In brief


Sharjah named best stand at BITE
THE emirate of Sharjah won the best stand design award among more than 800 participating stand at the Beijing International Tourism Expo.

Representatives of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) received the award. The award is considered to be among the most important and is based on various research and studies, and the opinion of the organising committee in coordination with the Chinese Tourism Authority.
The SCTDA aims to benefit from the huge potential of the Chinese market which exports more than 20 million tourists a year, a number which is forecasted to reach 100 million by 2020

Emquest signs new customers
EMQUEST, the rebranded travel services provider for the Emirates Group, has expanded its customer portfolio with the signing of several new agreements. Among its new clients are Automated Systems Company (ASC), Dubai Travel & Tourism Agents Group (DTTAG) and Indian travel agency Cox & Kings. These latest signings add to EmQuest’s new contracts with BCD Travel, Al Rais Travel and AIG Travel, which were also formalised recently.

New Yemen branch for Sabre
SABRE Travel Network Middle East opened its second branch in Aden. The company also celebrated its substantial growth in Yemen with a gala dinner attended by its Sana’a-based travel agency partners. Sabre’s market share in Yemen rocketed from 36 per cent to 50 per cent in 2006. The increase in just one year was made possible by the signing of Sabre’s largest ever deal in the country, a full exclusive agreement with Universal Travel and Tourism (UTT). This deal has now been renewed.
Another significant milestone for Sabre was the implementation of a DCA (direct connect availability) agreement for Yemenia, Yemen’s national air carrier.

New tourism standards for Bahrain
THE protection of local traditions and culture in Bahrain will be among the main objectives of the island’s new Sustainable Tourism Society. The body, which is in the process of being formed, hopes to encourage more women to take up jobs within the industry and promote responsible tourism among visitors and residents.

Amadeus adds 5000 new hotels
AMADEUS has added 5,000 more hotel properties to its distribution system since October last year. A global leader in technology and distribution solutions for the travel and tourism industry, Amadeus, will provide Gulf travel agents with access to 75,000 properties across the globe, said a company official. The company has also increased the number of small, independent and budget accommodation connected to its system by 38 per cent since last October, he said.