In brief


CIBTM billed largest MICE event in China
THE third CIBTM has been declared as a major success as well as the largest meetings and incentives gathering in China.

The event, endorsed by the Beijing Tourism Authority, has revealed a preliminary attendance figure of 3,869 trade buyers and visitors including an attendance of 219 local, regional and international Hosted Buyers. Preliminary visitor attendance figures show an increase of 20 per cent compared to CIBTM 2006. A total of 255 exhibiting companies attended the event from across the globe.

WTA launches YouTube channel
THE World Travel Awards, the leading and largest accolade programme for the global tourism industry, has launched a Broadband Video channel on YouTube, the online video community.
The channel can be found at worldtravelawards. This is part of the continuing expansion of the accolade’s original coverage of the travel industry’s top players on television, internet and distribution platforms, including BBC World and other global networks.

Dubai gets souvenir gold coin
THE Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) recently showcased Dubai’s first souvenir gold coin in the Visions of Dubai series, to the city’s leading gold traders, bankers and other business leaders. The first coin features Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on one side, with the Burj Al Arab on the other. The coin is expected to be available in the market, from September. 

New regional airlines pick Galileo
Saudi Arabian Airlines, Air India and Yemenia are the newest airlines to implement e-ticketing via Galileo, a leading global distribution system (GDS) and subsidiary of Travelport.
Galileo-connected agents worldwide will now be able to transmit ticket information directly to the databases of the three airlines, enabling passengers to check in and board their flights without a paper ticket.
Net Group joins World of Incentives
Dubai-based Net Group has joined the World of Incentives, a network of 21 selected DMCs across the world. Incentive Productions Concepts, the specialized incentives company under the Net Group will be the DMC in the UAE, Oman and Qatar for the World of Incentives. WOI represents selected DMCs from across Europe.

Queen Victoria to call at Gulf ports
THE Cunard Line has announced that the Queen Victoria is to stop off at Dubai and Salalah during its first year of cruising. The 90,000-tonne Queen Victoria is the ship that will replace the Queen Elizabeth 2 and will arrive in the emirate on March 31 next year as part of a 106-day cruise.

Yemen seeks makeover
The government of Yemen has hired an outside public relations firm and ramped up security in a bid to revive its threatened tourism industry, after a bomb attack killed seven people at a popular tourist site last month, Gulf News reported. Tour operators say the attack at the Queen of Sheba Palace wiped out more than half of their July bookings. The government hopes to increase tourism’s contribution to GDP from two per cent now to 6.6 per cent in 2010.