Tourism Breaking News

276-room Renaissance debuts in Bengaluru

Renaissance Hotels, part of Marriott International, has announced the opening of Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel, the brand’s first hotel in South India and the fourth in line to join the Renaissance Hotels India portfolio. Reinforcing the brand’s global commitment to design, the hotel features horse-inspired design motifs given its locale; setting the stage for guests to experience unconventional travel. “The hospitality sector is moving forward at a very fast pace and India is a strategic growth market for us right now. Bengaluru as a market is witnessing phenomenal growth, its booming tech scene makes it one of the country’s most dynamic cities with exceptional economic growth and strong business activity,” said Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President – South Asia, Marriott International. “With the debut of the Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel, guests can experience a global, lifestyle hospitality brand that seeks to inspire, and encourages spontaneous discovery when travelling, be it for business or pleasure,” he said. With 276 modern and artfully designed rooms, the Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel offers an unsurpassed view of the Bangalore Turf Club. “With a distinct effort to present local experiences in an unusual manner, the Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel will always have that unexpected surprise waiting for its guests.” said Firoz Jangaria, General Manager, Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel.

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Delhi to connect with Ho Chi Minh City via direct flights

The first direct air service between Vietnam’s most populous Ho Chi Minh City and New Delhi is likely to commence by the last quarter of this financial year. This was announced by Nguyen Le Thanh, Deputy Chief of Mission at Vietnam Embassy. Stating that out of 20 million Indians travelling overseas every year, only 90,000 visit Vietnam. “India has a very important place in our foreign policy and we have a comprehensive strategic partnership. The bonding will strengthen further with more people to people contact and this can been be boosted through tourism,” Thanh said. She said Vietnam has seen a rapid rise in tourist inflow from the other parts of the world with an average 25 to 30 per cent increase in numbers every year compared to the previous year. “From just 2.5 lakh overseas tourists in 1990, Vietnam has registered 13 million tourist arrivals in 2017,” she said. Thanh said that the country has a great heritage with a 4000-year-old history. With a very long coastline, the S-shaped country has 125 beaches including the popular Nha Trang, Da Nang and Phu Quoc island, she said. She said the country is peaceful and safe with friendly people and boasts of an exquisite cuisine. Source: PTI

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Textron Aviation appoints Bird Execujet as authorised service facility

Bird ExecuJet Airport Services, a joint venture between Bird Group and ExecuJet Aviation Group, has been appointed an authorised service facility in India for Textron Aviation to offer service and support for Citation XLS and Hawker 750/800/850/900-series business jets and King Air 90-series turboprops. Anurag Srivastava, Chief Executive Officer,  Bird ExecuJet Airport Services, said, “Our agreement with Textron Aviation will enhance our portfolio to service and support its iconic brands in India. This new appointment will go a long way in achieving Bird Group’s long-term goal and vision of becoming a preferred choice of our customers. With this appointment, we will offer a truly versatile and comprehensive business and general aviation product portfolio.” Bird ExecuJet is developing a world class FBO and MRO facilities at Indira Gandhi International Airport and currently offers maintenance services from two exclusive hangars. The existing facility offers excellent logistics and operational readiness for its clients within India and supports international clients.

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No visa fee for children under 18 visiting UAE

Children of tourists, under the age of 18 visiting UAE will be exempted from visa fee, during the summer season from July 15 to September 15 of each year. The new law came in support of family tourism and reduce the cost on visitors in the holiday season. The Cabinet’s decision reflects the UAE’s position in the global tourism sector as a prime destination attracting visitors and families from all over the world. The number of passengers travelling through the country’s airports reached 32.8 million passengers during the first quarter of this year. Visitors come to the UAE to enjoy hotels and tourism services, with a number of festivals and activities happening throughout the year. The decision of the Cabinet goes in line with the growth of the tourism sector in the country following the exemption of transit tourists from visa fees for the first 48 hours.    

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Air China felicitates Indian agents for commendable business output

Air China and Shandong Airlines has recently organised a summer/autumn product seminar and agency awards ceremony to celebrate partnership with its agents. Highlighting the growth and performance of both the carriers, the event felicitated the airlines’ partners for commendable business output. Talking about stable flight frequency and increased connectivity, Xia Baohui, General Manager-Delhi, Air China said that the company has experienced handsome growth in India while Wang Shuai, General Representative-India, Shandong Airlines briefed about the new routes of the airlines. After the seminar, Air China’s travel partners like MakeMyTrip, Goibibo, Riya Travels, Akbar Travels and others were awarded for their outstanding performance.

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India is the world’s fastest growing business travel market: GBTA

Enlisting the factors driving digi-smart business travel in India, FCM Travel Solutions and KPMG’s recent whitepaper titled ‘The Digi-Smart Indian Business Traveller’ forecasts that the growing share of millennials in the Indian workforce work for longer hours than their global peers. Furthermore, travel service providers (i.e. airlines, hotels, taxi operators etc.) are enhancing their available capacity for online users, which is becoming an important travel booking channel. The introduction of the GST is also driving businesses to use the online route to meet the regulatory and compliance requirements. The emergence of user friendly technology solutions such as Artificial Intelligence and SBT is also making Indian travel managers use the digital platform as the mainstay in managing their travel and claims.

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Social media is the biggest source for international wedding business

According to a Travel Wedding Show survey on how to generate business for weddings, 43 per cent of the business gets generated through social media; so the more one is on social media, he will get enquiries for international weddings, 25 per cent is by search engines. 13 per cent by referrals and rest is by other sources. In India, 50 per cent of the business gets generated through referrals; 20 per cent from social media; 15 per cent through search engine and 15 per cent from other sources. “Destination wedding for the next five years will be the biggest thing. Weddings are big business, and everyone wants a piece of the pie. If as wedding planners we have to survive, we need to go out, to different cities and destinations and procure more business. Indian and international destination weddings will remain, the next business thing,” says Rajeev Jain, Founder and Director, Rashi Entertainment.

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Vistara embarks on ambitious expansion plans, including flying overseas

Vistara has announced placing orders for a total of 19 Airbus and Boeing aircraft worth USD 3.1 billion (approx Rs 21,344 crore). The letter of intent signed with Airbus comprises 13 A320neo and A321neo aircraft, as well as options for seven more aircraft from the A320neo family. In addition, Vistara will lease another 37 new A320neo-family aircraft from leasing companies. Together, Vistara will be adding a total of 50 A320neo-family aircraft into its existing fleet. Vistara has selected the LEAP 1-A engines from CFM International to power the A320neo and A321neo aircraft, which will be due for delivery between 2019 and 2023. Vistara will use these aircraft to densify its domestic network and to support its international operations planned for later this year. Leslie Thng, CEO, Vistara said, “India’s position as the world’s fastest growing domestic aviation market and its impressive growth in air passenger traffic that has more than doubled over the last decade, makes us confident of our aggressive plans for domestic expansion and international foray. These orders are a landmark step in Vistara’s journey and demonstrate our deep-rooted commitment to contributing to the rise of the Indian aviation industry and to offering more choices to our customers.”

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Malanad-Malabar river cruise project to help tourists enjoy a village experience

Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala inaugurated the Malanad-Malabar cruise tourism project worth Rs 325 crore at Parassinikkadavu near Kannur to highlight the tranquil waterways of Northern Kerala and encourage tourist arrivals to lesser-known destinations of the state. Kerala Tourism will implement this unique project in association with the state government. Vijayan said, “This initiative will focus on improving the quality of tourism and make sure that all the visitors will have exceptional experiences. Tourists come in hopes of exploring our land’s rich natural resources and heritage. So it is important that we maintain and keep our culture intact while also accommodating all the required modern amenities in an eco-friendly manner in accordance with sustaining traditional occupations in Kasargod and Kannur districts.” Kadakampally Surendran, Honorable Minister for Cooperation, Tourism and Devaswoms, Government of Kerala said, “We were unable to explore the tourism potential in North Malabar. With the commencement of this initiative that calls for an integrated plan, Malabar regions in the state will finally be able to expedite tourism opportunities. With the functioning of the Kannur International Airport, the cruise project would attract travel and adventure enthusiasts to the state. Within the last year 600 Crore has been allocated for North Malabar and a government order issued 75 crore for Kannur district and 12.5 crore for Kasargod district.” The Malabar circuit will feature cruises based on the themes of its culture. While the martial arts and Kalari cruise on Mahe River will memorialise the origins of ‘Kalari’, the Pazhassi Raja and spices cruise on Anjarakkandy River will commemorate Pazhassi’s struggles.

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Oman Air CCO visits India to meet top agents

Oman Air recently organised a networking evening in New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai to introduce its new Chief Commercial Officer, Paul Starrs, to its top agent partners. Starrs re-joined the airline three months ago after a gap of five years. Speaking at the event in Mumbai, Starrs said, “We have been seeing strong growth from the India market and my focus is to double our efforts in promoting the products here.” Delegates from TAAI and TAFI were also present at the event and presented him with a memento. TAFI also extended to Starrs an honorary membership. He also spoke briefly about the new flight that Oman Air is starting to Moscow in October to be served by Oman Air’s Boeing 737-800. “While we don’t expect too many numbers from India for the Moscow flight in the winter, we hope it will make up for it in the summer season. The direct flight will be operated daily non-stop between Oman and Russia.” Flights to Istanbul and Casablanca were launched in June and in July 2018 respectively.

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