Tourism Breaking News

Cinnamon Hotels meet agents in Ahmedabad

The resorts team from Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, a chain of 14 distinct hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, visited Ahmedabad recently to acquaint themselves with travel agents. The visiting team comprised of the Sector Head of the resort properties – Sunimal Senanayake, Senior Vice President Sales, Romesh Walpola, Marketing Communications Manager and Sales executive of the resort properties. Senanayake, Sector Head of Cinnamon’s resort properties in Sri Lanka & Maldives was pleased to meet with the travel agents and understand the perspective and interests of the traveller from Gujarat. He also shared the brand values and various offerings Cinnamon has with the agents. The Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts team will visit India to meet agents in many more Indian cities in the coming months.  

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Blue Square Consultants to represent Iceland Travel

Blue Square Consultants has been appointed as the sales and marketing representative for Iceland Travel, a leading DMC (Destination Management Company) in Iceland. With this new addition, Blue Square Consultants has once again achieved its objective of representing clients from ‘unique’ destinations in India. Having started its operations in 1937, Iceland Travel has been a premier travel company, tour operator and DMC in Iceland offering top-quality services. The DMC offers diverse product categories that will suit Indian agents, such as escorted tours, day tours and self-drive tours in Iceland. Iceland as a destination is gaining popularity in India because of its vast and varied landscape filled with volcanoes, glaciers, black sand beaches, lava fields, and remote fjords. Jakobina Gudmundsdottir, Director of Sales & Marketing, Iceland Travel, says, “Recently, we have witnessed an increase in Indian enquiries to travel to Iceland. To foster this growth, we needed to have a strong representation in India. We felt that Blue Square Consultants is the apt partner to have in India because of their excellent track record; highly professional team and undisputed knowledge of Indian travel trade and travelers. We are confident that through this association we will witness a positive growth in the number of Indian visitors to Iceland.” Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, says, “We had conducted Iceland’s maiden roadshow in India earlier this year in association with Promote Iceland which was valuable for the delegation including Iceland Travel. We are confident that our association with Iceland Travel will not only be beneficial for them but also for Iceland as a destination as it has something new to offer to Indian travellers.”  

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India offers best value flights: Aviation Price Index 2016

India ranked 1st in offering the best value for international and domestic flights worldwide with an average flight cost of $3.25 per 100 kms of travel, factoring in both domestic and international journeys according to ‘The Aviation Price Index’, analysed by Kiwi.com. At the other end of the ranking, United Arab Emirates calculated at a cost over 30 times higher, at $105.71 per 100km of travel. Oliver Dlouhý, Chief Executive Officer, Kiwi.com, says, “We always aim to offer travellers the best possible deals, and hope this ranking informs them on the countries from which they can expect the most cost effective airfare, and assist them in booking the best value journey.” A million fights were analysed to find an average price of domestic and international flights on a low cost and a legacy airline from each of the countries. Domestic flights were calculated by averaging flight costs from the country’s capital to up to five major cities within the country (where available), or a major city in a neighbouring country where no domestic flights were available, whilst international costs were calculated from the capital of each country to up to five international hubs within the same continent. All flights were checked for the same dates of travel (or neighbouring dates where necessary) on- and off-season, taking into account the same destinations and travel scheduling.  China offered the least expensive international flights on both low cost and legacy airlines, at $1.22 and $2.84 respectively per 100km of travel; United Arab Emirates offered the most expensive domestic flights on both low cost and legacy airlines, at $181.38 and $202.36 respectively per 100km of travel; Canada offered the most expensive international flights on …

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Crimea assures safety to Indian tourists

In the wake of recent disturbances, Crimean authorities have assured Indian tourists that the country is a “safe travel destination.” Prime Minister of the Republic of Crimea, Sergey Valeryevich Aksyonov, said, “I want to assure tourists from India that Crimea is a safe travel destination. We welcome guests. Especially as Russia and India have long-term friendly relations. The inflow of tourists to Crimea has increased. Crimea remains one of the most popular holiday destinations for those from Russia and outside.” Crimea has been under Russian control since 2014. According to the Russian Federal Security Service, armed clashes took place in northern Crimea last month involving a group that had allegedly came from Ukrainian territory to commit acts of terrorism in public places and thus disrupt the tourist season on the peninsula.   (issued by Russia Info Centre and PTI)

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IATO Gujarat Chapter conducts meeting for members

The Gujarat Chapter of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) recently conducted a networking event for all its members that saw a great turn-out. Jayendrasinh K Jhala, Chairman, IATO Chapter Gujarat, said, “We had a wonderful landmark gathering in Ahmedabad on July 27, 2016. We have an excellent harmony in our chapter and we saw maximum member recruitment this year with 25 new members in just seven months. Our Chapter also gets good support from the executive committee, president and the secretary of IATO.”  

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Over 200 investors expected at maiden IITIS

The Incredible India Tourism Investors’ Summit (IITIS) scheduled for September 21-23, at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, will witness participation from more than 27 Indian states, informs Vinod Zutshi, Secretary-Tourism, Govt. of India, at a press conference. He informed, “Till date, 140 investors from around 70 companies have confirmed their participation but we are hoping to see a turnout of about 250 investors. Around 600 investible projects will be showcased to the investors through presentations, B2B and B2G meetings.” Suman Billa, Joint Secretary-Tourism, said that the summit is expected to accumulate Rs 57,000 crore where they anticipate signing several MoUs over the two days. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Culture opined that IITIS will showcase the investment opportunities in tourism sector. “It’s main objective is to position the Indian Tourism sector for attracting large investments and presenting to the Investors tangible investment-ready projects in the different States/Union Territories of India. The summit will provide a global platform for interaction with investors, policy makers and Indian industry leaders, and other stakeholders.” A total of 21 seminars will be held across the two days, with various plenary sessions on topics like Why Invest in Incredible India?, Core Infrastructure for Tourism, Digital India & Start Up India: Investing in Tourism Technology, Success Stories of Investment in India and on MICE & Medical Tourism, to name a few. Prior to the event, officials from the Ministry of Tourism embarked on roadshows in the USA, UAE, Thailand, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Gujarat, Mumbai, Bhopal to draw in investors to India.

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TAAI signs MoU with Mount Carmel College

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has signed an MoU with Mount Carmel College (Autonomous) in Bengaluru. M.S. Raghavan, Chairman, TAAI Karnataka, said, “We will collaboratively work broadly in the following areas besides other issues arising from time to time on tourism education. This will include designing the course curriculum and making it industry-relevant, and sourcing internships and final job placements for students of Mount Carmel College. We will also assist in arranging guest lecturers from the industry to update the current developments and conducting trade-related workshops. Other activities will include undertaking capacity development initiatives for the faculty members, sourcing live projects for the students from corporations in the sector, and other related initiatives with an objective of making B.Voc in Hospitality & Tourism Course and industry-oriented course that includes skill-training as well.” TAAI has in the past signed a similar MoU with HR College, Mumbai, Garden City College in Bengaluru, and the Lucknow University. Jay Bhatia, Tourism Council Chairman, TAAI, stated, “We at TAAI want to empower the future generations to understand and preview the industry. We want leaders of tomorrow to feel and understand the world before they set foot into the trade. Enhance and empower them is what we are looking at.”

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3rd International India Medical Tourism Congress held in Hyderabad

The third edition of IIMTC, a first of its kind niche tourism congress, was held from September 3-4 in Hyderabad. B. Venkatesham, Secretary Tourism, Government of Telangana, inaugurated the conference. He said, “Hyderabad has immense potential for medical tourism. The world class medical tourism facilities, nursing, qualified doctors along with a vast heritage and culture, beautiful landscape makes Hyderabad an ideal place for medical tourism. The tourism department along with the health department of the state is working to highlight this aspect of travel.” Representatives from various countries like CIS countries, USA, UK, Germany, Middle East besides representatives of the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health , Health and Ayush departments, Government of India, Chambers of Commerce, international associations, academicians as well as healthcare professionals  were present at the two day conference.

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Medical Tourism Society in Telangana

In an attempt to leverage medical tourism in Telangana, the Tourism Department and Health Department of the state have come together to form a Medical Tourism Society. The society is aimed at creating a single platform for all stakeholders both public and private to interact and address issues regarding medical tourism. B.Venkatesham, Secretary Tourism, Government of Telangana, said, “Till now we have involved the hospitals, accreditation bodies, health officials and tourism officials in improving medical tourism but we understand the importance of medical travel facilitators and thus this platform will allow the travel agents to put up their issues and participate. The government will also assist and act as a facilitator to the travel agents functioning in this segment of tourism.”

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IndiGo connects Port Blair to Kolkata, Chennai

IndiGo will introduce new daily non-stop flights to Port Blair from Kolkata and Chennai effective September 28 and September 30, 2016, respectively. Port Blair will also be connected to Delhi (via Kolkata) and Hyderabad (via Chennai). The airline will also launch additional frequencies with daily non-stop flight between Delhi & Kolkata, Delhi & Chennai and Hyderabad & Varanasi sectors. The arrival fares for Kolkata-Port Blair flight is Rs 3499, Chennai-Port Blair flight is Rs 4499, Delhi-Port Blair flight is Rs 5999. Speaking on the launch of new flights and the addition of the new destination, Aditya Ghosh, President, IndiGo said, “We are extremely pleased about adding Port Blair as our 41st destination. It is going to be an important part of our destination network, catering to the needs of both business as well as leisure travellers, looking to embrace the deep blue waters. In addition, IndiGo will connect holy city of Varanasi with Hyderabad with daily non-stop service. Clearly, these are exciting times for the aviation industry and for us, as we are now in the 11th year of operation. We thank our flyers for their unflinching support in these past 10 years and we will continue to provide them an on time, hassle free and affordable flying experience.” On the international sector, IndiGo in August launched first daily non-stop flight between Chandigarh-Dubai and second daily non-stop on Kochi-Dubai sector. On the domestic front, IndiGo also recently introduced additional frequencies in Agartala – Kolkata sector, 1st non-stop flight on the Kolkata-Visakhapatnam-Kolkata sector and 5th daily non-stop flight between Kolkata and Hyderabad.

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