Tourism Breaking News

Sabre granted NDC Level 3 capability as an IT provider

Sabre Corporation has been recognised by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as NDC Level 3 capable as an IT provider. Reaching this milestone less than two months after announcing Level 2 capability, Sabre accelerates its commitment to leading the evolution of retailing and distribution technology. By granting Sabre ‘NDC capable’ Level 3 status under the NDC certification programme, IATA recognises that Sabre supports deployments using offer and order management messages whose schema are compliant with the standard NDC message schema. Sabre has therefore demonstrated its ability to provide a broad range of retailing capabilities to a variety of sellers, including end-to-end offer and order fulfillment and servicing. Along with the ability to create and personalize offers, Level 3 capability indicates that Sabre is now positioned to fulfill and service those orders throughout the entire process in both direct and indirect channels. A major component of this includes verifying offer integrity and ensuring that the order management system can accurately enforce orders based on the rules of the original offer. It is Sabre’s leading position at the centre of the travel industry that empowers it to leverage data from a variety of sources, ultimately reinforcing offer integrity and fulfilment. Going forward, Sabre is actively working to deploy these capabilities in the coming months through close collaboration with its customers. Sabre is also certified as an NDC Level 1 aggregator, with a roadmap to reaching Level 3 in 2018.

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Singapore Airlines launches 5th weekly flight from Ahmedabad

Singapore Airlines has announced a fifth weekly flight from Ahmedabad to Singapore in a bid to cater to the increased travel demand during the summer holiday season. The additional flight will operate every Friday from April 27 – May 25 2018. The airline has also introduced Economy Class return fares starting from Rs. 27,800 to Singapore for travel until 31 March 2019, for which the booking needs to be done by March 31, 2018. David Lim, General Manager India – Singapore Airlines, said, “Ahmedabad continues to be a key market for Singapore Airlines and we are pleased to offer an additional, seasonal frequency to meet the growing demand. The new flight will provide travellers an additional departure window to travel to Singapore and to onward destinations.”

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Cygnett signs two hotels in Vizag

Cygnett has signed two hotels in Vizag, Andhra Pradesh. Cygnett Lite with 41 rooms and Cygnett Inn with 40 rooms are set to open in April and June 2018, respectively. “We are delighted to announce the signing of two hotels in Andhra Pradesh at Vizag – Cygnett Lite 41 keys and Cygnett Inn with 40 keys, a brilliant location, proximity to airport, Cygnett marking our farther foray. Hotel is opening April and June 2018- our success story continues, we are now 27 hotels, 21 cities and 1400 rooms,” says Sarbendra Sarkar, Founder & Managing Director, Cygnett Hotels Group. “Cygnett Inn is the budget brand that does not adhere to the “budget” definition in any way except in its prices. It is a full-Service hotel with modern design, next generation in-room technology and helpful staff. The Cygnett Signature quality is uncompromising and exceeding guests’ expectations is always supreme,” he adds.

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PM flags off Navi Mumbai International Airport construction work

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the groundbreaking ceremony of Navi Mumbai International Airport. At a function in Navi Mumbai, he also dedicated the fourth container terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust. The Prime Minister said that the Navi Mumbai airport project has been pending for years. He said delayed projects cause many problems, and the PRAGATI initiative had been initiated, to give priority to completion of projects. Also present were Maharashtra Governor C. V. Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, and Ramdas Athawale. He said India’s aviation sector is growing tremendously, and there is a sharp increase in the number of people flying. This makes quality infrastructure in the aviation sector of prime importance, he added. The Prime Minister said that the Union Government has brought an aviation policy that is transforming the sector. He added that a strong aviation sector also gives more economic opportunities. Better connectivity leads to more tourists coming to India, he said. The Prime Minister said that the Government of India is devoting significant efforts towards the development of waterways.

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Park Plaza Kolkata Ballygunge is now Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge

Park Plaza Kolkata Ballygunge has been re-branded to Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge. Strategically located in the heart of upscale South Kolkata neighbourhood Ballygunge, the hotel is within proximity of the international airport and railway station. Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge has been revitalised with a new look in several areas of the hotels and features upgraded amenities to better serve its discerning guests. “I am glad to welcome our first Radisson hotel in the heart of Kolkata. West Bengal is a key market for us and Kolkata remains a promising destination due to its thriving leisure and business footprint. We appreciate the investment that Mukti Group has made in upgrading this hotel and the trust they have demonstrated in the Radisson brand,” said Raj Rana, chief executive officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “We are excited about re-launching the hotel as Radisson and are confident that the new facilities and services would be greatly appreciated by our guests. We are delighted to be partnering Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group for the repositioning and are looking forward to continued association with them,” said Rajkumar Gupta, chairman, Mukti Group. Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge features 92 well-appointed, spacious and modern rooms across Superior, Business Class, Junior and Executive Suites categories. Equipped with modern amenities, new upholstery, superior bath amenities and colorful art work, the hotel assures a comfortable and enjoyable stay for guests.

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Homestay, adventure tourism policies in the offing in West Bengal

West Bengal tourism department is currently focusing on homestay tourism policy and has also started promoting adventure tourism in different destinations of the state, said Gautam Deb, Tourism Minister, Government of West Bengal, on the sidelines of the Bengal Travel Mart (BTM) in Siliguri. Deb inaugurated the third edition of BTM along with Bratya Basu, Information Technology Minister, Government of West Bengal, and James Kujur, Tribal Development Minister, Government of West Bengal. “Bengal has immense potential. We are currently working to develop each sector of tourism in the state – from forest to hills to coastal areas. We are also preparing our integrated tourism policy along with homestay and adventure tourism policies,” he said. Deb also pointed out that the Bagdogra airport’s instrument landing system (ILS) will start operating from March 29, as per an AAI notification. He was happy to inform that in the previous year, the passenger growth at the airport touched 22 lakh. The three-day travel mart was attended by buyers and sellers from across the country and abroad to establish partnership. The event was organised by Eastern Himalaya Travel and Tour Operators Association  (EHTTOA) in association with North Bengal Development Department and West Bengal Tourism.

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AccorHotels to focus on growing business, leisure travellers

Through its upcoming properties in Kochi and Sriperumbudur, AccorHotels will further highlight its focus on catering to the growing base of business and leisure travellers. Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer, India and South Asia, AccorHotels, says, “Mid-segment hotels form a larger percentage of the total room inventory, also accounting for nearly 50 per cent of all the hotel rooms in the country. In this segment, we see a significant demand and supply gap, which we seek to bridge with our Novotel and ibis brands. We see this growing demand as a potential growth engine for the future. Our recent openings in Lucknow, Dwarka, Chennai OMR, Pune and Goa along with upcoming openings in Kochi and Sriperumbudur further highlight our focus to cater to the needs of a diversified growing base of business and leisure travellers alike.” In India, AccorHotels has a network of 46 hotels spanning across nine international brands in 22 cities.

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South African Tourism roadshow comes to Delhi

South African Tourism brought down a 60-member delegation for a 5-city roadshow to India, which successfully completed its Delhi-leg with back-to-back business meetings and networking with the travel trade in the city. The 15th edition of the roadshow has been held in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Delhi and will be travelling to Ahmedabad after that. Hanneli Slabber, Regional General Manager, Asia/Australasia/Middle East, South African Tourism, said, “The Indian market has not just grown considerably since our entry in 2005, demands of Indian travellers are in a constant and rapid state of evolution even today. This makes cross sharing of insights, trends and observations between our Indian and South African partners extremely crucial. We have had South African products being tailored to suit these specific needs as a testament of the value proposition we see in the market.” Alpa Jani, Acting Hub-Head, Middle Easst/India/South East Asia, South African Tourism, said, “We have always recorded an outstanding response from the Indian travel trade and are eagerly looking forward to seeing the positive impact this Roadshow will have towards driving Indian traveller traffic to South Africa in 2018.”

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Sunil R. Kumar re-elected as UFTAA President

The new Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association (UFTAA) board was elected at its AGM held during the UFTAA Congress held in Tel Aviv. The new UFTAA board now included Sunil R. Kumar from India as the new president, Yossef Fatael from Israel as the Vice President, S.G. Kaka from Kenya as the Vice President – Finance, and Cetin Gurcun from Turkey as the Vice President – Tourism. Sunil R. Kumar has been re-elected as the President of UFTAA for the third time starting from 2015. Kumar says, “It is delightful to be assigned with the responsibility to lead the most prestigious UFTAA once again. The association has a glorious past and a roaring future in the world of global networking that is extremely important in our fast evolving industry. UFTAA’s tourism initiatives and getting more parts of the world into Active UFTAA is what does matter for the success of UFTAA. I attribute this success to TAAI and India, for our respect globally is well acknowledged and accepted. It also implies that we have greater responsibility of our shoulders and this will certainly be delivered well. Congratulations everyone one in the Indian Industry for this global lead opportunity, which is historic to have been re-elected.” The Board of Directors meeting of UFTAA was held on February 6, 2018, at Tel Aviv. During the Congress, UFTAA welcomed some prominent regions of the world who joined UFTAA. This includes COTAL, the federation of travel & tourism associations of 25 countries of Latin America and China Association of Travel Services (CATS) that joined UFTAA as its Association Member.

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Vistara starts Delhi-Chennai direct daily service

Vistara has launched a daily direct service between Delhi and Chennai and is set to double its frequency between the two cities from March 1, offering convenient same-day return options in both directions. Besides, the airline will fly daily direct between Chennai and Port Blair from March 1, and will further expand its operations from the city from March 25 with daily direct flights between Chennai and Kochi and double daily flights between Chennai and Kolkata. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara said, “Many of our customers had been waiting for us to bring ‘the new feeling of flying’ to Chennai, and we’re pleased to finally inaugurate our service to the city. We may have been late in coming to Chennai, but our aggressive expansion plan from the city truly signals its importance to Vistara. The new Chennai service would offer additional connections through Delhi to many additional destinations including Srinagar, Jammu, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Varanasi, Bagdogra, and Guwahati.”

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