Tourism Breaking News

Skål Ball, Delhi to be held on February 16, 2019

Skål Delhi is set to host Skål Ball on February 16 at Le Meridien, New Delhi, informed the association’s Immediate Past President, Sanjay Dutta while speaking at Skål Christmas lunch in Delhi. He added, “The Skål Christmas lunch has become an annual event now, since we have been hosting it for the past 12 years at The Imperial lawns.” Sharing future plans for the organisation, Dutta said, “Our basic aim is to help people network; the more people we get, the more networking is done. At Skål Delhi, our attendance has always been 60 per cent and above which is why we keep on doing things differently. We will also be having the new AGM either in March or April next year in which the new team will take over.” Ranjit Vig, Secretary, Skål International Delhi, said, “Month on month, Skål has had one achievement after the other. We have a lot on our agenda for 2019. We are looking forward to Skål Ball as we brace for tourism getting better with each passing year.”  

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Bloom hotels now in Janpath, New Delhi; targets 100 hotels by 2020

Bloom Hotels has opened its latest property in the heart of Delhi at Janpath with bloomrooms @ Janpath. The rapid execution is part of the group’s growth plan to build 100 hotels by 2020 and also signals the launch of a comprehensive pan India roll-out. With properties in Delhi, Gurugram, Bengaluru and Goa, Bloom Hotels is now expanding across India with 50 hotels to be signed in Tier-II markets over the next few months. Speaking on the occasion at the launch of the hotel, Tom Welbury, Vice President Strategy, Bloom Hotel Group, says, “We are very positive about the success of the hotel. In this location, there isn’t any mid-scale hotel that offers quality. We are offering that to our customers and we will be catering both to the corporates and leisure guests. We have have set a new record by building and launching the entire property in less than 100 days. With this kind of pace and efficiency, I am sure we will meet our target.”

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Another Taj-branded hotel opens in Lucknow

The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has announced another Taj-branded hotel in Lucknow, in partnership with Luxus Hospitality. With this addition, IHCL will now have three hotels across two of its brands in the city. Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IHCL, said, “We are delighted to partner with Luxus Hospitality. This signing is aligned to Aspiration 2022 with its focus on aggressive domestic growth. The company is optimistic about Lucknow as it is an important centre for governance, business, culture and tourism.” The Taj-branded hotel will be located at Vibhuti Khand, New Gomti Nagar Centre with close proximity to key corporate parks, institutions and recreational facilities. It will comprise 185 spacious guest rooms, an all-day diner, a specialty restaurant, a bar, a wellness area and banqueting facilities. Amit Singh, Director, Luxus Hospitality, said, “We are proud to partner with The Indian Hotels Company Limited for its iconic Taj brand and bring their famed hospitality to Lucknow.”

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IndiGo to connect Kannur to Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru & Hubli from January 2019

IndiGo is all set to operate daily direct flights connecting Kannur to Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Hubli and Chennai with effect from January 2019. The introduction of these flights will further strengthen the airline’s operations, and will provide connectivity between Kannur and other key cities with all-inclusive fares starting from Rs 1799. William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo, said, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to fly out of the new airport in Kannur starting January 2019. Kannur will be the 67th destination on our growing network and starting operations will further strengthen the air connectivity from Northern Kerala. IndiGo will operate daily non-stop return flights from Kannur to Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Hubli. These new services will benefit our customers with more flying options and will also boost tourism stemming from nearby regional destinations, including Kasaragod and Wayanad in Kerala, and Coorg in Karnataka.”

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NokScoot launches 4-times-a-week Delhi-Bangkok direct

Thailand-based NokScoot has launched its non-stop flight from New Delhi to Bangkok at inaugural fare of Rs 7200 one way (inclusive of taxes). It is a joint venture between Scoot, which is 100 per cent owned by Singapore Airlines and Thailand’s Nok Air. Giam Ming Toh, Deputy CEO, NokScoot; HE Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Ambassdor of Thailand to India and Isra Stapanaseth, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), addressed the media and shared how the new airline would offer new connection to Bangkok at very competitive fares.

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‘The Postcard Hotel’ launched with three luxury hotels in Goa

Set to redefine the luxury hospitality scenario, ‘The Postcard Hotel’ has been launched by its Founder and CEO, Kapil Chopra, at a press conference held in Delhi. The Postcard Hotel is a brand of unique, intimate luxury hotels in India and the world. Transformative experiences and local community are at the heart of The Postcard Hotel’s offering. “What I wanted to do with The Postcard Hotel, is make luxury hotels for the modern audience but bring back the romance and charm of holidays. We wanted it to be rich in its experience but also wanted it to be simple. We believe guests want to stay in a place where the hotel does the thinking for them, where they get the simple things right, yet offer fantastic spaces for them to relax, meet like-minded people and experience local culture. This is why, we handpick our locations and our hotels, so that guests have a different experience whether they are in Goa or overlooking the snow-clad Himalayas,” stated Chopra. In an unprecedented move, The Postcard Hotel has announced the opening of three luxury hotels on the opening day, ready to receive guests that are spread across unique neighbourhoods in Goa – The Postcard Moira, nestled in one of the four heritage villages of Goal; The Postcard Velha, surrounded by 300 acres of virgin coconut plantations in old Goa; and further south, The Postcard Cuelim, that houses a 350-year-old chapel. The brand is committed to building and operating 50 hotels in the next five years. In the next 12 to 18 months, the brand will be present in Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Dhauladhar Mountain Range, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Sundarbans and Kanha.  

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15 destinations identified for development under Ramayana Circuit

Ramayana Circuit has been identified for development under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry had earlier identified fifteen destinations for development under the Ramayana Circuit theme namely Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur & Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh), Sitamarhi, Buxar & Darbhanga (Bihar), Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), Mahendragiri (Odisha), Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh), Nashik and Nagpur (Maharashtra), Bhadrachalam (Telangana), Hampi (Karnataka) and Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu). The details of projects sanctioned under the Ramayana Circuit theme of Swadesh Darshan during the last two years are: development of Ayodhya under Ramayana Circuit theme in Uttar Pradesh (2017-18) – Rs 133.31 cr sanctioned; development of Wayside Amenities in Buddhist Circuit and Ramayana Circuit: Varanasi-Gaya; Lucknow-Ayodhya- Lucknow; Gorakhpur-Kushinagar; Kushinagar-Gaya- Kushinagar (2018-19) – Rs 18.10 crore sanctioned. For the state of Chhattisgarh, the Ministry has sanctioned the project for development of Tribal Tourism Circuit in Jashpur- Kunkuri-Mainpat- Ambikapur- Maheshpur -Ratanpur- Kurdar-Sarodadadar- Gangrel- Kondagaon– Nathiya Nawagaon- Jagdalpur- Chitrakoot- Tirthgarh in the year 2015-16 with a total sanction amount of Rs 99.21 crore. Submission of project proposals by the State Governments/Union Territory (UT) Administrations under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme is a continuous process. The projects for development under the scheme are identified in consultation with the State Governments/UT Administrations and are sanctioned subject to availability of funds, submission of suitable detailed project reports, adherence to scheme guidelines and utilisation of funds released earlier.

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Nearly 16 per cent growth in FTAs for medical tourism in 2017: Alphons

The Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India on medical visa during 2016 and 2017 were estimated at 4, 27, 014 and 4, 95, 056 respectively, registering a positive growth of 15.9 per cent, said KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C), Tourism in Lok Sabha recently. Medical Tourism holds immense potential for India. The Indian systems of medicines, viz. Ayurveda, Yoga, Panchakarma, Rejuvenation Therapy, etc., are among the most ancient systems of medical treatment in the world. The country can provide medical and healthcare of international standards at low costs. The Ministry of Tourism has taken various steps to promote Medical Tourism which inter-alia includes: launch of campaigns in the international markets including for medical tourism under the Incredible India brand-line; conducting roadshows, know India seminars. The Ministry also produces brochures, CDs, films and other publicity material for promotion of Medical & Health Tourism. Apart from it, Medical Tourism is being promoted across various social media platforms. Also, in order to provide dedicated institutional framework to take forward the cause of promotion of Medical Tourism, a national Medical and Wellness Tourism Board has been constituted. Department of Commerce and Services Export Promotion Council has launched a Healthcare Portal www.indiahealthcaretourism.com, as a single source platform providing comprehensive information to medical travellers on the top healthcare institutions in the country in various languages. The e-tourist visa regime has also been expanded to include medical visits. Medical and Medical attendant visa has been introduced to ease the travel process of Medical Tourists. The maximum duration of stay in India under the e-Medical visa is six months.  

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Number of premium rooms across 12 key cities to go up to 98,900 by FY2023: ICRA

The number of premium rooms across 12 key cities is likely to go up from 82,800 in FY2018 to 98,900 as on FY2023, with ICRA research tracking about 16,100 premium rooms under construction and to be launched over the next five years. The Indian hotel industry witnessed its highest ever 10-year occupancy in FY2018 and its revenue per available room (RevPAR) was higher by 17 per cent compared to the 10-year low, witnessed in FY2014. Similarly, the pan-India average room rate (ARR) which stood at Rs 5,800 in FY2018, was also the highest since FY2014, according to a recent research by ICRA. Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) into India slowed down from April 2018 onwards due to the Nipah virus scare and diversion of traffic to other global events such as the soccer world cup in Russia. While the FTAs growth picked up in Aug 2018, the Kerala floods impacted it in Sep and Oct 2018. Kerala witnessed decline in FTAs in Q2 (-4.6 per cent) and Q3 CY2018 (-13.6 per cent). In addition, there was general weakness in the global ITAs during Q3 CY2018. As for the domestic demand momentum, it has remained strong; the domestic revenue passenger kilometre (RPKM), a proxy for domestic travel grew by a robust 20.3 per cent year on year (YOY) in YTD October CY2018 at ~ 10.5 million passengers. Domestic demand in FY2019 will continue to be driven by increased air connectivity and higher appetite for domestic leisure travel. On the supply side, the supply of room is likely to lag demand over the medium term and grow at a subdued CAGR of 3.6 per cent over the next five years (FY19-23).

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Ginger undergoes repositioning, unveils new look

Ginger has opened its first prototype hotel with a complete new brand identity at Panjim, Goa, after an intensive repositioning exercise. The current portfolio of the other 45 plus hotels will be repositioned reflecting the new brand identity and brand promise. Ginger will introduce the lean luxe segment, the first of its kind in India. The new identity presents a co-existence of contrasts through re-imagined spaces blurring the lines of work and play, bringing about a fusion of global and local and create experiences that are vibrant, quirky, intuitive and smart. The redesigned spaces will bring together attractive public areas as well as spots designed for solitude, allowing the smooth transition from one to the other. They come alive with vivacious high energy glocal music and unique artwork installations. The all-day diner Café Et Cetera offers comfort food and doubles up as a personal workstation. The service style is designed around the on-the-go lifestyle of the target audience enabling them to do more whether it is on-the-go breakfast, express laundry service or quick munch snack bars.

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