Tourism Breaking News

IndiGo signs GDS agreement with Travelport

IndiGo has entered a strategic partnership with Travelport which will see the airline distribute all of its fares and ancillary products to Travelport-connected customers worldwide. This is the first time that IndiGo has struck a deal with a global GDS. Through the strategic partnership with Travelport, IndiGo will place its fares, ancillary products and offers into the Travel Commerce Platform. The platform offers fully integrated, industry leading merchandising capabilities and is used extensively by travel agencies in India as well as other key target markets for IndiGo. This distribution platform, unique to Travelport, will enable IndiGo to provide its content via an API connection, rather than the more traditional fare filing methods often favoured by network carriers, and still have their fares and ancillaries displayed, compared and booked in exactly the same way. In addition, the airline will also use Travelport’s leading merchandising capabilities to bring IndiGo’s brand proposition to life for travellers arriving into India and then seeking domestic flights within the country. The distribution partnership will also help the airline reach travellers in international markets as it continues to expand its route network into destinations in the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East and South East Asia. Commenting on the partnership, Aditya Ghosh, President & Whole Time Director, IndiGo said: “This arrangement with Travelport will allow us to reach new customers, both at home and overseas, in a cost effective manner without incurring the traditional costs associated with participating in global distribution platforms using old style industry mechanisms and instead, enabling our real time connectivity to the GDS platform via an XML API link.” Derek Sharp, Travelport’s Managing Director, Air Commerce, said, “It is a testament to our product leadership, …

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AirAsia India to start Hyderabad-Kochi flights

Low-cost carrier AirAsia India announced the induction of an eighth aircraft and plans to take the fleet strength to 20 by the end of 2018. AirAsia India CEO Amar Abrol reportedly said that the airline will operate daily flights connecting Hyderabad and Kochi from October 8. It is offering limited promotional seats for all inclusive fares from Rs. 2,999 on this route. He said the airline hopes to complete the second round of funding by the month-end. However, he declined to give numbers but added that it would help the airline take its fleet strength to 20 aircraft by the end of 2018. All the aircraft will be A320s. (Source: IANS)

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ITDC launches duty free shop at Kakinada deep water seaport

India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) opened its new Duty Free Shop at Kakinada Deep Water Seaport, Andhra Pradesh. The shop was inaugurated by Piyush Tiwari, Director (Commercial and Marketing), ITDC in the presence of S. Narasimha Reddy, Jt. Commissioner, Customs, Lt. General. (Retd.) Dr A S Rao, CEO, Kakinada Seaport, senior port authorities and other officials of Govt. of Andhra Pradesh. With the opening of this Duty Free Shop, ITDC has established its presence at Coimbatore Airport and 9 Seaports in the country. Strategically located inside the Port at Kakinada, the latest duty free shop has been aligned with ITDC’s aim of providing shoppers with an incredible shopping experience. Talking about the launch and ITDC’s duty free business, Tiwari said, “Kakinada Deep Water Seaport is an important port as it is the major port of Andhra Pradesh. ITDC launching its 9th Duty Free shop at this port is a major step undertaken by the corporation in its business of Seaport Duty Free Shops.  Moving forward, our aim is to further expand our seaport business, covering all major ports in the country in coming years.”

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Now pay Rs. 5600 for Malaysian visa

Indians planning their next vacation in Malaysia will have to pay a total of Rs. 5,600 per person starting Sept 15, 2016. The earlier fee was Rs. 3,500. The Malaysia High Commission has outsourced its visa processing to One Stop Centre Malaysia Visa (OSC) with effect from Sept 15, 2016.  The new visa-processing partner has come with a slight revision in fee. Applicants will now have to bear a total cost of Rs 5,600 (Visa fees: Rs 1000 and Processing fees: Rs 4,600). The processing time of the applications will be 5 working days for all categories. All other mandatory requirements including the three-month bank statement and a valid return ticket remain unchanged. This manual application for Malaysian visa is recommended for travellers seeking multiple entry to Malaysia. The Malaysian Government also recently introduced the Electronic Travel Authorization Visa (e-visa) for a short visit to Malaysia. At this point in time, the e-visa facility is available to Indians residing in India only and is valid for a single journey stay of maximum 30 days in Malaysia for tourism purposes. The e-visa fees would approx up to Rs 2700 (Rs 1050 for visa fees and USD 25 as processing fee) and has a turn round time of about 48 hours.

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Travelport launches Travelport Digital

Travelport announced the creation of a new organization, Travelport Digital, as part of its strategic focus on the fast-growing digital economy. The new Travelport Digital organisation will optimise the investments that Travelport has made into various digital assets and products over the past couple of years with the aim of growing Travelport’s range of digital services. The formation of the function builds on Travelport’s acquisition last year of MTT, the leading provider of mobile and digital solutions to the travel industry, as well as its investment in Locomote, a corporate travel management platform.  Bryan Conway, a seasoned Travelport executive has been appointed Head of Travelport Digital. Alongside the formation of Travelport Digital, Travelport has also established a new Customer and Marketing Organisation, aimed at fulfilling Travelport’s vision to redefine travel commerce and deliver a market leading customer experience.  This organization will be led by Fiona Shanley, who joins from Microsoft this month. Both Conway and Shanley will report into Chief Commercial Officer, Stephen Shurrock, who joined Travelport from Telefonica Digital at the beginning of the year. 

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MTDC’s city-specific guide course to begin with Mumbai

The Maharashtra Chapter of IATO has convinced the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) to conduct city-specific guide courses, starting from Mumbai. N.S. Rathor, Chairman, Western Region IATO and Regional Chapter Chairman, says, “We met the Secretary of MTDC recently and spoke to him about the scarcity of guides that we experience in some cities, specially Mumbai. Fortunately, MTDC has agreed to start city-specific guide courses starting from Mumbai and then offering city-specific courses in Pune and Nasik. MTDC has said it will start the course from September end – October beginning but the dates have not yet confirmed.” IATO had been in talks with Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) in Gwalior to offer their guide course in Mumbai since it was difficult for applicants to travel and stay away from home for six months, especially women. The institute had however agreed to offer their course at its Goa campus. Unfortunately, due to few applicants – only nine on the last count – the institute decided to cancel it as it was not viable.

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28% growth in Indian arrivals to Indonesia from Jan-June 2016

Arief Yahya, Tourism Minister, Indonesia, has informed that the number of Indian tourists holidaying in Indonesia has kept increasing over the past six years. The number of Indian tourist arrivals to Indonesia from January to June 2016 was recorded at 185,911 with a growth rate of 28.25 per cent amid negative growth of foreign tourists from other countries due to global economic slowdown. Compared to the same period in 2015, the number of Indian-tourist arrivals in Indonesia was recorded at 145,734 people. Indonesia conducted a two-city roadshow in Kolkata and Ahmedabad to promote its brand ‘Wonderful Indonesia’ and attract more tourists from India. The Indonesian Tourism Ministry as part of the marketing plan organised Sales Mission India 2016 in Kolkata and Ahmedabad on August 22-24, 2016. Deputy Tourism Minister for Overseas Promotion I Gde Pitana said this Sales Mission India 2016 is the continuation of the previous sales missions held in Hyderabad, New Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai during the first half of the year 2016. We hope this event will also add positive impact and further increase the Indian footfall in Indonesia,” he said. Sales Mission India 2016, will facilitate the Indonesian sellers and Indian buyers to meet and produce seller-buyer transactions of tour packages of various Indonesian tourist destinations. There were around 18 stakeholders from Indonesia.

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GoAir to connect Hyderabad to 4 cities from Oct 12

Effective October 12, GoAir will commence services from Hyderabad. The new schedule will introduce daily non-stop flights connecting Hyderabad to Chennai, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar and Kolkata. Hyderabad will also be connected to Port Blair via Bangalore which will provide leisure travelers additional travel option. This latest addition to GoAir network reflects the airline’s phase of growth with a focus on scaling up operations gradually in the coming weeks while strengthening the value proposition to suit customer’s demand. With the new additions of aircraft in coming months, GoAir will operate up to 184 daily flights by the end of December from current 144 daily flights. Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, CEO, GoAir, said, “Hyderabad is a key market in South & Central India and a significant base for business and tourism in the region. Adding Hyderabad with its ideal geographical location, we reinforce our commitments towards connectivity across the country. It is our constant endeavor to provide flexibility of choice to our customers along with on time, convenient and affordable flying experience.”

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Tourism gets industry status in Haryana for land use

Tourism has been given industry status by Haryana Government for land use purpose. The tourism projects identified under land use are activities relating to amusement, recreation, theme parks; adventure tourism projects; heritage hotels except standalone hotels, tourist resorts, food streets, outdoor dining areas, food courts, restaurants; commercial components within recreational and commercial activities etc. informed Devender Singh, Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department, Government of Haryana. Singh added that the provisions would be applicable to mega projects only involving an investment of Rs 100 crore or above or employing more than 500 people. The conditions would also be applicable with prospective effect to all the new as well as expansion projects involving an investment of Rs 50 crore or more. He also added that the notification to this effect has been issued. (Source: Times of India)

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6% increase in Indian visitors to UK in June 2015-16

The latest UK Visa and VisitBritain statistics show that more visitors than ever before are visiting the UK from India. Visa statistics for the year ending June 2016 show that over 380,000 visit visas were issued, an increase of six per cent or 20,000 visitors. Meanwhile the latest VisitBritain figures from the Office of National Statistics, International Passenger Survey show that over 422,000 visitors came to the UK from India last year, an eight per cent increase from 2014 and a 20 per cent increase from 2012. Sumathi Ramanathan, VisitBritain Director for Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa said, “India is a priority growth market for Britain and is one of the seven markets globally to receive additional funding for tourism promotion. Our partnership with the airlines, travel industry and Indian movie industry has enabled us to reach new customers in the major cities of India. Increasingly, we are seeing demand for British itineraries covering London, Manchester, Oxford, Birmingham and Edinburgh. As the market evolves, we will continue improving and enhancing the travel offer for the Indian visitor.”

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