Tourism Breaking News

AccorHotels ties up with LinkedIn to boost business networks

AccorHotels has joined hands with LinkedIn to enrich its mobile app with an unprecedented new service for travellers. All AccorHotels guests can use this new feature ‘Business Check powered by LinkedIn’ to create and facilitate business opportunities. By allowing travellers to identify people in their professional network who are based in the city they are in and suggesting relevant profiles to connect with, this new feature enables professionals to stay connected on the move. Romain Roulleau, Senior Vice President for E-commerce & Digital Services at AccorHotels commented, “This partnership between AccorHotels and LinkedIn is a world first in the hospitality industry. It will enrich the services we already offer on our mobile app which is used before, during and after the stay, notably by business travellers, who represent 60% of the app’s users. This new feature creates business opportunities, and our app will therefore facilitate and foster seamless, instinctive business travel sharing, thus generating guest engagement and visibility for our hotels.” Joshua Graff VP Marketing Solutions EMEA at LinkedIn commented, “There are over 26 million business travellers on LinkedIn and by partnering with one of the world’s leading travel groups, these professionals can now be even more informed, connected and productive while on the go. We all like to get the most out of our business trips abroad and this new feature will make it even easier to connect with clients, prospects, suppliers and colleagues old and new.”

Read More »

Picardy Tourism launches travel website for India

As part of their concerted efforts to make inroads into the Indian market, Picardy Tourism has launched a special travel website especially for the Indian market. The aim is to make Picardy more accessible to the travel agent and the potential visitor. This comprehensive marketing tool provides practical information on different aspects such as sightseeing, restaurants, places to visit and frequently asked questions. From information on group tours to suggestions for customised FIT holidays to MICE experiences and videos, the website serves as a comprehensive one stop guide for those planning to include a Picardy experience in their French itineraries all replete with a dash of the Indian element. The website also provides contact details of Lucie Rousseau, Business Developer for India, who has an in depth understanding and knowledge of Indian specificities. Lucie elaborates, “The website is a good marketing tool and facilitates quick access to information about the destination. The idea is to inspire travel agents to include Picardy in their travel itineraries and at the same time provide information that is useful for a client visiting our destination. We’ve included testimonials from travel agents who’ve travelled to Picardy and we will keep updating the website with information on celebrity visits such as promotions centred around the eagerly awaited Bollywood movie Befikre shot entirely in France including our region Picardy.”

Read More »

13.4% growth in foreign arrivals in September

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) grew by 13.4 per cent in September 2016 over the same period last year. Bangladesh accounts for highest share of tourist arrivals followed by USA and the UK in September. Rs. 11. 781 crore foreign exchange was earned through tourism during the month. FTAs during September 2016 were 6.15 lakh as compared to FTAs of 5.42 lakh during the same period last year and 5.09 lakh in September 2014. FTAs from January-September 2016 were 62.07 lakh with a growth of 10.5% as compared to the FTAs of 56.15 lakh with a growth of 4.8 per cent in January-September, 2015 over January-September 2014. The Percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during September, 2016 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (20.58%) followed by  USA (10.96%), UK (7.97%), Malaysia (4.98%), Sri Lanka (3.98%), Australia (3.47%), China (3.36%), Germany (2.83%), Japan (2.79%), Canada (2.58%), Nepal (2.16%), France (2.15%), Singapore (2.08%), Afghanistan (1.57%) and Pakistan (1.36%). The Percentage share of  Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during September 2016 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (30.99%) followed by Mumbai Airport (16.28%), Haridaspur Land check post (11.62%), Chennai Airport (8.30%),  Bengaluru Airport (6.01%), Kolkata Airport (4.43%), Cochin Airport (3.22%), Hyderabad Airport (3.01%), Gede Rail (2.28%), Tiruchirapalli Airport (1.99%), Ahmadabad Airport (1.72%),Trivandrum Airport (1.49%), Ghojadanga land check post (1.29%), Amritsar Airport (1.01%) and Attari-Wagh Land check post (0.99%).

Read More »

Aitken Spence Travels appoints Nijhawan Group as India representative

Aitken Spence Travels, the leading destination management company in Sri Lanka has appointed the Nijhawan Group as their representatives in India. Announcing this partnership, Ankush Nijhawan, Managing Director, Nijhawan Group shared that Nijhawan Group has been the representing partner for Aitken Spence Hotels, Sri Lanka since 2013 and this initiative has been taken to further strengthen this collaboration in India and to maximise the numbers from India to Sri Lanka through Aitken Spence Travels. Suranga Ratnayake, Assistant Vice President, Aitken Spence Travels, stated that with and an estimated annual inbound volume of 130,000 tourists, Aitken Spence Travels is backed by a reputation of being the most professional in the business. He added that Aitken Spence Travels is fully diversified in to every aspect of tourism related activities namely; leisure, eco, adventure, MICE, shore excursions for cruise liners and luxury tours. The company is the only Destination Management Company to be accredited with the ISO 9001:2008 certification, and its operations conform to 14001:2004 environmental standards in compliance with Carbon Neutral status.

Read More »

Diwali-inspired MRT trains in Singapore

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA), in collaboration with the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (LISHA), has launched a Diwali-themed train that will run on the city’s famous Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system. The train is on the city’s North-East line, that includes a stop at the Little India station, from where one could go and take in the festive lights that decorate the main artery road of Little India. The train is decorated with colourful, Rangoli and Indian garlands-inspired designs, lotus and peacocks, symbolizing good luck. The train was launched on October 15, 2016, by Singapore’s Minister for Transport, Khaw Boon Wan and will run through mid-November. GB Srithar, Regional Director, South Asia, Middle East & Africa, Singapore Tourism Board, invited Indian travelers to visit Singapore, saying “Singapore is a year-round festive city. During the Festival of Lights, the whole Little India area comes alive with lighted up streets, Diwali bazaars, eateries serving great food and much music in the air. I can say, in a candid festive spirit, it’s a great time to visit the city where even the train gets dressed up for Diwali.”

Read More »

Raffles Hotel Singapore to undergo restoration from Jan 2017

The iconic Raffles Hotel Singapore will embark on a careful and sensitive restoration programme. The restoration of this heritage hotel, owned by Katara Hospitality, will be conducted over three phases to ensure every detail of the programme is approached with careful consideration. Phase one of the programmes will begin in January 2017 and see the Raffles Hotel Arcade undergo restoration works while other areas of the property operate as normal. The Raffles Hotel Arcade houses 40 regional and specialty shops, indoor and outdoor function areas including The Ballroom and The Lawn and a variety of restaurants and bars including well-known Long Bar, home of the iconic Singapore Sling. Phase 2 will begin in mid 2017 when restoration efforts will commence on the main hotel building and Lobby as well as a portion of the hotel suites. Following that, Raffles Hotel Singapore will close for the final phase near the end of 2017 before a grand reopening in the second quarter of 2018. “Raffles Hotel Singapore has always evolved to stay distinctive and relevant, moving with the times and adapting to the changing needs of today’s traveller. We have a rich and colourful history and are about to begin a new chapter in our ongoing story – a sensitive restoration that will enable us to continue to offer what our guests expect and value,” said Diana Banks, Vice President, Raffles Brand, Raffles Hotels and Resorts. The last restoration was conducted from 1989 to 1991 where the hotel closed for two and a half years.  The luxury hotel has 103 individually designed suites – 84 Courtyard and Palm Court Suites, 12 Personality Suites, 5 Grand Hotel Suites and 2 Presidential Suites. Raffles …

Read More »

Telangana Govt signs MoU to provide skill development for hospitality

Government of Telangana and O2 Skills Academy have signed MoU to train 1,260 men and women between the ages of 18-35 over the next 3 years. This collaboration will aim to provide employment linked, market-oriented vocational training that will enable filling in the gaps the spa and hospitality industry faces by providing trained resources. The role of O2 Skills Academy will be to ensure effective mobilisation, training, certification and finally placement into apt jobs. This agreement is within the purview of the Telangana Employment Generation and Marketing Mission (EGMM) which falls under the Department of Panchayat Raj and Rural Development. The first batch of students under this program starts classes from the 17th of October 2016. A maximum of 35 students per batch will undergo practical and theoretical classes for 3 months with an option of being trained in Wellness therapies, Hair and Beauty treatments in addition to Hospitality (F&B and Housekeeping).The curriculum is designed and approved by the Government of Telangana (EGMM).

Read More »

SpiceJet to start 8 new flights from Nov 15

SpiceJet has announced new additional flights for this winter with effect from November 15, 2016. The airline has inducted three Boeing 737-800s to operate the eight new flights and eight new connections. With the introduction of the new and additional flights, the airline will operate 334 flights a day. With ‘regional connectivity’ as the macro theme, SpiceJet has been rendering constant focus on the agenda while undertaking network expansions and has most recently introduced three new flights to Northeast. The new schedule also focuses on connecting the key metros with special emphasis on Bengaluru and Hyderabad catering to the seasonal demand. The airline has also increased its frequency for Ahmedabad to key metros besides Goa. Shilpa Bhatia, Sr. VP, Commercial, SpiceJet, says, “Our new winter schedule strikes the right balance with equal emphasis on metro and non-metro connectivity. The induction of three new aircraft will cater to the enhanced seasonal demand while offering flexibility to customers with more flight options to choose from. Besides, with the introduction of additional direct flights, the schedule will offer seamless connectivity to business and leisure travellers alike.”

Read More »

MakeMyTrip & ibibo Group announce merger

Leading online travel groups, MakeMyTrip Limited and ibibo Group, have agreed to pursue a transaction that will combine the two businesses under MakeMyTrip. The combination will bring together a bouquet of leading consumer travel brands, including MakeMyTrip, goibibo, redBus, Ryde and Rightstay, which together processed 34.1 mm transactions during FY2016.Following the closing of the proposed transaction, Founder Deep Kalra will remain Group CEO and Executive Chairman of MakeMyTrip and Co-founder Rajesh Magow will continue to remain CEO India of MakeMyTrip. Founder and CEO of ibibo Group, Ashish Kashyap, will join MakeMyTrip’s executive team as a Co-founder and President of the organization. The transaction is expected to unlock value for customers, supply partners and shareholders, by combining the complementary strengths of each business. Naspers and Tencent, through their jointly owned holding company (91% owned by Naspers and 9% owned by Tencent), are selling ibibo Group to MakeMyTrip in exchange for an issuance of new shares by MakeMyTrip. Upon closing of the transaction, MakeMyTrip will own 100% of ibibo Group. Naspers and Tencent will become the single largest shareholder in MakeMyTrip, owning a 40% stake, and will contribute proportionate working capital upon closing. Deep Kalra, Chairman and Group CEO of MakeMyTrip, said: “Today’s announcement is a significant step forward for the rapidly growing travel industry in India. We expect this deal to create an even more scalable business with the expertise to transform the booking experience for Indian travellers. I am delighted to be leading such a strong team in our next chapter of high-growth in this dynamic industry.” Rajesh Magow, co-founder and CEO India of MakeMyTrip added: “We welcome the ibibo team to the newly expanded MakeMyTrip family. The combination of these two …

Read More »

ITDC marks 50th year with great fanfare

India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) celebrated the completion of 50 years at a gala event at The Ashok, New Delhi. The event was graced by the presence of Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and Umang Narula, Chairman & Managing Director, ITDC. The who’s who of the travel and hospitality industry joined the celebrations and raised a toast to ITDC.

Read More »