As the year 2019 comes to an end, achievements in every sector related to the travel, tourism, hospitality and other supported fields enjoyed a year of growth. TTME spoke to some of the leaders who share insights on their journey in 2019 and talk about what they intend to do in the coming year.
Omar Bani Hamour, Head of Marketing and Exhibitions Department, Fujairah Tourism and Antiquities Authority
We have continued to keep our key identity which is the unique historical aspect of the emirate with a steady growth of visitors to the destination. Over the past years we have been promoting the emirate as both a historical and an adventure tourism destination. Our aim is to ensure that we obtain a really good growth in tourism by providing diverse fields of marketing the emirate. Currently there are 35 hotels and apartments with around 4,307 rooms in Fujairah with 17 hotels in 4 and 5-star category within the beachfront hence making them more like resorts. We enjoy some of the best mountain peaks in the UAE. Winter is a very special time as we have significant growth of visitors year on year. Next year, we will be looking at new markets with a special focus on South East Asia such as Indonesia and Philippines.
Arshard Munir, General Manager, SATA
The year 2019 has been challenging for many industries including the travel industry. SATA to date has had a productive year and this is not by accident. It is due to a commitment to excellent service, intelligent planning and focused team effort. Active Holiday, M!CE and Educational Tours Department along with the online booking portal are some of the areas we have been developing over the last year. In terms of the bookings we noticed that Asia (Far East, Sri Lanka and India) and Eastern Europe continue to be popular over the year. Certain parts of Africa have also shown an increase in bookings. Eastern Europe has continued to gain in popularity and Air Arabia’s direct flights to Vienna and Prague have received tremendous response. Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania have also received good response as affordable value for money holiday destinations.
His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group
The lower fuel cost was a welcome respite as we saw our fuel bill drop by AED 2.0 billion compared to the same period last year. However, unfavourable currency movements wiped off approximately AED 1.2 billion from our profits. The global outlook is difficult to predict, but we expect the airline and travel industry to continue facing headwinds over the next six months with stiff competition adding downward pressure on margins.
Arijit Munshi, General Manager, Tune Protect
2019 has been a year of exploration with regards to new markets, new content as well as further developing our current product portfolio. Jump-starting new markets such as Saudi Arabia, India to ensure that our regional footprint keeps growing. ‘Content is king’ but the right content is even far more important. Our current varied products allow our business partners to cater to different types of travellers. Most importantly we listen to our users, which is paramount to the success of our partnership. We have made some key changes to enhance user experience. Watch the space for more to come.
JVR Fernando, Commercial Director – Europe, GCC, Asia, Satguru
We had a very productive year with more markets added to our global network. Satguru set its foot on the travel markets of Russia, Ukraine, China, USA and Cambodia. Apart from receiving various accolades at regional and global levels, Satguru also received airline awards and recognitions. A major breakthrough in the year 2019 is the introduction of in-house Accounting and Front Office systems across the network. This development is expected to provide a major boost to the operations by providing live consolidated data to international companies. This in turn will enable Satguru to emerge as a global travel management company.
Inputs by Shehara Rizly