In Brief

A rendering of a new Banyan Tree set to open in Tuwaiq, Saudi Arabia

Banyan Tree Group on track to double

Banyan Tree Group, one of the world’s leading multi-brand hospitality groups, closed the 2022 fiscal year with a total of 63 properties across its global portfolio of 10 hospitality brands.

The addition of eight newly built or converted hotels in 2022 put the Singapore-based group well on track to double its footprint by 2025, consolidating and expanding its presence in 23 countries. Among the five new brands launched last year, Garrya is poised to overtake Banyan Tree as the Group’s fastest-growing brand.

“At the end of 2021, we stated an ambitious goal to double our global footprint, a target that we are well on track to achieving thanks to a combination of favourable market conditions amid resurgent tourism and our strong portfolio of brands that match consumer trends in destinations as diverse as China and Spain,” said Eddy See, President and Chief Executive Officer with Banyan Tree Group. “Our development pipeline to 2025 will deliver 50 new hotel openings or conversions, bringing the Group’s global portfolio to 113 hotels.”


RCU partners with GHM for The Chedi Hegra

Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has partnered with luxury hotel operator General Hotel Management (GHM) to develop The Chedi Hegra in the ancient Nabataean site in north-west Saudi Arabia.

Situated within the kingdom’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site and opening by Q4 2023, The Chedi Hegra will offer 35 bespoke guest rooms, each with its own distinct connection to the Hegra landscape, a breathtaking testimony of human expression within the natural environment.

RCU is building the hotel directly into several existing structures, including an old railway station and surrounding buildings, Hegra Fort, and others. Structural and exterior walls, some with historical mud-brick construction, are being preserved and integrated with modern architecture.

The vast majority of the UNESCO World Heritage Site will remain untouched by construction and carefully preserved by RCU to maintain the integrity of Hegra’s incredible human and natural heritage.


Slovakia seeks to attract GCC tourists

Slovakia is set to participate in the 30th edition of Arabian Travel Market 2023, taking place in Dubai from May 1 to 4 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The pearl of the Danube will be promoting castle stays, wellness tourism and a four-seasons climate to thousands of travel and media professionals from the Middle East and all over the world.

With hundreds of mighty castles, splendid villages and a unique culture that has no shortage of modern entertainment choices; Slovakia shines as a diverse jewel in the heart of Europe. The EU country enjoys a vibrant atmosphere, wonderful nature, and bustling UNESCO World Heritage sites making it an all-year-round destination.

Slovakia has a good air connectivity with several weekly direct flights from the Middle East and is also well-known for providing alternative travel options into neighbouring cities such as Vienna, Budapest and Krakow.


Madhya Pradesh to showcase diversity

At ATM Dubai 2023, the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh will showcase its immense diversity which includes rural and agri tourism projects, apart from wellness and spiritual tourism. The state has embraced Responsible Tourism as a mission with the aim of minimising the negative economic, environmental and social impact of tourism and providing enjoyable experiences for tourists through increased participation of local people. Rural tourism is one of the key projects under this mission and is being implemented in 100 villages of Madhya Pradesh.

In the state’s wilderness, peacocks wander wild through thick teak forests and tigers prowl through several of the country’s best wildlife sanctuaries. The state is home to 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the highest population of tigers in the sub-continent and abounds in locations of scenic, natural beauty. It is also known for an array of culinary delights that emanate from the kitchens of Bhopal, Gwalior and Indore and a range of art and craft which include the globally renowned handloom fabrics from Chanderi and Maheshwar.