Tourism Breaking News

Air India to give 3-8% backend incentive to agents on EMDs

In a recent communication to Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Air India has agreed to TAAI’s request to give travel agents a backend incentive of 3 per cent on international sector and 8 per cent on domestic sector on Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) value exclusive of taxes for issuance of EMD for preferred seat selection. This incentive will be apart from normal commission applicable on sale of Preferred Seat Selection (PSS). The communication states that the backend incentive will be payable on a quarterly basis to BSP India agents on flown revenue basis. This means that other than the normal commission, agents will also be eligible for this incentive.

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President launches new website on Buddhist tourism

Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, launched the Ministry of Tourism website on important Buddhist sites indiathelandofbuddha.in and a new film showcasing the Buddhist sites in the country at the inaugural function of  International Buddhist Conclave 2018, held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. This website is different from the Incredible India website which was launched recently. Apart from that, as part of Ministry of Tourism’s Incredible India 2.0 campaign, Kovind also launched a new ad film which showcased Buddhist tourism sites across the country.  

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International Buddhist Conclave to boost tourism to Buddhist sites in India

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the International Buddhist Conclave (IBC), 2018 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi  in the presence of KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism; Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Tourism; Satyajit Rajan, Director General, Tourism; ministerial delegates from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Travel trade representatives from India and various other countries were also present for the conclave. Addressing the audience, Kovind said, “India is the land of Buddha and this initiative by Ministry of Tourism would attract visitors from around the world to come to India and experience the Buddhist destinations in the country.” The first day of the conclave also included presentations by the Ministry of Tourism and state governments on Buddhist tourism prospects in the country. An investor’s summit was also going on alongside the conclave to look for investment opportunities in the Buddhist tourism sector in the country. A B2B session was also conducted between foreign and Indian tour operators along with a panel discussion on ‘Role of Living Buddhist Heritage in the Contemporary Society’. The Conclave is being organised by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the state governments of Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh from August 23-26, 2018 at New Delhi and Ajanta (Maharashtra).

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GPS Pune opens on a resounding note

After successful shows in seven cities across the country, the concluding Global Panorama Showcase (GPS) of 2018 opened at JW Marriot Hotel Pune with over 600 attendees. The first day of the event was inaugrated by GB Srithar, Regional Director – South Asia & Middle East, Singapore Tourism Board; Sunil VA, Regional Vice President – ISC, Oman Air; Sanjay Rao, Aviation Consultant; Vishal Bhatia, Country Manager – India, VisitBritain and Dev Karvat, Founder – TrawellTag & CEO, Emerging Markets, Covermore Group.  

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OTOAI contributes Rs 1 lakh towards Kerala Relief Fund

The Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) is contributing Rs 1 lakh towards the Kerala Relief Fund as part of its CSR activity. A larger amount is also being collected from the members of the association by way of donation for the cause. OTOAI is looking to support the industry members directly/indirectly  including hoteliers, taxi operators, houseboat owners, etc, through this collection of funds.

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Cochin airport to resume operations on August 29

Kochi airport is set to resume flight operations at 14hrs on August 29, according to a recent update by Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL). In a meeting held at CIAL to review the damage control activities at Kochi airport, most of the stakeholders including airlines and ground handling agencies expressed their concerns over mobilising man power. About 90 per cent of their staffers got affected with the flood and are out of station. Nearby hotels, restaurants and eateries still remain closed. As central Kerala is yet to recover from post-flood trauma, it is a daunting task to arrange local commutation and logis­tics of catering items which will cause a cascading effect on the passengers. In view of these apprehensions, CIAL extended the date of resuming operations.

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TripsAcademy launches mobile learning app for travel professionals

TripsAcademy, India’s first interactive online and offline learning experts in travel and tourism, has announced the launch of its mobile learning app for travel professionals. This app is the first-of-its-kind in the world, and is available for download in both Android and iOS versions on the respective App stores. Through TripsAcademy’s app, travel professionals can now learn at any time, any place and at any pace convenient to them. All courses within learning programmes are modular and highly engaging comprising videos, quiz and various other interactive sections. Each interactive learning module takes no longer than 5 to 7 minutes to complete allowing learners to integrate learning into their busy work schedule. The app and all learning programmes on the app are free of charge for the learners. TripsAcademy envisions to democratise learning opportunities across tiers by enabling a go-to platform allowing travel professionals to get access to high quality training. ‘Today’s global travel industry is highly knowledge driven. In order to excel, travel professionals must be equipped with high levels of product knowledge, selling and other allied skills’, said Anupama Kotur, Project Head, TripsAcademy.

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Jet Airways expands codeshare agreement with Bangkok Airways

Jet Airways and Bangkok Airways have announced the expansion of their existing codeshare agreement to provide more choice and convenient travel options. Guests travelling between key destinations across Thailand, Vietnam and India, will benefit from this alignment between the two airlines. Moreover, this expanded partnership will offer guests enhanced connectivity and seamless access when travelling throughout the combined networks of both the airlines. On the occasion of the codeshare expansion, Gaurang Shetty, Wholetime Director, Jet Airways, said, “Jet Airways and Bangkok Airways have been codeshare partners since 2013, and with this enhancement we will for the first time, be able to offer our guests seamlessly connectivity on codeshare flights to seven key touristic favorites across Thailand, as well as growing markets in Vietnam. This codeshare agreement will further lead to a boost in tourism and trade between India and these Asian nations.” Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, President, Bangkok Airways said “We are pleased to expand cooperation with Jet Airways to strengthen our respective route networks and offer business and leisure travelers with unprecedented and convenient access to new gateways.”

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The Fern goes overseas with first hotel in Kathmandu

Spreading its wings in Nepal, The Fern Hotels & Resorts has opened its first overseas property under The Fern Residency brand in Kathmandu. With this opening, the tally of the hotels managed by the group under The Fern Residency brand goes up to 23 hotels. The Fern Residency, Kathmandu is located in the heart of the city and offers a total of 58 well-appointed rooms – 46 Winter Green Rooms, 10 Fern Club Rooms and 02 Hazel Suites. The hotel facilities include a finely designed multi-cuisine restaurant, a coffee shop, two conference rooms, health club with spa and a mini-casino. The hotel has easy access to the major sightseeing attractions in town and to public transport as well. The COO of the company Suhail Kannampilly said, “We are delighted to offer guests visiting Nepal The Fern experience in Kathmandu and enjoy the advantages of our environmentally sensitive brand. It is no mean achievement to take an Indian brand overseas and we want to further consolidate our position in India as well as internationally, to get to our target of 100 hotels by 2020.”

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Kerala trade hopes to be back in business by September 1

After the severe floods in Kerala, the tourism industry in the state is geared to be back in business by September 1, 2018, says Sejoe Jose, Chairman, IATO Kerala Chapter. “The airports are expected to open on August 26, and even if we keep a buffer owing to DGCA permissions, it should be operational by September 1. In fact, the airport management is insisting to resume operations from August 26,” he adds. Jose insists that tourists would be able to visit Kerala starting September. “Kerala would be ready to receive guests from the first week of September. However, nobody is expecting the bookings to start immediately as it is going to take time. There have been cancellations as well. At a recent meeting with KTM Society, we estimated a loss of Rs 1000 crores for the tourism industry, for people directly and indirectly affected. The loss owing to cancellations is estimated to be around Rs 120 crores,” he informs.

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