Tourism Breaking News

StayWell Hospitality Group signs Park Regis in South India

Australian-owned Hotel Management Company StayWell Hospitality Group is opening a 72-room Park Regis Sanpra Beach in Visakhapatnam in the first quarter of 2017. Opening in partnership with Indian infrastructure company Sanpra Group, the property will be StayWell’s third across the country and first in southern India. StayWell Hospitality Group CEO Simon Wan said that opening and managing a hotel in the developing city of Visakhapatnam presents many benefits for both StayWell and the local region. “We are passionate about expanding our Park Regis and Leisure Inn brands internationally and see the opening of Park Regis Sanpra Beach in Visakhapatnam, a known Tier II city primed for future development, as a great opportunity to enter into the new market of Southern India,” Wan said. Property owner, P. Kiran Kumar said that joining forces with StayWell Hospitality Group to manage this hotel in early 2017 will bring increased efficiencies and an enhanced guest experience. “The new hotel management agreement with StayWell will bring new world-class operational systems and procedures to the region which both guests and staff will benefit from,” Kumar said. “We are delighted that the hotel matches the vision of the Andhra Pradesh government by bringing in the world-class infrastructure and associating with an international hotel management chain, StayWell Hospitality Group by signing with their upscale brand, Park Regis,” he said. StayWell Hospitality Group India’s Managing Director Rohit Vig also agrees that the brands future within India looks bright following the formalisation of this hotel management agreement which now represents a total of 12 hotels signed under the StayWell brands of Park Regis and Leisure Inn within India. “Park Regis Sanpra Beach is a great addition to the StayWell Portfolio …

Read More »

SilkAir launches new mobile App

Singapore Airlines’ regional wing SilkAir has launched a new mobile App which offers travellers greater travel convenience from booking to boarding. Designed to be fast and intuitive, the mobile App aims to provide users with a functional and seamless user experience. Key features of the mobile app include flight booking, exclusive fares and itinerary management. Users can personalise the SilkAir mobile App home screen to show relevant flight updates and information, while push notifications can be enabled to receive prompt check-in reminders for upcoming trips. Travellers flying from Singapore Changi Airport can also enjoy the Mobile Boarding Pass feature which allows for more efficient flight check in. Additionally, the mobile app will allow KrisFlyer members to view their membership details such as miles and tier information in an easy-to-read design. To celebrate the launch, SilkAir is offering special “App-clusive” deals starting from all-in fares of SGD 159 to Langkawi, SGD189 to Phuket and SGD 229 to Yogyakarta, amongst other destinations. These exclusive mobile app fares are available for a limited time only, until 17 October 20162. In addition, bookings paid with MasterCard on the mobile app entitles the customer to free Resorts World SEA Aquarium Passes. “SilkAir is constantly improving and enhancing our various digital touch points to keep up with the changing landscape of the travel industry. With the SilkAir mobile App, customers can expect greater control and convenience when it comes to planning their travel itineraries.” said SilkAir’s Vice President Commercial, Ryan Pua.

Read More »

MOT to sanction Rs 99.97cr by year end for Buddhist Circuit in UP

Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism & Culture has said that for Uttar Pradesh, the ministry is on the verge of sanctioning an amount of Rs.99.97 crore this year for infrastructure development of Buddhist Circuit covering Saravasti, Kapilvastu, Kushinagar. Outlining the ministry’s investment in tourism infrastructure for development of Buddhist Circuit under its Swadesh Darshan scheme, Sharma stated that an amount of Rs. 132.17 crore have been sanctioned till date. Delivering his opening remarks during the International Buddhist Conclave-2016 in Sarnath, UP, Sharma said, “India is the seat of spiritual tourism and that Government of India & Government of Uttar Pradesh are committed to develop the Buddhist Circuits. Sarnath will be made the hub of Buddhist Tourism in India and efforts will be made to bring in air, rail and road connections from Sarnath to various Buddhist sites in India.” Among those attending the opening ceremony were UP Tourism Minister Om Prakash, Tourism Secretary Vinod Zutshi, Navneet Sehgal, Principal Secretary, UP Tourism and Commissioner Varanasi, H.E. Assoc. Professor Chavanee Tongroach, Vice Minister of Tourism & Sports, Govt. of the Kingdom of Thailand, Macio Favilla, Executive Director, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Mayor of Varanasi amongst others attended the opening session of the conclave. Zutshi said that this is the first time when the International Buddhist Conclave is being organized in the premises of Sarnath. He further added that India is prepared for developing a transborder Buddhist Circuit across ASEAN & SAARC countries to enhance movement of Buddhist pilgrims in the region from remaining parts of the world. The whole day session included panel discussions on ‘India- The Land of Buddha’ with an objective to showcase India …

Read More »

SuperStar Gemini to charge gratuity fee from Oct 30

Star Cruises has announced that SuperStar Gemini will impose a Gratuity Fee on cruise passengers (including Genting Rewards members) for all Singapore departures, commencing from October 30, 2016. The Gratuity Fee of SGD 17 per person per night for all cabin categories (Inside Stateroom, Ocean view Stateroom, Ocean view Stateroom with Balcony) and SGD 21 per person per night (Suite Cabins) are applicable. Infants (below two years) will enjoy exclusive Gratuity Fee waiver. The Gratuity Fee will be automatically captured in the individual guests’ cabin keycard upon SuperStar Gemini cruise check-in and boarding. They can make the Gratuity Fee payment at the Reception Counter (Deck 7) onboard prior to cruise disembarkation on the last cruise day. The Gratuity Fee prepaid option is not available. Agents are requested to note that Onboard Credits (OBCR) cannot be used to offset the Gratuity Fee. Genting Rewards Members can utilise their accumulated Genting Points (GP) to offset the Gratuity Fee. Guests entitled to free cruise cabin redemption with Star Cruises Sponsorship Vouchers and Gift Letters are required to bear the applicable port charges and Gratuity Fee.

Read More »

Explora to promote Jordanian DMC in India

Mumbai-based travel representation company, Explora has been appointed to represent a Jordan-based DMC called Zawaya Travel & Tourism. Speaking about the appointment, Karishma Bijlani Kazi, CEO, Explora, says, “We have been appointed as the representatives of Zawaya Travel & Tourism to do their PR, marketing and sales in India. In today’s aggressive market place, we want our travel partners to stand out from the competition. To do this, we provide a robust custom-made service designed to meet individual needs, with the aim of creating strong brand awareness and more importantly, increase financial return. We want our travel partners to regard us as an extension of their own sales and marketing team and for us to work closely together to further develop and maintain successful relationships.” Explora was launched two months and is Kazi’s brainchild. Ghaleb Saloum, General Manager, Zawaya Travel & Tourism, says, “We have produced many successful meetings and incentives programs over the years for different markets. Zawaya Travel &Tourism handles all aspects of organising event from researching our clients’ requirements to the design of meetings and incentives programs, procurement of the massive sound and light systems to meeting and assistance of participants from all around the world. Incentive travel is one of the fastest growing segments within India’s outbound MICE movement thus; we have seen a great opportunity in providing a selection of customised, value-added experiences that cater to the tastes of this important market through its INSPIRE incentive programme. We have partnered with Explora to help us generate ideas, develop content and design our engagement activity. Explora can also help us develop relationships with different travel trade partners.”

Read More »

The Steigenberger Hotel Group is now Deutsche Hospitality

Steigenberger Hotels AG is changing its brand architecture and consolidating its three hotel brands into one umbrella brand: Deutsche Hospitality. Puneet Chhatwal, CEO, Steigenberger Hotels AG, says, “These two words combine our German roots and our international vision. The new umbrella brand is a vital lever that will unleash dynamism, help us to expand internationally, and drive innovation.” Deutsche Hospitality unites three hotel brands under one name: Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts; Jaz in the City, and IntercityHotels. A total of 116 hotels in twelve countries and on three continents are part of the Deutsche Hospitality umbrella brand. 20 of these hotels are under construction or in the planning stage.

Read More »

Ayana Fort Kochi to open in November 2016

Ayana Hospitality, a joint venture between the ICS Group (India) and Mantis Group (South Africa), will open its new hotel in Kochi called Ayana Fort Kochi in November 2016. Located in the heart of Fort Kochi, Ayana will be a luxury boutique hotel offering local architecture, culture and cuisine. Akhil Behl, CEO, Ayana Hospitality, says, “This converted hotel has the distinction of having been the court house during the Portuguese occupation and is said to be almost 200 years old. The main hotel reception has high wooden sloping roof, showcasing the perfect venue for a court proceeding. All 16 rooms feature authentic Indian Athangudi tile floors, combined with classic Art Deco interiors, successfully blending history with modern luxurious comfort.”

Read More »

TAAI requests for IATA workshop in smaller cities

After the success of its joint initiative with TAFI recently, the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has requested IATA to conduct workshops on the IBSP billing system in smaller cities as well. Jay Bhatia, Hon. National Treasurer & Chairman Tourism Council, TAAI, said, “We have requested IATA to cover smaller cities like Rajkot, Indore, Bhopal, Srinagar, Jalandhar and Amritsar as well. We are confident that this too shall be soon taken up in case the agents require the same once the system is implemented around mid of October 2016.” The workshop that was conducted in metro cities from September 14 in 16 chapters across India until September 29, 2016 saw more than 1,200 IATA agents sign up. It updated them on the new reports that shall be generated and the process to understand the same. Bhatia added, “We shall have a clearer picture on the same as detailed queries will start only once it is implemented. This round of workshop included only the theory aspect.”

Read More »

Hungary records 70% growth in Indian arrivals in 2016

Hungary witnessed a growth of 70 per cent in Indian arrivals in 2016 till date, while 40,000 Indian tourists visited the country in 2015, informed Mark Kinces, International Marketing Manager, South-East Europe, Hungarian Tourism Agency. This was revealed at the roadshow conducted by Central Europe comprising of Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary in Mumbai and New Delhi in order to promote the region in the Indian market. “We are not only receiving leisure tourists but also mid-sized groups and MICE travellers to Hungary,” says Kinces. According to Emilia Kubik, Asian Markets Project Leader, Polish Tourist Organisation, 26,000 Indian tourists visited Poland in 2015 and the country expects a 10 per cent increase in Indian arrivals by the end of 2016. Kubik also informed that Poland is also planning to introduce a destination specialist programme for the travel trade in 2017. Czech Republic is expecting to receive 50,000 Indian tourists from India by the end of 2016 revealed Karina Vitkova, International Marketing Manager, Long-haul Markets, Czech Tourism while Slovakia has seen a few thousand Indian arrivals and is hoping to increase awareness about the country amongst the travel trade in order to attract more arrivals explains Robert Vincze, Head-Slovak Convention Bureau, Slovak Tourism Board.

Read More »

TrawellTag Cover-More to sell through Yatra.com

TrawellTag Cover-More has partnered with Yatra.com as it establishes itself in the e-commerce segment. TrawellTag Cover-More India Founder & CEO, Dev Karvat, said “We will now provide our travel insurance and global assistance services to Yatra customers opting for both domestic and overseas travel. The association enables us to provide customised benefits for both leisure and corporate travellers. Our business model for Yatra.com focuses on changing customer needs and forecasted travel risks. The backbone of this model is a one-of-its kind software IMPULSE, an analytics engine that collects a feed of traveller data from the booking platform and crunches this in real time to generate customised offers for the travellers. With ease of integration, this cloud hosted tool customizes travel protection products with an exceptional speed of customer data processing.” Dhruv Shringi, Co-founder & CEO, Yatra.com said: “TrawellTag Cover-More was a natural choice as we share a common commitment; creating the most convenient travel experience for our customers. They bring along with them an impressive product range and technical know-how, more than a decade of domain expertise and a global presence which extends their service offering worldwide.”

Read More »