Tourism Breaking News

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 …

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

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%).

Read More »

Aitken Spence Travels appoints Nijhawan Group as India representative

Aitken Spence Travels, the leading destination management company in Sri Lanka has appointed the Nijhawan Group as their representatives in India. Announcing this partnership, Ankush Nijhawan, Managing Director, Nijhawan Group shared that Nijhawan Group has been the representing partner for Aitken Spence Hotels, Sri Lanka since 2013 and this initiative has been taken to further strengthen this collaboration in India and to maximise the numbers from India to Sri Lanka through Aitken Spence Travels. Suranga Ratnayake, Assistant Vice President, Aitken Spence Travels, stated that with and an estimated annual inbound volume of 130,000 tourists, Aitken Spence Travels is backed by a reputation of being the most professional in the business. He added that Aitken Spence Travels is fully diversified in to every aspect of tourism related activities namely; leisure, eco, adventure, MICE, shore excursions for cruise liners and luxury tours. The company is the only Destination Management Company to be accredited with the ISO 9001:2008 certification, and its operations conform to 14001:2004 environmental standards in compliance with Carbon Neutral status.

Read More »

Diwali-inspired MRT trains in Singapore

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA), in collaboration with the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (LISHA), has launched a Diwali-themed train that will run on the city’s famous Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system. The train is on the city’s North-East line, that includes a stop at the Little India station, from where one could go and take in the festive lights that decorate the main artery road of Little India. The train is decorated with colourful, Rangoli and Indian garlands-inspired designs, lotus and peacocks, symbolizing good luck. The train was launched on October 15, 2016, by Singapore’s Minister for Transport, Khaw Boon Wan and will run through mid-November. GB Srithar, Regional Director, South Asia, Middle East & Africa, Singapore Tourism Board, invited Indian travelers to visit Singapore, saying “Singapore is a year-round festive city. During the Festival of Lights, the whole Little India area comes alive with lighted up streets, Diwali bazaars, eateries serving great food and much music in the air. I can say, in a candid festive spirit, it’s a great time to visit the city where even the train gets dressed up for Diwali.”

Read More »

Raffles Hotel Singapore to undergo restoration from Jan 2017

The iconic Raffles Hotel Singapore will embark on a careful and sensitive restoration programme. The restoration of this heritage hotel, owned by Katara Hospitality, will be conducted over three phases to ensure every detail of the programme is approached with careful consideration. Phase one of the programmes will begin in January 2017 and see the Raffles Hotel Arcade undergo restoration works while other areas of the property operate as normal. The Raffles Hotel Arcade houses 40 regional and specialty shops, indoor and outdoor function areas including The Ballroom and The Lawn and a variety of restaurants and bars including well-known Long Bar, home of the iconic Singapore Sling. Phase 2 will begin in mid 2017 when restoration efforts will commence on the main hotel building and Lobby as well as a portion of the hotel suites. Following that, Raffles Hotel Singapore will close for the final phase near the end of 2017 before a grand reopening in the second quarter of 2018. “Raffles Hotel Singapore has always evolved to stay distinctive and relevant, moving with the times and adapting to the changing needs of today’s traveller. We have a rich and colourful history and are about to begin a new chapter in our ongoing story – a sensitive restoration that will enable us to continue to offer what our guests expect and value,” said Diana Banks, Vice President, Raffles Brand, Raffles Hotels and Resorts. The last restoration was conducted from 1989 to 1991 where the hotel closed for two and a half years.  The luxury hotel has 103 individually designed suites – 84 Courtyard and Palm Court Suites, 12 Personality Suites, 5 Grand Hotel Suites and 2 Presidential Suites. Raffles …

Read More »

Telangana Govt signs MoU to provide skill development for hospitality

Government of Telangana and O2 Skills Academy have signed MoU to train 1,260 men and women between the ages of 18-35 over the next 3 years. This collaboration will aim to provide employment linked, market-oriented vocational training that will enable filling in the gaps the spa and hospitality industry faces by providing trained resources. The role of O2 Skills Academy will be to ensure effective mobilisation, training, certification and finally placement into apt jobs. This agreement is within the purview of the Telangana Employment Generation and Marketing Mission (EGMM) which falls under the Department of Panchayat Raj and Rural Development. The first batch of students under this program starts classes from the 17th of October 2016. A maximum of 35 students per batch will undergo practical and theoretical classes for 3 months with an option of being trained in Wellness therapies, Hair and Beauty treatments in addition to Hospitality (F&B and Housekeeping).The curriculum is designed and approved by the Government of Telangana (EGMM).

Read More »