Tourism Breaking News

Centaur Hotel, Delhi to be demolished for aircraft parking

Delhi’s iconic Centaur Hotel which was built for the 1982 Asian Games, will soon be razed to grounds. This is being done as part of the expansion of Terminal 3 of Delhi’s international airport where more space will be required to park aircraft. According to DIAL, the site of the hotel will be required by December 2019. The Centaur Hotel IGI Airport operates 376 rooms. The Hotel was constructed in 1982 as a business cum leisure hotel and construction was completed in a record period of 18 months to coincide with the inauguration of the 1982 Asian Games held at New Delhi.

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Radisson Blu Jammu opens with 119 rooms

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group’s  Radisson Blu Jammu, opened with 119 rooms and suites with modern amenities, for corporate and leisure travellers. The room rates per night start from Rs 6750. The hotel is a 14 minutes drive from Jammu Airport (IXJ) and six minutes by car from Jammu Tawi Railway Station, the city’s main railway station. The hotel features flexible meeting spaces including a 25,000 sq. ft. Royal Ballroom that accommodates up to 2,000 guests with additional pre-function space and a lawn for pre-event cocktails. Located at the epicenter of Jammu’s economic activity, the hotel is within close proximity to the corporate hub, Bahu Plaza, industrial estates, Bari Brahmana, Gangyal and Samba, several leading educational institutions and multi-specialty hospitals. The hotel features other facilities including the Business Class Lounge, business center, swimming pool, spa and fully equipped fitness center. Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group said, “Jammu is a region that enjoys strong domestic leisure demand and is home to some of the most visited destinations in India. Integral to our India growth strategy, is expanding in leisure markets and state capitals. With the opening of Radisson Blu Jammu, we will make inroads into the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir; we are delighted to be partnering Skyline Hotels in this iconic hotel.”

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Railway Minister flags off first Antyodaya Express

Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu flagged off the fourth Humsafar clan of trains and first Antyodaya clan of trains through video conferencing from Rail Bhawan. The minister also launched the New Catering Policy 2017 and the new partnership in parcel business with Department of Post. The first Antyodaya Express between Ernakulam and Howrah viz. Ernakulam-Howrah Antyodaya Express (weekly). Antyodaya Express are long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, for the common man to be operated on dense routes. The new Sriganganagar-Tiruchchirapalli Humsafar Express (weekly) was announced in Railway Budget 2016-17, and is fully air-conditioned third AC service with an optional service for meals. Till date, 3 Humsafar Express trains have been introduced on Indian Railways. Chairman, Railway Board, A.K. Mital, Member Traffic Mohd Jamshed, other Railway Board Members, Secretary Department of Post Boyapati V. Sudhakar and other senior officials were also present on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion Prabhu said, “This is the fourth Humsafar Express to be launched and it will cross the entire country from North to South. Humsafar train is a fully Air Conditioned 3 AC service having facilities like GPS based Passenger Information System, Passenger announcement System, fire and smoke detection and suppression system, CCTVs, comfortable seats, mobile and laptop charging points, integrated Braille display, LCD display above compartment doors in the aisle, Fire retardant curtains, etc.” He also said that “Today we are launching the country’s first Antyodaya Express to be launched. Tejas and UDAY Express will be launched soon. Antyodaya Express is a long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, for the common man to be operated on dense routes. Antyodaya Express will have facilities like  Cushioned luggage racks which can serve as seats  …

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Lufthansa’s A350-900 to connect Munich-Mumbai from April 16

Lufthansa Group has announced that it will deploy its latest long haul aircraft, Airbus A350-900, to Mumbai during the summer schedule of 2017. From April 16 onwards, Mumbai becomes the third destination worldwide to welcome the state-of-the-art aircraft. Flying on Lufthansa’s Munich (MUC) to Mumbai (MUM) route, the A350-900 will offer Mumbai area residents travel choices and better connections to Lufthansa’s vast global network. Earlier this month, Lufthansa Group marked a key milestone in Indian aviation by starting the first commercial operations of A350-900 to Delhi.

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France’s VAC in Pune gets a new address

The relocated France Visa Application Centre was inaugurated by Yves Perrin, Consul General of France in Mumbai, on February 27, 2017. Residents of Pune can now apply for visas to multiple countries, including France, under one roof, at the modern and centrally-located Joint Visa Application Centre in Viman Nagar. The Centre also serves 15 other Schengen countries besides France, including Italy, Germany, Austria, Greece, Latvia, Sweden, Swiss, Portugal, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Norway, Luxembourg, Cyprus and Estonia. In addition to this, the centre will also cater to the client governments of Australia, UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey and UAE. Many of these centres were earlier located in Tadiwala Road and Kalyani Nagar areas of the city. With the launch of the new Joint Visa Application Centre, VFS Global has consolidated all visa requirements under one roof. With a larger space and state-of-the-art infrastructure, the new Joint Visa Application Centre has an increased number of application counters making the visa application process quicker and more convenient for applicants. The centre is equipped with dedicated counters for individuals, representatives and travel agents making the visa application experience hassle-free and convenient for all.

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Philippines aims for 100,000 Indian tourists in 2017

Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines recently held training sessions for travel trade partners in New Delhi with an aim of achieving 100,000 mark in 2017. A 25-member delegation, comprising hoteliers, airlines, and representatives of tour attractions, interacted with over 100 key travel and tour operators, MICE providers and up-market leisure operators, and provided first-hand information on tourism products. Along with interactive B2B sessions, education programmes, workshops and destination awareness was the key area of focus to aid trade members in planning itineraries. Leading the delegation, Raymund Glen A. Agustin, Chief Tourism Operation Officer, Market Development Group- Russia, India & the Middle East, DOT Philippines, said, “The numbers have been very encouraging the past few years. We registered a growth of 21.37 per cent and are aiming for better numbers this year. The fact that Indians have to pay a fee for the visa and that there is no direct connectivity yet, the growth has been extremely positive.” Highlighting the importance of the Indian market, he affirmed that India has jumped into the list of top 12 source markets for the Philippines and such roadshows would be highly effective in boosting the rank even further.

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India no. 3 Asian market for Eurail

Earning the position of being Asia’s third-biggest market for Eurail after South Korea and China, India has chugged its way into the ‘key’ market category for the rail pass company. To underline how important this market has become to them, Yi Ding, Market Manager Asia, Eurail, was visiting Mumbai from Utrecht recently. She elaborates on this exciting growth and says, “In 2015, we saw that India had the highest growth rate globally for us – it was 50 per cent over the previous year. It continued to grow in 2016 by almost four per cent. In short, India was the best performing market for us the last two years.” She expects about eight to nine per cent growth in 2017 year-on-year because of the growing outbound to Europe. Much of this growth could be attributed to Eurail’s Family Discount of free travel for children under 12 it had introduced in 2014. This alone led the children’s share to double by 2015. In 2016, the market share of children was seven to eight per cent already – highest among all its markets.

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Singapore rests hope on Bollywood

After associating with the movie ‘Dear Zindagi’ recently, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has yet again rubbed shoulders with glamour. Together with SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, STB has now announced its collaboration with Dharma Productions for Bollywood movie ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’. The movie features key scenes and songs filmed in Singapore. Talking about Singapore’s association with the movie, G.B Srithar, Regional Director for South Asia, Middle East & Africa, STB said, “This movie will appeal to all segments of Indian society with its over-arching theme of love and the joy of life. Over the past few decades, Bollywood movies have helped build an emotive connect among the Indian audiences with Singapore. We believe through Badri and Vaidehi, they will re-discover Singapore’s variety of experiences and evolving cityscape. Keeping in line with the movie’s theme, we are pleased to welcome Indian travelers to begin their endless love affair with Singapore, by visiting and re-visiting Singapore for memorable holidays.” The film, directed by Shashank Khaitan and starring Bollywood stars Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan, will hit the screens on Friday, March 10, 2017 across India. Currently, SilkAir and Singapore Airlines have combined operations from 11 Indian cities, namely Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram and Visakhapatnam connecting to over 100 destinations via its hub, Singapore.

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J&K meets with Maharashtra travel fraternity

In line with the strategy of aggressive promotional campaign, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism organised various events in Maharashtra and Pune. The event titled Shaam-e-Kargil focused to promote the unexplored regions in the state which special focus on Kargil, informed Farooq A Shah, Secretary Tourism and Managing Director, Jammu and Kashmir State Tourism Development Corporation (JKSTDC). Addressing the travel fraternity in Maharashtra as dost-e-Kashmir, Shah explained how the trade in this region has always been a supporter and taken initiatives in promoting Jammu Kashmir as their priority destination. The delegation from the state tourism department interacted with various trade associations and travel agents and displayed publicity material about the products and services on offer in the state. The Secretary also conducted a series of meetings with the airlines and other allied sector representatives in order to ask for better facilitation and balanced fares to the destination.

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Greece makes aggressive entry into India

The Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) has made a foray into the Indian market starting 2017 to tap the increasing Indian outbound travel segment. The tourism board recently participated in a travel show in Mumbai to jumpstart its three-year-strategic plan. GNTO’s target is to create increased destination awareness about lesser-known cities of great geophysical, historical and cultural importance and to position Greece in the top five list of European destinations, for Indian tourists. Elena Kountoura, Honourable Minister of Tourism of Greece, says, “With the entry of Greek Tourism in the Indian market we aim to associate with the travel trade industry and offer our audience a customized product. Our strategy aims to promote 365 days tourism in Greece and we are confident that we will see a positive boost in the number of Indian arrivals to Greece with our initiatives. India is a promising market for us and this year we plan to reach out to affluent Indians through a well planned marketing and advertising campaign. GNTO is looking at promoting Greece as an ideal destination for film tourism, destination weddings and celebrations, apart from the existing popular segments like honeymoons, MICE and FITS.” Dimitrios Tryfonopoulos, Secretary General, Greek National Tourism Organization, adds, “Establishing a GNTO Office in India is the ultimate aim. Until then we will associate with our Indian counterpart to bring out the dynamic perspectives of Greek Tourism in the market of India. We are in talks with representatives of large air carriers such as Emirates, Qatar, Etihad and Jet Airways to improve the connectivity to Athens from India.” Greek Tourism recorded a double digit growth in 2016 from India. It is currently represented in India by …

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