Tourism Breaking News

RCI’s ‘Mariner of the Seas’ sets sail for India

Tirun Travel Marketing, the exclusive India representative of Royal Caribbean International, has announced cruise sailings to and from India in the pre-monsoon season, onboard its Mariner of the Seas. The cruise line will take guests across Asia including Singapore, Phuket, Muscat and Dubai as well as Goa, with six- and seven-night sailings ex Cochin. Ratna Chadha, CEO, Tirun Travel Marketing, said, “Cruise travel is becoming increasingly popular in the Indian subcontinent, especially as more and more vacationers from India are joining the flock of international cruise travellers. We are glad to share that all of our recent cruises have received an overwhelming response and we are certain that ‘Mariner of the Seas’ visit to India will further enhance the propensity of Indian holidaymakers to opt for RCI cruises.” The cruise line has segmented its 13-night sailing into two itineraries with a six-night Singapore to Cochin sailing from April 9-15 and a seven-night Cochin to Dubai sailing from April 15-22. The ‘Singapore to Cochin’ itinerary, that has an all-inclusive price of Rs 50,649 per person for the Promenade-view room, will take Indian vacationers across Phuket. Mariner of the Seas is also home to activities such as rock climbing, ice skating, arcade gaming and multi-level night clubs for travellers.  

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Thomas Cook India signs MoU with Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Thomas Cook (India) has entered into a three-year strategic agreement with Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) — an organisation that manages Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo – making it the first Indian travel company to sign an MoU with WRS. The MoU was signed between Mahesh Iyer, Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Cook (India) and Mike Barclay, Group Chief Executive Officer, Mandai Park Holdings (the parent company of WRS) in Mumbai. Mahesh Iyer, Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Cook (India) said, “We are bullish on the larger trend towards experiential holidays. Singapore as a destination has been constantly reinventing itself with its new, unified brand identity ‘Passion made Possible’-that showcases the fundamentals of the nation – its cultural diversity, rich food heritage and the mindset of its people shaped by unique circumstances and promises to reshape the Singapore experience across the B2C and B2B space. Our partnership with Wildlife Reserves, Singapore also marks the start of a strong commitment to protect biodiversity in Singapore and Southeast Asia through partnerships with like-minded partners, organisations and institutions.”

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UP Govt signs MoU with Srei Advisory to rejuvenate Agra

Srei Advisory, a division of Srei Infrastructure Finance and the Department of Infrastructure and Industrial Development, Government of Uttar Pradesh, have signed an MoU to rejuvenate Agra as an iconic tourist-cum-holiday destination. The proposal is expected to attract investments of around Rs 25,000 crore in Uttar Pradesh. The project will accentuate Agra’s historical, cultural and heritage contours, promote lesser known monuments and temples, and expand tourists’ focal point from the Taj Mahal to all the three World Heritage sites in the city. Dr Ratiranjan Mandal, Senior Advisor, Srei Advisory, said, “The Taj Mahal draws millions of tourists to Agra every year. Hence, we have a responsibility to ensure that the city is as good as you have heard. Also, the Taj Mahal is not the sole attraction. The legacy of the Mughal Empire has left a magnificent fort and several mausoleums. We would be interested in more such opportunities to develop holistic infrastructure facilities in the state.” The project will create necessary infrastructure in hospitality, transport, city and river front beautification, logistic parks and warehousing with active support from the Government of Uttar Pradesh. The project is expected to commence operations in 2018-19, subject to necessary statutory approvals and clearances.  

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Over 526,000 UK visas issued to Indian nationals

Over 526,000 UK visas were issued to Indian nationals between January and December 2017, a jump of nearly 10 per cent from 2016. According to the latest quarterly report from the UK’s Office for National Statistics, British visas issued to Indian nationals in 2017 increased sharply over the previous 12 months. The increase was driven by a surge in visitors and students with visitors increasing by 11 per cent to 427,000 and students by 28 per cent to 14,500. Indian nationals still receive more employment visas than all other nationalities combined, with 59,000 Indians choosing the UK to further their careers. Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India, KCMG, said, “These statistics illustrate the continuing strength of the UK and India’s relationship.  I am delighted that more Indians than ever before are choosing the UK for work, study, tourism and business travel. Particularly welcome is the 28 per cent increase in Indian students, showing that our world-class universities are again attracting more of India’s brightest young people. Our visa service for Indians is as good as any other. Almost 90 per cent of applicants are issued visa, in line with global norms. We have more visa application centres across India than we do in any other country.”

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Ranchi to host Jharkhand Travel Mart 2018 on March 23

Jharkhand Tourism has announced the inaugural edition of Jharkhand Travel Mart to be held in Ranchi from March 23-25, 2018. Dr. Manish Ranjan, IAS, Secretary–Tourism, Govt. of Jharkhand, said, “Jharkhand will contribute immensely to the Indian tourism portfolio with its diverse range of travel and tourism destinations. The Jharkhand Travel Mart is an extension of our aggressive marketing approach to introduce more tourism destinations and attractions, and reinforce the Jharkhand Tourism brand among the media, buyers and stakeholders.” The event will seek support from all major national travel trade and hospitality association in India such as ‘Association of Domestic Tour Operators Association of India (ADTOI), Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI), Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), Hotel Association of Jharkhand, Travel Agents Association of Jharkhand, and Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries. Jharkhand Tourism has also scheduled B2B roadshows in key markets such as Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Asansol, etc to promote the state and the inaugural edition of the mart. Source: UNI

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Treebo forays into premium budget segment with Treebo Select

Treebo Hotels has launched its premium brand offering ‘Treebo Select,’ designed to deliver a premium experience to its guests by providing superior amenities and services in the price range of INR 2500-INR 5000. Treebo Select properties are currently present in Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru and will soon be launched pan- India in the next few months. Treebo’s entry into the premium budget segment aims to cater to needs of the traveller looking for more than the ‘basic’ standard experience. Sidharth Gupta, Co-founder, Treebo Hotels said, “After hosting guests for close to three years in over 60 cities, we now feel that we are ready to cater to the needs of every traveller from a value conscious guest to the one looking for a more premium experience. Treebo Select is an extension of our product to offer the experience, hospitality and services of a four-star. We already have 10 properties under the Select brand, some have been already launched and the rest will go live soon.” Some key features that differentiate Treebo Select from the brand’s core offering are plush rooms, prime location, guaranteed large spread complimentary buffet breakfast, 24×7 room service, guest laundry service, mini fridge etc. in addition to Treebo’s standard offerings like Wi-Fi, branded toiletries, TV with DTH or cable connection and air conditioning.

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Andhra Pradesh Tourism working on six marquee projects

Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department is now working on six marquee projects which offer tremendous growth and potential for investments. This was informed to participants at a panel discussion on tourism on the opening day of the three-day CII Partnership Summit by AP Tourism Secretary Mukesh Kumar Meena. He said that the Special Tourism Zone at Madhurawada and INS Virat aircraft carrier museum in Visakhapatnam, Havelock Bridge in Rajahmundry, Bhavani Island in the middle of Krishna river in Vijayawada, Kakinada Hope Island under Swadesh Darshan scheme in East Godavari district, and Gandikota Fort in Guntur district  would be developed with private participation. The major challenge identified is availability of infrastructure. In terms of domestic tourism, Andhra Pradesh is number three in the country after Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. “It would not contribute to the economy unless and until we increase the length of stay of tourists which can be done by creating the infrastructure and make their stay enjoyable,” Meena observed.

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Post Delhi, Oman Air to open offices in Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Kolkata

After launching its new office in New Delhi in partnership with RL Group, Oman Air is now planning to open offices in Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Kolkata. Sunil V.A., Regional Vice President-ISC, Oman Air along with Chetan Gupta, Chairman, RL Group; Varun Mohindra, Head of Sales & Marketing, RL Group and Vijay Bhatia, President, Bird Group were present for the inauguration. “We have 162 flights operating from India, all connect well to the destinations. With our focus on Europe and Europe GCC, we are now planning to sell the east. We are not just dependent on the online network but also looking at the offline too.” said Sunil V.A. Oman is currently focusing to develop MICE segment in 2018 with a launch of its new airport on March 20, 2018.

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Vistara launches Kolkata-Chennai double daily from March 25

Vistara has announced double daily flights between Kolkata and Chennai, as well as a direct same aircraft service to Kochi via Chennai, starting March 25, 2018. The airline has increased its frequencies between Kolkata and Delhi with the launch of a third daily flight to the national capital. With these additions, Vistara will connect Kolkata directly with Delhi, Chennai, Port Blair (Andamans) and Kochi. Customers from Kolkata can also connect via Delhi to many other domestic and international destinations, including Chandigarh, Srinagar, Jammu, Amritsar and Lucknow domestically, and multiple cities internationally through Vistara’s 21 international interline partners. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “The launch of these new routes and flights from Kolkata reflects the commitment Vistara has to Kolkata, and of the positive response we have received to our flights from the city. Our Kolkata flights have high loads in all classes, and we are truly grateful to our customers for placing their trust in us and making us their airline of choice in such a short span of time.”

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India crosses 1 mn mark in visitor arrivals to Singapore

For the third time in a row, visitor arrivals from India to Singapore has crossed the 1 million mark in 2017, reinforcing it as one of the most preferred destinations for Indian travellers. Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced that India has recorded the highest growth rate of 16 per cent among all markets. While Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Bangalore continue to remain their top VA source cities, STB’s efforts to engage travellers from Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata and Pune have resulted in double-digit VA growth. GB Srithar, Regional Director – SAMEA, Singapore Tourism Board, said “We thank the Indian travellers and our travel trade partners for the record 1.27 million Indian visitors to our country in 2017. We are happy that Singapore continues to be perceived as one of the must-visit destinations. This year, STB will focus on expanding partnership with travel trade partners and promoting our new brand creatively. India continued to be the top source market for VA in the cruise segment for Singapore. 127,000 cruise passengers from India sailed out of Singapore’s shores in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 25 per cent from 2016. 2017 was a landmark year for STB as it unveiled the country’s new, unified brand identity ‘Passion made Possible’ in August.  

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