Volume 2  | Issue 1 | 2017
CEO'S MESSAGE

Dear Reader,

With 2016 coming to a close, though it was a challenging year, we continue to hold our leadership position in the market and we would like to thank all our customers for the confidence and trust in us. We will continue to innovate, improve and navigate ahead as we only believe in our team offering the best!

Thank you for believing in us and we remain committed to corporate excellence.

Here's wishing you a glorious 2017! 

Sunil Prabhakar
Chief Executive Officer
Travel Consortium
DESTINATION CAIRO
COOL & CALM.

Cairo is cool, calm, collected and the best place to visit this winter season! Soak in the delights of Giza and go shopping in Cairo's markets. Make the most of your time and don't forget to check out the Nile River while you're there!  
TRAVEL CONSORTIUM NEWS
TRAVEL CITY SALALAH WINS BRONZE FOR SALES CONTRIBUTION FOR QATAR AIRWAYS

Travel City LLC recently won the bronze award for outstanding sales contribution from Qatar Airways for the year 2016. We are delighted to have been conferred with this award and look forward to providing our services and maintaining the highest standards of excellence. 
US-BANGLA COMMENCES DAILY FLIGHT FROM MUSCAT AND STARTS OPERATIONS TO KATHMANDU AND KOLKATA

Starting from December 18, 2016, US-Bangla Airlines has officially started daily flights from Muscat to Dhaka via Chittagong. The airline has started operations in order to connect Muscat and Bangladesh with affordable rates and excellent service. For limited seats only, US-Bangla offers OMR 48.000 for one way fares to Dhaka and Chittagong and OMR 93.000 for return fares. Moreover, US-Bangla will commence daily flights to Dhaka and Chittagong starting January 14, 2017.

US-Bangla Airlines is flying from Muscat to Kathmandu with one way fares starting from OMR 85.000 and return fares starting from OMR 130.000. In addition, US-Bangla is also flying to Kolkata with one way fares starting from OMR 75.000 and return fares starting from OMR 125.000. For reservations, contact the US-Bangla office in Hamriya Square, Ruwi at +968 24830724 or +968 99364919 or email at sales@us-banglaairlinesom.com.
PAKISTAN INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES (PIA) STARTS SALALAH-LAHORE OPERATION

Salalah Airport last week received the first Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) direct flight from Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore. It is a twice-weekly service will be operated by Airbus A320 which accommodates 150 passengers in economy class and 8 passengers in first class.

Salim bin Awadh al Yafei, General Manager, Salalah Airport said, "We are pleased to welcome the first direct flight connecting Salalah with Lahore in Pakistan. This step enhances the presence of the airport internationally, and makes travel convenient for the 70,000 Pakistani residents in Salalah. Additionally, it contributes in boosting tourism sector by providing direct access to Salalah for visitors from Pakistan without the need to stop at Muscat airport."
VACATIONS - A DIVISION OF TRAVEL POINT
WE'VE GOT THE PERFECT HOLIDAY PACKAGE FOR YOU!

Our outbound division is geared up for the winter season with celebrity cruises, extensive group departures and Christmas packages just for you! Call us on +968 24661800, email us at vacations@travelcity-oman.com or find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat @travelpointoman to learn more about our offers and bookings.  
TOUR OMAN - A DIVISION OF TRAVEL POINT
TOUR OMAN SUCCESSFULLY HANDLES TWO MORE DESTINATION WEDDINGS

Tour Oman successfully completed a destination wedding from the 16th to 19th of December, 2016 and December 22, 2016. The couples were married in the midst of joy and fanfare with 200 family members and loved ones at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa and Al Falaj Hotel. The second destination wedding was held at Grand Hyatt. They were joined by family from India, Pakistan, London and Muscat amongst other cities around the world. 
AL EMAN - A DIVISION OF TRAVEL POINT
UMRAH PACKAGES FOR YOU!

Our exclusive pilgrimage tours division Al Eman is now offering Umrah packages. Call us on +968 24661800, email us at aleman@travelcity-oman.com and find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat @travelpointoman to avail our offers. Visit www.askvacations.com for more!
ARABIA CARS - A DIVISION OF TRAVEL POINT
NEED A RENT-A-CAR?

Our rent-a-car services are available in Muscat, Salalah and Nizwa. Call us at +968 24661877 or email us at arabiacars@travelcity-oman.com to book a car now! 
INDUSTRY NEWS
OMAN HOSTS 19TH ARAB MINISTERIAL TOURISM COUNCIL

The Arab Ministerial Tourism Council met from the December 13-15, 2016, at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel in Muscat. Attendees included Ministers from the Arab countries, members of World Tourism Organisation as well as representatives from the Arab Center for Tourist Media. The council met to discuss ways to develop the tourism industry in the Arab World. This meeting was preceded by the Executive Office Meeting for the Arab Ministerial Tourism Council, which is entrusted to follow up and study the recommendations made by the Council.

In his opening statement, His Excellency Ahmed Bin Nasser Al Mahrizi said, "This meeting will foster cooperation between the countries of the Arab world, and help boost the growth of the tourism sector. We are proud that the Sultanate of Oman is hosting such an important and impactful meeting."His Excellency also added that the meeting coincides with the 46th National Day celebrations of the Sultanate, marking the achievements that the people of this country and His Majesty Sultan Qaboos continue to make.

Dr Dina Hussain Dhaher, Director of the department of Transport and Tourism at the General Secretariat of the Arab League of States thanked the Sultanate for its efforts in ensuring the success of the 19th edition of the Arab Ministerial Tourism Council, and that she looks forward to seeing the results of the meeting.

Among the many issues, the Council addressed the development and implementation of the Arab Tourism Strategy as well as the tourism activities that drive the youth, as this is one of the most important tourism segments in the region. The Council also discussed initiatives that will generate tourism-related statistics from different hotels and feed the development of future strategies.
OMAN POPULATION SURGES IN 2016
3 BUDGET HOTELS SET TO OPEN IN OMAN IN 2017

In a bid to boost Omani tourism, three new budget hotels will open in Muscat during the first quarter of 2017, officials at the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) announced on Wednesday.

Recently, the Ministry of Tourism announced three more hotels would be opening in Oman in 2017.

Oman is looking at a growth in tourism of 8 to 12 per cent per year.

OMAN TOUTED AS POTENTIAL HALAL TOURISM HOTSPOT

Oman is a potential halal tourism hotspot, and now is the time to tap into the market, experts believe.

Having recently laid out its Tourism Vision 2040, Oman plans to attract more than five million international visitors annually by 2040, double the figure of 2.5 million in 2015, which would contribute to 6 per cent of the GDP, compared to the current 3 per cent There is little over-optimism about such expectations, considering Lonely Planet has ranked Oman eighth in the world in places to visit in 2017.

Although it included little mention of halal tourism, Oman is certainly an ideal destination for halal tourism markets.

According to a report by Thomson Reuters, halal tourism represents 11.6 percent of global travel expenditures, excluding pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina, and is expected to be worth a staggering $238 billion by 2019.

Halal tourism is a sub category of tourism which is directed towards Muslim populations that are considering travel, while adhering to Islamic rules.

This includes hotels that do not serve alcohol, have separate swimming pools and spa facilities for men and women, and broadcast religious programmes as part of their entertainment programmes.

NUMBER OF TOURISTS TO OMAN INCREASES

Tourists increased in numbers as about 2.5 million touched down from the beginning of 2016 until October compared to 2.2 million during the same period last year, according to the latest data.

The National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI) reports that 1,248,387 of the total are from other Gulf Cooperation Council States followed by Indians with 244,292 and British nationals with 133,706. Germans came fourth with 98,061 registered visitors while Filipinos registered 93,970 visitors.

One hundred and fourty-four thousand people also visited the country via cruise ships ranking Germans, Britons, Italians, Spanish and Americans as the top five tourists, according to NCSI.

The data also shows that over 4.9 million people departed the Sultanate until October 2016.

In October alone, there has been a 10.7 per cent decrease where 192,000 visitors touched down compared to 215,000 of the same month last year.

Gulf national reached 74,000 visitors forming 38.3 per cent of the total in October. Indians, Britons, Filipinos followed with 11.2 percent, 7.2 percent and 5.1 percent of the total respectively.

Hotel revenues was recorded at OMR16.7million in October 2016 which is a 10.5 per cent decrease compared to OMR18.7 million last year. 141,045 guests stayed in 3-5 star hotels compared to 122,186 in October 2015 which is a 15.4 percent increase. The occupancy rate reached 63.5 perc ent during October 2016 compared to 63.9 per cent during the same month in 2015 registering a 0.7 percent decrease. Europeans made the top of the list with 61,966 guests accommodated in Oman's hotels followed by Omanis with 40,068 and Asians with 12,529.

OMAN AIR TO START OPERATIONS TO NAIROBI, KENYA AND MANCHESTER

Starting from March 27, 2017, Oman Air will fly to Nairobi, Kenya 4 times a week and beginning May 1, 2017, Oman Air will fly to Manchester daily.  Book your tickets with Travel City LLC in Muscat or at any of our branches nationwide across Oman. 
EMIRATES TO FLY TO CASABLANCA

Emirates, voted the World's Best Airline in the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards, will operate the first ever commercial Airbus A380 flight to Morocco and North Africa, when it takes the iconic double decker aircraft to Casablanca on March 26, 2017.
 
The airline's flagship aircraft, which continues to excite travellers and aviation enthusiasts alike, will replace the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft currently used on the Dubai-Casablanca route, offering increased seat capacity across all three cabin classes and an enhanced premium product experience.
 
The switch to the A380 offers a total of 1834 additional seats per week, meeting a growing demand from travellers on the route, with 14 private suites in First Class, 76 lie flat seats in Business Class and 401 seats in spacious Economy Class cabin.
 
Passengers travelling on the three-class, 491-seat aircraft, will enjoy spacious cabins and experience a peaceful journey in the world's quietest long-range jet. They can use the onboard Wi-Fi; indulge in food prepared by international chefs, and be entertained by Emirates' award-winning ice system which offers over 2,500 channels of inflight entertainment across all cabins.
 
Casablanca has become one Emirates' most popular destinations, which has seen steady growth since being launched in March 2002.  In 2015 alone, Emirates carried nearly 260,000 passengers and more than 10,000 tonnes of cargo, stimulating business and leisure travel between Casablanca and Dubai.
BOEING DELIVER 500TH 787 DREAMLINER

Boeing has delivered the 500th 787 Dreamliner, a 787-8 to Avianca, the national airline of Colombia, marking another milestone in the company's history.

 "Achieving 500 deliveries - the fastest to 500 for twin aisles - is a great accomplishment, made possible by the hard work and dedication of our employees and global suppliers," said Mark Jenks, Vice President and General Manager, 787 Programme, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Since entering service in 2011, the 787 Dreamliner fleet has grown to include 48 operators, who have collectively flown 696,000 revenue flights, carrying 133 million passengers over 1.7 billion revenue miles.

The 787 family is flying more than 530 routes, with customers opening more than 120 new nonstop routes around the world.

QATAR AIRWAYS ANNOUNCES NEW DESTINATIONS FOR 2017-2018

Qatar Airways has announced eight more destinations for 2017-18, in addition to seven previously announced new cities for a total of 15 new gateways. Joining the Qatar Airways' route network, which spans more than 150 destinations on six continents around the world, are: Canberra, the airline's fifth destination in Australia; Dublin, Ireland; Las Vegas, the airline's 11th destination in the United States; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Medan, Kualanamu International Airport, the airline's third destination in Indonesia; and Tabuk and Yanbu, the 9th and 10th destinations in Saudi Arabia.

These newly-announced destinations join the already-announced list of new destinations to start in 2017: Auckland, New Zealand will start 5 February 2017, and will be the world's longest commercial flight; Sarajevo, Bosnia; Skopje, Macedonia; Libreville, Gabon; Nice, France; Chiang Mai, the airline's fourth destination in Thailand; and Douala, Cameroon.
Qatar Airways' eight new destinations include:
  • Canberra, Australia
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Las Vegas, United States
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Santiago, Chile
  • Medan, Indonesia
  • Tabuk, Saudi Arabia
  • Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
SRILANKAN AIRLINES OFFERS SPECIAL EXCESS BAGGAGE TO COLOMBO

SriLankan Airlines is now offering excess baggage to Colombo at OMR 27.100 for 10 kgs. The offer is valid until March 31, 2017. Avail this exclusive offer from the city office of SriLankan Airlines today!
THAILAND WAVES OFF TOURIST FEE

By the Order of the Ministry of Interior dated November 30 B.E. 2559 (2016), starting from December 1, 2016 until February 28, 2017, Thailand will launch a temporary tourist visa fee exemption scheme and a temporary Visa on Arrival (VoA) fee reduction scheme. All applicants applying for Tourist Visa (single entry) to Thailand during the aforementioned period will be exempted from the visa fee and Visa on Arrival (VoA) fee will be decreased from THB 2,000 to THB 1,000 for applicants of the nationalities which are entitled to apply for the VoA at the designated immigration checkpoints.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
UMM ALI

Prep Time: 10 min |  Cook Time: 20 min |  Ready In: 40 min

Ingredients:
1 packet Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed
5 cups Milk
1 cup White Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¼ Raisins
¼ cup Slivered Almonds
¼ cup Pine Nuts
¼ chopped Pistachio Nuts
¼ cup Sweetened, Flaked Coconut

Method:
(1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Unroll the puff pastry sheets, and place flat on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until puffed and golden brown.
(2) Break the puff pastry into pieces, and place in a large bowl. Add the raisins, almonds, pine nuts, pistachios, and coconut, and toss to distribute. Pour into a 9x13 inch glass baking dish, and spread evenly.
(3) Pour the milk into a saucepan, and stir in the sugar and vanilla. Heat until hot but not quite boiling. Pour over the mixture in the baking dish.
(4) Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Turn the oven to broil, and broil for 2 minutes to brown the top. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Travel City LLC - Travel Point LLC - Al Araimi Travel & Cargo LLC
Toll Free Agent: +968 9286 0928

Head Office
1st Floor | Al Safa House | CBD
PO Box 1694, PC 114, Muttrah
Sultanate of Oman
Phone: +968 2476 0800

Vacations - A division of Travel Point
(Outbound)
Phone: +968 2466 1800
Email: vacations@travelcit y-oman.com
Tour Oman - A division of Travel Point
(Inbound)
Phone: +968 2466 1800
Email: info@tour-oman.com 

Arabia Cars - A division of Travel Point
(Rent-a-Car)
Phone: +968 2466 1877
Email: arabiacars@travelcity-oman.com

Al Eman - A division of Travel Point
(Hajj & Umrah)
Phone: +968 2466 1800
Email: aleman@travelcity-oman.com

MediCare - A division of Travel Point
(Medical Tourism)
Phone: +968 2466 1877
Email: medicare@travelcity-oman.com

India Representation
(Tour Oman)
New Delhi
Phone: +91 9971 5645 51
Email: india@tour-oman.com

India Representation
(Tour Oman)
Mumbai
Phone: +91 22 2660 3222
Email: india@tour-oman.com
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