Tourism Breaking News

German media giant Bertelsmann invests in Treebo

The international media, services and education company Bertelsmann is leading a Series B round of financing for Treebo, an Indian branded managed marketplace for budget hotels. Existing investors SAIF Partners and Matrix Partners are also participating in this fundraise. Pankaj Makkar, Managing Director of Bertelsmann India Investments, said, “Treebo serves a huge unmet need in the budget travel space – that of reliable and affordable accommodation. Over the year since the group was established, they have focused on delivering a great guest experience, and have extensively deployed technology in all parts of their operations to accomplish this objective. We are excited to partner with them on a journey towards building one of the most innovative and popular consumer brands in the hospitality space.” Treebo offers moderately priced accommodations for travellers. The brand guarantees free breakfast and beverages, free internet access and high standards of cleanliness. Treebo helps its partners that operate under the umbrella brand to keep developing these standards and uses innovative technologies, marketing strategies and events to ensure consistently high occupancy rates and customer satisfaction. Treebo Co-founder Rahul Chaudhary said, “Bertelsmann is a globally respected business partner. They are known for taking a long-term view of their investments, and for supporting companies that create sustainable, long-term value.” Treebo plans to use the new funds to drive its own expansion, strengthen its marketing, and make investments in technology. It is the ninth company in the Bertelsmann India Investments portfolio and the fourth new investment in 2016.

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Cinnamon Hotels enages Delhi agents

The resorts team from Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, a chain of 14 hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, visited Delhi last week to meet with the travel agents. The team led by Sunimal Senanayake, Sector Head, Cinnamon’s resort properties in Sri Lanka & Maldives, included Senior Vice President Sales, marketing communications manager and sales manager of the resort properties, who were pleased to meet the travel agents and understand the perspective of the Indian traveller. Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts also participated in GPS, Chandigarh which was held on 21st and 22nd July 2016.

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Rail link to connect India-Bangladesh

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu will lay the foundation stone for a new cross-border line on July 31 linking Agartala in Tripura, with Akhaura, in Bangladesh’s Chittagong region. The project is expected to cost Rs 9.68 billion (US$144 million) and will run for just 15 km either side of the border – 5 km on the Indian side and 10km on the Bangladeshi side. However, the link will help increase accessibility between the remote state of Tripura and the rest of India. The 1,650 km distance between Agartala and Kolkata will be reduced to only 550 km once the new rail track is linked. Presently, India and Bangladesh have four rail links with West Bengal.

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Subhash Verma v/s P.P. Khanna for ADTOI President

The Association of Domestic Tour Operators (ADTOI) has released the final nominations list for its biennial election scheduled for Aug 10. Subhash Verma and P.P. Khanna are in the run for the President’s position with their respective teams in place. P.P. Khanna’s team has Rajat Sawhney contesting for the position for Vice President; Chetan Gupta for General Secretary; Rajesh Arya for Treasurer; and Dalip Gupta for Joint Secretary. Their team members contesting for EC Members include Manoj Varsheny, Rajeev Sobti, Ved Khanna, Sandeep Bhagat, Gaurav Chawala, Jatinder Bhatia and Reena Chopra. On the other hand, the team headed by Subhash Verma has Sanajy Aggarwal contesting for Vice President; Anurag Aggarwal for General Secretary; Kamal Gandhi for Treasurer; and Debashish Dey for Joint Secretary. Their nominations for EC Members include Arvind Khanna, Ankit Miglani, Ashish Sehgal, Manoj Mehta, Rajiv Chawal, Rajiv Arora, Sanajy Saxena and Vishal Joshi. Apart from these two teams, there are two independent candidates contesting for EC Members—Sandeep Bhagat and Vinay Ahuja.

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Air India connects Ahmedabad to New York

Effective August 15, 2016, Air India’s existing Ahmedabad-London service will be extended across the Atlantic to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. With the new schedule, the national carrier’s flights from Ahmedabad to London Heathrow will continue to Newark every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The flight will depart Ahmedabad at 0530 and arrive in London at 1015 and then it will take off again at 1230 and arrive in Newark at 1500. The returning flight will leave from Newark at 2230 every Monday and Friday and land at Heathrow at 1015 the next morning and then it will again depart London at 1230 and reach back in Ahmedabad at 0200 the following morning. However, on Thursdays, the return flights will leave Newark at 0200 and arrive in Ahmedabad at 0330 the next morning, including the stop in London. The flights are now available for booking, and will be operated using Air India’s two-class Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

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MOT proposes medical e-visa for attendants

Ministry of Tourism is pushing for medical e-visa for attendants who will accompany patients travelling to India for medical purposes, revealed Suman Billa, Joint Secretary-Tourism, Government of India. “There are several aspects that are being looked into to develop medical tourism facilities in the country. Currently, the patient has to report to the FRRO within 15 days of entering the country. However, we are trying to empower the hospital to file the FRRO clearance for the patient.” Billa added that MOT is also trying to simplify the requirement of providing medical certificates from local doctors – a mandate applied for several African nationalities who travel to India for medical purposes.

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ICPB’s Conventions India Conclave from Oct 13-15

India Convention Promotion Bureau’s (ICPB’s) ninth Conventions India Conclave from Oct 13-15, 2016. It will be held in Leela Ambience, Gurgaon. Delhi is the partner state for the Convention. Its main aim is to promote Delhi as the Convention Capital of India. Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, ICPB, says, “Our focus will be mainly on B2B. We are getting approximately 50 buyers from outside India and there will be approximately 200 Indian buyers who are the decision makers of  holding various conferences and exhibitions in India.” Mansharamani also informs that ICPB has identified ten states where it is planning to have chapters. The first one would be in Mumbai  with the Maharashtra government. He says, “ICPB likes to take that kind of area where we can go and bid for international conferences.”

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Metro to link Delhi Airport’s T3 with 1D

The two terminals of Indira Gandhi International Airport New Delhi, T3 and 1D, will soon be connected through metro. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is planning a link between the two terminals under its Phase IV of construction. As per the plan, the Tughlakabad-Aerocity corridor will be extended till the domestic airport, providing connectivity between the Airport Express link and 1D. The alignment originally proposed in Phase IV started from Tughlakabad and terminated at Aerocity. At present, passengers moving between the two terminals have to take a shuttle service, provided by airlines as well as Delhi Transport Corporation.

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Singapore Airlines to add another Kolkata flight

Singapore Airlines is planning to launch an additional weekly flight to Kolkata by the end of this year. This would mean that starting  December 2016, the airline’s existing thrice weekly direct service between Singapore and Kolkata will increase to four flights per week. There will be an additional Wednesday flight adding to the Monday, Friday and Saturday departures from Kolkata. SIA’s Kolkata flights depart Singapore’s Changi Airport at 2055 and arrive in the West Bengal city at 2240. The return flights then leave Kolkata’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport at 2355 and arrive back in Singapore at 0640. Flights are operated using a twin-aisle Airbus A330 aircraft and complement SilkAir’s service on the same route.

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IAAI convention in Delhi in November

The IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI) is all set to hold its convention — ICON 2016 — in November at New Delhi. The decision to hold the convention was unanimously taken at the National Management Committee Meeting of IAAI, which was held at Kochi, Kerala on July 22-23, 2016. This will be for the first time that Convention will be held in Northern India which is seen as the result of excellent growth and popularity of IAAI in the region. H S Chawla (Delhi) will be the Chairman of ICON 2016 Reception Committee. Jagdeep Bhagat (Delhi) is nominated to be the Convention Chairman, while VKT Balan (Tamil Nadu) and  Aveek Ghosh (Uttar Pradesh) have been nominated as Convention Co-Chairman. Vipin Chandra (Kerala),Madhav Reddy (Andhra Pradesh), Manish Synghal (Maharasthra), Tushar Jain, Vikas Arora, Sanjay Kumar Bhardwaj, Harish Verma from IAAI Northern Region will be part of the convention team.

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