New chief tourism officer appointed to Al-Tayaar Travel Group


Tharwat Abouraya, CTIE, president of Travel Business CPR, is joining Al-Tayaar Travel Group as chief tourism officer and general manager effective November 1, 2010.

“I’m energized to be part of a unique and top-notch leadership team led by Dr. Nasser Al-Tayaar, who established the agency 30 years ago,” said Mr. Abouraya. “This will be an amazing opportunity to work for an organization whose core business is travel.” ATG owns nearly 300 retail locations (including alliances) and has 2,500 employees in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and North America, in addition to car rental services, hotels, and airline partnerships.

Mr. Abouraya has more than 30 years experience in the travel industry in the USA, including 20 years with American Express Travel Co. and the American Automobile Association. As a geographer, a certified travel industry executive, and a skilled negotiator, Mr. Abouraya is uniquely capable of identifying and nurturing strategic partnerships.

Mr. Abouraya demonstrates a comprehensive view of issues and assesses their long-term impact in order to execute an effective business strategy.

“My last 15 to 20 years in the travel industry encompass the current challenges in the Middle East, i.e., airline commission reductions/eliminations, charging service fees, competing with mega online booking engines, etc.,” said Mr. Abouraya.

“I see wonderful opportunities to sell travel for the next ten years plus in the Middle East, especially in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The economy is very healthy in this oil-rich country. Tourism is encouraged both for outbound and inbound travel.

“I hope to continue expanding ATG’s businesses globally through organic growth, acquisitions, partnerships, and strategic alliances, including recruiting the best talent in the travel industry.”

Mr. Abouraya said, “I invite organizations like National Geographic Expeditions, Adventures by Disney, Expedia, and Travelocity, Royal Caribbean, and Holland America Cruises to partner with us for their distribution and sales in the Middle East.”