Anil Mohan

Marriott’s all-suite hotel opens in Pune

Pune Marriott Suites offers 199 fully furnished, serviced apartments providing the comforts of a home in a luxurious hotel-like setting. Located on a private road in Koregaon Park, the property is only 5 kms from Pune airport and 3 kms from Pune Railway Station. Being the only pet friendly hotel in Pune, this luxury accommodation is ideal for discerning business and leisure travellers looking for respite from hustle bustle of the city. Guests can enjoy access to upscale leisure facilities, which include a fully-equipped fitness centre, outdoor pool and wellness centre. Regular rates for a one Bedroom Suite is Rs 8,650/night, 2 Bedroom Suite is Rs 13,750/night and 3 Bedroom Suite is Rs 15,250/night.

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Jet Airways doubles frequency to Dammam from Mumbai & Delhi

Jet Airways will launch additional daily services to Dammam from Mumbai and Delhi, further boosting its operations to the key Saudi Arabian port city. The airline will introduce the new services, one each from Delhi and Mumbai, starting July 1, 2016, adding to the single daily flights it already operates on those routes and from Kochi. The fares for flights from New Delhi (DEL) to Dammam (DMM) start from Rs 19,224. The additional service from Mumbai to Dammam, Jet Airways flight 9W 506, will depart Mumbai at 0045 hrs and arrive into Dammam at 0205. The return flight to Mumbai, 9W 505, will depart Dammam at 0305 hrs and arrive in Mumbai at 0920 hrs. The service from Delhi to Dammam, Jet Airways flight 9W 518, will depart Delhi at 2230 hrs and arrive Dammam at 0010 hrs. The return flight, 9W 517, will depart Dammam at 0110 hrs and arrive in Delhi at 0730 hrs. All times listed are local. Jet Airways currently operates flights from 12 cities across India to 10 in the Gulf.

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Schengen comes home for biometrics

VFS Global has introduced the On-Demand Mobile Visa Service for Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Portugal and Slovenia visas applicants across India. Travellers can give their biometrics data and visa application in the comfort of their home or office. A well-trained and professional team from VFS Global will visit the applicant at his/her chosen location anywhere in India to collect the details. The service is ideal for corporate groups, incentive groups, on-campus students and cultural & sports groups. It is available on any day of the week, including weekends across India. VFS offers a dedicated Helpline numbers for appointment bookings and assistance. The applicant can call the country specific Helpline number to book an appointment, pay the fee online and receive confirmed appointment details, following which a team will make a visit at a location convenient to the applicant on the appointed date and time to collect biometrics and accept the application.

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April ’16 sees 10.7% rise in FTAs over 2015

As revealed by Ministry of Tourism, India witnessed a 10.7 per cent growth in FTAs in April, 2016 over the same period in 2015. The total number of FTAs during April, 2016 was recorded at 5.99 lakh, which is higher than the total number of FTAs in April, 2015 and April 2014, where the numbers were recorded as 5.42 lakh and 5.35 lakh foreign tourists respectively. Bangladesh accounted for the highest percentage share in foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) into India with 18.09 per cent during the month of April 2016. Among the top 15 source countries, USA was ranked second with 12.24 per cent share, followed by the UK with 9.58 per cent share, making Bangladesh, USA and UK, the top three source markets for India in April 2016. The percentage share of FTAs from other source markets like Sri Lanka was 3.71 percent; Malaysia was 3.23 per cent; China was 3.14 per cent; Australia was 3.05 per cent; Germany was 3.02 per cent; France 2.86 per cent; Canada was 2.83 per cent; Russian Federation was 2.81; Japan was 2.50 per cent, Nepal was 2.07 per cent; Singapore was 1.85 per cent and Thailand was 1.61 per cent.

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11, 637 cr foreign exchange earned in April

According to the data released by Ministry of Tourism, foreign exchange earnings (FEEs)through tourism was recorded at Rs 11,637 crore in the month of April, 2016 as compared to Rs. 10,091 crore in April, 2015 and Rs. 9,179 crore in April, 2014. The growth rate in foreign exchange earnings (FEEs) in terms of rupee during April, 2016 over April, 2015 was higher, with 15.3 per cent as compared to the growth rate of 9.9 per cent in April, 2015 over April, 2014. The FEEs during the period of January-April, 2016, was recorded at Rs. 52,048 crore with a growth rate of 15.7 per cent as compared to the FEE of Rs. 44,966 crore with a growth rate of 5 per cent during the period of January-April, 2015 over January- April, 2014.

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Peru Tourism appoints OM Tourism as PR representative

Peru Export and Tourism Promotion Board has appointed OM Tourism as their PR representative in India from May, 2016. “We are pleased to officially begin new and focused promotional efforts in India with OM Tourism, said, Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) and President of The Board of PROMPERU, Magali Silva. Looking at the vast tourism potentiality of India Market, we believe that it will certainly be a key market in helping PROMPERÚ to increase the Indian footfall.” Sanjay Sondhi, CEO, OM Tourism, said, “We are extremely happy to be assigned the task of handling marketing, sales and public relations activities for PROMPERÚ in India. He added, Peru is a land of fascinating contrasts of beautiful landscapes of desert dunes, snow capped mountains, wildlife, beaches offering thrilling outdoor adventure, Pre-Columbian heritage to vibrant traditional festivals. The discerning Indian travelers looking for luxury experience can also explore and indulge in its rich gastronomy, rejuvenating spas and river cruises. As a result of its rich history, Peru today is packed with archaeological remains and colonial architecture. Add in the country’s spectacular natural beauty, and the product is an outstanding travel destination.”

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Westin Pushkar & W Goa to open on Sept 1, 2016

Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ 98-room Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa is set to open in September this year. The hotel has four distinctive and versatile rooms, including a 560-square-metre ballroom, total more than 900 square metres of welcoming space and feature a comprehensive range of amenities and services. The hotel has 4 meeting spaces with the largest one being 3,003 sq ft. Starwood Hotels and Resorts is pitching its growth plan in the South Asia market with the opening of three new properties this year. Barun Gupta, Global Account Director, Starwood Hotels and Resorts informs that other than Westin Pushkar, W Goa is also expected to open in September and St. Regis Maldives will open by the end of this year. Gupta adds, “In terms of Indian market we wanted to expand our footprint aggressively this year focusing mostly on the travel trade front where we are trying to get more and more partners through our SPG Pro network. Our major focus will be on the travel trade front for the leisure properties which are opening up this year.” The 160-room W Retreat & Spa Goa to open September 1, has two grand ballrooms, a function room, three meeting/VIP rooms, a function lawn and a pre-function area provide enough space for all your guests. The hotel has 6 meeting spaces with the largest one being 6,459 sq ft (600 sq.m).

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OYO expands in North East with 250 rooms

OYO Rooms has expanded its portfolio in the North East, and is offering more than 250 standardised rooms in Gangtok and Darjeeling, to meet a range of budgets – from as low as Rs. 999 per night for standard rooms, to premium rooms for Rs. 2500 – Rs. 4000 per night. OYO Rooms are available in popular tourist spots like Tiger Hills and Mall Road in Darjeeling, and Tsango Lake, MG Marg in Gangtok. These hotels are situated in prime locations, and travellers can enjoy the scenic view of the Himalayan range, including the breathtaking snow-peaks of Kanchenjunga, straight from their rooms. Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and  CEO, OYO said, “We are thrilled to establish a strong network in the beautiful cities of Darjeeling and Gangtok. Our teams have worked very hard to deliver OYO’s level of standardization and predictability of guest-experience in the hotels here. Many travellers who want to visit the North-east hesitate due to concerns about lack of trusted accommodation options. It makes me very happy to assure them that with OYO now present in this region, they can plan their travel without any worry. The hospitality sector is still underdeveloped in the North-East and we are certain that the introduction of OYO’s standardized affordable stays will attract more tourists. We look forward to welcoming guests from across the country.” Speaking about the current business trends Ritesh added, “We receive queries for North-East from across the country, but Darjeeling and Gangtok receive the highest number of queries from Kolkata (40%), followed by Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi (15% each). Kolkata accounts for 30% of the bookings in Darjeeling and Gangtok while Delhi contributes 12% bookings in the region. This summer …

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MakeMyTrip offers Forex with BookMyForex

MakeMyTrip has partnered with BookMyForex, a marketplace for retail foreign exchange and private remittances, to offer foreign exchange to its customers. Customers booking international travel products can subsequently purchase their foreign exchange with BookMyForex at the click of a button on MakeMyTrip platforms – website or mobile app. This will enable them to take advantage of BookMyForex’s live and finest rates that are updated every three seconds and enjoy door-step delivery of their foreign exchange products in over 200 Indian cities. Mohit Gupta, Chief Operating Officer – Online, MakeMyTrip said, “We are pleased to tie-up with BookMyForex for retail foreign exchange and look forward to adding to our existing travel solutions offerings. Being the pioneers in the online travel sector and as category leaders, the onus of growing the sector is on us. By partnering with BookMyForex, we are firmly establishing ourselves as the ultimate destination for the full suite of travel products.” Sudarshan Motwani, CEO, BookMyForex.com said, “BookMyForex has the unique ability to compare thousands of forex rates and service quality metrics across hundreds of banks and exchange companies.  Our platform is able to determine the bank or moneychanger offering the best rates and service in every city and every neighbourhood. Thanks to this partnership, we will now be able to extend the benefit of our platform to MakeMyTrip customers and connect them with the most ideal forex vendors in real time. Through the association, we will be able to tap the large international customer base of India’s largest OTA and help them buy all travel-related forex products at one single destination.”

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SpiceJet is Hahn Air’s 50th H1-Air partner

Hahn Air Systems, the global consolidation service connecting small, medium and low-cost airlines to all major GDSs worldwide has reached 50 H1-Air partners with the latest addition being low-cost carrier SpiceJet. With this new entrant, Hahn Air has nearly doubled its network of regional, low-cost airlines and tour operators since the beginning of 2015. Established in 2012, Hahn Air Systems, the sister company of airline and distribution specialist Hahn Air, offers its H1-Air product to non-GDS airlines enabling them to be booked through over 95,000 travel agencies in 190 markets. These non-GDS airlines can benefit from Hahn Air’s economies of scale and have the potential to increase their revenue streams by being able to penetrate new markets and expand their reach to even more travel agencies. The H1-Air network is an innovative distribution solution with the potential to accelerate SpiceJet’s sales by linking it to global markets. As a result, SpiceJet’s domestic and international services will be available in all GDSs and will be issuable on the Hahn Air HR-169 document. Alexander Proschka, Head of Hahn Air Systems, said “We are proud to welcome SpiceJet as the latest airline to join the H1-Air network. This is especially momentous as they are Hahn Air System’s 50th partner and we are happy to share the occasion with them. Going forward, we will redouble our efforts to grow our portfolio of H1-Air partners and to globally connect more airlines, in turn offering our travel agent partners greater possibilities.” “We are looking forward to a great association with Hahn Air Systems. We are hoping that this association will help us reach out to many more untapped markets which will ultimately result in our business …

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