Tourism Breaking News

IHG signs Holiday Inn Dubai Science Park

InterContinental Hotels Group announced the signing of Holiday Inn Dubai Science Park. The newly built hotel will operate under a management agreement with an affiliate of the Rolaco Group, who also own InterContinental Dallas, InterContinental Semiramis, InterContinental Geneva, Crowne Plaza Geneva, and Crowne Plaza Zurich. Scheduled to open in 2019, the hotel is located in Dubai Science Park, the region’s first freezone community offering facilities including office and laboratory space, as well as residential units, with the aim of creating a vibrant ‘Life Sciences’ community.  Located near the Arabian Ranches and Motor City, Holiday Inn® Dubai Science Park is just fifteen minutes away from one of the largest and busiest shopping malls in the city, Mall of the Emirates. India is one of the largest trading partners of Dubai, with bilateral trade of over $6.5 billion in the first quarter of 2016 according to Dubai Customs’ data. Dubai Science Park provides facilities and infrastructure to the Indian Life Sciences sector that fosters innovations with international reach. The hotel is expected to cater to corporates within this sector as well as leisure travellers who want to experience the life sciences community and surrounding amenities. Holiday Inn Dubai Science Park will comprise of 402 rooms and suites, including five meeting rooms and a conference hall seating 600 guests. To ensure an enjoyable experience for the guests, Holiday Inn® Dubai Science Park will also offer four food and beverage outlets, an outdoor swimming pool, and a gym. Pascal Gauvin, Chief Operating Officer, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG, said: “We are delighted to be strengthening our global partnership with the Rolaco Group through the signing of their first Holiday Inn property in Dubai. …

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Gulf Aviation Academy enters pact with SpeedJet Aviation

Gulf Aviation Academy (GAA), part of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, the investment arm for the Kingdom of Bahrain, has entered the Indian market through an agreement with domestic aviation training institute, SpeedJet Aviation. The new partnership between GAA and SpeedJet Aviation offers Indian students a competitive advantage in the aviation industry that is at par with international norms. GAA is a key component of Bahrain’s aviation sector and enjoys a stronghold in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. This move is a first-of-its-kind for GAA in the Asian market to offer a comprehensive range of structured training programs for all aviation personnel including pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground staff with training sessions in GAA’s training facility at Bahrain. Announcing the partnership, Capt. Dharamraj Shukla, Director SpeedJet Aviation said, “The aviation industry is on a high-growth trajectory with India likely to become the third-largest aviation market by 2020. As of now, Indian airlines are reporting increased profitability, low-cost carriers have placed heavy orders for new aircraft, there are multitude of new airports coming up and FDI flows into domestic airlines have surged. All these factors combined will lead to a sharp spike in demand for trained aviation personnel. We are confident that with GAA’s brand and credibility, we will be able to attract and hone the best talent for the industry”. “India being one of the largest and fastest growing air travel market provides great opportunities for individuals to pursue a career in the aviation sector”, said Capt. Dhaffer Al Abbasi, CEO, GAA. “Our state-of-the-art course equipment enables us to offer a comprehensive and modern aviation training infrastructure and set new standards in aviation training. Students also get …

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Shangri-La, Singapore Airlines launch Infinite Journeys

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and Singapore Airlines have come together to provide members of Golden Circle and KrisFlyer enhanced benefits. Named ‘Infinite Journeys’, the two much-loved and globally recognized travel brands now offer travellers around the world greater recognition and rewards, with the promise of new experiences for every journey with Shangri-La and Singapore Airlines. The partnership offers double rewards for Golden Circle and KrisFlyer members when they stay at Shangri-La,as well as enhanced benefits and recognition for elite members in both programmes when they fly with Singapore Airlines or stay with Shangri-La. Golden Circle Diamond and Jade members will enjoy an accelerated upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold which gives complimentary access to Singapore Airlines’ airport lounges worldwide. PPS Club and KrisFlyer Elite Gold members will enjoy an accelerated upgrade to Golden Circle Jade membership. With Jade status, members can benefit from complimentary room upgrades to a choice of welcome amenities and more.

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MTDC launches Navratri Darshan Tours for the first time

On the occasion of Navratri that is celebrated in Maharashtra with much pomp, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has announced the launch of its unique Navratri Darshan Tours for the first time for all the devotees in Mumbai. The Navratri Darshan Tour will spin across five of the most iconic Devi temples in the city which include Mumbadevi temple in Kalbadevi; Mahalakshmi temple; Dagdi Chawl in Byculla; Murubaidevi temple in Matunga and Shitladevi temple in Mahim.  The tour will commence from Bhatia Baug BEST bus depot near CST wherein 40 tourists in each AC bus will be accommodated. The online booking of this tour will start from 20 September 2016.

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Sabre showcases the new Red Workspace

All geared up to upgrade their major merchandising platform – Red Workspace, Sabre showcased the new design and technology at its first APAC Travel Technology Exchange in Beijing. With plans to roll out the new product in January 2017, the Red Workspace is Sabre’s newest breakthrough product for selling and booking, a merchandising platform, alongside other key solution provider. Presently Sabre continues to enjoy a 40 per cent market share in the Asia Pacific region while globally the system is used by 47,000 travel agencies in 144 countries.

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Sabre’s 1st Asia Pacific Travel Technology Exchange in Beijing

Hosting nearly 550 travel agents, airline and supplier representatives and members of the APAC travel industry, Sabre discusses its breakthrough technologies at its first ever Travel Technology Exchange for the APAC region. “We want this week to serve as a timely update on what we’re up to, just over one year on from our major regional Travel Network expansion, but also a platform for two-way discussion on what lies ahead. That’s how we ensure we’re evolving with our customers, and their unique challenges. New technologies are best adopted when people talk and share their experiences. The next few days are all about the exchange,” commented Roshan Mendis, Senior Vice President of Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific. The event will be held from Sept 21-24, 2016.

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JATA Tourism EXPO opens in Tokyo

The JATA Tourism EXPO Japan officially opened with 140 countries and 47 regions in Japan represented. Delegates including Japan’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Akihiro Ohta, and the Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency, Norifumi Idee were welcomed at the inaugural event. Ohta officially welcomed everyone, explaining that Japan wants to become an advanced tourism country, to push not only international inbound travel, but to also focus on more domestic travel as well. UNWTO Secretary-General Dr. Taleb Rifai, and Mr. David Scowsill, President and CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) also graced the occasion with their presence.

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Cabinet approves merger of rail budget with general budget

The Union Cabinet has approved the proposals of Ministry of Finance on certain landmark budgetary reforms relating to the merger of Railway budget with the General budget, the advancement of the date of Budget presentation from the last day of February and the merger of the Plan and the Non-Plan classification in the Budget and Accounts. All these changes will be put into effect simultaneously from the Budget 2017-18. The Railways will continue to maintain its distinct entity -as a departmentally run commercial undertaking as at present; Railways will retain their functional autonomy and delegation of financial powers etc. as per the existing guidelines; The existing financial arrangements will continue wherein Railways will meet all their revenue expenditure, including ordinary working expenses, pay and allowances and pensions etc. from their revenue receipts; The capital at charge of the Railways estimated at Rs.2.27 lakh crore on which annual dividend is paid by the Railways will be wiped off. Consequently, there will be no dividend liability for Railways from 2017-18 and Ministry of Railways will get Gross Budgetary support. This will also save Railways from the liability of payment of approximately Rs.9,700 crore annual dividend to the Government of India; The presentation of separate Railway budget started in the year 1924, and has continued after independence as a convention rather than under Constitutional provisions. The merger would bring the affairs of the Railways to centre stage and present a holistic picture of the financial position of the Government. The merger is also expected to reduce the procedural requirements and instead bring into focus, the aspects of delivery and good governance. Consequent to the merger, the appropriations for Railways will form part of …

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51st FHRAI Convention begins in Indore

The 51st FHRAI Annual Convention kicked off at the Amber Convention Centre in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The event was inaugurated by Vishvas Sarang, Minister (I/C) for Cooperation, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation, Panchayat & Rural development, Malini Laxman Singh Gaur, Mayor of Indore; Vivek Nair, Chairman, Convention Organizing Committee, FHRAI and Bharat Malkani, President, FHRAI. Radisson Blu Hotel Indore is the venue for all the business sessions which will be conducted on September 23 and 24, 2016, and the FHRAI awards will be held on Sept 24, 2016, at the Amber Convention Centre. The theme for the convention ‘Brand India’ is inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision based on the 5T’s – Talent, Tradition, Tourism, Trade and Technology. The convention logo brings together the symbol of a flaming torch and the welcome gesture of ‘Namaste’. Welcoming all participants at the convention, Nair said that there is a need to create infrastructure to boost tourism in the country. He also said that GST should be relooked at a reasonable limit. Malkhani noted that FHRAI completed six decades of existence and the focus of the organisation is on skill development. The association has institued a study with the National Green Tribunal to bring out a book to run properties in a sustainable manner, which will be given to its members free of cost.

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TravTalk honoured at IATO Convention

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) honoured TravTalk with the ‘Best Pre-printed Dailies’ award at its 32nd convention held from September 18-20, 2016, at the ITC Grand Chola, Chennai. The magazine was conferred the honour by Thiru. Pandiarajan K, Minister for School Education and Sports and Youth Welfare (responsible for Archaeology), Govt. of Tamil Nadu. TravTalk is a product of DDP Publications and has been providing the travel industry with news and updates for more than 25 years.

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