Tourism Breaking News

Medical Tourism Society in Telangana

In an attempt to leverage medical tourism in Telangana, the Tourism Department and Health Department of the state have come together to form a Medical Tourism Society. The society is aimed at creating a single platform for all stakeholders both public and private to interact and address issues regarding medical tourism. B.Venkatesham, Secretary Tourism, Government of Telangana, said, “Till now we have involved the hospitals, accreditation bodies, health officials and tourism officials in improving medical tourism but we understand the importance of medical travel facilitators and thus this platform will allow the travel agents to put up their issues and participate. The government will also assist and act as a facilitator to the travel agents functioning in this segment of tourism.”

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IndiGo connects Port Blair to Kolkata, Chennai

IndiGo will introduce new daily non-stop flights to Port Blair from Kolkata and Chennai effective September 28 and September 30, 2016, respectively. Port Blair will also be connected to Delhi (via Kolkata) and Hyderabad (via Chennai). The airline will also launch additional frequencies with daily non-stop flight between Delhi & Kolkata, Delhi & Chennai and Hyderabad & Varanasi sectors. The arrival fares for Kolkata-Port Blair flight is Rs 3499, Chennai-Port Blair flight is Rs 4499, Delhi-Port Blair flight is Rs 5999. Speaking on the launch of new flights and the addition of the new destination, Aditya Ghosh, President, IndiGo said, “We are extremely pleased about adding Port Blair as our 41st destination. It is going to be an important part of our destination network, catering to the needs of both business as well as leisure travellers, looking to embrace the deep blue waters. In addition, IndiGo will connect holy city of Varanasi with Hyderabad with daily non-stop service. Clearly, these are exciting times for the aviation industry and for us, as we are now in the 11th year of operation. We thank our flyers for their unflinching support in these past 10 years and we will continue to provide them an on time, hassle free and affordable flying experience.” On the international sector, IndiGo in August launched first daily non-stop flight between Chandigarh-Dubai and second daily non-stop on Kochi-Dubai sector. On the domestic front, IndiGo also recently introduced additional frequencies in Agartala – Kolkata sector, 1st non-stop flight on the Kolkata-Visakhapatnam-Kolkata sector and 5th daily non-stop flight between Kolkata and Hyderabad.

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Caper Travel to start new transport company

Caper Travel Company is all set to launch a new transport company. According to Bharat Bhushan Atree, Managing Director, Caper Travel Company announced about the new venture at the cocktail evening they hosted for their partners in the travel trade. He revealed that initially they will start off with 100 luxury cars, which will have GPS and state-of-the-art software for tracking movements, to ensure the safety of their clients.

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Egypt President in India to discuss bilateral tourism

Egypt aims to achieve the 2010 figure of 1,14,000 Indian tourist visits (per year) soon. H.E. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi President of Egypt is visiting India from September 1 to 3 to meet Indian business leaders. Ismail Amer, the Egyptian Tourism Counsellor in Mumbai, said, “The visit by focusing on the deep friendship and cooperation and the great deal of common civilization components between the two countries and by highlighting the long history of fraternity of the two peoples will reflect positively in a growing intra tourist flow between the two great countries. Tourist traffic from India to Egypt has increase by 27.2 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014. We are quite sure that the tourist traffic to Egypt from India is going soon to fully recover to the figures recorded in 2010 which touch based then the figure of 1,14,000 tourists per year. The visit is another great factor to boost Egypt’s efforts in that regard.” The program of the visit will tackle different political and economic issues of mutual interest for the two countries and will witness the signatory of agreements and MoUs for new huge joint projects in various domains.

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Thomas Cook felicitates 270 students in Mumbai

Thomas Cook India Limited’s education and training vertical, Centre of Learning, felicitated 270 students of the 2015-2016 batch at its fifth Convocation Ceremony held at the Indian Merchants Chamber, Mumbai. The ceremony was graced by the Chief Guest Craig Astridge, Regional Head, Marketing and Commercial Services, Asia-Pacific International Air Transport Association. Other guests at the event included Lokesh Matta – Regional Training Business Development Manager, South Asia at International Air Transport Association (IATA) along with Soraya Homchuen – Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Abraham Alapatt, President & Group Head – Marketing, Service Quality, Financial Services & Innovation, Thomas Cook (India), and Smeeta Gulvady,‎ Vice President & Head- Centre of Learning at Thomas Cook (India). The Centre of Learning Convocation Ceremony honoured its students who had successfully completed the Travel Professional Program, a Post Graduate Course in Travel & Tourism Management, Certificate Course in World Tour Management, IATA. Scholarship certificates and special prizes were awarded to top performers of Centre of Learning’s Travel Professional Program – a Post Graduate course in Travel & Tourism Management.

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Kerala signs agreement with Ministry of Railways

A joint venture agreement was signed between the Ministry of Railways and Government of Kerala for developing railway infrastructure in the state. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Minister of Railways, Government of India , Ashok Kumar Mital, Chairman, Railway Board; Aditya Kumar Mittal, Member Engineering, Board Members and other senior officials were also present on the occasion. The JV Agreement was signed by S.C. Jain, Executive Director(Works) on behalf of Railways whereas it was signed by K.R. Jyothilal, Secretary, Department of Transport and Revenue (Devaswom) on behalf of Government of Kerala. Speaking on the occasion, Prabhu said that the signing of JV Agreements with the State Governments is a farsighted step of the Ministry of Railways by which Railways want to work hand in glove with the State Governments for the development of railway infrastructure in the states. He said that these kinds of JV Agreement is the best example of cooperative federalism for development of the nation as envisioned by our Prime Minister. He pointed out that Kerala has been neglected for too long and now concerted efforts are needed to develop its railway infrastructure. He said that Railway Ministry has given maximum allocation to Kerala during 2014-15 to 2016-17. He further said that Railways is also working on the re-development of Kochi and Ernakulam stations of Kerala State. Speaking on the occasion, Chairman, Railway Board said that today’s JV Agreement will certainly fulfill the rail transport needs of the people of Kerala. He said that Railways want to extend railway network all over particularly in the States where demand is more and rail density is less. He said that railways has very limited resources and thus working in collaboration with …

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Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel launches 56 Serviced Apartments

Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel, Gachibowli, recently unveiled 56 fully furnished apartments, adding to the hotel’s existing 216 rooms. Starting from Studio with variants of one bedroom and two bedroom options, they are perfectly suited to guests staying in Hyderabad for an extended duration of a week upwards. Located in the financial district of Gachibowli, the Sheraton Apartments are conveniently located just 20 minutes from the Hi-Tech City and close to 25 minutes from the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. The Apartments have been specially designed to offer a ‘home away from home’ experience to guests in the city for extended periods, fitted with a well-equipped kitchenette, spacious living and dining rooms and an exclusive landscaped patio, guests can choose from a Studio, Deluxe, Superior and Executive Apartments. As an additional benefit, guests can order groceries from the Retail Menu, which will be delivered to them at the end of the day. While staying at the apartments, guests also have complete access to all the amenities available at Sheraton Hyderabad, that includes ‘Feast’, the all-day dining venue, ‘inAzia’, which serves unique and extravagant Pan-Asian specialties, ’Link@Sheraton’- the lobby lounge bar & patisserie and ‘Chime’, the high energy lounge and bar with an Asian décor. Commenting on the launch, Shibil Malik, General Manager, Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel said, “The addition of Sheraton Serviced Apartments to our portfolio reflects our commitment to making our guests stay effortless, by providing home like comforts with an array of convenient hotel services to choose from. The launch is perfectly timed coinciding with the growing demand for quality, branded accommodation, especially for extended stays in one of India’s favorite hub for investors.”

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Stayzilla brings offline connectivity features to its App

Homestays aggregator Stayzilla has revamped its mobile application to ensure that hosts and guests are connected 24/7 in locations with poor connectivity. The App has been designed to overcome data connectivity challenges in the farthest corners that often house the most beautiful homestays in the country. Most of these homestays are located in regions where there is no internet connectivity. When a guest books a stay in such remote areas, the booking often gets no response and is lost due to poor connectivity from the home owner or host’s end. Says Pankaj Gupta, Chief Product and Technology Officer, Stayzilla, “Stayzilla has hosts and homestays spanning the breadth and depth of India. This app release ensures that bookings can be realized end to end irrespective of the underlying data connectivity. We continue to work on exciting technical and product solutions to serve our mission of connecting travelers with hosts on Stayzilla.” Stayzilla’s offline feature will now connect the home owner with the guest by sending notifications on the app via SMS when the host is in data offline mode. The home owner simply needs to have a phone with cellular connectivity (even without 2G/ 3G) to receive the booking confirmation on his/ her mobile phone. Additionally, Stayzilla also ensures connectivity with the host through automated IVR, wherein he/ she is able to confirm bookings. The cognitive feature of the app predicts whether the host’s phone has internet connectivity or not and determines intuitively to reach out either via SMS or app notifications accordingly.

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TAAI, TAFI to conduct joint IATA training in 16 cities

The two biggest travel trade associations in India, the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), in co-ordination with IATA, will be coming together to conduct joint training workshops in 16 cities starting from September 14 and ending on September 29, 2016. This will not just be for its members but for all IATA agents as well. These three-hour sessions aim to improve the participant’s overall understanding about the latest development and impending changes in the billing and settlement reports used in BSP. Interested agents are requested to register latest by September 9, 2016 to participate. Registration will  be limited to two representatives per agency. BSP India is scheduled to migrate its billing software to IATA’s single global software – IBSPs. This joint effort is aimed at getting all IATA-accredited agencies in India to get familiar with the new BSP reports.

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India is 3rd biggest source market for Singapore

A total of 573,010 Indians visited Singapore in the first six months of 2016 recording a 10.1 per cent growth compared to the same period last year. India has now become the third largest source of international visitors to Singapore, having overtaken Malaysia. In total, international arrivals to Singapore jumped 12.5 per cent to 8.17 million in the first half of 2016. China is the country’s number one source market with 1.47m Chinese visitors while Indonesia ranks second largest market with 1.41 million visitors (growth of 7.3 per cent) Overall visitation from South Asia to Singapore climbed 9.0 per cent to 701,830 in the first half, including increased traffic from Sri Lanka (+3.3% to 45,801) and Bangladesh (+2.2% to 60,367).

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