Anil Mohan

Global MICE Travel Mart from May 19-21 in New Delhi

The first edition of the Global MICE Travel Mart will be held in New Delhi from May 19-21 2016, informed RajanSehgal, Member, FICCI Tourism Committee. Organised by the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in support with Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and India Golf Tourism Association (IGTA), the by-invitation event will focus on inbound Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism and will showcase buyer-seller meets. So far, 34 buyers comprising foreign MICE tour operators, MICE associations and foreign corporate entities who will be hosted by MOT have been roped in while 22 suppliers including Indian corporate entities, tour operators, hotels and MICE venues have been registered for the event, with more registration expected. “The Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department has showed keen interest in hosting the foreign delegates and showcasing its Golf and MICE Tourism offerings such as Sher-I-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar and Pahalgam Golf course in Pahalgam. J&K Tourism also plans to spread awareness about the refurbished Pahalgam Club with state-of-art facilities,” stated Sehgal.

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MTDC to reposition Mumbai as MICE, tourist hub

Maharashtra Government intends to reposition and promote Mumbai as a tourist destination, sharedValsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary, Tourism & Culture, Government of Maharashtra, during a round-table organised by the Indian Merchant’s Chamber’s Travel, Tourism & HospitalityCommittee in Mumbai. She was the chief guest at the event that was attended by a few tour operators as well as the hospitality trade to discuss and deliberate on policy framework and to promote tourism in Mumbai and Maharashtra. Singh said, “We have recognised niche areas in tourism in which we want to promote Mumbai. We want to make the city the event capital in Maharashtra. Asia’s biggest convention centre is coming in Mumbai next year followed by two more convention centres. We are also working towards creating adventure tourism, medical tourism and Bollywood tourism here.” According to her, 2.5 lakh Mumbai tourists enter Mumbai for medical tourism. The government is therefore working on e-medical visa and medical reimbursement, and tying up with insurance companies overseas to facilitate reimbursement of medical expenses incurred by tourists. She added that the new state tourism policy will be out in the public domain soon. It focuses on three aspects: product development, skilling, and investment and promotion. ParaagJaiinNainuttia, IAS, MD, MTDC, shared details of the recent initiatives MTDC has taken like the helicopter Mumbai Darshan, and facilitating commercialisation of yacht facilities on Mumbai’s coast through a possible tie-up with private companies.

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Former TAAI & UFTAA president VinooUbhayakar passes away

VinooUbhayakar, past president of Travel Agents Association of India (1975-1978) and the first Asian and Indian to be elected as the president of Universal Federation of Travel Agent’s Association (UFTAA) (1982-1984), passed away yesterday. He was 90.Ubhayakarbegan his travel industry career in 1949 with Asiatic Travel Service where he went on to become the Managing Director in 1953. He joined Trade Wings as Executive Director and in 1965 was appointed the Managing Director a position he continues to hold today. He was elected to the board of Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association for four years then as Vice President for two years and then President for two years of this World Body. During his tenure,Ubhayakarorganised the Silver Jubilee Function in Mumbai and introduced the Agastya Awards too.

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India, NZ sign deal for direct flights

India and New Zealand have signed a deal on Sunday that opens the door for direct flights between the two countries that could boost tourism and trade sectors. The signing ceremony of the bilateral air services agreement was witnessed by visiting President Pranab Mukherjee and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. New Zealand airlines now have the opportunity to code-share to seven Indian cities – Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi. For code-sharing operations, India will have any point in New Zealand. As intermediate points, India can have Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok and any two points in Australia, according to the text of the agreement. “India is an emerging superpower, and its population of 1.25 billion people presents enormous opportunities for New Zealand,” the minister said. “Our annual trade with India is worth more than 1 billion dollars. In the year to March 31, 2016, almost 52,000 Kiwis travelled to India and close to 60,000 Indians visited New Zealand. In addition, more than 160,000 people of Indian descent live here. Since the Government’s Air Transport policy was introduced in 2012, Bridges said 50 new or amended air agreements had been negotiated, bringing the total to 78. Most of the major airlines in the world are now able to operate services to New Zealand without restriction, with 18 new air routes announced in the past year alone, the report said.

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Papua New Guinea announces visa on arrival for Indians

The Government of Papua New Guinea has announced Visa on Arrival for Indians travelling to Papua New Guinea. This will help boost tourism and business links between our two countries. Leaders of Papua New Guinea deeply appreciated the role played by the Indian community in the development of Papua New Guinea as well as our initiative in organizing two FIPIC Summits.

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Vistara commences flights to Chandigarh

Vistara flew its inaugural flight to the city of Chandigarh from IGI airport, Delhi at 1320hrs on May 2. The fares for Delhi to Chandigarh flight start from Rs 3700+ one way on Economy super saver and Rs 4900+ in Premium Economy saver. The airline will operate daily direct returnflights to Chandigarh from Delhi and Hyderabad (same aircraft service between Hyderabad and Chandigarh via Delhi). The new service will also offer convenient connections via Delhi between Chandigarh andBengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, Bhubaneswar and Ahmedabad. International travellers from the city will also be connected to global destinations via Vistara’s hub at T3 Delhi, making it a convenient connection for them to travel overseas with 12 global interline airline partners of Vistara.

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Foundation stone of ITC Gunturlaid

Amaravati, the futuristic capital region of the sunrise state of Andhra Pradesh, adds yet another jewel to its crown with the foundation stone being laid for ITC Hotel’s 144 keys five-star property – ‘My Fortune, Guntur’ in Guntur. This will also mark ITC Hotel’s debut in the city. The hotel will be built with an investment of R. 145 crore and will create employment generation for about 550 people. ITC is also planning to come up with a similar five-star hotel offering 150 rooms in Vishakhapatnam. The foundation stone was laid by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu in the presence of Y. C. Deveshwar, Chairman, ITC Limited. The location of the hotel, on Ring Road, the heart of the city, is going to be an added advantage. Among the other facilities that the hotel will present its patrons with include a 5000 sq. ft. pillar-less ballroom with a capacity to accommodate 500 guests, along with all-day dining. Naidu said “This is the first 5 star hotel in Guntur which is close to the new capital Amaravati. Andhra Pradesh is the new destination for tourism with long stretches of beaches, with hills on one side and sea on the other side, excellent canals. It is also a State with the richest God, Lord Balaji at Tirupati, a city of 100 lakes. Amaravati even has a special gallery in the British Museum, London and there is a map which shows that Amaravati was the gate way to South East Asia even in those times.” Y. C. Deveshwar, Chairman, ITC said, “It gives me immense pleasure in being part of this unveiling of our first property in Guntur. Guntur …

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The Suryaa’s new GM: Dhananjay Kumar

Dhananjay Kumar is the new General Manager at The Suryaa. With over 21 years of experience, having worked with brands such as Radisson Blu Hotel (Chennai), Hilton (Chennai), Technopak Advisors Private Limited (Gurgaon), The Claridges Hotel (New Delhi), Shangri – La (New Delhi), The Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, The Park Royal (New Delhi), DLF Hospitality (Gurgaon), & Hyatt International. His last assignment was with Radisson Blu Marina as General Manager. Kumar’s last stint at The Suryaa was as a Resident Manager for a year in 2012. He specialises in hotel operations, revenue management, performance enhancement, best practices implementation, setting up process and implementation, organization development and human resources and training. Throughout his career DJ has been certified with various recognitions for commendable work in the field of hospitality.

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146-room Grand Mercure opens in Mysuru

AccorHotels and Brigade Group, Bangalore announced the opening of Grand MercureMysuru in South India’s Mysuru. The hotel has 146 spacious rooms and suites and is located within close proximity of all major tourist attractions as well as the central business district. The Grand MercureMysuru is situated on the legendary new SayajiRao Road. The sixth floor of the hotel features a viewing gallery overlooking the Dasara procession. To celebrate the opening, the hotel is offering a Deluxe rooms stay with breakfast for two inclusive of any one main meal from Rs 7,250 per night. This offer is valid from now until 30th June, 2016. The rate for a Standard Room is from Rs 6,000.

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HNA Tourism Group to acquire Carlson Hotels

HNA Tourism Group, a division of HNA Group Co, a Fortune Global 500 company with operations across aviation, tourism, hospitality, finance, and online services among other sectors, and Carlson Hospitality Group has announced that they have entered an agreement for the acquisition of Carlson Hotels. The combination of HNA Tourism Group and Carlson Hotels will have increased ability to accelerate growth through investments in areas such as digital, owned assets in major gateway cities, building of Radisson RED and other new brands. The Transaction is subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the second half of (calendar) 2016. Under terms of the Agreement, which were unanimously approved by the Carlson Board of Directors, HNA Tourism Group will acquire all of Carlson Hotels, including its approximately 51.3 percent majority stake in Rezidor Hotel Group.

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