Mastercard and Nirvana Travel and Tourism, a prominent travel and tourism management company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have entered into an exclusive partnership aimed at offering a distinctive payment solution to travelers who make bookings for travel services in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan. This groundbreaking collaboration is set to revolutionize and enhance the travel experience for both business and leisure travelers, providing unparalleled convenience and ease.
Utilizing Mastercard's cutting-edge technology, this alliance revolves around digitalizing the entire payment process, spanning from consumers to commercial transactions across Nirvana's value chain. This will grant customers unmatched convenience, security, and flexibility when reserving flights, accommodations, or any other travel services offered by Nirvana. Furthermore, corporate clients can take advantage of integrated solutions for managing travel expenses.
Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President of Market Development for Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Mastercard, expressed their enthusiasm, stating, "At Mastercard, we acknowledge the significance of travel as a pivotal aspect of people's lives, and we understand that secure and convenient contactless payments play a crucial role in enhancing customer engagement. We are excited to partner with Nirvana Travel & Tourism, a leading player in the UAE's travel industry, as their strategic digitalization partner. We look forward to delivering innovative solutions to ensure a seamless experience for both corporate and retail clients."
Comprising four major independent entities—Nirvana Travel & Tourism, Nirvana Global Travel, Nirvana Over the World, and Nirvana Tours & Logistics—Nirvana's group of companies stands as one of the UAE's largest homegrown online travel and logistics service providers, with over 70 branches worldwide. It holds a prominent position as a travel agent for Emirates and Etihad in the UAE and serves as a key service provider for numerous UAE government entities.
Alaa Al Ali, CEO of Nirvana Holding, emphasized their commitment to enhancing customer journeys, stating, "We are always dedicated to developing advanced and cutting-edge solutions to elevate our customers' experiences. Through collaboration with a globally renowned and customer-centric brand like Mastercard, we believe we can take our customers' experiences to new heights of excellence."
Nirvana also offers a wide range of services, including travel management and planning, innovative corporate travel solutions, visa processing, concierge assistance, event logistics, retail and wholesale services, as well as first-class and VIP services, catering to various private, government, and semi-government clients.
Looking ahead to 2023, the outlook for travel remains strong. According to analysis from the Mastercard Economics Institute, global leisure travel continues to thrive, with a roughly 31% increase in March 2023 compared to the same period in 2019. This represents an impressive 25% year-over-year change from 2022 to 2023, indicating sustained robust demand despite emerging economic challenges. The 'Travel Industry Trends 2023' report also highlights strong demand, driven in part by outbound tourism expenditures from mainland China approaching pre-pandemic levels. By March 2023, Chinese spending on overseas experiences had rebounded significantly, nearly reaching 2019 levels after being nearly non-existent in the previous year.