Tourism Breaking News

Club Med takes over Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte Anne Resort & Spa

The New Mauritius Hotels, which owns 100 per cent shares of Ste Anne Resort, has signed an agreement with Club Med, a French Group, for the redevelopment and subsequent rental of Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte Anne Resort & Spa. The agreement was signed on November 10, 2017. The project is expected to start in the second quarter of 2018, while the handover to Club Med is planned for the end of 2019. Jean-Louis Pismont, International Operations Manager, The New Mauritius Hotels Ltd, said, “This new initiative of our group is yet another marked testimony of our continued belief in the Seychelles tourism industry. We want to bring the resort at Sainte Anne to the next level to upgrade the offer of the destination. We are proud to be linked with the arrival of the first major French hotel group to Seychelles.” In a press statement, New Mauritius Hotels Ltd said the resort will be refurbished and extended as per Club Med’s five-star standards and will reopen with 295 rooms, providing job opportunities for some 500 employees.  

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Switzerland Tourism conducts five-city trade show in India

Switzerland Tourism, in an effort to catalyse tourism development across India, has introduced several new attractions, experiences and activities for both popular and lesser known destinations in Switzerland. The recently conducted annual roadshow in India across cities of Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Delhi witnessed over 900 participants from the travel and tourism trade industry. A special B2B session was held in each city allowing the Indian travel agents to meet and discusses business prospects with the Swiss delegations. Claudio Zemp, Director – India, Switzerland Tourism, said, “This year has been a remarkable year for Switzerland Tourism with Ranveer Singh coming on board and promoting the destination with his charm, unmatched energy and fun personality which thoroughly matches the image Switzerland Tourism wanted to portray. In terms of growth from India, we had a fantastic year with a year to date growth of 25.1 per cent more overnights. We are thankful to our partners for their continued support and we hope that we welcome more tourists for the upcoming season.” Ritu Sharma, Deputy Director, Switzerland Tourism, India, says, “In the past few years, Switzerland tourism has upped the ante to attract more tourists from India. Apart from the key metros, we are also penetrating into Tier I & II cities by conducting training sessions in these markets to ensure that the travel trade is well equipped to answer queries relating to our offerings.” ­­­­­­

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VITS signs JV with Exhicon Group in Thailand

VITS Hotels Worldwide has announced a joint venture with Exhicon Group in Thailand. The new entity will operate under VITS-EXHICON (Thailand) Co. and an office with a seasoned team of professionals will be established in Bangkok. Vikram Kamat and Chandrakant Shetty will be directors in the new entity. The JV partnership will work on hotel acquisitions, OTA management, staff training, procurement and F&B operations within Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Dubai. VITS Hotels will provide hotel management expertise, marketing, sales support, human resources and distribution network while EXHICON will support with its local business network, project acquisitions and overseas procurement. Both VITS and EXHICON will own 50 per cent share in the joint venture management company. Vikram Kamat, Managing Director, VITS Hotels Worldwide, said, “Our partnership offers immense opportunities to leverage on each other’s expertise to expand the VITS hotel brand in Far East and Middle East. We aim to channelise our resources with our valued partner to establish footprints in key destinations and draw tourists from India and abroad.” Chandrakant Shetty, CEO, VITS Hotels Worldwide, said, “With our collaboration with EXHICON Group, we are now pleased to announce the VITS luxury experience in overseas shores. The joint venture will create a formidable recipe for establishing hotels in key destinations. We will be launching our first hotel in Phuket near Patong beach by January 2018.”

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MTDC aims to place Sarangkheda festival on global map

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has organised the Sarangkheda Chetak Festival 2017 from December 3, 2017 – January 2, 2018 to attract domestic and foreign tourists to the Nandurbar district. Witnessing the arrival of more than 2,500 horses, the month long festival will exhibit horse dance shows and pawara, a tribal dance by the locals of Nandurbar. Inaugurating the festival, Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism & (EGS), Government of Maharashtra, said, “We want to promote the rich legacy of horses and take this festival on a global platform. Sarangkheda has been organising this festival for more than 300 years. The festival displayed horses from states like Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Afghanistan and Gujarat.” An amount of Rs 4.98 crore has been allocated for the horse museum which will educate visitors about the numerous qualities of breed, marking, lifespan, colour, etc. of horses. The dome-shaped museum will be constructed on 6.5 acres land along the Tapi River. MTDC and Department of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra is dedicated to take this festival to a global podium through the development of infrastructure, advertising and promotion.  

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ICRA expects improved yields in Indian aviation in 2018

Healthy passenger load factors (PLFs) supported by a decline in competitive intensity due to moderation in capacity addition and suspension of operations of three regional airlines has augured well for the industry profitability. This coupled with a gradual improvement in the core growth drivers like economic environment, tourism demand and regulatory support and a strong demand during the peak season is expected to support the industry profitability during H2 FY2018. Improved tourism demand, policy measures like the National Civil Aviation Policy and the Regional Connectivity Scheme and start of economic revival are the key positives for the industry. However, inadequate aviation infrastructure, which has constrained the performance of airlines, remains a bottleneck. According to Kinjal Shah, Assistant Vice President & Co-Head – Corporate Sector Ratings, ICRA, “The industry has done well to mitigate the impact of 8.7 per cent YOY increase in ATF prices during H1 FY2018. The increased ability of the airlines to pass on the costs to the customers due to reduced competitive intensity has resulted in an increase in the revenue per available seat kilometer (RASK)-cost per available seat kilometer (CASK) spread for the airlines, and the financial performance of most of the airlines improved during the current year.”

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Hilton launches Hilton Garden Inn in Lucknow

Hilton has announced the opening of Hilton Garden Inn Lucknow, the first Hilton Garden Inn and second Hilton property in Uttar Pradesh, following the opening of DoubleTree by Hilton Agra. “India is an important growth market for Hilton Garden Inn and we are delighted to expand our portfolio by opening our fourth hotel in the country. We remain committed to giving our guests exceptional experiences while staying true to our brand promise to make the guests’ stay better,” said John Greenleaf, Global Head, Hilton Garden Inn. Hilton Garden Inn Lucknow boasts 125 contemporary guestrooms, including four junior and executive suites. The hotel provides an abundance of amenities to elevate guests’ stay experience, including bedding with hypoallergenic pillows, 43-inch LCD TV and a spacious workstation with Herman Miller ergonomic chair. Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi access is available throughout the hotel and guests may choose to stay connected and productive at 24-hour business center, which offers complimentary printing facilities.    

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Indonesia teams up with MakeMyTrip to promote tourism

In an aim to tap more potentialities from the Indian tourism market, the Indonesian government held a two-day tourism promotion event at Ambience Mall, Delhi from December 9-10, in partnership with MakeMyTrip. “India is part of the ultimate tourism markets for Indonesia. Not only Bali, we would also promote other destinations across Indonesia for potential Indian tourists throughout the event,” said I Gde Pitana Pitana, Deputy Minister for International Marketing Development at the Ministry of Tourism, Indonesia. According to Pitana, the arrival figures of Indian tourists to Indonesia have grown significantly to 357,522 in the first nine months of this year, or 31.07 per cent higher than the figure in the same period of last year. The event was expected to help the Indonesian government to achieve its target of 456,000 Indian tourists this year, Pitana added. Source: Xinhua

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ISO certification for Ashok Institute of Hospitality & Tourism Management

Ashok Institute of Hospitality and Tourism Management (AIH&TM), the Human Resource Development division under India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), has been certified with ISO 9001:2015 certification for imparting quality education in hospitality and tourism management. To ensure that various activities undertaken by the institute are standardised with latest quality policy Ashok Institute of Hospitality and Tourism Management (AIH&TM) has now upgraded to ISO 9001:2015 Certification. Besides conducting short duration customised training programmes for hotels and restaurants, AIH&TM has offered hospitality-related training consultancy for Ministry of Tourism, President House, Prime Minister’s House, State Bhawans, Indian Foreign Services, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, public sector organisations and State Tourism departments. Commenting on the certification, Piyush Tiwari, Director Commercial & Marketing, ITDC, said, “ITDC stands for change and development in tourism and hospitality and assist in building a better nation. Also, we ensure that we are parallel to the advancements in terms of quality and technology. The ISO 9001:2015 certification confirms our capability to deliver knowledge and training in the best possible way to help build a skilled India.”  

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Globus & Cosmos conducts interactive sessions with tour director

The Globus Family of Brands recently conducted an interactive session in the format of a talk show with one of its most senior tour directors, Benjamin Deham. Titled ‘Banter with Big Ben’, the event featured the Belgian tour director who spoke about what happens behind the scenes during every tour. Abira Sinha, Regional Sales Manager – India, Globus Family of Brands (India), explains, “We took this show to five cities across India that included Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata. The idea was to bring to the travel trade what their clients experience on these tours. Usually, when they come back they talk about the tour director who can make a significant difference to the quality of the tour. He can really make or break it.” While in India, Benjamin spoke about how the tour is organised, how he deals with different challenges while on tour and how he overcomes them to give the best experience to guests. Sinha adds, “One of the biggest factors for clients coming back is the tour director. Benjamin had all these funny stories and anecdotes that he narrated to our travel partners. It was learning with fun instead of just seeing a presentation.”

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Unfortunate move to slash basic agents’ commission: Rajan Sehgal

Calling it an unfortunate decision, Rajan Sehgal, Member—Managing Committee, TAAI, says, “The travel agents drive bulk business for the airlines and cutting commission is like cutting the long arm of the airline. It is very unfortunate that Jet Airways has announced to slash the basic commission given to travel agents. We will be meeting representatives from Jet Airways next week to have detailed discussions on the matter. We have taken the opinion of our members and will put the issues forward.”

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