make more informed decisions,” said Michael Gulmann, Senior Vice President of Transportation, Expedia Group. “We are really excited by the partnership and customer-centric focus of ATPCO in working together to develop this highly relevant content. Structured UPAs enable travelers to more easily compare policies across airlines in a consistent and concise way so we can offer a simplified shopping experience while highlighting critical information.” “We’ve seen an increase in conversions for those channels that integrated Reassurance UPAs and anticipate a similar impact for our new Structured UPA,” explains Savitch. “One channel has seen a 4% conversion improvement by adding ATPCO’s Reassurance UPA content. This highlights that when the shopping experience is adapted to drive awareness of flexible airline change policies and safety measures, it can impact the bottom line.”
GribbonBerry appointed PR for BodyHoliday, St. Lucia
BodyHoliday, multiple award-winning wellness resort in St. Lucia, has appointed boutique PR agency GribbonBerry to handle its communications in the UK and Ireland, as it reopens on 1st October, during a very challenging year for the global travel industry. The resort was the very first overseas destination spa over 30 years ago and continues to lead…
BodyHoliday, multiple award-winning wellness resort in St. Lucia, has appointed boutique PR agency GribbonBerry to handle its communications in the UK and Ireland, as it reopens on 1st October, during a very challenging year for the global travel industry. The resort was the very first overseas destination spa over 30 years ago and continues to lead as pioneers in this field. There has never been a more important time to prioritise health and wellbeing than in 2020. BodyHoliday’s approach to wellness is so comprehensive that holidays here have the potential to change lives. There is a 33-treatment room wellness centre, offering everything from medically-backed preventative therapies, through to Ayurveda, meditation, weight-loss programmes and pampering treatments. The range of activities, including training with Olympic athletes, would keep guests busy from dawn until dusk, if they so choose. Holidays at BodyHoliday are designed by guests with personalisation taken to another level – it can be a haven of serenity or a hive of activity.
IATA urges alternatives to quarantines in US
GENEVA – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed strong concern over the continued existence of arrival quarantine regimes imposed by state governments in the United States, including New York and Hawaii. IATA urged implementation of pre-departure COVID-19 testing regimes so that states can eliminate quarantine requirements.“Mandatory arrival quarantines for air travelers have the same…
GENEVA – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed strong concern over the continued existence of arrival quarantine regimes imposed by state governments in the United States, including New York and Hawaii. IATA urged implementation of pre-departure COVID-19 testing regimes so that states can eliminate quarantine requirements.“Mandatory arrival quarantines for air travelers have the same effect as outright border closures. There are better ways to protect citizens during the COVID-19 crisis. Instead of implementing job-destroying arrival quarantines, states should be encouraging the federal government to work with other governments to implement pre-departure testing. This will keep people safe and address the vital need to jumpstart struggling local economies and protect jobs that rely on out-of-state and international visitors”, said Peter Cerdá, IATA’s Regional Vice President for The Americas.Airlines are taking the lead in working to replace quarantines with measures, such as pre-departure testing being put in place on some routes and at some airports, most notably for Hawaii-bound travelers from US West Coast gateway cities. These and other airline-led testing programs will provide valuable experience while the numbers of travelers are still low, so that testing can be efficiently ramped-up as demand returns.Passengers also support testing over quarantines. According to our latest survey of recent travelers, 64% of US travelers surveyed agreed that quarantine is unnecessary if a person tests negative for COVID-19. Eighty percent were willing to take a pre-departure COVID test. And 56% believe that COVID-19 is sufficiently controlled in the US to open up to international visitors.Establishing internationally agreed pre-departure testing is the key to unlocking global connectivity, stimulating battered economies, and giving hope to the 10% of the global workforce whose livelihoods depend on travel and tourism.