Tour operator race gathers Tempo

A former Dnata manager is setting up a Dubai-based tour operator that he claims will rival Dnata Holidays, Destinations of the World (DOTW) and Gullivers Travel Associates (GTA).

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By  Gemma Greenwood Published  November 1, 2006

A former Dnata manager is setting up a Dubai-based tour operator that he claims will rival Dnata Holidays, Destinations of the World (DOTW) and Gullivers Travel Associates (GTA). John Flower, the former retail and online development manager at Dnata, has joined forces with new destination management and event management company, Gulf Reps, to bring established Australian-based wholesaler, Tempo Holidays, to the MENA region. “Tempo will be the first truly independent tour operator in the region and will definitely take on Dnata Holidays,” Flower told Arabian Travel News in an exclusive interview. “Tempo has something to offer the market; it has so much established product and inventory available to the consumer and the trade. We can offer 40 countries, whereas Dnata Holidays has reduced its inventory to just 25 destinations.” Tempo Holidays’ key brochures include Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia; the UK and Ireland; Italy, France and Malta, covering specialist interests such as cookery classes in Tuscany or painting classes in France; Latin America; Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Tunisia; and Tempo Select, which features superior four- and five-star accommodation, as well as niche products, such as specialist tours and boutique properties. “What I find is lacking in this region is choice. Tempo has a vast product range, good allocations and responds very quickly to requests,” said Flower. “I know you have wholesalers here such as GTA and DOTW, but they are predominantly wholesalers of accommodation. They don’t really have specialist product.” Flower’s confidence in Tempo Holidays, a Melbourne-based company founded in 1990, which also boasts a New Zealand office, is well founded. He worked for the company as product development manager for the UK and Middle East, responsible for contracting, procurement and brochure design, before moving to Dubai and joining Dnata in October 2004. At Dubai-based Gulf Reps he joins Nazar Musa, the managing director of Holiday Autos, Leo Fewtrell, the former manager of Dnata Holidays and Events and Vanessa Nanty, former destination marketing manager at Mohamed Al Geziry Consultancy, Dubai (ATN September and www.itp.net). Flower will head up the Tempo Holidays division, which will involve promoting the product to the trade and the consumer. “I see business being split equally between the two, but one of the key aspects of what we plan to do is educate the agents,” said Flower. “No one invests in travel agents, but we are prepared to put in the time and effort training them.” The MENA division of Tempo Holidays will be officially launched on December 15 when a web site dedicated to the region (www.tempoholidays.ae) will be introduced, boasting a consumer and trade portal. All products will be priced in US dollars and all transactions will be made by credit card. Phone bookings will be referred to the web site, although a helpdesk will be available to agents and customers. Plans are also afoot to launch a brochure dedicated to the MENA market and priced in US dollars, but in the meantime, existing Tempo Holidays brochures (priced in AUD) will be available to selected travel agents. Tempo’s December foray will take place one month before Dnata Holidays’ official 2007 brochure launch. ATN reported last month that the tour operator planned to phase out its trade wholesale division, Axis, and focus on the Dnata Holidays product, which will now specialise in 25 destinations.

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