Tourism Breaking News

Parvez Dewan declared Legend in Public Service

Parvez Dewan, Advisor to the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, was awarded Legend in Public Service at the third North India Travel Awards, held at Hyatt Regency, Gurgaon on October 21, 2016. Dewan has held many coveted posts like Chairman and Managing Director of ITDC, Secretary to the Govt. of India, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and most importantly, Secretary Tourism, where he has many firsts to his credit. Dewan has authored over 26 books.

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3rd North India Travel Awards kicks off

The third edition of North India Travel Awards felicitated achievers in the travel and tourism industry of the region during a glittering ceremony held at Hyatt Regency, Gurgaon on October 21, 2016. The Chief Guest for the event, Om Prakash Singh, Tourism Minister, Uttar Pradesh Government, inaugurated the event along with other dignitaries in the presence of the who’s who of the travel industry from North India. The North India Travel Awards salutes the best in the industry and awardees are selected based on a non-biased system of voting.

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Civil aviation sector can create 60 lakh jobs in 10 years: Jayant Sinha

Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, has said that the civil aviation sector has the potential to create about 10 lakh direct jobs in the next 10 years. He further said that with a six-fold multiplier effect that jobs in this sector have, this can lead to the creation of about 60 lakh jobs – direct and indirect – in the next 10 years. As jobs in the civil aviation sector tend to be of high value, this would go a long way in improving the economic condition of a large number of young people. The Minister also said that the sector can reasonably be expected to grow at an average rate of about 10-12 per cent over the next ten years. However, to achieve this we first need to fill the gap between the demand for skilled manpower for a huge variety of trades in the sector, and the availability of the same. Stressing upon the need for world class training and skilling, he said that this can raise the employability of our people across the world. Sinha also flagged the issue of non-availability of land to build airports as another constraint for growth of the sector. The Minister was speaking at a workshop on Building Awareness on Aligning Skill Development in the Civil Aviation Sector with the National Skill Qualification Framework ( NSQF) in New Delhi. The event also saw the signing of an MoU between the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship for training of people in the various trades associated with the civil aviation sector.

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MOT & ESOI focus on sustainability

Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, launched the Implementation of the Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India (STCI) in association with Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI). He recalled the MoU signed in March 2016 between ESOI and Government of India to launch the STCI programme across the country. Zutshi indicated the importance given to sustainable tourism in the National Tourism Policy that is to be released soon. Speaking on the occasion, Steve Borgia, President, ESOI, hailed the commitment shown by  Ministry of Tourism. India is one of the few countries in the world to have a criteria of its own. C.B. Ramkumar, Board member, Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) presented the  global picture and also suggested the direction which India could go in this regard. The STCI was curated with the need for developing criteria for sustainable tourism specific to India given the environment that the tourism industry operates in.

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Sabre launches Traveler Experience Platform

Sabre has unveiled its new Traveler Experience Platform that brings together the critical aspects of travel management into a single mobile app that will manage the whole trip for business travellers. The Platform combines the online booking capabilities of GetThere for air and hotel, and the itinerary management and messaging features of TripCase. Sabre has also introduced a travel risk management solution to the platform, SafePoint, which helps travellers to check-in with their employer via a GPS location and request assistance if an emergency arises. Early next year, the Traveler Experience Platform will also offer e-payment solutions via Sabre Virtual Payments to corporations in APAC. “Travel is a strategic investment for corporations that can bring significant returns, which is why we built a platform that provides scalable innovation to drive two key objectives: experience and efficiency. In the past you had to give up one to have the other. With this scalable platform, you basically have it all,” said Florian Tinnus, vice president of Traveler Experience at Sabre. “With personalization becoming an expectation for travelers, and mobile as an enabler of a true personalized experience, the future of travel is in the collaboration and execution of the traveler’s experience with a corporation’s travel program. And with scalability and flexibility as the foundation of this platform, we’re not only meeting the needs of today’s complex corporate travel programs, but we’re continuously evolving with tomorrows.” The Traveler Experience Platform helps solve some of the biggest challenges facing business travel programs: corporate travel managers searching for a flexible platform, travelers looking for a seamless experience and corporations striving for a positive return on investment. Available to travelers through their employer’s travel program, the …

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Domestic airlines show 23% growth during Jan-Sept

According to the latest data released by DGCA, passengers carried by domestic airlines during Jan-Sept 2016 were 726.98 lakhs as against 590.21 lakhs during the corresponding period of previous year, registering a growth of 23.17 per cent. SpiceJet showed the highest Passenger Load Factor (PLF) at 93.2 per cent. The overall cancellation rate of scheduled domestic airlines for the month of Sept 2016 has been 0.42 %. Vistara came out the winner when it came to On Time Performance, with a success rate of 89.6 per cent.

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61% surge in Indian visitors to Ras Al Khaimah in Sept

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (TDA) recorded a 22 per cent rise in Indian hotel guests between January and September 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. During September, visitors from India increased by 61 per cent against the same month last year. With India ranked as the emirate’s fourth largest international source market, Ras Al Khaimah TDA has overseen extensive trade and promotional activities to ensure continued growth from the Sub-continent. “Ras Al Khaimah is perfectly positioned to attract more visitors from India, and is only 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport. The destination boasts unique natural landscapes including 64km pristine beaches, desert, mountains, and adventure, together with world class hotels in a safe environment – we have everything that the outbound Indian market looks for in a destination,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA. As part of its strategy to seize new opportunities and further nuture Indian arrivals, RAKTDA hosted pre- and post- familiarisation trips to coincide with the Travel Agents Association of India’s (TAAI) 63rd Annual Convention & Exhibition held in Abu Dhabi, where Mattar participated on a panel focusing on key travel trends affecting the Indian outbound market. A total of 72 of India’s leading travel agents, ranging from first-timers to repeat visitors, were hosted on a bespoke itinerary designed to highlight the range of luxurious properties such as Marjan Island Resort & Spa, Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Resort and Spa Marjan Island, and Hilton Al Hamra Beach and Golf Resort. Conceived to provide agents with first-hand experience of the emirate and develop knowledge of the destination’s diverse tourism products, the itinerary included a luxurious …

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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.”

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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.”

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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%).

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