Tourism Breaking News

Preferred Hotels adds 24 member hotels

Preferred Hotels & Resorts has added 24 member hotels over the past three months, which mark the company’s debut in key regions, signal the expansion of existing partnerships, and represent enhanced presence in key markets. Highlights of the new hotel additions include: The Hari London in United Kingdom, Lancaster Bangkok in Thailand, Vivienda Granada & Vivienda Residences in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Tarrytown House Estate & Conference Center in Tarrytown, New York. Additional properties that joined the Preferred Hotels & Resorts brand portfolio from August through early November 2016 include: Rosen Centre (Orlando, Florida, United States), Rosen Plaza (Orlando, Florida, United States), Rosen Shingle Creek (Orlando, Florida, United States), AT Six (Stockholm, Sweden), Hotel Monville Montreal (Montreal, Canada), The Domain Hotel & Spa (Manama, Bahrain), Pendry San Diego (San Diego, California, United States), Hotel Royal Palm Tower Indaiatuba (Indaiatuba, Brazil), Mukul Residences (Rivas, Nicaragua), Dukes Dubai (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), Nordic Light Hotel (Stockholm, Sweden), AKA University City (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States), Edgewood Tahoe (South Lake Tahoe/Reno, Nevada, United States), Zota Beach Resort (Longboat Key, Florida, United States), Hyde Resort & Residences (Hollywood, Florida, United States), among others.

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Ashwani Lohani is new WTTCII Chairman

World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII) has appointed Ashwani Lohani, Chairman & Managing Director, Air India, as its Chairman for the year 2017. Lohani, who served as the Vice Chairman of WTTCII for the year 2016, takes over from Kapil Chopra, President, The Oberoi Group, who completed his term at the recently held AGM in Delhi. Sunder G. Advani, Chairman & Managing Director, Advani Hotels & Resorts (India) Limited, has been appointed as the Vice Chairman of WTTCII for the year 2017. This was announced at the Annual General Meeting of the World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII) held on 12 December 2016 at New Delhi. Lohani said, “Over the years, WTTCII has been championing convergence between Government of India and States to facilitate tourism in India and we will continue to do so. With the GST in place by next year, the States will have the major onus of implementing smart policies for facilitating tourism on the ground. We will continue to work with the States, with the strength of our Members, to improve access, address infrastructural gaps and policy bottlenecks for tourism to flourish, and most importantly create jobs, employment and provide a vigorous boost to tourism’s contribution to the State’s GDP. The sub sectors of Aviation, Hospitality, Transportation, Railway compliments each other. In a country like India, all the subs sectors of tourism need to be integrated and treated uniformly by the Government in its various policy initiatives to give it a competitive edge vis-à-vis other countries.” Advani said, “We welcome the ground breaking move by Government of India introducing E-visa policy for 158 countries at 16 Airports and 5 Cruise Ports. These …

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Banyan Tree & AccorHotels enter strategic partnership

Banyan Tree Holdings has entered into a long-term partnership with AccorHotels under which both parties intend to collaborate to develop and manage Banyan Tree branded hotels around the world. Banyan Tree will also have access to AccorHotels’ global reservations and sales network, as well as its loyalty programme Le Club AccorHotels. AccorHotels will invest an initial SGD 24 million (c. €16 million) in Banyan Tree and both parties will then co-develop the brands owned by Banyan Tree around the world. This investment will be made through a mandatory convertible debenture that at conversion will give AccorHotels an approximately 5% stake in Banyan Tree. AccorHotels has an option to purchase an additional approximately 5 per cent stake. Ho Kwon Ping, Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree, said, “Our strategic alliance with AccorHotels allows us to remain an independent company, enabling us to continue securing hotel management agreements on our own and yet accelerating Banyan Tree’s speed and scope of expansion but with AccorHotels helping us to grow our brands around the world. We believe this agreement will propel our brands rapidly to global reach and range and strengthen our ability to embrace change and innovation in the hospitality industry with a strong global partner.” Sebastien Bazin, CEO and Chairman of AccorHotels, said, “Our collaboration with Banyan Tree is a great opportunity to complement our business proposition to owners with iconic brands, while always better servicing our Guests. Banyan Tree Holdings has created key leading positions across Asia with luxury resorts, one of the fastest growing segments in the industry. We will bring scale to the network through our ability to develop and manage hotels under the Banyan Tree brands globally, hence strengthening …

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Hokkaido calls on Indian trade

Hokkaido Tourism Organisation Office held a destination seminar to educate the travel trade about Hokkaido in Delhi. The FTAs have increased in Japan steadily every year and now Japan wants to target the growing outbound market of Indian travellers. A presentation was given by Masaki Kakeda, Manager–Inbound Promotion Section, Hokkaido Tourism Organisation which included introduction of Hokkaido apart from the varied seasons, modes of transportation, various itinerary suggestions and recommendations. The presentation was followed by a Q&A and Hiroyasu Miyake, General Manager, Hokkaido Tourism Organisation, was present along with Kakeda to address all the questions. Apart from a full house of travel agents, the seminar also had Kenko Sone, Minister (Economic & Development), Embassy of Japan, Yasuo Taki, General Manager India-Delhi-All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. and Kenichi Takano-Executive Director (JNTO) – Preparation Office for Delhi Office in  attendance.

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6 India Tourism offices abroad face disciplinary proceedings

Disciplinary proceedings have reportedly been initiated against six India Tourism offices abroad, including that in London, Frankfurt and New York, the Rajya Sabha was informed. Complaints of financial irregularities have been cited as reasons for the proceedings for which inquiry is on-going. In a written reply, Mahesh Sharma, Minister for Tourism, Government of India said, “Based on allegations/complaints/audit observations, etc., received in the Ministry of Tourism against India Tourism Offices in Beijing, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, London, New York and Toronto, disciplinary proceedings have been initiated in cases where prima facie allegations were found to be substantiated.” The India Tourism office in London also faces complaint of administrative lapses between 2008 and 2011. The proceedings are continuing at offices in Beijing, Frankfurt, Johannesburg and London, while report from Inquiry Authority has been received from offices in New York and Toronto, said Sharma.

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Tag-free hand baggage at 5 major Indian airports?

In an attempt to simplify and smoothen functioning at Indian airports, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has announced that they could be done away with stamped hand baggage tags at Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore airports from December 15. “We recently issued orders to do away with stamping of hand baggage tags at the time of security screening. The practice will be introduced on a pilot basis at five airports and if successful, may be expanded to other airports across the country. This will save passengers’ time while boarding and will not be a security hassle in any manner,” said R.N Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil aAviation, in an interview to The Hindu. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which looks after security at airports, is likely to implement the move within a week, informed Choubey.

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Montcalm opens 253-room new hotel in London

The Montcalm Luxury Hotels has opened its sixth property, the Montcalm Royal London House – City of London. Located just a stone’s throw away from Liverpool Street station and close to Shoreditch, the 253-bedroom hotel marks a remarkable transformation of an imposing mid-century office building into a stylish five star property with uniquely striking views of London’s City skyline. At the Montcalm Royal London House – City of London, the group’s trademark timeless elegance has breathed new life into the building’s fine mid-century features, with statement copper pipe lighting and exposed brick walls mixed with original reclaimed parquet flooring and silk-lined corridors, feature staircases and turquoise leather stools. More information on the hotel can be found at http://www.montcalmroyallondoncity.co.uk/.

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Jet appoints Aldrin Kenneth as Country Manager, Indo-China & Thailand

Jet Airways has announced the appointment of Aldrin Kenneth as Country Manager – Thailand & Indo-China. An industry veteran with over 17 years of experience with leading global airlines, Kenneth joined Jet Airways as the Area Manager for Dubai/ Sharjah & Northern Emirates in 2008 and helped establish and strengthen the airline’s footprint in the United Arab Emirates. In his new role, he will be responsible for Jet Airways’ performance in the region including its commercial aspects and overall operations. He will leverage his vast airline experience to not only use innovative means to grow the business but also take steps to engage with key consumer communities to strengthen the airline’s brand story and value propositions in the rapidly growing, fast-paced travel market between Thailand and India.

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Jet to launch direct daily between Bengaluru-Colombo from Jan 5

Jet Airways has announced the launch of a daily direct flight from Bengaluru to Colombo with effect from January 05, 2017. With this new connection, Bengaluru will be the second Indian city after Mumbai to be linked to Colombo and Jet Airways’ third daily service to the Sri Lankan capital. Jet Airways flight 9W 278 will depart Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport at 0040 hrs and arrive in Colombo at 0210 hrs (Local Time). The flight 9W 277 will leave Colombo at 0310 hrs (LT) to arrive in Bengaluru at 0435 hrs (LT). Jet will offer added connection for travelers between South Indian cities and Colombo via Bengaluru. Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways, said “Jet Airways is delighted to launch a direct service between Bengaluru and Colombo. With increasing economic activity between India and Sri Lanka, Jet Airways realized the gap in the connectivity and plugged it with this direct connection. Guests between these two destinations will be offered the best in-flight product and service excellence.”

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