Tourism Breaking News

Travelshop Turkey plans charters with Turkish Airlines

Travelshop Turkey plans to launch charters in association with Turkish Airlines in a bid increase their portfolio of offerings, informed Murtaza Kalender, General Manager, TravelShop Turkey, at the first leg of their six-city roadshow in Delhi. “In cooperation with Turkish Airlines, we plan to start charter flights and aim for 200 charters by 2017,” he said. Commenting on the roadshow, he stated, “We are here with representatives from 12 different Turkish companies including airlines, hotels, and restaurants to inform the Indian travel trade about the different packages we have on offer. Between October to April, we are expecting at least 10,000 clients to visit Turkey, especially with the new arrangements we have provided. We are also focusing on weddings since Turkey is extremely popular among Indians.” The roadshow continues in Ahmedabad on Aug 2, Mumbai on Aug 3, Kolkata on Aug 4, Chennai on Aug 5 and Bangalore on Aug 6.

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AccorHotels partners with AITTC

AccorHotels has signed an agreement with the Australia India Travel & Tourism Council (AITTC) to further strengthen the opportunities for promoting tourism between Australia and India. As part of the new partnership, AITTC will endorse AccorHotels market-leading Optimum Service Standards program for Indian visitation. AITTC will facilitate a service training program to help AccorHotels staff better understand cultural practices and learn basic greetings so they can respectfully serve these guests. Training is expected to commence in Sydney and Brisbane this August and AITTC will issue hotels with a certificate of accreditation once completed.  AccorHotels launched its Optimum Service Standards for Indian visitation program to better cater to the specific cultural needs and growing numbers of Indian travellers to Australia and New Zealand. Accredited hotels have adopted services to meet the needs of this emerging travel market including the translation of hotel welcome kits, menus and business cards, Indian meals in the restaurant, Indian adaptor plugs, TV channels and newspapers to make guests travelling from India feel at home. In addition, AITTC and AccorHotels will be working together on promoting both inbound tourism from India as well as outbound opportunities to India.

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Ras Al Khaimah promotes MICE and luxury in India

Ras Al Khaimah is promoting itself as an ideal MICE and luxury travel destination in the India market. Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (TDA) highlighted the offerings in this segment at MICE India and Luxury Travel Congress (MILT) 2016, held in Mumbai on July 28-29, and forged smart partnerships with potential buyers from India. Shaji Thomas, Director-Destination Tourism Development, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and Mohamed Khater, Senior Tourism Development Manager, Ras Al Khaimah TDA, were present at the event. In the recent years, Ras Al Khaimah has successfully leveraged the appeal of its leisure offerings to international business travellers and has now emerged as one of the top destinations in the international travel market. Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah TDA, said, “Ras Al Khaimah is witnessing a positive trend from India, which has been identified as one of the fastest and strongest growing source markets in terms of visitor figures. We are focusing on promoting Ras Al Khaimah as a boutique destination for meetings, incentives and events. MILT provides a unique platform to meet high-end buyers and wedding planners looking for new destinations to promote. We are seeing a surge in interest in Ras Al Khaimah as an ideal location for events and weddings.”

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Club Mahindra opens 75-key resort near Saputara

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India has launched its new 75-room resort in Hatgad, Maharashtra, six kilometers from the hill station of Saputara, Gujarat. Spread over an area consisting of approximately three acres, Club Mahindra Hatgad is located on the Nashik-Saputara road with views of the Saputara Hills as well as of the famed Hatgad Fort. Kavinder Singh, MD & CEO, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited, said, “At Club Mahindra we constantly try to add new and unexplored holiday destinations to create differentiated experiences for our members. Saputara, the only hill station of Gujarat, is a great holiday destination for the entire family as it offers diverse attractions including a rich indigenous cultural history, an abundant waterfall, a wildlife sanctuary and various adventure activities. Club Mahindra Hatgad is within driving distance from Nashik, Surat, Ahmedabad, Pune and Mumbai, making it an ideal family getaway destination for our members.

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Singapore Airlines offers special fares to Australia from India

Singapore Airlines has announced special Economy Class and Premium Economy Class fares to eight key Australian gateways, namely, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, Canberra1, Darwin and Perth. Economy Class customers travelling on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir can avail of all-inclusive, return fares starting from Rs. 63,000 per person for travel from Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kochi, Trivandrum, Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam to Australia; while customers from Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad can purchase tickets starting from Rs. 66,000 onwards. In addition, travellers can experience extra comfort in the Premium Economy Class with all-inclusive, return fares starting from Rs. 100,000. These fares are available on sale till August 31, 2016, for the travel period starting August 01, 2016 till April 30, 2017. Furthermore, travellers can redeem a complimentary S$40 Changi Dollar Voucher for use at all participating shops, restaurants and lounges when they transit at Singapore Changi Airport till March 31, 2017.

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Radisson Blu opens first resort and spa in Karjat

Radisson Blu has opened the first phase of its 102-key ‘Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Karjat’ located in the sub district of Raigad in Maharashtra. This is the Radisson Blu brand’s 29th addition within Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group’s portfolio in India. A popular weekend destination, Karjat is a two-hour drive from Mumbai and Pune and the resort offers 360-degree views of the Sahyadri mountains. Speaking on the occasion, Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group said, “We are excited to to launch this upper-upscale resort. This resort’s opening reinforces our commitment to enhance the brand’s portfolio and further expand our presence in resort destinations throughout India. With its unparalleled resort experience and commitment to excellence, we are confident Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Karjat will be a shining success.” The resort’s owner, Debasish Chakraborty, noted, “Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Karjat offers a beautiful balance between modern design and enveloping natural beauty. It is a first-of-its-kind luxury offering in an upcoming destination, complete with great connectivity, service excellence and quality standards befitting the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. We are excited to introduce this property to a range of discerning guests.” The resort will tap couples, families, adventure-seekers, wellness enthusiasts, wedding party guests, and business travellers.

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32% growth in Indian visitors to Vienna in 2016

During January-June 2016, 25,181 Indian travellers visited Vienna representing a 32 per cent increase over 2015. Of the 3.1 million global visitors, over this period, tourists from India grew at the highest rate, followed by the Great Britain, informed Isabella Rauter, Manager-Media Management, Vienna Tourist Board. The number of Indian overnight stays grew to 55,628, an increase of 38.7 per cent over the previous year, corresponding to an Indian traveller spending an average of 2.21 overnights in the Austrian capital. “This not only reflects Vienna’s continued attractiveness, but also shows that our systematic internationalisation strategy of diversifying into many different markets is paying off,” explains Norbert Kettner, Director, Vienna Tourist Board. Vienna expects attractiveness among youth to get a further boost with the upcoming release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, a bollywood movie shot at the destination. “A popular destination for families and honeymooners, Vienna bewitched younger audiences to savour its romantic ambience. Young Indian couples are now beginning to forge wedding vows in the city, known for its love affair with imperial heritage and architecture,”says Rauter. The tourist board also informed that one in every eight visitors attended one of the 3,685 congresses, corporate events and incentives in Vienna in 2015, setting a new record.

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India ranks 40th in international tourists arrivals: UNWTO

As per the UNWTO Barometer (May 2016), India ranks 40th in terms of International Tourists Arrivals during 2015. The FTVs during 2015 was highest in West (30.6%) followed by South (29.1%), North (28.4%), East (11.4%) and North East (0.5%). As per the Report of the ‘Working Group on Tourism’ for the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017) set up by the then Planning Commission, the requirement of additional hotel rooms under classified category in 2016 over 2010 is estimated to be 1,90,108. This information was given by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism and Culture in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

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India fastest-growing market for SW Germany at 5.3 overnights

Indian travellers continue to hold the record for highest number of overnights per stay at 5.3 days in SouthWest Germany, during January to May 2016. The number of arrivals from India increased during January-May 2016 to 13,126 travellers. Hector Dsouza, Director-India, SouthWest German Tourism, says, “India is miles ahead. It still has the highest number of overnights per visit, and currently its 5.3 days per visit. The international average for SouthWest Germany is 2.3 days. For the period ended October 2015, we recorded 162,843 overnights from India. We are now expecting 40,000 Indian visitors in 2016 doing 2,50,000 overnights, an increase of 25 per cent from 2015.” The total number of SouthWest German destination specialists across India now stands at 520.

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A.K. Mital reappointed as Chairman, Railway Board

The current Chairman of Railway Board, A.K.Mital has been reappointed to the post for a period of two years i.e. till he attains the age of 62 years. Mital was appointed as Chairman, Railway Board on December 31, 2014. Prior to this appointment, he was Member Staff, Railway Board. Earlier, he served as General Manager of South Western Railway-SWR (Headquarters Hubli) and was also looking after the additional charge of General Manager, South Central Railway- SCR (Headquarters Secunderabad). Mital is a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.). An Officer of 1976 batch of Indian Railways Service of Stores (IRSS), he has worked on various important posts in the Indian Railways. He was Director/Stores, Executive Director/Vigilance and Executive Director/Stores in Railway Board, Ministry of Railways. He has worked as Chief Material Manager in Northern Railway.

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