With Travel Talk Breaking Travel News presenter Phil Blizzard meets leading travel industry personalities to bring viewers the latest stories, trends and analysis from around the world.
Video: The Abu Dhabi hospitality landscape is be be enhanced with the opening during the summer of the luxurious Bab Al Qasr. Phil Blizzard talks to Kirsty Danks-Browm, Director of Sales & Marketing, Bab Al Qasr to discover more about this Moroccan-Emarati inspired hotel.
Video: In this edition the new Minister of Tourism, Egypt spells out their plan for ‘The New Egypt’ saying the country is secure and open for business. At the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2016, Dubai, Phil Blizzard spoke with Mohamed Yehia Rashed, Minister of Tourism for the Republic of Egypt.
Video: In this edition of Travel Talk the roles are reversed with Phil Blizzard being interviewed by Serge Zaalof, President & Managing Director, Atlantis, The Palm. After several questions about the Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences normal service is resumed with presenter and hotelier reverting to their specific roles. The theme of the interview is the new resort - what it will contain in terms of suites and restaurants, along with what can be expected at the opening party in 2018.
Video: Gerald Lawless, Chairman, World Travel & Tourism Council speaks to Phil Blizzard at AHIC 2016 about his new role and the key activities of the WTTC. These include getting governments around the world to recognise the importance of the travel and tourism industry in terms of contribution to GDP, the aspect of ‘Freedom to Travel’ and ‘Sustainability - environmentally, socially and for employment’.
Video: The theme for Arabian Hotel Investment Conferfence 2016 held in Dubai is ‘Eye on the Future’. With that in mind Phil Blizzard talks to Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAK Tourism Development Authority about the attractiveness of this ‘rising emirates’ to potential investors, the strong performance to date in the tourism sector and how to “build A Tourism Destination’.
Video: Phil Blizzard talks to Ahmed Ramdan the recipient of the AHIC 2016 Leadership Award about winning the award. The Founder and Group CEO - Roya International also talks about the way he grew Roya from a start-up to become one of the most recognized hospitality advisory firms in the Middle East. Also the big challenge of trying to get more Emirati’s making hospitality their career choice.
Video: Egypt is bouncing back with a new marketing campaign as Phil Blizzard discovered at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. The key message is ‘Welcome Back’ according to Haitham Nasser, Board Member, Egyptian Tourism Federation who talks about their key offerings, new infrastructure and security along with what the ‘New Egypt’ means. He also talks about the source markets from both the Middle East and Europe.
Video: Abdullah Al Abdouli, MD, Al Marjan Island talks about the investment opportunities available for developers and provides an overview of this man made island off the coastline of Ras Al Khaimah in the north of the United Arab Emirates. Talking to Phil Blizzard at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference he provides an overview of the island, its current hotels and those in the development pipeline.
Video: In this outspoken interview with Phil Blizzard at ATM 2016 Akbar Al Baker, Group CEO, Qatar Airways tells Breaking Travel News that despite issues with aircraft from Airbus he expects that the fleet size will be in the region of between 250 and 300 aircraft by 2021. He talks about ‘Going Places Together’ , including the reveal of new destinations in Thailand and Africa, and also the importance of social media.
Video: At the Arabian Travel Market, Dubai Phil Blizzard talks to Haitham Nasser, Board Member, Egyptian Tourism Federation about their current marketing campaign and their key message at this important travel show. He also explains what is meant the term ‘New Egypt’ in the context of the tourism sector
Video: This edition of Travel Talk comes from the grandeur of the luxurious St Regis at Al Haboor City in Dubai. Phil Blizzard talks to Hotel Manager Faik El Saadani about the offerings of the St Regis which is one of the newest hotels on the Dubai hospitality landscape. He also talks about hosting the prestigious World Travel Awards Middle East Gala Ceremony, as well as the ever evolving hospitality market.
Video: Travel Talk with Stefan Fuchs, General Manager, Jumeirah Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi ahead of the World Travel Awards Grand Final 2015. Phil Blizzard in Morocco talks to Stefan about their lifestyle offerings, Abu Dhabi as a growing destination and trends in the hospitality sector.
Video: Yahya Fetchati, COO, Bookassist talks to Breaking Travel News ahead of the World Travel Awards about the service they offer the hospitality industry. In his native Morocco Yahya talks to Phil Blizzard about the reasons for sponsoring the technology sector of the World Travel awards. He also highlights key developments for the future.
Video: Michael Schaffner, Director Sales & Marketing, Serenata IntraWare talks about to Phil Blizzard about IT and big data, social media in the travel tourism industry.
Video: Visit Maldives 2016 is a key campaign to boost visitor numbers to the idyllic atolls and islands in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Phil Blizzard talks to Moosa Zameer, Minister of Tourism to gain an insight on their activities, what they expect to achieve and the hosting of the World Travel Awards Grand Final, at the end of the Visdit Maldives year.
Video: Dr Lahcen Haddad, Minister of Tourism, Morocco is the guest of Phil Blizzard for this edition of Travel Talk. Recorded in Morocco the interview looks at the development of tourism in the country, the evolving source markets and the hosting of the World Travel Awards 2015 Grand Final.
Video: Travel Talk with industry veteran George Cohen, Managing Director, Saxon Collection, South Africa. Phil Blizzard in Morocco for the World Travel Awards 2015 Grand Final talks to George about his long, distinguished career in hospitality and what the Saxon Collection offers the discerning guest.
Video: Travel Talk with Phil Blizzard in Hong Kong talking to Linh Le, Global Director, Trails of Indochina about their unique tailormade vacations across countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Mynamar and Thailand.
Video: Travel Talk in Hong Kong with Phil Blizzard talking to Choe Peng Sum, CEO, Fraser Hospitality Group about their rapidly expanding porfolio and their recent acquisitions in the UK. The Singapore based hospitality group are very active, not only in Asia, but also in Europe.
Video: Royal Jet is an award-winning international luxury flight services provider based in Abu Dhabi the capital of the the UAE. Phil Blizzard, at the Dubai Airshow, samples this luxury as he talks to Captain Patrick Gordon on board one of their executive jets. He provides an overview of their aircraft, their flight range and the type of services they offer. He also talks about some of the places their guests travel to, are some pretty exotic destinations.
Video: Travel Talk over looking Hong Kong Harbour from a stunning elevated position at the InterContinental Grand Standford Hong Kong . Phil Blizzard talks to General Manager, Mr. Alexander Wassermann, on his views regarding Hong Kong tourism, industry trends and on hosting the World Travel Awards ceremony.
Video: Travel Talk from Vietnam and Phil Blizzard at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort for the inaugural World Spa Awards. He talks to Paul Harnn, Director, Harnn Global about his journey from being a professional architect in his home country of Thailand to being a producer of luxury spa products and more. He also talks about the debut World Spa Awards and what it means to be invovled with this event.
Video: Travel Talk from Vietnam and Phil Blizzard at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort for the inaugural World Spa Awards. He talks to Dr Erich Schulte, Founder, QMS MediCosmetics, former trauma sugeon, about the development of his revolutionary form of medical cosmetics. He talks about the availability around the world of this form of skin care and what the World Spa Awards means to him.
Video: Travel Talk from Vietnam and Phil Blizzard at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort for the inaugural World Spa Awards. He talks to Paul Hawco, Director Of Talise Spa Operations, Jumeirah Group about the development of their own spa brand. He also talks about the expansion plans by the Dubai based group and the winning of so many accolades at the debut World Spa awards.
Video: Travel Talk from Vietnam and Phil Blizzard at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort for the inaugural World Spa Awards. He talks to Iain McCormack the general manager of this stunning resort about it’s wonderful design and location, their main source markets for guests and what it means to be hosting the first World Spa Awards
Video: On location in Italy Phil Blizzard talks, in depth, to Lorenzo Giannuzzi, Managing Director, Forte Village. The focus of the interview is what the resort offers it’s guests, their key source markets and the importance of the MICE market to their revenue streams. Lorenzo also talks about hosting the World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony and significance of the awards.
Video: At the World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony Mike Eivers, Marketing & Sales, Forte Village talks to Phil Blizzard about the resort and what it means to be hosting the awards.
Video: Phil Blizzard takes a rare behind the scenes look at the final assembly production line for the Boeing 737-800 aircraft at the Renton factory, Seattle. Marty Bentroot, Snr Vice President, International Sales, Boeing talks about the production process, their relationship with Dubai based flydubai and the enhancements the new 737-MAX will offer.
Video: Alongside the latest Boeing 737-800 for flydubai, the Dubai based low cost carrier, Phil Blizzard talks to the airlines COO, Ken Gile. The Boeing factory in Seattle provides a fascinating location, to talk about the 10 day assembly time-line, the ‘fit out’ of the aircraft’s interior and the future generation 737-MAX, which will extend the aircraft’s range by upto 500 miles. The aircraft featured was delivered to flydubai at the end of July.
Video: Ahead of the opening on the new Seychelles Tourism Academy Alain St.Ange, Minister for Tourism & Culture , Seychelles talks to Phil Blizzard. He highlights the importance of sustainable tourism, the facilities of the academy and the course being offered in association with Shannon College, Ireland and the Emirates Training College, Dubai.
Video: This Indian Ocean vista provides a colourful backdrop for this interview with Phil Blizzard talking to Manish Jha, General Manager, Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa. The resort has a long and destinctive heritage in the Seychelles and recently under went a rebranding and refurbishment programme. It re-opened in March 2015 to much acclaim, winning the Leading New Resort in the Indian Ocean at the World Travel Awards, Seychelles.
Video: ‘Back in Time’ is the concept behind the Enchanted Island Resort, Seychelles according to the owner Sunil Shah. In conversation with Phil Blizzard at the World Travel Awards, Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony he also talks about the relationship with operators JA Resorts & Hotels. Whilst Abdel Damergi, General Manager of the resort provides an overview of what quests can expect.
Video: Travel Talk with Joel Morgan, Chairman, Air Seychelles at the World Travel Awards - Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony speaking to Phil Blizzard. The chairman, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs & Transport talks about the expansion of their international services, the importance of their regional network and the strategic partnership with Etihad Airways.
Video: Expansion in the region, changing trends for inbound tourism, plus the importance of the emgerging markets are some of the key topics spoken by Alex Porteous, GM, Four Seasons Resorts, Seychelles. Talking to Phil Blizzard at the World Travel Awards Gala Ceremony, Africa and Indian Ocean he also provides a snapshot view of his resort and the importance of the awards.
video: Alain St.Ange, Minister of Tourism and Joel Morgan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Transport talk to Phil Blizzard during the Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony. The focus of the conversation is the importance of the awards in telling the world about the Seychelles, along with increased connectivitiy for visitors to these islands.
Video: As Air Seychelles commence their direct flights from Mahe, the islands capital, to Paris the airlines CEO, Manoj Papa talks to Phil Blizzard about their transition to being a network carrier. He also talks about the importance of the World Travel Awards being in the Seychelles and the airline’s equity partnership with Adu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways.
Video: Sherin Naiken, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board talks to Breaking Travel News ahead of the start of the Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony. She tells Phil Blizzard that events like the World Travel Awards are very important for putting the Seychelles on ‘the map’ and what she would like attendees to take back with them.
Video: As final preparations are being made for the Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony of the World Travel Awards Phil Blizzard speaks to one of the key sponsors - Seychelles Breweries. Managing director Patricia Berthelot talks about the importance of hospitality to the Seychelles, the brands they represent and indeed produce, along with their connection with global suppliers Diageo
Video: The Transcorp Hilton Abuja in the Nigeria capital holds a record for hosting 50 presidents in one go and this is proudly highlighted by Valentine Ozigbo, MD/CEO, Transcorp Hotels plc. Talking to Phil Blizzard he also talks about their development pipeline, whilst Etienne-Charles Gailiez, GM of Transcorp Hilton Abuja speaks about the importance of the World Travel Awards and the significance of customer feedback.
Video: Increased confidence in Egypt’s tourism sector is seeing a growth in visitor numbers and a broadening of source markets says Mehdi Othmani, GM, Hilton Hurghada Plaza, Hurghada, Egypt. Talking to Phil Blizzard he provides an overview of what his resort has for visitors to the Red Sea, including their all-inclusive offering and also talks about their world record for a sustainability project involving more than 600 divers.
Video: A big warm welcome was made by Alain St Ange, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Republic of Seychelles to the World Travel Awards organisation ahead of the Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony on the island of Mahe. Talking to Phil Blizzard he expressed the importance of the awards, not only to his country, but to the travel and tourism industry and he also highlights the attractions of the Seychelles.
Video: Alain St Ange, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Republic of Seychelles states his proffered thanks to the organisers of the World Travel Awards for selecting his country to host the Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony. The full interview will follow.
Video: The milestone 40 year presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is being recognised by the InterContinental Hotels Group as an important achivement. Pascal Gauvin, COO, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG talks to Phil Blizzard about their hotels in the kingdom as well as thier development pipeline there and elsewhere in the region.
Video: In conversation with Phil Blizzard at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2015 this part begins with Susan Harmsworth giving her take on the evolution of spas for tomorrow’s travellers. She also talks about receiving, in London, the MBE from the Queen.
Video: ESPA International (UK) has a heritage stretching over 45 years and a strong global presence. The founder Susan Harmsworth MBE, CEO, ESPA International provides an overview of what is one of the original spa companies and how spas have evolved in that time. . Talking to Phil Blizzard she expresses her concerns on the use of the term ‘wellness’.
Video: Jonathan Worsley, Chairman, Bench Events the co-organiser of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference tells Breaking Travel News that the hospitality sector is very upbeat, with plenty of investor confidence. Talking to Phil Blizzard in Dubai on the final day of this years event he reveals the high spots of this conference and looks forward to the next event - the Africa Hotel Investment Conference, September 2015
Video: Al Tareq Al Ameri, Cheif Executive Officer explains to Breaking Travel News why an F1 racing car is on display at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference. Talking to Phil Blizzard he looks at the business and leisure aspects of the Yas Marina Circuit from a MICE perspective, and also talks about their ‘jewel in their crown’ - The Formula 1 Etihad Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Video: Russel Sharpe, COO, Citymax Hotels Landmark Group provides an insightful view to the current ‘state of health’ of the hospitality sector in Dubai, including the mid-market ‘‘feeding frenzy”. He also provides an overview of their developments leading upto 2020, along with his views on the shortage of investors.
Video: With 30 hotels in operation and more than 30 in development the group is to double their presence in the region, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia being a key focus. Elie Younes, VP & Chief Development Officer, The Rezidor Group provides an informative overview of their expansion and the brands which will see significant development.
Video: Rupprecht Quitesch, CEO, Senior Partner, International Hospitality Consulting Group, INHOCO reveals the key demands from investors and hotel developers in this conversation with Phil Blizzard. He also discusses the perceived key demands of the ‘Travellers of Tomorrow’.
Video: Young brands such as Aloft and Elements are driving the Starwood Hotels & Resorts development pipeline in the Middle East. Neil George, Snr VP, Acquistions & Developments, Africa and Middle East, Starwood Hotels & Resorts talks to Phil Blizzard at AHIC, providing a comprehensive overview about their developments across the region.
Video: Christophe Landais, COO, Hotel Services Middle East, Accor talks to Breaking Travel News at AHIC about their key brands which have a presence in the Middle East region. He talks to Phil Blizzard about the importance of the hospitality market in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where they have 26 hotels in the development pipeline.
Video: Musa Barrieh, VP Investment & Development, Dur Hospitality Company talks about the re-branding and the new strategy of the Saudi Hotels & Resorts Company. He also speaks to Phil Blizzard about their present inventory and how that is likely to develop, along with news from AHIC on their partnership with the IHC Group.
Video: The Morocco Tourism Vision 2020 programme is the focus of this interview at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2015. Phil Blizzard talks to Amine Soulami, Business Enginner Asia MENA, SMIT Morocco about the key elements of Vision 2020 and the progress made to region thier goals, along with new niche offerings such as ‘health tourism’.
Video: The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference held in Dubai gave Breaking Travel News the opportunity to talk to key players about their development pipeline. In this edition Phil Blizzard talks to William Harley-Fleming, Director of Hospitality Projects about their forthcoming hotel in Sri Lanka.
Video: At ATM 2015 Phil Blizzard talks to Anita Mehra, VP - Marketing & Comuunications, Dubai Airports about the significance of #1DXB and how Dubai International Airport is now a destination. New ‘attractions’ include restaurants from ‘celebrity chefs’ and the use of innovative technology to make the airporter ‘smart’.
Video: At the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai Peter Henley, President & CEO, Onyx Hospitality Group talks to Phil Blizzard about the expansion of this the group and their various brands - including Amari, Ozo and Saffron. This hospitality group from Thailand has quite an ambitious development pipeline across Asia and beyond.
Video: At the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai Mohab Ghali, Country Manager, Hilton Ras Al Khaimah talks to Phil Blizzard about their various hotels and resorts in the northern emirate of the UAE. These include the Waldorf Astoria and also the Doubletree brands.
Video: Omer Kaddouri, President & CEO, Rotana Hotels talks to Phil Blizzard at the Arabian Travel Market, 2015 about their development plans, including their goal of 100 hotels by 2020. He also talks about the challenges facing the industry and the need to look at new markets, including the importance of Africa.
Video: Swiftly following the highly succesful International Carnival in Mahe, Republic Seychelles the CEO of the country’s tourism board, Sherin Naiken, talks to Phil Blizzard at the Arabian Travel Market 2015. The focus is the increased connectivity into the Republic of Seychelles by the main airlines from the Gulf region, more hotel rooms and a colourful calendar of events.
Video: Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations - Centre, Emirates talks to Phil Blizzard at the Arabian Travel Market 2015, held in Dubai. The key focus is the expansion of new routes, further deliveries of the Airbus A380 and their utilization. Also the recent record breaking order for Rolls Royce engines for the Boeing 777 aircraft.
Video: Ghaith al Ghaith, CEO, flydubai talks to Phil Blizzard at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. Key topics include the airline’s expansion prgramme, the arrival of new aircraft, as well as the adoption of business class into their fleet
Video: Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Authority talks to Phil Blizzard at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. This includes the latest news of the signing by Marriott for a new hotel in this ‘the rising emirate’. The new CEO also talks about the strategy for the development of tourism and what the emirate has to offer.
Video: Phil Blizzard in conversation with Gerald Lawless, President & CEO, Jumeirah Group ahead of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2015. In this part he talks about their development pipeline with the focus being very much east of their home base in Dubai.
Video: Ahead of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference Phil Blizzard talks to Gerald Lawless, President & CEO, Jumeirah Group about their development pipeline across the Middle East and beyond, and also about the significant anniversary of their flagship hotel Burj al Arab.
Video: In part two of this interview Serge Zaalof, President & MD of Atlantis The Palm talks to Phil Blizzard about the development of the new resort ‘The Royal Atlantis and Residences’ on Palm Jumeirah. He also gives his view on current trends in hospitality, the impact of Dubai hosting Expo 2020 and the development pipeline for Kerzner International.
Video: The tour of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai continues for Phil Blizzard and on this ocassion he talks to Serge Zaalof, President & MD of Atlantis The Palm. In this colourful video, with the backdrop of the giant underwater ‘Lost Chambers Aquarium’ he talks about the key aspects of this vast family orientated resort.
Video: Travel Talk with Phil Blizzard speaking with general managers at some of the finest luxury hotels across the region. This time Phil visits one Dubai’s newest and most luxurious properties - the Four Seasons Resort. Located on the beachfront of Jumeirah this ‘uber’ luxury resort is just a short distance from the city’s key financial hub.
Video: The new series of Travel Talk with Phil Blizzard talking to general managers of the luxury hotels located on Dubai’s iconic Palm Jumeirah moves to a resort which in March 2015 is celebrating it’s first anniversary. Jan Moenkedieck talks about the facilities of the resort, it’s market position and the Waldorf ‘image’. The interview was filmed at the end of 2014.
Video: A new series of Travel Talk with Phil Blizzard talking to general managers of the luxury hotels located on Dubai’s iconic Palm Jumeirah. In this, the first edition of the series, he talks to Fernando Gibaja, General Manager of the Ottoman inspired Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.
Video: A Dubai ‘home grow’ budget price hotel is attracting travellers from across the world, including international rugby teams as Phil Blizzard discovers in this video feature. Jeff Shearer, GM, Citymax Hotel, Bur Dubai talks about their location in ‘old’ Dubai, the facilities they offer and their ‘global’ guests. Citymax Hotels is part of the rapidly expanding, Dubai based, Landmark Hospitality.
Video: In this edition of Travel Talk Phil Blizzard is in the heart of Dubai to visits the Pullman, Deira City Centre, close to Dubai International Airport and attached to a prestigious shopping mall. Laurent Chaudet talks about their key location, the recent enhancements to both the hotel and The Residences, the state of the market and the impact of the future Dubai Expo 2020.
Video: In this edition of Travel Talk Phil Blizzard visits the Sofitel The Palm Dubai to speak with veteran hotelier Christoph Schnyder. who talks about his extensive career. He also talks about changes in market trends, what it means to be on Palm Jumeirah with Sofitel and highlights their brand values.
Video: Owning a hotel room on the iconic Palm Jumeirah, Dubai is now an investment opportunity with EPG Hotels & Resorts. At the Cityscape Global event Phil Blizzard talks to Wessel Witthuhn, COO Property & Business about the options available at the Kempinski Hotel & Residences and asks “is this a sophisticated form of timeshare!”. They also talk about the other property, located in Business Bay, Dubai which has similar ‘buy-in’ options.
Video: Jonathan Worlsey, Chairman, Bench Events co-organisers of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference talks to Phil Blizzard following the Advisory Board meeting about the bouyant mood of hotel investment in the GCC region, along with key areas of interest and concerns. He also reveals why he is holding a cricket bat. AHIC is held in Dubai every May is the largest hotel investment forum in the Middle East and is co-organised with MEED.
Breaking Travel News visits the corporate headquarters of Emirates, the Dubai based airline, for this edition of Travel Talk to look at the way they use the sponsorship of sport and in particular football to market their global brand. Phil Blizzard talks to Boutros Boutros about their association with football, the FIFA World Cup and how that has evolved. He also talks about the way the Emirates brand has moved from being purely an airline brand and into a broader one focused around ‘lifestyle’.
Breaking Travel News pays a visit to the Oberoi, Dubai where presenter Phil Blizzard meets the general manager Karim Bizid for some interesting facts and figures achieved during their first year of operation, including the cooking of over 2 million eggs. The hotel located in Dubai’s rapidly developing Business Bay district is the first for the prestigious and luxurious brand from India.
In this edition Phil Blizzard talks to Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports about the mouthwatering delights on offer in Concourse D which is set to open in 2015. He talks about the reason for developing a further concourse at Dubai International Airport and what passengers can expect in terms of the culinary options which will range from the CNN News Cafe to a restaurant by celebrity chef Wolgang Puck
Brazilian football legend Pele tours Dubai and visits the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa. Acknowledged in 1999 as the ‘Greatest Footballer of the Century’ he is the only champion to have lifted the FIFA World Cup trophy three times. Pele is a Global Ambassador for Emirates the global airline headquartered in Dubai.
Video: In this edition of Travel Talk Phil Blizzard meets Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports where the focus is the growth in passenger numbers at Dubai International Airport. According to figures published by Airport Council International, London Heathrow is now in second spot for international travellers, so we have the CEOs take on this, also trends in passenger growth and the impact of runway closure for upgrading.
Video: Football legend Pele greeted his ultimate fan, who was flown into Dubai, to meet the Brazilian superstar after winning the ‘Ultimate Fan’ competition organised Emirates Airline as part of their Facebook social media activities.
Video: As the FIFA 2014 World Cup gets set to kick off in Brazil two of the greatest footballers ever, meet high in the sky. At an altitutde of over 38,000 feet Cristiano Ronaldo and the legendary Pele find their paths cross in the lounge on-board an Emirates Airbus A380.
In this interview Phl Blizzard talks to Akbar Al Baker, CEO, Qatar Airways on a number of key issues, starting on the launch of their ‘Business Ony’ class flights from Doha to London and asks “how they expect to suceed where others have failed”. 2014 is an important year for this Gulf carrier with the arrival of the A380, the launch of a domestic airline in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabai and as the CEO states the recent opening of Hamid International Airport in Doha is significant as he describes the facilities. He goes on to say they will “be occupying the Farnborough Airshow” in July and he concludes by voicing his concerns regarding the air traffic network in the Gulf Region.
In this interview Phil Blizzard talks to Issa Mohammed Al Mohannadi, chairman, Qatar Tourism Authority about the long term strategy for tourism development, the role of local stakeholders like Qatar Airways and what Qatar can offer its guests as it strives to become a leading tourism destination. The chairman also gives his views on how the country aims to balance the influx of tourists with their traditional values and social norms.
Phil Blizzard talks here to Fredrik Reinisch who is the regional general manager for the Dubai based JA Resorts & Hotels about the practical aspects of managing their ever expanding portfolio of properties, including new ones in the Seychelles and the Maldives. He talks about the challenges faced, including managing properties which are several thousands of miles apart and how he feels about being part of the team which is starting the group’s international expansion.
The evolution of Jebel Ali International Hotels, over a 32 year period, and the rebranding of the group to JA Resorts & Hotels is the focus of this interview with David Thomson, chief operating office with the brand. Talking to Phil Blizzard the interview sets the scene of this Dubai based organisation by looking at the development of their flagship hotel at Jebel Ali and also the mountain retreat in Hatta. The duo move on to discuss how ‘new Dubai’ is playing an important role in the growth of the group. This part concludes with a look at the prospects for the future - in line with Dubai hosting Expo 2020.
David Thomson, chief operating officer at JA Resorts & Hotels, Dubai talks to Phil Blizzard on the recent move by the brand into the Indian Ocean with properties in the Seychelles and the Maldives. These high end luxury resorts are The Enchanted Island Resort, which is spread across up the entire Round Island located with-in the Marine Park, Seychelles and in the Northern Haa Alifu Atoll of the Maldives is the JA Manafaru resort. David also talks about the long term strategy for JA Resorts & Hotels as they fan out from their Dubai base into the Indian Ocean and beyond.
A proud Melanie Wood, director, Wood Design & Management here talks to Phil Blizzard at GIBTM about the award winning stand for the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority. The design has won the title of ‘Best of The Best’ at ITB Berlin for the past two years.
The promotion of 2014 F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix takes on a cinematic theme this year with the UAE’s award winning airline - Etihad - being the featured support artiste to the racing gladiators on the Yas Marina Circuit. Andrew Ward, vice president, marketing, Etihad Airways, here talks to Phil Blizzard about their role in this flagship event, the traffic they generate and the key source markets. He also talks about new routes coming on-line in 2014 and the delivery of their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner later in the year, along with their first Airbus A380.
The host hotel for the Grand Final of the World Travel Awards in 2013 here talks to Breaking Travel News about the importance of showcasing to the ‘Best of the Best’ of their MICE facilities and showcasing what they can provide to such prestigious events. Abbas Asfoor, banquet sales manager, La Cigale, Doha here highlights the importance of the MICE market in this interview with Phil Blizzard.
In this edition of Travel Talk Phil Blizzard meets Faisal Al Sheikh, director, events bureau, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, to talk about the concept of the new campaign ‘Abu Dhabi starring F1’, which is aimed at promoting the 2014 F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He also speaks about the importance of this flagship event to the tourism sector in the capital of the UAE.
Travel Talk’s Phil Blizzard here catches up with Al Tareq Al Ameri, chief executive of Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, to discuss the enhancements the destination are introducing for the 2014 F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He also talks about what it means to the UAE capital to, once again, host the final race on the calendar and about the possible impact of the newly introduced double points for that final race.
Here Hamad Mohammed Al Abdan, director of exhibitions, Qatar Tourism Authority talks to Phil Blizzard at GIBTM about the destination’s Tourism Masterplan and how the MICE sector plays an important part in these goals. Al Abdan also provides an overview of the lead up to the FIFA World Cup 2022.
In this edition of Travel Talk focus is on the MICE market in the Middle East with Phil Blizzard talking to Ali Abu Monassar, chairman of the Dubai-based destination management company The Vision Arabia. He talks about the state of the MICE sector post the global economic crisis, what the Middle East, and in particular the UAE, can offer to MICE guests and the resurgence of the countries involved in the Arab Spring.
New investment into the global cruise industry will see new builds taking to the seas – including Quantum of the Seas from Royal Caribbean – in quarter four of 2014. Deployment shifting will enable old favourites to boost capacity and new territories will open up fresh markets as Helen Beck, regional director, international representatives, EMEA, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises explains in this interview with Phil Blizzard.
At the Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum in Abu Dhabi Phil Blizzard talks to Hamad Mohammed Bin Mejren, executive director, business tourism, Dubai Cruise Terminal about their new facility which is scheduled to open in early 2014. He talks about the deployment of vessels in Dubai, the prospects for the cruise sector in the region, as well as the demands for a more unified visa/immigration service for passengers on cruises with multiple port visits.
Khalid Al Zadjali, director of tourism events, ministry of tourism, Oman talks to Phil Blizzard at the Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum, Abu Dhabi about their infra-structure development plans to assist both cruise operators and passengers. He also talks about the Sultanate’s three very distinctive ports of call - Khasab in the northern enclave of Musandam, the natural harbour in the capital Muscat and the fertile landscape of Salalah in the south of the country.
Major orders for the next generation Boeing 777X, the 787 Dreamliner and the narrow-bodied 737 have given the American aircraft manufacturer a spectacular start to the 13th Dubai Air Show. Phil Blizzard talks to Randy J Tinseth, vice president, marketing, commercial airplanes, Boeing about the orders and the appeal of the show’s star - the Boeing 777X. He also talks about the innovations passengers can expect with this next generation aircraft which is being developed around the hugely successful Boeing 777.
Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths talks to Phil Blizzard about the development plans for the newly opened Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central which could see passenger numbers topping 200 million per year. He also outlines the growth of Dubai International Airport which is seeing a 24 per cent increase in passenger numbers and being based in the centre of the city could soon run out of space.
Phil Blizzard meets up with Jean Francois Laurent, the general manager of Anantara’s first resort in Dubai, which is located on the iconic man made island - Palm Jumeirah. In this part of the interview Jean talks about his thirty year plus career in the hospitality industry which has taken him from Europe to the Indian Ocean and the Middle East, including a three year stint as general manager of the Royal Court in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.