Tourism Breaking News

Sarovar Hotels steps into Zambia with Sarovar Premiere Lusaka

Expanding its overseas portfolio, Sarovar Hotels Pvt. Ltd. announces the signing of its latest project in Africa, Sarovar Premiere Lusaka in Zambia. This development marks Sarovar’s presence in the five countries in Africa including Tanzania, Kenya, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Zambia. Sarovar Premiere Lusaka is an 82 key all-suite hotel conveniently located around the city centre. Built in elegant designs with all modern facilities, it is the only all-suite hotel in town which will offer the space and comfort of a personal apartment, an extension of a home. The hotel is being developed by Neelkanth Group based out of Zambia whose core business lies in steel, lime, copper cables and real estate. Sarovar Premiere Lusaka is expected to open in 2018. Sarovar Premiere Lusaka represents Sarovar’s exponential growth in Africa. Making its presence in Lusaka, the largest city of Zambia and one of the fastest developing cities in South Africa, the group hopes to spread the signature Sarovar hospitality across the continent here. Upon completion, Sarovar Premiere Lusaka will offer 82 guest suites, an all-day dining, a bar lounge and an alfresco diner. The hotel will also make for an ideal destination with its excellent banquet and conference facilities. Those looking for some leisure indulgences can unwind at the spa, swimming pool or the wellness centre equipped with the best of services and amenities.

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Travelport becomes first GDS to receive IATA’s NDC Aggregator certification

Travelport announced that it has become the first GDS to be granted with both ‘Aggregator Level One’ certification and ‘IT Provider Level Two’ status by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as part of its New Distribution Capability (NDC) programme. For airlines, this means that Travelport is able to fully integrate with its NDC application programme interface should the airline choose to use NDC-XML messaging to distribute and deliver their fares and products. For travel agencies and travel management companies, this means that when shopping for and booking flights via Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform, they will have even more enhanced travel content and greater access to ancillary offers. In particular, Travelport-connected agents will be able to make ancillary sales post the original flight booking, and through their preferred agency workflows, for the first time. Travelport has also achieved the NDC-capable ‘IT Provider’ Level Two status, making it only the second organisation—and first GDS–ever to be designated as NDC certified and NDC Capable.  This further expands its NDC capabilities and means that Travelport also has the option to distribute IATA NDC offers for fares and prices on behalf of the airlines electing to use IATA’s industry standards.

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Trafalgar offers agents all of its Europe and Britain departures

Tour operator, Trafalgar, has reaffirmed its commitment to making it easier for agents to book the brand with confidence, by revealing that 100 per cent of its 2017 Europe and Britain and Asia departures are now definite. Commenting on the milestone ‘Definite Departures’ status, Nicholas Lim, President, Trafalgar (Asia) said, “At Trafalgar, we are wholly focused on strengthening relationships with our valued industry partners, ensuring that they are fully equipped to sell our guided holidays with confidence and ease. We are thrilled to be able to guarantee agents that the chances of winning with Trafalgar are 100 per cent when it comes to selling our extensive portfolio of 109 guided holidays for summer in Europe and Britain and 17 different trips across Asia. Crucial to our brand success is the confidence that our partners continue to place in us, so for that we extend our sincere thanks and wish them all the best for an unprecedented selling season in 2017.” The news on ‘Definite Departures’ complements the latest endeavour from Trafalgar to simplify the sales process for partners. Additional incentives to book Trafalgar include the current Early Payment Discount (EPD) of 7.5 per cent (valid until 30 March 2017) which is combinable with Trafalgar Frequent Traveller discounts, to enable another five per cent savings. On many trips, young travellers (5-17 years old) enjoy up to 10 per cent when accompanying an adult, and solo travellers can save by pairing up with a fellow traveller (of the same gender) in a twin room. If Trafalgar is not able find a match, then the solo traveller can stay in a single room at no extra cost.

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TCI’s ‘The Grand Indian Holiday Sale’ to help expand India’s holiday market

Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. in a strategic initiative to expand India’s travel market, has conceptualised an annual property, “The Grand Indian Holiday Sale”, carefully timed to coincide with the peak booking window for summer vacations- India’s largest holiday season. The focused intent to catalyse holiday demand is delivered via a range of specially curated offers and discounts targeting India’s quintessential ‘value seeker’. This intense 10 day sale offers India’s travellers a range of attractive deals and discounts on both domestic and international bookings, covering flights, hotels and holiday packages. To capture its diversity of customers, digitally native and retail, and ensure convenience and easy access, “The Grand Indian Holiday Sale”, is available across Thomas Cook India’s omnichannel network – its online platforms (mobile & website), call centers & extensive offline outlets. Thomas Cook India’s ‘The Great Indian Holiday Sale’ extends across the company’s portfolio of India and International destinations and will be promoted via an intense marketing blitz across outdoor, print and digital over a two week period, across key metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune and Ahmedabad. Abraham Alapatt, President & Group Head – Marketing, Service Quality, Financial Services & Innovation, Thomas Cook India said, “The Grand Indian Holiday Sale’’ has been conceptualized as a powerful annual property making holidays affordable for every Indian. The initiative is designed to leverage the critical booking period for India’s peak vacation season with exciting deals, thus driving demand and conversions. As a pioneer in the industry, our grand sale in the travel and holiday category intends to build a strong annual property that Indian travellers look forward to every year.” He added, “In addition to the range of attractive …

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Cutting Edge to exclusively sell FIFA World Cup Russia 2018

Sports events travel company, Cutting Edge has been appointed as the exclusive sales agent of Switzerland-based MATCH Hospitality in India for the sale of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Official Hospitality Programme. The Mumbai-based company had earlier partnered with the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa and 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Mayank Khandwala, President, Cutting Edge, says, “We will bring sports fans in India closer to the most coveted football competition in the world by providing fans with the opportunity to purchase ticket-inclusive hospitality packages to the 2018 FIFA World Cup as well as offering a comprehensive range of travel packages including accommodation, transportation and even sightseeing.” Jaime Byrom, Executive Chairman, MATCH Hospitality, adds, “We know that Cutting Edge are our best partners to open the door to an Indian travel market ready for the extraordinary experiences promised by this exceptional FIFA World Cup environment.” MATCH Hospitality is the exclusive rights holder of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Official Hospitality Programme and is the only company worldwide that has been officially appointed by FIFA to promote and sell, either directly or via its global network of sales agents, official commercial hospitality packages including guaranteed match tickets.

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Wyndham adds 3 hotels to Ramada and Ramada Encore brands in India

Wyndham Hotel Group has announced the addition of three new hotels under the Ramada and Ramada Encore brands to its India portfolio. In order to expand the brand across Eurasia, the recent additions at Kumbhalgarh (Rajasthan), Jalandhar (Punjab) and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) further strengthen Wyndham Hotel Group’s presence in the northern belt of the country. Wyndham Hotel Group now has 28 operational hotels in India and 36 hotels in the Eurasia region. “India is an integral part of Wyndham Hotel Group’s global growth strategy. The addition of these three hotels will broaden our footprint not only in the country but also in the region. Having enabled greater visibility of the Ramada brand to India’s growing foreign and domestic travellers, we hope to drive additional brand familiarity and increased loyalty this year,” said Deepika Arora, Regional Vice President, Eurasia, Wyndham Hotel Group. Ramada Resort Kumbhalgarh (Rajasthan) opened on December 22, 2016, while Ramada Encore Jalandhar (Punjab) opened on December 23, 2016. The company also opened Ramada Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) on December 26, 2016

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Centaur Hotel, Delhi to be demolished for aircraft parking

Delhi’s iconic Centaur Hotel which was built for the 1982 Asian Games, will soon be razed to grounds. This is being done as part of the expansion of Terminal 3 of Delhi’s international airport where more space will be required to park aircraft. According to DIAL, the site of the hotel will be required by December 2019. The Centaur Hotel IGI Airport operates 376 rooms. The Hotel was constructed in 1982 as a business cum leisure hotel and construction was completed in a record period of 18 months to coincide with the inauguration of the 1982 Asian Games held at New Delhi.

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Radisson Blu Jammu opens with 119 rooms

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group’s  Radisson Blu Jammu, opened with 119 rooms and suites with modern amenities, for corporate and leisure travellers. The room rates per night start from Rs 6750. The hotel is a 14 minutes drive from Jammu Airport (IXJ) and six minutes by car from Jammu Tawi Railway Station, the city’s main railway station. The hotel features flexible meeting spaces including a 25,000 sq. ft. Royal Ballroom that accommodates up to 2,000 guests with additional pre-function space and a lawn for pre-event cocktails. Located at the epicenter of Jammu’s economic activity, the hotel is within close proximity to the corporate hub, Bahu Plaza, industrial estates, Bari Brahmana, Gangyal and Samba, several leading educational institutions and multi-specialty hospitals. The hotel features other facilities including the Business Class Lounge, business center, swimming pool, spa and fully equipped fitness center. Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group said, “Jammu is a region that enjoys strong domestic leisure demand and is home to some of the most visited destinations in India. Integral to our India growth strategy, is expanding in leisure markets and state capitals. With the opening of Radisson Blu Jammu, we will make inroads into the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir; we are delighted to be partnering Skyline Hotels in this iconic hotel.”

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Railway Minister flags off first Antyodaya Express

Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu flagged off the fourth Humsafar clan of trains and first Antyodaya clan of trains through video conferencing from Rail Bhawan. The minister also launched the New Catering Policy 2017 and the new partnership in parcel business with Department of Post. The first Antyodaya Express between Ernakulam and Howrah viz. Ernakulam-Howrah Antyodaya Express (weekly). Antyodaya Express are long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, for the common man to be operated on dense routes. The new Sriganganagar-Tiruchchirapalli Humsafar Express (weekly) was announced in Railway Budget 2016-17, and is fully air-conditioned third AC service with an optional service for meals. Till date, 3 Humsafar Express trains have been introduced on Indian Railways. Chairman, Railway Board, A.K. Mital, Member Traffic Mohd Jamshed, other Railway Board Members, Secretary Department of Post Boyapati V. Sudhakar and other senior officials were also present on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion Prabhu said, “This is the fourth Humsafar Express to be launched and it will cross the entire country from North to South. Humsafar train is a fully Air Conditioned 3 AC service having facilities like GPS based Passenger Information System, Passenger announcement System, fire and smoke detection and suppression system, CCTVs, comfortable seats, mobile and laptop charging points, integrated Braille display, LCD display above compartment doors in the aisle, Fire retardant curtains, etc.” He also said that “Today we are launching the country’s first Antyodaya Express to be launched. Tejas and UDAY Express will be launched soon. Antyodaya Express is a long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, for the common man to be operated on dense routes. Antyodaya Express will have facilities like  Cushioned luggage racks which can serve as seats  …

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Lufthansa’s A350-900 to connect Munich-Mumbai from April 16

Lufthansa Group has announced that it will deploy its latest long haul aircraft, Airbus A350-900, to Mumbai during the summer schedule of 2017. From April 16 onwards, Mumbai becomes the third destination worldwide to welcome the state-of-the-art aircraft. Flying on Lufthansa’s Munich (MUC) to Mumbai (MUM) route, the A350-900 will offer Mumbai area residents travel choices and better connections to Lufthansa’s vast global network. Earlier this month, Lufthansa Group marked a key milestone in Indian aviation by starting the first commercial operations of A350-900 to Delhi.

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