Tourism Breaking News

OTOAI Convention in Ras Al Khaimah from Sep 12-14

The Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) will be organising its 2017 Convention in Ras Al Khaimah in September. Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI, and Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development, signed a MOU for the same at the Ras Al Khaimah Roadshow in Delhi. Sahni said, “We are going to have our convention most probably from September 12-14 in Ras Al Khaimah. The dates are tentative and will be finalised soon. We will be coming out with more details about the convention very soon. Our intention is to introduce new markets to the tour operators so that they have another destination in their kitty, which will add value to the already existing markets that they sell. If one looks at the numbers, there is a big gap between Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, and we are looking at utilising that for the benefit of the tour operators so that they can extend their tours to this destination, with an added cost.”

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IndiGo adds Mangalore to its network

Reinforcing its commitment to the south India market, IndiGo has announced Mangalore as its new destination. Effective May 1, 2017, IndiGo will operate daily non-stop flights from Mangalore to Bengaluru and Mumbai at fares starting Rs 1,499. Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo said, “Mangalore, an important seaport and a major commercial centre in Karnataka with the state’s second busiest airport, is fast gaining prominence as a business hub and a tourist gateway. We have been getting requests to connect the city of Mangalore for years. I am now delighted to announce the launch of IndiGo flights from Mangalore. With the inaugural flights attractively priced at Rs. 1499 onwards, we are hopeful that these routes will prove to be immensely popular amongst our flyers.” He further added, “Adding new flights and frequencies on our network is aligned with our commitment to expand affordable air travel in India. The new flights not only strengthen domestic network but also help us better serve increased demand in growing markets.”

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Ras Al Khaimah records 35% growth from India in Q1

Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTD), said there has been a 35 per cent growth in Indian arrivals in Ras Al Khaimah in the first quarter of this year. “Indian travellers have grown a lot more for the destination. We have seen close to 25 per cent growth Year-on-Year in 2016 and the first quarter of this year has been even more promising with 35 per cent growth from the Indian market.” Ras Al Khaimah organised its roadshow at The Imperial, New Delhi, which saw the representatives from the travel trade in attendance.

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Israel invests Rs 13 crore on promotion campaign in India

The Israel Ministry of Tourism has launched its first advertising campaign for 2017 highlighting some of Israel’s sites and attractions – the modern city of Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, the Baha’i Gardens in the port city of Haifa, the holy city of Jerusalem and more. Having made an investment of approximately Rs 13 crore in the advertising campaign in India, Hassan Madah – Director Israel Ministry of Tourism India said, “We have identified India is an important emerging market. Hence, in the last two years we have increased our marketing spends in India to attract more visitors. Our campaign this year aims to showcase that Israel has something to offer for everyone; be it honeymooners, families, adventure enthusiasts, food and wine connoisseurs, nightlife and contemporary travellers and history and culture lovers. We achieved a 13 per cent increase in Indians travelling to Israel in 2016 and we have a 16 per cent growth in the first two months of 2017.  We are confident that this campaign will further boost tourism to Israel.” The messaging of the campaign ‘Begin your journey to Israel now’ has been developed and conceptualized by Israel Ministry of Tourism with an aim to target the summer holiday planners in India. The campaign is visible on various platforms such as television, print, digital and hoardings. The month-long campaign involves a 30 and 60-second television commercial that is being broadcast across select channels in India.

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Liquor ban: FHRAI to seek legal redressal

The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) is exploring legal remedies with regards to the recent ban on sale of liquor. Speaking at the occasion, Dilip C. Datwani, Vice President, FHRAI, said “Rs. 200,000 crores loss to the exchequer and closure of more than 1 lakh establishments is not a small thing. We would not have minded being sacrificed if the ban were to yield results. But reality is that all the job losses and other damages would be wasted. The object sought would not be achieved”. “Total consolidated loss to both States and to the industry will be around Rs. 220,000 crores. The entire MICE industry including weddings, corporate events will be negatively affected,” said Garish Oberoi, VP, FHRAI. “There has been an unprecedented blanket ban on all national highways across the country without seeing the practical aspect of the topography & terrain of the cities, in the process having affected hotels and restaurants, who have invested crores of Rupees towards the development of the tourism industry in the country. For example, Darjeeling, which falls on NH 55, has hotels stretched over 77 kms from the very base of the town of Siliguri that are directly affected,” further continued T. S. Walia, Vice Presidents, FHRAI. ‘The judgement has effected those establishments that operated legally and we are not takeaways and serve for consumption in premises only. Many entrepreneurs who have taken loans will be placed at a disadvantage. It will make their properties non preforming further ‘continued S. M. Shervani, EC Member, FHRAI.

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End drunk driving, not hotels: HRAWI campaigns against liqour ban

Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), the apex body of restaurateurs and hoteliers of Western India, has initiated a full-fledged social media campaign on the recent issue of liquor ban. “Through the social media we will convey a few facts that, in normal times, would have been apparent. In the current state, unfortunately, facts are obscured by surround sound. The facts to be considered are alcoholism is a disease and a social evil; drunken driving is a crime; and, hotels and restaurants serve alcohol. What is of significance is that these facts are not correlated. Any arrow of continuity that may exist is forced. The compulsive alcoholic will find ways and means for consuming alcohol and he will continue to drive after drinking. Just as locking up girls at home is not a solution for preventing rapes, banning hotels from serving liquor cannot be a solution for ending the menace of drunk driving. Drunk driving is a crime, and it should be treated as one,” says Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI. HRAWI will run a series of hashtags on Facebook that will try and explain some of the common misconceptions. “One million jobs, Rs. 200,000 crores loss to the exchequer, possible closure of 15,000 establishments is not a small thing. It is a huge social cost to pay. And we would not have minded being sacrificed if the ban were to yield any results. But reality is that all the job losses and other damages would be wasted. Statistics prove that there is a correlation between drunk driving and enforcement; and not between drunk driving and number of restaurants and bars. If true, there would be no drunk driving …

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The Chatwal NY represented by Premier Hotels in India

Premier Hotels of Asia has added another feather to its cap with its official appointment as the Sales and Marketing representative in India for The Chatwal, New York. Karan Singh, Joint Managing Director, Premier Hotels of Asia, says, “The hotel represents excellent value as a luxury hotel. Our close alliance with business partners in the travel industry and trade associations gives us the advantage of reaching out to  affluent travellers and the appropriate segment in the most focused way.” The Chatwal Hotel, situated between Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park and the Theatre District in the heart of Manhattan was originally built in 1905 by Stanford White and was restored and re-launched in 2010 with 76 rooms and suites, several of which feature spacious terraces. The landmark hotel is home to the Red Door Spa by Elizabeth Arden, and the famous Lambs Club Restaurant, while its bespoke services make it an ideal choice for both leisure and business travellers.

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PATA India training programme for member on May 5

PATA India has announced a training programme for its members and their employees on May 5, 2017. The programme is titled “Win-Win Negotiations” and is a full day training program. This training program will be conducted by Roshan Suhail, an accomplished Trainer, who had the honour of working with leading organisations like ONGC, NTPC, BHEL, Dhanuka, Shriram Group, UFLEX, YKK, Ashok Leyland, INTEX, HERO Cycles, iEnergizer, Shree Cements, Reliance Securities, and many more. Suhail has also conducted programmes for Govt. organisations and PSUs like Air India, Engineers India Ltd., FIEO, EPCH etc.

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Ethiopian Airlines, South African revamp codeshare services

Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways, both members of Star Alliance, have entered into an expanded codeshare agreement, inked on October 01, 2016 and projected to be effective as of 2017 summer season. The revamped codeshare agreement is anticipated to further enhance the cooperation among the two carriers and avail a range of additional destinations for customers to travel to. Girma Shiferaw, A/Vice President Strategic Planning and Alliances, Ethiopian, remarked, “As a successful Pan-African carrier, we have an unshakable stance to work in collaboration with all African carriers. Therefore, revamping the already existing codeshare agreement with our partner, South African Airways, emanates from our common ambition and joint effort to expand our footprint to different destinations and better serve our esteemed customers globally. The expanded codeshare agreement between the two carriers enables our customers enjoy the best possible connectivity options to multiple destinations and also plays a significant role in enabling greater people-to-people, investment, trade and tourism ties within Africa as well as with the rest of the World.” Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways signed the first codeshare agreement on 17, September 2003 and extended codeshare agreement on October 01, 2016 on destinations such as Cape Town, Durban and Toronto. More codeshare destinations will be added in the near future.

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1800 meetings at the Travel Experiential Show

The second edition of Travel Experiential Show concluded with nearly 1800 meetings conducted among 27 exhibitors and nearly 60 buyers from April 8-9, 2017, at WelcomHeritage Sheraton, New Delhi. Representatives from hotels, travel agencies, cruises, railways, tourism boards, etc. met tour operators and travel agents from across Tier-I, Tier-II and Tier-III markets under one roof to network and explore business opportunities for the experiential and luxury segment of travel. The show was inaugurated by His Excellency Alphonsus Stoelinga, Ambassador of the Netherlands to India, Bhutan and Nepal. “I believe luxury begins from the airport. It is how you are treated upon arrival; it is in the destination and also on how comfortable or at ease is a destination with itself,” said Stoelinga. Speaking at the inauguration, Tekla Maira, Director Luxury Sales-India, AccorHotels Luxe, said, “If we look at the demographics where the luxury market resides in India, then according to a report, 55 per cent of the market is in the Tier-I cities while Tier-II and Tier-III markets combined offer a 45 per cent market share. Thus I feel that though we should be bw looking at high-end markets but at the same time not ignore the smaller cities as the potential is very high.” Other dignitaries inaugrating the show were Neha Lidder, Marketing Head-DLF Emporia Mall and Shanawaz Shah, Manager Marketing Tourim, SKICC Srinagar.

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