Tourism Breaking News

Vistara becomes Airbus’ 1st airline partner for training centre

Vistara signed a five-year agreement with Airbus Group India Private Limited to provide training services to Vistara pilots for the A320 type aircraft. The two companies inked the agreement at the launch of Airbus India Training Centre (AITC) in New Delhi, which brings state-of-the-art technology to India for the training of flight crew. Commenting on the partnership, Phee Teik Yeoh, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara, said, “This partnership underlines our uncompromising commitment to uphold the highest of safety standards and operational excellence. I am confident that our pilots will immensely benefit from Airbus’ in-depth and specialized training solutions. It will help us tread a path towards industry leadership.” Adding on, Dr. Srinivasan Dwarakanath, President, Commercial Aircraft, Airbus in India said, “We are honoured to have Vistara as the first customer for the Airbus India Training Centre. We will start training their pilots when the centre becomes operational end-2018. Our success is tied to the success of our customers and one way we contribute to that is by offering them our services like flight training.” The AITC is equipped with the latest software that accurately simulates the aircraft handling characteristics and system responses, ensuring Vistara pilots are well trained and become more proficient with global standards.

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February records 13% growth in Foriegn Tourist Arrivals

The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals in February 2017 was 9.56 lakh as compared to FTAs of 8.47 lakh in February, 2016 registering a growth rate of 13.0 per cent in comparison to the previous year. The highest arrival numbers were from Bangladesh (17.46%) followed by UK (12.20%), USA (11.83%), Russian Fed. (4.29%) and Canada (4.26%). Delhi Airport received the most number of FTAs (31.86%) followed by Mumbai Airport (16.10%), Haridaspur Land checkpost (9.44%), Chennai Airport (6.72%) and Goa Airport (5.58%). FTAs during the period January- February 2017 were 19.40 lakh with a growth of 14.7 per cent, as compared to the FTAs of 16.91 lakh in January- February 2016.

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32.18 lakh tourists availed eTV during Jan-Feb 2017

During January-February 2017, a total of 32.18 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa (eTV) as compared to 20.54 lakh during January-February 2016, registering a growth of 56.7 per cent . A total of 1.70 lakh tourists availed the e-Tourist Visa services in February alone as compared to 1.17 lakh during the month of February 2016 registering a growth of 45.2 per cent. UK (26.1%) occupied top spot in the list of source countries followed by USA (11.0%), France (7.3%), Russian Fed (7.3%) and China (5.1%). While New Delhi Airport (42.0%) received the most number of tourists on eTV, Mumbai Airport (19.6%) was next, followed by Dabolim (Goa) Airport (13.3%), Chennai Airport (6.3%), Bengaluru Airport (4.9%).

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Air Train to connect Delhi airport terminals by 2020

The Delhi International Airport (DIAL) has proposed an Automated People Mover (APM) or air train between Terminal 1, T2 and T3 at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, revealed Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation. In compliance with the provisions of Operation, Management and Development Agreement (OMDA), DIAL has reviewed and updated the Master Plan of IGI Airport, New Delhi in 2016 in consultation with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Airports Authority of India and Sovereign agencies providing reserved services at the airport and with other stakeholders.  The Master Plan, 2016 contains a provision for Automated People Mover (APM) for connecting all the terminals of the airport. Total length of the proposed APM alignment is 5.5 km out of which 1.5 km is underground whereas 4.0 km portion is elevated. The Master Plan recommends this facility to be available by year 2020. DIAL has already taken steps for exploring all technical possibilities for providing the APM facility in consultation with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). The design, project cost and other details etc. are finalised during the finalisation of the Major Development Plan in compliance with the OMDA.

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Eastin Residences Vadodara debuts with 44 rooms

Thailand-based Absolute Hotel Services has launched a boutique apartment hotel, Eastin Residences Vadodara in Gujarat. The property is located in main Alkapuri, the hub for shopping, family attractions and commercial centre. All 44 residences are classified into 3 major categories – ‘Studio Apartment – Twin & Double ’, ‘Deluxe Studio Apartment’ and ‘One Bedroom Apartment’. The hotel exudes a completely ‘Glocal’ vibe by blending global standards with local and ethnical elements that is reflected in the interiors. The hotel houses an all-day dining restaurant, ‘The Glass House’, which offers multi-cuisine dining options throughout the day, wherein guests can choose from an extensive à la carte menu comprising of local, regional and international favorites. Facilities also include gym and mini mart cum wine shop. Speaking on the launch of the hotel, Shalil Suvarna, Vice – President Operations and Pre-Opening, AHS (India), on behalf of Eastin Residences Vadodara, said, “We are extremely delighted to announce the launch of the Eastin Residences Vadodara which is part of the international Eastin Hotels and Residences. This one of a kind concept fills in the need for guests who are in the city with long or extended stays. Vadodara, Gujarat’s 3rd largest city is seen as an emerging business hub and while it gives us geographical extension, it is wonderful to be part of the city’s advancement.

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Cox & Kings launches disabled friendly travel initiative

Backed by Cox & Kings, Enable Travel, an accessible holiday provider was launched on March 16 in New Delhi. It aims to make travel more inclusive and will cater to the travel aspirations of people with disabilities. Curated leisure tours will be offered to travellers with disabilities across mobility (wheelchairs), hearing, speech and vision impairment. Speaking at the launch, Debolin Sen, Head, Enable Travel said, “It is a long term commitment to make travel easy and hassle free in India and to empower every individual to celebrate their love for travel. Through this initiative we are trying to address various barriers like inaccessible travel information, lack of transportation and disabled friendly hotel rooms that prevent people from traveling.” The company is currently offering inbound and domestic holidays and will introduce quality transportation, support services including investments in specially trained manpower such as caregivers, sign language interpreters, expert guides and escorts. Karan Anand, Head-Relationships, Cox & Kings, commented, “Many tourists with disabilities within an outside India are keen on exploring different travel experiences the country has to offer. It is important to tap this largely underserved segment of travellers by providing quality assistance and services that focus on individual needs. Enabling barrier-free travel for people with disabilities will contribute to a significant increase in inbound and domestic tourism.”

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La Vallée Village showcases Paris’ luxury shopping offerings

In the spirit of International Women’s Day, La Vallée Village, the luxury shopping outlet in Paris, France showcased its unique shopping offering to the Indian travel fraternity at Asilo, St. Regis Mumbai. Gracing the soirée with their presence were the Consul General of France in Mumbai, Yves Perrin and his wife Caroline Perrin, Patrick Allais, Business Development Manager, La Vallee Village, and Sheetal Munshaw, Director, Atout France, French Tourism Development Board in India. The soirée began with an interactive and candid testimonial by Caroline Perrin, a veritable supporter of La Vallée Village who has been patronizing the brand since its inception in 2000. The evening was well-attended by key stakeholders of the travel industry who raised a toast to France and its art de vivre. With French luxury brands and international brands on display, La Vallée Village is also well-located en route to the castles of Vaux le Vicomte and Fontainebleau, the famed cellars of Champagne and Disneyland. An ideal haven for shopping, the outlet offers a minimum discount of 33% in each store and up to -70% throughout the year. Add to this the brag value of having bought your merchandise truly ‘Made in France’. La Vallée Village is part of the Chic Outlet Shopping Villages by Value Retail, which has its presence across 9 European destinations a with its flagship store in Marne-la-Vallée, Paris. According to Patrick Allais, ” La Vallée Village is an invitation to “shop differently”, in the company of major brands, and in a conducive ambience like nothing else in France. First of all, the surprise of the environment. The reason behind the “Village” name soon becomes clear: the calming landscaping, the treelined pedestrian streets; …

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Carlson targets 200 hotels in APAC region by 2020

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has set a target to achieve 200 operating hotels in its Asia Pacific portfolio by 2020 and is well on track to achieve the same, informed Thorsten Kirschke, President- Asia Pacific, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. The Group announced strong 2016 results with 77 openings across the globe, the most since 2009 and signed 122 new properties marking its fourth consecutive year of signings increases. A steady growth was recorded for the Group in the Asia Pacific region with the opening of 14 hotels in 2016. In India, the Group holds a strong portfolio of 140 hotels in operation and in various stages of development. “Asia Pacific continues to be one of the most promising and energetic growth regions of the world,” said “The underlying hotel performance on a like for like basis has yielded robust improvements of 8 per cent (800 bps) GOP growth. We continue to be on track to achieving our goal of attaining 200 operating hotels in our Asia Pacific portfolio by 2020,” he added. Increased strength and alignment in branding and operations also resulted from the company’s successful integration of the master license agreement for the Country Inns & Suites By Carlson brand in India. The global portfolio now includes 1,143 hotels and 180,250 rooms in operation and the global pipeline remains strong with 303 hotels and 50,000 rooms under development.

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India remains Malaysia’s 6th largest source market for tourism

Indian arrivals to Malaysia in 2016 was about 64,000 (0.64 million) and it is the sixth largest source market for the Southeast Asian country. In an effort to boost these numbers, the country has recently launched a 15-day e-visa for travellers on a short visit. Malaysia’s tourism industry is indicating signs of recovery in 2016 with latest figures showing more tourists visiting the country after the slowdown in 2015. Tourist arrivals to Malaysia for 2016 registered a hike of 4.0 per cent compared to the same period in 2015. The country received 26.8 million tourists compared to 25.7 million tourists in 2015. Correspondingly, tourist receipts rose by 18.8 per cent, contributing RM82.1 billion to the country’s revenue against RM69.1 billion in 2015, which translates to an average per capita expenditure of RM3.068.2. Total receipts in shopping also recorded positive growth, with RM26 billion in 2016 compared to RM21.6 billion in 2015, an increase of 20.3 per cent. The average length of stay of a tourist increased 0.4 per cent in 2016 to 5.9 nights. The top 10 tourist generating markets to Malaysia in 2016 were Singapore (13.3 million), Indonesia (3.1 million), China (2.1), Thailand (1.8 million), Brunei (1.4 million), India (0.64 million), South Korea (0.44 million), the Philippines (0.42 million), Japan (0.41 million) and the United Kingdom (0.40 million).

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India and Fiji renew air services agreement after four decades

A new Air Services Agreement (ASA) has been signed between India and Fiji, replacing the previous ASA, which was signed between the two governments in 1974. The agreement was signed between Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Civil Aviation Minister, Government of India and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, Attorney General and Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of Fiji. This new ASA has been negotiated to meet the conditions that exist now and will exist in the foreseeable future. According to Khaiyum, the new ASA will spur economic growth and create opportunities for trade, investment and tourism. Under the ASA and to ensure ease of travel between the two countries, Fiji Airways has already signed a code-share agreement with Jet Airways of India to allow seamless travel between Fiji and a number of Indian cities. He said, “This new agreement is good for both countries. We want to thank India’s Hon. Minister for Civil Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, and the entire Indian government for their good faith, goodwill and respectful posture throughout these negotiations. Although Fiji is economically and geographically much smaller than India, we were at the table as equals.” Fiji is now in the process of reviewing and updating its ASA with other countries, with the goal of increasing the scope and quality of economic activity and connectivity while at the same time protecting the Fijian aviation industry.

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