In Brief

Equinox launches a 'one-stop shop
NEW travel management company Equinox Travel has begun operations, offering clients unparalleled expertise in music and entertainment travel. The Equinox brand is further boosted with the launch of sister company Equinox Charter.

Set up by former The Appointment Group (TAG) and ET Travel Ltd Directors Ian Patterson and Glen Duckworth, Equinox enables clients to streamline their travel booking process through its comprehensive travel services offering.

With combined travel experience of over 100 years, Equinox’s expert team specialise in delivering bespoke travel solutions and managing complex itineraries for bands and solo artists, agents, tour managers, film production companies and more.


MENA Leisure Report launched

AFTER 14 months of scrupulously planning and building its ground-breaking MENA Leisure Report, MENALAC successfully debuted the publication at a launch, virtual seminar, and an in-person networking event on October 20.

The hybrid event, physically hosted at the InterContinental Festival City as well as online, saw H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry unveil and launch the publication.

The first publication of its kind in the MENA region, the MENA Leisure Report provides enormous value to investors in the Leisure & Attractions industry.

In a nutshell, the publication is an extensive 400-page coffee table book, brimming with first-hand demographic, tourism, and leisure industry data for each country in the MENA region from Pakistan to Morocco.

With exclusive statistics about annual venue footfall to the average spend per person at Family Entertainment Centres and beyond, the MLR contains invaluable data that will help investors, developers and operators make informed business decisions, benchmark operations, and re-strategize.


Expat retirement visas could boost tourism

IT is estimated that there are currently over 35 million expatriate workers in the GCC countries and there could be a sizeable proportion of the white-collar community, that might want to retire in the GCC, even if it was only for a short period of time.

Providing expatriate workers, who qualify, with residence visas to stay beyond their working lives and the introductions of a series of other new visa options will be key for tourism and give a boost to attractions, activities, and entertainment venues. This will be one of the topics addressed at ARIVAL Dubai @ ATM (Arabian Travel Market), 2022, which takes place on May 8 -11.

“With the means and time on their hands, it would be natural, not only for these retirees to travel, but also to receive family and friends. Airlines, hotels, destinations and other entertainment venues, all benefit from this additional revenue stream which ordinarily might have been lost, had the retirees returned to their home countries,” said Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market.


Mideast tourism set to grow 27 per cent this year

NEW research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) reveals the Middle Eastern Travel & Tourism sector should grow by 27.1 per cent this year, slightly behind the global average of 30.7 per cent.

WTTC, which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, says slow vaccination rates in some countries, coupled with international restrictions in key source markets, have prevented people from travelling to the region, hindering the sector’s recovery in the Middle East.

Before the pandemic struck, the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector’s contribution to GDP represented $270 billion (8.9% of the total economy).

According to the research, at the current rate of recovery, the Middle East region will recover just over a quarter in 2021, following a drop of 51.1 per cent in 2020.

This growth, whilst slower than expected, is ahead of other major travel and tourism regions such as Europe and Latin America and represents a year-on-year increase of $36 billion to the region’s economy.