Tourism Breaking News

IATA to adopt worldwide airport slot guidelines to help new airlines get slots at Indian airports

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is in talks with the Indian civil aviation officials to adopt the worldwide airport slot guidelines which will help new airlines get slots at various airports in India. Once adopted, more international airlines will be able to fly into India, connecting more cities worldwide and it could also help the UDAN scheme. As per the guidelines, new entrants which could either be new airlines or those who have not operated from a particular airport will be allowed three daily return flights. Once these slots are used up, that particular airline will not be allocated new slots but will have to bid for the next phase of expansion. (Source: The Hindu Business Line)

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Accor to open new hotels in Udaipur and Mumbai in 2020

Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer (COO) –India & South Asia, Accor has said that Accor will open new hotels in Udaipur and Mumbai in 2020. “Our upcoming properties for 2020 include the launch of Raffles Udaipur, Novotel Mumbai International Airport and ibis Mumbai LBS Road. We also have the Raffles Jaipur and Fairmont Mumbai Sahar, which are in the pipeline. Over the next few years, our focus is to continue to grow our regional network and introduce new brands. We have 25 hotels and approximately 5,000 keys in the pipeline and under active development.” he informed.

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Government approves Rs 2,482 crore for Swadesh Darshan Scheme projects

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to release funds to the tune of Rs 2,482.07 crore fund for the development of infrastructure and tourist amenities under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme project. Out of this, Rs 627.40 crore has been sanctioned for the 10 Swadesh Darshan Scheme projects sanctioned during 2018-19. It also gave its approval for the release of an additional Rs 1,854.67 crore for sanctioning of new projects during 2019-20 in the scheme. Under the scheme, the Ministry of Tourism is developing critical tourism infrastructure in a sustainable and inclusive manner. The provision of this critical infrastructure will catalyse the private sector investment in revenue-generating projects which in turn would lead to positive enhancement of overall experience of tourists. This would lead to increased footfall in the areas, growth of revenue and employment.

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Bids invited from private sector to redevelop four railway stations

For the redevelopment of Nagpur, Gwalior, Amritsar and Sabarmati railway stations, the government has invited bids involving an investment of around Rs 1,300 crore. The redevelopment was a long-standing demand to spur private investment in the sector. This comes soon after the Indian Railways’ decision to prioritise development of 50 railway stations, drawing from the example of privatisation of six airports in the country.  The Indian Railways Station Development Corporation has invited request for qualification (RFQ) for the redevelopment of these railway stations. The indicative station redevelopment cost for the four projects will be Rs 465 crore for Nagpur, Rs 300 crore for Gwalior, Rs 375 crore for Amritsar and Rs 156 crore for Sabarmati.

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Government invested Rs 300 crore in airport infrastructure till November 2019

The government has said that it has invested over Rs 300 crore for developing airport infrastructure till November this fiscal. In an official statement, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said that as many as 10 airports commenced operations in 2019, 335 routes have been awarded, covering 33 aerodromes during the year. According to the ministry, approximately 3.4 million passengers flew under the government’s regional connectivity scheme, Udan, till date, with 134 routes commencing operations between January and October. “Rs 304.49 crore has been spent on up-gradation of existing and new airports from April to November this year. “Also, 10 airports became operational till December 7 in 2019, of which four are underserved (Lilabari, Belgaum, Pantnagar and Durgapur) and the remaining ones unserved (Kullu, Kalaburgi, Kannar, Dimapur, Hindon and Pithoragarh),” the release said.

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AirAsia India starts flights to Kochi and Ahmedabad from Delhi

Expanding its network, AirAsia India has launched new flights to Kochi and Ahmedabad from Delhi effective December 20. The inaugural starting fares on these new routes between New Delhi-Kochi and New Delhi- Ahmedabad are priced attractively at Rs 3915 and Rs 2015 respectively. Flight no i5791 from New Delhi departs at 4:55 hours and lands in Kochi at 08:00 hours while flight i5792 fly back to New Delhi from Kochi at 08:50 hours and reaches the destination at 12:00 hours. Flight i5795 from New Delhi departs at 21:30 hours and reaches Ahmedabad at 23:05 hours. On its way back to New Delhi, flight i5769 departs at 23:35 hours and lands in New Delhi at 01:05 hours.  The low-cost carrier now flies to 21 destinations pan-India with a fleet of 27 A320 aircraft. While launching flights to Kochi and Ahmedabad, the newly appointed Chief Commercial Officer of the airline, Ankur Garg said, “We continue to strengthen our network across India. I am confident that, with the robust expansion plans we have chalked out for 2020-2021, we will be able to offer our services on many more new routes.” AirAsia India flew 7.60 lakh passengers in November with a 5.9 per cent market share.

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5th OTOAI Convention in Turkey from March 15-18, 2020

The Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) will organise its fifth convention in Turkey from March 15-18, 2020, informed Riaz Munshi, President, OTOAI. He added that the pre-convention tour will be organised from March 12-15, 2020, while post-convention tours will be from March 18-21, 2020. “Preparations are going on in full swing for the convention in Turkey. Apart from the pre and post tours, we are finalising flight travel arrangements and sessions of the convention. Very soon, we will organise an event at the Turkish Embassy with the Ambassador to share more details,” he said. The last OTOAI Convention was held in South Africa in 2018.

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IRCTC signs MoU to promote HRANI member hotels on its website

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has signed an MoU with Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI), under which HRANI hotel members would be able to list their room rate and inventory on IRCTC booking engine portal. The aim of this MoU is to promote domestic tourism and reduce the customer acquisition cost. The MoU signing saw in presence MP Mall, CMD, IRCTC; Surendra Kumar Jaiswal, President, HRANI & Vice President, FHRAI; Amarvir Singh, Hony. Secretary; Garish Oberoi, Treasurer and Renu Thapliyal, Secretary General, HRANI. Under the partnership IRCTC has allowed to offer 10% commission from its Member Unit of HRANI. HRANI member will also get 50% discount on one-time integration charge of Rs 20,000/- plus tax. Individual members need to pay an amount of Rs 10,000/- plus tax to IRCTC for integration on the booking portal of IRCTC.

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South African Tourism to take its roadshow to Bengaluru, Pune and Mumbai in 2020

South African Tourism is all set to start the 17th edition of its roadshow, which will travel to three Indian cities of Bengaluru, Pune and Mumbai on 13th, 14th and 15th January 2020 respectively. There will be a 48-member South African trade delegation for the latest edition of roadshows, which will educate and enable Indian trade partners to sell the destination better. In addition to experiences, representatives from accommodation establishments, destination management companies, airlines, tourism associations will display their products and engage Indian travel and trade associates. Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head – MEISEA, South African Tourism says, “Our 17th Annual Roadshow is yet another testament of our firm commitment to the India market, which offers tremendous potential when it comes to outbound long-haul travel. The Roadshow offers us and our in-destination partners a chance to showcase the best of South Africa, and bring it alive for the Indian travel trade – our biggest endorsers in the market. This year’s edition is slated to be even more special and exciting with the attendance of numerous South African SMMEs. We are confident that the 17th edition will be outstanding and more impactful than ever before in terms of business conversions.”

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Lords Hotels & Resorts opens in Guwahati, their first property in Northeast

Lords Hotels & Resorts has added a new property in Guwahati, Assam, named Lords Eco Inn, which will be launched under the ‘Eco Inn’ brand. The hotel will start operations after implementation of brand standards and refurbishment. It will feature well-appointed rooms, a multi-cuisine restaurant and a banquet hall. The property is at a distance of 22 km from Guwahati Railway Station and walking distance from Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport. Pushpendra Bansal – Chief Operating Officer, Lords Hotels and Resorts said “Guwahati is a gateway to seven sisters in North East and increasingly emerging as a commercial and tourism hub. We see immense potential for business and leisure tourism in Guwahati and are proud to introduce Lords Eco Inn in this region”. Bhuban Pradhan, Mrs. Rinchin Droma promoters of Lords Eco Inn, Guwahati further added “It is indeed a pleasure for us to partner with Lords Hotels and Resorts to introduce the first Lords Hotel in North East Region of India. We are proud of the team that has been put together and are confident that our guests are going to be delighted every time they step into this property”.

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