Volume 2  | Issue 9 | 2017

Dear Reader,
It's the time to celebrate!

On behalf of the Management and Team at Travel Point LLC, I would like to wish you Eid Mubarak!
I convey our best wishes to all our patrons and customers. May Allah Almighty shower his choicest blessings upon you and your loved ones, and may he grant all the highest level of happiness and joy, to you and your family. I hope you have enjoyed this festive season and the holiday with your loved ones!

We had a rush of travel bookings this season and it is wonderful to see so many of our Omani customers travelling with family and friends to explore and visit the most beautiful places in the world! The past month has been one of many fruitful achievements. Kudos to the team that has toiled behind these winnings!

I am proud to announce that Travel Point LLC, has been appointed as the Authorized Sales Sub-agent of Dadabhai Travel appointed as Executive Sales Agent of MATCH Hospitality in the Sultanate of Oman for the sale of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Official Hospitality Program. So, if you're a football fan and look forward towards watching the most awaited sporting event in the world LIVE IN MOSCOW next year, we have the finest customized hospitality packages for you. Get in touch, before they sell out!

We were fortunate to have the opportunity of handling the Sultan Qaboos University Student Group Trip 2017 to England and Scotland for 2 groups of 45 Girls and 45 Boys. I must mention, that it is overwhelming to see so many Omani Youth working hard and earning merit in their studies to build a brighter future for themselves and for Oman. The University's gesture to take them to the finest Universities and Landmarks on a visit in the United Kingdom to urge them to pursue higher education, is a definite sign of immense potential, knowledge and innovation that our youth will bring to Oman through education abroad. Hats off to our team, who pulled off the arrangements for the trip!

We have sent successful chartered Hajj Flights this season and we are happy to have been able to render our service to those Muslim brethren performing their Hajj rituals, this year. We are grateful to Qatar Tourism Authority for partnering with us in Oman, to boost the news of the fantastic Qatar Summer Festival 2017 (QSF) that is being held from June 25 to September 5, in Qatar. Qatar is indeed full of surprises for young and the old, for youth and for families. Come find out more!

As a part of a self-development activity we encouraged our staff to attend a session with the Toastmasters Club, which is an initiative by our parent company, Al Siraj Holdings LLC. We thank our Board of Directors for this gesture. 

I am happy to inform you that the T3 Connect Team - a Staff Training and Enhancement Programme organized by the team members of Travel Point, has kickstarted with a plethora of interesting activities to keep the energy and enthusiasm in the office going. It is indeed, a joy to see the teams participate and interact with each other and build better rapports with their colleagues. I thank the team behind the scene!

The Tourism Season for Oman is here. After a happy Khareef season, we are geared up to welcome tourists from various parts of the world into Oman. In addition to Destination Weddings, we have bagged two big conferences for the coming year and we are looking forward to making the announcements soon!

Winter is almost here, enjoy the sun, while it lasts!

Stay healthy and Travel more.

Sunil Prabhakar
Chief Executive Officer
Travel Consortium

A land of wood and water, proud, independent Lithuania (Lietuva) is fast being recognized as one of Europe's gems. Located at the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, it's a pocket-sized republic that's a nature-lover's delight, yet lacks nothing in urban excitement. The temperatures during summers are 20 °C  during the day and 14 °C at night. The capital, Vilnius, is a beguiling artists' enclave, its timeworn courtyards, cobbled streets and baroque churches animated by the vibrant, optimistic culture of today. Lithuania also has Gothic, Renaissance and baroque architecture, and 18th-century cathedral built on a pagan temple site. Hilltop Gediminas' Tower, a symbol of the city and the nation, offers sweeping views. People of Lithuania love basketball, do attend a game while you're here.

Travel Point LLC has been appointed the Exclusive Sales Sub-Agent in Sultanate of Oman for the sale of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Official Hospitality Program. Exclusively offered by Travel Point in Oman, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Official Hospitality Packages have been designed to include a spectrum of privileges and is a perfect way to entertain corporate and private guests in 2018. The Official Hospitality Packages include MATCH Club which offers the full ardent fan experience, while MATCH Pavilion and MATCH Business Seat allow visitors to network and entertain in comfort and style. The Tsarsky Lounge and MATCH Private Suite are the premier hospitality packages being offered and will provide the most discerning fans with the highest levels of refined hospitality to make their 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ experience an unforgettable one. Unlike normal match tickets which are lottery based, the ticket-inclusive Official Hospitality Packages are confirmed allocations for your preferred games. In addition to the FIFA Match Hospitality packages, Travel Point will also include special accommodation offers, transportation and tour packages, and specially negotiated rates on flights with multiple carriers, destination management services to facilitate comfortable travel across Russia. Russia, being one of the most breath-taking countries in the world, will offer Visa on Arrival to all guests who own an Official Ticket-Inclusive Hospitality Package, and this, therefore, is not a chance to be wasted! Call us on +968 99802203 for more information and bookings. 

Sixt Rent a Car, commenced operations at their Muscat International Airport Office on Wednesday, 30th August 2017 with a ceremonial flag-off ceremony that was carried out by a Mr. Bader Mohammed Rashid Al Fannah Al Araimi, Member of the Board of Directors for Travel Point LLC. The occasion was blessed by Sheikh Dr. Salim Saeed Hamed Al Fannah Al Araimi, Chairman and Mrs. Budoor Mohamed Rashid Al Fannah Al Araimi, Managing Director of the Travel Group. With this soft launch, Arabia Cars, the car rental division of Travel Point LLC will now operate as Sixt Oman, to support and partner with the international expansion strategy of Sixt.  

The Head Office will be located at Al Said Plaza, Qurm with branches at Muscat International Airport, Salalah, Nizwa and Duqm in phase 1, extending further to all 44 Travel Point outlets across Oman. Customers can choose from a premium fleet of Sedan, SUVs, AWDs and 4WDs. The Sixt rent a car office at the Muscat International Airport can be contacted 24x7 on +968 24512498 and on +968 98082787 for all bookings.  

To develop the product knowledge of Sales Consultants across the Travel Trade, Air France KLM initiated the Online Quiz Contest - Enter & Win Initiative, which is a real-time quiz contest played by each sales consultant in the comfort of their respective office chairs. The faster you answer, the higher you score! The first event received great response and Travel Agents in Oman can look out for more surprises coming soon! 

With the new codeshare agreement, you can now travel on Oman Air from Muscat via Kuala Lumpur on Malindo Air to several Domestic cities within Malaysia as well as to many international destinations at attractive prices! Book your trip with Malindo Air and experience the joy of flying at some of the most attractive fares! For more information, contact us at +968 99319410 or write to us at malindoairoman@atctp.com.

Pakistan International Airline invited the travel and trade and key clients, to get together for an Independence Day celebration to mark 70 years of Independence of Pakistan, this year. Pakistan International Airlines Oman had held a cake cutting ceremony at their City Office in Ruwi. It was a joy to see the unity and brotherhood among various nationalities present at the occasion. 

US-Bangla Airlines Winter Schedule will be effective 29th October till 24th March, 2018. The Winter schedule applies to destinations like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Chittagong. For more information, call the US-Bangla Airlines office at +968 24830724 or email them at sales@usbanglaairlinesom.com or reservations@usbanglaairlinesom.com.

Travel Point LLC was the ground handler for the Sultan Qaboos University Students Group Tour 2017. A group of 45 Boys and 45 Girls travelled to England and Scotland between August 12 and August 21, and explored the best universities and landmarks of England and Scotland to understand the living and learning culture of United Kingdom. The University chose these students based on their merit to encourage them to pursue further educational courses there and build their career. The trip was entirely sponsored by the University and encompassed an itinerary that was carefully tailor-made to suit the end purpose of enhancing the knowledge and passion for education of these students. These ambitious students explored some of the most interesting elements of London and Scotland over these days, as well as dined with the Ambassador of Oman to the United Kingdom.

This summer season, picture yourself being sent into raptures by an unobstructed view of the deep blue sky and serene sea water from every single room. Wadi Shab Resort has introduced the 'End of Summer Deals' for guests to enjoy the serenity of Oman's picturesque getaway, where the mountains meet the sea. Call +968 24757667 or +968 95878254 for more details. Plan a weekend escape may be? 

Al Siraj Holdings LLC, one of the parent companies of Travel Point LLC, has started a Toastmasters group that is still in its fledgling stage. They convene every alternate Wednesday, at the Oman Medical College in Baushar. The Travel Point team was inducted and a few from the team were nominated to partake in the club meetings, on a journey of self-development through Toastmasters. 

We had launched the #TRAVELPOINTBOXOFHOPE2017 during Ramadan this year, and with its resounding success, continued it to a second leg which also received tremendous response from both employees and customers. We placed the Box of Hope at the Qurum Office, and collected a significant amount of donation packages, just in time for Eid Al Adha, containing food, clothes and other household items. They have beensent to Yemen through the Al Rahma Charity Organization, who distributed this to the less fortunate there. We have more such 'Box of Hope' Initiatives coming up this year. Stay tuned and join us in this cause to reach out to humanity!

Thomas Cook India Ltd has launched the Exotic Journeys package to Georgia, Uganda, Azerbaijan and Jordan with Thomas Cook. These Group Tours that are handled successfully globally are the easiest options for those who are on a budget, lack time and want the plan to be made by someone else for them, hassle-free! Contact us at +968 24661800 for more!

Exploring the world can never be a challenge with us. Walk into our offices, book your dream holiday and pay in easy 0% interest monthly installments. We have partnered with most of Oman's leading banks. Come on already, life is too short to wait!

Visit our Qurm branch to know more details or call on +968 98080754.

Medicare Tourism, our medical and wellness division is now the representative of FAI (Flight Ambulance Jet) in Oman. Representing this German Air Ambulance Service provider that offers impeccable Bed to Bed transportation service, makes Travel Point the only company in Oman to provide this service for those in critical health conditions, seeking an airlift for immediate treatment at international hospitals with impeccable timing are care. Operating from Oman to anywhere in the world, the FAI service has no restrictions; flying adults, infants and newborns as well. It is a 24 hour service provider with a highly qualified and multilingual medical team onboard to cater to the medical needs of the patient on board.
When in need of such emergencies, feel free to call us on +968 99232577 or email us at medicare@atctp.com.

Spend six days of summer in luxury in Oman. The packages start from OMR 125, which includes  stay in 5 star hotels both in Muscat and in Salalah, return tickets, Oman visit visa, tour guide for sightseeing, daily breakfast and much more. To get more details about the packages, contact us at +968 98080754 or email us at touroman@atctp.com.

If you are a thrill seeker, then get your adrenaline pumping at Millennium Resort Mussanah. Go ahead and try Oman's first zip line facility and enjoy the 175m long, dual zip line managed by the team that is trained and fully certified to highest international standards by Arrampica - a UK-based and internationally renowned artificial adventure support service provider. It's always the right time to do something you've never done before! 

Broad-based appeal and a growing reputation as an attractive destination for key markets suggest Oman could comfortably meet its long-term targets for the tourism industry, which include increasing visitor numbers to 11.7m by 2040.

While the sultanate's popularity is growing, data shows a marked rise in interest among visitors from Germany. The country has leapfrogged the UK and the Philippines to become Oman's third-largest tourism source market, behind the GCC and India, according to figures from the National Centre for Statistics and Information. Arrivals from Germany reached 98,470 in the first four months of 2017, up from between 42,000 and 45,000 in the same period last year. 

Growth so far this year comes on the back of rapid expansion in the wider tourism industry in recent years. There are signs the country's National Tourism Strategy (NTS), launched in June 2016, is beginning to further boost results. The government has pledged to invest OR20bn ($51.9bn) in the industry as part of the initiative, which aims create more than 500,000 jobs. 
The strategy's objectives include targeting 11.7m international and domestic tourists by 2040, with 5m sourced from overseas, although given current growth trajectories, these numbers may prove to be conservative. International visitors totalled 3m in 2016, up from 2.47m the previous year, according to media reports, marking a rise of 21%. Arrivals had already reached 1.3m in the first four months of 2017, putting the country on target to achieve a full-year total of almost 4m.

The increase in visitor numbers can be attributed to a number of factors, including the long-term brand development strategy developed by the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), regional geo-political factors and global trends in luxury tourism.
In 2010, the sultanate launched its first global branding campaign under the tagline "Beauty has an address - Oman",  and has since continued to invest in marketing the country as a premium destination.

An emphasis on quality and authenticity dovetails with global trends in luxury travel. According to Euromonitor International's "Global Luxury Travel Trends Report" for 2017, "... conspicuous consumption is giving way to conscientious consumption and more meaningful and 'authentic' luxury travel experiences."

To maintain momentum in the sector, later in 2017 the MoT is expected to roll out a digital marketing campaign targeting several markets, including Europe, China and India. 
The country also plans to build on its reputation as a provider of conscientious luxury by promoting responsible tourism through the development of green lodges and heritage homes. Its efforts in digital marketing were acknowledged in April when the MoT won the regional "Best Usage of Social Media" award at the Arab Travel Market Expo 2017, which took place in Dubai.

India's Embassy in Muscat has issued more than 49,000 visas to Omanis, including 31,900 tourist visas so far this year, a senior official revealed.

In 2016, the Embassy of India in Muscat issued more than 95,000 visas. The figures were released during the "Know India Seminar," which was organised by the Embassy of India in Muscat in association with India Tourism, Dubai.

n recent times, India has also emerged as a preferred destination for medical and wellness tourism, with numerous Omanis choosing India for their medical treatment at various state-of-the-art hospitals. "People travel to India for medical treatment because India has excellent health care facilities. Indian doctors are well-known for their competence and experience and the cost of medical treatment in India is much lower when compared with other countries," an embassy official said.

With a view to further streamline and rationalise the existing visa fee regime, the Government of India has introduced various changes in the existing visa fee structure for foreign visitors travelling to India, including for Omanis.

In order to increase the number of medical tourists to India and to project India as a preferred medical destination due to its world-class medical facilities, the Government has reduced medical visa fee, compared with the Tourist Visa fee.

From April 1 this year, Medical Visa applicants have to pay OMR 30.900 for a visa valid up to six months and OMR 46.300 for a visa valid for up to a year.

India has registered a growth of over 15 per cent in foreign tourist arrivals from January to July this year, with many opting for e-visa facility, the tourism ministry said in a statement. The highest number of tourists arrived from Bangladesh (20.12 per cent), followed by the US (16.26 per cent), the UK (10.88 per cent) and France (3.01 per cent), said the statement which was released on Wednesday. Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) from January to July, 2017, were 567.4 million, recording a growth of 15.7 per cent as compared to 49.03 lakh in the corresponding period last year, it said. A total of 7.88 lakh foreign tourists arrived in India in July, an increase of 7.4 per cent as compared to the same month last year, it said.

Qatar's Ministry of Interior (MoI), Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar Airways has announced that Qatar will allow visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries, with immediate effect. Citizens of those countries wishing to visit Qatar will no longer need to apply or pay for a visa; instead, a multi-entry waiver will be issued free-of-charge at the port of entry, upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket. Depending on the nationality of the visitor, the waiver will either be valid for 180 days, from the date of issue, and allow the visitor to spend a total of 90 days in Qatar (multiple-entry waiver); or it will be valid for 30 days from the date of issue and entitle the visitor to spend up to 30 days in Qatar with the possibility of applying for an extension of the waiver for an additional 30 days (multiple-entry waiver).

Rates at hotels and resorts across Dubai continue to fall, as more rooms come on stream and put pressure on hoteliers.

Initial data released by hotel industry research firm STR showed that room prices in the emirate have gotten even more affordable in the summer, costing an average Dh471.25 per night in July, down by 11.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The decline is mainly due to the room inventory growing faster than guest numbers. "Dubai's hotel performance continues to be affected by supply expansion," STR said in a statement.
While demand increased by 1.8 per cent in July, room supply went up by 5.6 per cent, leaving plenty of accommodations empty and revenues falling.

Hotel occupancy rates across Dubai averaged at 65.7 per cent, falling by 3.6 per cent compared to a year earlier. As a result, the revenue per available room dropped by 14.7 per cent to Dh309.76

STR analysts, however, pointed out that July performance was also affected by the Ramadan calendar shift, with the Eid al-Fitr holiday falling in late June this year versus early July last year .

"However, Dubai did not experience as severe downturn as several other Middle Eastern markets during this year's Ramadan period," STR said.

Travelport partners with Groundspan to introduce the fully integrated ground transportation solution, Travelport Drive Me. Designed to be the fastest and the most efficient way to book ground transportation services, Drive Me revolutionises car bookings to deliver a seamless experience to travellers. It provides options for travellers who desire a high-quality, personalised and reliable car transfer service experience across their journey. Powered by Groundspan's global network of over 5,000 car service providers with professional drivers, Travelport Drive Me enables Travelport Smartpoint connected travel agents to seamlessly manage ground transportation, just as they book flights, hotel accommodation or car rentals.

Turkish Airlines added Phuket as the 300th destination in their global network. Direct flights from Istanbul to Phuket will be operated four times a week, on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. With Turkish Airlines launching flights to Phuket, Turkish Cargo has also launched freighter flights to the island.

Book your tickets on Economy Class while flying with Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi and you will enjoy a free one-night stay in a Yas Island hotel with breakfast, when you stopover in Abu Dhabi. Offer ends 15 September 2017 for travel until 30 September 2017.

Effective 1 August 2017, the Emirates checked baggage allowance for customers traveling in Economy class to and from Brazil will be reduced to 2 Pieces at 23 kg each, to align with free baggage allowance like that of USA/Canada. If customer originates journey from any Emirates destination or interline point via Brazil, the baggage allowance will be 2PC/23Kg. There are no changes to free baggage allowance for First/Business class customers. In case of e-ticket re-issuance, customer will be provided baggage allowance as per the original e-ticket.

We are happy to inform you that T3 Connect - a Staff Training and Enhancement Programme organized by the team members of Travel Point, has kickstarted in July. In addition to a real-time fun online quiz for staff every week, the T3 Connect Team carried out a Quiz Contest for teams of two persons each, to keep the energy and enthusiasm in the office going. The participation has been resounding!
A wonderful T3connect 'All about Oman' themed event was organized to celebrate the festivities of Eid Al Adha in the office. Conducted in Arabic, it brought out the voice in the otherwise unheard.

An enthusiastic and exciting afternoon, it all kicked off in the company of all our colleagues from various outlets.  The quiz on Oman started with nine teams; 18 contestants. Some shy, some gung ho and some beautifully attired in the lovely colourful Omani look, skilfully managed by an equally lovely quiz master Sara Chortani. You had to be there to feel the excitement!  
Congratulations to all the participants in the quiz and to our ultimate winners, Sulaiman Al Sulaimi & Yahya Al Waheedi from Arabia Cars, now Sixt Oman. The National Dress competition was a close call with the ultimate winner Sara Chortani being selected by the judge, one of our longest serving employees Mr. Khalfan, while Samir Al Zadjali walked away with the first place in the men's competition. Well done to all of them. A thank you message from the CEO emphasised that T3connect is very much about the people who are the engineers of the company. The afternoon finally wound down with an enjoyable lunch and some bonding time with one another. And after that it was business as usual, but with a feeling of being a part of something special hanging in the air. Like they say, it's always good to stay connected.

Our team member Mr. Jamil Al Balushi, Manager - Government Sales, took a trip to Doha, and returned absolutely refreshed with fascinating insights into the history of this amazing city.

To him it was an enchanting experience as he enjoyed a relaxing city tour, taking in all the major sights of Doha. Qatar is a festival city and will never fail to surprise you. Qatar, is a land rooted in ancient cultures, authentic soul, where past learning informs contemporary vision. Doha, the capital of the peninsular Arabian Gulf country Qatar, is a modern city on Doha Bay. Ringing its downtown waterfront are numerous parks and the Corniche Promenade. On a man-made island, the I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Art houses an extensive collection from across the Muslim world. At Souq Waqif, a traditional market, vendors offer goods like clothing, crafts and spices. He visited the Msheireb Enrichment Centre on the Corniche for a fascinating insight into Qatar's past, present and future development - a great introduction to the country's culture and heritage. He was absolutely delighted as he had his leisurely lunch by the marina on The Pearl-Qatar. The Dhow Cruise on Doha Bay with panoramic views of the Corniche and spectacular high-rise towers was a marvel. He experienced the atmospheric and lively street life at Souq Waqif, picked up some bargain souvenirs, then relaxed over a memorable Middle Eastern dining experience at one of the area's many restaurants. The next day was an unforgettable visit to the Camel Races at Al Shahaniya, 20 kilometres west of the capital, then onward to the Zikrit Peninsula, with its unspoiled beaches and spectacular wind-carved rock formations. He ended the day unwinding at one of Doha's Luxury Spas and spent the evening at the Katara Cultural Village, and indulged in the sights, entertainment and cultural offerings, with a delicious dinner of Arabic delicacies. His next day was a visit to the Doha Golf Club, home of the European PGA Qatar Masters tournament.

He then splurged on some luxury tags at Doha's massive Shopping Malls. A trip to the Desert Safari through the dunes to Khor Al Adaid, the Inland Sea, was vibrant and the spectacular desert sunset followed by a traditional barbeque banquet and overnight camping under the stars in a Bedouin-style encampment was noteworthy. He says, while Qatar is a small country with most sights easily accessible no more than an hour or two from Doha, it may be advisable to stick close to the capital if your time is limited. What he missed however, was a visit to the Banana Island, a luxury resort by the Anantara Group. It's the most beautiful beach retreat of the Middle East. Ever tried a visit?  

10 lb apples, peeled, cored and finely diced
3 lb sugar
1/5 teaspoons grounded cinnamon

(1) Mix the apples and sugar and leave to rest for 48 hours, until a juice is formed.
(2) Strain off the juice into a preserving pot, then cook over a low heat until half has evaporated in the cooking, and the remaining juice has darkened and thickened.
(3) Add 3/4 of the apple slices and cook, stirring constantly, until the apples are quite thick and no juice remains. This will take about 1 hour.
(4) Add the remaining apple slices and cinnamon, and cook until this last batch of added apples is soft and light in color, giving the cheese a marbled effect. Pour the apple mass into a damp cheese bag, tie it closed, place between two boards and weigh down for 2 days.
(5) Hang the apple cheese in an airy spot to dry. Store in a cool, dry place.
Travel City LLC - Travel Point LLC - Al Araimi Travel & Cargo LLC
Toll Free Agent: +968 9286 0928

Head Office
1st Floor | Said Plaza | Qurum
PO Box 1694, PC 114, Muttrah
Sultanate of Oman
Phone: +968 2466 1800

Vacations - A division of Travel Point
Phone: +968 2466 1800
Email: vacations@atctp .com
Tour Oman - A division of Travel Point
Phone: +968 2466 1800
Email: info@atctp.com 

ArabiaCars - A division of Travel Point
Phone: +968 2466 1877
Email: arabiacars@atctp.com

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

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

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

India Representation
(Tour Oman)
Phone: +91 22 2660 3222
Email: india@atctp.com