1 year ago

ITB Asia News 2019 Review Edition

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  • Muslim
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8 NEWS SOLAR POWER PLANT OPENS IN HELSINKI MESSUKESKUS EXPO AND CONVENTION CENTRE Abu Dhabi’s new Midfield terminal Countdown starts for Abu Dhabi’s spectacular new Midfield Terminal Complex Abu Dhabi will finally have an air terminal matching the best facilities in the region. The brand new Midfield Terminal Complex at Abu Dhabi International Airport is ready to open by the end of the year. Messukeskus Helsinki and Helen Ltd have opened one of the largest solar power plants in Helsinki on the hall roofs of the Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Centre. The solar power plant started operation at the beginning of September 2019. July saw the Abu Dhabi International Airport authorities conduct full-scale operational trials at its Midfield Terminal Complex as the glitzy facility is due to open to the public by the end of the year. Once opened, the terminal will be one of the largest in the world and will bring a true revolution for passengers flying from, to and through Abu Dhabi with enhanced comfort and some 28,000 sq m of shopping and F&B, an integrated 3-star hotel, as well as leisure facilities. The terminal will serve as the main hub for the UAE national carrier, Etihad Airways. Spanning 742,000 sq m – equivalent to 21 football fields - the US.94 bn terminal will be able to handle more than 8,500 people per hour and will increase the airport’s capacity to 45 million passengers a year. Last year, Abu Dhabi International Airport handled over 26 million passengers while its current terminals have a theoretical capacity for 15 to 18 million passengers. While the first phase of the terminal will cater to 30 million passengers, a second phase is already planned for a total passenger output of 60 million. Ultimately, the Midfield Terminal Complex will be able to accommodate up to 80 million passengers. The terminal offers a spectacular design with a curved roof that appears to float across 18 steel arches spanning over 180 meters. It will provide 156 checkin counters and 48 self-service kiosks, 30,000 sq m of airline lounges and 65 aircraft gates along four piers starting from the central unit. The airport will guarantee a transfer time of 45 minutes for passengers and their luggage. The baggage handling system will be able to process almost half a million bags a day Messukeskus Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre celebrated its 100th anniversary this year and is Helsinki’s largest conference and exhibition infrastructure. It welcomes annually some 65 exhibitions and 1,500 meetings, congresses and galas with more than a million participants. The installation of solar panels comes as part of the ambitions of Messukeskus to become 110% carbon neutral within ten years. A plant with 1,589 solar panels has thus been installed on the rooftops of halls 4 and 5 of the centre. Estimated annual production in the initial stage is 445 MWh, corresponding to the annual consumption of more than 200 onebedroom flats. By the end of the year, about 300 more panels will be installed. “The solar power plant will increase the share of renewable energy and decrease the cooling need of our premises as the solar panels also have a shading effect,” says Managing Director Anni Vepsäläinen ITB ASIA NEWS • Monday 28 October 2019

TRADE TALK 9 IT IS ESTIMATED THAT 1.2 MILLION JOBS WILL BE DIRECTLY SUPPORTED BY THE MUSLIM TRAVEL SEGMENT OUT OF A TOTAL OF 2.3 MILLION GLOBALLY BY 2020. Faeez Fadhlillah CEO and Co-founder, Tripfez and Salam Standard How to seduce the Muslim travel market Faeez Fadhlillah is the CEO and Co-founder of Tripfez & Salam Standard, a state-of-the-art travel portal dedicated to the rise of global Muslim travellers. Named as one of Forty Individuals who shaped Southeast Asian E-commerce By E-commerceIQ, Faeez is also a speaker at many international travel conferences and seminars. Faeez was elected as Vice President of MATTA, Malaysia’s largest travel association for the term 2015 -2017 and currently serves as the Deputy Honorary Secretary General for the term 2017-2019. He highlights for ITB Asia News what are the trendy destinations for the Malaysian Muslim outbound market. For the Malaysia outbound market, the ever-popular destinations of Korea, Japan, Western Australia, Thailand and Indonesia do not slow down and are becoming increasingly Muslim-friendly destinations. The Balkans and Russia are also growing. What would you say are the key trends influencing the market? The most recent news about Saudi Arabia offering tourist e-visas for citizens of 49 countries, including Malaysia, has had a big impact on the market and we are finding new ways to take advantage of this. We already had some strong interest from our past clients wanting to perform Umrah and also getting a chance to explore the beauty of Saudi Arabia. There has been particularly strong interest from women who can now perform Umrah without a mahram. There are also some interesting social trends, especially from the attitude of millennial Muslim travellers. Over the past 5-10 years the access to information online about Halal destinations has increased - leading consumers to become more demanding for a destination to meet their needs. Unfortunately, this means destinations that have not effectively showcased their Halalfriendliness suffer in the perception of Muslim travellers. This is where we intervene to provide that knowledge that we have built over the years for these customers, really enabling even the fussiest travellers to explore the world. According to the Salam Standard Global Economic Impact of Muslim Tourism report, Asia benefits from inbound Muslim travel expenditure. It is estimated that 1.2 million jobs will be directly supported by the Muslim travel segment out of a total of 2.3 million globally by 2020. Asia will also play a bigger role in outbound Muslim travel expenditure, with Malaysia, Indonesia and China combined set to contribute 17% of the total global spend, outpacing Europe by 2020. So clearly we see a huge potential for this segment of travel. How is your business changing or evolving over time? Business has been amazing! The growth of the Muslim travel space has been phenomenal. The general consumer follows global trends, with a higher expectation for unique experiences and personalised service. Not only that, they demand instant gratification - with an expectation that we are always a quick message away. The way we communicate with customers is changing, with the need for high-quality content. This has meant the cost of marketing has increased and the preference of travelers has also shifted towards a more unique content and experience. How are you leveraging ITB Asia as a platform for contacts? It is a very important show as we meet leading tour operators from all around the world. The show provides a great way to find new ideas and destinations, but most importantly discover suppliers that can help cater to the Halal market and also meet NTOs. In the first half of 2019 we successfully collaborated with several NTOs including HKTB to bring more Muslim travellers to Hong Kong. We’re definitely looking forward to more potential collaborations for an NTO to promote their destination on our platform ITB ASIA NEWS • Monday 28 October 2019