Zac Efron and Jessica Alba Welcome You to Dubai | Tech Rasta


Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast focuses on Dubai’s high-profile sale, an airline merger in Southern Africa, and Selina’s delayed IPO.

Rashaad Jordan

Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, October 4. Here’s what you need to know about the travel business today.

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Session Notes

Middle Eastern destinations believe they have found a powerful tool to help promote tourism through brand building. They are increasingly turning to celebrities to promote themselves to potential visitors, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia.

As Bhuta notes celebrity endorsements are important factors in the traveller’s decision-making process, brands such as Visit Dubai include Hollywood stars in their marketing campaigns. Visit Dubai launched a promotional film titled A Romance to Remember starring Zac Efron and Jessica Alba. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi has partnered with actor and professional wrestler John Cena in a tourism campaign while Nicole Kidman appears in Etihad Airways advertisements. A senior executive at a marketing agency said celebrity endorsements can help bring awareness to destinations travelers may not be aware of.

In addition, Bhutia notes that the Middle East is using celebrities to tap into attractive markets, citing Qatar as an example. This year’s World Cup host is teaming up with British footballer David Beckham in his efforts to attract British visitors and football fans.

We move now to the main flight news from South Africa. South African regional airline Airlink has reached an agreement to buy a stake in FlyNamibia, Namibia’s only domestic airline, reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.

Airlink is buying 40 percent of FlyNamibia in a deal that aims to expand air services to and within Namibia. Although Russell writes FlyNamibia is the dominant player in Africa, the partnership could help Africa fulfill its long-term untapped aviation potential.

Russell adds that the expansion comes amid growing questions about the future of South Africa’s flagship airline, South African Airways. The service provider recently said it is not in danger of losing major international routes despite several people having fallen asleep since the start of the pandemic. South African Airways has flown only nine routes since resuming flights in September 2021. The carrier suspended operations early due to the pandemic.

Finally, Selina’s long-delayed stock market debut will take place on October 21, reports Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons.

Selina, which announced a merger last December with blank check firm BOA Acquisition Corporation, is aiming to go public at a valuation of $1.2 billion. Selina, which had previously planned to go public in the first half of this year, plans to use the funds it raises to finance its operations. The brand also offers work and leisure opportunities including surfing lessons. Its global portfolio includes 163 properties in 25 countries.



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