Oman aiming to diversify tourism offerings and increase hotel rooms

Travel and Tour World | April 30, 2019

Oman witnessed more than 3 million tourists last year into the sultanate, of which 1.4 million were GCC citizens. 200,000 were cruise ship passengers. This comes in line with the Oman Tourism Strategy to welcome 11 million tourists by 2040.The Ministry of Tourism is placing a greater emphasis on the recent surge in popularity that Oman has witnessed for increasing awareness and promoting the country as a key tourism destination – throwing the spotlight on what makes the sultanate a diverse and rich destination at a series of global tourism events and travel fairs.The number of hotels also grew by 12.3 per cent in 2017-18, showing a 7.8 per cent growth in the amount of rooms available in the country.Regarding key achievements, Salem Bin Adey Al Mamari, the director general of Tourism Promotion, Oman Ministry of Tourism, said: “The recent growth of the tourism sector in the sultanate is very pleasing and is the direct result of sustained campaigns, initiatives and programs by the Ministry to raise the country’s profile and promote investment in the sector.”

Spotlight

Learners experience difficulties because even if vocabulary has been learned well, the words have been learned as individual units (e.g. “put” with several possible translations into the native tongue of learner) while now in context only one of these possibilities describes the meaning. Which one is it this time? And if learners have not learned the vocabulary well they will feel helpless, frustrated, even “stupid” and conclude firstly: language learning is very difficult, and secondly.

Spotlight

Learners experience difficulties because even if vocabulary has been learned well, the words have been learned as individual units (e.g. “put” with several possible translations into the native tongue of learner) while now in context only one of these possibilities describes the meaning. Which one is it this time? And if learners have not learned the vocabulary well they will feel helpless, frustrated, even “stupid” and conclude firstly: language learning is very difficult, and secondly.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM, HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Grand Hyatt Shenzhou Peninsula Celebrates Official Opening

Hyatt Hotels Corporation | October 31, 2022

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the opening of Grand Hyatt Shenzhou Peninsula in Wanning, Hainan, a distinctive destination for a luxurious escape offering immersive experiences and unforgettable moments for guests of all ages.The oceanfront resort is set on Shenzhou Peninsula, a natural treasure located off the east coast of Hainan Island with a comfortable tropical climate, fresh air, golden beaches and crystal-clear waters. Nestled among lush gardens with stunning views of the South China Sea to the south and a tranquil inner sea to the north, the resort provides a welcoming environment to relax, indulge and play. It is also just a short distance from popular scenic, cultural and lifestyle attractions, including surfing spots boasting spectacular waves, and world-class golfing at The Dunes located just 10 minutes’ drive away. “With the opening of Grand Hyatt Shenzhou Peninsula, we are excited to welcome guests to experience all the pleasures of a tropical resort in awe-inspiring surroundings, elevated by the luxurious comfort, theatrical dining experiences, exceptional amenities and welcoming service that the Grand Hyatt brand is known for,” -Terence Ng, general manager, Grand Hyatt Shenzhou Peninsula. Design Grand Hyatt Shenzhou Peninsula’s contemporary design combines the essence of relaxed coastal living with Hainan’s unique cultural heritage infused with Southeast Asian influences. This is expressed in Balinese-inspired architecture and interiors styled with a graceful Hainan touch. Natural materials and nature-inspired aesthetics also create a sensory connection to the destination. Buildings are clustered throughout the lush grounds and along the waterfront, creating an inviting mix of spaces for rest and relaxation. Guestrooms Starting at 570 square feet (53 square meters), the resort’s 262 spacious guestrooms and suites are havens of modern comfort with floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies that maximize extraordinary garden or ocean views. The resort also features unique kid-themed rooms that add a touch of magic and adventure to family holidays with fun themes such as “curious universe” and “fantasy dream.” Guests staying in Grand Club guestrooms and World of Hyatt Elite members can enjoy access to the Grand Club lounge, which provides a gorgeous panorama of the sea. Grand Club privileges include personalized check-in and check-out service, continental breakfast, all-day refreshments, evening cocktails and exclusive use of the club’s outdoor pool. Dining Grand Hyatt Shenzhou Peninsula’s lineup of world-class dining options engages guests in an exciting journey of flavors that celebrate some of the finest culinary traditions. Embracing seasonality and sustainability, Yu restaurant specializes in traditional dim sum and authentic home-style Cantonese and Hainan cuisine, with indoor and outdoor areas and three private dining rooms with a sea view. Luigi’s is a cozy trattoria-style restaurant serving handmade Italian comfort food. At Pool House, guests can relax to the sound of the waves while savoring the delights of an Asian barbecue accompanied by signature Tiki cocktails in a sophisticated beach club atmosphere. The Lounge offers an elegant environment to enjoy a cup of coffee or Chinese tea while catching up on emails, gathering with friends, or simply enjoying a quiet moment between activities. River Pavilion will open next year and feature three unique dining and bar concepts devoted to the finest experiences of Japanese cuisine and beverages, including sushi, yakitori, and Japanese beer and sakes. Guest Experiences Shenzhou Peninsula’s warm tropical climate is perfect for swimming in all seasons. The resort features three swimming pools, including an indoor pool, the Grand Club pool, and an oceanfront pool with recreational activities for kids, designed to create special family moments. Other offerings include a 24-hour fitness center, mahjong and karaoke. Camp Hyatt kids’ club is also available offering games, entertainment and activities, including a rock-climbing wall, a movie house, and a kitchen to inspire budding young chefs. Oceanfront Weddings and Events From intimate gatherings to gala events, Grand Hyatt Shenzhou Peninsula elevates every occasion with versatile venues that exude modern sophistication, heightened by natural light and sea views. The resort offers more than 27,900 square feet (2,600 square meters) of indoor and outdoor spaces, including a 6458-square-foot (600-square-meter) Grand Ballroom, three 1,076-square-foot (100-square-meter) Grand Residence venues and two spacious lawns, setting the stage for an exceptional meeting, event experience or an enchanting wedding by the sea. Guided by its purpose of care, Hyatt’s multi-layered Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment further enhances its operational guidance and resources around colleague and guest safety and peace of mind. To learn more about Hyatt’s commitment, please visit: hyatt.com/care-and-cleanliness. About Grand Hyatt Around the world, Grand Hyatt hotels bring travel dreams to life by celebrating the iconic in small details and magnificent moments. Located at the crossroads of local culture and global business within major gateway cities and resort destinations, each Grand Hyatt hotel is uniquely designed to be a captivating destination within a destination. Grand Hyatt hotels deliver welcoming and elevated service, first-class accommodations and an abundance of options within a multicultural backdrop of dramatic architecture and bold and vibrant design. Grand Hyatt hotels boast inventive restaurants, luxury spas, fitness centers, and business and meeting facilities. For additional information or to make a reservation, please visit grandhyatt.com. Follow @GrandHyatt on Facebook and Instagram, and tag photos with #GrandHyatt. About Hyatt Hotels Corporation Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company guided by its purpose – to care for people so they can be their best. As of June 30, 2022, the Company’s portfolio included more than 1,150 hotels and all-inclusive properties in 72 countries across six continents. The Company's offering includes brands in the Timeless Collection, including Park Hyatt®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Residence Club®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt House®, and UrCove; the Boundless Collection, including Miraval®, Alila®, Andaz®, Thompson Hotels®, Hyatt Centric®, and Caption by Hyatt; the Independent Collection, including The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Destination by Hyatt™, and JdV by Hyatt™; and the Inclusive Collection, including Hyatt Ziva®, Hyatt Zilara®; Zoëtry® Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets® Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas®, Dreams® Resorts & Spas, Vivid Hotels & Resorts®, Alua Hotels & Resorts®, and Sunscape® Resorts & Spas. Subsidiaries of the Company operate the World of Hyatt® loyalty program, ALG Vacations®, Unlimited Vacation Club®, Amstar DMC destination management services, and Trisept Solutions® technology services. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Trip.com Group becomes a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council

Trip.com Group | October 17, 2022

Trip.com Group has officially joined the Global Sustainable Tourism Council's (GSTC) global network as a member. Trip.com Group is a leading global travel service provider comprising of Trip.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar. Across its platforms, Trip.com Group helps travellers around the world make informed and cost-effective bookings for travel products and services.Trip.com Group's mission to 'pursue the perfect trip for a better world' focuses the Group's efforts on improving the communities and lives of the people they serve, and drives their commitment to being a more responsible industry leader. To fulfill this mission, earlier this year Trip.com Group announced its green tourism goals, covering three key areas: to launch over 10,000 low-carbon travel products; to promote sustainable travel and engage 100 million travellers in low-carbon practices; and aim to further reduce carbon emissions across its own operations. In order to delve into consumer sentiment on sustainable travel and share findings with the industry, Trip.com Group conducted a survey that gathered responses from over 7,700 travellers from 11 markets. Trip.com Group's Sustainable Travel Consumer Report 2022 revealed that almost eight in 10 (78.7%) travellers recognise the importance of sustainable travel. The Report also found that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a major driver behind increased consumer awareness of their travels' impact on the planet, with 67.7% of travellers now open to paying more for sustainable options. To meet increased demand for sustainable travel options, the Group's consumer brand Trip.com launched its CHOOOSE carbon offsetting option for travellers to offset their flights' Co2 emissions. This program allows customers to address their flight emissions by supporting a portfolio of trusted high-impact climate projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As a member of the GSTC, Trip.com Group will support the GSTC mission to promote sustainable tourism standards in the travel & tourism sector. Being a GSTC member allows Trip.com Group to participate in GSTC's global network, contributing to the important work of the GSTC in promoting the widespread adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles. At Trip.com Group, we believe we can only solve big issues by working with our peers from across the industry. This is why we are very excited to become a member of the GSTC, joining their global community to collaborate on sustainable travel initiatives that contribute towards a more sustainable future," said Jane Sun, Chief Executive Officer of Trip.com Group. "We at GSTC are delighted to welcome Trip.com Group and all its powerful brands as a member of our growing community of members. Their power in the marketplace can deliver much in the way of more sustainable forms of tourism being made available to more travelers throughout the world, and we look forward to partnering in those efforts," -Randy Durband, Chief Executive Officer of GSTC. About Trip.com Group Trip.com Group is a leading global travel service provider comprising of Trip.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar with the mission to pursue the perfect trip for a better world. Across its platforms, Trip.com Group helps travellers around the world make informed and cost-effective bookings for travel products and services. Trip.com Group technology enables partners to connect their offerings with users through the aggregation of comprehensive travel-related content and resources, and an advanced transaction platform consisting of apps, websites and 24/7 customer service centers. Founded in 1999 and listed on NASDAQ in 2003 and HKEX in 2021, Trip.com Group has become one of the best-known travel groups in the world, with the vision "to be the world's leading and most trusted family of online travel brands that aspires to deliver the perfect trip at the best price for every traveler". About the GSTC The Global Sustainable Tourism Council® (GSTC®) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. They are arranged in four pillars: (A) Sustainable management; (B) Socioeconomic impacts; (C) Cultural impacts; and (D) Environmental impacts (including consumption of resources, reducing pollution, and conserving biodiversity and landscapes). Since tourism destinations each have their own culture, environment, customs, and laws, the Criteria are designed to be adapted to local conditions and supplemented by additional criteria for the specific location and activity. The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for GSTC's assurance role for Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services, but provides accreditation to those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGOs, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM, HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Guesty Announces Acquisition of YieldPlanet, a Hotel-Focused Revenue & Distribution Management Platform, and the launch of Guesty Distribution Hub

Guesty | September 15, 2022

Guesty, the leading property management platform for the short-term rental and hospitality industry, announced the acquisition of hotel-focused revenue and distribution platform, YieldPlanet. The acquisition expands Guesty's offerings and capabilities for traditional hotels, with YieldPlanet's technology integrated within the Guesty platform. Unveiling a new Guesty Distribution Hub, the platform will add direct OTA connections with Hopper, Trip.com, Marriott Homes & Villas and Google's Hotel & Vacation Rental Search Products, and will allow hospitality operators to manage a classic hotel repertoire, revenue and vacation rental offerings from one dashboard. The YieldPlanet acquisition and launch of Guesty Distribution Hub comes upon the heels of Guesty's recent $170 million funding round, from top-tier investors Apax Digital Funds, MSD Partners and Sixth Street Growth, with existing investors Viola Growth and Flashpoint also participating. The capital signals investor confidence in the continued growth of the travel and alternative accommodation industry, and is an endorsement of Guesty's pioneering technology, long-term strategy and position as market leader in the hospitality and property management software sector. With PMCs competing for diverse consumers and travel personas seeking every accommodation under the sun, we are thrilled to offer additional distribution for our Guesty users through direct integration of YieldPlanet and the formation of the Guesty Distribution Hub," says Yair Holtzer, VP of Strategy at Guesty. "Guesty will offer direct integration with Hopper, Trip.com, Marriott Homes & Villas and Google's suite of Travel Search products, joining our already impressive OTA integration with Airbnb, Booking.com, Vrbo, Expedia, Tripadvisor, Agoda, and misterb&b. We will also maintain additional integrations through our valued partnerships. The product enhancements solidify Guesty's status as the leading flexible Property Management Platform. Guesty Distribution Hub is the first ever fully holistic hospitality distribution solution. Guesty customers will now access hundreds of hotel and short-term rental distribution channels (Booking Engine, Metasearch, OTA, and GDS), along with integrated financial tools from one dashboard. "Joining forces with Guesty marks an exciting new chapter for YieldPlanet, allowing us to strengthen and scale our revenue and channel management solutions, We will continue to grow YieldPlanet and will now offer direct distribution from within Guesty's platform, offering their clients exciting new opportunities to grow and expand their businesses." -Claudio Limacher, CEO of YieldPlanet. YieldPlanet's technology, expertise, R&D team, and hotel-focus were a natural fit to join the Guesty family and continue our long-term goal to become the one-stop shop for the hospitality and short-term rental ecosystem," says Amiad Soto, CEO & Co-Founder of Guesty. "YieldPlanet's technology within the Guesty platform, offers best-in-class revenue management, along with its price optimizer product for hotels. Our customers now have access to the widest distribution options on the market from one single dashboard. About Guesty: Guesty is the world's leading property management platform for the short-term, vacation rental and hospitality industry. Serving everyone from hosts to hotel brands, customers utilize Guesty's platform and solutions to centralize their reservations, guest communication, operational tasks, cleaning management and more across all the major booking OTA channels, including Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Expedia, Agoda, direct booking websites and more. With 14 offices serving customers worldwide, Guesty empowers hospitality operators to save time and resources so that they can focus on maximizing occupancy, ensuring a great guest experience, and growing their business. About YieldPlanet: YieldPlanet is a SaaS provider delivering travel technology solutions for revenue and distribution management. The company's easy-to-use solutions synchronize with property management software to provide a single point of control for channels, reducing labor time, administrative cost and increasing distribution. The company services more than 4,000 clients in over 85 countries around the world, with offices in Spain, Switzerland and Poland.

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