Tourism Breaking News

Tourism New Zealand appoints new CEO

Tourism New Zealand has announced the appointment of Stephen England-Hall to the position of Chief Executive at Tourism New Zealand. He will commence in the role in early April 2017, based in Auckland. He will join Tourism New Zealand after three years as Chief Executive at Loyalty New Zealand and prior to that Chief Marketing Officer with Syncapse Corporation and Chief Executive Officer for Razorfish in London. England-Hall was born in Papakura and spent his teenage years in the Manawatu. He has worked across New Zealand, the United Kingdom and North America as a senior executive of leading digital marketing, data and technology companies. He holds an MBA from Cambridge University and also attended Victoria University in Wellington

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Capt. Swadesh Kumar is ATOAI President for 2016-18

Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) has elected Captain Swadesh Kumar, Managing Director, Shikhar Travels India, as President for 2016-18. The office bearers were elected unopposed. Ajeet Bajaj, Managing Director, Snow Leopard Adventures is the new Senior Vice President; Tejbir Singh Anand, Managing Director, Holiday Moods Adventures has been elected as Vice President; Rajesh Ojha, Co-founder, Banjara Camps and Retreats is the new Secretary while the position of Honorary Secretary will be held by Vaibhav Kala, Founder, Aquaterra Adventures. “The association will shift its trajectory from Himalayan centric to a pan-India focus for adventure tourism. Since around 22 million Indian travellers go abroad to experience adventure holidays, we plan to involve international members into the association and also focus on outbound segment of travel for adventure tourism,” says Kumar. The elected Executive Committee members are Mohan Tickoo, Managing Director, Kash Venture Travels; Sanjay Basu, Managing Director, Far Horizon Tours; Vishwas Makhija, Managing Director, India Insight Tours; Shashank Gupta, Director, Rucksack Tours; Vinayak Koul, Director, Snow Lion Expeditions and Akshay Kumar, CEO, Mercury Himalayan Exploration, who is also the Immediate Past President.

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Travkart by HolidaysBySahibji launches mobile app

Travkart, the travel service portal by Holidays bySahibji has launched its mobile app. The 5.08 MB app will allow travellers to choose fixed departure packages for all air, land and cruise packages from the live inventory with instant confirmations as well as to book activities and tours on the go. The app will also offer a host of seamless payment options making the mobile booking experience all the more enjoyable. In addition, users can refer the app to friends on social platforms and earn discounts and cashback. Manheer Singh, Co-founder, Travkart.com said, “We endeavor to make everyone’s travel dreams come true by creating the finest experiences for them. Our app is here to make beautiful holidays more accessible than ever before, at irresistible prices. Our simple and user-friendly processes are designed keeping in mind the comfort and convenience of the customer, whereas the unique features like booking themed holidays, viewing booking details, making payments online via credit points and instant confirmations promise to make the entire experience with Travkart simply delightful.”

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North East desk in Mumbai to promote tourism and trade

A North East desk in Mumbai will be set up to promote tourist and trade investment from Maharashtra and other western parts of country in the northeast region. This decision was taken at a meeting Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space held in Mumbai with members of Indian Merchants’ Chamber (IMC) and the Maharashtra State Tourism Minister. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the North East has lot much to offer, but the attributes remain unexplored because people outside are either not aware of it or do not find it convenient to venture. He further highlighted that a highly scenic destination like Shillong attracts more number of European and foreign tourists compared to domestic or Indian tourists because of lack of awareness in other parts of the country. Dr Jitendra Singh also proposed the idea of Medical Tourism and flagged the idea of combining tourism with the Start up India programme which could simultaneously help in engaging youth and generating employability.

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SQ to increase frequency to Ahmedabad from Mar 26

Singapore Airlines will increase flight frequency to Ahmedabad to four times per week, up from the current three, with effect from 26 March 2017. While Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka will be served 10 times per week with effect from July 19, 2017, up from the current seven flights per week, Bangkok flight frequency will increase to six per day from five with effect from 26 March 2017. Ho Chi Minh City will be served 19 times per week from the same day, up from the current 17 per week. The airline plans to increase flight frequency to points in Australia, Europe, Southeast Asia and West Asia in the Northern Summer operating season (26 March 2017 to 28 October 2017) to meet growing travel demand. In Australia, Melbourne will be served with 31 weekly flights, up from 28, with effect from 17 July 2017, while flight frequency to Brisbane will increase to 28 per week, up from 24, starting on 22 August 2017. From 4 June 2017, Sydney will be served 33 times per week, up from 31 times per week. To cater to peak period demand, flight frequency to Sydney will be further increased to 35 weekly flights from 18 June to 30 September 2017. In Europe, Rome will be served four times per week from July 2017, up from the current two weekly flights. As previously announced, Moscow will be served five times per week, up from four times, with effect from 30 May 2017, when services beyond Moscow to the new destination of Stockholm are introduced. The additional services are subject to regulatory approvals.

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SITA to transform AI’s communications network

Air India’s outstation and domestic hubs are set to receive faster, cutting-edge connectivity through SITA. The global airport transport IT provider will provide faster, more reliable connectivity to the airline as part of a package of solutions aimed at transforming its communications and network infrastructure. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and MD, Air India, said, “Having been a long-standing technology partner in aviation, SITA is able to fulfill the vision of passenger experience by identifying appropriate innovations covering network and communications that can help the airline to become more efficient and cost effective. This will help us benefit from the opportunities in the fast-growing Indian aviation market while elevating our international competitiveness.” The seven-year deal will see SITA roll out the latest communication technology both in India and internationally. Through SITA Connect – the largest communication network in the air transport industry used in over 220 countries and territories – Air India will be able to link all 93 international outstations and its six biggest airports in India to the airline’s central hubs in New Delhi and Mumbai. In addition, the airline will be able to leverage AirportHub™,  SITA’s unique shared infrastructure which allows airlines to connect all their applications and IT systems at an airport quickly and easily. It removes the complexity of dealing with local telecom providers and adds flexibility and agility to route management. AirportHub™ has already been deployed at over 300 airports around the world. SITA will also provide access to services, applications and data on any device and in any location through its End-User Computing solution. As a single-source provider embracing both traditional desktop and the latest technologies, SITA will provide both hardware and support to more …

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Travel Experiential Show witnesses 650 meetings

The first-ever Travel Experiential Show concluded with 650 meetings conducted among 23 exhibitors and 25 buyers on Dec 18, 2016 at Le Meridien Gurgaon where representatives from destination management companies, hotels, travel agents and tour operators, among others, met under one roof to network and explore opportunities. “From the feedback we’ve received, the show was a huge success,” stated Punam Singh, Associate, Pacific Leisure Group. “We welcomed a lot of familiar faces but also some new ones and the platform helped them discover newer avenues to further their business. We will surely be back next year to bring more people together.” Speaking at the inauguration, keynote speaker Sushil Shamal Wadhwa, Founder & CEO, Platinum World Group, highlighted, “The whole idea of experiential travel is presenting something exclusive and unique, be it the most expensive dinner that costs $300,000 for five people, or activities like archery and falconry in a destination like Mongolia. Experiences like these first turn you speechless and then into a storyteller. As the demand for luxury increases and people become more open to trying newer experiences, the segment will continue to evolve and grow.”

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1300 meetings at Travel Show

The two editions of Travel Show held on Dec 17 and 18, 2016, at Le Meridien Gurgaon recorded 1,300 meetings between around 25 exhibitors as well as 25 buyers on both days. The closed-door event which focused on MICE on the first day, and on Experiential and Luxury travel the second day, was inaugurated by Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, Outbound Tour Operators’ Association of India; Sushil Shamal Wadhwa, Founder & CEO, Platinum World Grroup and Shahnawaz Shah, Manager Marketing, SKICC. It presented an exclusive networking opportunity to a selective list of travel and hospitality professionals in a pre-scheduled one-on–one meeting format. Commenting on the show, Sarika Rawal Bhambani, General Manager, Travel Show said, “Successful meetings took place between the selected exhibitors and top-level buyers. It is an excellent platform for companies which are looking to gain a slice of demand or are looking to grow their existing shares.”

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India signs open skies agreement with 6 countries

India has signed open skies agreement with six countries namely Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka, at the International Civil Aviation Negotiations (ICAN) 2016. The open skies agreement as per NCAP 2016 allows unlimited number of flights to six metro airports namely Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai. R.N. Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation revealed that the conference saw in attendance 106 countries out of ICAO membership of 191 countries. India held negotiations with 17 countries and ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ was signed with 12 countries. India resolved major issues at these negotiations as per the directions in National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP 2016). Firstly, India renegotiated traffic rights with Oman increasing the entitlements with 6,258 seats effective from Summer 2017 as the existing entitlements were nearly exhausted. The points of call remained unchanged. India agreed with Saudi Arabia to increase the capacity by 8000 seats per week from IATA season when Indian carrier’s utilisation reaches 80 per cent. This was in response to the needs of increasing traffic between the two countries where Indian carriers have been utilising open sky in Damman to mount more flights than the Saudi Arabian side. Indian also agreed with Ghana to increase the present allocation of 2 frequencies to 7 frequencies per week to encourage connectivity between the two countries. ICAN was held recently in Nassau from December 5-9, 2016 The new arrangement will encourage connectivity and passenger travel between India and these countries. There were new Air Service Agreements signed with Jamaica and Guyana. In the present scenario code shares provide seamless connectivity to the travelling passengers and make possible connectivity between far off destinations not served by direct flights.  As …

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Travel Show’s Business & Experiential editions on Dec 17 & 18

Travel Show is all set to commence its Travel Business Show-Beyond MICE, and Travel Experiential Show-Beyond Luxury editions on December 17 and 18, respectively, at Le Meridien Gurgaon. The event expects to attract more than 30 corporates and 25 agents for the two-day forum that offers unmatched networking opportunities in a pre-scheduled one-on–one meeting format. “We are thrilled to announce the launch of our Experiential and MICE show. After the outstanding response we received for Travel Wedding Show in July, we are expecting it to be a fruitful amalgamation for the industry people,” said Sarika Bhambhani Rawal, General Manager, DDP Exhibitions.

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