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In the past decade the tourism debate has seen a shift beyond the recognition of the sector as the engine of growth and development and job opportunities. Global warming, depleting habitat cover for wildlife and other species, increasing population, excess exposure of destinations, have brought a raging debate on ‘Sustainability’ in tourism in the spotlight. No wonder UNWTO had declared 2017 as “The Year of Sustainable Tourism Development.”

Being a leading tourism stakeholder in the India Subcontinent, the recently concluded SATTE Conference put the focus on ‘Sustainability’ in order for the larger industry and stakeholders to understand the issue in a more coherent manner.

 

Tourism is one of the biggest engines of growth and development as well as job opportunities in most of the world; for some destinations and countries it’s more than others.’ The industry contributes about 10 per cent to the global GDP and about the same number in terms of employment. However, in the absence of Sustainability concerns, tourism can do more harm than good in the long run. Growing population, climate change, rampant industrialisation, emissions, deforestation, depleting glaciers, rising sea levels, fast depleting marine biodiversity, wildlife and water bodies, are all ringing alarm bells of Sustainability and more so in the tourism sector that earns out of environment, wildlife and biodiversity etc.

Growing population, increasing wealth and disposable income and billions of people undertaking air travel and through other transport system are today leaving behind huge environmental footprint much of which is irreversible and is taking its toll on destinations, right from ecologically sensitive areas that are tourism attractions to monuments. Add to that, the government apathy towards Sustainability and environmental concerns, poor policy implementation and absence of checks and balances have added considerably to the current woes. The concern is, and there is no debating that, that whether we would leave behind what we have inherited for our future generations. There are many who feel that we are already past the nature’s deadline!

The United Nation World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has developed a comprehensive system, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that aims to build knowledge, and empower and inspire the tourism stakeholders to take necessary action in order to accelerate the process towards a more sustainable tourism sector by aligning policies, business operations and investments with SDGs by 2030. In summary, that effectively means finding answer to, “How to realise effective collaboration between stakeholders for sustainable tourism? How can we achieve the successful journey to 2030?” that was also the topic of panel discussion at the Silver Jubilee edition of SATTE in New Delhi recently.

The discussion brought together an eclectic mix of panellists in Neemrana Hotels’ Chairman Aman Nath, a crusader in his own right who salvages dilapidated monuments of national importance converting them into amazing hotels; renowned Tiger conservationist and popularly known as “The Tiger Man of India” Julian Mathews of the UK based TOFT (Travel Operators for Tigers) Tigers; Bo Keun Choi, Senior Officer, Regional Programme for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO and Damcho Rinzin of Marketing and Promotion Division, Tourism Council of Bhutan. The session was moderated by one of tourism industry’s top sustainability crusaders in India, Mandip Singh Soin, Founder & Managing Director, Ibex Expeditions & Founder President of Ecotourism Society of India.

 

Big picture

The world population, currently around 7.6 billion, is estimated to be adding 83 million people every year, that is, one Germany, the 16th most populous country on earth. By 2030 it is estimated to reach 8.6 billion. Year 2017 witnessed an estimated 4 billion air travels worldwide. In India, a country of 1.32 billion people, an estimated 1.8 billion domestic travels took place. Globally, UNWTO estimates International tourist arrivals to have crossed 1.3 billion in 2017 recording its eight consecutive year of growth. By 2030 UNWTO estimates international tourist arrivals to reach 1.8 billion.

These are huge numbers and present a challenge that may be very difficult to surmount given the challenges the policy makers are faced with in terms of creating new employment opportunity and development for the country. And that brings us to the question of where are we headed in tourism sustainability, specifically in India that the panellists discussed and what should be our expectation sustainable tourism development.

UNWTO’s Choi says, “The aim of Sustainable tourism is to secure the continuous growth of the tourism industry without compromising the environmental, social and cultural viability of a tourist destination. That is, striking a balance between sustainable growth from the prospect of the tourism market and the SDGs in the side of environmental, social and cultural aspects.” Furthermore, he said that the role of public sector, the centre and regional governments, is very important. At the international level UNWTO has that kind of role about sharing information, knowledge and good practices.

Challenges

While setting the tone of the discussion, Soin opined, “I think the time for aspirational goals and aspirations are probably now behind us. We need to task ourselves to see how do we actually make sure that things on the ground happen in the right way because that is the biggest challenge and need of the hour. I personally think that unless you don’t have a carrot and stick approach, there are not too many good guys who will have the best of planet earth at heart. We are all driven by moolah.”

Drawing attention to government apathy, Nath said, “When we talk of carrot and stick, it’s not just for the private sector. I think the stick is very important for the government too. It is just that the private sector can’t beat the government because they are the ones who first don’t set the standards in time, then when there is huge mess, they make use of the mess to make money, when it gets much worse then they start to think about it. I think we have lost a lot of time and it’s not that we didn’t know about it.”

He also pointed that India has brilliant minds but they are never really involved in policy matters. “The people who lay the policy are not the ones who are entrepreneurs, they are not the ones who face difficulties. So I find that eventually you have to do everything yourself. You are reinventing the wheel in whichever way,” he rued.

Concurring with Nath, TOFT Tigers’ Mathews gave an interesting take highlighting poor policy implementation. He said, “The UNWTO put out a environmental sustainability index in 2015 and India in the index was at the very bottom. Interestingly enough, in the most recent Economist’s Sustainable Tourism Index, India is pretty much in the middle. Now to me that’s the difference between reality and the policies. The policies are there but none are applied, none are monitored. Guidelines are there but unless you put them into law, unless you have systems and organisations that actually monitor them and operate them in individual state, that’s how it has to happen. Otherwise, sustainability will never happen.”

 

Measuring Sustainability

UNWTO is developing a statistical framework for measuring sustainable tourism. This project is very important and challenging. Without proper measurement of sustainable tourism we cannot identify the evidence to support policies and track progress. Once in place we can compare tourism services, facilities and a destination competitiveness by using this statistical framework. This task will be finished by 2020, informed Choi.

Soin also highlighted the need to be pro-active in managing carrying capacity. “Would it not be possible to actually have destination measured for their carrying capacity and then not come to a crisis and then fix it. . If we know where we are headed why can’t we help?” he wondered. Furthermore and importantly, Soin pointed that there is no modal to conduct carrying capacity studies, and suggested UNWTO and WTTC to consider developing a modal to measure carrying capacity that industry worldwide can adopt and follow.

Bhutan that lives by its philosophy of ‘Gross National Happiness’ is one destination on the Indian sub-continent that is rated highly for putting environmental concerns before anything else. Highlighting the Bhutanese modal here, Rinzin said, “We are very mindful of the carrying capacity. If we realise that we are getting lots of people coming to Bhutan, we increase the cost. So there is an indirect way of managing the numbers. However, one of our challenges is to spread tourists to all part of the country. For example, eastern and southern Bhutan do not get lots of tourists. Looking at the numbers, we have to find a way to come up with strategy to spread the tourists.”

 

Sustainability future/ Way Forward

A joint effort by UNWTO, UNDP on “SDG – Journey to 2030” points to some important guidelines for future sustainable tourism development. The public sector needs to develop more inclusive and integrating tourism policies and also needs to assess and monitor tourism’s contribution to SDGs. In case of private sector sharing experiences and good practices are important. Purchasing local goods and services will help increase value chain of tourism. The report also addressed the issue of financing by suggesting investment in tourism as a priority sector towards achieving SDGs. Based on these suggestions UNWTO is working on establishing a wide range of initiatives for sustainable tourism at the international level.

According to Mathews, “You have to set down very strict carrying capacity rules and you have also got to do hell of a lot pre planning because the only way we can be sustainable is by putting in time and resources. What we need in India specifically is same resources and skills and funds to go into things like smart forest. We have smart cities and we do lots of investment in them. We need to look at forest in much the same way. We need to planning long term for their future, their conservation, we need to be planning for the community that are both, in them and around them.

Soin, pointed at the need of global organisations like UNWTO and WTTC to be more pro-active. “What would be nice is to have a strategy on how do we walk the talk. Because, that to me, is missing on the ground,” he said.

Rigzin said that as far as Bhutan is concerned the rules and regulations are also passed on to other stakeholders like tour guides and ownership of people and making them understand of what is important in terms of sustainability and value of tourism. “You can have strongest of the rules but if people don’t believe in it, they are not involved, it doesn’t go well. We can’t move forward in sustainable tourism development.”

Furthermore he said that Bhutan has this policy of “High value low impact.” “We are looking at getting bigger value from tourist coming to Bhutan. I admit it’s a challenge but at the same time good value for our people and not at the cost of environment and culture. While at the same time when we have the right kind of people coming to Bhutan the negative impact is less,” he argued.

Nath again pointed at the need to have functional rule of law and that it should be applied to all. “Regulations should be applied to all. There are regulations for us, as hotels, on sewage but not for the village in the vicinity. Is the government not responsible for the village or the municipality?” he questioned. He also said that the Government can’t enforce sitting in Delhi, instead he suggested that there should be strict rules and deadlines and people should confirm to them.

 

Involving Stakeholders

The International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development last year aimed to raise awareness of sustainable tourism, mobilise all stakeholders along the tourism value chain and force the change in policies and practices in both the public and the private sectors. Choi says that some of the key learning were that partnership is key to the sustainable development and that the goals of sustainable development cannot be achieved in a very short time but should be managed from long term perspective.

Sharing information on Bhutanese approach to Sustainability, Rinzin said, “Let’s be honest. The private sector is looking at making lots of money, whereas the public sector is looking at the long term goals. We need to strike a balance for sustainable tourism development. So as public organisation we set rule for the industry but more than the rule letting the private sector understand, making them a stakeholder in where we are heading to in terms of Sustainable tourism and what are the requirements of being a sustainable destination. That is very important.”

Nath also highlighted the importance of localising the experience. “We employ the local people and they are so quick to learn. And they actually run the place like it is their own and also bring a lot of local flavour to tourists experiences.

 

In Conclusion

In India particularly what has been found to ail most is the lack of coherent and practical approach instead of archaic and tedious tourism policies and the need to pro-actively deal with sustainability issue in tourism. Experts on the panel were also of the opinion that there is need to devise mechanism to ‘measure’ sustainability implementation by stakeholders as well as carrying capacity in a destination. Sharing information on best sustainability practices and greater sensitisation amongst the both public and private sector were also put in spotlight.

 

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The aim of Sustainable tourism is to secure the continuous growth of the tourism industry without compromising the environmental, social and cultural viability of a tourist destination. - Bo Keun Choi

The policies are there but none are applied, none are monitored. - Julian Mathews

Would it not be possible to actually have destination measured for their carrying capacity and then not come to a crisis and then fix it. – Mandip Singh Soin

Regulations should be applied to all. There are regulations for us, as hotels, on sewage but not for the village in the vicinity. – Aman Nath

The private sector is looking at making lots of money, whereas the public sector is looking at the long term goals. We need to strike a balance for sustainable tourism development. - Damcho Rinzin

While travel and tourism is one of the largest service sectors in India, the strengthening and growing economy of the country drives corporate travel the most.

Corporate travel, an investment by corporate to further their business growth, has emerged as one of the fastest growing segment of the travel and tourism industry globally. While travel and tourism is one of the largest service sectors in India, the strengthening and growing economy of the country drives corporate travel the most. The recent implementation of GST, initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India, Start up India etc have also given a push to the economic growth. As a result, India has emerged as a big market for corporate travel and players in the segment are geared up to tap this opportunity.

According to a report by consultancy firm KPMG, India is now a US$ 30 billion business travel market and is expected to more than triple to US$ 93 billion by 2030. “In 2015, India saw a 15 per cent increase in business travel spending, which will grow with a CAGR of 12 per cent through 2020 to six per cent by 2030. This increase in all possibility will be greater than the increases in business travel growth in the next three largest countries combined, including South Korea, Italy and Brazil. Thirteen years from now (by 2030), India will likely be amongst the top five in business travel spending,” the report stated.

“Business travel spending in Asia Pacific was pegged at US$ 458 billion in 2015, and is expected to grow at 7.8 per cent CAGR over the next five years. 6.5 per cent of this total spend came from India, while China, Japan and South Korea accounted for nearly 90 per cent of the remaining spends. India is projected to be the most robust business travel market in APAC over the next five years, projected to grow at 12 per cent CAGR over that period,” the report adds.

Bulk of Indian business travellers (86 per cent) are in the 18-30 and 31-49 age brackets, and although male business travellers are in the majority, there is a reasonably significant portion of female business travellers (23 per cent). The female Indian business traveller is amongst the most significant growth segments of the Indian travel market, and represents an opportunity for travel providers that barely existed a few years ago. Moreover, this stupendous growth and evolving mix of sectors and markets brings a greater complexity to travel.

 

Changing trends

With passing time, corporate’s focus on safe and smooth travel for their executives, increasing demand from corporate travellers and consistent change in travel technology amongst others has further pushed this segment to become more evolved. “The corporate travel segment has shifted from generic to more individualistic approach in dealing with the traveller. The corporate have recognised the importance of their human resource talent pool and are trying to extend maximum support to them. The rise of terror activities and natural calamities globally has also given rise to issues surrounding duty of care for business travel. The need to find technology solutions to track employees on business trips has become a top priority for organisations around the world. We are seeing that the acceptance of travel technology solution for business travel has significantly increased. Players are focusing on making the business travel platform robust, simple, transparent and operationally efficient,” says Jyothi Varma, Regional Manager – SE Asia, Association of Corporate Travel Executive (ACTE).

According to her, all components of this segment be it suppliers or buyers are geared up. Airlines, hotels, OTAs, Travel Management Companies (TMCs), visa and forex service providers, car rentals, calling cards have started fine tuning their products, offering new products and services to suit to the business travellers. “Airlines have started offering services targeting business travellers for a small fee. Hotels are revisiting their corporate programme regularly. Others are also coming up with enhanced service facilities to make the process simple and travel safe and pleasant,” she adds.

 

TMCs : A vital cog

Many companies, especially large multinationals opt for global consolidation of their travel procurement. They generally choose to put their entire purchasing of travel arrangements in the hands of one Travel Management Company (TMC). Hence the role of TMCs becomes more important in the entire system. Also, the ever growing demand from corporate pushes TMCs to come up with new solutions to cater to the demand of the client. TMCs fulfil their demand by consistently investing in technology.

Replying to a question over role of TMCs in driving travel spend for a corporate, Raja Natesan, Chief Executive Officer, UNIGLOBE Travel (South Asia), says that the answer lies in how TMCs want to position itself. “If the TMC is only playing a fulfilment role, then there is very little value addition they can provide. A good TMC would see its role as that of saving costs for the corporate without cutting on quality, analysing travel and buying patterns, looking at better rates on preferred suppliers etc and charging a fair rate from the corporate for the services provided,” says Natesan.

Making it more lucid, Ajay Bali, Managing Director, BCD Travel, India, says TMCs are facing challenging times due to growing competition from online travel aggregators (OTAs). “The emergence of OTAs targeting smaller businesses by assisting them with “Managed Business Travel” services has opened a new segment in the managed business travel market. With OTAs increasingly targeting the market traditionally dominated by TMCs as an alternative service provider, it is imperative for TMCs to enhance the range of offerings by using alternative booking channels and differentiating themselves through more value added services considering their ability to offer higher degree of personalised services compared to OTAs,” Bali says and adds that TMCs are looking at avenues to consolidate by tying up with sharing economy service providers; operations of these service providers are increasingly rolled into the booking and expense tools of the former in order to provide seamless, consistent and economical business travel experience. Ashish Kishore, India-Country Head, Dnata says TMCs definitely work as a partner to the corporate, helping them shape their travel policy, and analysing their travel data to bring out time and money savings.

So, how TMCs gear up themselves on market expectations? According to Bali, TMC appointment process is evolving from a low cost selection towards value for money considerations. “TMCs are using M&As as a strategy to enhance their capabilities and target niche segments in the highly diverse business travel market. Earlier, TMCs were the only point of contact between travel service providers and their corporate clientele. Emerging online booking tools (OBT) have enabled these service providers to directly target corporate users. TMCs, however, still remain the dominant source for travel bookings due to need for travel plan coordination and service customisation,” he opines.

Corporate Travel often involves impromptu meetings and last-minute requirements, which are hard to organise, coordinate and book. As a result, companies, especially small and medium enterprises, are rapidly adopting corporate booking tools and TMCs have to come up with new tools. According to Natesan, while technology today is seen as a key differentiator, it is not possible for any TMC to keep investing in cutting edge technology which changes every three months. “There has to be a balance between investment and the Return on Investment which is a challenge. What we focus on is consistent and top quality service delivery. This means standards, processes, quality control, transparency and focus on customer satisfaction,” Natesan says.

Bali says that technology helps in adoption of big data and real time analytics, automation in the form of Internet of Things (IoT) robotic technology, virtual reality and augmented reality and these further help service providers cut down costs, improve productivity and help expand their businesses. As more powerful technology make it easier for TMCs to better serve their clients, Natesan says technology saves a lot of time and effort on the repetitive processes. “That leaves the consultants with time to work on the areas that make a difference to the customer. Technology also makes it easier to sort and analyse data. This helps identify trends, patterns and the TMC can give the customer tailor made consulting,” Natesan adds.

 

Role of Travel Managers

The quest for a hassle free travel from corporate travellers keeps Travel Managers under tremendous pressure to fulfil the requirements of demanding travellers. Travel Managers balances employee needs with corporate goals, financial and otherwise by ensuring cost tracking and control, facilitates adherence to corporate travel policies and realises savings through negotiated discounts.

Talking about the way forward for corporate's to handle travel requirements with the exposure and transparency, Ankush Bindra, Head - EGI International Mobility, Ericsson India Global Services, says products like flights and hotels are already shifted to the OBTs giving travellers more option under the gamut of the corporate travel policy. "Travel Manager has to align his travel operations under the policy framework in terms of the price considerations, time, class, room category, inclusions etc. They also ensure that options given to employees for their selection are unbiased and transparent. Other products are lagging behind in the automations but Travel Managers keep on working to ensure that they reach to the best levels in terms of transparency. To achieve this, it is essential to flash the negotiated rates, manuals, SOPs available on the intranet for the employees to refer as and when required. A good reference module for the visa related information covering the checklist of documents, insurance premium and coverages, preferred ground transportation partner details and competitive calling card details need to be published and circulated," he says adding that today people are more than ready to adopt new technologies like Self-Booking tools, chat-bot, mobile based apps etc. Apart from these, Travel Managers also needs to be prepared to face the challenges for external factors. "We have seen buyouts happening in hotels, airlines and TMCs which affect the way we negotiate in the market with our suppliers. It also gives them additional penetration to their target markets. These factors play crucial role in planning your strategy while floating your RFP in the market and selecting your partners," Bindra adds. Commenting on the role of Travel Managers, Varma says that travel managers need to find a balance between encouraging positive employee experiences and ensuring compliance with travel policy.

 

Suppliers’ perspective

Hotels, airlines, car rentals, calling cards and other service providers have consistently been upgrading their offering to make it more suitable to corporate. While hotels are coming out with new corporate travel programmes according to the changing needs of the market, airlines are also coming out with exclusive offerings for the segment. “The rise of mobile apps within the travel industry is largely influenced by the increasing presence of millennials in the corporate sector. In line with the changing customer needs, Singapore Airlines offers the ‘Companion App’ which is a first-of-its-kind mobile application that provides customers greater control over their in-flight entertainment experience,” says David Lim, General Manager – India, Singapore Airlines. Another factor that drives corporate travellers to top airlines is their frequent flyer programmes. “Singapore Airlines has continuously invested in technology and systems that can enhance customer experience. A substantial investment towards bettering our web/app services helps our customers avail of the best available fares, manage their bookings and register for ancillary services, all readily accessible at their fingertips. At the back end, most airline reservations and sales systems are rooted in dynamic pricing, where yield generation is priority. Corporate deals are often customised to match the requirement outlined,” he says adding that corporate travellers continue to explore travel options that offer the best product at a convenient price point.

Similarly, car rental companies are also gearing up to offer the best possible services to their corporate clients. “We offer the responsibility of duty of care to our customers. Consistent quality and attention to detail is our main USP wherein each stage of the car dispatch process is closely monitored and assured for quality. We offer complete real-time dashboard and customised MIS to enable corporates to monitor and control their ground transportation spends. With higher application of technology based processes we are able to customise requirements of corporates and incorporate them into our processes and make the business scalable,” says Rajesh Loomba, Managing Director, Eco Rent a Car.

 

Way Forward

Although corporate travel is evolving slowly in India, however, the pace of change is visibly fast as TMCs have turned to technology to solve common problems. The shifting traveller behaviour and the primacy of mobile as a booking channel are compelling travel management companies to refine and retool their technology. Corporates are getting insights from consumer technology giants how to improve their digital booking experiences to have a better control the business traveller’s journey from beginning to end.

Enumerating the challenges in corporate travel segment in India, Varma says that due to disconnect between Global Policy compliance and local challenges, travel managers need to get exceptional approval. Moreover, the competitive online fares compared to traditional fares by TMCs also pose the challenge. “There is a need to have robust tool that can churn out predictive data using the past trends data, additional information available and dynamics of the market. Frequent changes in the visa regime, changing mode of payment, changing booking behaviours, constant change in travel technology are some of the issues that industry needs to tackle to push the growth of the segment,” she adds.

According to Natesan, while the corporate faces challenges, it is not always possible to find a solution that is ideally suited. “A good solution may involve cost, rebuilding a technology platform or even changing buyer behaviour. There is a need to have a relationship of trust with the corporate so the TMC gets time to discuss, understand and come up with the most cost effective solution,” he says.

Varma concludes that if all players in the eco-system focus more on fulfilling the requirements of travellers, we can create happier corporate citizens.

Dubai-based flydubai has announced its latest onboard services as part of its ongoing commitment to providing an enjoyable overall travel experience. WiFi connectivity, live television streaming and a new seatback in-flight entertainment interface mark another milestone in the carrier’s cabin product enhancement series.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai said, “flydubai has been committed to investing in product innovations and technologies that enhance the travel experience for our passengers from day one.  We want to offer customers more choice, a greater experience and affordable access to the technologies we are all coming to expect in the air, just as we do on the ground. Adding WiFi connectivity, live television along with our enhanced ground-breaking in-flight entertainment system will allow us to continue to deliver that personalised flying experience our customers expect and appreciate.”

From April 24, 2016 WiFi connectivity and Live TV will be available through the In-flight portal for the first time on selected flights as flydubai continues to roll out the service across the rest of its fleet.  The wireless satellite-based network will allow passengers to buy a package from as low as US$4 to get connected during a flight using their personal devices and from US$8 to tune in to catch up with the news on BBC World News, Al Jazeera or Al Arabiya, enjoy Arabic shows on MBC1 or fascinating documentaries on Discovery.

Daniel Kerrison, Vice President of In-flight Product, flydubai, who has been driving the innovation of its cabin appearance and services since the launch of the airline in 2008 said, "We are excited to be offering as many creative and innovative product choices as we can to our passengers and giving them the option to decide which products and services they wish to include in their travel experience. We are very happy with our partnership with GEE and we are determined to provide our passengers with an experience similar to what they have come to expect from consumer electronics like tablets and smartphones.”

Bahrain’s tourism market, which currently comprises approximately 6 per cent of GDP, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8 per cent, reaching US$1 billion by 2020. The hotels and restaurants sector was the fastest growing sector in the Kingdom for the past two years, expanding by 10 per cent in 2014 and by 7.3 per cent in 2015. Bahrain attracted a total of 11.6 million tourists in 2015, up 11 per cent from the previous year.

Jerad Bachar, Executive Director of Tourism and Leisure at the Economic Development Board (EDB), “There is strong investment currently underway in Bahrain’s tourism sector, stemming from both private and public sector sources. There is investment throughout the tourism ecosystem including accommodation, technology, ground transportation, airport infrastructure, and retail centres. The recently launched tourism brand identity “Ours. Yours. Bahrain” has been launched to build the overall awareness of Bahrain as a tourism destination. Through collaboration with the greater tourism community, we aim to increase the country’s competitiveness and increase the economic contribution from tourism to the GDP.”

Bahrain is home to 120 hotels including high quality brands such as Four Seasons and The Ritz-Carlton with more than ten five-star and four-star hotels under development. The development of the tourism industry in Bahrain is a priority, and is one of the major elements in the Kingdom’s plans to further diversify its economy.

Bahrain is investing heavily in large infrastructure projects which will have direct benefits to the sector, including the US$1 billion Bahrain International Airport Modernisation Programme. Other development projects driven by recent investment include the Avenues Mall and the One and Only Resort and Spa, both currently under construction.

 

The Kingdom of Bahrain has developed a comprehensive calendar of local, regional, and international events and exhibitions held throughout the year. These include The Gulf Air Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix, The Spring of Culture Festival, Shop Bahrain Festival, and various consumer exhibitions.

Singapore Airlines is to implement Sabre’s new real-time, crew management technology package AirCentre Crew Manager to support more efficient scheduling, training and decision-making capabilities.

Once implemented, Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Singapore Airlines Cargo will be able to manage and track all crew operations from a single, integrated and real-time web platform, eliminating the work of multiple systems.

Using Sabre’s technology, SIA can plan, schedule, track and manage disruptions to rosters, and impact to crew accommodation. This enables more responsive decision-making and improved productivity and efficiency, including quicker staffing solutions to alleviate flight delays. It will also improve the airlines’ planning capabilities to help meet training and qualification requirements, as mandated by regulatory authorities.

Dana Jones, senior vice president, Sabre Airline Solutions said, “Airlines are evolving the way they manage critical operations and need sophisticated systems that can manage multiple tasks in real-time. This can make a big difference in fast-changing environments where incidents like disruptions or schedule changes require crew to act decisively and efficiently. We designed Crew Manager with crew in mind so it’s easy-to-use, customisable and comes with web and mobile capabilities in line with today’s needs.”

 

Built around streamlined workflows to make crew management easy and efficient, Crew Manager has an intuitive user interface and includes customizable rules for greater airline control and flexibility. The Crew Manager crew portal and services-based architecture also offer web and mobile browser connectivity for crew members with self-service tools for interactive roster management.

 

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